Side Trip to Morocco from Portugal

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Jan 2nd, 2016, 01:33 PM
  #1
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Side Trip to Morocco from Portugal

My wife, (Sue) and I would like to visit Morocco while we are in the area (Portugal) in the fall of 2016. We have allocated a total of four days/three nights in Morocco, (most likely Casablanca). Any recommendations on private tour guides in the Casablanca area because we would like to go to Marrakech but there are limited flight days that does not match our itinerary? Our tentative plans are to arrive in Casablanca on Monday and departing back to Lisbon that following Thursday so we are looking at two full days of seeing historical / interesting sites.

Appreciate any feedback - Jim
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Jan 2nd, 2016, 08:19 PM
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Casablanca is probably the least interesting place in Morocco, and you should certainly plan to go somewhere else. I have no recommendations for private guides, but you don't need a guide to get to Marrakech. Take the train - it's just under four hours.

See: http://www.seat61.com/Morocco.htm#Tr...20in%20Morocco

I wouldn't bother to go for just a couple of days, but it's your trip. In fact, if that's all the time you have you might go to Rabat instead, it's a lot closer to Casa and has a reasonable number of sights.
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 08:46 AM
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Although I'd agree that Casablanca's not very interesting (don't spend more than a day; be sure to catch a tour of the Hassan II Mosque, though), I do understand that that's the most convenient point of entry for you. So fly to Casablanca. Try to get there late morning at the latest so you can still catch the 2:00 Mosque tour. (Last one of the day.) See the medina before or after as you can, maybe stretch your legs in the direction of La Corniche along the strand, then plan to head elsewhere the next morning. I'd highly recommend going to Meknes or Fes, depending on how you decide to travel and what connections you can make. Visit Volubilis as a day trip from either one -- en route if possible, in the interests of time. Again, depending on how you choose to travel, try to spend at least half a day or more in Fes. Then continue to Marrakech. So, here are my suggestions about transportation. You can do all of this by train, and the trains in Morocco are excellent and very inexpensive. The downside is that you have to leave when they leave, and because they're trying to be as "efficient" as possible with their resources, they work the schedule to meet the needs of as many people as possible -- so there aren't many direct trains between points, and lots of stops means that it takes longer to get to your destination than it needs to. Same with buses -- but they're even slower. You could take grand taxis, but if this is your first trip to Morocco, you might find that prospect a bit daunting. It's really fine, but you still might find it daunting. (I did all of the above on my first trip to Morocco and remained unscathed.) So then, what I'd consider your best option is possibly the most expensive, but when you have not much time, it might work for you. Travel in a private car from a tourist transportation company. No, you're not renting a car and driving yourself: tourist transportation companies provide a driver and a car, and take you wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go, for a fixed price. Since many people use them to go to the desert, you can use search terms like "morocco desert tours" or "camel trekking in Morocco" or "sahara tours" or similar variations to find them. Also check Trip Advisor or similar sites for reviews of the companies you find. (But I strongly urge you not to just go with the least expensive ones without researching them carefully. Be sure you're clear on what is and isn't included.) Have a fabulous time!
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 02:08 PM
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TAP (Portuguese airline) flies Lisbon to Marrakech.
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Jan 3rd, 2016, 02:23 PM
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We're flying Marrakech to Seville on Ryanair . Seville is just over the border from south Portugal, they may well fly the other way too.
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