Paris to Morocco

Old May 29th, 2016, 01:10 PM
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Paris to Morocco

Bonjour,
My partner & I will be attempting to travel from Paris to Tangier, Morocco this July, (over the course of 2 weeks) with hopes of making the absolute most of visiting landscape, museums, enriching history & culture in between. We are both artists, expecting to make time for landscape painting/drawing at various destinations before I begin an artist residency in Tetouan, Morocco for another 2 weeks. Considering our desire to stop and paint as we travel along we have been discussing potential to rent a car for the trek to Southern Spain before ferrying across to Tangier, rather than bus/train transportation...
This will be our first time in Europe and we are admittedly inexperienced and undereducated about the most feasible way to approach - everything. Researching as much as we can, however personal input would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you for any insight!
It goes without mentioning, but we are of course hoping to stick to a light budget.
ladyhunk is offline  
Old May 29th, 2016, 01:23 PM
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Don't dent the car u til you are in Spain to avoid an expensive drop fee for turning car in in another country. Train to Spain.
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Old May 29th, 2016, 03:28 PM
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You cannot take a rental car into Morocco. Take public transportation - train, plane, or bus - to Algeciras, cross over, and then rent a car in Morocco. Or, fly directly from Paris to Tangier and then rent the car.
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Old May 30th, 2016, 12:55 AM
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I am just back from a trip to Morocco - it is such a fascinating country!

Make sure to visit the Art Museum in Rabat - they have currently a temporary exhibition about Giacometti but the permanent exhibitions shows the works of Moroccon artists who have painted their country in various styles.

Morocco is a country that falls into three parts:

- the green plains along the coasts
- the impressive mountains chains - the Middle Atlas with cedar forests and the High Atlas with dramatic peaks
- the Sahara desert behind the mountain ranges

The deserts shows an impressive variety of scenery - if you are driving the highways it is like watching a film. If you have a chance, go to Fès - it is the largest and one of the most authentic historic old towns (Medina) in the Arabian world. The city which is most unspoilt by tourism is Meknes, with traditional souks and a market square with snake charmers like it must have been in Marrakech 50 years ago (avoid Marrakech, it is touristy and has no great Old Town).

Having said all this, you might consider spending for time in Morocco instead of driving through France and Spain.

Anyway, if you want to drive:

Technically, you should return your rental car in St-Jean-de-Luz, take the train across the border, rent a car again on the Spanish side (if possible, in Irun, or in SanSebastian/Donostia) and drop it again before you board the ferry to Morocco. In Morocco, a rental car would be a great help to see the landscape (4WD advisable if you want to leave the major roads).

The road from Paris will lead you through the Loire valley with a great concentration of most beautiful castles. Chambord (the largest one), Chenonceaux (the most romantic one), Azay-le-Rideau (a beauty) are among my favourites.

From the Loire you drive down to Bordeaux and the Atlantic coast. Make sure to see the great dune of Pyla (near Arcachon) and the "silver coast". The Courant d'Huchet is a lovely little stream that flows into the Atlantic, very scenic.

Further south, there is the traditional seaside resort Biarritz and the lovely port city Saint-Jean-de-Luz (where you board the train). However, do not miss to drive the Corniche Basque, the coastal road west of St-Jean-de Luz, with a rugged and bizarre coast.

In Spain, there are two possible routes to the south: One via Salamanca, the other via Madrid. I do not know the western route, but the landscape around Madrid is most beautiful: mountain ranges, meadows with black steers, picturesque villages, stork nests on the church towers, barking frogs...

If you are driving further south, the scenery becomes drier. You will see large olive and orange orchards and still mountain ranges.

Which route you take, it will lead you through Andalusia. Andulasian cities are like copies of Morocco, but on a smaller scale and mixed with Christian cathedrals. Also, you will get a taste of islamic town planning when you see "White Towns" like Vejer de la Frontera or Ronda.

However, be aware that it will be very hot in July, both in southern Spain and in Morocco. Make sure to book accomodation that has A/C!
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Old May 30th, 2016, 01:36 AM
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If your final destination is Tetouan, you must of course not make the detour via the ugly Tanger med harbour. Take a direct ferry/catamaran from Algeciras to Ceuta, a Ceuta citybus to the border and then a grand taxi (shared taxi) to Tetouan.
As you will have 2 weeks only, you may fly from Paris to Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba, Jerez or so, rent a car and drive through scenic areas of Andalucia up to Algeciras.
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