Spain and Morocco in 10 days

Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:30 PM
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Spain and Morocco in 10 days

My husband and I are visiting Morocco and Spain in September. We have return tickets to Casablanca so we will have to start and end our trip there. We are in our early forties and we've never been to either countries before. We are mostly interested in nature and scenery as well as some (not too much) history and adventure. I've been dreaming about taking the ferry from Morocco to Spain and back so we'll try to fit it in. Any suggestions for an itinerary?
Thank you
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Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:55 PM
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With just 10 days I'd suggest you head north & east from Casablanca. Time permitting, you can take the train from the airport directly after arrival to Fes with just 1 change at the main station of Casa Voyageurs. Then on to Chefchaouen from Fes by grand taxi (car & driver) with a stop for an hour or 2 at the Roman ruins of Volubilis along the way. From Chefchaouen to Tangier, again by grand taxi. Ferry to Tarifa, a short crossing and a nice small town. Back to Tangier and onward by train to your flight home. You might like to spend your last night, depending on your flight time, in Rabat which is not far north of Casablanca on the same train line.

Maybe 3 nights in Fes, 2 in Chefchaouen, 2 in Tangier, 2 in Tarifa and the last in either Rabat or Casa.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 06:10 PM
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I should add that with your nature/scenery preferences in mind the drive from Fes to Chefchaouen is particularly nice, all on back roads with Volubilis right on the way and very much in the countryside. Chefchaouen is in the Rif Mountains and while you don't want to head off on your own you can hire a guide through your accommodation to take you on a mountain hike.

Fes has it's iconic medina and I'd suggest a stay right in the old city. Chefchaouen is quite small and very interesting and any accommodation that looks good to you in the town will be walking distance to everything you need. I like staying at La Tangerina in Tangier, a very nice small guesthouse at the top of the medina with views from the roof down to the port and out to the open sea. Some may tell you not to bother with Tangier but I like it very much and if you can stay at La Tangerina you'll have a very civilized experience indeed. And it's a short taxi ride to the ferry for Spain.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 12:57 AM
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You can take the ferry from Tenerife to Tarifa, which caters to outdoorsy types and adventure travelers (surfers, lots of surfers there). This is a hotel we stayed at and enjoyed. They have a nice stables so you can take a ride on the beach on a Spanish horse. How iconic is that?

http://www.dosmareshotel.com/hotel-overview.html The bungalows are small but nice, just don't plan on taking a shower before sunup because the water is solar-heated and gets pretty cold at night there (something to keep in mind if you have an early ferry time, although to be fair we were there in December and the days were much shorter than they are in Sep).
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 01:19 AM
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1) You can easily travel by modern air-conditioned express train between Casablanca and Marrakech, and Casablanca and Tangier, see www.oncf.ma

2) In Tangier, do stay at the cheap, historic and wonderfully-atmospheric Continental Hotel, right on the edge of the old medina, overlooking the port.

3) FRS (www.frs.es) sail regularly from Tangier Town (10 min walk from the Continental Hotel) to Tarifa with free bus transfer to Algeciras, the Spanish town with trains to Ronda and Madrid (www.renfe.com), and local buses around the bay to La Linea, from where you can walk in to Little Britain in the Sun, Gibraltar.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 01:21 AM
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I should also say that Fez is the other must-do city in Morocco, also linked by train to Casablanca and Tangier.

You might find some inspiration at www.seat61.com/Morocco.htm, although it primarily deals with a London-Madrid-Algeciras-Tangier-Casablanca-Marrakech journey.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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MmePerdu, it sounds like you really know Morocco! Thank you for your suggestions, they make sense. What about Marrakesch? Isn't it a must see in Morocco?
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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yodababe, the hotel you recommended looks extremely inviting!! Thank you
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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Man_in_seat_61, are there nice views during the train trips? Which city should we focus on for nature/scenery?
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:45 PM
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If we were able to extend our stay a bit, which areas in Spain should we visit for nature/scenery? I must add that we're not very interested in desert and beaches.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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I confess I don't really believe in the concept of "must see". I like Marrakech very much. More, in fact, than Fes. But I think in the time you have you must give up something and I think the choice would be Fes-Chefchaouen-Tangier-Spain. Or Marrakech-Essaouira. In other words, either the north with Spain or the south in your 10 days, Fes & Marrakech being in opposite directions from Casa.

I think the combination of Marrakech & Essaouira on the coast is kind of a perfect combination for a short visit to Morocco. But given your desire to take the ferry to Spain I think the circular trip I mentioned first would be good too.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:56 PM
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Man_in_seat_61, thank you for the website you recommended it's very detailed and informative.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 05:56 PM
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Dahmousha, regarding your comment about beaches and mine about Essaouira being on the coast, yes, it has a beach but is not considered a beach destination. It's primarily a fishing port and walled town with ramparts overlooking the ocean, very charming, small enough to get to know in a few days and with wonderful seafood. I try to spend a few days there on every visit to the country.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 06:03 PM
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I see your point MmePerdu. Thanks for clarifying. We both just looove seafood!
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