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Rental Car Rabat Airport

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I am wondering if any one has any rental car company recommendations. There is very little about company reviews or tips. The rental would be for economy or compact car for 11-21 December. Any feedback/help/suggestions is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

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    Sallam 'lekum etenorio,

    Inside the modern arrivals and departures terminal for Rabat-Salè airport are currency exchange booths, ATMs, a couple of cafes, and desks for the various international car-rental companies as well as local company First Car (www.firstcar.ma). I've previously used Europcar in Rabat and had no problems.
    Happy travels,
    Darren Humphrys

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    Darren,

    Thank you so much for your reply!!! I have already rented the car through autoeurope (via Budget) since they had the best rate and time was running out. I hope this will work out!

    I was wondering if you have any advice regarding driving i.e things to watch out for, best driving practices, what to do if we are stopped as a friend has warned me about being stopped by the police. Any advice you can give is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

    Best regards,
    etenorio


    I will be traveling with my daughter and our schedule is as follows:

    Friday Dec. 11
    arrive 12:20 in Rabat
    Luggage storage: in a locker at the Rabat train station
    Drive to Meknes- 1.5 hours (90 miles)

    Saturday Dec. 12
    Meknes

    Sunday Dec. 13
    Day trip from Meknes to Moulay Ismail

    Monday Dec. 14
    Drive Meknes to Chefchaouen- 3 hours (122 miles)

    Tuesday Dec. 15
    Chefchaouen
    It seems like there are a lot of hiking options including to Cascades d’Akchour which seems a bit touristy but might be something we consider? Or a hike of another sort?
    The Medina

    Wednesday Dec. 16
    Chefchaouen to Marrakech- 6 hour drive (357 miles)

    Thursday Dec. 17
    Marrakech:

    Friday Dec. 18
    Marrakech
    Accommodation: need to book and see if this night would be good for camel camp out
    Things to do:
    Bahia Palace
    Jemaa el-Fnaa
    Ben Youssef Madrasa
    Saadian Tomb
    Toubkal hiking or snowboarding?

    Saturday Dec. 19
    Marrakech

    Sunday Dec. 20
    Marrakech

    Monday Dec. 21
    Marrakech to Rabat- 3 hour drive (203 miles)
    Rabat

    Tuesday Dec. 22
    Leave Rabat 7:55 am arrive SFO 9:50 pm

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    The drive from Chaouen to Marrakech is way longer than 6 hrs. What, you are skipping Fes, Morocco's premier site ?? You have alloted too much time to Marrakech. From there drive to Essaouira and then up the coast to Rabat.

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    Hi etenorio,

    Well done on compiling an adventurous journey through Morocco with your daughter. It will be a blast for the two of you. As you have asked, here's my thoughts on some of your days:

    Friday Dec. 11
    Do you really need to store your luggage somewhere? If this isn't totally necessary, then I recommend departing for Meknès direct from Rabat-Salè Airport. The reasons I recommend this are:
    - it will be a much 'softer' introduction to driving in Morocco. While Rabat is comparatively quieter on the roads when compared to its big sisters Casa, Fès and Marrakech, it will still be rather challenging for you to drive into the city straight after arriving;
    - it will take some time for you to get off your plane, go through Immigration and collect luggage, and do the paperwork/collect your hire car. Car hire companies in Morocco generally don't bother providing a full tank of petrol when you collect the car, so you may also have to first fill-up the car. To then drive into the city but also then drive back out and head for Meknès will culminate in an extremely long first day for you;
    - I actually don't think there is any luggage storage at Rabat Ville train station;
    - it's almost a 3-hour drive from Rabat to Meknès including a short rest stop at a roadside petrol station.

    Saturday Dec. 12
    While I sympathize with Meknès's constant comparison with Fès, I agree with the learned Bedar and question why you aren't visiting Fès?

    Sunday Dec. 13
    I'm not sure where you mean when you suggest a "Day trip from Meknes to Moulay Ismail". The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismaïl is is the medina of Meknès. The village of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun is on the road from Meknès to the Roman ruins of Volubilis and onwards to either Fès or the Rif mountans (Chefchaouen). If the latter is what you mean, then I refer back to my query regarding Fès and suggest you visit Moulay Idriss Zerhoun (and Volubilis, if you so desire) on the way to Fès.

    Monday Dec. 14
    It's about a 4-hour drive from Fès to Chefchaouen, so add-on at least another 45 minutes from Meknès.

    Tuesday Dec. 15
    Remember that the weather in mid-December may not be so conducive for 'happy' hiking. I suggest you slow down and simply enjoy the splendor of Checfchaouen's indigo-tinged medina. Read other forum posts regarding this particular medina.

    Wednesday Dec. 16
    I have never attempted to travel from Chefchaouen to Marrakech in one day but I again agree with Bedar that it would be longer than 6 hours.

    Thursday Dec. 17
    Friday Dec. 18
    Saturday Dec. 19
    Sunday Dec. 20
    Although I'm a fan of magical Marrakech, I again agree with Bedar that perhaps you are sacrificing other destinations by staying so long in Marrakech. While Essaouira is a definite option, it can be a bit gray and cold in mid-December. If you are a skiing/snow-boarding fan, then definitely look further into your thought about heading up to the nearby mountains (Oukaïmeden) should there be snow.


    Having said all of the above, may I just suggest a different routing for you to consider...your current routing doesn't quite make geographical sense to me.
    I suggest you travel Rabat-Tangier(about 3½-hour drive)-Chefchaouen-Fès-Meknes-Marrakech-Rabat, allowing a full day (i.e. two nights) at the end to discover Rabat.

    Regarding any general issues to consider while driving around Morocco, I would highlight:
    - stick to your own driving style and don't get too intimidated by the somewhat inventive driving tactics to be found on the country's local (not auto-route) roads;
    - there are speed cameras on the auto-routes, often hidden and obscured in readiness to catch its prey;
    - there are often police checkpoints on the local roads. Simply greet the officer pleasantly and have all of your documentation (passport; license; vehicle papers) available. If you've done nothing wrong, there'll be nothing to worry about. I often have some bottled water or packets of crisps handy to offer the police, as I actually think they do a great (and lowly paid) job in keeping some form of order in what could easily be a semi-lawless state.


    I'll let you ponder and plan!

    Darren

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