Casablanca arrival -alternative first night stay

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Dec 20th, 2015, 06:31 PM
  #1
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Casablanca arrival -alternative first night stay

Flying in to Casablanca around midday and we would be happy to stay and rest up somewhere nicer than there to start with. We'll be headed for Marrakech and some desert time, but need some space to prepare our heads first. A budget hotel with interesting surrounds and food options and easy to get to would be perfect. We are budget senior travellers and have been to Morocco 20 yrs ago.
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Dec 20th, 2015, 07:21 PM
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You can get on a train at the airport and make your way to Marrakech as soon as you arrive. I'd do that instead of stopping for no particular reason in another direction, where the other possibilities are. Last time I did it, took the train from the airport basement station to Casa Voyageurs station, a short hop, then changed to a Marrakech train. Prepare your heads while you sit on the train to Marrakech.

This looks useful:
http://www.marrakechairporttransfer....-to-marrakech/

Train site: http://www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx
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Dec 20th, 2015, 08:09 PM
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I spent a couple of nights in Rabat, much nicer than Casa and with better hotel options.
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Dec 20th, 2015, 09:58 PM
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I think that's north from Casa and we're headed for Marrakech
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Dec 21st, 2015, 05:28 AM
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It is, but it's a short train ride and has a couple of worthwhile sights.
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Dec 21st, 2015, 03:29 PM
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Yes, go to Rabat for a day or two and get the train from there straight to Marrakech. Rabat is a soft place to enter. Lived there for five years.
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Dec 21st, 2015, 10:55 PM
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Decided to head for El Jadida as it's sounding like a good place to unwind from the 26 hr. flight and about 2 hr away by train.
Hopefully there are nice places to stay, eat and see there.....
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Dec 22nd, 2015, 08:07 AM
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El Jadida is "OK" but isn't so nice as Rabat. Plus, you may have to go back to Casa in order to take the train to M. Suppose you could take a bus but might have to return to Casa for that, too. Check it out.
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Dec 26th, 2015, 01:36 PM
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Rabat is a better choice for your 1st night in Morocco,El Jadida it's not worth it
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Dec 29th, 2015, 09:42 AM
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There's an article in today's NYT about the Atlantic coast of Morocco which mentions El Jadida. Travel section.
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Dec 29th, 2015, 09:43 PM
  #11
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thanks Bedar....found it online here in Australia even. Thinking to drive El Jadida - Essaoura - Marrakech on arrival then out to the desert from Oarzazate
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Dec 30th, 2015, 02:52 PM
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The drive down the coast is longer but better than going inland from Casa to Marrakech. Be sure to stop in Oualidia for seafood. Had wonferful spider crab and sea urchins for the first time there.
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Dec 30th, 2015, 11:28 PM
  #13
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My wife is wondering if her favourite - sea urchins - are available in Feb.? She might have to put up with street urchins otherwise - hah hah!
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Dec 31st, 2015, 07:44 AM
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Yes, you'll encounter many street urchins !! Don't know if there's a season for sea urchins, but I'd guess not. I hope you'll be visiting more of Morocco than just the south. Rabat, Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Chaouen, and Tangier are all worthwhile as are other smaller towns. Have fun ! Enjoy !!
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Jan 21st, 2016, 02:11 PM
  #15
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Thank you. Trying hard to get a car and driver to take the coast road to Essouira so we can enjoy it - though prices are looking like being a problem....
We only have less than 2 weeks for Morocco and a desert trip for 6 days is a priority and we've arranged this from Marrakech before flying to Seville and Portugal..
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Jan 22nd, 2016, 10:53 AM
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You could take buses down the coast if you don't want to drive yourself. Frankly, I would take the train from Casa to Marrakech and then do a trip to Essaouira from there. 6 days in the desert seems a bit much to me, but to each his own ! Enjoy !
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Jan 22nd, 2016, 11:47 AM
  #17
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Ahh but we wanted a few days in El Jadida to chill out after a long flight of 30 hr. That's locked in but thought it would be easier getting to Essouira , making a few stops and enjoying the coast on the way.....
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Jan 22nd, 2016, 12:27 PM
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Don't try to get a "car & driver" now. After you arrive in El Jadida, ask your hotel to book you a grand taxi (which is a car & driver) for the drive down the coast. I used to use grand taxis to get to Essaouira from Marrakech (switched to the buses which are very good) and the grand taxis aren't horribly expensive. It's 2 1/2-3 hours from Marrakech, depending on if you stop for a stretch, etc. at the halfway point. It appears El Jadida to Essaouira is about 4 hours if you go on the coast road. There appear to be faster roads but if you want to follow the coast make sure it's understood before you set out. They'll give you a set price for the drive and if you want to know beforehand, email your El Jadida accommodation and ask what a grand taxi will cost, coast road to Essaouira. They should be able to tell you and they'll no doubt have a suitable driver for you.
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Jan 22nd, 2016, 05:31 PM
  #19
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Thanks Mme . We are getting a pick up from Casa airport to El Jadida for Dh600 from our Riad , but the quoted price to Essouiera is too high for us, so we thought to look around. Eu90 quote from Med Taxis also seems too high
We have been warned the grand taxis on smaller coastal roads are too dangerous - maybe the better cars are an alternative - as is a CTM bus, though we'd prefer a few stops along the coast if possible, like Oaulidia .
Yes if nothing turns up we'll try from El Jadida while there ...
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Jan 22nd, 2016, 06:14 PM
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Grand taxis are always, in my experience, Mercedes. I cannot imagine that they'll be less safe than any others. More safe, I should think. Maybe what we have is a conflict of terminology. When you ask for a grand taxi, you're asking for a full-sized Mercedes, whether private or shared.

https://www.google.com/search?q=merc...d+taxi+morocco

115km Airport to El Jadida for 55€ = 600MAD
260km El Jadida to Essaouira 90€ = 966MAD

That quote from Med Taxis is a much better deal for the distance than your airport pick-up. But I understand, too, if you just don't want to spend 90€. Personally, another traveler on a budget, for 2 people with flexibility to stop where you want to on the way, I think it's a deal.
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