24/7 Support number 00212 (0) 661 666 852

Essential Information

Essential information : Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara (desert). Morocco is a Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara. A large part of Morocco is mountainous with the Rif Mountains located in the north of the country and the Atlas Mountains, located mainly in the center and the south of the country.  The Atlas provide Morocco with a rocky, 500 kilometre-long (300 miles) spine and, at the same time, add considerable geographical variety. With peaks rising to over 4000 metres (13000ft.), the several ranges that comprise the Atlas are home to a wealth of excellent trekking routes. These mountains are also home to the Berber people, a fascinating race, of uncertain ancestory who have herded sheep and horses in the high valleys of the Atlas for many centuries. In the rainshadow of the Atlas Mountains, towards the south and east, the landscape becomes increasingly dry. Here, there are several subsidiary ranges, on the very edge of the great Sahara Desert. The Jebel Sahro is one such range, with peaks of 2500 metres (8000ft.).

Weather

Don’t know what to pack? The weather in Morocco changes all year around – sometimes with extreme highs and lows on the same day. The weather also in Morocco varies wildly according to the season and area of travel. In the lowlands, the cooler months from October to April are popular among visitors. This time of year is pleasantly warm to hot (around 30°C) during the day and cool to cold (around 15°C) at night. Winter in the higher regions often brings snow and can therefore get seriously cold, particularly at night. Tourists flock to the coastline from June to September for fun in the sun, with warm mostly rain-free days. Further inland it can get hot and rain is rare, which makes the best times to travel March to June and September to December.

Time Zone

The time in Morocco is GMT + 0 hours.

Currency

The unit of currency in Morocco is the Dhiram.   For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com

It is not possible to obtain or exchange Moroccan currency (Dirham) outside the country.  You can withdraw money in local currency from ATM’s in Marrakech or your travel money can be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. (Sterling and US dollars are easily exchanged, but note that it can be difficult to exchange travellers cheques at banks in Morocco, and commission payments are often very high). Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergencies.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that you obtain Travel Insurance to cover unexpected costs due to illness, accident, lost luggage, trip interruption or cancellation. Overseas residents must obtain insurance cover in their home country.

Visa Requirements

No visa is required for travel to Morocco by nationals of the UK and most EU countries, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months. Other nationalities should contact the Morocco embassy in their home country.

Essential information : Safety

Your safety is our highest priority, and we always take the health and safety of our travelers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone and you can rest assured that Atlas Trekking Morocco has at its disposal the best available back-up and rescue facilities in each area we visit. The premium we place on professional standards of leadership also helps to ensure safety and security throughout your trip.

Food and Health

It is our primary concern that you should remain in good health throughout your holiday. When camping we make sure that food is expertly and hygienically prepared and we serve a mixture of local and European-style dishes. We aim to provide substantial meals with as much variety as possible and routinely cater for vegetarians.

Water

  • Take plenty of water with you on hikes or when mountain-biking – especially when the weather is hot.
  • As with any change of country, drinking unfamiliar tap water may upset your stomach.
  • Avoid ice cubes made from tap water.
  • Bottled water is very cheap.
  • It is fine to use tap water for brushing teeth.
  • If you do get a bad case of diarrhea that doesn’t clear up with Imodium or similar, you can get appropriate antibiotics from a pharmacy without prescription

High altitude

Several tours reach elevations of 2500 metres or more. We allow time for acclimatisation and usually the body acclimatises well to spending extended periods of time above this altitude. It is difficult to predict who is at risk from altitude sickness but if you have a heart or respiratory problem we advise you not to risk extended travel or trekking at high altitudes and to check with your doctor.

Accommodation

The standard of accommodation we use can vary from excellent 4-Star hotels to basic high mountain refuges. We always try to choose comfortable accommodation with local character, although in some areas this may not meet Western standards and in gites or mountain huts only dormitory accommodation may be available.

Transport

All transport during the trip is included, whether private or public, including road transport and transfers as per the itinerary. We uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport – which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Group sizes

For each of our holidays there is usually a minimum and maximum number of participants. These numbers are guidelines only and can change at any time for many reasons including availability of transport, guides and accommodation.

