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First trip to Morocco - how's my plan?

Canada
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69 posts
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First trip to Morocco - how's my plan?

Hi everyone,

I'm planning to visit Morocco this August with some friends, and I was hoping for some comments on our itinerary.

We will all be visiting for the first time, and will probably never make it back, so we have a very busy schedule.

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech in the afternoon

Day 2: Spend the day in Marrakech

Day 3: Travel to Ouarzazate

Day 4: Day trip to Ait Benhaddou, go on a desert camping trip in evening and overnight

Day 5: Travel to Casablanca, spend a few hours there (see mosque), then travel to Meknes

Day 6: Day trip to Volubilis, night in Meknes

Day 7: Travel to Fes

Day 8: Spend the day in Fes

Day 9: Leave Morocco from Fes in the afternoon

I would especially appreciate knowing if any destinations are not worth our limited time, and could be left out.

I know it will be quite hot when we plan to visit (unfortunately we cannot travel at any other time), so does anyone have any specific suggestions for the places I'll be visiting? I heard some trains and most buses have air-con, but how about hostels and hotels?

Thank you.

¶ºPolarBearº¶

Kathmandu, Nepal
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1. Re: First trip to Morocco - how's my plan?

You are going to spend most of your time travelling especially if you are planning on using public transport. It is possible to visit Ait Bennhaddou on the way from Marrakesh to Ourzazate. What desert are you planning on visiting as you don't have enough time to go to Merzouga/Erg Chebbi? I know there is a very small dune area just south of Zagora but I wouldn't class that as the "real desert".

Medford, Oregon
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2. Re: First trip to Morocco - how's my plan?

First off I would definitely cut out Casablanca it is out of the way to go there from the desert and then to Fez. I personally haven't visited there (just flew out of there) but most people seem to agree that other than the mosque there is not much to see - I would cut it.

To actually do a desert camping trip from Ouazarzate you have to head to Erg Chebbi/Merzouga which is a bit of a drive.

We were in Morocco in March 2007 for the same number of days. This is what we did:

Day 1: Arrived in Marrakech late

Day 2: Marakkech

Day 3: Marakkech

Day 4: Drive to Ouazarzate (Ait Benhaddou along the way)

Day 5: Drive to Merzouga (stop at Todra Gorge along the way) camel ride to Erg Chebbi dunes, sleep in Berber tent that night

Day 6: Merzouga

Day 7: Drive to Fez

Day 8: Fez

Day 9: drive to Casablanca and fly home

Other than wishing we had one more day in Fez we were very pleased with the itinerary. Keep in mind the distances are long and there is a lot of driving to get out to the desert.

Canada
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3. Re: First trip to Morocco - how's my plan?

Thanks for the responses.

hf01, we had planned to just visit the dunes towards Zagora, because as you mention, we do not have time for Merzouga/Erg Chebbi. I guess it is not the "real desert", but I think it is all we can manage. I saw a few comments on another forum comparing the two, and opinion was split on which is better, but people seemed to enjoy both. I think I would prefer Merzouga, but it does not seem possible with my limited time.

familyof4travels, thanks for your insight and also for posting your itinerary - that is very helpful for me.

In regards to Casablanca, I thought it was on the train line from Marrakech to Meknes/Fes so it would be ok to stop there during the day?

I have misjudged the distance, as I don't think it is feasible to return from camping, travel to Marrakech, travel to Casablanca, see Casablanca, and travel to Meknes all in one day.

I will have to revise that part of my plan, I think as follows:

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech in the afternoon

Day 2: Spend the day in Marrakech

Day 3: Spend the day in Marrakech

Day 4: Travel to Ait Benhaddou, see it, travel to Ouarzazate, go on a desert camping trip in evening and overnight

Day 5: Morning in Ouarzazate, spend rest of day travelling to Casablanca (see mosque)

Day 6: Travel to Meknes, day trip to Volubilis, night in Meknes

Day 7: Morning in Meknes, afternoon travel to Fes

Day 8: Spend the day in Fes

Day 9: Leave Morocco from Fes in the afternoon

I have been seriously considering dropping Casablanca as you suggest, familyof4travels, as many others have also said it is not worth the time and not very interesting (except the mosque), which would leave my plan as follows:

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech in the afternoon

Day 2: Spend the day in Marrakech

Day 3: Spend the day in Marrakech

Day 4: Travel to Ait Benhaddou, go to Ouarzazate, go on a desert camping trip in evening and overnight

Day 5: Morning in Ouarzazate, rest of day traveling to Meknes

Day 6: Day trip to Volubilis, travel to Fes

Day 7: Spend the day in Fes

Day 8: Spend the day in Fes

Day 9: Leave Morocco from Fes in the afternoon

I will post further revisions as well, it's still a work in progress.

Thank you.

¶ºPolarBearº¶

4. Re: First trip to Morocco - how's my plan?

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