picking pockets in the Todra Gorge
The land of changing sands, high peaks, and endless Casbahs. Morocco is an enchanting country where cultures collide, and so do tectonic plates. The High Atlas mountains have given us a year round climbing destination that is just a short skip from Western Europe.
Tourism is a large source of income for the people of Morocco, so be prepared for everyone to be happy to see you. Morocco is less affordable than you may think, if you are good at dirtbagging, you can get by well. There are ATMs and internet cafes in most larger towns, including Tinerhir. Be aware that there are a number of scams out there, many a simple variation of bait and hook and most often targeted towards euro-american tourists. People may be pushy, it is important to be firm in your intentions. Talk is a large part of a business deal, and that Moroccans may size your pocket book up. Your appearance plays a large role in a number of ways:
-"where are you from?," "for a family member?" (If you have family, you likely are wealthier.)
-"First time to Morocco?" This will give them an idea of the price they wish to get from you. Be honest, and consistent. Bartering can be fun, and it is the way business is done in Morocco. NOTE: If you shake a hand, it is an official deal. But be friendly to those you know, they may shake your hand in greeting.
When you are in a Medina, especially in the Souqs, watch your valuables, in fact, try to come without anything on your person. Your other stuff will be safe in the hotels or car(hidden away). Morocco is actually a generally safe and fun place to travel.
Morocco, exempting cities, is third world, that being said, you may want to bring hand sanitizer, and your own soap (Dr. Bronners), they are often not available. Also, many toilets are squaties with a bucket bidet, if you are not comfortable with that, bring a roll of TP and bags to carry it out, their sewer cannot process TP. Condoms and alcohol are also not readily available for social-moral codes, so if you chooses to bring them, use discretely.
I would highly suggest flying direct into Marrakech and renting an Auto. You can also fly into Casablanca, trust me though, CB is only worth a few hours at the Hassan II mosque, then you can catch a train to Marrakech. You may also choose to take a ferry from spain and drive your microbus through Morocco: www.cemar.it/dest/ferries_morocco.htm Morocco has relatively low crime, yet foreigners may make for easy targets. The best thing to do is be well intentioned and friendly.
Browse More Classics in Morocco
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Morocco:
Featured Route For Morocco
locals only... don't forget to take advantage of t...
the coast north of Agadir... climbing and surfing ...
valley of date palms outside the Todra Gorge
Apr 27, 2009
I have been climbing 5 times to Morocco mainly the Tafraute Area (Anti Atlas MT's). and I find much of the above advice way too paranoid. I and many other friends from the UK and the US found the people VERY friendly and had no problems with dishonesty etc .
|By Rob Dillon|
From: '81 Sunrader
Apr 27, 2009
Does it say more about the country, or about the visitors, that every time the talk turns to Morocco the topic quickly turns to hustlers and how to avoid them?
I think, Paul, that staying in that nice hotel in Tafraoute and getting around in your rent-a-car might exempt you from a lot of the situations that generate all this talk. Folks who try and tour the entire country on the cheap could have a different view. I won't presume to say whose is more correct. Three sentences on the charm of the country followed by a lengthy catalog of caveats does seem a bit paranoid.
If you're going to contribute regularly to this section it'll quickly have a lot to offer. My wife and I climbed a bunch of new stuff in March '07 that I'd consider writing up if it looked like the Tafraoute section was going to be somewhat comprehensive, but it's you guys that have really done the exploring there and I'd rather that our small contributions didn't constitute the majority of the spray.
May 1, 2009
I agree it depends on what part of Morocco you are in . The big towns are a bit of a hassle but that applies to most countries. I did stay in a good hotel in Tafroute (about $30 a night per person ) ,but sleep would be more accurate I had all my meals in town and got to know many of the locals really well .They seem to like Americans and Brits,apart from one US citizen that they kept a very careful eye on who originated from Texas.Hope more examples of routes are posted .Go for it Rob.
|By Weldon Beauchamp|
From: Dallas, Texas
Aug 5, 2009
I did my PhD Dissertation in Morocco 15 years ago and I have been traveling to Morocco several times a year (mostly for geological mapping). I can say that there are several lifetimes of rock to climb in Morocco. I have crossed the High Atlas and Middle Atlas and been to most regions of the country. I would recommend highly anyone to go to Morocco. Everyone I have recommended to go there has come back and had a great experience. The people are wonderful. My only caveat is that the people will give you the shirt off their backs. When hiking I try to avoid small villages as the people will often invite you in an insist that you eat with them and drink tea (a national pastime) and often these people are poor and really cannot afford to offer you food. Americans might not like the food offered as well as the Berbers eat every part of a sheep. Use common sense and respect of the Islamic way of life and traditions and the Moroccan people will treat like brothers and sisters.
Oct 21, 2009
Perhaps people seemed extra urgent to obtain a sale from us because it was christmas, and tourism was down. In the area of the Erg Chebbi, we felt bombarded, people knocking on our doors and following us trying to sell camel tours. These particular salesmen were extremely pushy. On the contrary, we did meet people in the mountains that went out of their way for us, particularly in Todre Gorge and Imlil. I study intercultural communication and have attended lectures on Moroccan bartering strategies, and understand that Moroccans do business differently than Iowans. That said, I have amended the above text. Thanks for the suggestions.
From: Golden, CO
Dec 15, 2009
For mostly sport, head to Todra Gorge.
For more adventurous trad/alpine, Tafraoute.
We were told about a more remote trad area that is a 3-day donkey ride from Todra Gorge, but we did not get the chance to check it out. Hassan Moujahir would be the man to talk to about this.
There are several ways to get to Morocco. We took a flight from Denver, with a layover in Frankfort, to Casablanca.
You can also fly into Spain and take a ferry over.
|By Mike Wood|
Feb 23, 2011
Any recommendations for which guidebook to choose? I'm considering the Claude Davies book but wondered what else might be out there, thanks.
|By Emma Alsford|
From: Cardiff Wales U.K
Oct 22, 2012
New definitive guidebook for the Jebel el Kest and Jebel Taskra north (an area about 40 minutes from Tafraoute) containing around 1,000 routes in 6 main areas now available (published September 2012) - see www.moroccorock.com Posting to USA is £10 so cost is £37-50 through the main paypal site to an email available through this site. Fantastic trad climbing from single pitch roadside cragging to multi-pitch mountain adventures. Still in its relative infancy and plenty of scope for new routing.
| || |Hammer Finger 5.12a on the iconic Finger and Thumb pinnacles
Submitted By: Emma Alsford on Oct 22, 2012
Mar 10, 2013
We are headed here in June 2013. Looking for a couple things.
1) Anyone want to meet up and go in a group
2) Where can we rent gear
3) Guide books, etc. Ideas?
THanks maybe see you there?