I have to say, Tauck did a great job at naming this particular itinerary “Magic of Morocco” as…
…it truly was a Magical trip!!
From visiting modern/big cities like Rabat, Casablanca & Marrakesh…
…to going “back in time” in places like Fes & Volubilis…
…to visiting impressive Medinas, Mosques & Souks…
…to enjoying yummy meals along the way, including a meal at “Rick’s Cafe” that put “Casablanca” on everyone’s map…
…to a WONDERFUL visit to a traditional Berber Village & an evening in the Desert…
…to meeting many truly, truly super nice & interesting locals along the way (I can promise you, if you’ve ever had thoughts that you have something to fear with people from Africa/the Middle East, etc. simply fly over there & hang out with the locals & that will all melt away!)…
…overall, I definitely experienced a lot of “Magic” while visiting this Beautiful Country!!
**HOT TIP!!* If you’ve ever had any inkling to visit Exotic/Far Off places but maybe destinations like Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Oman, Dubai, etc. sound too imitating for your first time out…
…then consider Morocco as it’s as close to North America as you can get when it comes to flight times (no different than flying to Spain) and it’s a little easier for us “westerners” to navigate since it’s a huge tourist spot for people from France (since Morocco was ruled by France for many years these 2 places still have lots of ties!) so you’ll see lots of familiar sites like modern malls, McDonald’s, “Paul” Cafes (if you’ve been to France you’ll know those!), etc.
And the food isn’t at all much different from what you may eat at home… chicken, fish, lamb, beef, veggies, couscous, etc. except over here they really know how to season & spice things so, who knows, you may even like the food more than at home! 😉 (And at the “Westernized” hotels you stay at with Tauck, finding a sandwich, burger, pizza, etc. is pretty simple if that’s more to your taste!)
FYI, this is a short 9 night/10 day tour that can be accessed by a simple flight from the US or Canada (To put it in perspective, it was 7hrs for me to fly non-stop from the East Coast to Morocco whereas Rome is 8hrs, Athens is 9hrs, etc. so it’s faster then getting to even some of Europe’s most popular destinations!) so put Morocco on your radar if you want to try something “Exotic” without being too exotic!!
Okay, let’s get into my experience on this Tauck Land Tour
(If you’re a more “Visual” person, make sure to check out my Morocco Picture & Video Gallery and read all the captions under each picture/video as I give VERY detailed info in my gallery as well!)
First off, this was my 6th trip with Tauck (including 3 other Land Tours to India, Australia & New Zealand & the Pacific Northwest, a River Cruise on the Danube & a Small Ship Cruise in Venice & Croatia) and as usual, Tauck did a GREAT job!!
As you’ve probably seen on my site, I’ve traveled with many different travel suppliers over the years (Over 20 different Cruise lines + other land tour providers) and I’ve truly never experienced a company that pays as much attention to the details as Tauck does & who packs so much value into their prices!!
–On-time airport transfers… which they include whether you book airfare through them or not and even if you fly in early/stay late… I came in 3 days early/stayed 3 days after & Tauck provided my transfers on both ends. (If you read the caption under this picture I go into even more detail about my transfer experience)
–Very experienced “Tauck Directors” who accompany you during your entire journey… on this trip we had Jeff from Colorado who was GREAT/his 15+ years of experience aided him in running our tour without a hitch!
–Local guides who speak EXCELLENT English & are SUPER knowledgeable! I can promise you, with MANY other companies I’ve seen issues with this again & again! For example, immediately after this trip I flew to Athens for a 19 night Cruise to Dubai and we had issues with guides in MULTIPLE ports throughout our trip! Whereas in Morocco, Widad, who was with us the whole trip was an amazingly kind woman who knew so much about her Country/shared every detail we could want to know (As I mention in the caption under this picture she even showed us how Muslims pray) and it was the same with the guides who accompanied us for just a day or so depending on the place we were visiting!!
