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Jul 31st, 2011, 05:55 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Morocco

I'm travelling with my husband and 7 year old daughter for the first time to Morocco. We fly in and out of Casablanca from NYC. We're thinking of visiting Tangier and Marrekech. How long should we spend in each place and what is the best way to travel-by plane, train or car? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!
We're still comparing train/air travel, which doesn't seem to make sense. From Casablanca to Tangier train is 632 Dh/ 81 US per person; plane is 494 DH/ 61 US per person. From Tangier to Marrekech train is 980 Dh/ 125 US per person; by plane is 924 MAD (is that the same as Dh?) 118 US per person. Am I getting inaccurate figures or missing some kind of "fee" because it doesn't make sense that plane is cheaper than train?
Also, should I travel with US cash I get from here, travellers cheques, or rely on using my credit card and getting local currency from the ATM's there?
As far as medications, our family doctors have told us we dont need any vaccinations, but should we travel with any medicine in case of emergency?
My husband really wants to rent quads for us to ride outside the city, in the surrounding area/dessert. Has anyone done this? Is it safe? remember we have a 7 year old. It sounds fun, but how should we go about organizing this if it's a sensible excursion.
We travel every year to a new place from Israel, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Spain, Italy and Jamaica (where my husband is from).. we love adventure and learning about culture...

Wow, we're on the four day countdown to departure, is there anything else I haven't thought of to do before we go?
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Aug 1st, 2011, 03:17 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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seat61.com/Africa/Maroc

Prefer train nice cheap over flights nice ride

or driver/guide from $50 per half day boots on ground

thorugh my quality hotel

I travel with my no foreign fee fee capitalone.com Visa

Use it for everything ATM local currency as needed

from big banks only careful many scammers skimmers

recent "soft target" cafe bombing travel.state.gov

take precautions always get comp trip insurance most

recently from quotewright.com for $1 pppd PATRIOT for me

has saved me several times... tours of all types can be

organized there through reputable operators I own a quad

have never done one over there just Atlas trekking but might

be fun through a reputable operator...

mdtravelhealth.com for Maroc put a little Cipro & Pepto in

my medical kit for the Tangier 2 step to avoid those free

Loo tours that are so common over there careful with water

food especially buffets lukewarm food standing out for a

long time grows bacteria very well...

Travelers Diarrhea(Tourista) #1 cause of traveler disability

Bake it boil it peel it or LEAVE it!


Happy Travels
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Aug 1st, 2011, 05:27 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I agree, the train is a good way to go. Internal flights in Morocco involve flying via Casablanca and a lot of waiting around.
Don't bring travellers cheques - they're a pain to cash. There are plenty of ATMS for Visa and Mastercard, but AMEX isn't used much. You'll need to pay for most things in cash.
And yes, drink bottled water - it's available everywhere.
Have a great time!
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Aug 1st, 2011, 12:57 PM
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helenranger, I've heard that the ATM machines are not as reliable in Morocco as in other countries. Has this been your experience?
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Aug 1st, 2011, 01:30 PM
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I would skip Tangier in favor of Fez and Rabat.
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Aug 2nd, 2011, 01:19 PM
  #6
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Thanks everyone for the helpful advice! Much appreciated!
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 10:40 AM
  #7
 
