FAQ

These FAQs are designed to provide you an overview of useful background knowledge and of what to consider when traveling with NOSADE to Morocco. Be perfectly prepared!

 

Facts & Morocco’s TOP 25

Facts

Location: Northern Africa, between Atlantic and Mediterranean
Size: 446,550 km²
Population: 33,250,000
Capital: Rabat (pop: 620,000)
Largest City: Casablanca (pop: 4,150,000)
Official Languages: Berber, Arabic
Recognized Language: French
Religion: Sunni Islam
Actual exchange rates:


Time Zone: Western European Time (London time)
Climate: Mediterranean in the northwest, continental/desert in the south. Marrakech can reach up to 45°C in summer, with winter temperatures as low as 0°C. In the desert expect 20-25°C during the day in winter and around 10°C at night.

Top 25 things not to miss in Morocco

1) Riding on the back of a camel into the sunrise or sunset in the desert of Erg Chebbi
2) Walking on top of the dunes in the desert of Erg Chigaga watching the breathtaking starry sky
3) Drinking a “Berber Whiskey
4) Practicing yoga in the absolute tranquility of the desert after spending the night in a berber tent
5) Enjoying the colorful labyrinth of Djemaa el Fna in Marrakesh
6) Strolling through Marrakesh’s Medina, one of Africa’s biggest!
7) Being enchanted in Marrakesh’s Majorelle Garden, maintained by Yves Saint-Laurent
8) Being overwhelmed by the impressive formations of the High Atlas
9) Breathing knightly flair in Aït Benhaddou, a traditional mud brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains
10) Being close to heaven within Chefchaouen‘s blue washed walls
11) Getting kind of a French Bretagne feeling in Essaouira with its fortress walls, its fishing harbor and the screaming seagulls
12) Gazing at the beautiful, red mud walls while flowing with Taroudannt‘s mystic maghreb flair
13) Drifting away in the ultimate labyrinth of Fes‘ medina
14) Enjoying the best dates of your life and breathtaking gorges in Draa Valley
15) Being awaited by numerous pink Berber villages, an exceptional mountain panorama and palmeraies, Tafraoute offers twice a day a gorgeous amber-coloured light show
16) Surfing along the Atlantic coast
17) Being swept away by Cascades D’Ouzoud‘s flash floods
18) Standing infront of Rabat‘s splendid gate Bab Oudaïa
19) Walking along the Todra Gorge – right in between its 3000 meter high Canyon walls
20) Enjoying the pretty, breezy forfeited Sidi Ifi
21) Examining graffiti art in a new way: Asilah offers a rich spectrum for art lovers – and a beautiful beach
22) Revealing the traces of the Romans of Volubilis historic archway and its mosaics
23) Admiring architectonical delicacies in the old French colony Casablanca
24) Breathing multinational, cosmopolitan flair in Tangier
25) Celebrating the joyous rose harvest on Kalaat M’Gouna Rose Festival close to Ouarzazate

 

Morocco tips & tricks

Visa regulations

Travelers from most Western countries (EU, North America, Australia) only require a valid passport for a stay of up to 90 days. Additional information can be found at the consulate websites of your specific country of origin. German travelers do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days.

Entry form Morocco

Entry form Morocco Einreiseformular Marokko_Source NOSADEWhen entering Morocco you will be asked to fill out this entry form that is usually provided from the cabin staff on your airplane. It is required when entering the passport control when arriving and also when departing.

It requires next to personal information, information about the entry date and the flight number on the very top of the form, and the reason for your visit, which is tourism.

Languages

The official language is Moroccan Arabic. French is the recognized business and higher education language. Berber language is also spoken by a large majority of the Moroccan Berbers also known as Amazigh people (native Moroccans).

Vaccinations & health

There are no mandatory vaccinations for entering Morocco. The German Foreign Ministry recommends hepatitis A and, for longer stays in the region, hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies immunization.

