A trip to Morocco means a lot and experiencing it on the road magnifies every feeling for better or worse. Travelling by car in Morocco is not so simple, or at least, it is simple in terms of travel but it is less easier, for example, when you enter the city or when you have to ask for directions.
In this post I will show you a two week itinerary between Morocco, which has been atypical as almost nobody continues to Spain. The majority of ontheroad tours in Morocco are circular, starting and ending in one of the imperial cities.
What to know o do before travelling to Morocco
Often, inside a country, the itineraries to follow are limited, in the case of Morocco you can customize your tour as you like. There are many itineraries that you can follow: from the tour of the imperial cities to the tour only in the north of the country or in the south (be careful to not get close to Mauritania). If you want to travel only around sea and coastal cities you can also have this option, and if, instead, you are a mountain lover you could decide to spend more time in the Atlas Mountains and do some nice trekking or via ferrata (I saw an interesting one just near the Todra Gorges).
You might also like -> Is Safe to Travel to Morocco? Lots of tips for your trip!
The itinerary of two weeks in Morocco I am going to suggest you is a mixed one. It starts from the imperial city of Marrakech, continuing towards the mountains and then reaching the desert of Erg Ghebbi close to the Algerian border. Afterwards it ascends to Tangier crossing the cities of Fez and Chefchaouen. At the end of the itinerary I will also include a potential prolongation on the Spanish part, to Tarifa; a gem you won’t want to miss.
It is a tough route but at the same time it will satisfy you, the experience in the desert is priceless.
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DIY trip to Morocco: general information
In this paragraph you will find costs and information related to my trip to Morocco. These costs are related to 2017 and will give you the best ideas to plan your trip.
Period: 6 -> 18 August in Morocco, 18 -> 23 August in Spain
Total number of nights: 12 in Morocco and 5 in Spain (more than two weeks, but you can manage it how you want adding 3 days in Morocco)
Flight to Morocco: A Ryanair flight from Milan Bergamo (BGY) to Marrakech (RAK), that cost 136 euro and was booked at the end of February.
Return flight from Seville: Again a Ryanair flight, from Seville (SVQ) to Milan Bergamo (BGY), which cost 108 euros and was booked at the beginning of April.
Visa: European and North American citizens don’t need it. When you arrive in the country, you will receive a stamp that allows you to stay in Morocco for 90 days. All you need is your passport, which must still be valid when you leave the country.
Travelling by car in Morocco
Car: I have relied on Ryanair’s rental service for this trip to Morocco. I usually rely on external services, however this time it came at an attractive price. The car was a beautiful Fiat Panda with a trunk appropriate for a small and a large trolley. It used very little fuel, it was perfect for this ontheroad.
Moroccan areas involved: Marrakech, Middle Atlas, Merzouga Desert, the High Atlas and the area between Fez and Tangier.
Car rental cost: 249 euros inclusive of full insurance excluding allowance, to which must be added 900 Moroccan Dirham for the One-Way supplement, or approx. 85 euros for a total of 335 euros. I rented the car for 9 days, if you need information about it you can check this post: How to rent a car.
Km covered: 1555
Gasoline cost: the price of gasoline in Morocco does not vary too much, the lowest price was 10.40 dirham per liter, the highest price was 10.58. A total cost of about 80 euros of gasoline for the whole trip. I told you that Panda consumption was quite low, 19 km with a liter, this car has been a great rediscovery.
Road signs: non existant. No, I’m kidding! Let’s just say there’s no problem outside of town. Speedways often have speed signs, when you drive into city areas there are less road signs than expected, and sometimes it’s hard to drive around.
Police checks: they are common, so you have to pay attention especially to speed limits and checkpoints.
Local transports: within the cities you can get around by taxi, their cost is quite low but the majority of them do not activate the meter, so you have to bargain and clearly set the price before getting in.
Hotels, food, tip and advices
Euro/dirham exchange rate: ranging from 10.80 dirhams to 11 dirhams for 1 euro.
Booking and hotel prices in Morocco and Spain: all booked from Italy and one on the go using Booking.com website. Hotels in Morocco are cheap and often include an awesome breakfast consisting of all kinds of bread, jams, oil, juice and a thousand other delicacies.
Food prices in Morocco: very, very, very cheap! Street food is inexpensive and even restaurants often offer 60/70 dirham menus for an “appetizer, main course and dessert”. The most expensive dinner I paid for was at a restaurant in Marrakech which was 150 dirhams per person.
