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Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

bury,uk
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Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Help please. We need a break so thinking of first time trip to Morocco starting in next couple of weeks. for 12-14 days.

2 active pensioners who enjoy walking/scenery (not strenuous hiking ), local people, local culture, art and food, markets etc. Have lived in India, so not too fazed by haggling, touts, pushy traders.

Looking at : Fes- 4-5 nights. Azroue- 2-3nts. Chehouane? 2 -3nts Fes-

Hire car for outside Fes. Stay at Riads

All comments suggestions for such a trip welcomed. Such as; better places, time in each place, things not to be missed.( Tues. market in Azroue?). festivals/fetes

Moroccan driving & roads( can it possibly be worse than India/Bangkok) ? Best way to hire car and good local hire firms. And any other advice.

We had great TA advice for our trips to Namibia, USA, S.Africa, Indo-China et al, so look forward to help with this trip. Thanks, Peter.

Castril De La Pena...
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1. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

What a sensible itinerary! Nice and relaxed, time to actually experience places.

I love this part of Morocco and once spent six weeks in the Azrou area looking for land to buy to build a house (bought a cave in Spain instead).

Driving is a LOT better than India, but obviously drive slowly, keep to the speed limits, expect the unexpected (sheep, goats, children...). My general advice is to get off the main roads wherever possible and look for green-edged (scenic routes) on your map. The best map is the non-tear Reise Know How, see amazon.co.uk/Morocco-Reise-Know-How-Verlag-G… failing which the paper based Michelin 742.

Riads are traditional houses arranged round a central courtyard with a couple of fruit trees and a fountain, and you find these converted to 'boutique' guesthouses in Fez and Chefchaouen, but not Azrou. In Azrou I normally stay at the rather down-market Cedres Hotel off the main square by the big mosque, a more up-market option is the Panorama Hotel which is about 400m to the north.

You've already identified Azrou's Tuesday market which is an experience. Azrou is the major market town for the Middle Atlas. The market is not particularly interesting for touristy stuff, but wonderful to see how country trading works. Whilst you are there buy some melon or other fruit to give to the wild monkeys in the cedar forest overlooking Azrou, details at tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g616013-c145720/Azr…

Azrou is a highly volcanic region, see photos at morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/… and morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/…

To get to Azrou from Fez you could go via the 'Lake District'. Head out of Fez on the Sefrou road. Sefrou has a lovely medina with crenellated walls that's worth a visit if you have time. About 25km after Sefrou turn right (heading west( at a sign for Dayat Aouia. Generally follow your nose (how I navigate) and you'll find yourself in an area of seasonal lakes, often with great wild birds. Carry on west and you'll come to the main road between Fez and Ifrane, where you turn left. Ifrane is Morocco's upmarket university town with amazing Swiss-style architecture.

Chefchaouen is a bit touristy but nevertheless well worth visiting. Some photos: morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/… and morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/…

If you want a bit of an adventure coming back from Chefchaouen, take the route through the mountains. It's probably an hour or so longer, but great fun. Head south from Chefchaoun, then take the left fork onto the N2. At the roundabout at Bab Taza (with British road roller equipment in the middle), take the second right signposted Bni Ahmed. And keep going. Bni Ahmed, then Tabouda, then you'll come to a dam, head for Ourtzarh, then follow signs for Fez. Some photos: morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/…

I'm delighted you want to concentrate on this area, so happy to help if you have any questions....

Castril De La Pena...
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2. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

And for Fez... http://riadzany.blogspot.co.uk/

cafeclock.com/category/map-and-direction/

http://www.fez-riads.com/faq/

bury,uk
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3. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Hi Tim, Great reply and so quick. Many thanks. We always believe that it is much better to do a small area reasonably well, rather than spread your time too thin and experience nothing . Plus we like to spend our cash directly with the locals. Lots of excellent info and sites.

Pleased the driving is better than India ( impossible to be worse !!) but, if possible, advice on car hire would be much appreciated. Not seen a good map yet, (shops tomorrow for guide book etc), but which way round do you think would be better.?

5 nights Fes------ 3nts.+ 3 nts. mountains ------ 3 nts. Fes. OK ? Or more in one , less in another. Need to know our route to be in Azroue on a Tues.

All that lovely water in the photos !! Any chance of a few hours fishing., assuming there are fish of course.

Change of subject. We try to travel light and often make up our baggage allowance with gifts for charities etc . Not sure how that works in Morocco. We never give to kids in the street anywhere, it encourages begging and dependence on handouts.

Sorry for all the questions but we have to move quickly now to get flights , accomm. etc.

Thanks again, Peter

Edited: 07 May 2014, 23:46
bury,uk
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4. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Hi Tim , Could not get flights to Fes with sensible travel-times /costs. So we have booked flights to Marrakech instead, for 28th.May - 11th.June. Bought a guide book which has a roadmap , so now have to plan for. : Marrakech---- car hire to tour for maybe 6 days ------ Marrakech.

After the help you gave us for Fes I hate to ask: but any suggestions for Marrakech region would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your help. Peter

bury,uk
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5. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Tim, Re. change of plans from Fes trip to Marrakech. I will post question in Marrakech forum. Petermam

Katonah, NY
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6. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Having just been to Morocco, I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you skip seeing the Sahara. You have two weeks, plenty of time to go to either Erg Chigaga or Erg Chebbi. Do a little research, Erg Cehbbi has bigger dunes and more tourists, and is farther away from Marrakech. Erg Chigaga is closer to Marrakech but apparently much less touristy. Anyway, we thought the desert was the best part of the trip. The roads in Morocco are really good and safe, generally. Get the Nationall Geographic road map before you go, it is excellent. We hired from Europcar, best deal we could get. Petrol is plentiful, clean stations everywhere.

Edited: 12 May 2014, 13:56
7. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

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Removed on: 16 May 2014, 22:57
England, United...
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8. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Please note - Amira A is involved in the travel business and is touting for buisness by spam pm's. This is against the rules and spirit of TA.

Castril De La Pena...
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9. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

Re Amira: What's more, his/her posting is plagarised (copied word for word) directly from this page journeybeyondtravel.com/news/morocco-travel/…

10. Re: Fes - mountains by self-drive-Fes.

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