Morocco Travel Planning is the summary of my six-week trip to Morocco during the autumn of 2015 (October and a bit of November). The pace of traveling was slow, in accordance with the flexibility I had to go and stay wherever I wanted with a rented car.
Morocco Travel Planning – General Planning:
My travel planning for Morocco started two months before the trip. I used the Lonely Planet Guide and ignored any other articles about Morocco on the internet. I considered that the guide book offered me enough, very well synthesized information to plan my trip. From the guide book, I could choose the places where I wanted to go during a period of six weeks – touristic places, UNESCO heritage sites, as well as off the beaten track places. However, after booking the flight, I realized that six weeks weren’t enough for how much I wanted to visit, so I had to give up my plan to go to the very southern part of the country (Agadir, Taroudant, Tiznit, Tafroute, Mirleft, Laayoune, Dakhla).
Morocco Travel Planning – Fixed Plans:
Before leaving to Morocco, I had contacted hosts for most of my trip (80-90 %) because I considered that I wouldn’t had time during my trip to do that (and it was good I had done this so).
– my flight ticket, which I bought almost two months in advance
– my car, which I booked a few days after buying my flight tickets
– a couple of CouchSurfing contacts who could have helped me with information, accommodation, and phone calls if anything happened to me in Morocco during my stay
– a couple of couchsurfing requests accepted in Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Rabat (I messaged to my hosts before my departure to Morocco as I knew I wouldn’t have time for messages during my stay in Morocco)
– a collaboration with a traditional riad in Fes-el-Bali (the old medina of Fes): I wrote about Casa Aya Medina in exchange for free accommodation.
– a four-day camel trek in the desert near Zagora-M’Hamid/ Erg Chigaga (the highest chain of sand dunes in Morocco): I wrote about this Desert Camel Trek with Tizi Trekking in exchange for a free camel desert trek (4 days)
Morocco Travel Planning – Intentions, but nothing fixed
When I left for Morocco, I wanted to do/to go to the following places but I hadn’t fixed dates for them:
– stay in local, traditional riads as much as possible and enjoy their elaborately colorful decorations (wood, tileworks, stucco plaster)
– sleep in local campgrounds as much as possible (Dades, Todra, N’Kob, Zagora, Chefchouan) – I brought my tent with me during the trip
– explore some local fortified mud-brick villages (ksar/ ksour)
– go to at least one local hamam and see how Moroccan women integrate this in their daily lifestyle
Morocco Travel Planning – Final Result:
The final result of my trip in Morocco, where I stayed for five weeks, is a series of 21 travel diaries (which I am writing now). Enjoy your reading and let me know your opinion about Morocco. Which is your favorite place in Morocco? Why?
Fes old medina and the new town (4 days) –
- two flights from Bucharest (Romania) to Fes (Morocco), via Brussels Charleroi (Belgium)
- explored Fes old medina (Fes-el-Bali)
- hiked up to Borj Nord and the tombs of the Merinides
- explored Fes new medina (Fes-Jdid) and the Jewish quarter (mellah)
From Fes to the Tafilalt Oases passing the Atlas Mountains (4 days) –
- explored the old medina of Sefrou; the travel writers’ meeting at Dar Kamal Chaoui in Bhalil village with troglodytes caves
- road trip from Bhalil to Midelt, via Dayet Ifruah Lake – Ifrane – Azrou – Middle Atlas Mountains
- discovered Kashbah de Myriem (monastery and Berber carpet workshop) near Midelt; road trip from Midelt to Erfoud, along the Ziz Gorges & Valley
- half-day road trip around the fortified mud-brick villages near Rissani (ksar/ ksour)
From Erfoud to Zagora, passing the Todra, Dades, and Draa Valleys (5 days) –
- road trip from Erfoud to the Todra Gorges, with a stop in Majha Fezna (khattara underground irrigation system) – Ksar el-Khorbat, and Sources Lalla Mimoun
- road trip through the Todra Gorges all the way up in the mountains to the Berber village of Tamtattouchte; arrived in the Dades Valley
- driven up the serpentine road through the Dades Gorges; road trip from the Dades Valley to Ouarzazate, via Boumalne des Dades – Kella M’Gouna – Skoura – Ouarzazate
- explore the town center of Ouarzazate; road trip along the Draa Valley, via Agdz – Tamnougalt and a short detour to N’Kob desert town
- returned and driven along the Draa Valley, via Oulad Othmane – Ksar Tissergat – Zagora
Camel Desert Trek – Camel Desert Trek from Zagora to M’Hamid (4 days) –
- Day 1: hike & ride in the Jbel Bani Mountains, via Faija Plateau – Col Oum Laachar Pass – Oued Lemhassa Valley – near Tighrghrin Oasis; camp near the well.
- Day 2: walk & ride via Tighrghrin Oasis – Ouad Mhasser Valley – Afrokh Nomad Camp; camp between the dunes in Erg Chigaga.
- Day 3: walk & ride from Erg Chigaga Dunes to the Bogarne Dunes.
- Day 4: walk & ride from the Bogarne Dunes to Ouad Naem; jeep ride to M’Hamid Lghzlan Camping.
Long drive from the desert to Marrakesh (1 day) –
- road trip from Zagora to Marrakesh, with a stop in ksar Ait Benhaddou and drive past the Tizi N’Tikka Pass in the High Atlas Mountains
The pink city of Marrakesh (4 days)
- explored Marrakesh old medina (souqs and madrassas)
- explored Marrakesh old medina (palaces, tombs, and mellah)
- explored Jardin Majorell; lunch at Naima’s family + local hammam in the afternoon
- randomly strolled the old medina
From Marrakesh to Casablanca, passing Essaouira and El Jadida (4 days)
- road trip from Marrakesh to Essaouira, with stops at Argan oil cooperatives
- explored Essaouira for one day
- road trip from Essaouira to El Jadida, with a stop in Safi and Oualidia
- explored El Jadida and Azzemour
This is the summary of my six-week trip to Morocco. Enjoy your reading and let me know your opinion about traveling to Morocco. Which is your favorite place in Morocco? Why? Where would you go?
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