One Week in Morocco...

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Feb 1st, 2004, 11:00 AM
  #1
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One Week in Morocco...

I'm considering a trip to Morocco in mid-March, and am wondering how much I can realistically squeeze into a week. I'm probably flying in to Casablanca (although I doubt I'll spend much time there), and would love to see Fez, Marrakesh & Essaouira. (I can drop Essaouira, if need be.) How much time would you recommend spending in each of these places, given the limited time frame? I have no idea how far apart these cities are (they don't look too far on the map), and how frequently the trains run. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Feb 3rd, 2004, 04:01 PM
  #2
 
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Visited Morroco last October 2003. If you want to see a real Casbah I suggest you visit Fez as it is very authentic. The Casbah is the the nucleus of the old cities. Many people still live here and they find everyhting they need in this laberynth type enclosure (schools, groceries, mosques, etc.) As with any crowded city, watch out for pick pocketers and con-artists. Marrakesh is the touristy town. A must do in my book, since it has a lot of charm and you will feel like in the movies. They have your usual tourist traps with snake charmers, musicians, etc. It's a fun time. If you plan to visit a Souk (were leather is processed) make sure you agree on a fee with your local guide ahead of time. We were almost stranded in the middle of the Casbah by our guide because he wanted to negotiate more money. It's hard to find your way out once you are in the heart of the Casbah (laberynth). Casablanca has a city feel and is not as charming as your other stops. As for Essaouira, I have heard some good things about it, but have never visited.
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Feb 5th, 2004, 09:22 AM
  #3
jjp
 
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susu...we were in Morroco in the fall of 2001 and spent most of our time in Marrakesh, which we loved. We were able to hire a cab (less than $100) for the entire day. He picked us up at our hotel early in the morning and took us to Essaouira for the day, returning that same evening. The trip if I remember correctly, took around 2 hours each way.
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Feb 21st, 2004, 02:53 PM
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If you only have a week, just drop Essaouira. Personally I think it's overrated and given your limited time, you should concentrate on Marrakech, Fez and maybe a day trip to the desert.
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Feb 21st, 2004, 03:23 PM
  #5
kqc
 
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We were just in Morocco two weeks ago and had exactly the same itinerary. A few things to know: (1) It takes about 3-4 hours to drive from the Casablanca airport to Fes; (2) Driving from Fes to Marrakech is a solid 7+ hours if you go through the Atlas mountains. I expect it's the same or more if you use the highways to go back through Casablanca. I think the train is supposed to take around 10 hours for that trip. Obviously, that's a long time to spend in transit if you're only going to be there for a week; (3) You can catch a CTM bus from Marrakech to Essaouira for about 55 dirhams and it will take about 3 hours. Getting from Essaouira to Casablanca is a pain -- probably 6 hours by bus (so 4-5 by car?), or you can go back through Marrakech and catch the train from there. Essaouira was nice, but probably not worth the extra travel given how little time you have, unless you're desperate for the beach.

Enjoy.
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Feb 24th, 2004, 05:22 AM
  #6
 
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Susu, we just got back from a week in Marrakech yesterday. My trip report is posted on this board. We hired a car and just explored the Marrakech area, even so we covered over 1,500 Km. Its a big country with a lot of gaps between the attractions, though some of the scenery is stunning. I dont know how much time you like at each destination, but maybe you need to trim your itinerary a little.
EMail me at [email protected] if I can help you with anything specific.
Have a great trip, Pirate
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Mar 1st, 2004, 12:07 PM
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We spent a week in Morocco last fall which was plenty of time (spent our other week in Madrid). Don't waste any time in Casa, but catch a couple of sights on your way up to Fes through Rabat (Rabat is about an hour from Casa and another hour plus to Fes.) Don't miss Volubulis. It'll take a day to drive from Fes to Marrakesh, but it'll be worth it, especially since you probably have to circle back around to Casa to fly out anyway. So typically it would be one day Casa/Rabat, 2/3 days Fes, one day in transit south, 2/3 days Marrakech, last day would be couple hours back to Casa if you dont pay the extra fare to fly.
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