Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Morocco with Mum

Before I go on to blog about my next adventure, here is one I have been meaning to write about since April 2014 when my mother and I went to Morocco for the week and had the best holiday of our lifetime. Travel has always been a love of mine but this single week truly highlighted why and goes to show just how much you can achieve in just one week.

However, without time and a place to start, this can be difficult to perfect (especially if you don't have someone as good at planning and researching as my mother) - so here is a cheat sheet with links to what we did with our week in Morocco.

This one is also dedicated to Ally Moss and Em - have fun in the summer guys!

The pool at the first hotel.

We flew to Marrakech and stayed three nights there. We stayed at Riad Puchka which was hidden away behind plain walls and opened up to the beautiful view above. If you book this hotel and stay for three nights or more, they come and pick you up from the airport for free. The staff are all locals and very friendly, even if originally, the location scared us a little!

Roaming around Marrakesh

In Marrakesh itself there are several great places anyone visiting should go and see. The above photo was taken in the gardens of Mamounia; a 5* hotel which opens its gardens to the public every day as long as they dress smartly. We got this tip from: DK's Eyewitness Travel series (Top 10 Marrakesh).

We spent the rest of our time in Marrakesh exploring the Souks. My only tip for that is to dress as locally as possible and to learn to say no before you go there. It's also good to remember that you pay whatever you are willing to pay - there is no set price so think what you want to pay and stick to it. This is an excellent place to try your hand at bargaining!

Souks by night - great for eating out cheaply

Souks by day - great for trinkets and learning about herbs

The second part of our trip to Morocco was a Sahara tour which we booked through Sahara Services. We did "Marrakech Tour III" which you can find on the link above. Although this was a lot of driving in a very hot car, this was my favorite part of the trip. It was so unexpected and so new to me that it will be a memory I treasure forever.

Our driver was called Hicham (Mobile: 00212 668 731700; he uses Whatsapp); who throughout the trip managed to stay cool and he never even had sweat patches in his crisp white shirt. He was a quiet driver who liked to listen to local music and stopped off half way through the tour to visit his mother (she gave us biscuits though so that was okay!). On parting, he kindly gave me a necklace which I still have today.

Sahara Desert.

The first place we stopped to eat.

Part of Game of Thrones is filmed here.

Hicham's mothers biscuits - handmade!

The forest of palm trees.
As well as driving through the desert, the tour included several stops along the way. At one of them, we were welcomed into the homes of a family who lived on the edges of the Sahara. Hicham showed us how to properly wrap a turban.

That night, we were surprised to find that the "camping in the Sahara Desert" was actually in fully structured tents with on-suit portable toilets and a full double sized bed. There was even a full length mirror in our tent!

Our room for the night.
Before dinner however, we had a camel ride into the sunset over some sand dunes. I decided to try out my local outfit that I had bought previously in Marrakesh.

The next morning, we decided to get up to watch the sunrise before breakfast and then heading back towards Marrakesh.

On the way back, we drove through what used to be a huge lake. The floor was solid and tried completely and there were fossils of fish in all the rocks.

Before we knew it, we were back in Marrakesh and spent the last two nights of our holiday in the five star hotel Le Jardins de l'Agdal; where we upgraded to a room with pool view. This three-part holiday worked so well because it meant that each place, each hotel, each activity lasted just long enough to really enjoy it but just short enough not to get sick of it. After 3 days in a sweaty car, it was pure luxury to find ourselves at a 5* retreat.

Both hotels were booked via and my mother felt that we got a very good price. Sahara Services also offer accommodation in Marrakech, but she found it more expensive.

The bed.

The view.

The pool.
On the last night, we pushed the 5* experience to the max and got room service. It actually turned out to be cheaper than going to the restaurant and eating it on the balcony was a great way to round of the trip.

Although Hicham offered to drive us, we missed out on a visit to the seaside town of Essaouira (where a lot more of Game of Thrones is filmed) and is therefore the only regret of this holiday.

I guess that just gives me an excuse to go back!

Love, Lucy xxo

p.s. remember that if you have any questions you can email me at

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