Are you headed to Morocco and looking for some inspiration and experiences? Awesome! You’re perfectly right here. Today I’m sharing my experiences, tips and tricks to travel Morocco as a woman (or man) and have the best vacation ever. As a matter of me being a woman I can especially give tips to those women out there who’d always wanted to travel Morocco but up until now weren’t certain if it’s a save thing to do. However, also men can benefit from this post as all accommodations, attractions and restaurants are gender neutral. In addition, most of my experiences are relevant for men as well as women. So, hop on, dive in and let’s travel Morocco.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Trip Details
- Morocco in general expectations vs experience
- Where to stay
- Where to eat
- What to see and do
- Getting around
- Traveling Morocco as a woman
You see there’s a lot of information in this post. I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Okay let’s get to it.
First of all, I want to give you some detailed information about my trip. The time, place, etc. so you can objectively analyse whether some information is relevant for you or not.
- Personal Information: Like I said, I’m female and 23 years old. For the women, it might be interesting to know, I’m blond (if not clear from the pictures already ;)). It might not be relevant now but I promise the hair colour really has a huge impact on your travel experience. Not only in Morocco but all across the world.
- Time of the year: January
- Duration: 3 Weeks
- Route: From Munich to Agadir – Taghazout – Essaouira – Marrakech – Merzouga (Sahara) – Agadir and back to Munich
- Other: The first week we travelled as a group of 5 (2 girls, 3 guys) and we stayed in one place in Taghazout. After that only us 2 girls continued the trip.
Morocco in general expectations vs. experience
Now that we’ve covered the trip details, let’s have a look on what prejudices one has from Morocco and what the actual experience was.
Here are some prejudices people, including you and me before I went on that trip might have:
- Rude and harassing behaviour of men towards women
- Very hectic and a lot of selling and promotion
- Hot and dry
- Not so well accessible
- Bad roads
- Cheap prices
Here’s my experience:
Some of the prejudices were fulfilled but others on the other had I experienced a lot different.
Now, I’ve already mentioned some things in my last travel diary from Morocco, but I want to dive a little more into detail here.
Morocco for me was a country I’ve always wanted to see because I’m excited about different cultures. But of cause, I had doubts and worries before I left.
However, almost none of my worries got confirmed.
In general people were very friendly and open to everyone. The first week, when we travelled as a group, almost no one on the street came and talked to us trying to sell or harass.
Everyone was just friendly and helpful. This however might also be a result of the town we stayed. Taghazout is a very small and touristic town so all locals are kind of urged to be nice and adapt as they live from tourism.
But also in Marrakech, even on the big famous souk they didn’t try to sell us that much stuff. I guess the secret to not getting sold shit you don’t want is to not try to buy anything in the first place.
Once you were looking more in detail on something or asking for prices, they of cause tried to sell you stuff.
In addition, don’t fall into the trap of going into someone’s shop once they offered you to show something.
However, they are never offended if you just say no thank you and walk away without buying anything.
I guess when it comes to buying and selling it really comes down to you being strong and resisting. And don’t worry to be rude. It’s okay to say no!
About the weather, I can just say during this time of the year, it’s not that hot. The coastal area is warm and nice, around 20°C during the days and 10°C during the nights.
Further inland however it is cold at a max. of 15°C during the day and around 5°C at night times.
In addition, it’s quite good to know that the temperatures fall drastically around 4PM and it won’t get warm before 12PM. So, the period of time during a day where it actually has 20°C is pretty short.
Furthermore, if you plan a trip to Sahara, make sure to bring a winter coat as it drops down to -1°C during night time and in the mornings.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that almost no hostel or house in Morocco has heating, so be prepared for cold nights.
About the infrastructure, roads and prices I can say the following.
Infrastructure and roads are surprisingly good. There is public transport running frequently. Only problem is to find the stop as nothing has signs there.
The houses are a bit more run down but still okay and they are building a lot of new apartments and houses all along the coast line.
The beaches unfortunately are dirty and so is the water as all the rubbish gets washed into it.
Also, there’s a lot of dirt and dust on the streets and you can say goodbye to clean cloths if you want to spend some time in the beach towns.
A big plus are the prices though. Most of the restaurants and accommodations are pretty cheap around the area. In general, you can say the bigger the town the cheaper the price. Especially for accommodation.
What you have to think of though is the food topic. As of no guidelines of how food must be treated a lot of food goes bad. Especially meat and sea food.
From personal experience, I recommend you go vegetarian during your time in Morocco as chances are high you’ll get food poisoned if you eat meat or sea food. Especially in the cheaper more local restaurants and on markets.
Also watch out for salad and drinks, as the tap water is poisoned as well and ice cubes or washed salad might be dangerous too.
If you eat in restaurants that are a little fancier however, you shouldn’t have any problems. Prices are still okay and cheaper than in Europe. And to be honest, I’d rather spend a few euros more than puking for days!
Where to stay
So far so good. Now that you know a bit more about Morocco and what it is like, let’s see where you could stay.
During our whole trip, we were traveling on a budged and only staying in hostels as that is the cheapest option besides a camper van.
However, there are plenty hotels and resorts to stay in if you have the money and prefer more privacy and luxury.
All accommodations we stayed in were nice and for Moroccan standards clean and cosy.
Tayought Surf House
- very cosy and familiar
- small but big enough to feel comfortable
- Dorms from 10€ per night
- Private rooms available
- Breakfast included, dinner available
- Very friendly family, more a homestay than a hostel
Red castle hostel
- Very nice looking, big and with a beautiful roof top
- Friendly staff
- Dorms from 6€ per night
- Breakfast included, dinner available
- Felt like a typical hostel, beds were very comfortable
The accommodation in Essaouira was not very mentionable as it was quite rundown and very wet inside. However, there are plenty of other hostels around so I’m sure you’ll find a better one.
