Trip to Morocco - Mar 12 - Mar 21, 2019

Traveler: Randall S. - Local specialist: Yassine Echcherki

Our entire experience with KimKim was effortless. From the initial and follow-up planning with Yassine to the final follow-up was a great experience. We were met at the Marrakesh airport by a young man named Ismael. We could not have asked for a better person to be our driver and to spend the trip with. He was engaging, courteous, helpful and a very cautious and competent driver. Interacting with him was one of the highlights of our trip. We checked into the Riad Melhoun which was beautiful and the staff was very accommodating. The next morning we were met by our tour guide, Mohammed. He spent the entire day taking thru Marrakesh and showing us the highlights, along with some very local spots such as the community baker and community Tagine oven and caretaker. He also introduced us to local craftsman who made ironwork, leather products etc. He ended the day with us at the main square in Marrakesh awaiting sunset. The next day we headed to Ouarzazate, the drive was very scenic and kept our interest. We stopped for a pleasant lunch and then climbed to the ancient village, Ait Benhaddou. The views were spectacular from this ancient village. We stayed out Le Temple Des Arts which had “themed” suites. Once again, the staff was very kind and accommodating and we had a very nice dinner at the restaurant there. The next morning we were off to Merzouga for our camel trip into the Sahara. Along the way we stopped at Dades Gorge which was very scenic and a nice walking break. We had lunch in the local village just outside the Gorge. We arrived in Merouza around 5:15 to begin our camel ride for our overnight stay in the Sahara. The ride was about two hours and our guide into the desert was personable and he took great photos for all of us. We stopped before reaching camp so we could enjoy the sunset. We arrived at Luxury Camp Chebbi, and everything was set up for us. After a nice sit around a fire, we were ready for dinner. The dinner was amazing, and our favorite was a tomato, eggplant and goat cheese dish cooked in a tagine. We decided we wanted to take the chef, Omar, back to the USA so we could have his delicious food again. The next morning we went back to Merouza via 4 wheel drive since we had a long drive to Fes. We wanted to ride the camels back but the two hours would have made that difficult to arrive at a decent time. Along our journey, we stopped at a local weekly market that had all kinds of produce, fruit, etc. We never knew there were so many different type of dates. It was very interesting to see how the locals come to these weekly markets to get their goods. We later stopped in Ifrane which is a completely different, but was a nice stop for a coffee and a stroll around town. Later in the day we arrived in Fes and went to Dar Roumana to check in. This Dar is absolutely beautiful. Later that evening we were taken to a local restaurant, Dar Hatim. This restaurant served us perhaps the best Moroccan salad and a lamb tagine that was so tender and tasty. The next morning we met our guide, Hakim, to begin our tour of Fes. We first took a drive to see the Medina from above and then went back so we could start walking thru town. We went thru the blue gate and wandered thru the souks and stopped at the tannery (use the mint leaves), then later stopped at a weavers store. The craftsmanship was amazing to see. We later went to a tile shop/school where they make the most beautiful pottery, mosaics, vases, etc. This place was also a school that trained locals to become artisans. Our guide then took us back to Dar Roumana around 6 pm. The staff arranged for a guide to get us the Clock Cafe where they had some local music and a nice dinner on the top terrace. The alleys and streets with the Medina of Fes are overwhelming and easy to lose your way so we appreciated the assistance, otherwise we might still be wondering around Fes. The next morning we departed to head to Chefchaouen. Our first stop was at Meknes to take a look at the ancient stables where they had 12,000 horses. We then motored along to the the Roman ruins, Volubilis and walked around the area for a while looking at the layout. The area was very scenic and had great views. Our next stop was Moulay Idriss. We checked into a very charming place called Dar Mez which was very quaint and colorful and had absolute great views of the city. We then wondered around the beautiful Medina of Chefchaouen till around 10 pm. We the tried to make our way back to the Dar but were hopelessly lost. Our young local man kindly guided us back to the Dar. A tip to him was money well spent! The next day we wondered back thru the Medina and souks. The shop keepers in Chefchaouen are much more laid back then Fes and Marrakesh so that made browsing a bit easier. We had a nice lunch in town before heading back on the road again. We headed to Rabat and once we arrived we checked into Riad Ziena. We walked the area again and then headed out to eat at Dar Nani Medina. We then continued walking the markets and stopped at an outdoor pastry shop for a couple of sweet desserts to celebrate my birthday. This time we actually found our way back to the Riad without assistance. A major victory for us. The next day we headed to Casablanca to visit the Hassan II. The traffic in Casablanca was the worst we experience but as usual Ismael handled it effortlessly. The mosque is absolutely beautiful and spectacularly large. The mosaic work around the mosque was worth of many pictures. We then headed back to our final destination, Marrakesh for another night. We stopped for a nice lunch along the highway before reaching the final accommodation, Palais Khum. We immediately, left to visit the square on more time, get lost in the Souks and enjoy one more meal overlooking the square. We lingered long into the night and reluctantly headed back knowing we would be leaving the next morning. The next morning before Ismael picked us up we wondered the local alleys and shops. Ismael met us at 11:30 am for our ride to the airport. We sadly said our goodbye is Ismael.

Yassine Echcherki profile photo
Yassine Echcherki, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Randall,

Thank you so much for your detailed account of your Moroccan adventure! I am so happy to hear that your trip was a success and that your time in Morocco was unforgettable. I see that you enjoyed your accommodations. Thank you for giving me feedback about the staff at each of them so I can follow up with these businesses. I know that they will appreciate your kind words.

It is so nice to hear that you enjoyed you time with Ismael. We are very lucky to have him on our team and... read more

Hello Randall,

Thank you so much for your detailed account of your Moroccan adventure! I am so happy to hear that your trip was a success and that your time in Morocco was unforgettable. I see that you enjoyed your accommodations. Thank you for giving me feedback about the staff at each of them so I can follow up with these businesses. I know that they will appreciate your kind words.

It is so nice to hear that you enjoyed you time with Ismael. We are very lucky to have him on our team and shining reviews like yours reinforce that fact! These reviews surely help us improve, and it is great to be able to go back to your guides, driver and accommodations to tell them your comments. It is unfortunate that you were not able to sneak Omar back home with you, but I hope that you remember your meal with him for many years to come!

Thank you again for traveling with us, and I hope that our paths cross again in the future. If you are ever looking to travel again to Morocco, please reach out to me! I would be more than pleased to plan your trip again. Take care.

Warmest regards,
Yassine