July 14, 2024
Vacationing in Morocco

Vacationing in Morocco is a 4-part series on how my vacation in Morocco went, including activities, how much it cost, and my thoughts about Morocco. 

Phew! Where do I start from? I’ll start from the day before Day 1- which is the day I arrived in Morocco. 

I recently travelled to Morocco on a 3-day vacation. Before I get into the gist of how my vacation went, let me tell you what inspired my travelling to Morocco.

Why Morocco?

My birthday was coming up, and I wanted to do something different as a birthday gift to myself. 

A few weeks before my birthday, I saw a travel agency advertising a group trip to Morocco. I remembered that an acquaintance had told me he enjoyed his trip to Morocco when he went. So I thought it could be a good idea to visit Morocco. 

But it wasn’t just that. After I added Morocco to my travel list (I was considering other countries too) I went on to do some research about Morocco. I eventually went with Morocco because;

  1. The visa application process and review timeframe was easy and short respectively.
  2. I wanted to travel on a budget. With the value of the Moroccan Dirham lower than the GBP, it meant I could do more for less.
  3. It was going to be warm in Morocco and after several months of winter in the UK, I was in dire need of some sunshine and warmth.

Having told you why I chose Morocco,…

Let the journey begin!

I travelled to Morocco with a couple of other people, so, I will occasionally switch from narrating my experience from a singular to plural point of view. Don’t get confused when you notice this. 

Getting to the airport

I left for Morocco on Sunday from Manchester International Airport. The previous week, I travelled from London to Sheffield. Sheffield is closer to Manchester, and I didn’t want to risk missing my flight by travelling from London to Manchester on the day I was to depart the UK for Morocco.

My flight to Morocco was for 3:40pm. My train from Sheffield to Manchester Airport was for 10:14am, but it was cancelled so I had to get on the next train. Apart from this slight inconvenience, my journey to the airport was seamless. It took about 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Manchester from Sheffield.

Checking in 

Locating the check-in area when you get to the airport may be a bit confusing. Following the signs help, but if you get confused, ask an airport staff. It was an airport staff that helped me locate the check-in area. 

Airport travel advice: Always arrive at the airport at least 2½ – 3 hours before take off time. 

When I arrived at the airport, check-in had already commenced for my flight. So I went to check in. During check in, I was asked for my passport, BRP and Morocco e-visa. You want to keep these documents accessible so you can easily present it when it is requested. After checking in, I proceeded for security screening. 

I still had some time after my security screening, and decided to explore the perfume stalls around the departure gate. To my surprise, some perfumes were selling for cheaper than some perfume stores outside. I was surprised because I’ve always thought things are generally more expensive in the airport. I didn’t eventually buy any perfume but I was close to buying the new Kylie Jenner’s Cosmic. It has a vanilla musk note that I find both sweet and fresh.  

After exploring the perfume stand, I headed to the departure gate where I saw this car that was hanging from the roof. 

I spent a while debating with someone on whether the car was real or fake. Looking at the picture, what do you think?

Our flight was delayed for about 30 minutes. So I stopped at one of the cafes to grab a quick bite and charge my phone. I don’t like to eat before travelling because I am scared of needing to use the toilet (anyone else like me?), but I was feeling very hungry at the time. 

Boarding

After eating, I headed to the boarding area. There was quite a queue there. But after about 30 minutes, I finally boarded. While waiting to board, I got into a conversation with a man and some ladies that were travelling to Marrakech as well. We talked about our intended itinerary and what we were mostly looking forward to experiencing in Morocco. It was a good conversation.

Arriving Morocco

We landed at the Marrakech Menara Airport, Morocco around 8:01pm. Thankfully, I was able to connect to the airport Wi-Fi. 

I read somewhere that the Marrakech Menara airport is one of the most beautiful airports in the world. Just by standing outside the airport, you could agree. One of the first things you may notice about this airport when you arrive is its architecture. It is an eclectic fusion of both traditional Moroccan and modern design. 

The queue for passport clearance was one helluva queue. I spent almost two hours there. 

When it was my turn, the immigration officer asked for my documents (passport, BRP) as well as where I’d be staying in Morocco and my occupation. He stamped my passport afterwards. From there, I went to the luggage claim area to get my suitcase.

Getting to the hotel from the airport

The travel agency I used had a taxi on standby for us. So, it was easy to get to the hotel from the airport. We got to the hotel around 11pm.

Hotel check in

When we got to the hotel, the receptionists asked for our booking confirmation and passports. They reviewed the booking confirmation then scanned our passport before giving us our room keys.

I noticed that the receptionists easily switched from speaking French to English to another language- which I soon learnt was Arabic. From interacting with Moroccans during my trip later on, I learnt that it was common for Moroccans to speak up to 3 languages (do you want to guess why?).

After we collected our room keys, I exchanged some GBP for Moroccan Dirhams (MAD) at the reception. The exchange rate was £1 – MAD 11. 

We stayed at Wazo hotel, Marrakech. I didn’t have any reason to complain about the hotel all through my stay. The staff were nice, the food was good, the ambience was tranquil and we could easily access an ATM and supermarket from the hotel.

The view from my room was scenic. I could see the mountain, observe the sun rise and set, and watch as the peacocks show off their plumages in the morning.

Vacationing in Morocco
My hotel room view
Wazo hotel pool area

Wazo hotel Marrakech

Dinner

You can guess that by now, we were very tired and hungry. We were supposed to have a complimentary dinner. But because we got to the hotel after the restaurant was closed, we missed out on this. Thankfully, the restaurant beside the hotel was still open. We went there for dinner before going to our room to retire for the day.

While we awaited our dinner, the DJ started playing Nigerian songs. I don’t know where my travel companions got the strength from, but they got up and started dancing😂. It was a show!

Eventually dinner arrived, we ate then retired for the day. In a different article, I am going to write about how much I spent on food and other expenses I incurred during my trip to Morocco. For now, there goes Day 0 of my trip to Morocco. 

Up next, Day 1 of Vacationing in Morocco: Quad biking and dinner under the moonlight in the desert.

Have you ever travelled on a vacation? What did you like the most about your trip? Tell me in the comments section below. I’ll love to read from you🤗.

1 thought on “Vacationing in Morocco: Arriving Marrakech

  1. I love how you gave a complete detail of your journey and experiences. I felt like I boarded the flight and traveled with you. It was an amazing read. Looking forward to Day 1.

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