It was our first trip to Morroco and we spent a good while on Trip advisor reading what others had to say about Marrakech. While no strangers to doing our "own thing" in may places here we felt a guided tour would prove useful without the full blown hassle straight away.
Taking the recommendations of others we decided to book the Medina Walking Tour with Rachid. My wife thought the 1200MAD (about £90) was a bit excessive for a 3 hour tour but it was my treat and with a few emails all was arranged. We were collected from the Riu Tikada Gardens by cab and collected Rachid enroute to starting point at the Palis El Bahia. The entry fee of 10MAD each was covered and we were given a tour of the palis with a running history lesson of what, who and why for each part we moved through.
After the Palis it was straight into the Markets and then through to the inner Souk area to see the making of the the items being sold on the outer parts of the market. The Souks are by far the more interesting areas but few tourists were encountered here as you can't buy from workers directly only from the middle men selling out side on the market area. Again we were given a history lesson on how the areas formed from the oldest crafts in the centre outwards.True to his word not once did we enter a shop or get pestered by the numerous stall traders although there were times a few more minutes looking would have been nice.
A stop for drinks and cakes was followed by the tour ending in the central market square just as dusk fell. A time of 3hours and 30mins had elapsed and that was about the right time to call it a day for a first day in the centre of Marrakech. We could have let the waiting taxi go and stayed if we had wanted but decided to return another day now that we had the lay out and some ideas what to expect.
was it worth the money ? yes and no I guess, yes if if is a no hassle look at the centre of Marrakech with a very knowledgeable and articulate guide but if you are after some shopping and a slow wander then no this is not for you as it's a fast pace and a full 3 hours plus.
It gave us just what we wanted a rough guide of the area and set us up to explore further on our own the next day.
The Tour could be cheaper I agree but at the same time we heard tales of others getting hard sells and less of a tour for simular prices so I think we got a detailed tour at a slightly high price but it was a very good introduction for first timers in Marrakech.
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