Help Us With Our Trip to Morocco

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Dec 13th, 2015, 05:22 AM
  #1
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Help Us With Our Trip to Morocco

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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Dec 13th, 2015, 08:30 AM
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Whoever put together this itinerary was sure fixated on Casa - a mistake. Let that person arrange for your hotels in the "open" slots. Get some guidebooks.
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Dec 13th, 2015, 11:17 AM
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Agree - Casa is a place to spend a day at the absolute most.
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Dec 13th, 2015, 02:30 PM
  #4
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Sorry, but we have a social invitation to casablanca, so this part of our trip is fixed.

I was hoping to get some advice for our private extension. Our tentative itinerary is based on reading Guidebooks. I would like to get some more insider's information (as we do if someone travels to Europe). Thank you for sharing your insights.
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Dec 13th, 2015, 02:45 PM
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Looks like a pretty standard itinerary.

For Dades gorge see:
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...omment-5431859
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Dec 14th, 2015, 02:28 AM
  #6
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Thank you, thursdayd, for the link to your trip report. I enjoyed it very much and also your phantastic photos.

Seems that the better idea is not to book an organized tour but to travel on your own (at least if you are not solo)!

Your trip report answered quite a few of our questions, but still more advice is appreciated.
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Dec 14th, 2015, 06:41 AM
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Glad it was helpful. Visiting the desert on my own did look expensive. I had the same issue in Jordan and ended up on a tour there, too. But with a group you should be fine on your own.
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Dec 16th, 2015, 08:21 AM
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Consider hiring a driver speaking English and a van. We are doing this for our trip in March/April and found the price less than if we rented the 4 wheel drive and booked the same hotels. we are going with four persons.
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Dec 16th, 2015, 08:30 AM
  #9
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If prices vary so much between agencies, which ones would you recommend?
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Dec 17th, 2015, 12:21 PM
  #10
 
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As cgeidl said better to hire a driver/guide at disposal it will be very useful specially for 5 pax with luggage for the whole stay, parking in big cities became time consuming in Morocco, and you are going to relaxe and enjoy your time not to stress about parking spots if you rent 2 cars.there is many companies let me know your email address and will reply to you.i wrote names on my first reply and they deleted it.enjoy your time in Morocco
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Dec 18th, 2015, 04:22 AM
  #11
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Thank you, lamiab.

Please mail to: [email protected]
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Dec 26th, 2015, 06:15 PM
  #12
 
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We spent two weeks in Morocco this past March. Rather than repeat it all, if you click on my name, you can see my trip report where I write about all the many highlights of our trip, including our itinerary, the amazing places we stayed, our camel trek, and a wonderful home cooking class we took. Hope it's of some help.
Laurie
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Feb 11th, 2016, 09:59 AM
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Traveller: I agree with most all of the suggestions you've been given..especially with shortening the Casa portion. I found Maroc very easy driving, almost traffic-less outside the cities. For example, we were on our own except for hiring a day guide to drive our rental car in the Erg Chebbi area. The hotel we were staying in had one of their "listed", guides for $14 and tip all day...I got a clearance OK from the rental agency in Fes to hire a licensed driver anywhere in the country.

To enhance your conception of exiting, exotic Maroc I'll post my three sets of pics below. Enjoy your trip..it will be most memorable. It's still on the top ten list of countries we've visited.
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Feb 11th, 2016, 10:23 AM
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"exciting" (typo above)
The first pics cover Spain to Fes
https://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Morocco#
These pics cover Erg Chebbi, the gorges and Ourz
https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...KvrpeoxMr2uwE#
These pics cover from Marr to Ess:
https://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Maroc3#
Photo ops are everywhere and a good photographer can surely do better than these of an amateur. But the message of Maroc is there in these pics.
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