Words cannot express our awe of and gratitude to Alecia Cohen, our driver, Mustapha, and all the... read more
Words cannot express our awe of and gratitude to Alecia Cohen, our driver, Mustapha, and all the... read more
Alecia Cohen and our driver Tajar Najoui are the best. I am so thankful we booked our trip with them! I admit to being reluctant to go on this trip and also confess to being out of my normal comfort zone in just considering such a trip, but I was thrilled at the wonder of it all. Our trip exceeded all expectations and has become the trip of our lifetime! The people are warm and friendly and we felt very safe the entire time. It was fascinating to talk with Tahar about the current political situation in Africa and to learn of his experiences in Morocco. He answered our questions with patience and thoughtfulness and he was flexible and accommodating. The places we stayed overnight were great and Alecia's attention to details made the trip easy and an overall joy. The guides were most knowledgeable and they knew their subject areas well. It was nice to meet various guides as opposed to one guide for an entire trip. I normally don't write reviews like this but the trip was so wonderful that I wanted to write something but superlatives don't do the trip justice. One must go and experience Morocco to really appreciate its wonders (similar to how I could not explain a bite of chocolate cake to you, you have to taste it to understand).
Post trip impressions:"Morocco to me has been a country of contrasts and extremes. The...Alecia Cohen and our driver Tajar Najoui are the best. I am so thankful we booked our trip with them! I admit to being reluctant to go on this trip and also confess to being out of my normal comfort zone in just considering such a trip, but I was thrilled at the wonder of it all. Our trip exceeded all expectations and has become the trip of our lifetime! The people are warm and friendly and we felt very safe the entire time. It was fascinating to talk with Tahar about the current political situation in Africa and to learn of his experiences in Morocco. He answered our questions with patience and thoughtfulness and he was flexible and accommodating. The places we stayed overnight were great and Alecia's attention to details made the trip easy and an overall joy. The guides were most knowledgeable and they knew their subject areas well. It was nice to meet various guides as opposed to one guide for an entire trip. I normally don't write reviews like this but the trip was so wonderful that I wanted to write something but superlatives don't do the trip justice. One must go and experience Morocco to really appreciate its wonders (similar to how I could not explain a bite of chocolate cake to you, you have to taste it to understand).
Post trip impressions:"Morocco to me has been a country of contrasts and extremes. The topography starting with Casablanca by the sea, the high Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert on the other side. Frigid mountain temps and welcomed cold mountain air. People in the mountains are completely shut off in winter. Opulent kasbahs and palaces on one hand and people living off the land in tents like they have for thousands of years with their sheep and goats on the roof or in an adjacent room. Only some women in cities deliver babies in hospitals, everyone else delivers at home. Nomads still wander from place to place depending on the weather. People practice using tools and methods used for centuries. So little has changed yet so much has changed. Moroccans embrace modernity in terms of cell phones but many people still have donkeys or camels as their only mode of transport other than their two feet. Villages often have no roads, just foot paths. It truly has been a trip back in time. Every city/town neighborhood seems to be filled with houses in various stages of construction because you build what you can afford and then stop until you can afford to build more. Morocco serves as the nexus between Europe and Africa and those influences plus the influence of its many conquerors over history make for some amazing combinations of food and architecture. As the western most Muslim/Arabic country the people are amazingly tolerant and welcoming. My sense of their religion is one of appreciation and respect as they respect everyone. The historical influence of the Jews, who left in 1956, is still felt. There is no such thing as a weight limit on a truck other than if it tips over its too much...we saw many trucks loaded to the gills and just prayed they wouldn't fall on us. We have eaten street food for 5 dollars roasted lamb chops and ate at a 2 star Michelin rated French restaurant last night. Peace and serene quiet atop 1700 meter mountains and cacophany in the city squares... extremes that I will continue to savor as I remember this trip of a lifetime."
Everything we saw was very different than US but amazing in its own right. For example, we spent one day in the Fes medina, a series of 9600 tiny streets that sit behind a fortress wall with houses built starting in 1200. The people who live and work there use tools and practices that are hundreds of years old too. We saw ancient tannery practices where men stomp hides in vats like Italians stomp grapes. Occupations and goods are grouped in souks and bargaining is an art form. The whole day was a true step back in time...utterly amazing! in contrast the new part of Fes is built to resemble the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
I highly recommend moving Morocco up to the top of your travel dance card.More
We appreciate who heartedly that you suggest moving Morocco higher on other travelers dance cards. It's great to know that the magic of Morocco's impressive landscapes and ancient cities along with Travel Exploration's services were well appreciated by you. The detailed overview of your journey is invaluable to others who are pensively considering traveling to Morocco. We welcome you back again!
We have recently returned from a great 10 day trip through Morocco from Chefchaouen to Marrakech. Our driver, Mustafa, was professional, a very safe driver, punctual and a great tour guide. The trip went very smoothly. We stayed in beautiful riads in Fes, Ouarzazate and Marrakech. We had the opportunity to experience a dromedary ride at sunset, a night in a Berber tent, and a sunrise ride. This is a well run company and we would not hesitate to recommend it to other travelers.
My husband and I just returned from a phenomenal trip to Morocco organized by Alecia Cohen.We are seasoned,independant and intrepid travellers but we knew we needed the expert guidance of a professional and thankfully we chose Travel Exploration Morocco based on the reviews of other Tripadvisor contributors.
