We first visited Morocco in Africa over 10 years ago on a brief trip to Marrakech. To explore the country more in-depth we found ourselves on a food trip that took us seemingly to almost every corner of the country. If you are looking for food tours in Morocco, to learn more about the food culture, a Morocco food tour might be a great option. In this post, we share our review of the Intrepid Travel Morocco Food Tour, their Real Food Adventure.
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What Are Culinary Tours
Food tours are all the rage in cities all over the world. More and more people are looking to travel for food. That’s why we are focused on culinary travel on this blog – how to help people eat better while traveling. Over the last few years, we’ve taken seemingly dozens of food tours. Most of these are half-day or full-day tours to get to know the food of a region better.
Another option is to book a full-blown culinary tour. This is a multi-day organized tour where each day offers a unique way to learn about local food culture. This is what we did during our visit to Morocco. We traveled on one of the best Morocco culinary tours available – through Intrepid Travel.
Heading To Morocco? See our Ultimate Morocco Packing List
Intrepid Travel And Morocco Tour Companies
Although we generally travel independently, there are times when a group tour works best. We traveled with Intrepid Travel to Cuba years ago because of all the issues with Americans traveling there and access to money, etc. A trip to Morocco seemed like another great opportunity for an organized group tour.
For people who don’t know Intrepid, they offer small-group tours that tend to focus on adventurous travel. To be honest, a little more adventurous than how we normally travel. They offer a few different trip styles. Intrepid classified our trip to Morocco as Original style. These trips focus on a mix of public and private transport, and tourist hotels, and include some meals (I’ll explain more below). They also have Comfort style trips, which have more interesting accommodations and involve more private travel.
We had a fabulous tour guide named Hamid who took such good care of us and our group. During most of our local stops, though, we also had a local guide, who is an expert in that village or area. I am not sure if other tour companies in Morocco offer this kind of experience. Or, if other companies are as focused on supporting local Moroccan businesses and sustainable tourism, which is great.
Meeting stall owners in a medina
Intrepid Travel Morocco Real Food Adventure
Until recently, we didn’t even know that Intrepid offered food-focused group tours. It’s pretty common for us to take a half-day or full-day food tour when visiting a city. An entire trip with a focus on food, though, is a little harder to find. Learn more about Intrepid’s Food Adventures here.
One of the reasons why we choose a group, escorted tour in Morocco is because I knew we could travel to a city like Marrakech on our own (we did over 10 years ago). Trying to explore the entire country, though, and organizing local transport or renting a car, just felt daunting.
By booking an organized tour, we let the experts plan our trip and we saw a lot of the country in only 10 days in Morocco. Although you need a full 12 days for the trip, it’s more of a 10 day Morocco tour, with 10 full days of activities. On the first day, we started just before dinner. On the last day we departed after breakfast.
We started in Casablanca and finished in Marrakech. Along the way we visited:
- Meknes and Moulay Idriss, for a market tour, lunch at a local home, and a stay in a Muslim village
- Chefchaouen, the Blue City
- Fes, including a tour of the medina and historic sites, a demonstration of how they make ceramics and tagines, as well as a weaver and tannery
- Midelt in the Middle Atlas Mountains
- Merzouga for a desert safari, including a sunset camel ride and desert camping
- M’Goun Valley in the Atlas Mountains
- Marrakech, to tour the medina
Exploring smaller towns and villages
What Types of Activities Are Included In A Culinary Trip Through Morocco
All Intrepid Morocco tours include a handful of typical activities including guided city tours. Unlike other Intrepid tours in Morocco, though, our trip focused on food. This meant additional tours of local food markets and food stalls. Mostly, though, it involved a lot of cooking classes and demonstrations to help us really learn about Moroccan food.
Some of the food-related activities included in this trip were:
- Having an authentic local breakfast in Casablanca
- Learning about the traditions of Moroccan tea, by visiting a nomadic tribe and a local woman in the Atlas Mountains
- Eating camel burgers at a local’s home in Meknes
- Touring a local weekly market as well as daily markets in the various medinas we visited
- Taking a food-focused market tour in Fes
- Participating in cooking demonstrations for couscous, Moroccan bread, pastilla, and Berber pizza, most of which were conducted in someone’s home
- Tasting various street foods and snacks
- Taking a cooking class at a local women’s cooperative in Marrakech
- Taking a street food tour of the medina in Marrakech
For a culinary trip in Morocco, I was surprised that not all meals were included. That said, we ate as a group almost all the time. We just paid for a handful of lunches and dinners. The price was very reasonable for everything, with most meals costing between $7-10 a person.
