Tour review: Intrepid Morocco
Tour Review: Intrepid Travel Morocco
Name: Jo Stewart
What Tour Company did you travel with? Intrepid Travel (I’m lucky enough to work for Intrepid so I get to sample the wares so to speak!)
Where did you go?: Morocco, with most of our time spent in Marrakech and the High Atlas Mountains. The name of the tour was Active Morocco.
Who was your tour leader? What was he/she like?: Yassine was more than a tour leader, he was a historian, bodyguard, entertainer and coach all rolled into one. I could not imagine navigating my way through the busy streets of Marrakech without him. I also couldn’t imagine crossing an icy river without his helping hand and words of encouragement.
What was the highlight of the trip?: So many highlights! Watching the sun set over Djemaa el-Fna (the main square of Marrakech), enjoying a delicious feast at a rooftop restaurant in the back streets of Marrakech and stumbling across a group of wild horses grazing in the picturesque High Atlas Mountains are all worthy experiences.
And the lowlight?: Saying goodbye to our host family in the High Atlas Mountains (cue tears). Getting naked in front of strangers during a hamam visit (cue embarrassment).
How was the food?: Hands down the best food I have ever eaten. As a Marrakech local, our super leader Yassine knew the best local restaurants and street food carts. He delighted in introducing us to his favourites, including a small, unassuming neighbourhood juice bar that whipped us up the most incredible smoothies and juices using fresh ingredients like dates, nuts and avocado.
And the accommodation:? Staying with a local family at a home stay in the High Atlas Mountains provided me with many warm memories. Staying in a picturesque village, located in a valley under the shadow of North Africa’s highest peak (Mount Toukbal) with such genuine people (who also happened to be excellent cooks) is something I will never forget.
What modes of transport did you experience?: Mini van, local taxi, mountain bike and lots of time on Shanks’ Pony (walking).
What were your group like?: A small group of genuinely amazing people. By travelling in a smaller group, we were able to access places more easily and be more unassuming in public places. I struck it lucky with this group as we were likeminded souls with similar interests.
Who would you recommend this tour to?: Any active person of any age who can ride a bike and happily walk for hours. As an active trip, you’re expected to get out there and enjoy a few adventures. There’s plenty of time for other important things too…. mainly: shopping in the souks and eating.
And who should avoid it?: People who don’t like nature or hiking won’t be well placed on this trip. While you don’t need to be an iron woman, this trip is geared towards people with a healthy level of fitness and interest in adventure. Bottom line: if you can’t hike for 9 hours, then perhaps a less active trip will suit!
What was your overall impression of the tour and group?: While I admit to being a little biased, Active Morocco is an incredible trip for anyone wanting to see Morocco’s stunning countryside and get a bit of exercise in too! Because I was active for most of the trip I felt less guilty about gorging on tagine, olives and bread day and night!