Tips: tipping in Morocco is discretionary but it advisable.
Moroccan cities visited: Marrakech, Ait Ben Haddou, Skoura, Merzouga, Ifrane, Fez, Chefchaouen, Tangier.
Special experiences in Morocco: I visited the oasis of Skoura, various kasbahs along the way, the Dades gorges, the Todra gorges, made the excursion in the desert of Merzouga and a quad bike ride always in Merzouga.
Time zone: 1 hour, 2 hours during Ramadan.
Morocco Climate in August: Hot, very hot yet dry. In Marrakech the temperature was 44/45 degrees during the hottest hours of the day, and between 1pm and 6/7pm it is very difficult to stay outdoors, even more so under the sun. August is not the most suitable month for a trip to Morocco, it is better to choose fall or spring months. Concerning the rain I only experienced a thunderstorm during the crossing in the desert towards the camp, anyway the remaining days have always been dry. In the area between Marrakech and Merzouga the sky has always been rather grey, while ascending towards Fez and Tangier it became clear and blue.
Insurance and connections
Insurance: signed online at a cost of 75 euros (valid for 2 people) for the entire duration of the trip, including the Spanish part of the trip.
WiFi: very sore subject. WiFi connection in hotels was poor. In most of them it didn’t work decently even in common areas. In restaurants and bars it works better but it is not so common.
Mobile data network: those few times I turned on my mobile data network it always worked fine. The data coverage looked good to me, except in the desert for obvious reasons. However, I suggest you to buy a SIM card at the airport because the WiFi in hotels is poor. You will often need information, even to simply find specific addresses or places. If I knew I would have bought a SIM card, unfortunately I did not and I regretted it.
Map of our trip in Morocco and continuation in Spain
Road trip to Morocco: 13 days/12 nights itinerary
Here are all the different stops of my trip in Morocco. The itinerary starts from Marrakech and ends in Tangier. The itinerary can, of course be, adjusted according to your interests. Generally speaking, I think it is balanced both in terms of transfers and in terms of the amount of experiences that in just 13 days I had the opportunity to enjoy.
Day 1,2 and 3: Arrival in Marrakech – City tour
Marrakech has become a must.
Europeans are rediscovering it thanks to the many low cost flights that serve it. A complex city, always vibrant and very fascinating. You have to allow at least 2/3 days, it also depends on the period. Since August the afternoon was off-limits, it was impossible to visit some areas of the city under the scorching sun, so 3 nights were needed. In other periods I would definitely spend 2 nights. It is part of the tour of the imperial cities, you will find many tourists, more than in other parts of Morocco.
Read more: Visiting Marrakech: real 7 Best Things to do
Day 4: Transfer to Ait Ben Haddou – Skoura
From this moment on, the Moroccan itinerary begins. I picked up the rental car at the airport and headed towards the mountains and the Tizi n Tichka pass. I didn’t use the car in Marrakech, I took it on day 4 because driving in the traffic jam of the city would have been unfeasible. From the airport, proceeding towards the mountains there is no need to cross Marrakech. The road runs alongside the city centre and is not very busy.
From this moment on, traffic won’t be an issue. Sometimes it is possible to find some slowdown in the ascent to the pass because it is crossed by several lorries that run at 20/30 km per hour. On the Tizi n Tichka pass the road was being repaired and there were construction sites in progress. The views are beautiful and it is a stretch of road with several places where you can stop and take pictures.
Once I reached the other side of the pass, I visited Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified Ksar that can be reached with a short detour from the road that leads to Ouarzazate.
Quite dramatic, definitely worthy of a visit!
After the mid stop I moved on to the beautiful oasis of Skoura where I spent the night. Here I would suggest you to sleep in a particular location, the hotel annexed to the Kasbah Amridil. It’s called Espace Kasbah Amridil, where you will sleep under the stars, staying next to a very famous Kasbah. You might also ask the hotel manager to show you the oasis, he will tell you a lot of interesting things.
- Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou: 185 km – 3 hours and 30 minutes
- Ait Ben Haddou – Skoura: 73 km – 1 hour and 10 minutes
Day 5: Kasbah Amridil -> Visit to the Dades Gorges and a night in Tinghir
Following this Moroccan itinerary, since you will get to Skoura quite late and above all tired, it would be unthinkable to be able to visit the Kasbah in its entirety, especially since it is much more beautiful during the day.
