Morocco in October 2015

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Aug 14th, 2015, 11:33 PM
  #1
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Morocco in October 2015

My wife and I, from California are planning a trip to Morocco for the first time in the beginning of October. We will be in Lisbon,Portugal and are planning to fly into Morocco for 9 nights and fly back to California form there. The following are some of the questions I have for which I would appreciate your response:
1. We are thinking of spending 4 nights in Marrakesh, 3 nights in Fez, and 2 nights in Rabat. Are these cities good choices or should we drop/add a city?
2. The side trips we are planning are- From Marrakesh to Essaouira and Zagora for camel ride to the desert. From Fez to Volubilis and Meknes. From Rabat to Casablanca. Are these good choices?
3. Which city should we fly into Morocco and which city should we leave to California.
4. How do we travel between the cities and do the side trips? By train, air, buses, taxies, or rental car? We are thinking of renting a car for the ease of moving around. Is it safe to drive in Morocco? I understand the driving is Left-hand drive like the US.
5. What kind of accommodation should we look for- Riads, hotels, or apartments thru Air B&B? Are there any local sites for renting apartments or houses? Should we plan to stay in Medina/ city center area or Ville Nouvelle area?
6. Any tips or percussions for us as a traveler for the first time in Morocco?
I would sure appreciate your comments on this subject.
Thanks,
Only Travel
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Aug 15th, 2015, 12:02 PM
  #2
 
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if you can fly into fes I suggest
3-fes
3-kesh
2-essaouira
1-casablanca

fes day trips
volubolis mouley idress
menkes
kesh day trips
imlil, guirlane
atlas mountians
essaouira you can ride camels and atv's on the beach and just get back to casa for the 2:00 tour at the grand Hassan 2nd mosque hyatt regency is right there you can just hang by the pool and enjoy sleep and leave the next day. in fes and kesh you must stay at riads very inexpensive and I picked the hyatt for casa beause it is generic but you know what your getting. either way safe travels and zagora is 4 1/2 -5 hours away since your time is so short I would skip that until the next time

regards

wlke
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Aug 15th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Not sure what your choices might be flying from Lisbon to Morocco, but your return to CA will be out of Casa. Rabat is a good first city to visit, but I wouldn't make Casa is day trip from there. Save that for your departure as has been suggested.
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Aug 15th, 2015, 10:31 PM
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Thanks WLKE and Bedar for your comments.
1. Can you please suggest the best way of transportation between the destinations. We are considering renting a car. That means we rent a car when we fly into Fes. Do the side trips in the rental car and then as you are suggesting drive to Kesh.
2. Do you suggest driving from Fes to Kesh via Khenifra and Beni Mellal? I suppose this will take 7 to 8 hours. Should we spend time in Atlas Mountain area on this trip to Kesh?
3.I suppose Imlil is in Toubkal National Park. I can't find Guirlane in my book! What are the significance of these sides trips?
4.The other alternate rout from Fes to Kesh can be via Atlantic rout and spend a night in Casa, 2 nights in Essaouira, and the get to Kesh for last 3 nights. And fly for Kesh to CA. Any comments on these two alternate routs from inland or Atlantic between Fes to Kesh?
5. Which area should we find Riads in Fes and Kesh- old town in the city center or in the out skirts in the newer area? Is parking a rental car going to be an issue in Fes and Kesh?
Sure appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Thanks,
Only Travel
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Aug 16th, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #5
 
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the trains in morocco are cheap and very efficient, for route you have to fly out of casa to get to ca unless connecting somewhere else. and I'm not sure what type of budget you have in mind, with that said I would skip the car to eliminate that stress fes to kesh is 7/1'2 hours yes it goes through casa but I would say leave casa to unwind until the end. and forgive my spelling it's OUIRLANE! if is within your budget having a guide set up by your riad will allow you to just enjoy and you will get so much more information. stay in the medinas of fes and kesh all riads will be under $200 per night u.s. just go on trip advisor and make a selection according to your taste and budget I don't think I'm allowed to suggest specific riads or guides on this forum if someone could answer that I will let you know my suggestions


regards

wlke
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Aug 16th, 2015, 10:56 AM
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The roads, both of them, between Fes and Marrakesh are not interesting. Much better to take the train and relax.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 05:38 PM
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It could be useful to continue on the thread you started earlier and build on the information, rather than start over:

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ll-of-2015.cfm
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Aug 17th, 2015, 02:37 AM
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My advice is to spend 3 days 2 nights in both Marrakech and Fes, it's enough and visit other places and it's better to visit Merzouga desert then Zagora's desert.
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Aug 17th, 2015, 02:38 AM
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and the only thing you need to be cautious of is common sense and self awareness, morocco is as safe as anywhere else, you just should be aware of people trying to help you to your riad , they expect to be paid
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Aug 17th, 2015, 11:22 PM
  #10
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Wlke-I would sure appreciate any suggestions you may have on Riads and Guides in Fes and Kesh. People have suggested names before on my other travels in this Fodor's forums. If I understand right what you are suggesting is for side trips from Fes and Kesh use tour guides.