–Food choices… yes, some of our meals were “family” style where we had no choice on what we ordered/we all ate the same thing (which were often “highlight” meals showcasing the local food) but many times we could go to the restaurant of our choice and order what we wanted… we’re talking doing this at “Four Seasons” where restaurants are NOT cheap so, unlike pretty much all of Tauck’s competitors, don’t expect everything you eat to be a “group” buffet as you will experience some wonderful a-la-carte-meals which will no doubt be highlights of your culinary journey of the place you’re visiting! (This picture and the dozen that follow it show you some of the food we enjoyed while in Morocco… yumm!! 😉 )
–Logistics when it comes from getting you from place to place… I’ve never seen another company do this so well, we NEVER experienced any wait times/EVER, even in the busiest places our Tauck Motorcoach would show up like Magic as we came out of a venue, etc, and they always made sure we had frequent stops during our longer drives to make sure we all could stretch our legs, have a bathroom break, etc. (As I talk about in this picture and the 2 after it, we had the same Motorcoach each day in Morocco and, as usual, we experienced Tauck’s “seating” system and they kept us well hydrated the whole trip!)
–Quality of their hotels… no matter what city you’re in Tauck always makes sure you’re comfortable with all the amenities you’re used to at home… sometimes this could end up being a “Four Seasons” which is in a great location so you get the best of both worlds/a GREAT hotel plus being able to walk out your door to enjoy it all… or, in a place like Fes, Tauck chose a touch out of the way from the main tourist area hotel (we’re talking a 10min or so drive) as that provided a way higher quality stay when it came to rooms & on-site restaurants then we could have gotten closer… let’s just say you’ll always know Tauck is choosing a Great place for you to be your “home base” for whatever the current city it is you’re in… and you’ll have to do ZERO of the planning! 😉 (This picture & the 1/2 dozen that follow it give you a “peek” at what some of our hotels were like)
–Inclusions in their prices… as someone who books a lot of Tauck trips for my clients, I can tell you it’s common for people to feel Tauck is way pricier than their competitors the first time they’re introduced to them. BUT, for all 6 trips I’ve been on, by the time we’re finished everyone feels like they’ve gotten great value when they see all that was included, the number of guides & locals who assisted us from day to day, the quality of the meals, the quality of the hotels, the “exclusives” we experienced, the little gifts we got along the way, having even the littlest detail taken care of like being given a “Tauck” purse with coins in it to cover our bathroom breaks (Yes, as you can see here, they really did this!), when they experience skipping big line ups that “regular” tourists could be in line for 1-2 hours for, to seeing how with Tauck we visit places at the “right” time before it gets too busy/too hot, etc.
Let’s just say, I could go on & on when it comes to Tauck’s quality… the bottom line is “How You See The World Matters” and if you want to virtually guarantee your trip is going to go about as well as it possibly can, Tauck is a great company to consider for your next trip…
…ESPECIALLY when it comes to Land Tours which is why (as I’ve said on my site in the past) I pretty much exclusively recommend Tauck for Land Tours as I haven’t found any other company that comes close to their quality!
Yes, there are other excellent River Cruise companies out there & of course great small-ship Ocean Cruise lines but for land tours, Tauck is definitely the top quality in my experience!
And no, I don’t get any special deals or anything with Tauck for saying that (In fact, percentage-wise Tauck pays us agents less commission than many other suppliers & they never give us money to market their products as other suppliers do, etc,) so it’s 100% my choice for me to say this as…
…my priority is always for my clients to have the BEST Cruise or Land Tour experience possible for the place they’re going (WAAY more important than my bottom line!) so I’m always going to tell you like it is/recommend to you the exact companies I’d personally go with for that particular trip! 🙂
Okay, let’s look at the places I visited when on Tauck’s “Magic of Morocco” Land Tour as well as some of the sites I saw, experiences I had, food I ate, etc.
I have to say, Rabat is a place I hadn’t even heard of prior to when I started planning to do this trip… yet, it’s the Capital of Morocco!
