Morocco (plus Portugal/Spain?) Help!

Jul 8th, 2008, 06:16 AM
  #1  
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Morocco (plus Portugal/Spain?) Help!

Help!

My wife and I are currently starting to plan our annual fall vacation. Usually, we take around 2 weeks. We're pretty flexible, like to hike (and other outdoor activities), sightsee, eat, etc. We have no problems with B&B's, self-drives (have done this in places like Iceland, South Africa, New Zealand). We're not big on group tours, buses, etc.

We're considering Morocco and have a few (OK, more than a few questions).

1) Would you recommend driving around Morocco? I see various reviews of the road system (can't be worse than parts of Iceland) and safety.

2) Should we consider two weeks in Morocco? A week in Morocco and a week in Spain/Portugal? Something in between?

3) If you do both Europe and Morocco, can you take a rental car between the two on the ferry? Does this even make sense to do?

Any thoughts on itineraries, activities, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Alan
astein12 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2008, 08:27 AM
  #2  
 
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Driving around Morocco is OK. I think your big decision on how long to stay depends on if you decide to go into the Sahara or not.

In one week you can do the cities...Marakesh, Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes and Fes.

However, if you want to see the cities AND the desert, I dont think you can do it in less than 12 days.

For me, the desert was the highlight of the trip so I would recommend you go for it.

Also, if money is no object, you could fly into Spain or Portugal and save all that time.
NJriverchick is offline  
Jul 8th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Hi Alan:

I can't answer your questions from experience, but I can share our somewhat similar planned trip itinerary for this fall. We will visit Portugal and Morocco, total trip is for 18 days. We have been to Portugal before (Lisbon and Algarve), but we have not been to Morocco.

We're spending 9 days in Portugal and 8 in Morocco. My itinerary has us flying transatlantic into Madrid (we used FF for this). I purchased two open jaw r/t tickets on Iberia to cover our European and North African travel, we are flying from Madrid to Porto on our arrival day and Lisbon to Madrid 9 days later. That same day, we're connecting on a Madrid-Marrakech flight, then flying back from Fez to Madrid 8 days later, which will be a day before our return flight to the US.

I couldn't find any reasonable way to rent a car and move it from Portugal to Morocco, perhaps someone else has a lead on this.

Itinerary wise, for Portugal we're planning 2 days in Porto followed by renting a car for 4 days to drive through the Douro valley and central Portugal, ending with 3 days in Lisbon.

In Morocco, we'll spend a day in Marrakech, then rent a car for 4 days traveling out through the high
Atlas, the desert, ending with 3 days in Fes.

This seemed the best way to us to have some mobility in the interesting rural areas of these countries while not having a rental car in places like Lisbon or Fes where they are useless.

Good luck with your plans!

mt
maytraveller is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 09:55 AM
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I'm a bit partial b/c I fell in love with Morocco last year and haven't yet been to Spain, but I'd highly recommend just going to Morocco - there is so much to see and do and it is such a wonderful country that even 2 weeks is almost not enough!

In terms of driving in Morocco, yes, not a problem though in the cities its pretty hectic - was a bit of a surprise to me on my first trip to North Africa ... to see folks driving so close and creating 5 lanes when striped for only 3. By my second trip to N Africa, i was ready and instead of being worried, sat back and enjoyed the symphony.

On the other hand, if you don't need to drive, i'd skip it and just use the train system. it was very inexpensive - i think it cost about $13 from Rabat to Marrkesh. When in town, we just walked or caught one of the many cabs around town - very inexpensive.

Morocco is a beautiful country with a wide variety of things to do. I'd schedule a flight to Casablanca and then from there definitely recommend going to Marrakesh - only a couple hours train ride from Casa. From there you can visit the relaxing Essaouira or take a bus to Ouarzazate and stay overnight in the Sahara. Asilah in the north of the country is relaxing and gorgeous and a cab ride to Larache to see some roman ruins and visit the beach was a wonderful experience for us.

Anywhere you go in Morocco will be amazing and provide you with lots of breathtaking scenery, wonderful memories, and unbelievable tastes and smells that will have you asking for more.



akashagrrl is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 08:09 AM
  #5  
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Thanks all for the info... I'm doing a lot of reading and will be back with more questions!
astein12 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 12:09 PM
  #6  
dmlove
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We drove the Tangiers-Fez-Meknes-Rabat-Casablance-Marrakech (with side trip to Imlil) route 25+ years ago, and at that time, the roads in Morocco were quite a bit better than the roads in Portugal outside the cities (same trip). We also did 2+ weeks - 1 week in Portugal (Lisbon, Evora, Sagres, Faro), a few days in Spain (Sevilla and Jerez), and a week in Morocco. The trip was fantastic! We didn't get into the Sahara however (didn't go south of Marrakech).
 
Jul 24th, 2008, 01:54 PM
  #7  
 
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astein:


Here are some pre-digital pix (scanned) that may whet your appetite for an indescribable Morocco...I've included a map to give you an idea of what you can cover in rwo weeks...not in one.

Don't couple it with Portugal or Spain...it deserves all of your time and attention, IMO. Driving is easy..roads are OK...plenty of petrol.

Write if you wish..but I'll be following your thread.


http://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Morroco

stu t.
[email protected]


tower is offline  

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