barcelona to marrakesh

Jun 8th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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barcelona to marrakesh

We have 14 days of vacation beginning and ending in Barcelona. I have booked a hotel for 3 nights at the Hotel Inglaterra in Barcelona so far... We (family of 4) are considering driving or taking a train to Granada, for one night, stay along the coast somewhere and ending up in Marrakesh for a couple nights. Any advice on if this can be pleasantly accomplished? Our children are 8&10. I did purchase travel books to answer questions but am more interested in your feedback!
tate is offline  
Jun 8th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jun 8th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Crossing Spain and Morocco in 14 and then come back again comfortably ? I think that don't match very well
Unless you want to take a plane from Barcelona to Marrakech, there are direct flights. If not..I would leave the Morocco side of the trip for another trip. Really, it's too much, even for the adults.
kenderina is offline  
Jun 8th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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I agree! This plan is too scattered. Leave out Granada if you want to see Morocco, and fly straight from BCN; you can stay on the shore at Essaouria (4 hours by bus from Marrakech) for a few days before or after Marrakech.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jun 8th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Is this trip during the summer? Spain will be hot enought - I would never drag two kids to Morocco in the heat fo summer (and I'd really have to think about any time of year)

What can be "pleasantly accomplished" is to spend your 2 weeks in Spain.
janisj is offline  
Jun 8th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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tate- We are planning a similar trip for next March. 14 days Barcelona and Marrakesh, and we have to fly in and out of Barcelona because our frequent flier miles won't allow an open jaw. Our plan is to fly from Barcelona to Marrakesh and back, but we haven't booked any flights yet. I would be interested in knowing what you end up doing and how the trip goes. Our kids are 11 & 14.
jgg is offline  
Jun 8th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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Okay--I am having second thoughts on Marrakesh after hearing the responses. It is pretty costly to fly from Barcelona to Marrakesh(RT). Maybe we should just take a nice scenic drive through Spain and leave it at that. I really do appreciate your well traveled opinions! Thank you.
tate is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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I spent a month in Morocco last year, leaving and returning to Barcelona. Travel was very cheap, but I was a single girl traveling alone, so I did BCN-Málaga flight, Málaga-Algeciras bus, Algeciras-Ceuta ferry, Ceuta-Tetouan hitchhike (don't ask. . .). That is not feasible for a family with young children, and if you want to get to Marrakech, you are in for a long trip. You can try to fly BCN to Marrakech, or do BCN to Casablanca (a pretty common flight) and then take the train to Marrakech (about 5 hours).

Morocco is a huge country and it is very long, so everything is far away and even having a car doesn't make things much faster because the roads are not exactly stellar. That said, if you have 14 days and want to do just BCN and Marrakech, it is completely doable if you spend a week in each place. Just don't try to see more than those 2 cities, each of which offer more than a week's worth of fun and interest.
laclaire is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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I won't ask, Claire, I promise
kenderina is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 11:12 PM
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Kenderina, you can ask me whatever at our gtg.
laclaire is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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We went to Spain and Morocco for our honeymoon in 2005, in May. You could do this the cheap and atmospheric, but challenging, way - or the easy but more expensive way. We chose the latter.

We were lucky to be able to use BA miles for some one-way tickets, which simplified the itinerary, but it would be possible to do it with RT tickets as well. I'd suggest the following. If you're coming from North America, you likely will have to fly through Madrid to get to Barcelona (unless you use an airline that connects in another country, like the UK or France). You can buy relatively cheap tickets (one-way or RT) either on Iberia or on a discount carrier (Europa, I think) from Madrid to Barcelona. From Barcelona, we rented a car and drove up the coast to Cadaques, a lovely, relatively isolated artsy/fishing village near France. We stayed at the Hotel Rocamar - which I think would be nice with kids as well - it's about a 10 minute walk from the centre of town and has some great views.

Back to Barcelona, fly the return portion of your ticket to Madrid. Overnight in Madrid, so that you can take a little time to show the kiddies the amazing art museums in Madrid. Then take a flight from Madrid to Marrakech. One of the things I liked about this route was that it was possible to take a daylight flight from Madrid (leaving at a relatively civilised hour in the morning) and fly direct to Marrakech, arriving in early afternoon. A number of other flights I saw seemed to either provide for arrival late at night or involve a connection or stop in Casablanca. It's relatively easy to get to Essaouira from Marrakech by bus. We went there after a hike in the mountains and arranged a grand taxi on the way there, but took the bus back and it was much nicer (and significantly cheaper). The largest vehicles on the road have the right-of-way, and the bus wins out over a rattle-trap taxi. We stayed at the wonderful Madada Mogador Riad in Essaouira - more of a romantic couples spot than a family place, but they do have a couple of suites that might work for you.

As for Marrakech, it was great - but how intrepid are you and your kids as travellers? The best part was staying in the medina in a riad, but it is rather funky-smelling, incredibly crowded, very hot (no AC) and there is a not insignificant risk of picking up a tummy bug. Essaouira is mellower, cleaner and cooler. You could stay in more Western-style accommodation in Marrakech, but you'd miss out on the atmosphere. Another option, which might not suit all tastes but might be good for a family with youngish kids, would be stay at the Club Med, which is located just inside the gates of the medina.

We had wanted to go to Granada on our trip, but concluded that it was too difficult and time-consuming to get there. It would be feasible, I think, if you decided that you want to take the ferry across from Spain to Tangiers since Granada would be more or less on the way to the ferry port - but I wouldn't recommend that route for someone with kids.

I see that you're scheduled to start and end your vacation in Barcelona (maybe you're coming from the UK?). The itinerary I described above would work; you'd simply by a cheap RT from Barcelona to Madrid and fly out of Madrid to Marrakech.

As an alternative to Morocco, you might consider a trip to the Canary Islands instead - which are part of Spain. You'd probably find some good, relatively inexpensive deals, possibly with some direct flights from Barcelona. We are planning a trip there in the fall - a few days in Tenerife and a few days on the more remote and rustic La Gomera.
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