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For the price you need to pay it's great day out. It's much cheaper than a taxi or car rent. You receive transport from / to your hotel door. Driver is very nice and stops few times on the way. Essaouira port and old tow itself are definately worth to see. So make sure it's on your list to visit once you're in Morocco.
ps. Essaouira is always very windy.
kedwards01 United States of ...
This was a very nice tour for the price paid. We were able to make a couple of stops along the way to Essaouira including an argon oil workshop and to see the goats in the argon trees. Would definitely recommend!
We never received confirmation from the tour company about where and what time we were going to be picked up for our tour. We were staying in a riad in the center of Morocco and it was not accessible by car. We tried calling the provided number the day before our trip, but no one answered. We tried calling twice more again the morning of the tour, and still no one answered. We eventually started asking other tour groups where our tour group Ismi Tours typically picks up passengers, and they directed us to the correct location. When we arrived and finally found our group coordinator, he told us that we would have to wait, because they were on their way to pick us up from our riad such a lie--we asked the owner of the riad later that night if anyone had stopped by looking for us, and of course the answer was no. So we waited. Eventually, a tour van pulled up, but it was not part of our original tour group. We had essentially been sold to another tour group to fill up the bus. We waited some more, until all the seats had been sold. When we booked the trip, we had been told there was an 0800 departure time. We didn't leave Marrakech until 0915.
The bus itself was fine and Essaouira was a very nice town, so for that reason, we are still glad that we went. We stopped at a Moroccan argon oil cooperative on the way, which seemed very touristy and very conveniently located on the main road, with a large parking lot to accommodate lots of tour buses compared to one we had visited the day earlier in the Atlas Mountains. The other stop we made was to take pictures of goats in trees, which seemed quite cruel, since we learned that the goats are placed in the trees every morning and they cannot move or get themselves out of the branches until someone takes them down at the end of the day. I can't fault this tour group in particular for that, since it seems like all the tour groups stop to take pictures, but we did not feel right endorsing that.
If you want an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get to Essaouira, and you don't care about experiencing an authentic argon oil cooperative, this trip is just fine for you.
PLEASE DO NOT BOOK THIS TOUR OR USE VIATOR - NOTHING TO GAIN BUT TO MAKE SURE THE PUBLIC IS AWARE OF THE LACK OF QUALITY,SERVICE AND MISLEADING INFORMATION WHEN MAKING AN EDUCATED DECISION ON WHICH TOUR COMPANY TO USE FOR SIDE/ DAY TRIPS!!
We would NOT recommend this tour or Viator as this is the third strike even though we had given this tour company the benefit of the doubt. The driver showed up late np right - it just went down hill from there. The driver droved us to a gas station where we sat in the hot van waiting..... finally another man jumped in the van, we were told this was our guide. We then went to a very dodgy area of the city and waited again, finally our guide jumped out of the van and went running down the street. I got out of the van for fresh air - I have been to many places off the beaten path, I was EXTREAMLY NERVOUS as to the area we were in !!! We tried to speak to the driver to find out what was going on but he spoke zero English, my husband speaks a little French and he asked the driver because French is the second spoken language in Morrocco what was going on. He said the guide went to get the other passengers. Finally the guide came back with 5 people from Germany who apologized for being late. We were picked up at 7:30 it was now almost 10 am ! We finally left with only the driver and NO GUIDE !!!
The driver gave us no information as to what we were seeing along the way - we drove for almost 3 hours - we stopped at the goat tree, I was especially looking forward to this part of the trip and the Argan Farms - the Germans did not want to stop they wanted to go straight to Essaouira claiming they had not paid for these two stops and wanted to continue - we said NO ! We paid for this and we were going to stop - the driver did stop but rushed us through both parts of this trip - The so called goat trees was one tree with only 2 goats in the tree - the Argan Fields or Farm was basically a structure with women separating the nut from the husk, and grinding it down and the Argan oil they sold which we were stupid enough to buy 3 x price we came to find out in Essaouira from the Artisans they sell the exact same thing for a third of the price. The best part of the day was having a beer on roof top patio and a fresh fish dinner the artisans in the town are fantastic - but realistically, we could have booked with any other company and I'm sure it would have been a completely positive full day to Essaouira. Please take heed and do not book this trip or for that matter place your trust with Viator because it is a hit or miss with this company, and really do you want to take a chance on your vacation ?
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