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Help Us With Our Trip to Morocco

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Salem Aleikum! - Usually I am most active on the European Forum, but now we are planning a trip to Morocco. Since I have always gotten great advice here on this forum I would appreciate getting some help from all the pundits here on the forum.

We will travel to Morocco in mid May with a party of five adults (including a gay couple!), and parts of our trip will be organized by our Moroccan hosts. But for our private extension we would like to get some advice. Here is our tentative itinerary, with some parts which are fixed already and other parts which are completely open:

Wednesday - flying into Casablanca, overnight in Casablanca (fixed)
Thursday - daytrip to Rabat, overnight in Casablanca (fixed)
Friday - daytrip to El Jadida, overnight in Casablanca (fixed)
Saturday - sightseeing in Casablanca, overnight in Casablanca (fixed)
Sunday - driving to Fès, overnight in Fès (open)
Monday - Fès with some business there (fixed)
Tuesday - from Fès daytrip to Volubilis and Meknes, overnight in Fès (open)
Wednesday - drving to Erg Chebbi, overnight in Merzouga (open)
Thursday - driving to the Dades Valley, where overnight? (open)
Friday - driving via Aït Ben Haddou to Marrakech, overnight in Marrakech (open)
Saturday - Marrakech, overnight in Marrakech (open)
Sunday - morning flight out of Marrakech (fixed)

I have put this tentative itinerary together because we prefer a mix of cities, history and nature. Beaches won't be necessary on this trip.

Please critique our itinerary and add your suggestions. Please feel free to suggest even a radically different itinerary. Here are our questions:

- Given our limited timeframe, what shall we see in the Dades Valley and surroundings? Where should we stay overnight?
- Do you have recommendations for special experiences?
- With 5 persons plus luggage, shall be better rent a 7-seater minivan or 2 Dacia Dusters?
- Do have recommendations for accomodation, especially in Merzouga and in the Dades Valley? (Not luxury, preferably authentic / atmospheric, but clean and comfortable - including apartments - and accepting two young men sharing a room)?

Thank you so much.

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