And not only is it Morocco’s Capital but it’s a Beautiful place to start your trip and spend some time getting acclimated to the area, getting over the jet-lag, helping avoid any potential delays, etc.
Between it being a Very clean city, having many beautiful tree-lined wide avenues, being an easily walkable city (the main street, “Avenue Mohammad V” was less than 10mins from hotel), having a nice Medina/Souk area that isn’t overwhelming to visit on your own as say Fez or Marrakesh can be, to being an ocean-side City, to a place where I received lots of smiles & felt very safe, etc…
…Rabat is the perfect introduction to Morocco!!
So, if you end up doing this trip, do what I did and fly in a few days early… I was the first of our group of 30 to arrive 3 days early… maybe 10 more of my group got there 2 days early & then the rest arrived 1 day early… but, I could see many were still tired by the time we had our Welcome Dinner the first night so, if you’re going to spend the better part of $10,000 per person to book your tour/fly over there, etc. spend a little bit more & get in as early as possible as overall it’ll make your trip that much better!
By the time I met my group I already saw many areas of the city… I was the only one who visited the Chellah Fort which is a great site, I was at the big local mall, I went to multiple parks, I experienced locals praying on the streets during their calls to prayer, I walked next to the historic walls that surrounded the Medina & Royal Palace, I had conversations with locals, etc.
And I was nice & rested by the time our tour started!
And, if my bags had been delayed, they would have had 3 days to catch up so getting in early will do nothing but make your trip smoother & your vacation that much better! 🙂
And as a reminder, if you’re a past guest with Tauck BOOK EARLY as if you book your trip by June 30th for the following year (so, if you’re going to go in 2024 for example make sure to book by June 30th, 2023) you’ll get a FREE extra hotel night on Tauck or, if you’ve never traveled with Tauck, I can get you a FREE extra hotel night no matter when you book… of course, these promotions could change anytime but they’ve been happening for years now so hopefully, they don’t go away anytime soon!
Anyways, the point is, you have NO excuses to show up the “day of” as lots of opportunity for a Free night… and if you booked too late to get a Free night, skip a few meals out at home & pay for the extra nights with the savings as you’ll be glad you did! 🙂
By the way, earlier I talked about Tauck’s value… keep in mind on almost every trip they operate, on the very FIRST night they have a Welcome Reception & Dinner (This picture & the 2 that follow it give you a feel for what our’s was like)… not only is that a highlight as you meet everyone/get an overview of what to expect, but it’s also something I’ve NEVER seen other companies do… with most other companies, their “start” day is really a fly in/get checked in day and then the next morning you “meet” everyone… so no included meal on night #1 and you’re wasting valuable touring time the next morning… neither are a great way to start your trip off!
So, another reason you want to get in at least 1 day early with Tauck is if you arrive on the date your trip starts/your flight is late you WILL miss a Very important activity which is to meet your fellow travelers & get essential info from your “Tauck Director”… plus, you’ll miss the included drinks & yummy dinner!! 🙂
Okay, back to Rabat… when it comes to the areas Tauck takes you for the 1/2 day you’re in Rabat (when you wake up on day 2 you do a quick tour of Rabat & then head to Fes) you’ll see the Royal Palace where the King stays when in town (albeit that’s a quick drive through/no visit is allowed), you’ll stop at the “Mausoleum of Mohammad V” and then you’ll enjoy a very picturesque visit to the “Kasbah of the Udayas” that overlooks Rabat’s sister city, “Sale”, and the area’s beaches, the Atlantic Ocean, etc.
So again, Rabat is a Beautiful City and as I talk about in the caption under this picture I don’t think Tauck does it Justice as you’ll see in the pictures at that link… so make sure to take my advice and get there early so you won’t be disappointed!! 🙂
For nights 2-4 we stayed in Fes which is a VERY important area of Morocco, considered it’s spiritual & cultural capital!! (As you’ll see here and in the couple of pics after that one, on the way to Fes we stopped at a winery… Moroccan wine isn’t at all famous but was Very good as was our lunch there)
A must-do when in Fes is to visit its 1,300-year-old Medina/souk area… wow, it felt like we stepped back in time when there!!
