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The Agafay desert is a desert located about thirty kilometers from the red city of Marrakech, on the first heights of the massif High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It is a reg that extends over several hundred hectares1, It is covered with stones and rocks in a hilly environment made up of dunes with white and ocher tones.
Although the topography of Agafay resembles that of a typical desert, such as the Sahara, it is not a desert in the proper sense of the term, but rather a desert expanse of reduced surface area3. Its proximity to Ocher City makes it a popular getaway with growing popularity.
The Agafay desert includes an oasis of about seven hectares, planted with eucalyptus, olive trees, and vines, nicknamed the enchanted oasis, which derives its vitality from a nearby river.
Agafay is also characterized by the presence of many multicolored stairs. It is also possible to go quad biking, camel Trekking and eat local food.
The Agafay desert is easily accessible from Marrakech towards the small town of Tameslohte (commune) via the provincial road P2014. (see maps)
Your Accommodation / Airport, Train-Bus Station or wherever you want
15 Minutes Before Departure
You have limited time in Marrakech and cannot make it to the Saharan sand dunes in southern Morocco. But you can still take a short, alternative trip to the “MARRAKECH DESERT”, AGAFAY, for an impression of the emptiness and silence of the desert. Your pick up from your hotel/riad will be at 9 am for the drive to Agafay is less than an hour away.
The area around Agafay is rocky, dry, and moon-like, offering unexpected and splendid views of the HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS, snow-capped in winter. It is a mineral universe only disturbed by a few flocks of sheep passing by in their search for grass and herbs. In the middle of this desert lies an unexpected oasis, a place of calm and peacefulness. Here, even surrounded by such barrenness, frogs, and turtles live and breed, whilst plants can also flourish.
In the Agafay desert, we enjoy a one-hour camel trek of about an hour. Shortly afterward you can enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch in an Agafay Desert luxury camp. And, of course, this is followed by a relaxing glass of the famous Moroccan mint tea. And later we head off-road into the HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS forming a backdrop in the distance. We visit the MAN-MADE DAM OF LALLA TAKERKOUST, which supplies MARRAKECH with water.
MARRAKECH relies on that snow each year to refill this lake. There is a great demand for water in this most popular city in Morocco with all its roads, pools, and golf courses. We return to MARRAKECH, having enjoyed the purity and beauty of the mountains still untouched in large areas.
If you are a citizen of the United States, Europian, or Canada, you will not need a visa to come to Morocco. All other clients should consult the Moroccan Embassy or Consulate in their countries or you may refer to the following website which is for the General Moroccan Consulate in New York: www.moroccanconsulate.com/visa.cfm
Yes, it is very safe, Morocco is the embodiment of one of the safest countries in the world, thanks to the combination of the country where the crime rate is very low and its government that is always proactive in protecting its guests and locals.
You are responsible for ensuring that you have a valid international passport with a minimum of 6 (six) months’ validity. It is the sole responsibility of the tour participant to ensure that all passport and visa requirements are met prior to departure.
Travel insurance should be obtained before leaving your country of origin. We never force anyone to purchase it, however. Local hospitals have limited diagnostic capability. Foreign clinics can be expensive, evacuation can cost thousands, and luggage can disappear, so insurance is a good idea.
The Moroccan currency is called the DIRHAM. Rates vary little between banks, but some banks charge a fee for currency exchanges which can add up to a considerable sum with smaller denominations Major credit cards are accepted in larger hotels and all big shops.
ATM cards can be used in many cities even in the south. Travelers’ cheques are not widely accepted in Morocco and they can be difficult to cash or exchange. But only for a very limited amount. Use a money belt for all your valuable papers, checks, passports, and credit cards.
From the city of Marrakech where anything goes to the Sahara village where women dress in black with one eye showing from behind a veil, Morocco is a country of many contrasts. Foreign women travel quite safely but attract attention everywhere, most often to buy something or be offered a “service” (especially in the big cities, take that offer as you may!).
As Muslims, men should not touch a woman he doesn’t know. If a foreign woman wants respect she should not tolerate his long handshake or his lingering hand on her arm or anywhere else.
Dress as you do at home but conservatively to gain respect. Foreigners are treated with the duality of wonderful hospitality or as a chance for financial gain. The invitation to visit and have tea or dine with a family is a memorable experience. But measure invitations with an obligation. Traditions are strong and old ways are practiced. A good attitude and a sense of sharing and humor go a long way to breaking down preconceptions of foreigners and are always appreciated by Moroccans.
Morocco is perfect for travel all year long! Given the country’s geographic variety, there is always a region where the climate is mild. We can recommend the best destination for you based on the weather and your travel dates. In winter, you’ll want to head south to the desert.
Nights can be chilly but during the day you’ll enjoy the sun and blue skies bereft of clouds. In summer, the Atlantic coast is generally balmy and it is the best season for treks in the Atlas. At over 1800m in altitude, freshness is a safe bet! That being said, nothing is stopping you from discovering the Moroccan desert as long as you choose the right accommodation and can adapt to the heat.
Daytime temperatures can be quite warm. You will need comfortable, loose, cool clothing. Evenings can be cool. Bring a jacket or lightweight cover-up. Most hotel rooms will have air conditioning, but not all. Desert temperatures fluctuate from the cold at night to very hot during the day, but you will need to be covered to prevent sunburn. If you are sleeping in a tent, we will provide extra blankets.
Bring sunglasses and a head covering. Sunscreen may be purchased once you arrive. Bring comfortable shoes for walking. Moroccans value modesty. Please respect the culture and do not wear clothing that exposes a lot of skin. Long sleeves and long pants or skirts are appropriate for most places you visit. We will visit both of the historical mosques that allow visitors.