I saved the Kasbah for the after-breakfast. After the visit to the Kasbah I headed towards the stunning Dades gorges.
In the southern part of Morocco you can often see scenarios like the one you see going towards the gorges. The landscape is characterized by a beautiful palm grove surrounded by red earth coloured mountains. A striking contrast! I will write a specific article about the gorges, although I would like to tell you that before you get to the most famous viewpoint, you will have to travel for about 25 km until the road crosses the river and starts to ascend. Near the viewpoint you can stop and enjoy the silence created by the wind.
I then continued to Tinghir, and I highly recommend it, to spend the night in this small town at the gates of the Todra Gorges. An ideal location to discover the gorges the following day.
- Skoura – Dades Gorges Viewpoint: 106 km – 2 hours and 5 minutes
- Dades Gorges Viewpoint – Tinghir: 82 km – 1 hour and 25 minutes
Day 6: Todra Gorges – Transfer to Merzouga – Tour in the desert
A trip to Morocco is all about culture and nature and there is plenty of the latter in the Atlas Mountains. Tinghir is just a stone’s throw from these beautiful gorges where a small stream flows with water rising directly from the ground. It’s a stunning location, a place to spend a few hours carefree.
I used the second part of the day for another transfer, the most incredible of all… towards the Moroccan desert. The best thing about this part of the trip to Morocco was to see how the landscapes are changing, travelling towards Merzouga. Poor villages in the middle of nowhere, only one paved road (the main one), everything else is just gravel, dirt, dust and sand.
And then, suddenly, the incredible scenery of the desert begins. The road, which is as straight as you can go, runs through an almost completely flat territory; gusts of wind blow the sand onto the roadway, the next ones sweep it away. All around a flat, black landscape, due to the basaltic rocks.
And finally we reach Merzouga, from where the desert tours start. I would recommend you to use local agencies, but I will also talk about this topic in a special article.
- Todra Gorges – Merzouga: 200 km – 2 hours and 45 minutes
Day 7: Sunrise in the desert – 4×4 ride in the Erg Ghebbi desert
This day of my trip to Morocco was one of the most emotionally intense. If you will follow part of this itinerary in Morocco, at least, you won’t be able to skip the night in the desert. So, the next morning you won’t be able to miss the sun rising in the sand dunes.
I did not want to just see the desert quickly, I preferred to enjoy it and I decided to spend another day in this remote place in the world.
In my case, returning to Merzouga by camel, I chose to take a 4×4 ride around the sand dunes. A tour that lasted about 3 hours that allowed me to discover the nomadic camps and to discover some more anecdotes about Moroccan life in this lovely place.
Feel free to choose whatever you want, but I assure you that another day in the desert is special because, especially if you experience the thrill of a quad bike on the sand dunes, it’s a lot of fun yet relatively dangerous. There are quad bike rentals in Merzouga, the price is reasonable. One hour of single quad bike 40 euros including the guide who goes out with you and takes you through the dunes.
I spent the night in Merzouga to leave rested the next day for the north of Morocco.
Day 8: Moving to Fez and stop in Ifrane.
Transfer day. Every serious on the road itinerary features that day where you have to spend an entire day moving from place to place. This is the day.
We left Merzouga and arrived in Fez in the late afternoon. Nothing extraordinary in terms of kilometers, the problem is the roads. In many places you have to cross the mountains, and there are lots of bends… that’s why it takes so long.
The landscape is the positive note, from the desert to the verdant Ifrane, from the non-existent traffic to the total chaos of Fes. As I said, a trip to Morocco offers you constant contrasting sensations.
Anyway you will arrive (and I have arrived) in Fes quite exhausted. The last kilometers leading to Fes are demanding and looking for parking is an impossible task.
- Merzouga – Ifrane: 399 km – 5 hours and 50 minutes.
- Ifrane – Fes: 70 km – 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Day 9: Visiting Fes and full immersion in its medina
Fes’ medina is very beautiful but requires a guide to be able to understand it and to avoid getting lost. I would not recommend to experience Fes DIY, I relied on a competent person who, in 4 hours, made me discover the secrets of this city.
Day 10: Transfer to Chefchaouen
They seem close by but Fes and Chefchaouen are 3 hours’ drive across miles and miles of fields used to produce hay. In the end… the blue, or rather I would say the sky-blue, of Chefchaouen can be seen from a distance.
