A prospective WIldland Adventures traveler brouight up an excellent question today as they are thinking about their travel plans this September:
"How should we decide between traveling to Turkey or Morocco? They have many similarities."
With extensive Mediterranean coasts, September is one of the best months to travel in either country. However, the experiences vary when you compare traveling to Turkey, especially when comoparing our Turquoise Coast Odyssey in Turkey with either one of our Exotic Morocco or Morocco Adventure itineraries.
First, the cultures are quite different. I would characterize Turkey as more European, especially in the areas you would be traveling. Istanbul, and other cities in Turkey would be closer to south eastern European style with a Muslim flare from the grand mosques and other buildings dating back to an older age. Istanbul is a very cosmopolitan, world-class city of great international importance in the region and the world. The villages and smaller towns of Turkey feel more Eastern European whereas rural communities of Morocco lean more towards the Arab and Berber styles with some southern European influences.While Turkey has the Grand Bazaar and spice markets in Istanbul, the bustling markets in Fez and Marrakech are a more dominant part of the travel expeirence somewhat like the famous outdoor markets of SE Asia.
Traveling in Morocco is virtually all by land and does involve considerably more driving including one 8 hour drive (including breaks) from Fez to the Sahara region and several other days of 5 hours in a comfortable air-conditioned van. Our trips in Morocco are escorted by Kamal, an English-speaking driver-guide who will be your friend and escort throughout the trip. He in turn introduces you to various expert local Morocco guides in each region such as specialist city guides in Fez and Marrakech, Berber hiking guides in the Atlas Mountain and Dades Valley, and the Toureg guides in the Sahara desert. These local Moroccan guides each add their own personality and element of expertise,
However, we have our own Kutay family heritage in Turkey and a deep, personal, long-standing travel program in Turkey since my father was born there and we've been working with the same crew for 30 years, Therefore, our full-time trip leaders/guides in Turkey provide an overall exceptional Wildland Adventures travel experience.
In general, we consider the Turquoise Coast Odyssey a flagship Wildland Adventure among all the trips we conduct around the world, particularly because it includes the voyage along the Turquoise Coast in a gulet. There's nothing like experiencing the beautiful Lycian coast, hiking on ancient foot paths only accessible from the sea to Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Crusader ruins, exploring white-washed Mediterranean towns, and the relaxed atmosphere of a private boat with time to relax, nap, read and swim.
In so many other respects Turkey and Morocco are similar with interesting accommodations, delicious cuisine, great hikes and walks, diverse landscapes and scenery, exotic culture and Islamic religious traditions, interesting history (although greater scope of human history in Turkey), and some of the world's most interesting urban environments.
Perhaps travel to Turkey this year and take a Morocco adventure the next?
Which one would you choose? Leave a comment and tell us!