Morocco in June -- Q's about Itinerary and heat, etc.
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Mar 2, 2013 8:56 PM Last Post By: shekinah_75
Feb 22, 2013 2:09 PM
Morocco in June -- Q's about Itinerary and heat, etc.(I hope this doesn't double-post and apologize if it does -- after I clicked "post" then nothing happened).
In the first stages of planning a trip to Morocco in mid June, to leave before Ramadan. We know. It will be hot. Unfortunately, this is the only time of the year we have to travel. I've had a hard time figuring out the transportation to some of the places I would most like to go. I've also been unclear if I can leave Morocco in good faith not at least taking a one-day camel ride through Erg Chebbi. That seems a bit ridiculous given that you only live once. Still, it adds days to our travel plans. Perhaps we can find a tour for this? But most run through Marrakech. Maybe it's my itinerary that's causing me problems? Can you offer your thoughts about this? Thank you!
We're traveling in mid-budget range, planning to spend $30-50 US per night for most nights. That's been relatively easy with a lot of looking online. We're also planning to travel by grand taxis and bus, mainly, although I'd prefer to rent a car. Despite being a great driver with experience driving through Turkey, New York City, and in all kinds of American terrain, I can't drive a stick shift like so many other Americans. I can't seem to pick it up. I've tried for twenty years and give up. My spouse isn't a great driver at all. So car rental's sadly out. I've seen outrageous costs online for private drivers, sadly, otherwise we would go with one.
So this is what I'm trying to figure out -- and we can play around to add or subtract a few days here and there if the itinerary is poor; some of it is designed to avoid traveling for more than a few hours at a time, like the overnight in Midelt:
Day 1: Marrakech (fly in)
Day 2: Marrakech
Day 3: Marakech
Day 4: Marrakech (day trip to Ouzoud by private grand taxi or tour)
Day 5: Marrakech (day trip to see argan goats in trees by drive toward Agadir by private grand taxi)
Day 6: Ourzazate (by bus)
Day 8: Ourzazate Ait Benhaddou & Boumalne Dades (Valley of 1000 Kasbahs)
Day 9: Ourzazate -- Kelaa M'Gouna (Valley of the Roses) (bus)
Day 10: Tinehir / Todra Gorge (bus)
Day 11: Merzouga (Sunset camel trek and spend one night in dunes) (try a day tour?)
Day 12: Midelt (by bus)
Day 13: Fes (by bus)
Day 14: Fees
Day 15: Fes (Meknes) (by train)
Day 16: Fes (Volubilis) (by train)
Day 17: Chefchaouen (by bus)
Day 18: Chefchaouen
Day 19: Chefchaouen
Day 20: Marrakech
Day 21: Marrakech (fly out)
I'm much more interested in Fes than Marrakech, but our interests are a little weird, I think, and most more easily accomodated by staying in Marrakesh as a base for day trips mainly: we want to definitely see the Cascade d'Ourzoud with the barbary apes, we absolutely want to see the goats in the argan trees even though this is totally out of the way, and also I very much want to see the Valley of the Roses because I adore roses so much. So not so much your typical travelers, perhaps. We also want to see much Berber culture and the Kasbahs and various souks although I am absolutely not interested in buying anything on this trip, just looking (we have saved for two years to be able to take this trip, penny by penny, so that's just not feasible too). I am a little torn on Chefchaouen, although it is always said to be so beautiful, it seems hard to get to and also, is it mainly just a tourist trap or is there culture there? And we are dying to trek on a camel through Erg Chebbi. But will it be too hot and too out of the way? As you can see, we're basically trying to avoid the more modern cities. We don't have any real interest in these.
A little torn about what to do. This would all be so much easier with a rental car, or a hired car and private driver perhaps, but both seem to add too much to the costs. Maybe another route would make more sense? Maybe there is a private tour I don't know of that isn't too expensive but could accommodate such funny requests? The tour operators I've seen are either too expensive or don't take these routes. Maybe it's easier to hire an automatic than I think it is, or less expensive than I've heard to hire a private driver with a car for a few days to a week?
How would you do this?
