A wonderful taste of Morocco!
Nov 24 - Dec 2, 2023
This was my first time using KimKim and it will not be the last!
My friend Howard and I decided to make Morocco our destination. We decided on a date but neither of us really had time to plan a trip. KimKim to the rescue!
We looked at the various itineraries. I was impressed with the varied options. Options include how many days you want to visit as well as the kind of trip you want to take. One can choose active, historical and many others.
Once we decided on the amount of days and what kind of trip we wanted, that's when Saīd came into the process. I definitely could not have done this without Saīd and I am very grateful for all his work. Saīd is incredibly patient and thoughtful. He is clearly driven to make sure that each and every traveler has the experience they desire. My questions were often answered immediately or because of the 6 hour time difference, by the next day. As you get closer to the date, Saīd will give you his WhatsApp number so you can contact him for anything.
We were given an excellent driver. Neither of us wanted to deal with driving in Morocco. If you are planning to do your own driving, the main roads and highways are excellent. I live in New York City and I thought the driving in Casablanca and Marrakech seemed very chaotic. We were very happy with the choice to have a driver, and Lahcen was wonderful. His driving is flawless. In addition to his professionalism, he is incredibly kind and thoughtful. We were in great hands!
We had a guide in Chefchaouen, Abdessalam. I enjoyed his tour of the Blue City. I definitely learned quite a bit. You will test your fitness going up and down the steps and hills of Chefchaouen. Our tour included two nights in a Riad there. The Riad was a lovely place. Keep in mind that the “star” system there is a little different than in the States. These Riads are great, one really gets a flavor of the country there. However, the amenities may be a little more rustic than you expected. The rooms have full bathrooms, but towels might be a little scratchy. I found the beds to be very comfortable, and I am usually hard to please on that matter.
Overall, I think Chefchaouen is done in one day, maybe one overnight. I didn’t need to stay two nights.
Off we went on the road to Fes! I had forgotten that we were going to see the ruins at Volubolis. If you like ruins, think Pompeii, then you will love Volubolis. Howard and I had a great time walking around. The weather was picture perfect. Keep in mind that people might come up and offer their services as a guide. We declined.
Meknes is the next stop. First lunch. I wasn’t crazy about the lunch spot. It’s a bit too touristy, but the food was fine, service was fine. If you like dining on terraces Morocco is the place for you! Keep your eyes open for storks! Also, kitty cats are all over the place. Do not be surprised if they come right up and sit in your lap. Cats are not abused, but are not particularly well cared for. Some cats will beg for food.
The mausoleum in Meknes is lovely.
We reached Fes around time for an early dinner. The Riad there was also all that you hope a modest hotel to look like. Gorgeous lights, tiles, table and sofas. November is a little cool in Morocco, so bring your winter jammies! The area where this Riad was situated didn’t feel very welcoming. So we decided to eat dinner at this Riad both nights. The food there was very good and the service was very kind and friendly.
In the morning we met our guide for the Medina in Fes. Sharif was fantastic. He was incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, FUNNY and patient. I learned so much from that experience. I don’t know how anyone could go to the Medina without a guide. It is an endless and chaotic maze! As promised in the itinerary, you will see the food stalls, tanneries, copper and brass stalls and so much more!
Next day, off to Marrakech. That was a long driving day. We took the highways. Lahcen always knew the best places to stop. Keep in mind that it is appropriate to tip the bathroom attendant- so hold on to your coins for that! The Riad in Marrakech was my favorite. The staff was particularly friendly. The Riad itself was beautiful. They have a lovely sunken circular sofa, a mini pool (too cold for us to swim in November), breakfast on the terrace and even a little jacuzzi. This Riad is also well located for visiting the old city. Keep in mind that sadly the earthquake in the lower Atlas mountains did have some toll in Marrakech.
We declined the guide in Marrakech because I have a friend who lives there. If we had stayed for an extra day there a guide would have been wonderful. We did visit the Yves St. Laurent museum, which was lovely. If you think you might like it, go!
We had a visit to a Hammam. If you like saunas, enjoy! There are other spa services available as well.
I recommend the restaurant OTTO. It is very close to the Riad where we stayed. This was the most elegant place we ate. Expensive by Moroccan standards, but well worth it.
Next day, a short drive to Essaouria. Finally a sea-side area! This area is an enjoyable change from the other cities. It feels more open. We took a long walk on the beach. If you want there are horses and camels to ride. Do your souvenir shopping here! If this is of interest, Essaouria is one area where you can find alcohol. In fact, it is the area where wine was produced for centuries. Another thing I noted was a lot of cigarette smoking. I am not a smoker and at times I found this to be unpleasant. Two nights there and then off to Casablanca to stay overnight and then leave.
I believe most people will say that from a tourist’s view there is not much of interest in Casablanca. We did see the Hassan ll mosque. It’s lovely and near the ocean. We didn’t do anything else in Casablanca. The hotel we stayed in is called a five star hotel. The rooms are clean and new. Again, there is something that feels a little disheveled about this hotel. Rooftop dining, pool there is even a gym. This hotel made me miss the Riads we stayed in during the trip.
Overall, this was an excellent trip. I got a taste of many places. Saīd was so helpful. I am sure that if there had been any kind of medical emergency Lahcen and Saīd would have jumped into action. Both Saīd and Lahcen made our trip a huge success and we wouldn’t have met them without KimKim!
Lovely experience! This Riad is beautifully decorated. The rooms are clean and attractive. The service was lovely! Food was excellent in this Riad. The location is close to the Medina and a little chaotic. Beds were comfortable, bring your warm jammies if you are traveling in November!
Sharif was an excellent guide. I learned a lot and I could not have enjoyed the Medina without his help.Take your time