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Best Tips for traveling to Morocco

Whenever we consider a new destination, doubts arise about the weather, money, currency exchange, security, vaccinations, visa... In this post I tell you what you should know before traveling to Morocco so that you can prepare your trip.



TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO MOROCCO


The climate in Morocco


The climate of Morocco is a matter to take into account when organizing the trip, as it has a wide variety of climatic zones and extreme temperatures in many cases. And although I am one of those who thinks that the weather does not matter as long as you can travel the world, you have to know what to expect so that you can organize your suitcase according to the weather conditions, the environment and the activities that we are going to do during our trip.


The climate of Morocco by zones


Below we show you the climate of Morocco, grouped by different areas: the Atlantic coast, the Mediterranean north, the center and the south.


On the Atlantic coast


Stretching to the limits of Western Sahara, it enjoys mild and temperate winters, while summers are hot. It is a very windy area throughout the year and the water is relatively cold. Be careful also with ocean currents. Along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, between the months of May and August, a thick fog can invade everything in the morning, dispersing around noon. It is a meteorological phenomenon called “white sky”.


The northern mediterranean


The northern part of the country has a Mediterranean climate. It can be very hot in the coastal cities in early spring, while the weather in the Rif is much cooler. Chefchaouen suffers from a harsh winter and thick fog is common on mountain roads until late spring.


The center, influenced by the Atlas


In the center of the country, the climate is pleasant during the winters, but the summers are particularly harsh and arid. A good part of the population lives in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, often covered in snow. The mountains represent a good protection against its eastern neighbor, Algeria. The highest peak, Jebel Toubkal, is the highest point in North Africa and stands at 4,167 meters above sea level. In some surrounding villages, it is not uncommon for snowfall to exceed 1 meter. In fact, in the higher regions, winter can be really freezing. In summer, in the mountains it is hot during the day, but cold at night.


The southern desert


Further south, the climate is desert. Here, the temperature fluctuations between day and night are even more pronounced. While highs exceed 45ºC during summer days, winter nights can show negative double digits.


This variety of climatic zones also translates into a great wealth of landscapes. Between the mountains and the Atlantic coast, highlands and fertile, well-irrigated plains appear. In the extreme south, on the edge of the Anti-Atlas, gorges with rivers flowing at their bases arise, gradually drying up as they plunge into the endless sand and stony landscapes of the vast Sahara.

Another characteristic of the Moroccan climate is its temperature fluctuations, which can be very large on the same day. The average annual amount of sunshine is 8 hours a day in Agadir, Fez, Marrakech and Ouarzazate, and the average temperature in these cities exceeds 17°C. The Chergui is a dry and hot wind that blows from the east and sometimes comes from the desert, pushing the mercury up a few degrees.




Money and credit cards in Morocco


The currency of Morocco is the Moroccan dirham, whose ISO code is MAD (Morrocan dirham). As with dollars, euros and many other currencies, it is subdivided into 100 cents. The bills that you will have to handle are 20, 50, 100 and 200 MAD. As for the coins, there are 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2, 5 and 10 MAD.


The exchange of the Moroccan currency is not free. Its price is included in a 'simplified basket' made up of the currencies of the main trading partners, the euro and the dollar. Thus, the average exchange rate is: 1 dirham = 0.09 euro / 1 euro = 10.9 dirham.


To change money in Morocco you can go to the country's banks, which are present in all cities. You can also do it at exchange offices. On the other hand, you will find exchange offices in all cities, airports, borders and seaports. There are also hotels that have currency exchange and traveler's checks. Forget changing money at airports, it's the worst change! Change a maximum of 100 euros, so as not to arrive in the country empty-handed. To find out how many Moroccan dirhams are equal to an amount in your local currency, you can use the currency converter on this page. If you wish to obtain information on the regulations and exchange policy, consult the page of the Office des changes (Moroccan exchange agency) and the Central Bank of Morocco.


Credit cards are accepted by most hotels of a certain level, as well as some restaurants and shops, but rarely at gas stations. At present, many credit card scams are being carried out in all parts of the world, so we advise you to always accompany the merchant with the card until the payment is made. The commissions are very high for retailers, so many do not accept or excuse themselves by saying that their POS is broken.


However, to pay for hotels I recommend you do it with a card and not with cash. It is better not to carry a lot of cash with you, since thefts are common in some areas.


The best travel card for me is the N26. 0% maintenance, withdrawal of money in any country with the local currency at very low costs. Free withdrawal of euros from ATMs throughout Europe... What are you waiting for?