Travelers should only consume bottled water and avoid swimming or bathing in bodies of standing water. Mosquito protection is recommended for stays at oases and near rivers or lakes. Medical care in Morocco is generally adequate, but does not comply with Western standards, particularly so in rural areas.

Medical checklist

This is a list of what you could bring with you should you be concerned of getting infected with general diseases:

* Antibacterial hand gel
* Antidiarrhoeal drugs
* Paracetamol or Aspirin
* Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg Ibuprofen)
* Antihistamines (for hay fever and allergic reactions)
* Antibacterial ointment for cuts and abrasions
* Steroid cream or cortisone (for allergic rashes)
* Bandages, gauze, gauze rolls
* Adhesive or paper tape
* Scissors, safety pins, tweezers
* Thermometer
* Pocketknife
* Deet-containing insect repellent for the skin (depending on region)
* Permethrin-containing insect spray for clothing, tent & bed nets (depending on region)
* Sun Block
* Oral rehydration salts

Safety in Morocco

Morocco is generally considered a safe destination, as crime committed against tourists are extremely rare (and severely punished by Moroccan law). However, you should always check your state department / foreign ministry website before traveling abroad.

Banking & currency

Most banks exchange US$, GBP, CHF, and Euros for Moroccan dirhams. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.

Internet access in Morocco

Limited public WiFis available, but Internet cafes are plentiful. And each hotel has WiFi.

Tipping in Morocco

A 10% tip is customary in restaurants, 2-5 dirhams in taxis, 1 dirham per drink in cafes.
Gratuities for the involved service staff of NOSADE is not included in our prices. It is customary to tip whenever you were satisfied with the service. That pleases the staff and motivates them to even more kindness and good work performance.

Getting around in Morocco

Easily discover Morocco by train, rental car, bus or shared rides in grand taxis for negotiable rates. Personal transfer can be arranged upon request.

Getting to the desert

You can reach Merzouga, the door to the desert, by rental car or bus (CTM and Supratours operating overnight buses from Fez and a one day bus ride from Marrakech straight to Merzouga). Personal transfer can be arranged upon request. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact for recommendations, required tips or arrangements.

Climate in the Moroccan desert

Traveling to the desert is recommendable between mid September and mid of May.
From November to February the temperatures in the daytime are around 20 degrees and thus pleasant for most western travelers. The nights can be very cold in these months and temperatures can go below 5 degrees Celsius. We recommend therefore to pack warm clothes especially for the desert nights between November and February. We’d recommend bringing a down jacket, a warm wool hat & wool socks. A scarf additionally helps to keep you warm at night and protect you from the sun during the daytime. Bring eventually even a hot-water bottle, when you tend to struggle with getting warm by yourself at night. A flashlight and sturdy footwear is advantageous. Traveling with a backpack is recommended since you will be changing venues quite a few times on a desert tour.
In September and October as well as in April and May it can get quite hot in the day already which means temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius. The desert nights in this time are at around very pleasant 15 to 20 degrees. For the day definitely bring a suncream with a high protection factor and a scarf or hat that is protecting you from the sun.
In March you have to be prepared for strong desert winds from time to time. During a sandstorm it is recommendable to stay in a fixed desert camp as the wind can cause great and unpleasant sand stirs.

Accommodation

Don’t miss out on spending the night in one of Morocco’s famously inspiring typical Riads, in a Kasbah or in a traditional Berber tent right in the middle of the dunes in a desert camp.

Traveling with kids in Morocco

Traveling with kids is great fun and easy to do. Moroccans are famous for being child friendly. Medical care is hardly everywhere accessible.

Travel security note

German based tour operators have to issue a travel insurance coupon as soon as a customer’s booking occurs. The exact formulation of this document is not ideal: not the trip itself is insured, but the (pre-)payments made to the operator.

To express it in a simpler way: a travel insurance coupon is an insurance for insolvency. In case the tour operator becomes insolvent before the tour is consumed, the amount already paid is secured and will be refunded; the trip itself is cancelled.