Our visit to the Medina started after we visited a local ceramic factory which, in itself, was Very interesting… and it was a great time to do it at the very beginning of our trip since EVERYDAY we saw examples of how these artisan’s work is displayed all around the Country… fascinating how much work goes into even the smallest piece of mosaic design!!
For our Fes Medina visit, some of us went on a food tour/others learned more about what some of the local artisans from this area create.
And, in Tauck style, we had our “Tauck Director” Jeff with us + each group had a local Moroccan guide + we had 2 “spotters” with the big group/1 with the smaller group (we called them our bodyguards) whose sole job was to make sure none of us got lost in this busy place… again, Tauck’s attention to detail is beyond anything else I’ve seen… and people REALLY appreciated all this attention as these Souks can be Very busy areas/can be overwhelming so everyone liked how there were lots of people taking great care of our group!
As I mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to go to these “Exotic” places when with a company like Tauck as they take Great care of you… on your own, some places can be Very tough to navigate with little English spoken, etc. but it’s easy/peasy when you travel in such an organized way!
For lunch that day not only were we treated to “Pastilla” (a local delicacy) but we enjoyed a lecture by a female professor who shed some light on what it’s like living in Morocco for women/how they fit into society, etc. Very interesting & eye-opening… again, not something I’ve seen other companies do… it was like a “working lunch” but one we all enjoyed!! 🙂
Visit here and check out the dozen or so pictures that follow & read all the captions to see what we did that day in Fes!
Later that night was a highlight meal for sure at the “Palais Faraj”.
And not only did we have a wonderful meal that night but the rooftop view of the Medina made it even more special! 🙂
This picture and the several that follow it show you what that yummy meal was like!
Our next day in Fes took us out to Volubilis which is a REALLY cool Roman Ruins… NOT something I expected to see in Morocco!
Not only was this place scenic but what we learned from our really informative local guide (local to that area… basically, wherever we were Tauck made sure an expert on that area educated us on what we were experiencing!) was fascinating… it really was a highlight of our trip, one I totally never expected!!
This picture and the few that follow it show you some more scenes from Volubilis.
As was lunch that day at “Scorpion House” https://scorpionhouse.com/… this gem in Moulay Idris is something myself/our group never would have experienced without Tauck coming up with the idea/planning it… these unique experiences are what keeps myself & many others traveling with Tauck again & again. (A few people in our group had taken 20+ trips with Tauck and others had taken a handful like me as everyone likes these unexpected experiences that are great memories that stay with you!)
Here are a few pictures from “Scorpian House”.
After another Great day of touring it was back to our comfy hotel where I enjoyed a choice of 3 restaurants to eat at… I chose the rooftop tapas bar as you can see here and as I talk about in the caption underneath! 🙂
The next day we headed to infamous “Casablanca”… someone reading this post 20-30 years from now may not have a clue what I mean but, for now, I know you know what I’m talking about! 😉
Even though that famous movie was before my time, I did enjoy watching it on our coach (with, as you’ll see here, popcorn included) as it got me excited for the city we were heading to as well as excited about our lunch the next day at Rick’s! 🙂
But, for our first night there it was a REALLY nice ocean-side venue for dinner… as you’ll see here, WOW!!
**Hot Tip** If you’re a “walker” and don’t mind getting up a bit early, the Four Seasons has some nice walking around it… first I headed to the lighthouse & back (no worries, you can’t miss it on the way to the hotel!) which was about 30 mins and then I headed the opposite direction on the “Corniche” which was fun as I passed lots of locals walking/jogging, etc. which helped me see Moroccans are just like us! 😉 There’s so much truth to the famous quote “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”!!
Our tour that day, and the main reason we came to Casablanca, was to visit the “Hassan II Mosque” which is the only Mosque in Morocco that non-Muslims can visit (99% of the population is Muslim!)… and Wow, we were all so happy we made that stop!!