- Fes – Chefchaouen: 202 km – 3 hours and 30 minutes
Day 11: Visiting Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is worth more than just one night, you must discover it little by little. It is a very well known destination and to visit Chefchaouen it takes only one day, although to appreciate it I suggest you spend more time with it. It is small and you can immediately understand how it is arranged. You won’t get lost, it’s quiet and it’s the ideal place to “catch your breath” after the previous hectic days.
Day 12: Transfer to Tangier
Slowly I headed to Tangiers to return my car. My idea, if I hadn’t taken a wrong turn, was to visit Assilah on the west coast of Morocco. Unfortunately, I missed it and my trip to Morocco on the road ended with a tour of the Tangier ring road.
Please don’t ask me if I would drive around the Tangier ring road again… the answer is NO! I’d rather make the drive 50 km longer. Seriously, avoid driving around Tangier by car because it’s very busy and it’s difficult for those who are used to drive correctly.
- Chefchaouen – Tangeri:129 km – 2 hours and 20 minutes
Continuing in Spain: from Tarifa to Seville
It is no secret that I have a soft spot for Spain! Opportunity makes the man thief and what better one than to cross the 14 km of sea that separates the European and African continents with the ferry from Tangier to Tarifa. Two places so close and yet so different in my opinion.
Day 13: Transfer to Spain by ferry from Tangier to Tarifa
From the port of Tangier (not Tangier Med which is a different port) there are several ferries to Tarifa. There are 2/3 companies serving the 35 minute route.
I decided to end my trip in Morocco continuing in Spain to spend some days by sea in the beautiful town of Tarifa.
- Tangier – Tarifa: 14 km – 35 minutes by ferry
Day 14 – 15 – 16: Sea and relax in Tarifa
Tarifa is the southernmost place on the European continent, famous for being one of the most popular areas for kitesurfers and windsurfers since the wind blows all year round. The beaches of Tarifa are those that turn westwards over the ocean. This stretch of Costa de la Luz offers beautiful beaches such as Los Lances, Bolonia and Valdevaqueros.
Vast beaches dotted with chiringuitos where you can have a drink while waiting for the sunset. Don’t miss the first chiringuito on Los Lances beach, the one near Isla de las Palomas…with 4 euros you can enjoy 5 San Miguel with a view of the ocean!
Read more: Best things to do in Tarifa
Day 17 – 18: Transfer to Seville and sightseeing of the city
Seville is my “secret affair”. I’ve been there three times and it never fails to amaze me.
I’ve already celebrated it several times as Andalusia’s pearl, and I’d say I’m always right. It’s a city that captivates anyone who visits it. The distance from Tarifa is short, about 3 hours by bus. I’ve written a lot about Seville and you can find all my articles: HERE . If you want something more practical, here is the best things to do in Seville.
From Seville I then left for Italy thanks to a low cost flight.
- Tarifa – Seville: 3 hours by bus
Optional additions to the itinerary in Morocco
This itinerary for my trip to Morocco could be subject to several changes. As I wrote to you in the beginning of this article, Morocco offers a lot, depending on your needs and interests you may prefer a visit to a city rather than spending an extra day in the desert.
The possible adjustments that I can suggest you begin from the root of my itinerary:
- Ouarzazate: someone might prefer to spend the night in Ouarzazate visiting the city. It is a possible change that I had not considered because I wanted to remain locked away from the hustle and bustle.
- Among the Gorges: a nice idea would be to combine the Dades Gorges and the Todra Gorges on the same day and save half a day in the desert.
- Among the Gorges: both the Dades and Todra Gorges can be hiked, in some places you can find the ferrate.
- Always in gorge area: trekking excursions that last several days begin.
- Around Fes: I haven’t seen it, but I suggest you add Meknes.
- Fes area; besides Meknes there is also Volubilis with its Roman site.
- Towards Tangier: heading towards Tangier from Chefchaouen, the detour to Assilah is quite interesting.
- Tangier area: as an alternative to Assilah, little known but very characteristic. I would recommend a visit to Tétouan and its white medina.
Personally, if I had more time, I would have decided to spend one day trekking through the gorges, which I think is a beautiful experience. City-wise I would have added Meknes and Assilah. I had been reading about this small coastal town and was fascinated by the fact that it was considered the city of artists. Unfortunately, I took the wrong road, Assilah will remain on my list for a future hypothetical trip to Morocco.
