Tuesday 21 October 2008

Around Morocco in three weeks

It has been more then three weeks now since my last post. In the meantime I was traveling around Morocco with M.

All in all we had a really great time. Of course there were also some gloomy moments, but there was just so much more good stuff. When looking back I usually like to think of those not-so-nice moments as a good story-telling material. A nice sunset usually doesn't make a very interesting story.

As I already mentioned before we were flying to Morocco from Venice, Italy with an Italian low cost airline called My Air. We have never heard of them before, so we didn't really know what to expect. The flight was actually quite uncomfortable (seats in My Air airplanes are obviously so much cramped up together, that even with my 175 centimeters, I had to endure some substantial knee pain), but the tickets were so cheap that it was kind of worth it.

There was no food served during the flight but I don't consider that a drawback. I must be really weird because I don't like crappy plastic sandwiches all that much.

We landed in Casablanca on 27th of September and flew back to Venice on 18th of October 2008.

Anyway besides flying there and back, during last three weeks we were quite busy jumping from one bus to another. Actually we have tried Moroccan buses, trains, 'petit' and 'grand' taxis, but we used buses to get to most of the desired locations.

I have calculated that within Morocco we traveled the distance of approximately 2360 kilometers. The whole trip can be seen on the map above.

In the future posts I intend to post some photos and describe the highlights of our trip.

So hang on tight on a journey through this extremely diverse country of lively medinas, pushy carpet vendors, crazy drivers, cockroaches, crowded buses, sandy beaches, snow-caped mountains and hot desert dunes. Yes, all that and much, much more you can find in Morocco.


Tấm 24 November 2010 at 04:15  

Hello , i found your blog when i was searching information to visit Maroc.
I have some questions. First, i tend to visit : Fes, Marrakech, Ait Benhadou, and of course Dune de l'erg Chebbi- Merzouga. I'll go alone, i'm a girl, i don't know to drive car so that i wonder which is the best way to go to these place. Did you get a 2 days tour to go to the Dune by camel?
And in your opinion, how much time i should spend in those place?

Thank you so much and looking forward to hearing from you.


Tấm 24 November 2010 at 04:17  

I'll go there next month, i'm now in France. And i'll take the Euroline to go there. Hope that it's not so dangerous to travel alone. :D

Travel-PB 24 November 2010 at 08:45  

Hi Tam,

I am glad to hear you chose Morocco as your travel destination. I have visited all of the places you mention and I advise you to also check out my other posts under the topic "Morocco" (if you haven't done that already).

I think you'll be alright travelling alone. I am sure you'll meet other travellers and will not actually be alone for a very long time.
Being without a car is not an issue. Buses and trains are quite frequent (I suggest you use CTM bus company).

We did a 3-day desert camel trip. I think it is just about right to get the most out of it.

If you would like to know more, just let me know.

Tấm 24 November 2010 at 17:55  

Thanks for yr advice.
So, i have a plan, nearly like this:
- I 'll arrive in Marraketch at 17h the first day ( 21 Dec) , then, I spent the whole next day in Marraketch ( Is it enough?) .
- The third day, i'll take bus to Ouazzazate ( 23rd),then 24th, i'll visit Ait Benhadou and Kasbah ( by taking a Grand taxi?) and will come back to Quazzate at the same day.
- The 25th, i'd like to take a 2 days or 3 days camel dessert trip, is there any booking tour for you to choose? At Ouazzarate or it's should go to to Mezouga to find a tours? Do you know how much does it cost?
-After this trip by camel, how can i go to Fez? Is there CTM from Merzouga to Fes? I can't find any from this site http://www.ctm.ma/Horaires_et_Tarifs_CTM.pdf.

- Finally, may be i 'll end my trip at Fez, if i have more time i'll go to Casablanca.

What do you think of my initial plan?

Travel-PB 26 November 2010 at 19:19  

I guess you could spend many days in Marraketch, but I didn't like it all that much. So for me one day would be enough, but other fellow travellers might disagree. Among big cities I liked Fes more then any other. Be sure to visit Djemaa el Fna square during the day and also in the evening, when in Marraketch (I hope they also put up those food stalls this time of year).

I guess there is no other option for visiting Ait Benhadou then a grand taxi. However I suggest you find other people to share a taxi. Otherwise it might get quite expensive. You will be expected to pay for all the empty seats as well (all five of them plus yours).

Concerning a desert trip I suggest you spend 2 nights in the desert. This seemed just right to me. Where ever we went in Morocco, someone was offering a desert trip - everyone had a cousin in the desert and had the best price for the best experience. We didn't feel like paying more for the whole chain of people. We wanted to make a deal directly with people doing desert trips. We paid 800 MAD (just over 70 EUR) per person for 2 nights in the desert (food, camels, guides, tents and blankets included) - water was not included.
We did it at Auberge LaBaraka - ask for Hasan (for the exact location search related posts).

When going to/from Merzouga, the bus goes as far as Erfoud (some companies just to Rissani or Er Rachidia). Our route was: Fes-Azrou-Rissani-Merzouga. It was a bit tricky and we didn't use CTM.

You can easily spend a couple of days in Fes and skip Casablanca. If you will have some days left, I suggest you either visit one of the smaller towns on the coast (if you love seafood, it is definitely worth it) or a town in the Rif mountains (cannabis plantations wherever you look and also related good quality products).

You should probably check if the conditions are right for visiting the desert this time of year. I am also not sure about the road crossing Atlas mountains (I guess there could be some snow there this time of year).

Be sure to report when you get back. I am really curious how it goes.

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