It’s been a week since I touched back down in Belgium after travelling through the beautiful country of Morocco, so I figured it was about time that I wrote something down about it. (I know, I haven’t really been on top of things lately… Sorry!)
Morocco had been on my travel bucket list for quite some time, but the fear of being harrassed every step of the way always kept me from getting on that plane. Until roughly three weeks ago. With my dad by my side, I finally made it to this North African country.
Since my itinerary usually interests people most, I’ll start with that this time around and then continue with each individual part of the trip in the next few posts. (I’ll add the links to those posts in this one once the respective posts have been published.)
First things first; here’s a map of our route through the country so you can easily follow the rest of this post. When planning our itinerary, we decided to focus on the Imperial Cities of Morocco and the nature the country has to offer, so we skipped the north and south. I’m still a bit sad about missing out on Chefchaouen, the blue city, but one can’t have it all and it was just too much of a detour to add to this itinerary.
For this roadtrip, twelve days is enough to see all the main sights. We even could have done this in a day less if we wanted to, but in the end it was nice to have some time to relax and sleep in every once in a while.
We started our roadtrip in the north of Morocco; in the city of Fes. The reason for this departure point was that the air fares were cheapest and the arrival and departure hours were most favorable. We would have rather started our trip in Rabat or Casablanca as that would have made our trip more diverse with first some cities, then nature and then back to the cities, but beggars can’t be choosers. And since nature is what interested us most, this way we kept the best for last.
Our plane arrived in Fes-Sais airport around 10:30am but by the time we got through customs and had arranged our rental car, it was early afternoon. (Don’t ever trust a Moroccan that says ‘This will only take ten minutes’. It’ll be half an hour, at least.) That left us with only the afternoon to get some first impressions of this city which proved quite tricky in the maze that is the medina of Fes.
The next day, we explored a bit more of Fes before breakfast but after that we immediately hit the road. First stop; Meknes. By noon, we had been able to scratch off all the sights of our bucket list, so we decided to take the detour to Moulay Idriss and the partly excavated Roman city of Volubilis. We didn’t have an overload of time to explore those places, as we wanted to make it to Rabat before nightfall, but it was enough for some quick sights and impressions.
Our second full day in Morocco was dedicated to its capital Rabat. One day was enough for us to see all the sights in the area, so once again before darkness fell we made it to our next destination; Casablanca.
Casablanca doesn’t really have that many highlights, so once again you don’t need more than a day to see this city. It was only 2pm when we hit the road again and headed for Marrakech. We arrived early enough to still be able to sightsee a bit in the evening although that wasn’t necessary to see it all. We actually had the next two days to explore Morocco’s fourth largest city. Perhaps even one day would have been enough, but it would have been a rushed day. Now we had plenty of time to get lost in the souks and were even able to spend a great amount of time on buying souvenirs.
On the seventh day, we hit the road again, into the Atlas Mountains, and crossed the Tizi ‘n Tichka pass to Ait Ben Haddou. Once again plenty of time to cover this distance and visit Ait Ben Haddou itself.
The next day we spend our time in Ouarzazate, visited the Oasis of Fint and then headed to the Gorges du Dades. We drove through the valley in the evening and then in the morning we stretched our legs a bit on a short hike. We squeezed in the drive through the Vallée des Roses (which we perhaps should have done the day before as it was on the way from Ouarzazate to the Gorges du Dades) before heading to the Gorges du Todgha. Our hotel was perfectly located so we were able to spend our evening walking through the palm oasis. Bliss!
On our second to last full day in Morocco, we drove through the Gorges du Todgha before making our way to Merzouga. From there, we departed on our overnight Camel Trek through the Erg Chebbi desert. A unique experience that will stay with me forever. We were back in Merzouga in the morning and after breakfast it was time to hit the road again for the longest drive of our trip; back to Fes. Luckily the road offers many beautiful views, so it never really gets boring. The roads between the cities sure felt longer.
And then it was just one more evening and morning in Fes and our trip was already over. It honestly felt like only five days had passed while in fact we had seen so much of this beautiful country. Only in Fes we could have perhaps used some extra time, but a whole day would then again have been too much. Perfection is hard to achieve, right? In the end I’m very happy with how our itinerary played out so that’s all that matters.
And here’s the same thing once more in schedule, ready for you all to copy paste if you want! 🙂
Day 1: Flight + Fes
Day 2: Fes + Meknes + Moulay Idriss + Volubilis + drive to Rabat
Day 3: Rabat + drive to Casablanca
Day 4: Casablanca + drive to Marrakech + evening in Marrakech
Day 5: Marrakech
Day 6: Marrakech
Day 7: Tizi n’Tichka Pass to Ait Ben Haddou
Day 8: Ait ben Haddou + Ouarzazate + Oasis of Fint + Gorges du Dades
Day 9: Gorges du Dades + Vallée des Roses + Gorges du Todgha
Day 10: Gorges du Todgha + drive to Merzouga + depature on the overnight Camel Trek
Day 11: Back from the Camel Trek + drive to Fes
Day 12: Fes + flight home
Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll tell you more in detail about each of these amazing stops so you can construct your own itinerary according to what interests you personally. So stay stuned and don’t hesitate to contact me if you already have some questions!