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ez4ucolo Jan 13th, 2008 07:51 PM

Help with trip from Spain to Morocco
My girlfriends & I are planning a trip to Spain and a few of us want to hope over to Morocco since we are so close. We would like to do a camel trip to the dunes and slept under the stars in the desert one night and do a couple of days/nights sight seeing & a day of shopping. Can you please suggest transportation from Spain, a tour company that would have a 4 night tour, what are the must-see sites, where is the best place to go shopping & for what and advise about how safe travel is for a womens-only group. Sorry so many questions but this site was invaluable to our planning our trip to Zambia, so I'm going to the experts for advise. Thank you in advance.

jenmaroc Jan 14th, 2008 02:16 AM

There's a lot to respond to here...

1. It is safe to travel to Morocco is an all-female group. I've lived here in Morocco for 7 years now - half of that as a single woman with no problems whatsoever.

2. The answers to your other questions will belimited by your time-frame. In short, there is no way to do all that you want to do in four days. Getting from Southern spain to Morocco takes a lot of time. For example, to reach Fes from Seville takes almost an entire day of travel (2-hour bus to Algeciras, 2-hour ferry to Tangier and border crossing, 5-hour train/taxi from Tangier).

To reach the desert is another 7-hour drive from Fes!

So, if you leave Andalucia early in the morning on day 1, you would reach Fes in time for a late dinner on Day 1.

Day2 , you would have to leave at 8am to reach the desert before sunset (when the came caravans head out into the dunes). The night of Day 2 would be spent in the dunes.

Day 3, you would have to wake up early and head immediately back to Fes, arriving just around sunset. Spend the night in Fes.

Day 4, to get back to Andalucia, you'd have to leave Fes just after breakfast to reach Spain by 9pm.

In all, you'd spend almost 80% of your time in transit and would see nothing of Fes or any other city. Is it really worth it?

3. Marrakech is one of the best places to shop -but given your time limitations - you could not do it on this trip.

I would seriously re-think your trip. Either forget Morocco entirely, or concentrate on a city closer to Spain( i.e. leave out the desert, which is very far away). Fes or Chefchaouen would be the obvious choices.

ez4ucolo Jan 14th, 2008 09:42 AM

We really want to do the night in the desert with the sand dunes & stars staying in one of the old time tents and we would love to see Marrakech - we haven't booked our Spain portion yet and we know we want to go to a lovely coastal area (part of our party wants to tour the coast of Spain so we are going to leave them in Spain) so if there is a place in Spain that would make it easier to get to the 2 things we really want to do we are open to any alternatives you can recommend. Also, is it expensive to fly from Spain to Marrakech or Fez to eliminate some of the transportation timeframe, is it really costly? Is there other "must see" areas within close proximity of the dunes or Marrakech? We can expand our timeframe by a couple of days. Also, any recommendations on good travel/tour companies that can help with setting this trip up. Thanks for your help.

WTnow Jan 14th, 2008 02:29 PM

Marakech is ever further from the desert and not as authentic as Fes. You are going to need to add some days as JenMaroc is right on.

We traveled into Morocco from Spain last April and flew out to Madrid from Marakech. It actually took longer by the plane...things do not always go smoothly in Morocco plan on that and do not cut things too closely.

You can check out our blog archives and see how we did it as that may help you plan ( also have lots about Spain in there as we winter here):


We found the camel trek over night, Fes medina and the Ait Ben Haddou area the most thrilling. I HIGHLY recommend Les Nomades ( see other posts or our blog archive) for the desert and list the places that we stayed.

You can do this on your own easily...we did and we took our 6 yo daughter with us and I have mobility challenges.

You must add in your travel time and I would forget Marrakech this time around. Do the Merzouga Sahara night in the desert and Fes Medina...add days... and you will be VERY happy.

I hope you are not planning this when it is hot though.

tizi001 Jan 14th, 2008 03:02 PM

As everybody agreed 4 days are not enough to visit the attraction places you mentioned I mean Dunes of merzouga and the pearl of the South Marrakech, as its almost 600 km between the tow places, therefore; ll be advisable if you ll extend your days in Morocco.
Check out the following website
Its owned by a knowledgeable berber guy that decend from the Sahara who can handle everything for you.
Have great stay in Morocco.

jenmaroc Jan 14th, 2008 11:35 PM

I personally dont like using tour companies (and thus cant really recomendone with first-hand knowledge) - but WTnow had a great experience with Les Nomades - so take her advice.

OK, here's my suggestions:
Go to the Spanish coast near Barcelona. Barcelona is a great town, good shopping, culture and nightlife..and near the beaches. Also a cool Salvador Dali museum in a small town nearby called Figueres.
From Girona (50-isj kms from Barcelona) you can fly Ryanair direct to Fes for virtually nothing. My cousins are doing this in February and their plane tickets cost 40 euros per person roundtrip.

The flight arrives in the evening, so spend that night in Fes (and another night if you'd actually like to see the medina).

Then head into the desert at Merzouga for a night, continuing down throught the desert road past the Dades and Todra Gorges to Marrakech.

You could either then take the train back to Fes to fly back to Barcelona...or possibly even fly direct from Marrakech back to Barcelona - with Ryanair or Easyjet.

That way, you could see the desert, Marrakech, Fes, and some scenery in between with about 6 days.

JourneyBeyondTravel Jan 15th, 2008 02:56 AM

I'd listen to the folks who say you need to extend your stay a bit longer. You can get around easily, but it would not be wise to run amok in a car the whole time. You have some good plans, but should consider what is most important to you and when. You can fly around Morocco pretty cheap too (if you do it early enough).

Hope this helps ya out.

ez4ucolo Jan 15th, 2008 07:18 PM

Thanks for all the great suggestions, I will look at the Spanish coast, the airline suggested and the travel company - I have women who have never traveled to Africa so I am trying to make sure we don't have too many issues. We are planning on going in May. Trying to coordinate multiple people's schedules is a killer so I hope you're not going to tell me it's a awful time to go...ok please tell me if it's a awful time to go, I would rather have a great time then go sooner.

ps. Soultraveler, I have already looked at your site and admire your adventurous nature, I'll email you later on how you pulled off traveling around the world & having enough time to enjoy it!

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