Marrakech, Morocco

A spontaneous trip to Marrakech, Morocco at the end of the year? -Yeah why not!

Marrakech, Morocco; Impromptu travel decision.

Over the years, I have a habit of making sporadic and spontaneous travel decisions, off the cuff and, out the blue and I’ve just gone and done it again!….I’ll be spending the end of 2017 and New Years Eve in a country that I wasn’t even thinking about visiting just yet.

If you read (travel memory: San gill, Colombia.) I mentioned that I have a friend who normally calls me asking where I am in the world and comes and joins me for a little holiday. Well, this time around the tables have turned. I was literally sitting at work and messaged him asking where he will be for New Years eve this year. He told me he and his girlfriend were heading to Marrakech, Morocco and invited me to join them. His words were “You come to me for once!’..So, me being me, I made a snap decision right there on the spot and accepted his invite. So all of a sudden I’ll be heading off to Marrakech, Morocco for a week and to see in the new year.

Another New Years Eve in another country.

This will not be the first time I welcome in the New Year in another country though. Last year was actually the first time since 2009 that I spent Christmas and New Years Eve at home. I’m actually more accustomed to being abroad than at home during this time. However this will be the first time in a country that doesn’t really celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve like we do, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

Marrakesh, Morocco

Since 2010 these are the countries I’ve spent my New Years Eve’s:

  • 2010, 2011, 2012: Sydney, Australia
  • 2013 – Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • 2014 – Gilli Islands, Bali
  • 2015 – Bogotá, Colombia
  • 2016 – Loughborough, England – (I finally came home last year)
  • 2017 – Marrakech, Morocco.

 Just a short holiday though.

So, I have no qualms in doing this trip, I’m actually really looking forward to getting back out there in the world after a year off from traveling (I’ve mentioned in many posts how I’ve had a sabbatical away from traveling after 6 straight years of it). However the only thing is, it’s only going to be for a week. I’m used to traveling slow and taking long trips,;my last trip was for a whole year in Central and South America. – Taking short trips is something I’m not used to.

In-fact this trip is the complete opposite to how I normally travel, I travel long-term and this is just for a week, I normally travel solo but trip will only be semi-solo as I’ll be with friends for 4 days and solo for 3. I travel on a budget but seen as I’m only going for a week I don’t really need a budget. – I am a long-term solo budget traveler and this is going to be weird for me.

The last time I took a short holiday like this was when I came home for a week from Bali to head to Mexico. As weird as this may sound,  over the 6 years I consecutively traveled the world, I’d come home for a week or two for a quick holiday from my travels when I was moving between continents. So, yes for me coming home for a week or two was a holiday from my traveling (work that out!) Never the less, I’ll be taking this holiday and although it’s only for a week I won’t be going armed with a packed itinerary.

A few ideas but no itinerary.

I have a few ideas and done a little research into things I’d like to see and do while I’m in Marrakech, Morocco. There is obviously the main square, the souks, the city in general and a few other things in and around Marrakech but even with my limited time there will be no packed out itinerary.

In all fairness from what I’ve read and seen about Marrakech, I just want to experience the city, the colors, the environment, the architecture, the culture, the flavors and smells. I can’t wait to get my haggling game back in gear in the souks and to see the snake charmers on jemaa el-Fnaa. And, not to mention sample some famous street food, Moroccan tea or smoking a Sisha pipe or two.

Marrakech, Morocco

I’ll be spending 4 days with my friends but once they head off there is something I just can’t miss: A trip to the Sahara desert.

Sahara desert trip.

This is something else I will be doing differently to normal from being on a short trip – I’ll have to do a tour rather than doing it the budget backpacker way.

What’s the ‘budget backpacker way? Well, it’s doing the cheapest way possible and doing as independently as possible. So whether that’s taking local transport, hitchhiking, or my own transport and making my way to the desert Via other towns and settlements, experiencing and doing it how a local would. For example my friends will be doing the backpacker way and doing it for the fraction of the price as tours cost.

However with my time restraint, I’ll be doing it the ‘tourist’ way.

Marrakech, Morocco

Tour options:

I would like to do 3 days and 2 nights out in the Sahara, at the time of writing,  I’ve looked at a few different tours but not totally convinced with getting value for the asking price is.

There are a couple of ways how to tackle this, just to bite a sour apple and book a pre-organsied trip for once or to wait until I get to Marrakech and look for a cheaper option.

I know for a fact that if I wait until Marrakech, I’ll be able to haggle for a much cheaper price but it’s just the whole timing thing. See if I was going for longer like normal I would have the time to look around more once I’m over there and get the best price possible. I still have over a month until my trip, so in the next few weeks I’ll do some proper investigating into finding the best option and I’ll findings with you all.

