I'm thinking of going to Morocco in January, but not sure if this is a good idea or not? I'll have 8 days, the plan is to fly into Morocco, spend a few days here, then get a bus to Agadir for the remaining few days. One option I've thought of is to spend one night near the Atlas Mountains en route, is this possible?
Does anyone know what the weather will be like in Jan? I dont mind if its not boiling but would prefer it not to be freeezing!
Also how safe is it to travel in Morocco? I'm a young British woman, obviously I know it's a Muslim country so will be respecting that, but will I be ok on the buses by myself?
Also if anyone has done the bus journey please let me know what it's like! How many hours, bus comfort etc!
Any other advice will be greatly appreciated, I was originally going to go skiing but looking at the cost I think I'll be better off taking my backpack around Morocco for a week
Agadir is a few hours from Marrakesh, if that where you're starting from? Just make sure the bus you get goes to the centre of Agadir as some stop before in a town called Inezgane. I swear i was the only European there! I had to use a shared 'Grand taxi' (cheap), then a 'petite taxi' to myself (expensive) to get the rest of the way.
There are a choice of buses - some are cheaper, but rough. The emergency window was tied up with string on one of the ones I used. Ok if you want the 'experience'. It was ok though.
People were nice and language is no problem, but they will want your money and are very good at getting it. Morrocans are very clever people - but it's not horrible, just be firm if anyone gets pushy and don't look intimidated. I saw several females traveling alone, so I assume it's fine. I loved it there and want to go back.
There are also desert trips, though I never did one, which I regret. 8[
I'm planning a trip to Morocco myself and so far i'm still unsure about safety over there. The Australian Travel Advice issued in August this year is here: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Morocco and the safety level is kinda at 3/5. I'd probably still want to go, though it seems that my plans for algeria and libya have taken a hit.
Have you considered the trains? They seem to be the best way to travel between the cities especially if you're leaving from Rabat.
I would chose Essaouira over Agadir, any day! Essaouira is a beautiful traditional old town with a fabulous beach (though beach may be a bit windy in Jan, but you may be lucky). It's only 2.5 hours from Marrakesh by CTM bus & it's a 3.5 bus journey from Agadir (if that's where you're flying out from). There is plenty to do and the people were lovely, I felt very safe and at home there as a lone travelling woman - I spent an entire week! There are lots of european style cafes and restaurants and a lively souk and you can even get a camel ride on the beach. The best bit is that there is no traffic for about one kilometer radius.
Have a look in the Travel Guide section on here for lots of info on it, I've just updated it! You can have a look at all my holiday snaps too to give you more of an idea. Ooh I'm jealous, I'd love to be going back! Treat yourself and give Agadir a miss!
Oops, one more thing.... You can do day trips to the foothills of the Atlas mountains and I think you can book them up when you're there from your hotel as lots of company's arrange them. Don't know if you can stay one night, tho I imagine you probably can. The route you're planning is perfectly safe and hassle free, as the people are so used to tourists. I have only felt unsafe in Morocco when I had headed off the usual well trodden route, which doesn't sound like you plan to do.
Yes you are totally right about Essaouira...but you know what is good about Morocco as a touristic country, is that each city has it's own charme, for example Agadir, it's not Essaouira, and totally different from Fes, and at all nothing is similar to Marrakesh...
but as for me, i visted a lot of cities in Morocco, and i think that Essaouira has a huge attraction, a magical attraction to me, and i think to a lot of tourists who come along the year, neverminding what seasons it is...
about safety it depends on cities...for example Agadir, Essaouira, Marrakesh it is 4/5. and Fes, Tanger, Rabat, Casablanca it is 3/5...and so on !!
so you are so welcome here, by the way no racial or religious differences exist in Morocco, you can be whomever but a tourist you are as welcome as ever here.
for any further informations about any concret thing, you can just mail me !
Good Luck travllers
Does anybody know if North Africa e.g. Morocco is worth visiting in January? I've heard that there is only 5 hours of sunlight in January in most of the northern states.
Has anyone been there in jan?
well in January weather looks perfect i do live in agadir and it realls seams u have all info about morocco and that good to know all is good in morroco and i make u sure u'll like it here in morocco so no need to be worry or something else and i wanna make sure of one thing else u'll love it here
peace and thanks all guys
its a great idea =)
but about skiing there is no snow yet
and about safe yep but beware in casablanca area
it you wanna spend a day in atlas mountains ask me for any information
you're welcome to Morocco and i wish you a very safe and enjoyable trip over here in Morocco.
first of all January is quite cold over here and mainly nearby the mountains; if you mean spending the night in the High Atlas Mountains i advise you to have a warm sleeping bag as this region is so cold and mainly early morning.
traveling alone for a woman in Morocco is generally safe and i had hosted women who did it alone but always some harassment exists; traveling using the buses is also generally fine ; try to use the CTM or Supratours buses as they are more comfortable and in time, dress respectfully to the culture so that you won't face any troubles too. the journey from Marrakesh to Agadir takes around 4 to 5 hours depends on the bus.
have a very enjoyable and safe trip
peace & hugs