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General Marrakech Help Please!!

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Coventry, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 6
General Marrakech Help Please!!

Hi

I am booking a weeks stay to Marrakech for June. I have booked Riu Tikida Palmeraie.

I would be grateful if anyone could help me...

Firstly, other than the shuttle bus I assume Taxis will be available, people on other forums have mentioned petit and grand taxis...What does that actually mean? and what prices should we expect?

Can anyone recommend any good trips and companies that provide them?

I would like to see the old town but i have seen people mention specific tours, would we need a specific tour guide, or could we go round them alone? I went to Egypt last year, so expect the same sort of "hassle" which was fine.

I would like to do a day trek in the Atlas Mountains and maybe visit a Kasbah, I have found the following itinerary from First Choice, yet it is £87...is that an average price I will find everywhere or are there better trips....

"2.5 hour drive through High Atlas Mountains to the Glaouis fortress of Telouet

Kasbah of Telouet - 30-minute tour

Drive to Ait Benhaddou

Lunch in the restaurant at Ait Benhaddou - one hour

Visit the Ait Benhaddou kasbah - one hour

Return to Marrakech via the Tichka Pass"

What other trips are advised? We don't feel the need to jam pack every day with a trip but would like to see as much as possible, else we might as well have gone to Spain! :)

Also, our holiday is all inclusive but we want to experience food outside the hotel, are there any recommended places to eat?

Sorry for all the rambling, I am rubbish at researching and never know what to trust, so I appreciate as much info as possible.

Thank you!

Abi

Cardiff, United...
posts: 908
reviews: 30
1. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

Petit Taxi's are usually old Fiat Panda that can carry 3 passengers, these taxis only operate around Marrakech city. Grand Taxis are older Mercedes and can carry 5 passengers, these taxis are allowed to travel outside of Marrakech. As your hotel is around 9km out of the city centre you may have to get the grand taxis to take you there (some of the Petit taxis may take you if you offer them the right amount of money). Expect to pay between 100-200DH one way.

The "hassle" will be on par with Egypt, some people say it is less other people say it is the same. Personally I think it is about the same, but if you give a confident "No, Thank You", you tend to be left alone in Morocco.

The trip to the Kasbah does sound expensive, you can hire you own private driver for the whole day for around £100 (7 seater type vehicle, if there are 2 of you then it is only £50 each, even less if there are more of you). When you are on a private tour, this means you can go and do what you like and not be pushed around like a heard of sheep (as can happen on some of these group tours). The daytrip you have looked at is excellent (my favourite), but it will be a long day (around 8 hours travelling in total).

Other trips to consider would be to Essaouira, Setti Fatima (Ourika Valley), Imlil (Ouirganne Valley).

I see the comment you have written about not being good at researching but when you travel to Morocco, the more research you do, the better you holiday will become. It is usually the un-prepared who goto Morocco and come back and say they hated it. Get a good guide book and go through it, have a look around this and other websites and then go for it...............

Edited: 8:06 am, January 04, 2013
Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 4,324
reviews: 55
2. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

Great advice there from MIB15. The forums can at first appear daunting to newcomers as there is so much information here. Although a few misguided people do not like us referring to the various tabs to the left and right of your screen, and to the existance of the search box above, many of us have contributed a huge database of knowledge (not by any means only Destination Experts) in the way of advice, reviews, travellers' articles and general responses on the Morocco forums. Researching is easy therefore, if time consuming.

I personally found Cairo to be considerably more daunting than Marrakech. As MIB15 says a good guide book will alleviate the need for a guide. One example might be your request for recommended places to eat: simply click on "Restaurants" (top left) and you'll quickly discover literally thousands of opinions.

Welcome to the Marrakech forum Abi T.

Coventry, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 6
3. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

Thank you both for your advice.

We have just paid our deposits...very excited! There almost seems to much to fit in 7 days!! I think i will need a holiday to get over this one! :)

The restaurant tab, was great, Thanks!

