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“A Forgetable Experience in Marrakech”

High Atlas Tours - Day Tours
Ranked #363 of 779 Tours in Marrakech
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tour Guide Marrakech is expanding southward! Now my focus is on day trips from Marrakech, as well as joining a day tour with a vehical in the city with a second day with the same driver in the High Atlas. Having seen the bustling souks of Marrakech, where the energy is full on, you can then relax to the tranquility of the Atlas, avoiding the heavy tourism in favor of a higher path. Here you can relax to the tranquility of the High Atlas and experience how people really, which to a great extent is much like it has been for centuries.. The path above Setti Fodma leads to trekking adventures going south (should you have more than a day to spend in the Atlas Mountains), and northward - a fairly level 25 minute hike - you can visit my village and have couscous on the terrace of my Berber house, the High Atlas Retreat, as a part of your day trip exploring the villages of the High Atlas.High Atlas Retreat is definitely a place to wind down with a view that is truly spectacular! I envision travellers coming to get an intimate view of village life where few westerners go even though it is just over an hour's drive from Marrakech; and others come in search of a place where there are discussions, as well, about East/West issues and where our world is going in this juncture where not only can you experience a thriving, indigenous culture and seek new ways to see our own lives outside the confines of globalization. And...the High Atlas Mountain Retreat is a great place for birdwatching!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Forgetable Experience in Marrakech”
Reviewed 18 July 2012

My wife & I recenlty returned from a 10 day trip to Marrakech. We had booked Tod Zankert prior to our arrival for 8 days; we discontinued her services after 3. He was not what he claimed to be with regard to his status as a guide. He shared with us that he was not certified. Due to the latter, he had to sub-contract one tour. There were problems upon our arrival involing him at the airport and problems with the guide he sub-contracted on the tour of the Medina. His fees were substantially higher than others who offered the identical service; in one case, as much as 4 times greater. Luckily, we discovered this early on in our stay, and had a wonderful time in a very nice city. We plan on returning to Marrakech next year, but not with Mr. Zankert.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoroccoTod, Owner at High Atlas Tours - Day Tours, responded to this review, 27 September 2012
I did all I could to give you the same level of quality tour as the others I have taken around the beautiful off-beaten parts of the souks.  Only you did not seem to appreciate the authentic passages of Marrakech, nor did you complete the tour.  You did only 2 out of 6 hours.

My niche as a guide is to help travelers experience Marrakech away from the tourists who are herded between the points of the tourism triangle. However, as I said to you, foreigners cannot gain a badge. I explained I gain authorization by the day while we sat at Dar Charifa, a literary café and also the oldest house in Marrakech.  I told you about a book I am writing there titled, The Foreigner. You showed little interest and asked no questions aside from whether you could bring alcohol with you to the Atlas Mountains for the next day's excursion. 

Despite my suggesting a light lunch on a terrace overlooking the storks on the fantastic ramparts in the Melah, you chose to go to a restaurant where you drank a bottle of wine with a heavy meal at the touristy Tazi Hotel. This turnoff completely threw off our agreed upon itinerary.  Too tired and intoxicated to finish the tour, you quit and demanded I call the driver to pick you up several hours early.  

Again, your saying you must take bottles of alcohol with you to the mountains the following day caused a dilemma.  Alcohol, after all, does not mix well with the pristine villages or the slow, dissolving light setting behind the pin shaped minaret just across from my 2 story mud and stone flat. This exotic land is not Disney World, after all.  I gave you a refund for the High Atlas despite the fact both the guide and I booked you for the excursion. Then you said unless I returned all the money from vehicle transfers and left the cash in an envelope at the Sofitel desk, you threatened to call the touristic police as well as leave a bad review for me on Trip Advisor.

I believe we could have sorted out our differences and parted amenably, but I cannot tolerate people making threats for money.  This is not only against TripAdvisor policy but is simply unethical. 
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32 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Bournemouth
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unforgettable Memories of Marrakech”
Reviewed 24 February 2012

Tod is a perfect, friendly guide and fount of wisdom on Marrakech. Guided tours are a must as Tod and the guides he finds are extremely knowledgeable and interesting, showing hidden areas difficult for tourists to find. Also being a lone female knowing he was available to contact made me feel much more at ease. Riad Africa was a great location near the centre of the Medina.

All the senses are assailed; so much to see, smell, touch, hear and taste – all so very exotic. I marvelled at the craftsmen in all trades and hope the traditional ways will not be lost. This is a photographers dream location, especially as the quality of light is so special and Tod is able to point you in the right direction for those unique shots.

I would highly recommend contacting Tod if you wish to visit Marrakech and the surrounding areas. As I only had a brief visit, I hope very much to return and be shown further afield by Tod and his guide friends.

Lorna, Bournemouth

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Lorna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoroccoTod, Owner at High Atlas Tours - Day Tours, responded to this review, 7 October 2012
Many thanks for your review! I also thoroughly enjoyed taking you around to see the hidden places around Marrakech. Once one leaves the 'tourism triangle' (the streets between the Koutoubia Mosque, Ben Yousseff and Bahia palace) the original Marrakech remains - complete with some great new additions - that has existed for centuries, definitely a photographer's dream location. Marrakech is not only a historical place but continues on as a city always looking forward into the future.
Thank you so much for sending me a CD of some of your quality frames. They are more than snapshots but convey a narrative of your stay and how you felt about the place while respecting its sacred aspect. I hope to welcome you back one day, hopefully at such a time I fit a guest room into my 2-story mud flat in the High Atlas.
Shukron jazilan. Many thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great experience with Tod Zankert”
Reviewed 25 January 2012

This past November, our family had the great experience of touring Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains with Tod Zankert. Our Marrakech explorations with Tod enabled us to get to know the city and to eventually feel at one with the surroundings. Because of Tod's history as an American who has chosen Marrakech as his home, he can offer insights into the culture that are easily understood by visiting foreigners.

Our trip to the Atlas Mountains with Tod was an exceptional experience for our family. Tod is restoring a house in a mountain village so he is able to expose the visitor to local culture from an insider's perspective. We were able to trek along the hillsides and eventually experience Atlas hospitality when dining at a remote mountain family's home. Tod's Atlas Mountain tour is a "not to miss" experience when visiting Marrakech.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Clay C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Bloomfield, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Thank you Tod for showing us the real Marrakech!”
Reviewed 8 June 2011

Tod is an excellent tour guide! We learned of Tod's services on Trip Advisor and scheduled 2 tours of Marrakech with him. The tours were personalized, informative and paced to our liking. He showed us many areas that we would not have seen on our own or with regular guided tours. Definately is a great find if you like 'off the beaten path' sites. We saw the non touristy areas and were fascinated by the local culture. Our advance requests to Tod included culture, history, food and shopping - he successfully covered all areas.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank Bloom67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
233 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Excellent personally-guided tour of city”
Reviewed 30 May 2011

Tod arranges a personalised tour of city to suit your tastes. We did a day tour and were guided through the labyrinthe of alleyways and mazes with personal observations and anecdotes. City was still a little tense post-bombings: Tod recognised the issues and expertly guided us away from the more volatile spots. Tod - along with the attendant local guide- gives a fascinating and somewhat eclectic viewpoint.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank yanhLondon_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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