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Refining Morocco 2-week itinerary

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Hello all,

I am feeling pretty good about my plan for our 2 weeks in Morocco this Dec-Jan, but am trying to refine a few details. We are an architect couple and tend to be focused on architecture and urban sites in our travels. We're not uninterested in the outdoors, but are planning to skip the dunes.. we don't want to be rushing around too much. Trying to limit the travel.

Was originally trying to fit in a visit to Essaouria and Chefchaouen, but cut them due to distances/travel time. Kind of want to hit the most historical and interesting cities, as well as the kasbahs and oases.

Here is our plan, please let me know what you think:

Day 1: arrive Casablanca (afternoon)
Day 2: Casablanca - Hasan II mosque, art deco buildings, and dealing with jetlag
Day 3: fly to Ourzazate (am), rent car, drive to Dades Gorge. (maybe Ait Ben Haddou first)

*question: looking to stay at Chez Pierre.. any recommendations regarding staying IN the gorge (i.e. Chez pierre) vs in Boulmalne?
*Also: planning to skip Todra, I don't think we have time for both..

Day 4: explore the gorge and make our way back down the Dades valley, exploring kasbahs along the way. Night in Skoura.
Day 5: Head to the Draa valley: explore kasbahs, stay in Agdz or Tamnougalt
Day 6: Draa valley - day trip to see Kasbahs, night back in Tamnougalt again
Day 7: back to Ourzazate, return the car, hop a bus to Marrakech

*question: I've read the mountain passes could be closed due to snow.. this will be January.. any idea if we should worry about this?

Day 8: Marrakech
Day 9: Marrakech
Day 10: Train Marrakech to Rabat (4.5 hours), stay in Rabat
Day 11: Train Rabat to Meknes (2.5 hours), stay in Meknes
Day 12: Train to Fes, stay in Fes
Day 13: Fes
Day 14: Train back to Casablanca (4.5).
Day 15: early flight out.

The flight Casablanca to Ourzazate seems to save us a lot of time and is pretty cheap anyway. In Dades and Draa, seems like renting a car is cheaper/easier than hiring a guide. And if we went by bus I don't think we'd be able to stop and look at stuff along the way. Does anyone have advice for getting around and sightseeing in Dades/Draa?

Appreciate any feedback!

thanks!!
Anna

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