Northern Morocco with guide Ismail: Tangier - Akchour Falls - Chefchaouen - Volubilis - Meknes - Fes - Rabat - Tangier - Jan 15 - Jan 18, 2020
Megan put together a jam-packed 4-day itinerary for me as I wanted to fit in as much as possible in the short time I had available. Ismail collected me on day one in Tangier, and I initially had no idea how fortunate I was to have him as my driver and guide. Every day, multiple times a day, I was grateful for his company, his generosity, his knowledge and advice, and his driving. There is no way that I would have seen and experienced all that I did without Ismail at the wheel and by my side. I can’t express my gratitude enough, thank you to Megan for booking Ismail, and thank you to my new friend Ismail for a truly amazing holiday.
As for Morocco itself, I am in love! A trip to Morocco has been on my wish list forever and four days has only left me craving more. Akchour falls and the drive through the mountains to Chefchaouen was a spectacular start to my first day. Ismail and I shared Moroccan tea by the falls and lunch in Chefchaouen, and later in the afternoon he accompanied me to the Spanish mosque to watch the sunset - as a solo female traveller Ismail’s company was very much appreciated. I spent a very comfortable night at the homely and welcoming Dar Laman, with a delicious breakfast in the morning.
The following day we travelled to Volubilis, where I spent an hour with a fantastic locally born guide touring the Roman ruins, however I could have easily spent the whole day exploring here. Ismail navigated the traffic and many police cameras onwards to Meknes, where I visited Bab el-Mansour gate and explored the Médina, finishing with lunch on the roof terrace at Restaurant Salma overlooking Prison de Kara. We finished the day with a short drive to Fes to check into the surprisingly luxurious Dar Tresor, my riad for two nights.
Fes...oh what a surprise, no one warned me that Fes would steal my heart! I cry every time I think of my life changing day in Fes with the inspiring city guide Kammal, and Ismail driving us between sights. Fes is an ancient melting pot of spiritual and cultural traditions that I can’t begin to describe, I just know that I will be going back, hopefully one day soon. Kammal also arranged for me to visit the restored Royal Médina Spa for a Hammam and massage, where the service and ambience was impeccable, including a guide to collect and return me to my riad.
On the final day we traveled first to Rabat to see the Hassan Tower and Royal Mausoleum, before heading north again to Tangier. I slept while Ismail drove, and he made a special detour for me to visit the Caves of Hercules and Cap Spartel, before carrying my bag up the hill to my final riad.
Thank you to everyone, especially Ismail - a true gentleman, who helped to make this trip the best experience of my life, I am already planning my next trip to Morroco to visit the south and the deserts.