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Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

Madrid, Spain
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134 posts
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Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

Hello all,

My boyfriend and I are thinking of planning a trip of 7-10 days to Morocco this year, and as we want to go a lot of different places and don't like to be stuck in a group, renting a car would be ideal. We'd probably be flying to either Marrakech or Fez as I really want to see both, and we'd like to go to the coast as well (my boyfriend wants to kitesurf and we've seen that there are places for this in Dakhla or Agadir) and also see a bit of desert. I guess we'd do the desert part as an organized tour by 4x4 but if anyone can give us any advice about how realistic / expensive / nerve-wrecking it would be to do the rest by car in this timeframe, it'd be great. It's our first time to Morocco but we went to Egypt last year and we would not like to find ourselves in any kind of Cairo-like traffic or be rushing from one place to the next with no time to enjoy it! Any suggestions for the itinerary would be great too.

The second option we've considered is driving south from Madrid and taking a ferry to Morocco, that way my boyfriend can bring his own kitesurfing equipment without having to take it on a flight (not sure if Easyjet will let him). Any advice about this would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks a lot in advance,

Louise

Marrakech
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1. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

I think you are trying to put too much into your 7-10 days and you will spend most of your time moving from one place to the next without having enough time to enjoy any one place. I would take one place out of the itinerary.

For the kitesurfing you may want to go to Essaouira rather than Agadir as this is a shorter journey from Marrakech and will save some time.

I don't recommend driving in Marrakech for any tourist. Once you arrive, park the car and walk! It's much more enjoyable!

Any airline should allow you to take kitesurfing equipment, however they will charge you for carrying sports equipment.

Driving into Morocco from Spain will not save any time for your itinerary, in fact you will spend more of your time driving. I would take a flight.

Fes
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2. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

There are flights to both Marrackech and Fes (eg with Ryanair) from Madrid, so you may be able to save some time, and backtracking, by flying in to one and out of another. You could then hire a car to travel between the 2, going via the Desert on the way.

Madrid, Spain
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134 posts
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3. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

Thanks for the tips... Yes, I think we'll substitute Agadir for Essaouira, and it's a good idea to fly to one airport and leave from the other. Any idea how the roads are between Marrakech and Fez and if there are any interesting places to stop?

Madrid, Spain
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134 posts
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4. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

Okay, I have now done what I should have done from the beginning - used a map! :) I'm thinking of doing the route Fes - Meknes - Rabat - Atlantic coast - Essaouira - Marrakech, so our itinerary would be like this:

1. Arrival and night in Fes

2. Full day in Fes and night in Fes

3. Get rental car - Visit Volubilis and Meknes - Night in Meknes

4. Drive to Rabat and night in Rabat

5. Drive down coast and night somewhere (don´t know where, have heard that Casablanca is best avoided)

6. Drive further down and night in Essaouira

7. Full day and night in Essaouira (kitesurf day)

8. Drive to Marrakech - return the car - night in Marrakech

9. Full day in Marrakech and night in Marrakech.

10. Flight home

Does that look more realistic? Ideas of where to stay along the coast would be welcome... I guess there's nowhere we can fit in that desert trip unless we want to drive all day and rush by places, or maybe we can try to go for another day or two. I guess the ideal thing is to spend a night in the desert, or is it possible to just do a day trip if we don't have time for that?

Sorry for all these questions, it's not so easy to organize a good itinerary in a place you've never been! But I'm really getting excited about this trip... Thanks again for your replies so far.

Louise

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

although I've not yet been there, I've done so much homework for so many months I feel like I have!

a few comments (based on my research) . . .

Your time in Meknes might be better spent in either Fes or Marrakech. Meknes didn't jump out at me as being special. Also, if you can add time or rework your plan (or both), Chefchaouen north of Fes for part of a day and a night would round out your plans nicely.

Essaouri is supposed to be awesome for what you're looking for. We're booked at the Villa Maroc, and they're picking us up from Marrakech and bringing us to Essaouira for I think 750Dh (about $90).

My itinerary, by the way, is Day 1: arrive Casa in the AM, day 2": drive to Asilah with 2-3 hour stop at Rabat, day 3: explore the far north coastline and Tetuan then arrive Chefchaouen, day 4: Chefchaouen, days 5-7: drive to Fes 2.5 days with short stop at Volubilis, days 8-10: drive to Marr and spend 2.5 days there, day 11: xfer to Essaouira in the PM to fish market, day 12: Essaouira, day 13: drive back to Casa with several stops (El Jadida).

Have a good trip!

I'll get emailed if you post back.

6. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

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Removed on: 30 January 2010, 17:05
merzouga-ergchebbi
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7. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

for desert its better if you go by your rental car.beceause its better and you will enjoy more

Edited: 30 January 2010, 18:02
merzouga-ergchebbi
4 posts
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8. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

why not starting your trip from fes going by merzouga then marakeche and then essaouira .so like that you will see something diffrente and enjoy your tripto desert and also see many beautiful places between merzouga and marakeche.

any more questions ur welcome

Madrid, Spain
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134 posts
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9. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

Thanks for the tips, after doing a little more research we've actually decided to do that exactly, we'll skip Meknes and go from Fes to Marrakech following the inland route through Merzouga, the gorges, etc, instead of following the coast, I think we'll spend our time in Morocco better that way. We've also decided to take 2 more days to go to Essaouira after Fes / desert / Marrakech, as we don't want to be rushing along all the time. I'm really impressed that there's so much to see in Morocco!! :)

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Morocco by car (Marrakech + Fez + beach + desert)

Be careful ,Louise, to "walk through" your plan day by day to make sure it works comfortably. Your long trip from Fes south to Merzouga then west via the awesome Ain Benhaddou (don't miss that!) could easily take 4 or 5 days I would think. I'd certainly get some expert advice from here (TripAdvisor) about the driving times. It sounds wonderful . . . we simply had to make choices given our 14 day time frame and the desert just didn't fit. As I said, I'm dumping my rental car in Marrakech and getting a transfer to Essaouira . . . it would be nice having a chauffour (sp?) after all that driving. If you travel from Essaouira to Casa, take a look at El Jadida on the way.