Notices

Morocco 6 days Itinerary..Need Help

Reply

Aug 14th, 2016, 02:10 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
Morocco 6 days Itinerary..Need Help

Arriving into Marrakech on December 22 at around 1pm. Departing Dec. 27 or 28. Have never been to Morocco so not sure if we are planning correctly in terms of number of days.

Dec 22: Arrive 1pm in Marrakech. Jet-leg, relax, walk around
Dec 23: Walking tour of Marrakech, palaces, museums, gardens, free time to walk around
Dec 24: Day Trip to Vallee D'Ourika/Atlas Mountains with hike then late lunch in Kasbah Tamadot
Dec 25: Marrakech food tour, markets/shopping, walk around
Dec 26: Ouarzazat/Ait Benhoddou/Berber Villages day trip..long day
Dec 27: Option 1 - free day. Option 2 - Afternoon flight out from Casablanca Airport
Dec 28: With option 2, we can fly out of Marrakech airport on afternoon flight

I am leaning on leaving Dec 27. We could also consider adding another stop..but not sure we have enough time. Doing another 3-4hr one way day trip from Marrakech sounds exhausting as we are already doing 2. On the other hand, flying out of Marrakech airport is much easier than flying out of Casablanca the day before.

Thanks for any suggestions
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 14th, 2016, 02:53 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 716
You don't explain how you magically get from Marrakech to Casa for an afternoon flight but if you take that option, your entire day is shot and you have travelled, I assume a long ways to Morocco for only 4 days of actual ground time. Why would you want to leave on the 27th? I consider either giving the 27th to Marrakech to see the Saadian tombs, Djemma el Fna, etc. or if you cover the key Marrakech sites in your walking tour, then perhaps a day trip to Essaouira which is only 2 hours by bus.
MinnBeef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 15th, 2016, 07:52 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
I assumed that I can arrange a taxi/transfer from Marrakech to Casa Airport (around 2hrs). Essaouira is only 2hrs away? I thought it was around 4hrs. I am very much open to staying in Morocco longer 1 day doesnt allow us to go to an extra location like Fez..so not sure there is much more to do in Marrakech.
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 15th, 2016, 02:24 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,080
"...not sure there is much more to do in Marrakech."

An observation based on your proposed itinerary and the assumption above. I suggest you not go to Morocco. The time you seem willing to devote to one of the most beautiful places on Earth isn't worth the expense & bother to get there. Failing enough interest to discover that Marrakech might entertain you for more than 2 days leads me to believe you'd be better off spending these few days elsewhere.

If the recent threads on your profile are any indication of intent, I suggest adding the days to another part of your trip and save Morocco for a time when it interests you more, if ever.
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 05:22 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
Thats not very helpful
We already have flights and hotel booked in Marrakech. Because we are still a good 4+ months out, I have not done enough research hense why I am asking here what other things are interesting to explore in The city if we were to stay longer.
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 06:12 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 105
Unfortunately there are no magic carpets in Morocco and travel over mountain roads is painfully slow. With restricted winter daylight hours, the 24th plan isn't viable. Just the road journey Marrakech - Ourika - Imlil - Marrakech takes over four hours of driving. How are you also going to fit in time in Ourika, a hike, plus lunch?

The Ait Benhaddou daytrip on 26th is about nine hours of driving. Moroccan roads are extremely dangerous at night. These are the switchbacks you'll be going over (and again on the return): http://www.morocco-knowledgebase.net...s/c15029-8.jpg

These trips would be better done as overnights, but as you say you've already booked hotels. That's never a good idea before doing research.
TimCullis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 06:49 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 716
"I have not done enough research hense why I am asking here what other things are interesting to explore in The city if we were to stay longer."

I think what I and the other are recommending is that you do more research and then come back to us with an updated itinerary. Odds are that you can cancel hotel reservations up to 14 days out with no penalty, so you have time to re-work your itinerary. Since you reference jet lag on your first day, I'm assuming you are arriving from either North America, Asia or Oceania. Assuming you stay in Morocco on the 27th (which you should) that gives you 5 full days on the ground. With that, you could do 3 full days in Marrakech (+ the 1/2 day on the day you arrive), leaving you 2 full days for an overnight trip. I enjoyed my day trip to the Ourika Valley but loved my 2 nights in Essaouira. But my point is you need to decide what interests you--not what the rest of us found interesting as a substitute for your own research. Please come back with a slightly re-worked itinerary that gives you 5 full days on the ground and we'd be happy to provide further input.
MinnBeef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 02:22 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
So originally, I planned to do 2-3 days in Marrakech and then do a 3-4 day trek to Ouarzazat, the gorges and on to the Sahara. Unfortunately, I was talked out of going to the Sahara due to the time of year. So then I thought, Marrakech is an awesome city so why don't I just stay there and do day trips from there. I contacted the hotel and they advised that I can do a private day trip to Ouarzazat/Ait Ben and that it takes about 4hrs each way. I honestly dont love the idea of spending so much time in a car in one day but I REALLY want to see Ait Benhoddou. It looks magical. I don't particularly care for the movie studios in Ouarzazat. According to the hotel, Vallee D'Ourika and Setti Fatma is an hour away so they suggested that I can do that + hike + lunch at Kasbah Tamadot in one day. You have convinced me that I was stupid for thinking that cutting a day is a good idea so we are now staying through the 28th and yes hotel is cancelable. What interests us is beautiful scenery, cultural activities, great food, historical settings, markets. We like personalized walking tours and just doing our own exploring but are not into running around checking things off. Definitely hate organized bus tours.

