“The most exciting thing about Morocco is its enormous diversity,” says travel writer, Lonely Planet and Fodor’s author and Morocco expert, Helen Ranger.
“There are ancient cities full of the history of a distinctly different culture, there are desert sands, national parks, major mountain ranges, verdant winelands, and a truly beautiful coastline with pretty gnarly surf. But what makes it all sing is the people: whether they’re city slickers, medina artisans, rural women or desert nomads – they’re friendly and hospitable and enormously proud of their country.”
Helen is perfectly placed to design a trip tailor-made for you. Lured to Morocco by the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in 2002, she lived in Fez for sixteen years and has travelled extensively across Morocco during research trips for Lonely Planet – and recently, Fodor’s, as well as magazine and blog articles.
Helen set up Fez Riads fifteen years ago and has helped thousands of people find exactly the right guesthouse in Fez. For the last ten years, her insider knowledge is being put to greater use, and Helen will help you make the most of your time in this diverse country.
Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, we’ll make sure that you discover your Morocco, whatever your interests.
Helen has contributed to four Lonely Planet books on Morocco: Fez Encounter and two editions of the country guide for which she wrote the chapters on the Imperial Cities, Middle Atlas and the East, the Mediterranean Coast and the Rif and the Atlantic Coast. In October 2019, she travelled through the Middle Atlas Mountains researching for the next Lonely Planet guide book, visiting remote villages, busy souks, cedar forests and wilderness regions. It was published in October 2021. In September 2020, Helen researched Rabat and Casablanca and the Atlantic coast from Moulay Bousselham to Oualidia for the Fodor’s guidebook, Essential Morocco. And in January 2023, Helen spent the month in Marrakech researching Lonely Planet’s Pocket Marrakesh and the Marrakech chapter of the forthcoming Morocco guidebook, out towards the end of the year.
Supporting Local Businesses
We make sure that we utilise Moroccan-owned businesses as far as possible rather than foreign-owned ones: transport companies, hotels and riads, guides and providers of activities. While some companies are foreign-owned, local staff are Moroccan. We encourage our guests to engage with local people as they are one of the main reasons why Morocco is such a pleasure to visit. Often, though, it is more difficult to interact with Moroccan women as they are less visible in the tourist industry than men. With this in mind, we work with as many Moroccan women as possible and encourage our guests to get to know them.
Morocco has an excellent record worldwide for sustainability: the world’s largest concentrated solar farm, Noor, is near Ouarzazate. It’s the size of 3500 football fields and produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Dallas, Texas, or twice the size of Marrakech. Noor saves the planet from more than 760 000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Wherever possible, we work with companies that embrace sustainable practices. For example:
- we don’t encourage dune-buggy riding in the Sahara as this can damage delicate desert ecosystems
- we only use accommodation options in the Sahara that dispose of their waste in a sustainable manner (ie don’t tip it in dry riverbeds) and who use water sparingly.
- we favour hotels and riads that are part of La Clef Verte (the Green Key) programme.
For every guest who travels with Concierge Morocco, we make a donation to The High Atlas Foundation. This organisation reports that they are pressing on with their empowerment and support of rural communities through their tree planting projects, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. The wonder of tree planting is that its environmentally and economically transformative power is as real as the trees’ growth. Planting continues while people can remain safely distanced from each other. If you’d like to donate further to support this excellent work, please see this page.