Monday, April 9, 2012

Family holidays in Morocco - inspiring Moroccan holidays

Zamzam Riad work with Epic Morocco, they are a tour company with an adventurous slant, organising high-quality group mountain biking and walking tours in and around the Atlas Mountains, as well as tailor-made holidays for individuals and private groups.





The company is British-owned and managed from Marrakech by people who are both passionate and knowledgeable about Morocco, and experienced in the field of travel. The company was launched with the objective of taking adventurous visitors off the beaten track to experience the beauty and unique character of Morocco. Flexible, friendly, and focussed on your objectives and requirements, Epic Morocco provides a complete service for all styles of journey around one of the world’s most appealing travel destinations.

Epic Morocco are owned and managed by Anglo-French couple Charlie Shepherd and Melodie Selvon. Both have spent much of their working lives in tourism sales, marketing, management and operations. The rest of the time they've spent being tourists themselves; both are well-travelled individuals with an unquenchable thirst for discovering new places.

Epic Morocco was set up in 2005 following two years of extensive research of mountain bike routes and hiking trails, and is managed from Marrakech where the couple live with their young sons Oscar and Max, and daughter Noa. Charlie spends much of his time leading groups, enjoying the chance to endulge his passion for adventure sports, whilst Melodie spends much of her time looking after their young family. Epic Morocco is a small and friendly company set up with the express aim of taking people off the beaten track to get to the heart of what's really special about this exotic, absorbing, and strikingly-beautiful country.
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As-Salaam-Alaikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to MarrakeSh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.



Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!