This is the second busy route in Morocco section. The first is here. You’d rather plan a trip between October and May – this time suits better for sightseeing tours. Moroccan spring will be perfect – snowy caps of mountains, tender green leaves and storks with nestlings in Rabat and Marrakesh.
16 days mean 2 standard weeks of vacation + the previous weekend. Better ways to make this route fit into 15 or 14 days I will list below description of route. It is a circle itinerary that’s why you are free to start it with any city that is already on route. I will start with Casablanca as there is the major airport of Morocco.
Most of the intercity transportations include trains or buses. But if you plan to rent a car this route will also suit you – you may even expand the sightseeing program (if you won’t be too tired of mountain driving) as you don’t need to count on public transport.
Map of 16 days tour in Morocco
Casablanca (A, I) – Rabat (B) – Chefchaouene (C) – Fez (D) – Ifrane – Errachidia/Erfoud – Merzouga (E) –Errachidia – Boumalne Dades (F)/Kelaat MGouna – Marrakesh (G) –Essaouira (H) – Casablanca (A, I)
Description of itinerary
You should buy bus and train tickets in advance – CTM bus tickets can be bought online (read description to see segments of route that are covered with CTM bus lines). Train and other bus tickets you should buy upon your arrival to Morocco – the earlier the better. At least buy them as soon as you arrive in the city of departure. Weak segment is Fez-Merzouga. CTM offers only night bus, it means that you won’t see anything on your way there.
Detailed description of Morocco route with links
1, Saturday, flight to Casablanca.
Book 1 night (from the 1st to the 2d date) in Casablanca.
If you arrive early – go sightseeing in Casablanca.
2, Sunday, Casablanca – Rabat.
Book 2 nights (2-4) in Rabat.
Early wake-up. Luggage can be stored in hotel’s luggage room. Buy a ticket to Rabat (evening train) and by 9 or 10 a.m. make a visit to Hassan II mosque. Then you may follow the route of self guided tour in Casablanca. Pick up luggage and board the train to Rabat.
3, Monday, Rabat.
4, Tuesday, Rabat – Chefchaouene.
Book 2 nights (4-6) in Chefchaouene.
Sightseeing in Rabat and Sale. 15-00 CTM bus to Chefchaouene. 20-00 arrival.
5, Wednesday, Chefchaouene.
Sightseeing in Chefchaouene.
6, Thursday, Chefchaouene – Fez.
Book 2 nights (6-8) in Fez.
There are CTM buses at 10-45 and at 13-15. ~4,5 hours you will spend in a bus. If you reduce the amount of days spent in Fez, then take 10-45 bus. On arrival to Fez buy tickets for 8 day.
7, Friday, Fez.
8, Saturday, Fez – Merzouga.
Book 2 nights (8-10) in Merzouga.
If you would like to visit Ifrane, buy separate tickets Fez-Ifrane (2-3 hours) Ifrane-Errachidia/Erfoud. So you will have 2-3 hours for a walk in Ifrane. If there is no available bus from Errachidia or Erfoud to Merzouga, hire a grand-taxi.
9, Sunday, Merzouga.
Buy a ticket for tomorrow’s bus to Errachidia. Sightseeing in Merzouga.
10, Monday, Merzouga – Errachidia.
Book 1 night (10-11) in Errachidia.
Sightseeing in Merzouga. 19-00 departure (Supratours), 21-30 arrival. Overnight stop in Errachidia is necessary because of the early morning bus that goes from Errachidia to Kelaat MGouna. If you rent a car, you don’t need to stop in Errachidia.
11, Tuesday, Errachidia – Dades (or Kelaat MGouna).
Book 1 night (11-12) in Boumalne Dades or Kelaat MGouna.
A few riads are available for booking there. Boumalne Dades is closer (=cheaper drive) to gorges. 6-30 departure from Errachidia. 9-30 arrival to Dades (10-15 to Kelaat MGouna). Sightseeing – Kelaat MGouna, Dades and Todra gorges (it’s easier to make a visit to gorges hiring a taxi).
12, Wednesday, Dades/Kelaat MGouna – Marrakesh.
Book 2 nights (12-14) in Marrakesh.
CTM bus from 10 to 17.
13, Thursday, Marrakesh.
Sightseeing in Marrakesh.
14, Friday, Marrakesh – Essaouira.
Book 1 night in Essaouira (14-15).
8-45 CTM bus to Essaouira, 11-15 arrival. Sightseeing in Essaouira.
15, Saturday, Essaouira – Casablanca.
Book 1 night (15-16) in Casablanca.
Wake up at 6 a.m. and see the rest of Essaouira. 11-30 CTM bus, 18-30 arrival to Casablanca.
16, Sunday, flight from Casablanca.
If your flight is in evening, leave your luggage in hotel’s luggage room and go sightseeing in Casablanca.
How to make 16 days tour fit in 15 or 14 days
Sorted by convenience:
- Exclude 1 day in Rabat – arrive to Rabat from Casablanca as early as possible and go sightseeing. The next day wake up at 6 a.m. to see the rest of Rabat before leaving for Chefchaouene.
- Exclude 1 day in Merzouga – next day the bus leaves in the evening, so if you get up earlier, you will succeed to see everything. To speed up you may buy a trip at your riad.
- Exclude 1 day in Fez – take the earliest bus to Fez from Chefchaouene and as soon as you will arrive to Fez go sightseeing, start with Borj Nord and Marinid tombs. The next day get up at 5-6 a.m. Make a visit to madrasa and tannery. Walk for a while in old medina and spend some time in Jnane Sbile garden, before you depart for Merzouga.
As you see it’s impossible to exclude 3 days at once. You should choose the most convenient and interesting way for you. But if you want to enjoy Morocco with almost no hurry – you’d rather find 16 days for this beautiful country.