I suppose this route will be one of the busiest that I’ll ever publish in Morocco section. This is a sightseeing tour, so you’d better choose the month between October and May to avoid hot summer weather. The most spectacular time is the spring.
This route takes 16 days: 2 standard weeks of vacation + the previous weekend. If you can not find suitable tickets to Morocco, don’t worry, you may shrink the itinerary to 15 or 14 days. I will give you possible ways to reduce the amount of days below the description of route.
The route starts in Casablanca or Rabat and it is supposed that most of the intercity transportations include trains or buses. 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 any timetable.
Map of 16 days tour in Morocco
Casablanca (A, J) – Rabat (B) – Fez (C) – Ifrane – Errachidia/Erfoud – Merzouga (D) –Errachidia – Boumalne Dades (E)/Kelaat MGouna – Ouarzazate (F) – Agadir (G) – Legzira (H) – Agadir (G) – Essaouira (I) – Casablanca (A, J)
Description of 16 days Morocco trip
This is a circle itinerary that starts in Casablanca. If you arrive to Rabat, just start the route with the 2d day. The end of the route will be changed like this: Essaouira-Casablanca, the next day you go sightseeing in Casablanca and in the evening you take a train to Rabat, where you will spend a night in riad and fly away.
Because the route is quite busy, I highly recommend buying all the tickets in advance: tickets for CTM buses are available online (I will mention all the segments, where you may find CTM tickets, in description). Train tickets and other bus companies’ tickets you should buy upon your arrival to Morocco – the earlier the better. At least buy the tickets as soon as you arrive in the city of departure.
The most hard-to-find-ticket segments are:
- Errachidia-Dades/Kelaat MGouna-Ouarzazate
While the second one you can buy by CTM, the first one should be bought in local companies (CTM offers only night trip, so you will miss all the beauty of the places you will pass by + night trip suits only a few people).
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Detailed description with links
1, Saturday, flight to Casablanca.
Book 1 night (from the 1st to the 2d date) in Casablanca.
If you arrive early – plan a walk in Casablanca.
2, Sunday, Casablanca – Rabat.
Book 2 nights (2-4) in Rabat.
Early wake-up. Leave the luggage in hotel’s luggage room, buy tickets to Rabat (evening train) and by 10 a.m. make a visit to Hassan II mosque. Then you may follow the route of self guided tour in Casablanca. Come back to your hotel to pick up your luggage. Take a train to Rabat. Upon your arrival to Rabat buy a ticket to Fez (morning train). Check-in to your riad.
3, Monday, Rabat.
4, Tuesday, Rabat – Fez.
Book 2 nights (4-6) in Fez.
Morning train to Fez. On arrival to Fez buy bus tickets (morning bus) to Errachidia or Erfoud. Check-in to your riad. Sightseeing in Fez.
5, Wednesday, Fez.
6, Thursday, Fez – Merzouga.
Book 2 nights (6-8) in Merzouga.
Morning bus to Errachidia/Erfoud. On its way it passes by Ifrane. If you would like to visit Ifrane, buy separate tickets Fez-Ifrane (2 hours) Ifrane-Errachidia/Erfoud. So you will have 2 hours for a walk in Ifrane. If there will be no suitable bus to Merzouga (from Errachidia/Erfoud), then hire a grand-taxi.
7, Friday, Merzouga.
Buy a ticket for tomorrow’s bus to Errachidia. Sightseeing in Merzouga.
8, Saturday, Merzouga – Errachidia.
Book 1 night (8-9) in Errachidia.
Sightseeing in Merzouga. 19-00 departure (Supratours bus company), 21-30 arrival to Errachidia. This overnight stop in Errachidia occurs due to early morning bus that goes from Errachidia direction Dades. If you rent a car, you can omit stay in Errachidia.
9, Sunday, Errachidia – Dades/Kelaat MGouna.
Book 1 night (9-10) in Boumalne Dades or Kelaat MGouna.
There are a few riads and kasbahs available for online booking. So choose where do you want to stay on your own. Boumalne Dades is closer (=cheaper drive) to Dades and Todra 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 local cars).
10, Monday, Dades/Kelaat MGouna-Ouarzazate.
Book 1 night (10-11) in Ouarzazate.
10-20 CTM bus from Kelaat MGouna (from Dades ~45 min. earlier). 11-20 Arrival to Ouarzazate. Sightseeing in Ouarzazate (film studio, Ait Ben Haddou kasbah etc).
11, Tuesday, Ouarzazate – Agadir.
Book 2 nights (11-13) in Agadir.
Almost all day you’ll spend in CTM bus (12-30 – 20-00).
12, Wednesday, Agadir.
Make a visit to Legzira beach. The fastest option is to hire a grand-taxi (or to buy a tour in local travel agency, I don’t know any, so I can’t recommend). You may try to get there with public grand-taxi from Inezgan that you will change to another one grand-taxi in Tiznit. Also buses from Agadir to Sidi Ifni pass by Legzira. But in this case it will be difficult to find them to go back to Agadir.
If there is some time left after Legzira – go sightseeing in Agadir.
Book 2 nights in Essaouira (13-15).
If yesterday you had no chance to see sights of Agadir, do it in the morning and then leave for Essaouira. If you have succeeded in Agadir sightseeing yesterday, take 8 a.m. CTM bus to Essaouira. Arrival 11-20. Sightseeing in Essaouira.
14, Friday, Essaouira.
15, Saturday, Essaouira – Casablanca.
Book 1 night (15-16) in Casablanca.
11-30 CTM bus, 18-30 arrival to Casablanca.
16, Sunday, flight back home from Casablanca.
If you have an evening flight, pack your luggage, leave it in hotel’s luggage room and go sightseeing in Casa.
How to make 16 days tour fit in 15 or 14 days
Sorted by convenience:
- 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 to desert at your riad.
- Exclude 1 day in Rabat – and leave for Fez in the evening, so you will have time for Rabat. Also you’ll need to get up about 6 a.m. And I suppose that you’ll have no time for Sale.
- Exclude 1 day in Fez – in this case leave Rabat as earlier as possible, so you will have daytime to spend it in Fez. The next day before leaving for Merzouga, wake up at 6 a.m. and go walking in sleepy Fez.
- Exclude 1 day in Agadir (=exclude visit to Legzira). The next day leave for Essaouira in the evening. So morning and daytime you will be able to devote to Agadir. Use petit-taxis to get around the city faster.
- Exclude 1 day in Essaouira – it means that you should leave Agadir in 8 a.m. to have a half of day in Essaouira. Also you’d better wake up at 6 a.m. in Essaouira to have a short walk before leaving for Casablanca.
As you see it’s impossible to exclude all 5 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 sunny kingdom.