In the Sahara, we stayed in accommodations the organisation gave us so I don’t know and couldn’t find out any details. However, there are only a few options so I guess you have to take what you get. But from what I’ve seen they all looked okay.
Where to eat
Like mentioned above, I’d recommend you eat in fancier restaurants to prevent food poisoning.
Also, buying food on the markets is nothing I’d recommend. Fruits, nuts and spices are okay. Bred is fine as well and vegetables probably too. But when it comes to meat and fish I’d leave my fingers off it as it mostly sits there for days in the sun.
However, even though you might be a bit scared to try anything now I still want to encourage you to try the local food such as Tajine and Couscous. Just be careful where and take the vegetarian option as vegetables usually don’t get bad if cooked.
Furthermore, you have to try the famous amlou and the Moroccan pancakes served in almost any bakery.
Just ask for them and I bet you get hooked.
World of Waves
This restaurant has the best smoothies in town. Also, the breakfast is big and filling. Lunch and dinner is rather small and expensive.
Prices are between 5-10€ per meal
Here I can recommend you go to the markets and see what fast food options are available. Compared to the fast food we have here in Europe, this is still quite healthy and you can get wraps and burgers for under 5€.
This restaurant chain is seen all over Morocco. It has good quality food and a wide choice from traditional Moroccan to European.
They also have delicious smoothies and huge portions of crêpes.
I also can recommend buying some fruits and juices on the markets for some snacks.
And in the old town of Marrakech I’ve eaten the best Moroccan pancakes. So, try some bakeries and find your own favourite.
What to see and do
As the aim of the first week of our trip was surfing, we didn’t explore much around Taghazout. However, the coastal walk from Taghazout to Tamraght is very nice and in general if you walk along the beaches or take a car up the coast there’s a lot of beautiful scenery.
Taghazout itself doesn’t have much to offer besides surfing and food. However, it is a cosy little town and worth a visit for one or two days.
Is a small beach town up the coast from Taghazout. It’s very laid back and has nice vibes. So, if you’re up for some beach time, go there and check it out.
Also, the beach of Tamri is quite a nice one to spend some hours in the sun.
I can definitely recommend going there for a day or two. It has a lovely beach walk and is a little more developed than the small beach towns. The markets there are also very enriching and nicer for souvenir shopping then those in Marrakech.
A must see if you’re in Morocco. Just go out the door and explore. There’s nothing to miss but a lot to gain. Just start walking and see where the streets take you.
This was probably the highlight of our trip and I definitely recommend everyone to go to Sahara.
There’s a couple choices you have. You can either book a guided tour from your hotel or hostel or online. I’d recommend TripAdvisor as they usually have the best quality tours. (at least from what I’ve heard and experienced)
Second choice is to rent a car and drive to Merzouga yourself and from there book a tour with the camel or car into the desert.
It is not possible to go into the desert all alone. So, you have to get a guide at some point anyway.
If you decide to book a tour from the hostel like we did I recommend you book three days the least as you’ll have long distance to cover and will sit in the car a lot.
However, it’s a nice trip and you get to see a lot of the country. So #noregrets!
In the Agadir area, there are local buses which are cheap and run very frequently. The only difficulty sometimes is to find the bus stop, so calculate some time to go on the search.
As always, I’d be beneficial to have a car to drive to different towns along the coast. The roads are very well developed and traffic isn’t too bad. Just have your papers with you as police might stop you frequently to do a check-up.
However, between the bigger cities there’s also traveller companies. The buses are comfortable and new and very cheap. A ticket from Essaouira to Marrakech costs 8€ and from Marrakech to Agadir 10€. They are also very fast and you’re there within 2-3 hours.
The bus company we took was called Supratours. But there are other options too.
In the cities, I recommend walking or taking a cab as driving yourself there isn’t really fun and public transport takes forever.
If you decide to take cabs though, be prepared to negotiate as they usually set way to high prices. Also, they might tell you they have a general fee but that’s not true. They usually go below that fee if you stay strong.
Traveling Morocco as a woman
Lastly, I want to share my experience as a woman.
With this I hope to take the fear of all those girls out there who are worried to travel Morocco by themselves.
Besides the food poisoning I had no bad experiences in Morocco at all.
Of cause, you have to get used to getting talked to and also that guys start asking for your number or wanting to have a conversation. But that’s something that happens to you in any country so no reason to cross Morocco of your bucket list.
In addition, once you say no to anyone they accept it. In Morocco, you just really have to tell people what you like and don’t like. Just tell them if they said or did something you didn’t like. Then they’ll apologize and stop.
Be confident and you’ll see there’s no reason to worry.
However, don’t risk anything and go out alone at night. And avoid empty places and streets just in case.
I hope you found the information you were looking for and now are able to plan your Morocco trip better.
My conclusion of Morocco is the following.
I liked the country and especially its landscape. I’ve never seen anything so scenic as the Sahara Desert and am very glad I had this experience.
Also, even though to everything was awesome during this three week trip, I’m glad I got to experience everything and am more appreciative about things at home than I was before.
However, although I liked Morocco and had a lot of fun and no bad experiences I would go back there.
It’s not been a country I fell in love with and non I felt at home at any time. However, this is only my personal experience, so go and make your own. Maybe it’s different for you!
That said, I’m saying goodbye for now. If you liked the post and found it valuable feel free to share it so more people can benefit from its information.