Please sign in to post.

Morocco

How is the easiest way for 6 people to get from Tangier to Rabat to Casablanca to Marrakesh to Fez and then back to Tangier. Is car rental the best or train or maybe hire someone as our guide. I guess Rick Steves uses Aziz Begdor for a guide in his book. Thanks Jan

Posted by
16761 posts

Train is quite easy for all of those legs, and will allow you all to relax, bring your lunch on board, maybe even play cards on the tiny table. I see no need to drive unless you're going off the rail route. A rental car to fit six can also get expensive. Trains are cheap, priced for locals, not tourists, even if you choose first class. A first-class compartment has 6 seats. See schedules in French at www.oncf.ma and departure frequency summarized in a guidebook like Lonely Planet. I'd expect about 5 train departures per day on most routes, including late-night options.

Posted by
1 posts

the best way is to take the train.Don't forget to visit Agadir and Essouira,if you like the beach and the sun.I'm Moroccan;have a nice trip!

Posted by
5019 posts

I'm going to take a contrarian (and probably unpopular) view…

The best parts of Morocco IMHO do not include the cities on the north coast, which cater to day-trippers who come across on the ferries. Think of Morocco as Europe's Mexico (that is, Morocco is to western Europe what Mexico is to the USA, in many ways), and Tangier is Morocco's Tijuana. Bordertown. There are a LOT of parallels.

If you are going to be in Spain, and you want to bolt-on a side trip to Morocco - something I do recommend - I think it's a mistake to do that from Gibraltar or Algiciras. Sure, those ports are the closest, cheapest way to get to Morocco - that's why everyone does it that way, so they can do a "day trip to North Africa". But they experience the worst part of North Africa - a grotesque, manufactured-for-skittish-day-trippers carnival of hawkers and fake sights. It's the same thing as taking a day trip to Latin America by visiting Tijuana - hardly a reasonable taste of Mexico or all of Latin America. After all, what kind of an experience would you expect if you took a half-day trip to Europe or Asia? Not exactly "through the back door" stuff. You can do better.

If you have more than a couple days (and I think Morocco is definitely worth more than a couple days), don't waste your time with the hassles of the ferry, the touts, and all the fakery that day-trippers are assaulted with. In fact, don't go to Morocco from the ports on the south coast of Spain - that's how you get to the part of Morocco that you don't really want to spend any time in.

Instead, FLY. Yes, fly. Flights are dirt cheap. You can fly from Madrid (and many other European cities) for less than US$100, and you land in Marrakech or Fes, which is where you want to be anyway. Check out the discount airlines - there are lots of cheap ways to fly to Morocco that will save you time, money and headaches - and most of all will result in a much better trip. It's easy - a LOT easier than you think.

Specifically, in response to your original question, I would ask: are you really sure you want to spend any of your (probably limited) vacation time in Tangier, Rabat, or Casablanca? Before automatically answering yes, do some research on these places. I think you will find that there are far, far more interesting places to visit in Morocco (Marrakech and Fes, for starters, and lots more). Personally, I am happy to fly straight to (or from) Fes/Marrakech, and spend my time there and elsewhere in Morocco (Meknes, Todra Gorge, Ait Benhaddou, etc.), far from the tout-filled ferry ports (and other less interesting cities in the north) - Casablanca may be a great movie, but I didn't think there was much to see there (and it was all filmed in Los Angeles). Take the train between Fes and Marrakech - easy and comfortable.

Sorry to be the skunk at a picnic. Hope this is useful to someone.