Morocan Itinerary -- your thoughts please?

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Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:03 PM
  #1
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Morocan Itinerary -- your thoughts please?

This is the itinerary suggested by one car/driver group, after I asked to have it made a bit less driving. Any thoughts?

Day1: Fes - Azrou - Cedar Forest - Midlet - Errachidia. DBB
Day2: Errachidia - Ziz Valley - Erfoud- Merzouga. Overnight at Riad Nezha. DBB.
Day3/4 Merzouga area and the camel trek . Overnight with the nomads in the desert. DBB
Day5: Merzouga - Todra Gorge - Dades Valley. Overnight at Hotel Xalucadades. DBB
Day6ades Valley Boutaghrar Skoura Ouarzazat. Overnight at riad Dar Chamaa. DBB
Day7: Ouarzazat - Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah- Marrakech. Tour end.
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Mar 2nd, 2012, 09:00 PM
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This tour is good and simple, the most important is this you have mentioned in all of the this places said.
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 01:02 AM
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Sounds good, but we did Merzouga-Fes in a day, driving through the Ziz valley and cedar forests, with a stop at the ski resort of Irfane. It did make for a long drive but wasn't tiring at all. Re Rachidia isn't a very interesting place and you might like the extra day either a Fes, Merzouga or even Ouarzazate. Just a thought, you know best
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 05:22 AM
  #4
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Thanks! I'll be spending four days in Fez before beginning the tour, and five days in Marrakech at the end! I'm so excited!
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 05:45 AM
  #5
Ian
 
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Sounds good. Make sure that you read TOCanadaGAL's less than complimentary review on TA about Riad Nezha & her desert experience. It looks like her review of her tour with Around Morocco was deleted - again - suspiciously. You might want to PM her through the Trip Advisor forum. She was happy to send me a copy.

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserRe...-Merzouga.html

At this point, I am talking with Mark about a slower, different kind of tour.

Ian
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 06:09 AM
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Driving from Fez to Merzouga is so long 7 Hours driving at least, you'll take many stops on the way of the moyen atlas mountains, lunch and pictures stops will be more than 7 Hours. So it's better to divide it to 2 days but if it's Errachidia you'd better to continue to Merzouga in my opinion could be midway which is medilt or something around.
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 06:29 AM
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When I did roughly the same itinerary with Intrepid we broke the Fez-Merzouga drive with an overnight at Midelt. The trip itinerary says Fez to Midelt is five hours, and Midelt to Merzouga is five hours, but Midelt wasn't particularly interesting.

We also spent two nights in Tinerhir. While that's probably overdoing it, you should allow plenty of time for both gorges. Also, are you visiting Essaouira? I wasn't wowed by Marrakesh, and enjoyed resting up in Essaouira. BTW, my TR is here: http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...can-medley.cfm
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Errachidia is not at all interesting as an overnight stop. I'd spend more time around Ifrane/Azrou (springs/lakes/volcanoes/monkeys) then overnight at Midelt. If you like animals you could visit the local SPANA refuge (http://www.spana.org.ma/nous-contacter/centre-de-midelt). SPANA was originally formed by two English ladies in the 1920s or 30s. You can also visit the monastry which houses the only survivor of the Algerian massacre (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588337/).
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 03:42 PM
  #9
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Awesome thanks! Will go back through and check these things out. You all are fabulous.

Ian, yes I had read her review -- but there are quite a few others who had positive things to say... will email you privately.

TF
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 03:50 PM
  #10
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Oh -- here is the competing itinerary from Desert Majesty (who got good reviews from the very real Americans and French women with whom I spoke -- for quiet low-key travel -- just feel like there must be something in the middle lol.)

Perhaps this is leaving too much out?

What do you think about spending the two nights in the desert with a family? I feel that the desert is a good place to be spending extra time, but...

To clarify -- I am separately doing Fes, Marrakech and Essaouri, apart and in addition to this itinerary.

Ian, I was going to send this to you privately but am posting it for more of the wonderful help from the forum!

March 28th: Fes - Merzouga and night in the bivouac


March 29 and 30th: in the dunes and surrounding area spending two nights with a Berber nomad family


March 31st: Merzouga - Toudgha night in the gorges at www.darayour.com


April 1st: Toudgha - Dades and the night with a Berber family


April 2nd: Dades - Fint Oasis via nomads in their caves where you will stop for a glass of tea Fint is outside Ouarzazate and is hidden right amoung the mountains. It is an amazing village, with very dry mountains all round yet the sound of frogs as you approach!! This is a very typical Berber village from time immemorial apart from certain new developments such as telephones and electricity. You will stay here: moroccohomestay.com


April 3rd: drive to Marrakesh along the Ounila Valley and Ait ben Haddou and Telouet and then across Tizi-n-Tichka


I hope that this appeals to you. As I have said, it can be altered and a day added if you like!
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 03:54 PM
  #11
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Ooops. One more clarification -- I'm not all that interested in buildings and museums -- this trip is something of a mid-life/post-cancer sabatical so I'm looking for things that come from a different perspective, like the ways people live and the assumptions we make, more than anything else (tho I sure do plan to go shopping! Lol) I had originally planned to go to India, but my friend there just moved away and I just didn't have the cojones to go there by myself (older female). Maybe when my friend moves back in 5-6 years lol
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 04:30 PM
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That would be way too much desert time for me. I've now ridden camels in three different deserts, and find the experience uncomfortable. I also find seas of sand, like seas of water, boring, although the stars at night can be spectacular - try to avoid a full moon! I am also an introvert, and while I enjoy meeting "locals", two nights would be one too many for me.

