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Help with Route Planning

Plymouth, United...
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Help with Route Planning

Hi everyone!

I'm planning on taking my husband to Morocco for his 30th birthday at the end of September/beginning of October. This is the first time I've planned an 'adventure' without either his or a tour operators input! After trawling through the website, I've come up with two rough 8 -10 days itinerary, which I would really like some knowledgeable input for to help me decide.

Both trips start out with flying to Marrakech and staying for 3 days, with one day incorporating a

day trip to Terres d'Amanar for some zip lining. Then I have planned to join a tour company to do a 3 day/2 night trip up Mount Toubkal. This ends with a drop off back in Marrakech at around 5pm. Ideally I would like to avoid a random one night stay back in Marrakech.

Now, trip one includes a transfer to Essauoria. Options are to stay a night in Imlil following descent of Mount Toubkal and then get a taxi/driver to Essauroria the following day (is this likely?) or take tour operator transport back to Marrakech and find a taxi from there on the same day of descent, which would mean a long day but one less overnight stop. Stay another 2-3 nights with a direct transfer back to the airport from Essauoria.

Trip Two is a trip to Ouarzazate for a couple of nights, which is my preference (really want to see Ait Benhaddou!) but not quite sure of the logistics, as understand it is a longer drive, which we could I guess do the same day after descending Mt Toubkal, but then we miss out on the scenery as it would be getting dark. Or we could stay somewhere between the two (looking on google maps I can see Ait Ourir and Telouet, no idea what is at either place!). Would we be ok to hire a car to get to ouarzazate or would you recommend a taxi? Then on the last day head back to Marrakech airport to fly home. (Another long drive but worth it for an awesome trip).

All advice and ideas are gratefully received!

Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
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1. Re: Help with Route Planning

Don't ever drive at dusk or in the dark, it's extremely dangerous.

The easiest and cheapest way to get to Essaouira is by bus.

You descend Toubkal via Imlil which is on the wrong side of the Atlas for Ouarzazate, so the only option is to head north to Tahnaout, then cut across to the east on side roads to Ait Ourir. There's only one hotel worth mentioning there which is Le Coq Hardi, see http://www.lecoq-hardi.com/

There's one somewhat unusual hotel in Telouet called Auberge Chez Ahmed, see morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/…

Plenty of hotels at Ait Behaddou, about 40 at the last count. In fact it's now almost impossible to get a glimpse of the ksar from the road through all the modern buildings, a case of tourism ruining what tourists came to see.

Plymouth, United...
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2. Re: Help with Route Planning

Thankyou very much for your reply Tim!

I would be quite happy not driving at all, as I'm not a confident driver abroad, although my husband is well travelled, but will definitely bare this in mind! Would we be able to get the bus to Essaouria directly from Imlil? Or would we need to take two buses and change at Marrakech?

The hotel in Telouet sounds intriguing! Will check that out! My latest thought about travelling to Ait Behaddou and Ouarzazate is to bite the bullet and stay somewhere in Marrakech following our descent from Toubkal and pay for a either a one way tour trip the next day or hire a car, stay in Ait Behaddou/Ouarzazate for a few nights, then getting a bus back/drive to the airport/Marrakech for departure. I think that would be the most sensible option unless I can find a trip that starts out from Imlil!

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3. Re: Help with Route Planning

Hi Smookle,

I've just come across your conversation with Tim and see that he hasn't replied for a couple of days so thought I'd try and help out.

You are right to suspect that there is no direct public transport from Imlil to Essaouira, so you would need to head back into Marrakech to pick up another bus or taxi onwards to Essaouira from there.

As for hotels in Telouet, I agree with Tim about Auberge Chez Ahmed being a little unusual. There is, however, a second that you might want to consider, right by the kasbah, called Le Lion d'Or, as well as a number of maisons d'hotes, usually well sign posted from the main road, dotted around Telouet. My favourite place to stay in the area, however, is Kasbah Tigmi n'Oufella, just outside Telouet in the village of Anguelz. This is another maison d'hotes, based in a small, beautiful kasbah owned by a very friendly family. The home cooking here is superb.

4. Re: Help with Route Planning

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