Only 1 week in Morocco: help me fine tune itinerary

Old Jun 7th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Only 1 week in Morocco: help me fine tune itinerary

I will be in Morocco for only 8 days this Septemeber, along with some friends.

I am in touch with Mark from "mad about morocco" but would also appreciate some ideas/feedback form Fodorites.

I was thinking of starting in Fez for 2 days, then into the desert (south) for the 3-4 days, then concluding in Marrakech for 2-3 days.
A few questions:
1) Is it a "waste" of a day to drive south from Fez into the desert? I have heard the drive is a bit dull.
2) Should we leave something out to include Essaouira instead? Is Essaouira really special? The other itinerary option would be to drop Fez and include Essaouira.

Thanks for your help
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Old Jun 7th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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well rumor has it on this board there is a great guide for Morocco

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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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Whoever told you that Fes, the desert and Marrakech in 8 days is a good idea should get his hands on a map of Morocco.
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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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I did a similar trip a few years ago for 8 days; Fes, Marrakesh and then the desert. We only had 2 nights and one day in Marrakesh and I wish that we had had more time there. I don't know how long it takes from Fes but it was a full day's drive from Marrakesh to the edge of the Sahara.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Were you flying into Fez or were you going to have to drive there from Casablanca? I was there in 2004 arrived in Casa and spent the night there before driving to Fez. We spent 2 nights there then we drove to Merzouga where the Erg Chebbi dunes are. We spent two nights one at the hotel and one sleeping in the desert. The drive from Fez to the desert took all day and we didn't even stop to eat just stopped for gas once. After the desert we drove to the Todra Gorge for one night and Ouzazarte for one night on our way to Marrakech where we spent three nights. We continued on to Tamaraghant for surfing then to Essouira to relax for a few days. We were in Morocco for almost three weeks and we loved our trip but it was tiring we covered a lot of ground. Although the roads are pretty good there is a lot of mountainous areas and you won't be making great time. So keep that in mind when making your plans. Have fun in Morocco!
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 10:17 PM
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Trish,

your trip sounds a lot like one we're planning. Very similar route, but maybe in reverse. Was wondering if you had a report or anything up anywhere (although what you posted here was great). Just want to not fill up cruisinred's thread with more of my questions than just this one. but if you had more detail... hehe.. never hurts to ask.
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Old Jun 14th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for the info about your trip Trish. Despite stafa's rather unhelpful comment, the route including Fez/desert/Marrakech in 1 week seems fairly common.
We will be in Fez for 2 days, drive to the desert at Merzouga for 1 night and the then take 2 days to drive from there to Marrakech, stopping to do some light hiking along the way....ending with 3 days in Marrakech. I would love to do the coast as well if we had a bit more time.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Did you prefer Fez or Marrakech?
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Cruisinred, our trip was intense but we loved the whole thing. The desert was probably the highlight we stayed at Kanz Erremal www.kanzerremal.com the people were great the food was great and it was quiet, not the bus loads of tourist that seemed to be at the hotel next door. Like I said when we went to the desert it was just my husband and I and Bahar our guide it was really special.

We also liked Essouira a lot, the people seemed a little better off fiancially so they weren't trying to sell their wares so aggressivly which made the medina area more relaxing.

As far as prefering Fez or Marrakech there were things I liked about both in my opinion Fez is a little more raw, less of it is set up for tourists, Marrakech is fun especially with Djenmna El Fna(Sp?) but it is quite touristy. In both places people will want to sell you stuff all the time. In Fez I stayed at Hotel Batha in Marrakech at the Riad Aviateur which was really beautiful.
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Old Jun 17th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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Clifton, I wrote a bigger trip report when I got back from this trip if you click on my name and search for one called two and half weeks in Morocco you'll find it. I also have a page on virtual tourist that has some pics and a travelogue on it http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4a4b1/edc/ the button for the travelougues is just below the title. If you need anything else let me know.
Trish
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Old Jun 18th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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I apologize for being unhelpful in my previous comment.

Please understand that Fes to Merzouga is at least 9 hours straight driving, Merzouga to Marrakech another 11 hours. That's two days traveling out of eight days in total. That, in my humble opinion, is not a good idea.

Also, it will be pretty expensive to fly into Fes and out of Marrakech, and unless you're flying British Airways it will be quite difficult to arrange.

If you fly in and out of Casablanca, it adds at least 8 hours extra traveling (5 hours to Fes and 3 hours from Marrakech).

If you fly in and out of Marrakech, there's 7 hours extra traveling to or from Fes.

My advice for people with such a limited time in Morocco, is to pick Fes or Marrakech and explore the region around either city.

A night in the desert is an absolute highlight of Morocco, but the distance and travel logistics are such that you should really consider whether it's viable when you have only one week in Morocco.

If you're fond of being in a car for two days, watching the scenery pass by, than it may just be your thing.
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Old Jun 18th, 2006, 08:41 PM
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I've had a chance to read your report and the VT pages, Trish. Excellent info. We're planning a little over 3 weeks, with roughly the Casa, Essaouira, Marrakech, Desert, Fez type arc too...(plus maybe Chefchaouen). But very close, and very useful for our research. Thank you!
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