Time to leave: Morocco’s unpleasant sides

Home-schooling with views. Today’s topic, Berber Monkeys and Riff Mountains
Riff Mountains Breakfast
Riff Mountain Breakfast Views

The last few days really felt like an adventure after our oasis of calm in the Riff Mountains. Africa travel tip: Never trust locals’ recommendations as to accommodation or restaurants. All they seem to be interested in is their commission. As such, we end up in Oub Laou. A tiny fishing village near the Western end of the Mediterranean Sea which, beyond some busy summer months, is dead. Moreover, our little apartment is 3 km (a biggie with tired and hungry kids) away from the centre – the only place to get food and internet, the latter not only important for Pablo’s job, but also to find ourselves our next accommodation in our last destination: Tangier.

Oub Lau
Oub Laou Breakfast views (can’t see the hundreds of dolphins on the picture)

The next day we flee with the only memorable highlight of Morocco’s Mediterranean coast a swarm of hundreds of dolphins jumping happily around all the local fishing nets directly in front of our sea-view balcony as we have an improvised breakfast of left-overs. So lucky to have easy going kids. So happy that our ferry back to Spain is only a few days away. This feeling increases once we hit Tangier, an ugly port city with the usual Arab machos (excuse to the few exceptions who might be out there) taking complete advantage of a blond travelling mum, charging quadruple prices, giving misleading information, stories full of bullshit. Street kids begging for food and money to buy their drugs – at ten years or younger of age! Anyone offering help or information will evidently asked you for money for it. Completely gluten-ed and sugar-ed out after two weeks of eating only Tagines, couscous and bread. Service – unheard of. Rudeness, the word go. In other words, I’ve had enough of Morocco for the time being.

Tagines are delicious – but not all day, every day!

We end up staying in Tangier’s villa neighbourhood in a retro villa which likes to call itself ‘artist house’. The old building in itself could have some charm, but the stink of cigarettes impregnated into the smallest corner of the house definitely doesn’t. Neither does it’s location away from even a small supermarket to buy a few fresh veggies for dinner, nor the incredibly rude French manager and her irritable friend. They like to call themselves artists, but can’t stand the pure joy shining through children’s natural laughter. I can’t help but wonder how they cannot see the obvious hippocracy in their completely distorted self-image. When we flee after an ordeal of two nights, I just leave her the friendly advice to not call such an arrogant smog-hole ‘kid-friendly’ in her add on Airbnb. It’s rather a family no-go zone!

Tangere_668 Tangere_666 Tangere_667 Tangere_661 Tangere_662

Places where not to stay in Morocco

Gar Dabriel, Chechaouen – place ok-ish, but service ridiculously bad. Staff rolls out of bed around 10am and if you are lucky make you some basic brekky in their pyjamas. Rooms are never cleaned. Reception – if attended – then by a women who speaks no language other than Arabic from her bed, in her pyjamas and with her mobile on Facebook and messanger in her hand. Still, because of the picturesque town’s popularity amongst tourists and therefor distorted economy, they charge European prices.

Artist’s House, Tangier – full of cigarette smoke and hard to get to places. French manager doesn’t tolerate kids. Not even taxis stop here. Walk to town takes an hour.

Oub Lao – We like it away from it all, but here, there’s really nothing to do. In summer the kilometres of brown sand might get packed with local tourists in bourkinis, but else, there’s really nothing to do or see here.

Places to stay in Morocco

Riad Dalia, Tetuan – Best experience, most welcoming service, most delicious food, nicest rooms at fairest rates (We paid 35 Euros for a family room with breakfast.)

Riff Mountains – plan a proper hike, staying in low-key, but authentic ‘gites’ on the way where for 20 Euros you get a clean bed, organic dinner from the garden, simple but fresh breakfast and a wrapped lunch on the way – plus a most authentic experience and maybe even cooking course when the old lady from your gite prepares your meal.

The world is a book. Those who don’t travel read only one page of it.


  1. I think the further south you go in Morocco, the more hospitable and friendly people are. You ought not let the Tangier experience colour your impressions of this amazing country.

    • Thanks, you are right, just a pity it left that last bitter taste. But sure they see you never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression – and that one was amazing on all levels;) xo

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