Bedar- We will consider taking trains rather then a rental car.

MemePerdue- With your comments on the first thread you gave me a good idea of how to design our trip to Morocco so I thought of starting a new thread. Let us please stay with this thread now and do make your comments and suggestions. You have been quite helpful.

Marcusmania- Three nights will be needed in Fes and Kesh because there are two side trips from both the cities.
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Aug 19th, 2015, 04:09 AM
  #11
 
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fes-riad laaroussa
kesh-riad kheirredine
essaouira-riad malaika

and use the trains and agree with 3 nights in fes and kesh because of side trips don't rush!
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Aug 19th, 2015, 10:44 PM
  #12
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WLKE- Thanks.I will look into these Riads. I assume you have stayed at these Riads. I also assume they are in Medinas.
Any recommendation for tour guides in Fes and Kesh?
Do we need to reserve the train travel in advance or just do it when we are in Fes and Kesh?
What are the must try national authentic food dishes?
Really excited about visiting Morocco.
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Aug 20th, 2015, 03:02 PM
  #13
 
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Having lived in Morocco for two years, my perspective is a bit different, but I could offer some advice. As others have said, skip Casablanca. Essouira is a definite must. In Fes and Kesh, stay in the medina. (Riad Salama is my favorite in Fes). Otherwise you will be taking taxis back and forth to your hotel and will invariably get ripped off, especially in Kesh. Always ask the drivers to use their meters. If they refuse, walk a block or two, especially away from the train stations, to hail another. There are plenty of taxis in the cities.

In Fes, my favorite activity was to sit at an open cafe just inside Bab Boujloud to the left, order a coffee and watch the amazing stream of humanity and animals coming and going through the gates. Don't be intimidated by local places. They may be full of men, but are generally polite to foreigners, and the prices are a fraction of those catering to tourists.

Between cities, I would take the train. It's worth it to go first class to have assigned seats and aircon. Just buy your tickets at the station. Know that Moroccans generally don't pay attention to seat assignments, but will move out of your seats if asked. For your side trips, a car and driver arranged through your Riad would be my recommendation. The highways are good and safe but don't think of driving in the cities, and parking is impossible. Another post suggested grand taxis as a transportation option between cities, but if you don't know the ropes, it's not a great way to travel, plus they wait until they are full (6 passengers plus a driver) before they leave.

The best food in Morocco is served in private homes. If you get an invitation to dinner, go.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 12:21 AM
  #14
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RPCVKB,
Thank you for your very helpful insight into the itinerary.
1. Any suggestion for a Riad in Kesh.
2.Although we will skip Casablanca but as I understand from other post we have to fly out of Casablanca to California. Is this correct?
3.From Fes should we also go visit Chefchaourn?
4.What side trips you would recommend for Kesh. Is a trip to
Merzouga to far to spend a day?
Thnaks,
Ketan
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Aug 21st, 2015, 09:18 AM
  #15
 
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Have a look at the Telegraph's travel section. The other day there was an article on hotels and riads in Marrakesh. Chaouen is a 4 hr. drive from Fes. Not much to see there. Leaving from Casa, you go directly on to JFK and then on to CA.
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Aug 21st, 2015, 09:56 AM
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Most long-haul flights are from Casa but you need not go via JFK. There are plenty going through Heathrow, for instance, and likely other airports in Europe that have direct flights to CA. Unless you plan to fly Royal Air Maroc, last time I looked, and always the most expensive.
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Sep 1st, 2015, 11:51 PM
  #17
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Beny- Any recommendation for Riad in Fas?
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Sep 2nd, 2015, 07:24 AM
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riad laaroussa check the reviews on trip advisor
would be interested to know your finalized itinerary
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Sep 3rd, 2015, 01:10 AM
  #19
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Ok, will let you guys know our final itinerary soon.
Figuring out how to fly from Lisbon to Fas. It appears no direct flights from Lisbon to Fas! May have to fly to Kesh first. Otherwise the plan was to fly to Fas from Lisbon. Spend 3 nights in Fas, 4 nights in Kesh, 1 night in Essaouira, and last night in Casablanca to fly back to California. Your comments are appreciated on this itinerary and the side trips from Fas and Kesh. Currently from Fas trips to Volubolis Mouley Idress and Menkes. And from Kesh to Imlil and Ouirlane. Dont know whether we have time to do desert and camel ride. Got to finalize Riads in Fas and Kesh soon. Also need to finalize whether to travel by trains between the cities or rent a car.
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Sep 3rd, 2015, 07:09 AM
  #20
 
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Try spelling it Fes or Fez (not Fas, assuming it's Fes you want).
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