My husband and I are considering a trip to Morocco visiting Tangier, Casablanca, and Marrakesh in the spring of 2020. What are readers thoughts on solo travel vs. a tour?
I haven't taken enough tours to compare the two modes of travel. My mother and I traveled independently in Morocco around 1990.
Please review a couple of guidebooks before firming up your itinerary. Two of the three destinations you mentioned (Tangier and Casablanca) are places few people would recommend for inclusion. Tangier is a port-town equivalent of Tijuana, and Casablanca is almost totally modern. Definitely include Marrakech and Fes, but there are many other great places: Meknes, Taroudant, Ourzazate. If you need to be near Casablanca at the beginning or end of the trip for logistical reasons, see whether Rabat will work or you instead.
Morocco is easy to travel in solo, though it can be helpful to have guided tours in some of the historic medinas, especially Fès. I prefer having the freedom to choose my own restaurants and lodging, so I am generally anti-tour in the larger sense, and book day trips or day tours for things where I want more info. I most recently had the chance to spend about six weeks in Morocco this summer, although I was primarily based in Rabat. I am a solo female traveler if that makes any difference!
Casablanca is great for the mosque, but otherwise is not a big tourist draw and has kind of an intense vibe. Rabat is a good first stop in Morocco to acclimate. I obstinately love Tangier and think it's also a good base from which to visit sites like Chefchaouen and Asilah (I especially love Asilah), but many many many folks on this forum will tell you how awful they think it is. Your results may vary!
I'd say a good / typical first-time itinerary would be to fly into Casablanca, perhaps overnight if it's important to you to see the mosque then continue to Rabat (that said, the mosque is also an easy afternoon trip from Rabat), and from there go to Fès (stopping or doing a day trip to Meknès and Volubilis), then down to Marrakech which can also be a base to go into the desert. I did a similar trip my first time to Morocco about 10 years ago.
If you do want to add in Tangier and Chefchaouen and/or Asilah, you could add that in after arriving in Casablanca or Rabat, or at the very end. However you do it, there's a bit of backtracking. I've also heard good things about Essaouira but have never been.
Feel free to ask more questions - Morocco is a rewarding and occasionally challenging destination, but by no means insurmountable independently!
Thank you to acraven and Amy. You both have given me good information.
Skip Tangier for sure.
Casablanca doesn't have much, we enjoyed Rabat and Agaidar (visited a fort on the edge of the desert).
Marrakesh and Fes are highly recommended.
We, a couple in our early 70s, also visited Morocco solo last year. I would say it's not difficult to travel solo in Morocco and it has the advantage that you can select what you want to see and do and when and where you want to eat.
We spent four weeks there using trains. busses, taxis, and took one plane trip. We also had an overnight guided trip to the desert. We stayed in the medinas everywhere but Casablanca. There are many beautiful towns and sights, so many worthwhile experiences. We researched the transportation and had the schedules of the trains/busses so we how to get to the stations and what time to be there.
The key to an easy solo trip is in the planning. The hardest part is getting started.
Thanks Ashley, Carol and geva. Looks like we will definitely travel solo.
There is so much to see in Morocco and so varied. Look into 2-3 night tours from Marrakesh and/or Fez to places that are more remote. Loved Chefchouan and Essouira too.
Casablanca is skippable except for Hassan II mosque. Grungy city.
Does anyone here have a recommendation for a riad in Rabat? Also, what would be sure not to miss?
We flew to Marrakesh from Spain for 2 nights, then took the overnight train to Tangier and crossed the straight to get back to Spain. No problems! We enjoy independent travel because of the flexibility, lower cost, and planning that goes into it.