I am planning my trip to Morocco--arrive in Marrakesh July 1 and have 10-12 days ( then ferry to Spain). I have 2 days planned in Kesh then to the desert. Originally I had planned to go to Fes then perhaps Chefouchen (sp) but after reading forums for the past two weeks I'm thinking maybe too hot in Fes and crowded and thought I'd check out the Atlantic coast after my desert touristy experience. I thought of Essouria but wondered if there are other further north pleasant beach communities that also have lovely Moroccan culture and sites as it seems that Ess has. Some have recommended Agadir but the books make it sound like all new development etc.
Is Mekenes a good alternative to Fez, how about Midelt I've heard it mentioned a few times on this board. I was attracted to Fez because of what the books say, but also because a cooking school there was recommended to me. I am also interested in taking a vegetarian one day cooking course if anyone has recommendations for a town etc and place
And last question. I was checking into renting a car for a few days from Marrakesh to the desert and dropping it off at another site but it was triple the price to drop off elsewhere--does anyone know of any car rental places in Marra that don't charge extra fro dropping off in another city.
ps moderate to budget traveling style
Thank you for your assistance