I am an older, solo, female traveler, and have visited India twice, once for ten weeks and once for six, on my own. It can be done!
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Yes. I don't think we'd make good travel companions. nevertheless I think two nights will be too much for me too. But then again you don't really love Morocco all that much anyway (see, I do read your comments). I loved my one weekend there and can't wait to get back!

Would love comments from others...

thanks
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 05:10 PM
  #14
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TF

Go with the DM itinerary. It sounds like it would give you exactly what you are looking for. A safe adventure that would expose you to a completely different way of life.

Ian
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 05:19 PM
  #15
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Oops. I ignored the 3 nights in the desert. Yeah, that might be a bit too much. We were offered one night which I think would be enough for us.

Ian
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 05:34 PM
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You're right. I'm glad I visited Morocco, but I don't have a strong urge to go back. Next time I'm in that part of the world I want to visit Tunisia instead.

Of course, some people do love the desert. From "Adventure Capitalist": "It was impossible to imagine a more romantic place for a honeymoon". But they were in the middle of the Sahara, hundreds of miles from "civilization", not on a well-touristed fringe. If you want some down time for contemplation, fine, but can't you do that at home?
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Mar 3rd, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Thursdaysd!! i think you have experienced this several times in your life, but a first time visitor see the desert experience from another differ window which make it more exciting for her.
For me one night also would be full enough, for just watching the stars by night, watching the sunset/sunrise and riding the dromedary. But, what about if the tour has offered more things to do during that moment EGs: visiting nomads+ Quad Biking....in the desert, this must be interesting to add another day for.
What i realise is that you will go from Fez to Merzouga with an overnight in Errachidia, so instead of wasting time you can do Fez-Merzouga in one day, arriving merzouga during the evening time overnight in a Hotel there then second day get the desert activities that should your tour company offer to make your day brilliant, then ride dromedary afternoon.
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Mar 4th, 2012, 01:58 AM
  #18
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Isn't it interesting that the same person gets tired of the desert, but never of the stars? Do you think it is our body telling us to get the heck out of there? I don't know how I will feel in the desert. Perhaps nothing. Or panic. Or Thursday's "btdt" . But I know it will be a totally new and, if I give in to it, primitive experience. Getting in touch with the primal soul is a good thing from time to time. remembering that we are, in essence, primal animals...

One person wants to curl up at home to think, the other need a completely different environment to take her brain out of its trained patterns of the rat race -- well more than mere contemplation

And certaintly interesting that we all think we are solely correct.

Yet we come together and share none the less!

Good Sabbath

TF
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Mar 4th, 2012, 05:09 AM
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"And certaintly interesting that we all think we are solely correct."

What nonsense, I think nothing of the kind. Didn't you read: "Of course, some people do love the desert"?

Like everyone else here, I post my opinion. You're free to ignore it. Just as I ignore all those people who love cruising...
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Mar 4th, 2012, 11:20 AM
  #20
Ian
 
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Just to keep the tour conversation on track, here are my latest ideas for us:

Day 1 – Marrakech to Skoura via the lesser used Tiz n Outfi Pass with a side trip to out-of-the-way Megdaz. Maybe a further stop in remote Ait Hamza for carpet weavers . . .
Hotel: Sawadi or Les Jardins de Skoura . (2 nights)

Day 2 – Rest day. Start late, walk the palmeraie. Sit poolside. Maybe take a few hours to visit Kelaat M’Gouna & the roses.

Day 3 – Drive to Foum Zquid via Tazenackt or vicinity to see carpet co-op weavers in their homes – if we can arrange something.

From Foum Zquid, we drive off-road to Erg Chegaga for a night in the desert. Either a bivouac or with Berbers in a tent.

Day 4 – Camel ride (ya gotta do it once). Off-road to M’hamid de Ghizlane & drive to Agdz. Along the way, hopefully go off-road to see the petroglyphs near Tinzouline (if we can find them since info is so scarce).
Hotel: Kasbah Azul in Agdz. (2 nights)

Day 5 – Relax. Wander the town. Visit the rundown kasbahs. Eat in a local dive. Sit poolside.

Day 6 – Return Marrakech via Ait Ben Haddou & Telouet & the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass.

You will notice that I have skipped stops at Dades, Todra, Quarzazate, Merzouga, Zagora – all of the usual suspects. We will see our share of mountains & gorges I am sure & we will have the desert experience but in the less-accessible Chegaga. The pace is much slower with 2 rest days so we can actually holiday on our holiday. I would prefer to self-tour via a rental but my spouse has said no. So, some sort of tour is mandatory since the bus option is not going to fly. I researched & we talked & discussed all of the potential spots in Morocco & the High Atlas/Anti Atlas area won with a Marrakech sandwich to show us the city life. And we follow Morocco with 5 nights in Paris.

I have it out for some quotes now.

Ian
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