Thanks so much!
Feb 23, 2013 2:00 AM
1Your itinerary seems quite good in my opinion. And you can do it by bus without problem, even if it would be best to do it by car. But if you have difficult to drive, so ...
To take a private tour is never the same as if you go by yourself, and it will be much cheaper too.
Wild monkeys you can see in Azrou about 80 km south of Fes, on the way to Midelt, not in waterfalls Ouzoud. So when you take a bus stay overnight in Azrou, not in Midelt, there it is nothing to see.
I would recommend you to stay 2 nights in Erg Chebbi, it is pity to only rush over and stay only 1 night. There are much more to see than only sand dunes and camel trek. I will put here on the forum new one thread about Erg Chebbi, what you can do there and see. So you can easily decide how long you like to stay there.
In June it will be warm there but not so much more than for example in Marrakech. If you stay overnight in sand dunes it will be cooler there of course.
Roses bloom most of May so I hope you can see they are still blooming in mid-June.
Berber culture you will see along your way, because in Morocco there are about 80% Berber.
Feb 23, 2013 1:22 PM
2Thanks Khamlia! I think it makes far more sense to try to see the barbary apes in Azrou, and that would save us from the stay in Midelt (which I haven't heard is fun). Great advice.
Also, that frees up a second night for Erg Chebbi. I agree about the rush. That was thinking it would be too hot. But if it's about the same as Marrakech, that's fine. We were in Las Vegas last year, and it was 46 C (116 F). That was a bit too hot. But when we went to Southern Turkey, it was about 40 C (104 F) and that was tolerable. Amazing what such a small shift can do. I like the heat but my husband can't stand it. We are avoiding July/August (partially due to Ramadan). Do you have any recommendations for good tour companies to see it that are 1. not too expensive and 2. have nice tour operators who won't try to sell us things and 3. have nice camp accommodations? I admit it is my dream to ride through the Sahara on a camel. Who knows why. It just sounds beautiful and like an experience not to be missed. The stuff of legends. My husband and I are both fluent in French, by the way, so that is a definite plus for us as Americans visiting Morocco, I think.
I think even if the roses aren't still blooming, the one thing I know I want to buy while there is any local rose products, perfumes, and so forth. Plus, I just love roses so to be able to go to this area, well, it seems very beautiful one way or another.
I feel much more comfortable planning my trip now! Thank you. I'm sure I'll have a lot more questions for this forum as I keep planning. I'm not a fussy traveler, but my husband really is picky, so I have to take that into account. I appreciate your reply so much, especially about the monkeys! We love to see wildlife, nature, culture, and historical places when we travel. That's a big deal for us. Also, anything really unusual.
Feb 24, 2013 11:49 AM
3Shekinah, sorry about my later answer- I cannot recommend you some tour company because I never use them. I prefer to go alone and be independent. But you can search after some tour on TripAdvisor there you find plenty of such company.
Otherwise I understand you about " I admit it is my dream to ride through the Sahara .... The stuff of legends." I am the same, not directly about to ride camel even if I like them very much, but I admire the desert since I was a little girl even if I came in real contact with it first much later :).
You are welcome with more questions.
Feb 24, 2013 12:39 PM
4When everything else fails, google in French. A search for 'location voiture transmission automatique marrakech' brought up Olympic which offers an automatic Hyundai, and several others vehicles.
Mar 2, 2013 8:56 PM
5Great, great idea, TimCullis. I didn't think to do that. Fantastic! I'd prefer to drive after giving it thought and discussing with my spouse. Thanks so much for the link as well.
Khamlia, I love the desert and have lived in the U.S. Southwest here and there in my life. The Sahara seems like the next step up to me.
I may have to whittle my trip down sadly to more like two weeks due to work, but I definitely think with the car, that will be more possible, although I'm not sure where we'll cut down (Marrakech? I'm already pretty sure I'm more of a Fez type). I do hate the idea of rushing through a country though; it will always be about the experience for me. Thanks again for that smart tip, Tim!!!
(4 star Hotel)
From US$128.36 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$60.07 per night
New York CityBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$229.00 per night