Alecia Cohen absolutely exceeded our expectations in terms of professionalism and knowledge about Morocco.As an American living in Marrakech for the last 10 years,she knows the pulse of Morocco but also understands perfectly what a western client is expecting in terms of comfort and safety as well as compatability with a driver/guide that you will be spending many days with.
We were very fortunate to have had Karim as that very special person to look after us for 12 wonderful days.Karim is a warm,engaging,extremely bright individual and we could not have ever felt safer or more comfortable than when we were with him.From the moment he met us at the airport we knew we had the right match for our great journey in Morocco.He is an expert driver in a country that requires skill,precision and knowledge of other drivers habits.Avoiding donkey pulled carts travelling alongside huge trucks on highways takes a person that is nonplused by anything that's in his way.He made it all seem so easy.He was our family and guardian angel in Morocco.
Alecia was a joy to work with and from my first contact with her I knew I had the right person to organize this trip.I had already booked flights to Morocco and she worked around that seamlessly by asking a few questions about ourselves,our travel style,what we enjoy on our travels and she coordinated a perfect trip.What impressed me the most about Alecia was that she responded to any questions I had within a few hours with detailed answers so that I was perfectly clear about any situation I threw at her.As I expressed an interest in going to the desert,possibly overnighting in a tented camp,she convinced me that I would be extremely comfortable in the luxury Bivouac that she uses and she was quite right.The highlight had to be when we drove into the desert in the very comfortable Land Cruiser that we had for the entire trip and there waiting for us were our 2 camels and camel guide who took us for a great ride to see the sunset on the top of a dune and then led us to this Arabian Nights camp that was straight out of central casting.And to complete the fantasy,the local musicians were already playing beautiful music as we rode in and dismounted.We were entertained,wined and dined and treated like royalty.It could not have been more magical.There was only one other couple there as this is an intimate camp but with full private facilities.
The riads and restaurants that Alecia recommended were superb.They were charming, intimate,where we always received warm welcomes and all had pools so that we could relax a bit with a drink and a swim after an adventurous day out.
The local guides we had in Fez and Marrakech were also superb,with impeccable language skills and knowlege of customs,religion and history as did Karim who is also a licensed guide and gave us an intimate and though knowlegde of Morocco and guided us through smaller towns and occasionally hooked us up with a guide on a spontaneous half hour stop to see a souk that few travellers would go or into a remote kasbah.He seemed to have a LIttle Black Book of special guides on speed dial.Everyone was always on time and waiting for us so that no time was wasted.
Through Alecia and Karim we saw the passion they have for Morocco and they instilled in us that same passion and for that we are forever grateful.We hope to come back to Morocco and it would be our pleasure to work with Alecia and Karim again.
We can't thank Alecia enough for planning the most amazing adventure to Morocco. Our driver, Tahar, was truly wonderful, it was such a joy to spend 11 days with him. We had so many incredible experiences each and everyday, meeting local people, exploring souks, visiting ancient sites, watching the stars in the desert, and then relaxing at night in the most gorgeous riads. We are already planning our next trip to Morocco. It is truly an enchanting country filled with the most lovely people, and beautiful sites. We never hire tour companies but I unequivocally recommend Travel Exploration and Alecia and Tahar, they are truly the best.
We wish to recommend Travel Exploration Morocco for an amazingly well orchestrated "5 Day Great Sahara Tour". The Sahara dunes on a camel with music under incredible stars was magical. Our driver, Lahcen, was well organized and knowledgeable about his country as well as being a very good, safe driver. The accomodations were excellent -- our favorite was Ksar Ighnda in Ait Ben Haddou-- due to the setting and the exquisite French food. The meal at Alicia's family in the south was an insight into the true Moroccan family life. Although there did need to be a fair amount of driving on mountain roads, the beautiful scenery made up for it. The many different coloured soils and interesting geology were only second to the fascinating cultural and friendly people of Morocco.
On the negative side, the souks in Marrakech were a bit frustrating as there were no prices and it was difficult to have any idea of were to start barganing. The plastic garbage and lack of recycling was disappointing.
Overall, it was a great trip and Travel Exploration and Lahcen did an amazing job.
Kathy and Glen
We researched a few travel companies before deciding to book our Moroccan trip with Travel Exploration. The company already had a good reputation before we spoke to Alecia, but the two main reasons we chose go to with Travel Exploration were Alecia’s attention to detail, and her deep understanding of what Morocco had to offer in terms of historic and cultural diversity. Alecia bent over backwards to meet our needs: she accommodated every small detail we requested and even arranged our trip-planning phone calls to comply with our schedule even though it was very late in the evening (Moroccan time) during her holiday season. Planning our 11-day Moroccan adventure was easy and fun only because of Alecia.
We had knowledgeable guides in each city we visited and a private driver for the duration. He picked us up at the airport, circumnavigated the entire country (Rabat, Chefchaouen, Fes/Meknes/Villobous, Merzouga, Ouezerzate, Marakech) and then dropped us off at the airport at 4:30 am the day we left. Your driver will be with you for the lion’s share of your trip and, understandably, we were apprehensive about this: what if our personalities weren’t a match? Our concerns were allayed within our first minutes on the road: Ismail was amazing. He has 20 years of experience and his English is excellent (and, I can only assume, his French, Arabic and Berber are as well). He is insightful and knowledgeable about Moroccan culture. Ismail taught us the Arabic we needed to get by and continually brought new perspectives the areas we visited: our questions were unending and his patience was limitless. We cannot speak highly enough of Ismail, who started off as our driver and quickly became our friend, and we would whole-heartedly recommend him as a guide through the beautiful country of Morocco. His guidance made our trip amazing.