Dos & Don'ts

Do:

Ask permission before you take a Maroccan’s picture. In particular women and devout Muslims do not like being photographed.

Relax. Moroccan understanding of time and punctuality is fundamentally different from Western concepts. “Europeans have clocks, we have time”, as they say in Morocco.

Bring tissues when using bathrooms outside of Western hotels. Moroccan bathrooms may often be unequipped.

Agree the taxi fare before entering the taxi. This should save you a lot of money and prevent lengthy discussions or excursions.

Barter when buying from the souk. It is expected and will save you money.

Use a little French, such as “Merci” or “Bonjour”, as it is widely understood and generally perceived as you making an effort.

Drink bottled water to avoid diarrhea. Western stomachs are usually ill-suited for unfiltered or tap water.

 

Don’t:

Do not show too much skin. As a conservative and Muslim people, Moroccans generally frown upon revealing outfits. This does not just apply to women, but also to men. Cover at least your shoulders and don’t wear shorts. Beach outfits are inappropriate anywhere but at the beach.

Do not fall for false guides. False or “faux” guides approach tourists all over the country offering their “services”. They will stick with you, send you off your path and try to lure you into shops and stores to earn a commission. Book guides and other help over agencies or your hotel.

Do not accept, purchase or consume drugs. Do not let it fool you that hashish and marihuana are widely consumed and available in Morocco. Penalties are still harsh and the Moroccan police do enforce the law.

Do not panic. Whatever situation you may find yourself in, Moroccans are a helpful and friendly people.

 

Additional information for yoga travelers

What does Retreat mean on a trip with NOSADE

Accept what is. Escape daily routines, find inner peace, inner balance and inner tranquility. Morocco will challenge you to do so! Renounce a permanent consumption in all imaginable areas and come back to what grounds and stabilizes you.
Two daily Yoga practices and meditation sessions in the magical, mystical surrounding of Morocco will be accompanying and supporting this experience.

Number of participants

We are traveling in small groups not exceeding a number of 10 participants. We are doing that because we want to ensure a very personal travel and retreat experience for our Yogis, dealing individually with and support everyone and to meet our own claim of a silent tourism.

Accommodation in single rooms

Being accommodated in single rooms is possible with subject to surcharges as far as we know it in time and can prepare ourselves.

Arrival & Departure

Arrival usually also is possible 1 day later; departure from the retreat also is possible 1 day earlier. Please talk to us – we create your own individual package tailored specifically to your needs.

Beginner & advanced students of yoga

Both types of students, the beginners as well as the advanced, are equally welcome to join. Our experienced yoga teachers are focussing on your individual needs and level of experience. Most of our trips offering the possibility to either improve your practice or even try yoga for the first time.

Yoga style

NOSADE is mainly teaching Yoga styles with a focus on biomechanical movement and health while practicing skillfully and well alined. Vinyasa and classical Hatha inspired Yoga is part of the spectrum being taught as well as Anusara inspired Yoga and Yin Yoga.

Yoga equipment

If you want, bring your own mat with you. However, you can use a mat of those being provided by NOSADE (lululemon) – just inform us upfront since availability is limited. The rest of the equipment is provided.

Participation in yoga sessions

Participation in all our yoga sessions is of course optional. Should there be one day you don’t feel comfortable in practicing yoga or joining the group you are more than welcome to just enjoy yourself. It’s your vacation!

Vegetarian food

NOSADE is offering meat, vegetarian as well as vegan meal options. Please inform us upfront about your preferred nutritional style and also about any food intolerances.

Packing list

Pack lightly!

The only thing that is really important – especially for the women – is warm clothing for the night when going on a desert trip or retreat between November and February. A warm wool hat helps as well as wool socks. A scarf helps keeping warm at night and protecting from the sun in the day. Bring eventually even a hot-water bottle, when you tend to struggle with getting warm by yourself.

A flashlight, a hairdryer and a travel towel are advantageous. Sturdy footwear (sneakers are adequate) a must.

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