Recommended hotels for a two weeks itinerary in Morocco (and Spain)
These are all the hotels where I stayed, the prices I will show you are intended for 1 night in a double room and NOT per person. In this trip to Morocco and Spain I have chosen all rooms with private bathroom.
Marrakech – Riad Dar Yema – 40 euro, breakfast included – The most beautiful hotel I stayed in on this trip. It is located in an internal area of the souks, 5 minutes walk from Jamaa El Fna square. It is beautiful because outside there is hustle and bustle, as soon as you enter you find yourself in a blister of unparalleled peace and quiet. A small indoor swimming pool with relaxation area. The owner is friendly and helpful. The breakfast included in the price is hearthy. Cleanliness is impeccable. I strongly recommend it. Quality/price ratio: 9.5
Skoura – Espace Kasbah Amridil – 30 euros, breakfast included – This is another gem of this trip to Morocco. The Espace is next to the Amridil Kasbah, it has exactly the same appearance and therefore you will experience the feeling of sleeping in a Kasbah. At nightfall the atmosphere is wonderful. The hotel is hundreds of meters away from the main road, on the bank of the dry bed. Reda, the manager, is very nice and speaks Italian. You can have dinner, in fact it is highly recommended because there is no restaurant within hundreds of meters. Also, Reda’s wife is a very fine cook, it was one of the best dinners of the whole trip. Breakfast, like almost all the Moroccan ones, superb. Quality/price ratio: 9
Tinghir – Maison d’Hote Valentine – 28 euro, breakfast included – I must admit that the entrance to the hotel is a puzzle. I had a hard time finding it. Actually it is simply a house where a family lives and they have several rooms used as accommodation for tourists. The first impression is weird, then you realize that you are interacting with a family that is still very traditional, maybe a little closed but authentic. The girl who manages the rooms and breakfast is infinitely sweet and innocent. Another positive aspect is the distance of a few hundred meters from the Todra gorges, a perfect position to reach the gorges before the arrival of the organized tours. Quality/price ratio: 8
Merzouga – Auberge la Source – 36 euro, breakfast included – The place is very nice and so is the swimming pool. I would recommend it for its location and the structure itself. The owner, however, is not so skilled and friendly. I recommend it only if you want to take a dip in the pool. Quality/price ratio: 6
Fes – Riad Saana Rose – 25 euros, including breakfast – Fes is a maze of messy streets. It is crucial to find the right place to take refuge and stay calm. Obviously I am speaking of a Riad. This riad that I recommend has many strengths… it is on the main road, it’s elegant, you are completely independent, there is a beautiful terrace and finally the breakfast is amazing. Quality/price ratio: 8
Chefchaouen – Dar Naya – 30 euros, breakfast not included – Peace reigns in Chefchaouen and this is the ideal accommodation. It is a structure that leaves you independent, you have your own key, you can come and go whenever you want, there is hardly anyone in reception. It is in the upper part of Chefchaouen about 5 minutes walk from the main square and the Kasbah. The strengths are the independence and the beautiful terrace from which you can see the mountains and the whole city. Quality/price ratio: 8
Tangier – Hotel Chellah – 60 euro, breakfast not included – I did not spend the night in the medina in Tangier, I preferred to stay out of it and I chose this large hotel with swimming pool nearby. It was perfect because of the tranquility and atmosphere that is created by the pool in the evening, you can dine with background music and soft lighting. As for the structure, it is quite old and the cost is much higher than the average in Tangier. Quality/price ratio: 6
Tarifa – Pension Correo – 95 euros, breakfast not included – The price is high but in Tarifa in the middle of August to find something at a lower price is almost impossible, unless you stay in a hostel. The location of Pensión Correo is perfect to say the least, right in the centre, in front of the post office, completely absorbed in the life of Tarifa. I would go there again, even now. I had a great time. From Pensión Correo to the ferries it’s a 5 minute walk. 10 minutes to get to the beach of Los Lances. What else could want? Quality/price ratio: 8.5
Seville – Hostal Giralda Sta. Cruz – 37 euros, breakfast not included – Would you like to be in the center of Seville? This hotel is the right place for you. In the heart of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, 2 minutes walk from the Alcazar, 1 minute from Seville Cathedral. Large rooms with air conditioning included, which is essential in Seville in the middle of August. I think it’s the best hotel I’ve stayed in in Seville. Quality/price ratio: 8