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Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

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Winnipeg, Canada
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Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

Hello,

I'm planning a trip to Spain and Morocco this May. I have a conference in Barcelona May 19-21. We want to head back to Canada by the 29th. In between we would like to visit Tarifa (for a few days of kiteboarding) and also Morocco. Will we have a better "Morocco Experience" by visiting Marrakech, as opposed to just Tanger?

Is it best to take the ferry from Tarifa, then get a train to Marrakech? Or fly to Marrakech from Malaga? Either way I'm hoping to fly back from Marrakech to Barcelona to catch our flight home. I'm overwhelmed by all the different options... train, fly, ferry... help!

Sanlucar de...
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1. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

I'd say you will be better flying to/from Marrakesh, saves time and you can get some good offers, one airline is given below which you might not of heard of.

You might want to do tarifa as a side trip from Marrakesh, the train service from Malaga to Algercias isn't on the ave network, only from Malaga, Cadiz, Jerez & Seville in this area.

http://www.andalus.es/

Ian

Edited: 17 January 2010, 15:05
Winnipeg, Canada
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2. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

Thanks very much! I'm now thinking of doing Tarifa before Barcelona, and then flying to Marrakech. I appreciate your reply!

Oklahoma
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3. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

Be sure to check all your options. We came out significantly cheaper flying BCN-MAD, then MAD-Marrakech instead of a direct flight. BCN-MAD is easyjet. MAD-Marrakech is Spanair.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

Flights Barcelona - Marrakech www.vueling.com

Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

Thanks for the tips on flights! I'm getting a fare of 35 euros BCN-Marrakech (vueling), then 25 euro for Marrakech-MAD. (We're going to fly into Malaga, visit Tarifa for kitesurfing, fly to Barcelona for my conference, fly to Marrakech, fly to Madrid and then home from there.) I'm really excited!

I'm sure I"ll be back with more questions about acommodations and kitesurfing schools in Tarifa.

Scotland
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6. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

I travelled by train from UK to Marrakech, and think the train has a lot to offer - beautiful views, better leg room, and a great sense of adventure, which you miss out on with a flight. I got a train from Madrid to Algeciras and got the slow ferry to Tanger which is a lovely experience! I think Tarifa is fairly close to Algeciras. It only takes about an hour and a half and the slow ferry allows you up on deck, so you get a great view as you cross to Africa.

Tangier gets a bad name for hassle and can be quite daunting if you're new to Africa. I booked a tour before I went, and spent the day with a guide, which was a brilliant experience. He seemed to keep the hassle at bay for us and we were able to enjoy all Tanger had to offer. I found it a very authentic and Moroccan experience and is a real treat for the senses! After the day was over, we got the overnight sleeper to Marrakech, which is not nearly as scary as you'd imagine. Looks rough on the outside, but the bunks were comfortable and the train was smooth. If you like luxury it's not for you however, as the toilets became rather fragrant by morning!

Marrakech also had a lot of interesting things to see - best of all is the Djeema-el-fna, which is their lively market filled with food and entertainers (snake charmers etc). Fairly quiet during the day but really busy and exciting at night. There are various other things worth seeing as well, but to be honest, I found Tangier more "Moroccan" and more authentic, which is strange considering it is so close to Spain. The only thing I will say to be careful of is the amount of hassle you get - you have to learn to be firm and say no, or you'll quickly lose all your money! The Moroccan's have conning you out of every penny down to a fine art and have many different ways of doing it. Henna ladies will get henna on you without permission then demand money for it, men with monkeys will sit them on your shoulders if you get close and have photos taken, and money out your purse before you have a chance to argue! Obviously many niave tourists have been and parted money, meaning the Moroccan's expect it from everyone and can sometimes become agressive or intimidating. Please don't give it as it just makes it harder for the next tourist behind you! If you fancy giving the train and ferry a go, check out www.seat61.com - it's my new online bible! Good luck and enjoy your adventure!

Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

wow, thank you for the detailed reply! I'm starting to have second thoughts about skipping Tangiers... you've given me lots to think about. Thank you!

Scotland
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8. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

Tangier has a lot to offer, I'd consider getting a guide though as I'm not sure how much hassle you'd get without one! If you're open minded to their culture and keep your wits about you Tangier can be a great experience with a lot to offer. It can be a bit intimidating, but I found it more authentic and Moroccan than Marrakech.

I booked my tour through www.travellink.ma who were very good - they can also book overnight train tickets if you decide you'd like to get the sleeper to Marrakech, just give them the dates and details of when you want to travel. They will send someone to pick you up from the port if you're going by ferry and take you to their office where your tour will begin. Everything can be booked through them by email - you can specify exactly what you want from the tour and what you want to see. Tangier only really takes a morning to get the feel of it, I'd recommend a visit to Assilah as well as it's only about 30 minutes along the coast and it's a beautiful little town. Travellink can also arrange that. The only thing I would say is ensure that you get a detailed itenary and check exactly what the price is and what it includes, but I'd give that advice for anything in Morocco! Another company to look at is Authentic-Morocco - they have a website also, we did a sahara tour with them from Marrakech out to the desert, stayed in mud huts, did a camel ride then travelled back. They were a fantastic company so I'd recommend a look. The woman who runs it is English so it's very easy to communicate to arrange your tour. They do lots of different types of tours in different parts of Morocco. They are expensive, but I foud they were well worth the money, very professional and I felt safe, which is important when you're going into the middle of the desert with a stranger! Enjoy!

Oswestry, United...
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9. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

girlinseat62,

Very pleased with your balanced and informative posts.

Why have I not seen you with the Man In Seat 61?

Best wishes.

Scotland
4 posts
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10. Re: Tarifa / Barcelona / Tangiers / Marrakech?

haha, I lied, I take what seat I'm given!

Glad my response was of help - I get fed up with people answering things with their narrow minded views, it's much more useful for people to state the facts and let people make up their own minds if it's for them or not. We saw so many negative comments about Tangier before we went, and if we weren't the type of people we are it would have put us off, but I think a lot of people don't go prepared, and therefore have a negative experience and blame the place for it.

If you're well prepared and informed then you're more likely to get a good experience from it, and if you're given the facts, you can make up your own mind if it's the type of place for you or not. Tangier is not for the faint hearted, but if you go willing to take their culture on board then I'm sure you'll get something from it e.g. people who go wearing speedos and bikini tops are not likely to be made feel as welcome as someone who has respected their culture and covered shoulders and knees - often it depends on the traveller what kind of experience they choose to have! Good luck and have fun!