Traveling in a foreign culture and developing country such as Morocco can be a delightfully rewarding and challenging experience. African cultures have much to teach those of us who come from the modern world offering opportunities to combine enjoyment and understanding with learning new and ancient ways of living and survival.
Romantic meanderings aside, Moroccans work very hard to make visitors feel welcome and provide what they need but patience and understanding are needed as well. It is a developing country and modern amenities are still being built or are nonexistent in many places outside the city. Sometimes visitors’ expectations are not understood by a culture that has little or no direct experience with them so instead, you might receive an interpretation of your request with interesting consequences.
Life moves a lot slower than what Westerners are used to, and this must be taken into consideration when something is taking too much time. Life is slow by nature and things do get done eventually. It’s best to approach Morocco with an appreciation of cultural differences, sounds, smells, language, expression, and light, relaxing, enjoying, and accepting. Remember laughter speaks the same language everywhere.
It is the Client’s responsibility to ensure that he and the members of his Party do not behave in a way that causes offense or danger to others or which risks damage to property belonging to others. In such circumstances, all suppliers (e.g. hotel managers) and the Company have the right to terminate arrangements made on the Client’s behalf, in which case the Company’s responsibility to the Client ceases immediately.
Therefore, the Company will not be liable for any refunds, payment of compensation, or reimbursement of any cost or expenses incurred as a result. Further, the Client will be liable to reimburse the Company for any expenses whatsoever that it incurs as a result of such behavior.
It is customary to tip for good service in Morocco, as you would at home. Tourism is a key pillar in Morocco’s economy, and many people depend on tips to supplement their wages, but you should not feel pressured to tip anyone if you are not satisfied with the service you have received.
Morocco voltage is 220V, 50 Hz (two-pin round plugs). Always check your laptop or electronic items to make sure they can handle 100-240 volts
The simple answer is no, as when a guest in any country, attempts to converse in the native language is much appreciated by the locals.
Staff in all the Riads and Hotels, particularly those in the bigger towns and cities, is multi-lingual speaking English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and maybe Berber too. In the more rural communities Arabic, Berber, and French tend to dominate. In the far north Spanish is widely understood.
Most urban Moroccans understand some English; however, you should not assume that English will be understood and it can also be useful to know some French.
In order to begin the booking process, Morocco Tours Agency requires a deposit of 10% of the total amount. Once we have received this deposit, we begin the booking of the hotels and transportation and all tour details.
The remaining balance can be paid to your driver upon pick up from your Hotel/Riad/airport
We accept payment by bank transfer or Paypal. We will provide you with all the payment information once you decided to secure your booking. If you choose the bank transfer payment method, please note that you will be asked to send us by email a copy of the transfer receipt.
Absolutely yes, if you have children and are willing to visit Morocco, you needn’t leave them to babysit, you’d better bring them to discover something extraordinary. This decision can be challenging for you to bear extra burdens when it comes to providing care to your children, but little kids like to amuse themselves and enjoy traveling like adults.
Besides, their Morocco experience will remain a lifetime journey for them to broaden their minds till they grow up mature.
Preferably, ask the person before taking the photo. Some local people do not like to be photographed. Yet, some others may ask for a fee before taking the photo (ex; snake charmers and single artistic performers in Marrakech and Fes).
We understand how it is splendid some photos would be about people, especially with typical Moroccan clothing or style, but we recommend asking permission before making a photo.
Moroccan law prohibits smoking in most public buildings. At your accommodation, there will usually be an area (e.g. roof terrace) where smoking is permitted.
Although Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol, Morocco is a moderate Islamic country and you are likely to feel free to drink in moderation in private or where alcohol is being served. In medinas, alcohol cannot be purchased in shops, although many Riads and Hotels offer it.
Some restaurants serve alcoholic drinks and there are a few bars in cities and some towns. Outside medinas alcohol may be obtained in some shops and supermarkets and in tourist hotels, especially the larger ones.
Moroccan wines are often excellent and a small range of pleasant Moroccan lagers and, on occasion, imported beers and wines are available. Most accommodations are perfectly happy for you to bring your own if they do not serve alcohol.
In line with our policies of responsible tourism, please do not drink in public places that do not serve alcohol. You may wish to buy duty-free spirits on your way into the country to drink in your accommodation.
In a word, delicious. Salads are lovely; fresh, succulent vegetables are served with light vinaigrette on the side. Harira is the Moroccan word for thick vegetable soup. A particularly delicious one contains a bread dumpling. Main courses are usually one of the following: grilled meat on skewers often served with French fries; couscous, either vegetarian or meat with vegetables; and Tagine, the Moroccan stew, usually meat, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and spices.
Moroccan cooks use a mélange of spices such as cumin, turmeric, paprika, saffron, and pepper for a subtly flavored cuisine. In the Sahara, you can find ‘Berber pizza’. This is a double-crusted pie filled with meat, hard-boiled eggs, almonds, and spices. Sometimes rather peppery, Berber pizza is best eaten with glass after glass of hot, sweet, mint tea.
Every seaport has freshly caught fish prepared by the fishermen on or near the piers. Do not miss this treat! Fresh fruit is served for dessert; pomegranates, melons, bananas, apples, oranges, and dates are all produced in Morocco and all bursting with flavor.
One ongoing benefit of the French occupation is the fresh baguettes available nearly everywhere. Pastries both French and Moroccan are available in many bakeries.