Can you enter Morocco with an Israeli passport stamp? Plus, the best currency for Greece
Wednesday 25 July 2012
Q. I hope to travel to Marrakech next March and have been told by someone that if you have visited Israel you can't go to any Arab state. I passed through Israel briefly en route to Jordan several years ago. I have tried several holiday companies and they could not offer any assistance, and the Moroccan embassy has not responded. I obviously do not want to pay for a holiday only to be turned away. Judith Giles, Bolton
A. You have been given the runaround by a mistaken piece of advice. Some Arab countries, notably Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, refuse entry "if your passport contains evidence of previous travel to Israel or indicates Israel as your birthplace", the Foreign Office says. But Morocco, like Egypt and the UAE, makes no such stipulation.
A couple of red-tape issues to watch out for: your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Morocco and on arrival make sure your passport is stamped. "Some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passports bear no entry stamp," the Foreign Office says.
Any British visitor to Israel should ask the officials to stamp a special detached form rather than the passport, a courtesy they usually extend. This will lessen possible problems with immigration in other countries and if you are unfortunate enough to be caught up a hostage incident. But a Jordanian entry stamp showing your port of entry as Allenby Bridge (over the river Jordan) or the Aqaba road crossing will reveal that you entered from Israel. You can renew your passport at any point during its validity.
Q. Is it better to take pounds to Greece and exchange to euros when we get there, or take euros? Michelle Cox, Middlesbrough
A Take euros. As for any Western European country, organise euros in advance. Shopping around in the High Street and online through sites such as travelex.co.uk, moneycorp.com and iceplc.com; these offer the choice of home delivery or picking up at an airport branch, at much better rates than you are likely to get as a "walk-up" customer at the airport or, indeed, in Athens.
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