Your Thoughts on 5 Days in Morocco in Beg Dec

Old Nov 20th, 2016, 06:05 PM
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Your Thoughts on 5 Days in Morocco in Beg Dec

Hi all,

I could use some help narrowing down my options, and then I can take it from there! I'm a single mom meeting my college son for 5 days during the first week of December. We're city folk and tolerate chaos and driving - but also love adventure travel and beautiful landscapes. I'm in a rush to make some decisions and would love your input! Here's what we like:

Art, history, museums
High-quality crafts and antiques (me), cool people and bars (him), meeting the locals, movies, good and reasonable food and lodging (both). I speak some French. Exploring the Jewish culture may be interesting.

Should we decide between Fez and Marakesh or do both?
Atlas, Beach, or Camel expedition - which is best in Dec.
Should we rent a car or take public transport or a guide?

Itineraries very much appreciated!!! We're leaving from Malaga. Thank you.
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 03:29 PM
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First of all, how are you getting there ? You only have five days so I would make a loop of the northern part of the country. Tangier, Chaouen, Fes, Volubilis, Rabat, Asilah, back to Tangier.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 07:49 AM
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Renting a car gives you flexibility. No need for a guide, just take a guide book and a good map. Your profile is incomplete so I don't know where you are from, if it's the States, get the National Geographic Adventure map of Morocco, if Europe get the Reise KnowHow map of Morocco.

Moroccans have been fabricating 'antiques' on an industrial scale for decades and most of what you will see will be carefully aged but less than three months old. Crafts are good. Forget movies. Food is great.

I'm assuming the five days doesn't include the time taken to travel along the coast from Málaga to Algeciras on the bus, the ferry to Morocco, and the return journey. Even so, travel in Morocco is slow and you most definitely don't have the time to see both Fez and Marrakech.

With only five days you don't even have time to do the loop suggested above, so knock out at least Rabat. You don't have the time to visit the sand dunes, so I suggest you concentrate on either the Rif mountains around Chefchaouen or the Middle Atlas mountains (my choice) around Azrou which is 80km south of Fez.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 09:02 AM
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Maroc is bigger than most travelers imagine...slow moving around even with a rental car, although light traffic in all but the bigger cities, good signage, plenty of petrol.

Five days from Malaga will be a whirlwind, ma'am. My suggestions, (we were once circling Tangier harbor for two hours, by ferry due to rough seas.

Half day in Tangier, hire a driver at the port who will take you to Fes for about $100...well worth it. Two days in Fes, and two days seeing the sites in the vicinity (Volubilis, etc) and a quick visit to Chefchaouen. That's all you will be able to fit in....save the rest for a return visit. A magnificent destination. We found that a little more than a month was a push and were just able to visit a good chunk of what was and still is to a lesser degree Jewish Maroc.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 10:53 AM
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Pamela:
My PICS of Maroc ARE IN THREE INSTALLMENTS..I'll just include the first batch which covers about all you can comfortably see in 5 days....and they do not include Chefchaouen. If you wish I can send the other two installments which include the desert dunes, the gorges, Marrakech and Essaouira. (Map can be enlarged by clicking on it)
https://goo.gl/photos/iftWNjWPXKbbMM9B6
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Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 01:07 PM
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I agree with tower's recommendation. Spend 1/2 day in Tangiers and then hire a grand taxi or bus it to Chefchaouen to arrive in the evening. Spend the next day and overnight in Chefchaouen. On day 3, head to Fes, stopping at Volubulis as it is on your way. Spend the evening and all of days 4 and 5 in Fes.

Promise yourself you will go back when you have a minimum of 2 weeks to spend in this very cool country.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 01:39 PM
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Thank you all so much for your replies! I am from from the states (DC). The trip from Malaga to Tangiers sounds dreadful and I wish we would have researched that better. Ugh! Ugh!

We're returning to Madrid and it looks like Casablanca has the most nonstop departures.

We're not particularly drawn to Tangiers or Casablanca. I see those as in and out.

Marakesh, Fez, and the desert appeal to us most. Atlas or the beach, too, but it's December, so any ideas from there? Chaouen also sounds very beautiful.

Does that help in narrowing down?

Thank you.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2016, 12:07 AM
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December could well be miserable weather in the north of the country. Have a look at flights from Málaga to Marrakech.

But you still don't have time to visit the sand dunes (not really desert) with only five days. And if you rely on public transport rather than a rental car you will be even more constrained.

What you could do is an overnight trip from Marrakech to Essaouira on the Atlantic coast, or an overnight from Marrakech to Imlil in the High Atlas south of Marrakech. The remainder of the time in Marrakech, then fly to Madrid from Marrakech.
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Old Nov 26th, 2016, 09:39 AM
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Tower--

About how much time would you recommend for people to be able to thoroughly enjoy Morocco without feeling like they were running around like chickens with their heads cut off? Sounds like your month wasn't quite long enough.
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Old Nov 26th, 2016, 10:48 AM
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Hi all, thanks for your input - and I apologize for not stating our departure location.

We arrive Tangiers mid day on Sat, Dec 3 and leave following Thursday from Rabat or Casa (2:45 pm) -- or Marakesh (but must leave in morn).

We are not afraid (at all) to drive 5-hour distances but also see the value of using drivers, public transport, and R&R. Interested in not too touristy artisan and market life and would love to spend one day/eve in the mountains - riad or tent. Something real where we can unwind and meet the locals (speak decent French, fluent in Spanish).

1) Heart set on two days and nights in Fez.
2) Open to Chef, Asilah, Essouria, Meknes, Sefrou (Tangiers, Rabat, too). Tourdant sounds perfect, but I don't think we can get there.
3) Can skip Volubis ruins, monkeys, desert, trekking.

Thank you one more time!

- Energetic but old mom and 21 year hip son on the move....
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Old Nov 26th, 2016, 11:35 AM
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also, of secondary importance -

have any of you taken trips with culture vultures (artisan tours) or am i better off exploring on my own or w a private guide? i'm generally not a tourist group type but do want to learn something while i'm there, and it will be nice for my son to be w others than mom.

ditto on a cooking class if there's one in the evening after a full day on foot.

i see a lot on the forums but just thought i'd put it out there. thank you.
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