Tips; In the most exclusive restaurants, customers are expected to leave a tip for the service provided, the usual being between 10 and 15% of the bill. In the most modest establishments, it will be enough to leave one or two dirhams or whatever you think is appropriate depending on the service provided. Tipping is common in many services in Morocco, from tour guides to valets, to toilet cleaners in establishments and many others.

Safety in Morocco


On any trip, whatever the destination, you must take a series of precautions. Morocco is no exception in this regard. The country has improved a lot in recent years in terms of safety and care for tourists, but even so, there are a series of precautions that you must take.


Road safety


If you are going to travel on your own by road, it is essential to follow a series of precautions. In Morocco you drive in a different way than in the West, but you also have to be very careful with the speed limit, as there are many police officers on the roads doing mobile controls of this type. Police presence is often at roundabouts, intersections, under bridges and near highway toll booths. You should also be careful with the traffic lights, since crossing in amber is a reason for a fine, the most common amount of which is 700 DH.

Another of the great precautions in Morocco is to keep an eye on pedestrians and animals: they can cross anywhere on the road, even on highways, so it is foolhardy to drive. You also have to be very careful around the corners, as Moroccans have an ugly habit of overtaking anywhere. On the other hand, cars and taxis usually compete to see who is the fastest and most risky, and it is not uncommon to see them turning around in the medians of the highways.


Be wary of turn signals, because most of the time they don't use them and when they do, it's not the right way. In addition, a very Moroccan custom is to stop in the middle of the roundabout to let pass those who come from the right and enter it, even if they do not have priority. And if you are going to drive in Morocco, remember that: The speed limit on the highway it is 120 km/h. The use of seat belts is mandatory for the driver and passengers, except in public transport.

There are auto repair shops in almost every city.

Have a Morocco road guide handy in case your GPS or mobile coverage fails.


Attention to possible scams and theft


Not only on the road, a series of precautions must be taken into account. In Morocco, you also have to be very careful with possible scams and thefts. For example, in relation to credit cards: when paying in a business with this method, make sure that the entire operation is carried out in front of your eyes and that the dataphone is always in view.

Of course, it is necessary to be vigilant and cautious in large and tourist cities, especially in places where there are larger crowds, such as medinas and souks. They are propitious areas for theft to occur, that is, a careless robbery. It is advisable to always keep the bag closed and in a visible place, as well as the wallet and personal belongings, such as the mobile phone.

However, despite these precautions, robbery with violence is not common in Morocco, especially against foreigners.



Are additional Vaccines needed to travel to Morocco?


Morocco is one of the African countries with the lowest health risks. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not suggest undergoing vaccinations to travel to Morocco. But so that you go more calmly, in the following lines I will tell you some advice related to health and medical care present in the country.


Vaccines to travel to Morocco


Vaccines are not needed to travel to Morocco since it is not a risk country. Not even for yellow fever: there is no requirement for prior vaccination by local health authorities, nor is there an explicit recommendation from the WHO. However, if you want to travel safely, some vaccinations that may be recommended are the following:


Typhoid fevers

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Tetanus-Diphtheria



Travel to Morocco: advice related to health


  • Do not drink soft drinks from the street stalls, many of these stalls do not have a water supply to wash and disinfect the glasses where the soft drinks are served

  • Drink only bottled water, as tap water can upset your stomach

  • Avoid ice: the origin of the water is unknown, so it may not be drinkable or may be from the tap, with the consequent risk of stomach damage

  • Avoid raw vegetables

  • In rocky or arid areas, be careful with scorpion stings and animal bites: this is very rare but it is always good to prevent.


Visa required to travel to Morocco


To travel to Morocco, if you have a Spanish passport, you do not need any type of visa.

If your passport is not Spanish, and you do not know very well if you need some type of visa, there is a website where you can see all the necessary information.

It is better that you consult previously for any country that you want to know, to find out if the visa you need needs a certain processing time.


I always consult a website where, in addition to informing you if you need a visa or not depending on your nationality, you can also process visas without having to deal with the embassy. Faster and without complications. You can see more information from here.


Hotels in Morocco


Throughout the blog articles about Morocco, I tell you about the best accommodation options in each city, but I always look at booking.com since they guarantee 100% of the options are based on real reservations (Unlike tripadvisor ) In addition to that from here you can find thousands of offers in thousands of destinations.



You can read my article on the Best Riads in Morocco, where in addition to Riads I recommend some other great accommodations in most of the most popular cities in the country.


PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy Morocco a lot If you are planning to do an itinerary or visit more cities, do not miss all the destinations in Morocco that I have published on the blog, as well as a complete 15-day itinerary.


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A hug and see you soon!

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