So far, after a little more research, i would like to see:

-The Atlas Mountains/Kasbah trip

-Setti Fatima (Ourika Valley) - Looked amazing, but again would it be better to do it alone or on a tour?

-The Old Town and Souks - Medina?

-The New Town - Gueliz?

I would like to look around any galleries and museums.

Also, i have read a little about some of the mosques. I assume we aren't allowed in those?

Definitely going to buy a guide soon.

Thanks for your help!!

Anything eles you can think of...throw my way :)

Abi

Marrakech
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,322
4. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

I wouldn't prioritise a visit to Gueliz, there is nothing particularly interesting to see. Most of the main sites are within the medina: Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, Ben Youssef Madrasa. The Majorelle Gardens are in Gueliz and worth a visit.

The mosques in Marrakech are open to muslims only.

5. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

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Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 4,324
reviews: 55
6. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

To visit Marrakech and not explore the medina misses the whole point of a Moroccan Imperial city. However there are a few gems in the new town (Guilez) as heresmyreply reports and the Majorelle Gardens are a must see. Also some very good restaurants. For museums and galleries traditional ones are located in the medina but there are contemporary art galleries in Guilez too.

In the foothills of the High Atlas Ourika valley and the village of Setti Fatma are no longer my favourite destinations but MIB15's suggestion of Ouirgane is a good one in my opinion. Keep researchng...keep asking Abi T!

Coventry, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 6
7. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

Thanks again for all your help.

Do any of you know of a few tour companies that I could research please? I want to get a few prices and ideas together :)

Also, when I was in Egypt, we were told to only tip the staff at the end of our stay because other guests would think we were paying to have better service!! Is this the case in Marrakech? Or do you think it was just the case of that Egypt hotel?....Also with regards to tipping, in restaurants, what is the average to tip?

Finally, would you advise changing our money here or once we get to Marrakech?

Thanks

Cardiff, United...
posts: 908
reviews: 30
8. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

If you click the "Things to Do" tab on the left, once this page has loaded, then click on "Activities" at the top of the page, this will give you over 200 companies that you can look into. I will send you a private message with the company I always use when I am in Morocco so you have a rough guide price on how much they charge.

Give tips when you feel you have received a good service, I dont think it matters if it is the middle or the end of your holiday, yes you probably will get a better service if you tip during your stay and it is entirely your choice.

How much to tip is dependant on what you have purchased/how much you have spent. It doesn't have to be a lot if you haven't spent that much money i.e. a couple of dirhams extra for a coffee, between 10-50 DH for a meal in a restaurant (again depending on where you are eating and level of service received).

Change your money when you get to Marrakech airport, there are 4 or 5 banks in the airport terminal (after you have left the baggage area). There is one in the baggage area but that one is always busy..........if you change you money in the UK you will not get a good exchange rate.

norfolk
posts: 7,245
reviews: 30
9. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

were i you, i would read some of the reviews of your hotel, and contact one or two of the reviewers. ask them how much, and when, they tipped, and what was their impression of the result. tipping cultures in all-inclusive hotels vary from resort to resort, and from country to country. some hotel groups, for instance, forbid tipping all together.

pam

Sheffield, United...
posts: 1,396
reviews: 20
10. Re: General Marrakech Help Please!!

Hi Abi,

We are due to visit Marrakech next Friday (11th Jan) for a week and will be staying at the RTP also. This will be our 3rd visit and just can't wait to be there again. Tipping at the hotel is appreciated but not expected . You will get the same level of excellent friendly service from all the staff whatever you decide to do. A sense of humour, courtesy and respect goes a long way in Morroco you will soon find.

Having said that we've alway given a tip to show our appreciation for good service we have received on our travels.

You will get good advice and tips from the many who regularly post on this forum, their collective experiences will guide you to hopefully make the most out of the trip.

If you need any info on the hotel feel free to PM me

Regards..... drummermum

Edited: 2:40 pm, January 05, 2013