Morocco and Algeria or Tunisia

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Sep 11th, 2014, 10:12 PM
  #1
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Morocco and Algeria or Tunisia

Hi there,

Wondering if any Fodorite's been to Algeria or Tunisia recently? Planning on a trip to Morocco (traveling with a friend) and we were thinking of splitting our two weeks between Morocco and either Algeria or Tunisia. For practical (distance) reasons had been thinking of Algeria, but it seems like government advisory websites are giving blanket warnings about visiting these places. Although I acknowledge that the threats are real, blanket warnings are not helpful in the least in deciding whether to go visit a country or not, as high risk labels seem attached to countries/places we've been to in the last 6 months that have been perfectly fine (or at least of much lower risk than suggested). Obviously we're not planning to travel to areas of unrest.

The alternative would be to spend both weeks in Morocco.

Appreciate the input!
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Sep 11th, 2014, 10:36 PM
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Actually, was also wondering what everyone thinks about combining Morocco and Jordan? A bit more expensive, and I guess the flight's a bit more of travel time... but it would be a dream to see Petra.
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Sep 11th, 2014, 11:23 PM
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Hi oliveroliver,

Yesterday (Sept 11) brought back some vivid memories of THE Sept 11 for me, as I had flown from Morocco to Jordan the previous day to prepare for a tour I was guiding in Jordan and Syria. To be in Amman on the day of the tragic event is something I'll never forget. Interestingly, everyone I spoke to in Amman on that day - including a Palestinian woman who shared a taxi with me - were in total agreement that it was the work of a madman and had no relevance to being a Muslim.

But I digress.

Morocco and Algeria - I agree that the travel warnings for Algeria can be a tad overprotective, and that visiting the country could be a fascinating & safe experience for the 'normal' traveler. However, you must remember that the land border between Morocco and Algeria is closed (and has been since 1994).

Morocco and Tunisia - I greatly enjoyed my travels in Tunisia and found it to be a little bit like a 'mini' Morocco, with a swathe of interesting sights dotted around a relatively compact area.

Which brings me to my opinion, that if I were to harshly compare the three countries, I would say that you will experience 'enough' of the Maghreb - the culture, natural sights (deserts, mountains, coast), cuisine, shopping - by just visiting Morocco. My apologies to my Algerian and Tunisian friends.

So, with that in mind, now to look at two weeks in Morocco or splitting this time between Morocco and Jordan. To fully experience Morocco, I've always recommended a two-week visit that travels a round circuit from Casa-Rabat-Tangier-Chefchaouen-Fez-Meknes-Midelt-Merzouga-Todra Gorge-Ouarzazate (Ait ben Haddou)-Marrakech-Essaouira-Casa...or something like that. However, if I had to choose between this experience or shortening my stay in Morocco to allow for a visit to wonderful Jordan, I would choose the latter. Perhaps refine your round circuit in Morocco to include only Marrakech-Fez-Merzouga-Todra-Ouarzazate, and then jet off for a circuit in Jordan that includes Amman-Jerash-Dead Sea-Karak-Petra-Wadi Rum-Aqaba.

Admittedly it will be a bit of a squeeze to do these two (Morocco and Jordan) circuits within two weeks, considering the day/s lost to travel, but if you can manage it, then I say yellah! (go!).

Darren Humphrys
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Sep 12th, 2014, 09:20 AM
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You can easily spend all two weeks in Morocco. I think trying to spend a week in one country and a week in another is shortchanging both. However, if you really think you won't be back in this part of the world I might try to add Petra, which requires at least three nights/two full days. Forget Amman.
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Sep 14th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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I agree with the posts above, 2 weeks is barely enough time in Morocco. I don't think there's much to be gained by fragmenting your experience traveling to another N. African country, and a great deal to be gained by staying in Morocco.
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Feb 4th, 2015, 09:29 AM
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Hi guys, am re-bumping this topic back up as reach closer to trip dates! I might actually end up having three weeks, so will probably still go to Tunis. Any recommendations as to airline and port into Tunisia from Morocco?

Appreciate your detailed feedback Darren Especially as I have been trying to figure out where would be the best airport to arrive in Maroc. Probably Casablanca!
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Feb 9th, 2015, 12:34 AM
  #7
 
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Sallam 'lekum oliveroliver,
Exciting news that you're journey is approaching.
I would think that Casablanca-Tunis on Royal Air Maroc would be your best/most direct option to fly between the two countries. Marrakech or Casablanca would be your best/most accessible options for arriving in Morocco.
My most favorite memories of Tunis involved strolling along avenue Bourghiba and the central produce market, while I also enjoyed heading out to Carthage (it's advantageous to have some prior knowledge of Carthage and all that it was) and the pilgrimage village-cum-artist haven of Sidi Bou Said. I am a geography-phile (that's why we're called Compass Odyssey), so I made sure I kept travelling up to Bizerte and beyond to a barren, windy promontory that I deduced was the northern-most tip of Africa.
Happy travels,
Darren
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