On-the-ground luxury Morocco travel specialists creating more than
customized private tours of Morocco
Not someone from an office in London or New York outsourcing their tours to local agencies in Morocco. Our team is made up of European and local Moroccan staff and we have been living in and travelling across Morocco since 2006. Every year, we spend a great deal of time and effort travelling across the country, anonymously testing and handpicking the latest boutique and luxury Riads, eco lodges, kasbahs and hotels . Trying out spas and restaurants, attending music festivals and local events. Selecting only authentic and off the beaten track experiences. From being taken by camel ride into the Sahara and spending the night in an 'Out-of-Africa' desert tent to a Moroccan cooking class with spice tasting in the souks of Marrakech or Fez. From hot air balloon flight over Marrakech to baking bread with the locals in a village stove. From lunch at Richard Branson's Atlas Mountains retreat to discovering underground honey comb villages and secluded Kasbahs. And we keep a blog to document it.
We don't book off-the-shelf tours at Sun Trails. Naturally, there are quite a few itineraries available on our site, but they are mere examples of what someone can achieve on a tour in Morocco. Your top priority may be to ride a camel, spending a night in the desert, crossing the Atlas Mountains, wander through UNESCO world site Ait Benhaddou or trekking in Dades Gorges. Send us an enquiry and we'll gradually add texture and color to the white canvas. A balance must be struck between activity and relaxation, simplicity and grandeur, planned ahead and spontaneous. Then, your particulars come in: your age, whether you are into culture and history or adventure and outdoors ( or both), your culinary preferences, the places you shouldn't miss, the desired pace and so on. You can also ask us to call you, should you feel more confident chatting for 10- 20 minutes over the phone with a map in front of you and making sure that all options are explored. In general, it takes an average of 20- 30 emails with each of our guests before the final day- to- day itinerary is concluded.
FLEXIBLE BOOKING TERMS
To book a tour with us, we only require a 30 % deposit, refundable until 30 days before starting date and the balance for the tour can be paid as late as the first day. For instance, you decide to cancel your tour due to start on 30 April. If you cancel it before 31 March, you recover your deposit. If you cancel it between 1 and 30 April, you loose the deposit. Most other agencies require full, non- refundable payment weeks before starting date. To offer further protection, we also accept PayPal and credit card payments, subject to a 3 % surcharge. Although you are insured while inside the vehicle and inside the hotels, we recommend purchasing additional travel insurance in your country of origin.
WHILE ON TOUR
The driving is carefully balanced so that you spend no more than 3- 4 hours per day inside the vehicle. The goal is for you to have as much time to spend on site doing and seeing things, but also enjoy the select accommodations, while covering a reasonable distance. Stops are accommodated every other hour to visit a site, take photos, interact with the locals or simply stretch legs. We are in contact with you while on tour once every few days, to make sure your expectations are met all throughout the tour or make additional recomendations. We always do our best to meet our guests in person throughout the tour. In some cases, we also contact the hotels every day to make sure you will not be served the same dinner two days in a row. 3 or 4 times a year, one of us joins the guests on tour to make sure everything runs as smooth as it should.
We are able to respond appropriately with emergency situations: last time we had guests falling ill on tour, we had an emergency doctor on site in 30 minutes. There is hardly a country with more days of sun then Morocco. However, in some winters, heavy storms have closed up Tizi n Tichka and Tizi n Test mountains passes. We went out of our way to change or reverse the course of the itinerary and rebook all the accommodations and activities along the way so the tours in question didn't have to suffer.
DOING THE RESEARCH SO WE SAVE YOU TIME
As you are an intrepid traveller, you know by now that you don't always get what you see online. Even though Trip Advisor and other similar sites have revolutionized the way we travel nowadays, fake reviews and altered images have ruined quite a few vacations. Every few months we travel, scouting across Morocco, anonymously trying out new and established guest houses, restaurants, things to do and out-of-ordinary experiences. And we have a blog to document it. At the end of each tour, we have you fill in a survey where you rate in detail the services offered on the tour. If several surveys complain about a particular hotel, restaurant or activity, it gets immediately removed from our portfolio. We don't trust magazines or press releases - our network of insiders allow us to quickly get in the know about a new opening or a restaurant/ hotel that is losing its appeal.
SIZE & TRANSPARENCY
Some local travel agencies also rent cars, flats and villas so they diversify their range of activities. With a staff of only 7, we'd rather just create amazing travel experiences around Morocco. That allows us to really focus on all the small details that make a difference. It also creates the premises for us to have a more person-to-person approach as our guests are in contact directly with those that travel the country and build their itineraries, not a department or some extension line. A Trip Advisor widget is present on our home page so that anyone can read our previous guests reviews, whether positive or not. Further unbiased reviews from our former guests are available on Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Get Your Guide, etc.
We don't select our accommodations based on how much commission we get off them, but rather on how they reflect the local architecture, cuisine and traditions. You might have guessed it by now- we favor small family owned riads, kasbahs and eco- lodges versus large international chain hotels. In most cases, they are run by people with a passion for Morocco and it shows. Wouldn't you rather spend the night where the owner/ manager sits down with you and shares local insider tips, over breakfast ? Where you can peek into the kitchen and even help preparing the dishes ? Where you can get invited to one of staff’s home for tea or lunch and see how the locals live. Not only we are familiar with each property but also know which one would fit best your particular profile: honeymooners, families with children, group of friends, retired couples and so on. To most of these accomodations, a star rating per se wouldn't make any sense. We have therefore decided to replace it with our own rating and name it with words that best resume the different levels: Dreamers, Privilege and Divine . For details on our accommodation options, please visit our selection of guest houses.
VALUE FOR MONEY
We are certainly not the most affordable private tours agency in Morocco. However, we regularly conduct studies to make sure our prices are still competitive compared to our competition locally. Whereas foreign based agencies are concerned, their rates are usually higher, as they usually hire local agencies like ours, and then add their markup. Besides, why would you book a holiday in Morocco with someone that sends their staff to visit the country once every two years ?
When calculating our rates, we only charge a service margin and never add any profit on the constituents of your package, may that be restaurants, guided tours or cooking classes. For example, one hotel night sold on hotel's website for 100 euros. Booking it through us, you get it for 80 or 85 euros, which is the travel agent rate we get from the hotel. Last but not least, 1 % of what you are paying for your holidays with us is being donated towards helping young girls from rural areas in Morocco continue their education and make a difference within their community.
@Sun Trails 2017