Mad about Morocco – Travel Tip

It’s Tuesday again.. so, here is Emiel and he will share his travel tip on why it is easy and really fun to travel with your Children to Morocco.


On the first morning in Morocco my kids looked out of the window. “Everything is red!” they were shouting. Indeed, all the houses were red, the sand was red, magical..

Kasbah Ouarzazate

Kasbah Ouarzazate

Morocco, one of the best examples of geographical diversity. Landscapes of mountains, plains, dessert and oases, Morocco is still undiscovered territory for many travelers. The country is also home to a diversity of cultures: African, Islamic, Arab and European. You might think that it’s not the most ideal place to travel with children. On the contrary, Morocco is one of the best destinations for you and your kids. OK, I admit, in the beginning I also had some fears. It was the first time traveling with kids aged 4 and 6 years and Morocco is such a totally different world. But after reading my story you will be rest assured: Morocco is great and people are so friendly.

Here are some tips when traveling to Morocco with kids:
· Wander through Aït Benhaddou, location of great Hollywood movies.
· Book hotels with a swimming pool (kids need to play after a long day out)
· Visit Marrakech with its famous Djemaa El Fna square and horse carriages.
· Watch the fishing boats return from their sea trips at Essaouira and go for a beach ride on a camel!
· Don’t try traveling the whole country, focus on a specific region like we did (from Ouarzazate to Marrakech, ending up at the Atlantic coast in Essaouira).

morocco_map

map of morocco

Gazing at a different world


Waking up on the first morning after a late arrival. Opening the doors, one step outside on the balcony. Children become silent. This is a totally different world! Different smells, climate, sights and sounds…..now you know you have made the right decision…

Our travel starts in Ouarzazate, in the middle of the country, 200kms east from Marrakech. This is the threshold of the mighty Sahara desert. When we drive out of the city, our children keep gazing at the landscape: a combination of Monument Valley, the moon and the Sahara. This is absolutely not like home!

Tip 1 Visit the ancient town of Aït Benhaddou
After a beautiful drive along oases and kasbahs, we arrive at the ancient town of Aït Benhaddou. This is Unesco World Heritage and the place were movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and Alexander have been shot.

The town is build against a hill. The beautiful thing with children is to wander around its small and narrow streets. People actually still live here, so you can watch daily life. Play hide and seek and have fun!

Don’t forget to climb all the way to the top of the hill. The view is really breathtaking! Give your children their own bottle of water, they need to learn to be responsible for drinking enough water.

Ait Benhaddou

Ait Benhaddou

Tip 2 Book hotels with a swimming pool
After a long day in the desert, children need to cool down and play of course. Book hotels with a swimming pool. Wash away the dust and have fun! Yes, I also became a child again….

Also, when driving, take your time, get out of your car and let the landscape make its impact on you and your children.

Mountain road at Dades valley

Mountain road at Dades valley

Tip 3 Move through the bustling city of Marrakech
Marrakech is a city of taxis (petit taxis!). Let the children wave them down, because they will love it.

Make sure that on the way back to your hotel, you step in one of the many horse carriages. Riding in open air you can smell the city (yes, that’s part of the experience as well!).

There is so much to see in Marrakech: the Medina with all its shops and handicraft and the Djeema El Fna square with artists and musicians. The square really comes to life at night when it turns to one big open air restaurant!

Moroccon man

Moroccon man

Marrakech

Marrakech

Medina Marrakech

Medina Marrakech

Visit the Majorelle Gardens, a truly peaceful haven in this busy city. Your children can really come to rest here. Don’t forget to drink your Moroccan tea!

Moroccon tea

Moroccon tea

Majorelle

Majorelle

Marrakech is also famous for its white storks. We were surprised how many storks nested in the middle of the city. The children counted more than 30 when we paused for a drink!

Storks on kasbah

Storks on kasbah

After the desert and the big city of Marrakech we travel to the Atlantic coast (only 3 hour drive). We spend our final days in the fishing town of Essaouira of which the Medina is also listed as an Unesco World Heritage.

Tip 4 Watch the fishing boats return from their fishing trips
That’s all excitement! In the town of Essaouira, sea-gulls are screaming while fishing boats find their place on the quayside and fishermen call out for help carrying fish (and of course claiming to have caught the best fish of the day!). Children love it! They watched tons of fish being unloaded and even posed on a picture with their Fisherman Friends!

View on Essaouira

View on Essaouira

Boats in Essaouira

Boats in Essaouira

Fishermen's Friends

Fishermen's Friends

Tip 5 The camel ride on the beach
My youngest son thought it somewhat scary at first, but after a couple of minutes you enjoy the waves of the sea, the salty smell, the sun on your skin and the endless, empty beach, all from the back of your own camel! What a great experience!

Afraid of camels

Afraid of camels

Camel ride on the beach

Camel ride on the beach

People everywhere in Morocco are so friendly. And I have to admit, when you travel with children doors open that normally stay closed. People love children, everywhere. Bringing your children to people’s home country is seen as a compliment.

Moroccon door

Moroccon door

Are you convinced? Don’t hesitate! Traveling with children is a great experience. They will be stunned about the different world out there, and you about the way they adopt to different cultures and people! It’s an experience they will never forget, for sure…

Children at Medina

Children at Medina

Books on Morocco:

Emiel_vanden_BoomenAbout this week’s Guestpost, by Emiel van den Boomen

He and his wife have always been passionate travelers. “The world is out there”, has been their motto for years. Then they decided to have children. Did the traveling diminish? Yes, of course! But in 2006, with their youngest 4 years of age, we decided to take up our passion again: Let’s go travel!

If you want to hear more about his Moroccan trip, send him a message on Twitter: @vandenboomen

Click here to view his up and coming website.

Emiel van den Boomen is 40 years old, Marketing & Communication Manager and lives in the Netherlands.


14 Comments

  • Cool post on Morocco! 🙂
    (Lol -> That fisherman looks like he wants to keep your adorable son!)

  • ai wei says:

    it’s a beautiful country there…

    at first i tot u are traveling again 😛

  • eiling says:

    looks like an exotic place for holiday. Can’t help but notice the mountain roads looked so scary!!

    • Emiel says:

      Thanks! This mountain road does look scary doesn’t it? We got to this point especially to experience this road and watch it from the top of the mountain. It was quite a special thing in that area.
      Emiel

  • Thanks May for posting my Moroccan travel story! When looking at the pictures and reading my thoughts it really makes we want to go back again soon!
    Emiel

  • Brother B says:

    Emiel;
    So EXOTIC!!!
    Reminds me of my all time favourite Blur’s song “Out Of Time” which was recorded in Morocco with Damon Albarn’s laid back vocal and the world music vibe simmering away:

    ”And you’ve been so busy lately
    that you haven’t found the time
    To open up your mind
    And watch the world spinning gently out of time”

    • Emiel says:

      Wow, this is a wonderful comment to my post, thanks! Damon exactly describes how you can get out of your busy, daily life and experience a total different world…time is of less importance in the places we visited..
      Emiel

  • Lovely post and awesome photos. Morocco is a great place, where I particularly enjoyed the south, the Draa Valley, the Dadès gorges and the desert.

  • Sara says:

    Loved reading your article! I agree with you, kids need to learn about different cultures and traditions. We just came back from visiting Fes with our two teenage boys, they loved Fes! They enjoyed walking around in the narrow alleyways of the Fes Medina and interacting with the locals!

    Cheers!
    Sara

  • Omar Bakabou says:

    its a Wonderful city in morocco. I am thank ful for the great information about morocco.

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