Frequently Asked Questions
Based on our many years’ experience of what potential guests ask about before booking, we have put together this guide. We think you will find it reassuring. The topics are arranged alphabetically with the key word in capitals.
Once you book we will send a very detailed A-Z pre-visit information guide.
We don’t want to profit from selling alcohol in a Muslim country, but you are most welcome to bring your own or buy from the supermarket. Moroccan wine is surprisingly good – an ideal climate and a long tradition here (the Romans, the French & now Moroccans). Moroccan beer fits the climate – it is a lager type.
Out and About It’s best to bring layers; fabrics that breathe; some garments that cover you fully for modesty in certain situations; a warm jacket or jumper for early or late in the day or when visiting places high in the mountains; perhaps some clothes that you’d like to leave behind for local people so you have room for your purchases.
“At Home” You can wear anything you wish in our grounds. If you want to get an whole body tan we have a very large private terrace on the roof especially for sunbathing.
We can cater for almost any special diet, as long as you inform us prior to your stay. However, please be aware that you should bring specialist items like gluten-free bread if you require it.
READ MORE ABOUT OUR FOOD AND MENUS
It’s very easy to find our ecolodge if you arrive independently by hire car or by public transport – we are a few 100 metres from the main transport hub right by the town walls.
When you venture out on foot we lend you laminated specially drawn maps of the town and written directions to find all the main places of interest within walking distance.
The souks If you wish we can always offer one of our staff to help and guide you; this is particularly wise when shopping in the souks where it’s easy to get disorientated. Taroudant’s souks are, however, relatively small. Said to be the best in the south, they specialise in leather and silver goods.
SEE OUR TAROUDANT MAP
Taroudant is a bustling market town and local people are friendly and warmly welcoming. It is unusual for our guests to feel hassled (which is much more common in the bigger tourist towns and areas). To prevent unwanted attention, here is a simple highly effective phrase which to learn, meaning “No, thank you”. “La, Shukran”.
No tummy upsets
Our guests can eat the food we prepare with great confidence. Here are some examples of how we work: fruit and vegetables are rinsed in vinegar; our kitchen has 6 separate sinks for fruit & vegetables; for fish; for meat; for handwashing and 2 for washing up. We have a cool room, a cold store and refrigerators.
Tap water is safe and pleasant.
We have found medical facilities in Taroudant to be efficient and responsive, having served our guests well since 1997. There are plenty of pharmacies where pharmacists are very used to giving advice.
For more specialist matters there is a big hospital and many private clinics in Agadir.
Currently no compulsory vaccines are required for Morocco.
For your own safety we require you have adequate travel insurance including medical and cancellation cover. Note that Morocco is included in most European policies (eg Staysure) so can be bought quite cheaply.
Our staff are multilingual. They all speak Moroccan Arabic, some speak Berber and French and most of them speak excellent English. French is commonly spoken in the town.
Moroccan remains a cash economy although you can use credit cards for more expensive purchases in some shops.
Never buy Moroccan dirhams (MAD) outside of Morocco (you are technically outside Morocco until you pass through customs at the airport) because exchange rates are poor. Once you are inside the country, rates are the same anywhere on any given day. You can withdraw cash locally from ATMs or exchange cash (GBP, Euros & US $) at banks or a bureau de change.
Morocco is well known for its moderate, inclusive, spiritual interpretation of Islam. As a result many countries turn to Morocco to train their Imams.
During the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk our staff say the first and last week are difficult for them but visits in weeks 2 and 3 are good. It’s certainly an experience, but you need to accept some flexibility around the local people’s regime.
Moroccans welcome those of other religions. Morocco had the largest Jewish population in the Muslim world before the founding of Israel. The country remains very pro-Jewish and it’s said that there are no Jewish citizens and no Muslims Citizens – that they are all Moroccans.
Christians are welcome to the Catholic Church in Taroudant which was established during the French colonial period.
Our guests feel very safe in the loving care of our staff and you will be warmly welcomed by the local people they introduce you to.
Morocco is politically stable and has a far better safety record than several European countries including the UK in terms of terrorism. Any incidents that do occur tend to be in the large cities. Taroudant is a quiet backwater.
Morocco is among the safest travel destinations around the world, considered safer than the US, France, and Italy according to Which? Travel’s November 2018 report relying on assessments by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the World Economic Fund.
READ MORE ABOUT SAFETY IN MOROCCO
We have our own very safe drivers and comfortable vehicles with air conditioning. They are very well-maintained – they have twice yearly MOT tests! We will be very happy to pick you up at your arrival point in Morocco.
Occasionally we use local taxis but only with trusted drivers we know personally.
A passport valid for at least 3 months on the date of entry is required. Visas are not required for British, European Union (EU), Australian, Canadian, USA and Japanese nationals for stays of up to three months.
For all other nationalities, you should check with the Moroccan Embassy to see if you need a visa. You can only apply for the visa after you have booked your hotel & flights.
Rain is rare and when it does occur it tends to be over quickly. Officially the rainy season is winter but totals are small and many years we have virtually none – in 2020 we had only 31% of the average. We are really glad that we have a grey water system to collect rain water, our guests shower and sink waste water and kitchen and laundry waste water. This is reused on the gardens.
Temperatures are generally comfortable in Taroudant between September and May. When it is hot you can keep cool in various shady places we have created, the pool and a cleverly designed site which provides refreshing breezes in various places including the 4 shady arcades
Taroudant is warmest place in Morocco between October and April, so fantastic for an autumn – spring break. The fact that it’s the only part of the country where tortoises don’t hibernate proves the point.
As a result of cloudless nights (common) temperatures can rise a lot from early morning into the afternoon. This cool air gives rise to beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There is no need to worry about being cold at night though because the earth walls are like giant radiators and the insulated floor and ceilings help retain heat.
Climatic Statistics for Taroudant (beware lots of sites quote Marrakech statistics for Taroudant, misleading because Marrakech is colder in winter, being further north and further inland)
Average rainfall (centimetres)
Average daily sunshine hours
No problem! We have high speed WiFi provided by 7 routers strategically placed around the site. Every bedroom has a desk suitable for a laptop with a USB socket. You will find WiFi in many of the cafes in town too. You can even stream music in most parts of the garden!
If you prefer a cabled connection, this is available in the library – a PC with Windows 7 is plugged in there for guests use.
If you want to use your mobile phone when you are not connected to WiFi it’s worth knowing that SIM cards are cheap to buy in Morocco – they are often offered at the airport too. The mobile phone network is very good – often much better than the UK!