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9 Nights in Morroco - Itinerary Help!

Hello from two 26 year old Aussie travellers!

Seasoned Morocco experts, please let us know if you think we've allocated the correct amount of time to the below cities on our 9 night / 10 day Morocco trip? All of these places are a must for us, but at this stage the only thing booked in is our flights into Marrakech and out of Tangier, so am open to suggestions! We are absolute energizer bunnies, we don't stop, so don't fear that we will be rushed - we get up at 6am and don't retire to bed until midnight while travelling so we will have lots of time to soak it all up

Between Marrakech and Fes is a Desert Tour with Morocco Desert Tour. http://www.morocco-deserttour.com/

They seem well reviewed, but please sing out if you think there's better tour companies!

Aug 26 - Land in Marrakech 12.40pm - staying at Riad Kasbah & Spa

Aug 27 - Marrakech - staying at Riad Kasbah & Spa

Aug 28 - Marrakech - staying at Riad Kasbah & Spa

Aug 29 - Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou- Ouarzazate – Rose Valley – Dades Gorge

Aug 30 - Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi

Aug 31 - Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Midelt – Fes - staying at Riad Fes Baraka

Sep 1 - Fes - staying at Riad Fes Baraka

Sep 2 - Fes > Chefchaouen - staying at Casa Perleta

Sep 3 - Chefchaouen > Tangier - accomm not found as yet, suggestions?

Sep 4 - Depart Tangier at 2pm

Posted by
3 posts

No. It's not. All good, just your own opinion, thanks for taking the time to write. I pulled the itinerary together by reading other trip reports so if you think I'm insane, there's been others before me.

Posted by
5010 posts

I don't think you are insane. Just misinformed and headed for a potential disaster. I think there's a very good chance your trip will collapse if you try to stick to this schedule, and you will regret the fact that you spent all your time trying to race from place to place and ending up not having 5 minutes to spend at the magical places that you've gone through so much effort to get to (because you will be way behind schedule already and increasingly behind, which forces you to press on incessantly).

I believe your time estimates for driving are very unrealistic (I base this on personal experience, not reading other people's accounts). I think you need to take whatever estimates you are using and increase them by 25%-50% (in some cases, maybe more). Don't forget allocate some time to actually be in those places.

Be careful. The Sahara Desert in August is to be taken seriously, even if you're used to a Aussie summer.

I wish you luck.

Posted by
14225 posts

I think the other responders didn't note that between Marrakech and Fes, you will be on a tour. Sounds reasonable to me, except that - based on all I've read and heard - I wouldn't bother with Tangier. Maybe fly out from Fes or Rabat?

I was on a 2-week tour (that did not go to Tangier) and one of my few regrets is that the tour only spent a few hours in Chefchaouen. The camel ride to watch sunset on the dunes was more hokey than scenic, lower your expectations. The sandboarding sounds like fun.

Hire a guide for your day in Fes. The bazaar is huge and super-confusing. Even our guide took a local guide for our day there.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Chani, I too think David overlooked that we're on a desert tour between Marrakech and Fes which is why so many towns are detailed on those days!
Unfortunately there's no flight to Madrid out of Fes or Rabat on the day we depart Morocco, which is how we ended up leaving from Tangier! As we don't feel compelled to visit Tangier, I'm now thinking we may get a driver to drive us 2 hours to the airport from Chefchaouen to Tangier on the 4th so we wipe out Tangier and get an extra night in Chefchaouen instead. Or perhaps we should instead do a three night desert tour so it's not so rushed?
Thanks for the tip about the local guide in Fes - noted! :)

Posted by
91 posts

I was in Morocco recently and flew to London where I am currently. I had two days on my own in Casablanca and then I joined a nine day escorted Intrepid group trip which finished in Marrakech where I spent a further two days on my own. Looking at your itinerary you are spending two little time in Chefchaouen which is a magical place. Rabat is worth seeing but a day will suffice. It is less than an hour by train from Casablanca. Casablanca only has an impressive mosque in terms of attractions and perhaps the Habous which is vaguely similar to a Medina. Moulay Idriss is worth seeing and probably can only be accomplished through a tour. Fes is worth two days as the Medina will take up the best part of a day. Great artisans on view and this is the best place to buy handicrafts. Take a guide as Fes Medina is huge and you will get hopelessly lost otherwise.
Tangier is ok but not worth a lot of time. Heaps of tourists here who come across from Spain for the day or overnight. A walk along the Corniche is pleasant but watch the traffic. In fact that should be your mantra for Morocco. Watch the traffic. Marrakech is great and also a fantastic place to buy stuff. You will be pestered endlessly in the huge main square Jema el Fna from Africans wanting to sell you sunglasses, hats, shirts etc. And if you want to take photos of snake charmers, performing monkeys and parrots you will need to hand over some dirham coins. Probably I would avoid eating anything cooked in the square in a makeshift tent which are set up from late afternoon.
Enjoy Morocco. It is a fantastic place and I loved every
moment. Except the overnight train trip from Tangier to Marrakech

Posted by
14225 posts

I think you're right that Chefchaouen is not worth an extra day. Can you arrange a one-day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira? My tour did it as a day trip - it's over 2.5 hours to drive in each direction but worth it. It was one of my favorite places, a beautiful blue and white sun-drenched fisherman's town. I'd probably add the day to Marrakech for that. Or the longer tour - I don't know that it's slower paced, sounds like it may just have more stops each day - certainly not a bad thing in Morocco. Hmm, tough decision.

Or maybe take the longer tour and still do a day trip to Essaouira? I don't remember all that much to see in Marrakech . . . Our last day full day in Morocco was in Marrakech and we spent a lot of time in the bazaar, mostly buying souvenirs. At the beginning of a trip, it's not worth spending more than an hour there. There's tons of stuff to buy in Fes. If you have a guide, you'll go to all the workshops, good quality products, good prices (bargain hard, but be very friendly and smile a lot, but be firm).

Posted by
14225 posts

I just remembered something. When you land at the airport you can get a free local SIM card for your phone. It has a very few minutes of phone usage, but you can buy data everywhere in Morocco. If you land at T2, they usually walk around handing them out before customs. I landed at T1 and there were none, wasn't able to walk over to T2 because I was with the tour.

I later got one at a phone store (Orange or similar). If I'd had my passport with me, it would have been free. I didn't, so I paid about $5-6 for the SIM, and another $2-3 for 2 GB of data. For some reason that expired after a week. I went into a tiny shop that sold cold drinks and snacks and he topped up the phone with another 2 GB for $2-3. Most of the time reception was excellent, even in the Sahara. A friend was there and said 4G worked great in the desert!