I am planning a trip to Morocco June/July 2010. I plan to go off the beaten track for a week before my Girlfriend arrives then do a further 2 weeks around the usual spots.
-Keen on seeing some real non-tourist places
-Home cooking and getting into the culture
What are the 'must do' things?
also should I get around by bus/train/hire car? And lastly are any of the organised tours good or would you recommend travelling on your own.
in 3 weeks you'll see most of Morocco . you need to come up with an itineray. It really depneds where you start and where you fly back. you can combine North of Morocco ( tanger, Chaouen) with Fes ( few days) then drive all the way to teh desert from fes to Merzouga ( around 5 nights) from merzouga head to Marrakech for 3 nights . use Marraekch as a base for day trips to watefalls and the Atlas Mountains. then fromMarrakehc head to Essaouira or Agadir to do some surfing and exhale. Remember June and July are hot months(40 degree celcius) so a few days at the beach will be welcome. . You can take buses , trains or hirea driver for day trips. You can also learn to cook Moroccan at a cooking school in Marrakech but also at host family
If you want to get off the beaten track try the High Atlas. There are endless valleys and villages up there, the locals are very friendly and it's very inexpensive. The best places are the most difficult ones to get to, so you need to be prepared to hike a bit or take a 4x4. There are local pickup trucks that work as buses, but you'll need a phrasebook as French isn't widely spoken.
I'd avoid any group tours; there's really no need for them.
If you want a real camel trek go to M'hamid. I have the telephone number of a really good guide - private message or email me for it if you wish.
Essaouira has kite surf, Sidi Kaouki has surfing, and there are numerous places between Essaouira and Agadir.
CTM and Supratours buses are cheap, clean but a little slow. Private buses can be both dangerous and unreliable - avoid them.
Trains are cheap, but they only run through the flatter parts of the country! 1st class is air conditioned, and they are a good way to travel.
Hire cars start at about 350dhs a day for a little car, up to 1,000dhs a day plus for a 4x4.
I don't think that Essaouira is out of the beaten track; tou can visit Marrakesh; as it's the must do, on evrytrip to Marocco, I've found many routes to do on the map; and it really worth cheking it out.
just an example : you can do go to Ouzoud wtaerfull, -North of Marrakesh- from ther drive through the mountaines till you reach the Gorges , then head down toward the sahara dunes.
I would recommend to get things arranged throught - - they organise for long treks in the desert; from Merzouga up to Ouarzazate via Zagora Agdes..etc; then take the southern road to to Agadir, passing through Taroudante, (this could be done in 8/9 days).
Have a nice trip.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
The only place I can recommend, through my own experiences there - is Tanger. What an incredible place - and the architecture is so unique. It's a fair sized city with quite a bit over 1/2 a million people. Had a very 'interesting' time there.
Thanks guys for the tips.
pretty much answered my questions. A bit to think about.
sounds like a fasinating place.
Hi,everybody,two years ago me with my famely had a beautiful trip to Marakkesh!We started from Ifren,and then went to the mountains of middle Atlas.Our road touched such towns as Bnimlal(Ajn SArdjun-whater fall),one little village,don't remember the name,where is Cascad Uzud(water fall),it's not far from Marakkesh.The whether In Marakkesh was awfuly hot,but this town is incredible beautiful ,super!!!You should see such plases like Jma Fna,and the garden whith 1000 plants from all over the world!Then we went to Agadir-it's really modern town ,then went to Asfi,Auessera it's interesting!Then we took our road to Casablanka!Bon voyage!Have a good trip!
There are a million wonderful things to see and do in Morocco. We booked our daytrips and tours in Fez (Fes) a cool company based in Fes and operated by an Australian and Moroccan joint venture. These guys were full of integrity, no carpet selling and they proved themselves to be true destination experts as they understand the culture, people, and the language. We enjoyed Western standards with Moroccan understanding. It was totally rad. Our trip to Meknes and Volubilis was hassle free and then we did our sahara trek starting out in Fes so we avoided what a lot of travellers told us were aggressive rip offs and touts in Merzouga. In our group were a number of solo women travellers and they told us about the horrors of going it alone in Morocco, we were glad to be on such a stress free trip.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
It looks like the Thought Police have been out again...
I understand that the forums need to be kept free from self-promotion, but if we are preventing genuine individual travelers from endorsing companies that they liked, we've forgotten what a forum is for...