105,000 believers can fit in there to pray… I thought the Mosques I saw in Cairo & Istanbul were impressive but this place was way bigger… amazing how something like this, so detailed/so Grand, can be built!!
Lunch at Rick’s was a pretty cool experience as well… the service was awesome with everyone in tuxes, all very prompt, etc. and the food was excellent quality… and, even though Rick’s wasn’t a real establishment when the movie was made, the way they set it up gave you that nostalgic feeling of being in the movie at a fancy “back in the day” place with its faux casino/bar area/multi-levels, etc.
Overall, our short 1-night visit to Casablanca was impressive & Fun!! 🙂
This picture and the few that follow it show you more scenes from the “Hassan II Mosque” and this one and the few that follow it show you our meal at “Rick’s”.
After Casablanca, we headed to Marrakesh for a 4-night stay… there we stayed a the “Four Seasons” Marrakesh… what a BEAUTIFUL resort, you won’t want to leave!! 😉
For our first day in Marrakesh we did a VERY comprehensive tour where we visited the city’s main Mosque, the famous watermen, “Bahia Palais”, a Berber pharmacy, we ate lunch on the rooftop of Cafe Arabe, visited a Kaftan shop, the “Secret Garden” & Marrakesh’s Main square which features snake charmers/food stalls/games, etc.
Overall, as you can see here & in the dozen+ pics that follow that one, it was quite the day in Marrakesh!!
For our next day in Marrakesh, we started off with a very nice horse carriage ride which was great as such a different way to see city!
The horses dropped us off at the “Yves Saint Laurent Museum” and “Marjorelle Gardens” which had an over 1-hour line up but of course, we strolled right on in since we were there with Tauck! 🙂
These 1/2 dozen pics will show you what those 2 experiences were like.
After that, we had a few hours of free time before we headed out in a caravan of 4x4s to visit a Berber village where we were welcomed to a private home and were treated to a traditional tea ceremony.
And then we enjoyed a FABULOUS evening in the Desert featuring camel rides, music, a yummy dinner under a beautiful tent, a fire show, etc.
Overall, it was a GREAT night and a major highlight of our trip!! 🙂
If you’re interested, these dozen pictures will give you a better visual of how nice that evening was!
For our last day in Marrakesh, we had some options where you could do 3 hour ride each way to the picturesque sea-side town of Essaouira (26 of our group of 30 did this) or you could enjoy a massage or traditional Moroccan Hamman at the “Four Seasons” Spa with a pool-side lunch included afterward.
Personally, I had heard from many people you have to try a Hamman when in Morocco so that’s what I chose and am VERY glad I did… what an experience!! I don’t think my skin has ever felt that smooth in my life & it was Very relaxing… something I’ll never forget/a super nice experience! 🙂
FYI, when I talked to everyone that evening about Essaouira, a bunch of my fellow travelers seemed underwhelmed with their visit there saying it was very pretty but not worth the 6 hours of driving so don’t be afraid to do what I did & relax on your last day in Morocco as a little pampering when on vacation is never a bad thing! 😉
That evening we “wrapped” things up in Morocco, in “Tauck Style”, with a very nice rooftop cocktail reception & dinner at the “Four Seasons” which was the perfect way to say goodbye to our fellow travelers and to this Beautiful Country!
Overall, everything I experienced during this fabulous Tauck Land Tour in Morocco truly was “Magical” !! 🙂
Want to “see” even more of what I experienced in Morocco, if so make sure to check out my Morocco Picture & Video Gallery and read all the captions under each picture/video as I get VERY detailed in my gallery as well!
Well, I hope you enjoyed that in-depth “look” at Tauck’s “Magic of Morocco” Land Tour and it helps you decide if this is a trip you’d be interested in personally experiencing or not!!
If you are interested in this tour, contact me here for more details or to help you get booked… or, if you’re interested in any other Tauck Land Tour or Ocean Cruise or River Cruise with any of the lines, as always, I’m here to help & TRULY appreciate your business & referrals!!! 🙂
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