Any suggestions?

Have any of you guys been to Marrakech before? What was your experience like? Do you have any recommendations? Apart from being wary of pickpockets and people trying to confuse you in the souks is there anything I should be wary of? Did you do a Sahara trip?

Or if you’re planning on heading over to Marrakech, Morocco in the future is there anything you would like me to find out for you?

Over the next month I’ll keep you updated on my planning and research, be sure to check in to see the latest updates and don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter below.

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43 Comments

  1. Love that you’re celebrating New Years in different countries every year! Such fun, we are going to Marrakech in January! Please let us know what you think about the Sahara!

  2. Wow…you’ve done a lot of interesting trips for new years’ eves/days past! I’ve always wanted to see Morocco…and I love the idea of spending some time in the desert. That seems like it’d be very memorable. Glad you are able to make a quick get-away trip like this – just make sure we get pictures and stories afterwards!

  3. It’s hard to stay in one place once you’ve experienced the world (and it looks like you’ve done a great job exploring is so far). Spontaneous adventures are the best. They are usually more relaxed and memorable. One of my favourite adventures was when I booked a family vacation on Tuesday and we flew off on Saturday. So all the best! Enjoy it!

  4. I am the total opposite, I love researching and planning and long anticipation, so I rarely book spontaneous trips! But Marrakech is a great choice and such a fun place to visit. Last time, I was there for Xmas with my family, a lovely time of year there, so you should have a fabulous time!

  5. Morocco would be fabulous! Love that you plan your NYE around being in different country and love that you’ve had a few in fabulous Sydney! Spontaneous travel is the best kind. We recently decided in one day to head to France for 4 weeks – had it all booked in 24 hours. No mean feat from Australia either but it’s so easy to do these days. Good on you and enjoy!

  6. I’ve never been to Marrakech and I’d love to some day. I do know they have incredible food! What an adventure you have planned. I hope you’re able to fit in everything you most want to do. I also wish I could always travel slow and take everything in. But most of my trips are shorter than I want!
    Tami recently posted…10 Things to Love About Claremont, CAMy Profile

  7. I’m like you. I prefer long trips but lately I’ve had to do much shorter trips. I blame marriage! Haha. That said, it’s amazing what kind of thrill you can get from a shorter trip, even if you have to take a tour when you’d rather be independent. Marrakech sounds like a fabulous way to spend NYE!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful last minute trip! I’ve always wanted to go to Marrakech and would love to just wander around and soak up the city too. The Sahara portion of the trip would be great as well. It definitely sounds like this will be a different type of trip for you but mixing it up can always be interesting! Hope you have a great time!

  9. I can understand your seeming hesitation to travel short-term and semi-solo. Haha, I’m a long-term solo traveler myself, and I wish to spend as much time exploring a single place as possible. But I also like traveling with other people for a short period, at least, sometimes. 🙂 I love your photos of the desert and the town square!

  10. I love your spontaneity and fun trips around the world for the holidays. Morocco is definitively going to be an adventure. Safe travels and have a blast. Looking forward to reading about the actual trip early next year.

  11. First of all, I love how you spend NYE in so many different places! That is so exciting! And second of all, I would love to visit Morocco and especially visit the Sahara! What an experience 🙂

  12. I went to Marrakech almost 20 years ago and I’m sure it has changed so I wouldn’t want to recommend anything. I like your plan for slow travel and taking in the sights and sounds, as there is so much visually and culturally to experience. I so miss Moroccan tea – the best!

  13. Wow – sporadic travel decisions – I rarely do that! Hard to believe that you had a 6-year sabbatical from traveling. I don’t expect to stop until I can’t travel anymore.
    As you say, Marrakech is certainly different with its colors, the environment, the architecture, the culture, the flavors, smells, street foods, and snake charmers too.

    My friends did the Sahara last year and I interviewed them and write about it, including their tour operator. If you’d like the info, let me know and I will send you the link with all of the specifics.

  14. I’m currently not planning on visiting Morroco anytime soon. Even though it looks beautiful, it also seems like it might overwhelm me a little bit. I’m not saying never, just not right now. However, I think it’s really cool that you’ll be spending New Year’s there!

    I moved to Mexico this year, but I will be in my home country (USA) for New Year’s. Maybe next year I’ll stay in Mexico for NYE!