Staff

All Atlas Trekking Morocco groups are accompanied by professional local guides selected on the basis of their experience and leadership skills. And will also be a local crew of drivers, cooks, porters, donkeys and camel guides (desert trips) and other appropriate staff.  We only appoint leaders who have consistently demonstrated that they can meet the high standards expected by us and by our clients.

Booking and payments

Find the trek you are interested in then contact us via E-mail to discuss your trek and check availability. Once the details of your trek (duration, route and number of people) have been agreed, we will make a provisional booking, giving the dates and cost.
To confirm your booking we ask you to pay a deposit. This can be in Euros, pounds sterling or US dollars. The balance is paid in Morocco again in Euros, sterling or dollars at the beginning of the trek

Clothing and Equipment

It is important that the clothing and equipment you take on your adventure holiday is appropriate for the trip you have chosen. There is a fine balance between taking too much and too little, especially considering that you need to equip yourself for differing levels of physical exertion and also for a range of climatic conditions.

It is generally a good idea to keep the overall weight of your clothing and equipment to a minimum and we recommend that your packed trek bag should weigh no more than 15 kgs (33 lbs).

What to bring for your trip

Atlas Mountains

-Good walking boots and socks
– Sleeping bag (3-4 season); plus thermal liner in winter
– Lightweight fleece and waterproof outers (summer)
– Layers, windproof jacket, hat, gloves (autumn-late spring)
– Thermal underwear (autumn through late spring)
– Goggles (winter) and sunglasses (summer)
– Walking stick (useful)
– Personal items e.g. towel, sunscreen, wipes, toilet tissues
– Small First Aid Kit including insect repellent, plasters, meds
– Small rubbish bag to carry out what you carry in
– Matches e.g. burn toilet paper
– Day sack/backpack
– Water bottle or camel back (recommended)
– Water purification e.g. iodine
– Torch/Flashlight and spare batteries e.g. head torch
– Penknife (useful)
– Trail snacks

Desert

– Water to match your requirements (3ltr+/day), carried by camel
– Day-sac or small bag for personal items, carried by camel
– Scarf or sarong to wrap around your head in a sandstorm
– Sleeping bag liner (summer); sleeping bag (winter)
– Sunglasses
– Personal items e.g. towel, sunscreen, wipes, toilet tissues
– Small First Aid Kit including insect repellent, plasters
– Small rubbish bag to carry out what you carry in
– Matches e.g. to burn toilet paper
– Water bottle or camel back
– Water purification (extended treks)
– Torch/Flashlight e.g. head torch
– Penknife (useful for extended treks)
– Trail snacks
– Long baggy trousers for camel trekking
– Walking shoes/sandals and socks
– Zip-Up bags for camera etc
– Lightweight fleece and waterproof outers (summer)
– Layers, windproof jacket, hat, gloves (autumn-late spring)

First aid & Sanitary

Disinfectant crime / gel (Polysporin) – Band-Aids – Ibuprofen (Advil or generic for pain, swelling) – Tylenol (colds and fever)
cold medication – Echinacea / zinc lozenges – tweezers – Visine – Aloe Vera gel (for burns) – Anti-histamine tablets – diahrrea medication (Imodium)  – Personal – sunblock –
sanitary supplies with ziplock baggies to carry out – moisturiser / lip balm with sunblock – book  – small torch / flash-light (small bicycle lights make good travelling torches) – nail clippers – wet-wipes – soap / shampoo / toothpaste / toothbrush etc…

In the main cities like Marrakech, Fes and Casablanca, many people dress in Western style, just as you would find in London or Paris.  But away from the cities, especially in the countryside, it is recommended that both men and women wear something long (trousers or skirt) and a top which covers you to the elbows

Ramadan

As a Muslim country, Morocco observes Ramadan. If you are planning to go on holiday in Morocco during Ramadan, it is important to consider that many restaurants and shops will either be closed or operating on reduced hours during this time.
For us during Ramadan, our local guides and drivers choose to work and so we continue to run trips in this period. However, it does need to be recognised that the energy levels of our local staff may be a bit lower and that some restaurants may be closed during the day

Maps

Toubkal & Marrakech. 1: 50,000. Orientazion.
Carte Du Maroc.  1:100,000 Series.  A good map series.

Atlas Trekking Morocco