Learning about Moroccan food and spices
Learning About Moroccan Food Culture
One of the best things about taking a food tour is learning about the local culture through its food and drink. It’s one of the things I tell people when they book a food tour. Don’t just look at the value of the food eaten along the tour. It’s important to consider the value the guide provides, in helping you learn more about what you are eating.
One of the things I loved about our tour was learning about the local Morocco food culture. Our guide, Hamid, was excellent at sharing everything he knows about food. Our local guides did the same. They were also very helpful in answering all of our questions, which are often more detailed than the average traveler.
We also got to meet cooks, chefs, and food producers along the way. We ate many of our meals in someone’s home as well, meaning we got to see what local Moroccan life is like. This is something you certainly don’t get by eating at a local restaurant. All in, we learned a lot about the Moroccan food culture on our tour.
One of our nicer accommodations in the Blue City
What To Expect From Intrepid Tours In Morocco
One important thing to note. Intrepid is not a luxury tour operator. They are definitely more on the adventurous side. This was a bit of an adjustment for us, but for other travelers, I think it could be a perfect blend of service and value.
The Morocco Real Food Adventure is one of Intrepid’s Original style trips. Our accommodations were a mix of tourist-class hotels and homestays. The homestays were simple, but all very clean, and lovely. We often stayed in the home of a local family, where they’ve managed to squeeze in a dozen small rooms in their village home.
In larger cities, like Casablanca, Fes, and Marrakech, we were in simple tourist hotels. They are more functional than design oriented. They were fine, but nothing to write home about. Most of the time, though, our itineraries kept us on the move so there wasn’t as much time to spend in the hotels anyway.
We spent one night in a desert camp. It was comfortable but still a bit basic. There was a full mattress and carpeting and walls. There was a light and an electric outlet. There was no air conditioning, but at night it was definitely cool enough. The bathroom and showers were shared but were surprisingly clean considering we were at the edge of the desert.
Our van for the trip
We took a public train, traveling in a first-class coach, from Casablanca to our first destination, Meknes. The train was comfortable and our guide took good care of us. From that point on, we traveled the entire time in an air-conditioned van with a friendly driver.
We spent a good amount of time on the bus, with some long travel days. Our guide and driver broke up the longer days with multiple stops for lunch, coffee breaks, and other attractions. One day we had a “picnic,” which involved picking up food at a big grocery store and eating it on the side of the road. Certainly an adventure and really the only place to eat in a very desolate part of Morocco.
I always assumed that Intrepid Travel catered to the young and adventurous. They do offer tours that are specifically focused on the under-30 crowd. Our group, though, skewed older. There was one other couple besides us. And, we were one of the youngest on the trip. I think this is rather unusual. Normally the group has people of a variety of ages, both solo travelers and couples.
The maximum group size is 12 people. Our tour had the full 12 because it was the start of the high season. We had a mix of Americans, Canadians, and mostly Australians in the group.
I mention that this is a value option for people because the Morocco Real Food Adventure starts at around $1500 a person. This includes shared accommodations. That means if you are traveling with someone, you share the room with them. If you are traveling solo you may be paired with another traveler. Or, you can purchase a single supplement to have your own private room.
In addition to this, we spent about $250 a person during the trip. This includes meals that were not covered by the tour package and tipping. We each added about $40 to a “trip kitty.” This means our guide carried the money with him and paid for tips as needed. He also bought large six-liter bottles of water so that we could refill our water bottles throughout the day. This saved money and plastic.
We also tipped our guide and driver from our $250 budget. Together, we tipped them about $100 in local currency.
We did laundry once during the middle of the trip. Our guide found a local place for us, which cost about $5 for a bag, so we did not need to pay hotel prices. This service probably depends on your guide.
All in, for about $1750 for 12 days, you can’t get much better. We saw a lot, toured almost the entire country, and ate well for a little more than $100 a day.
Our Moroccan guide, Hamid
What Are The Benefits Of Group Tours In Morocco
There are a lot of pros and cons when considering a group tour in Morocco, or in any other country. Here are a few reasons why we choose a Morocco-organized package tour.
A lot of people asked us whether Morocco is safe to travel in. Overall, I would say yes. But, there were a lot of places where I felt a little uncomfortable. This included navigating the tiny alleyways of the medinas with all of the craziness. There are so many people (and donkeys) walking the streets. I also couldn’t imagine driving a rental car in Morocco although it is possible.
