Although there is no better way to visit Morocco in a day, there were a few things that could be improved. A six hour round trip as part of a seventeen hour tour is a little rough with no way to reach a bathroom or food or water for long stretches at a time. Theoretically, one could grab something in country or on the boat but it was impossible due to time constraints in country and the boat line was forever long on the way over (not to mention the whole 45 minutes is spent standing in line for customs) and the boat was out of almost all food on the trip back. The camel ride was the highlight, actually. The tour guide was friendly and the lunch was a cool experience, but it should be noted that everything you go see costs something So bring lots of change and small euros.
I loved this tour for it’s exceptional organization. Everything went smoothly. The tour guide Rashid known as John Travolta was amazing. He was speaking five different languages fluently. He took us to the most interesting places to visit in Tangier. At the restaurant we had live local musicians and a belly dancer. The city itself is pretty dirty and has a lot of poor people. For me this tour was perfect because I wouldn’t like to spend more than one day in Tangier. If you’re generous make sure you bring a lot of change with you to help the city’s poor people.
This is an excellent, if long, tour, and well worth taking. We left on a long bus trip from Sevilla to Tarifa, Spain. In Tarifa, the group was turned over to another tour organization for the one-hour ferry ride to Tangier, and the actual tour. In Tangier, we were met be Muhammad ("Mom") and Rashid. Rashid split the groups up by language, and Muhammad became our guide. The tour began at seaside, by the old customs house, and beneath the old gun batteries. From there the group proceeded up stairs to the old town, with Muhammad providing an excellent running commentary. Rashid joined several of us for part of the tour. He is quite knowledgeable as well, and seemed to be in overall charge. After touring the old part of Tangier, the tour proceeded to the newer part of town, and allowed for some shopping. Lunch is included in the tour price, but no beverages -- not even water! -- is included. These must be purchased separately. The lunch itself was not very good. The seating was incredibly and quite uncomfortably crammed with eight or so people to a bench. The food was quite bland and unremarkable. A small (four-man) group provided music over lunch. After lunch, the tour continued to buses, which provided a "window tour" of the outskirts of town. The buses took everyone to a nice part overlooking the sea, and camel rides (for a fee) were provided for those who wanted them. After the camel rides, the tour went on to a cave for refreshments and a look-around. One of the two operating ferries from Tarifa broke down, causing the return trip to be quite late. However, the tour companies handled the situation quite well. In fact. some of the bus tour around Tangier may have been added to take up some of the time lost due to the ferry problem. Once the ferry returned to Tarifa, we found the bus crew ready to return us to Sevilla. Quite obviously the tour organizations had cooperated and had handled the ferry breakdown quite professionally. Aside from the time added to the tour length, the tour proceeded seamlessly. Had we not known that the return time was supposed to be earlier, there would have been no indication of a problem. The tour guides did inform us of the cause for the delay. Overall, the problems were handed very professionally. The mark of a good organization is not how it does when all goes well, but how it handles the unexpected and adverse situations which can arise. Bravo!
The acutal tour of Tangier was fine. The Tangier tour guide was nice. I could have done without the aggressiveness of people trying to sell you items while in the market, but I knew what to expect going in. Based on previous reviews, I was also prepared for the long day that is associated with this tour. Our problems revoled around the pickup/driver. I called a few days prior to tour and confirmed our pickup location. We were told we were being picked up at our hotel, Hotel Europa. The evening prior to trip we received an email confirming our pick up location. But, it wasn't our hotel, but a location a few blocks from our hotel. We thought maybe it was too difficult to drive down the narrow street to get to our hotel and the new location was more accessible. We even walked to the location that evening so we would know where to go in the morning. We left early the next morning and were at the new pick up location 15mins prior to scheduled pickup. 10 mins after the pickup time I received an irate phone call from this guy, yelling at me, asking why I wasn't at the hotel. I tried to explain we got an email to meet at a new location, but he just cut me off and kept yelling at me about his schedule. We hurriedly got back to the hotel. I once again tried to explain, and the driver Peter was not having it. We got in the van and went to the other stops to pick up the rest of the passengers. This guy Peter drove like a maniac!! He was going so fast, it was borderline scary. Peter decided halfway that we were going to stop for a coffee. We stopped for 20-25mins while everyone got coffee, goes to the bathroom. No one was in a rush, and Peter didn't try to move people along like we were in a hurry. However, we leave and Peter is driving even more fast/crazy! We get to the ferry terminal for travel to Tangier. Peter goes to buy our tickets and gets in a heated argument with the ticket sales people. Well, basically we missed that ferry and had to wait for the next one. Peter gathers us all around and tells the group we missed the ferry, and that it is mine and my husbands' fault because he had to wait for us at the pickup location!!! I couldn't believe the nerve of this guy. Needless to say, I was extremely upset! He later ended up apologizing probably because I was crying, but he never took any responsibility for the situation. I would not recommend anyone take this tour. It is not worth paying that much money to be blamed for poor planning/communication on the tour company's part.