As you say, I have 5 full days and one half day. Would you recommend I do the following:
Day 1,2,3,4 - Marrakech including 1 day trip to D'oureka Valley/Setti Fatma
Day 5-6 - I am flexible. Option 1) Essaouira Option 2) More Marrakech and day trip to Ait Option 3) Ait/Ourzazat overnight in Ourz, return to Marrakech
Day 7 - flight out of Marrakech at 2pm

I feel like I would be really sad to miss Ait Benhouddou
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 02:26 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
We are coming from NYC and returning home from Lisbon on January 2. We are fairly flexible but would like to save the last few days + partying it up for NYE in Lisbon.
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 02:41 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,080
Do you realize that Aït Ben Haddou is not a "living" place? Pretty much a movie set with just a handful of residents. It is pretty, no doubt, but there are other ksars that are functioning places that might be more rewarding, although maybe farther from Marrakech and not practical for you this trip. It's been many years since I visited the area and others here might give you alternatives. I won't try to discourage you from visiting but if you feel you may return, consider spending a couple of nights in Essaouira this time, then return another time and do some comprehensive exploring south & east of Marrakech.

Another possibility might be to spend a night in Essaouira, then continue on to Taroudant, I think nicer & fewer tourists than Ouarzazate, for another night before returning to Marrakech.
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 03:04 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
Arrghh..I have to pick between Essaouira and Ait/Ouarzazate . I already thought of adding another day and leaving on the 29th but still seems silly as the 2 places are in opposite directions. I also read that the weather in Essa may not be that great in late December as it may be quite chilly and windy vs. Marrakech/Ouarzazate. Not sure this is accurate though as weather is unpredictable.
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 17th, 2016, 03:24 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,080
Weather in December is not reliable anywhere and low temps are actually colder in Marrakech. The wind can be a factor, as you say, why Essaouira is known for windsurfing. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage listed city.

http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/w...-Haouz-Morocco

http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/w...-Haouz-Morocco
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 07:13 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 716
I think your latest agenda looks really good. If you really want to go to Ait/Ourzazat, then you should go. In the end, it's your trip and you and your traveling companion are the ones who have to be happy. Those of us here can provide perspective such as weather, travel time and other things to consider, but you should go where you want to go after taking all of that into account. While I did not go to Ait and Ourzazat, I vote for staying overnight, both to maximize your time there as well as for a change of scenery from Marrakech. You'll enjoy the Ourika Valley and Setti Fatma (I climbed it with my guide. It's moderately challenging--have good hiking boot. Many large, sometimes slippery rocks to navigate as well as warm clothing) Ourika will obviously be chiller for you in late Dec. than it was for me in mid-April.

No matter what, I'm sure you will have a great time and you'll be there just long enough to probably whet your appetite to return to Morocco for 2 weeks to see Fes, Chefchouen, Essaouira, Volubils, etc.
MinnBeef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 11:25 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
You guys convinced me to spend a night outside of Marrakech for a change of scenery . Now I just have to decide where. Essaouira looks like a better choice for restaurants/setting/atmosphere/vibe. Ouarzazate has Ait..which I have been obsessing about... Essa os also closer. According to the hotel, about 2:15-2:30hrs..vs 4+ to Ouarzazate. Less time in the car means more time to explore. Strictly speaking of scenery..which would you consider more beautiful and unique to someone who has never been to Morocco?
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 11:39 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,080
Ouarzazate has more in common with Marrakech, although obviously very much smaller. Essaouira is a fishing port with adjacent medina so opportunities for different food as well as esthetically very different.
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 12:53 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 716
I loved Essaouira. Good restaurants and fun shopping, particularly for thuya wood products and pottery. Extremely photogenic--especially the classic shot of the medina and ramparts from down at the port. I'm sure it will be chilly in late Dec. but I can't imagine if wouldn't be warmer than where you are in NYC. Access to walking on the ramparts was closed when I was there in April but might be open should you go there in December.
MinnBeef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 12:55 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
If I do skip Ait Benh..are there any similar (perhaps smaller) type kasbahs closer to Marrakech? Or perhaps in D'Ourika?
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 01:24 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,080
Generally speaking, the ksars & kasbahs out in the countryside are in farming areas and there isn't really much to do, maybe take a walk through the alfalfa fields, take some pictures, get harassed for money by a pack of kids and that's about it. Ait Ben Haddou has been used for lots of movies so better maintained for the purpose with a restaurant just across the river, but really, not much to do there either.

If you had several days to devote to the area it would make much more sense to tour the region, the mountains & farming valleys with a night or 2 in various pretty spots that have a hotel or 2 for accommodating visitors passing through.

Essaouira, on the other hand, is a vibrant good-sized town, lots of hotels & riads for any budget, good restaurants, Place Moulay Hassan with cafes all around to sit & people watch, traditional souks such as the gold souk, smaller & easier to negotiate than Marrakech's, the ramparts, a medina small enough to not get too lost and big enough for plenty of interest, the port & boats & fish to eat, you get the drift.
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 02:31 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
I think you have sold me in!
Thank You!
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 18th, 2016, 03:45 PM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
Any reco's on hotel in Essa?
And, since I now have 2 full days. Should I...
Option A:
Day 5: Leave Marrakech early and spend all day and night in Essa
Day 6: All day and night in Essa
Day 7: Leave early AM to Marrakech airport to catch a 2pm flight

Option B:
Day 5: Leave Marrakech early and spend all day and night in Essa
Day 6: All day in Essa, 4pm head back to Marrakech
Day 7: Lasts minute shipping/relaxing before 2pm flight

Option B allows us to leave most of our bags in the Marrakech hotel and not have to carry them to Essa.
SShprints is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:22 AM.