Boutique accommodation
Marrakech, Morocco

Douar Tagadert el Kadi
Km 24 Route d'Amizmiz
Region de Marrakech

Tel: +212 (0) 524 48 40 20
Fax: +212 (0) 524 48 40 35

Posts tagged ‘guide’

Culture Shock: A Guide to Staying Safe in Marrakech

Posted on November 3, 2012 by Arabella Robbins

Marrakech will certainly awaken all your senses. The city swells with people throughout the day, the traffic seems permanently chaotic, and the confidence of the local salespeople is completely unshakeable.

You may find it overwhelming. But perhaps that’s the point of travel – after all, nobody wants to holiday in a different continent and culture only to be underwhelmed.

The problem with feeling overwhelmed is that it can also make you feel unsafe. And we don’t want that. So we’ve put together a guide to allay any concerns you may have about visiting The Red City.

The Souks in Marrakech

Pack it up

Buy or bring a secure bag or rucksack – one that isn’t easy for wandering hands to enter. It’ll be useful for keeping for shopping in, carrying a bottle of water, and keeping your camera safe.

Beat the heat

Marrakech can become uncomfortably hot due to the lack of breeze and the heat island effect. Keep your energy levels up by drinking plenty of water and eating regularly.

Plan ahead

Before you head to the city, have a good idea of how you’ll make the most of Marrakech. Without a plan, you’re an easy target for the local guides or, worse, wannabe guides –  especially if you’re idly walking around and holding up a map. If you do take advice from them make sure you are firm and let them know exactly where you want to go. Leave the route to their discretion and you’ll more than likely end up in their uncle’s shop or having mint tea with their second cousin twice removed.

Learn to say no

Give a firm “la” to anyone that is trying to take advantage of you. It means “no”. And if that doesn’t work, a mention of the “police” should see them back down. Basic, perhaps, but these people don’t want to be trouble with the law, they just want to sell you something.


Beware of pickpockets. They’re not who you may think they are. Yes, little children and other people always seem a little too close for comfort, but the one to watch are the old ladies begging in the souk. They look harmless but some of them would give the Artful Dodger a run for his money.

Manners cost nothing

Moroccans are lovely people and very helpful – but they are tough people, too. Don’t be rude or do anything to antagonise them; what you may see as a joke or banter during a haggle over price may not be taken in the right context.

Take the ‘any city’ test

Bring some of the sense with you – would you walk down a dark alley at 11pm in any city? Probably not, so best not to take the risk in Marrakech. Sadly, you’ll find bad people in cities around the world – Marrakech is no exception.

Ask the police

There are lots of police around Marrakech, and they are so helpful. Never feel threatened by them; they are there to make your trip to Marrakech as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Don’t be afraid to call it a day

If you’re feeling flustered, frustrated, or plain lost, don’t be afraid to jump on the next minibus back to Tigmi, and return to Marrakech another day when you’re armed with a better idea of where to go and what to do.

Horse riding in Morocco – a trek near Marrakech

Posted on October 28, 2012 by James Robbins

There are many ways and means to see Morocco, but today’s method was on horseback.

I awoke reasonably early and met Charlotte, Ben and Louisa in the hotel gardens. Charlotte and Louisa had been horse riding many times before – although not in Morocco – yet Ben and I were very much novices (but no less excited).

Getting ready to head off horse riding near Marrakech

The four of us took a 15–20 minute drive down to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, stopping at a beautiful spot surrounded by lake Lalla Takerkoust. There we met Hassan and his team, our tour guides for the day and owners of many handsome and healthy steeds. They greeted us with a traditional Moroccan mint tea and then asked us about our horse riding ability.

Charlotte and Louisa explained that they’d ridden many times previously and were soon high above us on good looking horses. Ben and I were allocated two equally handsome horses who wouldn’t be flustered in our inexperienced hands. Hassan and his team did a great job of making us all feel welcome and safe.

Mounted and ready, we set off through the smaller hills of Morocco’s High Atlas. Charlotte was off and away in full chase of tour guide Hassan, with the rest of us trotting comfortably behind. Ben and I were accompanied on foot by one of Hassan’s team who was making sure we were comfortable and that our horses were calm.

Gathering for a rest on the horse trek near Morocco

The Moroccan terrain was fascinating; we were riding along dried up river beds, through harvested fields, down beaten tracks away from all communities. But just as you thought we were miles away from everything, a head would pop up from a rock or from behind a tree – a shepherd with his flock of sheep and goats graving on the hill side.

After riding for about two hours we stopped on the top of a hill for refreshments. Our stop also gave us time to take some mid-trek photos of our horses and the amazing views of lake Lalla Takerkoust below.

One hour later we were back at camp saying farewell to our horses, who all deserved a good rest. Hassan and his team gave us some more of their mint tea – which this time was sweetened. Clearly Hassan had one look at Ben and I realised that we were shattered from this amazing experience!

I’ll certainly go horse riding in Marrakech again – it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in Morocco.