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I like Tangier but considering it's in the opposite direction from Marrakesh I recommend you combine Marrakesh with Essaouira on the coast. From your accommodation in Marrakesh you can book a grand taxi for a very reasonable cost to drive you to Essaouira, about 3 hours. There are also comfortable buses if your budget dictates. It's a wonderful beach/fishing town on the Atlantic. You can stay in hotels, modest or luxury, in the medina and spend time in a place which retains a very authentic feel even though travelers have known about it for decades. It would give you an altogether different experience than you'd have visiting another large city.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 12:50 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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hire our guide, Naim Souhel to drive you everywhere.
Journey Beyond did a great job helping us plan our trip.
They arranged camels in the desert for us, but I am quite sure they can arrange quads for you.
use credit cards and ATMs. We used ATMs everywhere and had no problems. You need cash for most things.
Yes, if you are going to Marrakech, Tangier is in the opposite direction. We loved Fez. Great history & culture in Fez/Menkes/Marrakech.
Those Grand Taxis looked pretty old to me.
Drink bottled water; all the hotels offer it. Use judgement with salads and vendor stands (I do not do vendor stands at all)
Since you travel a lot, you must know it is wise to take the essential meds: aspirin, anti-diahhrea, antibiotics
For not much more than doing it yourself, you can engage Naim or Journey Beyond and have discussions about history, culture, current events.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 08:04 PM
  #9
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HELP! We are in a panic! After all my planning and packing, we've just realized my Husband (a Jamaican citizen) can't find his green card! He can't remember if they returned it to him from the Moroccan consulate here in NYC when he got his travel visa. So obviously we'll go there to check in the am, but if not our flight leaves JFK at 6:30. I've researched online what to do and read we need to go the USCIS office to file for a replacement card, which looks like it will take at least a week! I've also read that sometimes you can get a stamp, but not clear how to go about that. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Aug 6th, 2011, 04:40 AM
  #10
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Hello thank goodness, it all worked out. We got an emergency stamp in his passport and are now in Casablanca. What's the best way to organize a day trip to Fes from here? What would be the expected price? The train would be about 150 Dh one way for the three of us, which is abut 900 Dh for the three of us, then we're told it would be about 800 Dh to rent a driver for the day, total 1700 Dh plus taxi to and from the train station.... or our hotel offered to arrange a driver to take us from here for the day for 2500 Dh. Or does anyone have a better suggestion?

Also anyone can tell us of free wifi hotspots/cafes here in Casablanca or Marrekech?

Is it worth it to stay another day to see RAbat or should we head down to the Marrekech area for the remainder of our trip (1 1/2weeks)

Thanks for the inside tips, it makes all the difference! We're loving the food so far! The dried lamb (kahlil?) is my husbands favorite!
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Aug 7th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Its probably too late but I would definitely try and include Essaouria besides Marrakech. Its a fabulous town with great restaurants,shopping,fishing harbor and beautiful beaches.It has an old medina along with the town built within the ramparts. About a mile or so south of the town is the area with the infamous "goats in trees" which in olden days would climb the argan oil trees,eat the nuts and be hangin up in the trees-too funny to see.We spent 3 days there during Christmas last year and hated to leave.
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Aug 7th, 2011, 04:22 PM
  #12
 
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We rented a car the whole two weeks that we were there and had no problems either in the countryside,on the roads,etc. Casablanca was horrible to drive in with 6 lanes converging into 3 at times but if you are from a big city you should have no problem.
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Aug 10th, 2011, 04:04 PM
  #13
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We're actually just in Marrekech now from Casablanca and would love to take 4-5 day tour around the area like Essouaira, Agidir, perhaps the Atlas region.. my husband would love to rents quads... I don't expect our hotel is going to be able to offer us much in the way of help, after how they were with our check in today.. oh well..

So, any recommendations of how to set up a tour, where to go from here and how much we could expect to pay would be greatly appreciated! We're here in Marrekesh today the 10th until the 22nd when we fly from here back to NYC. I know my daughter will want a few days just lounging by the pool, which is fine with me.. but we also want to see the sights around the area and I gather checking out of this hotel.. the Meridien and touring around, staying at some authentic riads.. would really give us a better understanding of the culture. We're looking to spend less than the 600 Euros quoted us form another tour agency.

Any help is appreciated!

Nancy
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Aug 11th, 2011, 07:00 AM
  #14
 
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Twelve days in Marrakesh is way too long. If you're thinking desert (where else would you use quads?) you need more than a day trip and you need to go east- think Merzouga or Zagora. Don't you have a guide book?

These sites may help:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/morocco/places
http://www.roughguides.com/travel/af...t/morocco.aspx
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