Holiday Advice for Families Travelling to Morocco: Your Top Questions Answered
21st August, 2017
The North African country of Morocco is definitely a must-see holiday location. The sweeping deserts juxtapose the shimmering blue of the Mediterranean Sea, providing you with the perfect, exotic destination for your next break.
Despite the extraordinary landscape, if you’re visiting a new country for the first time, especially with children, you may have some questions that could be preventing you from booking your dream trip away. Morocco is a beautiful holiday destination, and with our range of family villas Marrakesh, you’re sure to relax in comfort. However, if there are still a few queries in the back of your mind that are stopping you from taking the plunge, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of questions that you’ll benefit from knowing the answer to, just to ease your mind that little bit more.
Where should we stay?
Of course, one of the most important things to consider is which area of Morocco is best suited to your family.
If you’re after the perfect beach-side location, then look no further than Oualidia. You’ll find that the golden sands and mild climate, combined with the turquoise waters of the gorgeous lagoon are exactly what your family need for a relaxing holiday.
Agadir combines the best of the beach holiday with the city break. If you and your family are after something a little bit different, but somewhere that is still suited to the needs of each individual, Agadir might be the place for you. Here, you can expect to see the towering Atlas Mountains whilst partaking in a spot of golf on one of its many courses. The multitude of bars and cafes that line the beachfront also mean that the perfect meal is never too far away!
Next, just east of Marrakesh is the wonderful town of Essaouira. Again, nestled by the coast you’ll never find relaxing too hard in this pretty port town. With its name literally translating from Arabic to “little picture”, you’ll see why the second you step foot into the town. Cerulean blue boats are scattered in the tiny port, and complement the vibrant blues and whites of the medina – with a place this aesthetically pleasing, we doubt you’ll ever want to leave!
Lastly, the cultural hub of Morocco, Marrakesh, is sure to provide you with the perfect backdrop for your holiday every time. The hustle and bustle of the city are sure to captivate you and your family and keep you busy for the duration of your stay. With so many things to see and do, including gazing at the incredible architecture and wandering through the lush green gardens, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with Marrakesh with every step that you take!
How much money should we take with us?
The official currency in Morocco is the Dirham, and the current exchange rate means that one Dirham is equal to 21p over here in the UK. However, you may find yourself coming into contact with the Dihram difficult whilst at home. This is due to the currency being closed, which means that it can only be traded within Morocco. Despite this, you may find that it is possible to change your money before you leave, although you’ll be limited to 1000DH and will suffer from a high exchange rate. So, our opinion? Instead of making your way down to your local foreign currency exchange site, consider swapping your money once you’ve touched down on Moroccan land.
How long is the journey?
What makes Morocco a wonderful location for a family break is the proximity to the UK! Although the country is just over 1400 miles away from London, children will be able to sit comfortably and hopefully not get restless over the three-and-a-half-hour journey. Not only is that a bonus, but your family will not have to adjust to a different time zone, meaning minimal jet lag and more time to explore!
With this in mind though, the heat in Morocco is different to what we experience over here in the UK, and cramming action-packed days into the children’s itinerary might mean that you get more out of your visit, but will also lead to tired kids! Take your days slowly, and remember to avoid exposing young ones to the harsh summer sun between the hours of 12:00-4:00 pm.
Where should we eat?
We understand that sometimes, children don’t want to try the fancy new cuisine of the country that they’re visiting, and that’s completely fine! A study has shown that we don’t fully appreciate “adult” foods and flavours until we’re in our twenties, so don’t be disheartened if your child is put off by couscous, even if it’s something that they might have tasted at home!
The country of Morocco is big on flavour, so you might come into contact with some strange flavour combinations that you wouldn’t usually expect. With various rich ingredients and tantalising spices, you will be spoilt for choice with what to have!
A few recommended dishes that you just have to dive into are B’ssara, a thick soup containing beans and an array of spices, Maakouda, potato fritters that are popular amongst street food vendors, and Zaalouk, a traditional Moroccan salad containing eggplant and tomato.
Where shall we visit?
The square of Jemma el-Fnaa, in Marrakesh, is a wonderful place to explore in the day. Although slightly quieter in the daylight, we’re sure you and your children will be mesmerised by the snake charmers and will love the level of involvement that the street performers have with you. At night, however, and depending on the age of your children, the square should be avoided at night. If you have young ones, the bustling crowds might be overwhelming for them, so if you do happen to frequent the square at night, you should keep this in mind.
The Koutoubia Mosque is just one of the many mosques in Morocco. As the largest mosque in Marrakesh, you and your family can marvel at the magnificent minaret, which is the oldest of the three Almohad minarets remaining in the world.
Morocco also has so many beaches that are the ideal place to spend your days. The blue waters are the ultimate relaxing site and the white sandy beaches can act as a safe playground for your children to explore. Bear in mind that some of the waters may not be safe for swimming in though, and the average temperatures aren’t particularly high, so research the beaches you're considering visiting beforehand, so you’re not in for a chilly surprise!
Where is the best place to get henna?
Around Morocco, especially in Marrakesh, there are a plethora of street markets with women offering henna tattoos. You should be wary of where you pick, however, as there is a range of skill and you may miss out on a talented, well-thought-out design by picking the first woman you come across.
In the street markets, you will often find that clear guidelines to the ingredients are unavailable, so be cautious to what could be in the mixture in the case of an allergic reaction. The Henna Art Café has a range of talented artists who are offering designs at a reasonable price, so why not consider taking a trip there?
It is also worth noting that you should check whether or not you or your children are allergic to henna before committing to a design. Although henna itself rarely causes an allergic reaction, some of the additives that are in the mixture can irritate the skin, which is the last thing you need whilst enjoying your break. If you see a store offering a ‘black henna’ tattoo, you should also be wary that they contain a chemical dye which is actually illegal to be used on the skin. The ingredient paraphenylenediamine (PPD) can lead to nasty chemical burns, so make sure that the henna that is used on your tattoo is a shade of orange, or has a brown tint to it.