Morocco in March - need to plan ahead?

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Feb 4th, 2006, 08:15 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Morocco in March - need to plan ahead?

Hi,

I am travelling to Morocco in March with my husband and two other couples. We have a rough idea of where we want to go (Marrakech, Fes, Essouiara, Sahara). We will be there for 10 days, flying in and out of Casablanca.

I have two questions:

1. Any thoughts on an itinerary? Does it make sense to start in Marrakech (train from Casablanca)?
2. Do we need to book places in advance or is it possible to find a room when we arrive?

Thanks in advance!
MayaC is offline  
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Feb 4th, 2006, 10:50 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 223
That's quite a bit of ground to cover in 10 days! Do you have your own car??

To cover everything you mentioned, your itinerary would look roughly like this:
Day 1: arrive, take train immediately to Marrakech (4 hours)
Day 2: Marrakech
Day 3: Marrakech
Day 4: Bus / Taxi to Essaouira (3 hours), night in Essaouira
Day 5: bus / taxi to Marrakech (3 hours), change to bus / taxi to the desert. Night somewhere en route.
Day 6: Whole day driving towards Rissani / Sahara
Day 7: Ealy morning departure for Fes (8-10 hrs) Arrive late.
Day 8: Fes
Day 9: Fes - train to Casablanca
Day 10: depart

With an itinerary like that, you'll spend over half your time in transit - not very relaxing. I did roughly that same trip four years ago with two weeks and our own car - and it still felt rushed. Distances are deceptively large between towns. Even the train from Marrakech to Fes(which does not have to stop for slow vehicles or wind through mountain passes) takes 8 hours.

Two suggestions: dont try to see anything in Casablanca - its a charmless city and evern the big mosque does not justify any of your limited time.

Second, forget Essaouira. You'll only have to double back on yourselves and you'd have less than 24 hours there. Its a peaceful charming village, but not a "must-see." You can use this extra day en route from Marrakech to Fes (via the desert at Merzouga). The drive is beautiful and there are numerous villages and kasbahs along the way that are worth a visit.

Should you book hotels in advance? Well, that depends on what you're looking for. You will be able to find rooms, but they may not be to your tastes or budget. I would recommend making bookings. March is high season in Morocco, and I know that hotels here in Fes are already getting reservations for that period.
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Feb 8th, 2006, 06:19 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 66
I have done your trip in 10 days and will do it again in April with a small group of friends.....I would highly recommend getting in touch with John at Xoticdestinations.com.....he arranged a driver for us along with making reservations...that is highly recommended...he finds the most interesting riads to stay in to meet your budget...will give you plenty of options, based on your budget...our trip was fabulous...we still talk about it...our driver was a great companion and made everything so easy for us, we were able to cover a lot of territory without any mishaps....an overnight stay in the desert in your own private bedouin camp is something you will never forget...just fabulous...with a sunrise camel ride with just your little group....John will be so helpful to you...he can help with as little or as much as you want...and he gets ailine tickets at a big discount because he deals in bulk...give it a try........for that many people going together, it is worth it to have some organization rather than...so what are we doing now?
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