Morocco Trip End of April - itinerary help please!

Dec 29th, 2016, 07:09 PM
  #1  
CFW
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Morocco Trip End of April - itinerary help please!

Planning our first trip to Morocco and have most of it sorted out, but had a few questions. We're fly to Lisbon, spending a few days there and then flying to Casablanca. Here's the tentative itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive Casablanca. 3:30 p.m. (TAP). Enough time to get luggage and Visit Hassan II Mosque? or stay overnight in Casa and visit Hassan II mosque in a.m.? Alternatively, we can arrive in Casa the next day at 11:30 on a Royal Air Maroc flight, go to Hassan II Mosque from the airport (with luggage?), and then to either Rabat or Meknes for 2 night stay. Which do you think is better?

Day 2 & 3 - Visit Rabat & Meknes. 2 nights in Rabat with visit to Mekns or 2 nights in Meknes with visit to Rabat? Do not want to do 1 night each as it's too much packing and unpacking.

Day 4 - train or taxi to Fez
Day 5, 6 - Fez

Day 7, 8, 9. 10 - Trip to Erg Chebbi with Desert Majesty. Overnight on the way, 1 night in luxury tent camp in Erg Chebbi (which one do you recommend - Bouchedor, Desert Luxury Camp, or Caravanserai?), and two nights on the way back to Marrakech.

Day 11, 12, 13 - Marrakech

Day 14, 15 - Essaouira

Day 16 - Marakech overnight for flight to Lisbon next a.m.

The portion of our trip from Fez on is fairly settled, but I'm still trying to figure out the first few days before arriving in Fez.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
CFW is offline  
Dec 30th, 2016, 03:12 AM
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It depends on your goal behind your visit to Casablanca because it has been predominantly confirmed that the highly recommended attraction one should visit is Hassan II. Find below the recent updates regarding the scheduled tours of the Mosque.

Sat-Thu: 10 am, 11 am, 12 am, 3 pm, 4 pm (there used to be a 2 pm tour but not anymore)
- Fri: same as above except 12 am
- Admission: 120DH/ 60DH reduced
- Tour takes c. 40mins

I would rather visit the Mosque and head to Rabat by train. The nearest train station to the Mosque is Casa Port and you can book your train tickets upon arrival to Casablanca Airport (link www.oncf.ma)
Medsoul is offline  
Dec 30th, 2016, 08:29 AM
  #3  
CFW
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Thanks for information about the hours. I think we will go directly to Rabat from the airport in Casablanca. We will be staying in Villa Mandarine about 10 minutes drive outside the city of Rabat. Any suggestions about transport from Casablanca airport to the hotel? Also, are sites/shops/restaurants open on closed in Rabat on Sundays? I have heard that even though Friday is the day of worship in Morocco many things are closed on Sundays. Thanks for any info and suggestions.
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Dec 30th, 2016, 10:08 PM
  #4  
CFW
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Another question -- are two full days in Fez enough to see all the sites and do a little shopping? We are definitely not interested in rugs....
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Dec 31st, 2016, 05:38 AM
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More days in Fes would certainly be more worthwhile than all those days to and from a "luxury tent camp". Unless there's something in particular you want to see on the road that you don't mention.
MmePerdu is offline  
Dec 31st, 2016, 12:53 PM
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I would not miss seeing the Hassan II mosque. It is absolutely stunning, with it's huge minaret, it's green roof and sitting right there on the Atlantic ocean. While there's nothing else to really see IMO in Casablanca, to skip the Hassan II would be a shame. Remember, it's the only mosque in Morocco that non-Muslims are allowed to enter.
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Dec 31st, 2016, 05:59 PM
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Agree with Mme. Perdu--that's a LOT of nights out in the desert. I skipped any type of desert tour for just that reason and don't feel like I missed anything. If you must, you must but I'd try and find a well rated outfit (ever heard of Trip Advisor) that gets you in and out of there in 2 or no more than 3 nights.)
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Jan 1st, 2017, 04:44 AM
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I have never been there
IKone152 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2017, 07:05 PM
  #9  
CFW
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Thanks for replies. For many, the desert was a highlight of their trip to Morocco, and that's something we definitely want to do. Tt is a long drive to and from the desert so we are breaking up the trip with overnights on the way there and back in lovely riads. I'll let you know how it goes. We are visiting the desert with Desert Majesty, a very well-regarded agency for desert tours, and we're all set for that part of the trip.

A few questions -- are sites/shops/restaurants open on closed in Rabat on Sundays? I have heard that even though Friday is the day of worship in Morocco many things are closed on Sundays.

Also, we were planning on visiting Meknes on the way from Rabat to Fez. What are the things we shouldn't miss?

