weather (or rather: climate) in various regions in NOVEMBER
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Sep 10, 2012 3:51 AM Last Post By: khamlia
Sep 6, 2012 12:49 PM
weather (or rather: climate) in various regions in NOVEMBERWith the unsolicited help of numerous posters - Many thanks to all of you! - we have arrived at conclusions as to our itinerary for 15 days: Marrakech, Ouzoud, Meknes, Volubilis, Fez, Midelt, Merzouga, Erg Chebbi, Todra and Dades Gorges, (Rose Valley or Draa Valley), Agdz, Ouarzazate, Ait Ben Haddou, Marrakech. Travelling in style (4x4 with driver/guide and prearranged accomodation) this should not be too much. Let us know if you disagree, please.
There are a few details, which I would like to sort out with your help:
- -Should time be pressing, which of those 4 gorges/valleys would you leave out ? I think, maybe Rose Valley is not so attractive in late November. Or are the various places in Draa Valley fairly much alike (if you have seen one kasbah, you will have seen them all!)
- -How cold will it be in late November in the regions covered? Should we pack long johns, gloves, scarves etc.? We are not going to sit in the car all day, but also not in for much trekking, being all in our late sixties.
- -Michelin map 742 states mountain pass closure for small roads (probably due to expected snow). Would "11-3" mean from 1st November to 31st March, or rather 30 Nov - 28 Feb. And: will the road be closed only temporarily on days with snowy conditions or completely during these periods ?
- -If you have a driver/guide all day for two weeks - would he expect to be left alone in the evenings or would he expect to join you for a beer or two (if available!) in the evening?
Sep 6, 2012 2:12 PM
1Weather is unpredictable. Hopefully it will be sunny and warm in the middle of the day but it will still be chilly in the mornings, evenings and at nighttime, and then even colder at altitude. There's nothing worse than being cold, so yes to thermals, gloves and scarves. Plus a hat and a thin wind/waterproof outer layer.
If you read the key (legend) to the Michelin 742 map it says 11-3 means liable to be closed (i.e. might). Asking for the actual dates in the month it's liable to be closed is pushing Michelin's crystal ball too far. In my experience most snow falls Jan-Mar. Major roads (N) are likely to be cleared and gritted within 24 hours of snowfall ceasing, minor roads are done next.
Unless you are experienced with correcting overfamiliarity, I would maintain a reserved distance from the driver. Good muslims don't drink alcohol and the 'naughty ones' often don't understand their limits, so I wouldn't like to encourage a driver to drink if he's driving you the next day!
Sep 6, 2012 5:47 PM
Sep 7, 2012 4:34 AM
3Agree about there being no need for a 4x4. They're very expensive to hire and are only needed on bad piste roads, or for specific 4x4 driving in the dunes. This is easily arranged when at the location, so no need to waste cash and derv' on normal driving in one.
Also agree with Tim on the driver thing. Unless you want to share your holiday with a stranger, then I would make it clear from the start what you want from him and what you expect on a night. There are no hard and fast rules about what a driver or guide does on a night, but many situations have arisen with both myself and others I know where the Guide/driver has ended up expecting to eat at all the same places with the guests and also to be paid for (as tourists restaurants charge the equivalent of weeks wages to a low paid Moroccan), so be clear from the start what you expect……and I doubly agree about the booze thing………Moroccan’s, booze and driving don’t mix well…..keep separate at all times.
I would miss out the Rose Valley as last time I drove through that way it seamed very touristy and contrived….we rushed on through. Also, to save a few days, I wouldn’t bother with Meknes either. It’s a nice place but not worth it if you only have 2 weeks. It offers nothing that Marrakesh and Fes can’t give you, and you’ll be disappointed if you visit after Marrakesh.
The Draa valley is a stunning drive, which offers a hosts of Moroccan treats like oasis, Kasbahs, sweeping hamada vistas and all things deserty, but it’s a long way down to the end and is a 4 day trip on it’s own if you want to see what it has to offer, so I would think again about how much you’re packing in. Your itinerary feels rushed and full on for a relaxing trip and would leave you very little time to appreciate what you’re looking at.
Final note. Drivers are not guides and guides are not usually drivers, ask if the driver can speak English as a start, but don’t expect a driver to give you a guided tour as these 2 jobs are different in most cases.
Sep 7, 2012 4:43 AM
4Why not stay in Moulay Idriss when visiting Volubilis. I really liked this little holy town, and stayed in a really nice riad that looked over the town and surrounding countryside (not the usual flee pits we stay in….we treated ourselves and it was amazing).The town’s been closed to over night foreign visitors until a few years ago because of it’s religious connections, and still has a secret feel. It has a wonderful central square that I could just spend days people watching in…..heaven! Though the mausoleum is still out of bounds to non-muslims.
Sep 7, 2012 7:14 AM
5I've been to Marrakech at the end of November and the temperature was comfortable, but the weather was really bad some days in that it rained really heavily.
If I compare it to the UK (Where I live) it's like our late summer / early autumn temperature wise so it's not as bad as to stop you from doing things, but advisable to take warm clothes.
Sep 7, 2012 7:34 AM
6..... to add to Kate's suggestion staying overnight in Moulay Idress is worth considering for a unique Moroccan and possibly a religious experience. This village is the most holy and sacred site in the country.....it is also the most dry. For accommodation consider http://buttonsinn.com/bed-and-breakfast/ with rooftop views over the village.
Sep 8, 2012 2:38 AM
Sep 8, 2012 1:01 PM
8And it's a wonderful thing being able to chub on about Morocco to randoms…….my friends and family are sick of it, so it’s good that someone actually listens!
Sep 10, 2012 3:51 AM
9Your plan is very ambitious for 15 days only, you would just sit in the car. That Maroccotraveler writes, Morocco deserves to stay a little longer in some places, not rush day after.
I would not be too familiar with the driver, I would prefer to drive yourself without having with me some stranger. But if you can not drive yourself, OK, but unfortunately I do not believe much that you can do really clear with the driver where is the limit going. Especially if you are going to be a longer time together then it becomes more and more intimate and perhaps even trace out.
In any case, you do not need 4x4. And as I see on your itinerary, maybe you would skip Draa Valley, it is detour.
I would choice maybe this: Marrakech (stay some days), Ouzoud, Meknes (stay some days and make trip to Volubilis and maybe Fez), Midelt (sleep over on the way to Erg Chebbi), Merzouga=Erg Chebbi, Todra or Dades Gorges (stay over night), Ait BenHaddou, Marrakech.
Edited by: khamlia
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