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Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

Canberra
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Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

My husband and I are planning a trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco for 2011. We plan to hire a car and do a self-drive holiday. We were planning to go for about 7-8 weeks. I have done a very draft itineray and would like feedback on this. In particular, I would appreciate information on whether the driving distances are too long or short, whether the number of nights in each city should be extended or decreased and whether there is a better order to do the itinerary. Also, as you can see this itineray is longer than the 7-8 weeks we are planning so I would also like to know if there are any towns that you would suggest we take out or do as day trips from one of the other towns. Thanks very much for your help. My draft itinerary is as follows:

Madird - 4 nights

Salamanca - 2 nights

Viseu - 2 nights

Oporto - 2 nights

Coimbra - 2 nights

Lisbon - 4 nights

Evora - 2 nights

Cordoba - 3 nights

Seville - 4 nights

Ronda - 2 nights

Tangier - 2 nights

Rabat - 2 nights

Casablanca - 1 night

Marrakesh - 3 nights

Ouarazazate - 2 nights

Merzouga - 2 nights

Erfoud - 1 night

Fez - 2 nights

Malaga - 3 nights

Granada - 3 nights

Valencia - 2 nights

Barcelona - 3 nights

Zaragoza - 1 night

San Sebastian - 2 nights

Santander - 1 night

Santiago - 2 nights

Zamora -1 night

Madrid - 1 night

Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
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1. Re: Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

I can understand the tour round Portugal and southern Spain, especially the Mezquita of Córdoba (…wikipedia.org/wiki/…B3rdoba) and Ronda, however the tour at the end via Barcelona and Santander is a bit OTT.

It's an awful lot of tarmac pounding. What are you trying to achieve?

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

You could probably cut out a lot of those places and reduce the time at most places (except Fes!)

But we can't advise where too cut without knowing what you want to see or do, or why you chose those places.

Canberra
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3. Re: Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

Thanks for the comments. As to what we like to see, we are interested in soaking up the culture of the different countries, seeing the major tourist attractions and the scenery. We chose the end part of the tour as we understood that the northern part of Spain was quite different from the southern part and wanted to experience as much as possible. Your comment about tarmac pounding is quite true - we are covering a large area in a short time. Would you suggest we cut this section out completely or try and take a bit longer to do it?

Castril De La Pena...
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for Morocco
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4. Re: Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

Yes, northern Spain is quite different, and the Picos de Europa to the west of Santander are very pretty. And Barcelona is one of my favourite cities. But you are only spending two weeks in Morocco and I think a better balance would be to extend this by at least one week if not two. But you could decide this whilst you are on the road.

I like the fact you are staying two nights in many places as this means you really get chance to explore. It's best to stay fairly loose with the arrangements so you can chop and change as you go. For example, much as I love Lisbon I would struggle to spend find interesting things to spend four nights there, however four nights in Madrid seems about right.

You've only got just over two weeks in Morocco and the places you are staying are not so adventurous. Personally I'd stay a couple of weeks longer.

I'd bypass Casablanca, especially as you are spending two nights in Rabat.

The Anti Atlas around Tafraoute is beautiful. Checkout http://lexicorient.com/morocco//tafraoute.htm and lexicorient.com/morocco/ameln_valley.htm Looklex is a great resource for quickly checking out other places.

Have a look at potential routes through the High Atlas especially the new north-south tarmac road that goes from Tinerhir up the Todra Gorge, via Ait Hani, Agoudal, Imilchil and then on to El Kebab or El Ksiba.

Also have a look at driving through the limestone karst and cedar forest scenery of the Middle Atlas from Khenifra via Aguelmane Azigza, Sources Oum er Rbia and Ain Leuh to Azrou (80km south of Fez). Azrou's Tuesday market is the largest in the Middle Atlas.

Algeciras to Tanger Med is the easiest crossing from Spain to Morocco and the Aciona company is currently the cheapest. Get an open return or a date far in the future. You can get an idea of rates from http://www.aferry.to

You will need to complete temporary import forms for the vehicle when you enter Morocco. You can do this in advance in Spain and print them out--you just need the information from the vehicle registration papers. Full instructions at www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=179522

The most accurate map is Rough Guide: amazon.com/Rough-Guide-Morocco-Country-Regio…

Edited: 11 December 2010, 10:56
Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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5. Re: Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

On Spain forum someone has said you can't take a rental car to Morocco?? My suggestion was to leave car in Spain and pick up one in Tangier after visiting Tangier. I am assuming a flight from Fez to Malaga in any case so again to pick up car after visiting the city.

Or....alternative would be to drop Valencia from itinerary and fly Granada-Barcelona (or reverse order Malaga/Granada and fly from Malaga); and then finally take train to Zaragoza and back to Madrid (in line with my suggestion of leaving Basque Country/Cantabria/Asturias for another trip) .

So no car once back in Spain; cars are a hassle in cities in any case.

4 nights in Lisbon will only be 3 full days as it's a long way from Coimbra and Sintra is standard day-trip so that's only two left; there's plenty in Lisbon (one of my favourites!) for 2 days.

6. Re: Spain, Portugal and Morocco Itinerary

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