Finally, has anyone used Pan-It Fez for day tours in Fez? What are your impressions?
Thanks!
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Jan 2nd, 2017, 05:34 AM
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Following the French administrative system, Saturdays and Sundays are days of rest. However, this fact does not include restaurants and shops because locals are accustomed to going out, particularly, in the late afternoons and in the evenings as the Medina gets vibrant.

My tip is to spend the first half day exploring the historical monuments including the Oudayas Kasbah - my favorite activity is to sit at the local cafe that is closely located to the Andalusian Gardens sipping a sweet mint tea while enjoying the beautiful view of the Bou Regreg River, the Atlantic Ocean, and the counterpart Sale. You may opt for wandering around the Souks (by the way, the hassle-free experience is guaranteed compared to Fez & Marrakech and I would be glad to receive your input after your trip). The impressive Hassan Tower which has been recently renovated and the adjacent stunningly marble white Mausoleum of Mohamed V cannot be missed.

The desert experience remains an interesting highlight as the deep-rooted heritage of Morocco has been solidly preserved by the indigenous Berbers of the southern part of Morocco. Your tour experience will take to numerous Kasbahs along with interesting historical facts.
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Jan 3rd, 2017, 03:45 AM
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I'm following your trip planning with interest as I'm hoping to get to Morocco in 2017 or 2018.

Although I haven't been to Morocco, I agree with your plan to keep the desert experience in for the same reasons you express. And Medsoul also notes that coming in touch with the indigenous Berber population is unique.

Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be terrific. Looking forward to reading your TR when you return!
progol is online now  
Jan 4th, 2017, 04:21 PM
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We are going in May with an itinerary that's very similar to yours. The only differences, we'll skip Rabat and will stay in El Jadida instead of Essaouira. Oh, and we're driving...

When are you going?
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Jan 9th, 2017, 10:46 AM
  #13  
CFW
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xyz, Thank you so much. I clicked on your Fodors name & found lots of very helpful information and advice. We are going at the end of April. Getting very excited about the trip. Here's our revised itinerary We do not want to rent a car & drive for various reasons, including the fact that we are both terrible drivers!

Day 1 - Arrive Casablanca. 3:30 p.m. Overnight Rabat

Day 2 - Rabat

Day 3 - travel to Fez with stops in Meknes and Moulay Idriss. Looking for a good tour company that can provide driver & guide as necessary. We will skip Volubilis as we have seen Roman ruins in many places.

Day 5, 6 - Fez

Day 7, 8, 9. 10 - Trip to Erg Chebbi with Desert Majesty. Overnight on the way, 1 night in luxury tent camp in Erg Chebbi (which one do you recommend - Bouchedor, Desert Luxury Camp, or Caravanserai?), and two nights on the way back to Marrakech.

Day 4, 5,6 - Fez

Day 7 - to Sahara with overnight in Erfoud

Day 8 - overnight in desert tent camp with camel ride

Day 9 - overnight in Dades Gorge

Day 10 - overnight in Ait Ben Haddou. Also visit Kasbah Amridil

Day 11, 12, 13, 14 - Marrakesh, with day trip into the Atlas. Suggestions on particular places to visit?

Day 15, 16 - Essaouira

Any suggestions for good guides in Fez & Marrakesh for day trips much appreciated!
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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Your days seem to be all mixed up, don't understand the schedule at all.

Don't stay overnight in Erfoud, nothing to commend it. Better to press on to one of the many hotels in the lee of Erg Chebbi.
TimCullis is offline  
Jan 16th, 2017, 07:28 PM
  #15  
CFW
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Hi TimCullis, Sorry -- typos in the itinerary above! Here's what we're doing:

Day 1 - Arrive Casablanca. 3:30 p.m. Overnight Rabat

Day 2 - Rabat

Day 3 - travel to Fez with stops in Meknes and Moulay Idriss. Looking for a good tour company that can provide driver & guide as necessary. We will skip Volubilis as we have seen Roman ruins in many places.

4, 5, 6 - Fez

Day 7 - to Sahara with overnight in Erfoud just to break up the long trip from Fez

Day 8 - overnight in Erg Chebbi, Bouchedor Desert Luxury Camp with camel ride

Day 9 - overnight in Dades Gorge

Day 10 - overnight in Ait Ben Haddou. Also visit Kasbah Amridil

Day 11, 12, 13, 14 - Marrakesh, with day trip into the Atlas. Suggestions on particular places to visit?

Day 15, 16 - Essaouira
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Apr 23rd, 2017, 02:33 AM
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Have a fabulous trip! We're planning a very similar trip for next Spring, so I look forward to hearing about this when you return!

Did you find a private driver? And how did you choose the Bouchedor Desert luxury camp?
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