I never felt uncomfortable as a woman traveling in a Muslim country, but I also was particular about packing only conservative clothing (and had Eric at my side the whole time). When we were on our own in Marrakech, I felt a little more on guard with touts and people trying to sell us stuff but felt more comfortable when we were traveling with Hamid.
Ease of Travel
The main benefit of choosing to travel with a tour company in Morocco is just the ease of traveling across the country. You don’t have to worry about not speaking the language. I also think this type of travel is great for solo travelers as well. I don’t know that I would have been able to traverse the country as a solo female traveler.
We came across independent travelers during our visit to Morocco, but I think they are a lot more adventurous than we are. We are fine traveling on our own through most of Europe and even a lot of Asia, but there was some comfort in traveling in a group through Morocco.
Eating Camel Burger In A Moroccan Home
Going “Off-The-Beaten-Path” In Morocco
I really hate the term off-the-beaten-path, but sometimes it is an apt description. When I reviewed our Intrepid Morocco itinerary, I only recognized a handful of our stops. I don’t know that I would have found some of the towns and villages we visited on our own. I don’t think I would have stopped in the Atlas Mountains, for example, unless it was part of a tour. This means that we saw a lot of the country, in a short amount of time.
We also met a lot of interesting people and learned their stories along the way. These are experiences I don’t think we could have organized on our own.
Is An Intrepid Morocco Tour Right For You?
I am glad we did the tour in Morocco, but there were a few things we didn’t like. As much as I like that we saw so much of the country, we moved a lot quicker than we normally do. This is just due to our job, really. We often visit a city for five or seven days and rarely spend fewer than three or four nights in a hotel. We travel a lot slower than the average traveler.
During our Intrepid tour in Morocco, we moved every one to two nights, which was tiring for us. This is really unique to our situation, though. Most travelers don’t mind moving so much because it means that they can pack a lot into their holiday, often one of the few they take in a year. The other travelers in our group had no problem with the pace.
You also have to enjoy meeting new people and then traveling with them for a while. This was the biggest adjustment for us. We are normally on our own schedule or have a private guide where we can make last-minute adjustments. We walk quickly and are often ready to move to the next spot a lot quicker than other people. One of us starts to lose patience more quickly than others (not pointing fingers at all!).
The Benefits Of Group Travel
All of that said, there are a few reasons why an Intrepid Morocco Tour could be right for you:
- You want to dive deeper into a culture and learn a lot more than you can from a guidebook.
- You want someone else to do the planning, either because you don’t have the time to do it yourself or because it feels overwhelming.
- If you are a solo traveler. For solo female travelers, it provides a lot of security and comfort. For solo male travelers, you get to meet new people.
- If you enjoy group tour travel and love learning about food, this is probably the best Morocco tour to take.
Morocco’s Blue City
Key Facts About Intrepid Travel Morocco Real Food Adventure
Click here to learn more about this Morocco food tour, including the latest pricing and the full itinerary.
- The cost is around USD $1500 per person depending on the time of year, plus an additional $250-300 for in-country expenses. We did not do any shopping with this money. We shopped for a few items in Marrakech at the end of the trip and spent about $150 there.
- This is a 12 day organized tour. You arrive before 6 pm on the first day and can depart any time on the last day.
- The tour starts in Casablanca and ends in Marrakech
- The best time to visit Morocco is in spring or fall. Our trip was in October and it was still pretty warm. Because the tour travels around the country it can be super hot in one area and cold in the other. The temperature can be extreme during summer and winter. See more in our Morocco Packing Guide.
We were supported by Intrepid Travel during our stay but all views are our own.
FAQs – MOROCCO FOOD TOUR
Yes, check out all of their tours in Morocco here. We have friends who’ve taken the Intrepid Best of Morocco and raved about the experience. The same with the Morocco Uncovered trip. They visited a lot of the same places, but don’t have a focus on cooking classes and demos or the variety of different dishes we tried during our tour.
Yes, we booked ours through World Nomads, which was a good price. We purchased the Explorer Plan because we wanted to ensure our laptops and cell phones were covered up to $500 each for only a few dollars more. This really gave us peace of mind. We cannot recommend enough the importance of travel insurance for Morocco.
Surprisingly flavorful without being spicy. Check out our Morocco Food Guide to learn more about what to eat in Morocco.
No. Morocco is a diverse country with mountains, desert, and a long coast line. Therefore its climate isn’t the same throughout the country. For the most part, March to May and September to October are the best times to visit. Temperatures are warm but not hot. In the mountains temperatures can be cold, so make sure to have at least one article of warm clothing.