Morocco

Now Tunisia is out of bounds for holidaymakers it is a tough call as to which nearby countries are safe to visit.

I am just back from Morocco, which is an obvious holiday choice. However, how safe is this country.

I can only share some of my experiences starting with a two and a half hour road journey from the airport in Marrakesh to the village of Sidi Kaouki just south of the popular tourist area of Essaouira. It was a stormy night and 175km around 110 miles to cover.

The airport was well guarded with plenty of uniforms around and entry officials keeping a close eye on the long Saturday evening queues, which are a feature of airport life.

My visit was just before recent warnings that Morocco is under threat from terrorist attacks but the police presence on the journey to Side Kaouki  is significant. It was impossible to drive through any populated area without standing a very good chance of being stopped your vehicle searched and documents checked. Even my transport with tourist documentation was briefly stopped three times.

The return trip in daylight with a detour into the Atlas Mountains 11 police checkpoints. A few were speed traps some check points are manned 24 hours and I was left feeling the forces of law and order really did keep a high profile.

However, why go to Morocco. It still maintains traditional life not crushed by all that the 21st century demands in other countries and visitors are welcome.

In Sidi Kaouki traditional life means the smell of donkeys and camels with clues they are around left on the beach. Those same donkeys are up and about providing transport for people, hay, and everything a home could need way before the first local bus is ready to leave.

Camels, kite-surfers and wind-surfers on Essaouira beach

At Rebali Riads the roof top space give a grandstand view of village life existing side by side with wind surfing and movie style horse riding along the sea edge.

Rebali Riads, Sidi Kaouki, Morocco

Food at Rebali is great with the resident chef always ready to discuss menus for guests staying for dinner. Staff are fantastic with the breakfast feast changing each morning. www.fleewinter.com  will tell you more.

Half hour away is Essaouira with enough souk life to satisfy even the hungriest of shopper and you can find a lot of excellent local and regional music. Plenty of good eat places too.

At the top end of Morocco holiday life is Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot. Situated in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains about an hour from the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh. This is proper high-end stuff but you get what you pay for. Stunning views impeccable service beautiful gardens and food to match. Make sure your visit coincides with the Berber feast, which is by far and away the stand out dinner event. Spoil yourself with a Berber tent – a tent by name only and remember the wallet busting price does include a well-stocked free mini bar. Four nights for the price of three is a good deal.

1-Kasbah-Tamadot

Kasbah Tamadot

 

KT-Tent-054-02

Inside that Berber Tent. Some TENT.

 

Music to match. Is has to be guitarist Antonio Forcione and his Sketches Of Africa. If you make it to Kasbah Tamadot try the track Tarifa, inspired by the view Antonio enjoyed gazing out across the sea from the coast of Spain to North Africa – Morocco just a short ferry ride away.

sketches-of-africa

 

 

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1 Response

  1. sean says:

    Hi Robbie, I was in Morocco Feb 2010 with my family, obviously back then there were not the same concerns about traveling as there are today. We took some time out in the desert too, however our tent in the desert was a real tent, I think I would have preferred the one you featured! Your trip sounds great and more luxurious than ours. While in Morocco we were taken to see an Afro-Jazz performance that has stayed with me since, on our return you were playing an Afro-Jazz artist that had escaped Libya for Germany and discovered by you guys, I can’t remember his name?

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