  15. It is just great that you are spending each new year in a different country. And you are lucky that you take holidays from the holidays( travel- which is a holiday for us still 9-5 people).
    Have a great time in Marakkech and have a wonderful year ahead! Cheers 🙂

  16. That’s pretty cool that you always have New Year’s in a new country! I bet it was awesome in Gili islands. Morocco will definitely be a great experience and is something I have always wanted to do! The trip to Sahara desert is a must, unfortunately as I haven’t been there my self, I cant suggest anything else to do. Looking forward to your stories when you come back!

  17. I haven’t been to Marrakech but I bet you’ll have an amazing time, whatever you decide to do there. Those last-minute trips are often the best. Can’t wait to follow your adventure!

  18. I’m guessing Loughborough was not your most exotic New Years trip? 🙂

    I haven’t been to Marrakech but very much look forward to hearing all about it!

  19. Sorry for being insensitive, so you’re gonna be a thirdwheel for 4 days then? 😛

    Just kidding, I hope you’re gonna have a good stay right there. I’m still yet to visit Morocco although it’s visa-free for me to get there.

  20. I’m too jealous about this trip! I was actually considering a long weekend in Morocco over New Year’s myself – can I come with you? (not even joking there!). It’s one of my favourite cities – though if you get the chance (which you should, seeing as you’re there for a week and I managed it all in just 3 days!), I recommend going to Fez for a night. It’s an amazing city, the oldest Islamic city in the world, and it’s all contained within the Medina walls. Inside you’ll find the Chouara Tannery – check out my post on this, trust me, it’s something you won’t want to miss! x

  21. Makarech is a city I definetely have to visit!, maybe next year, is amazing you do it with your friends, mine don’t want to come with me 🙁 Let us know how was your travel an some tips!
    Best 🙂

  22. I haven’t been to Morocco myself so won’t be able to give you any suggestions. I love how you’ve managed to spend your New Year’s eve in different countries since 2009 (except of course the last one)- I think it’s a brilliant way to see how the celebrations differ around the world. I am not sure how it will be in Morocco but I am curious to find out! I am sure you’ll have fun, you’re going to be with one of your closest friends 🙂
    Medha Verma recently posted…How to see the Big 5 in one day: Kruger National ParkMy Profile

  23. You’ll love Marrakech and will have an amazing time out there. Highly recommend the Sahara trip – ride the camel (they call it camel massage! haha), visit the Game of Thrones location, and sleep under the stars! We did the three days/two nights tour and ended up sleeping in a luxury camp. Book yourself in for a Hammam and a cookery class or a food tour. If you want a bit of adventure, maybe try your hand at quad biking in the desert. Food is sooo good! Oh, and you will get lost in the souks!

  24. Oh, also, all I know about the Sahara outing is that a friend of mine did it and said it was one of the best things she’s done in her life! Which is a pretty good endorsement, considering she’s traveled quite a bit! 🙂 Enjoy!

  25. This sounds fantastic! I wish I were heading off to Marrakech too! A year ago I took an impromptu trip to Morocco, visiting Fez, Chefcaouen (Morocco’s Blue Pearl), and Tangier. But I didn’t get the chance to go to the Sahara or Marrakech. Hope you have a fantastic New Year in the Kingdom of Morocco! Looking forward to reading about your experiences there!

    • My firends that I’m meeting are out there for 2 months, I wish i was going for longer so I could see more of Morocco but it’s just a short holiday. And to your comment above that is a great endorsement 😀 😀 The Sahara desert has been on my bucket list forever, and now it will be another thing I get to tick off 😀 I can’t wait to get out there 😀
      foreverroamingtheworld recently posted…Marrakech, Morocco: A spontaneous tripMy Profile

  26. Hey Amit, I hate to plug my blog, but I have so much Morocco/Marrakech/Sahara posts on there that you may find helpful! You’re so lucky that you’ve spent Christmas/NYE in some amazing places; for me it’s usually in Italy, which is lovely, but cold! You’ll have an excellent time in Morocco, will be interesting to read about your NYE experience!

    • haha it’s no problem i know you’ve got loads of posts, I’ll be trawling through them all in a couple of weeks haha 😀 – you know since I’m only going for a week I might even treat myself to a Riad for a night 😀

  27. Well that is one way to get “back in the game!” haha, Glad you are heading back out and travelling again. I love sporadic adventures and Morocco is definitely on my bucket list. Darcee & I almost spontaneously went there while we were in Germany but opted for Liechtenstein instead.
    Very excited to see how Marrakech and the Saraha experience are going to be.
    I too have been wondering what it will be like to take a normal 1 week vacation again. I havent been on anything less than 3 weeks in over 3 years.
    Good luck. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year my friend!
    Eric Gamble recently posted…10 Things to do in Cologne (Köln) GermanyMy Profile

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