The Spanish part of the tour was awful but the Moroccan part of the journey was wonderful! Our driver who picked us up did not speak English. He was polite but it had to be a silent journey. A tour guide who spoke English greeted us at the ferry did not follow us on the boat. One fellow passenger's ticket ended having error with wrong passport number printed on her ticket. The ferry would not let her on the boat. Without our guide, she had to sort everything out herself. When we got on the ferry, people were rushing. We suddenly realized other people know where to line up for the police to stamp on passport. We had no instruction. Naturally we ended up to the last ones in the queue. We were very grumpy after so much anxiety. The toilets on the ferry were filthy. When we arrived in Tangier and met our Moroccan guide Rashid. Everything turned to be great! He had been a tour guide for 35 years. He knew all of the jokes and simply pleasant. We walked around the old town and simply enjoyed it. He showed us loads of shops and markets. The lunch was rather fun. We did a brief camel ride. It was a very windy day. We had difficulties to walk around the beach due to extremely strong wind. Our guide did not push us to do any purchase. I ended up buying a rather expensive silk rug. Compulsive purchase?? No regret. We were all happy about the trip. It was a long journey. I got picked up around 6:45 am and returned to Seville around 11 pm. I actually did a week of tour in Morocco about 10 years ago but found it so so. However, this trip our dear tour guide Rashid make everything pleasant and memorable.
We started the tour bright and early at 6:30am, where our Spanish tour guide, Luis, picked us up from a designated meeting point. Our drive to Tarifa was pleasant - with only 6 of us in a small van it was quite nice getting to know our fellow travelers, but it was especially great to have Luis as our driver because he kept us informed of everything from history of the region to what to expect in Tangier.
Once we arrived to Tarifa, we had some free time to explore the city and/or grab coffee before crossing the straight in the ferry. Luis gave our group great advise on how to go through passport control relatively quickly basically, as soon as you board you should head to passport control to get your passport stamped.
Once in Morocco we were all met by our tour guide, Rashid, who was very nice and spoke several languages, including Spanish, English, Arabic, and other languages. Rashid was very personable, but he kept picking on two poor fellow travelers who were planning on staying in Morocco for reasons beyond their control. Rashid took our group to ride camels by the beach two euros per ride, Hercules Caves, an organic pharmacy where we were basically pressured into buying oils and ointments, the Medina of Tangier, and the Market. Although we did have some free time to explore the city a bit, we were basically taken to all the spots that you feel the pressure for buying the products. My only recommendation is to either be ready to spend and negotiate the price or just wear sunglasses and pretend you're not looking at the merchandise because if you do then you will not be left alone.
All in all, the tour gives you a great opportunity to cross over the Straight of Gibraltar and get a taste of Morocco. This tour was designed for those of us who had never been to Morocco, but wanted to see how it would be like once in Tangier. We felt rushed in Tangier by the tour, but then again this was only a day trip and we knew what to expect from this tour. We want to go back to Morocco and actually explore it to its full potential.
P.S. The only reason why we gave this tour five stars was because of our Spanish tour guide, Luis, who went above and beyond on his attentiveness and especially for giving us great tips. Great job Luis!
This trip was pretty awesome and definitely worth the money. It's a full day with a lot of walking so make sure you get to bed early the night before and don't stay up drinking sangria like we did. The border crossings went easy and everything was very straight forward and the guides were very personable and knowledgeable. If you want to do any of the activities or stop for a souvenir you have to be assertive as the trip is so tight for time that the guides can't really make frequent stops.