This North African country will surprise you from its vast agricultural landscape, picturesque nature, beautifully built intricate structures, colorful markets and their tasty cuisine that I’m sure most people would love.
You can enjoy visiting the famous spots and haggle on the shops on its huge Medina. But It is also recommended to just sit at the coffee shops just like a local and observe the flow of people or just walk and wander around to feel the Moroccan vibe. You’ll be surprised on every elements that made these diverse country, its truly and simply the gateway of Africa.
Here is my Itinerary for 10 Days in Morocco
Days 1 - 2: Casablanca (2 Nights)
Days 2 - 3: Fes (1 Night)
Days 3 - 4: Chefchaouen (1 Night)
Days 4 - 5: Overnight train from Tangier to Marrakech (1 Night)
Days 5 - 7: Marrakech (2 Nights)
Days 7 - 8: Ait Ben Hadou Kashbah, Ourzazate & Dades Valley (1 Night)
Days 8 - 9: Todgha Gorges, Erfoud & Sahara Desert (1 Night)
Day 10: Night bus from Marrakech to Casablanca then fly out to Singapore.
> Arrived into Mohammed V International Airport and I took the train to Casa Port (costs 43 MAD one way). If you know someone in this place, It is time to meet them. I met and stayed one night with the local guys from couchsurfing app and hangout with some other locals and Koreans.
> Stay at Relax Hotel Casa Voyageurs. This hotel is just 5Mins walk to Casa Voyageurs station. It is convenient if you’ll be taking train the next day to your next destination.
> Visit Hassan II Mosque - This mosque sits partly above the Atlantic Ocean, it is the largest mosque in Africa and the 5th largest in the world.
> Grab pastry at Bennis Habous - This famous patisserie making traditional Maghrebi pastries.
> Explore the markets, Medina, Mohammed V Square, La Corniche. I did hop on and hop off using the taxi (costs around 10 - 40 MAD per ride). Try it if you are brave enough, Casablanca is crazy but that’s how it is. I met so many random people and had fun. I always greeted with “Welcome to Morocco”.
Take the train to Fes from Casa Voyageurs station (approx 4Hrs and costs around 132 MAD). Enjoy the magnificent nature along the route. Watch out for Meknes the farm views are amazing.
> Stay at Le Grand Alcazar - Riad. This Riad has a great rooftop view, lovely Moroccan interior designs and the food selection here is a must try. Try Tagine!
> Visit Al-Attarine Madrasa - this beautiful courtyard with traditional Moroccan architecture, (entrance fee is about 20 MAD).
> Visit Bou Inania Madrasa - You will see intricate wooden carvings and built within 13th century. This place is located within the Medina with peace and quiet atmosphere worth to rest and refresh (entrance fee is 20 MAD).
> The Tanneries - Prepare for the strong smells. Look for Shop64 but be ready for the people along the way and on the shop itself if you do not give any money they make it difficult for you to see the view. I recommend to go along with group tours or pretend to be in the group or else you’ll be harassed big time. Good luck!
> Get lost in the Medina - Use mapsme to go around. And see souks, mosque and walk around local homes alleyways to wet and fruits and vegetable markets. Make sure you keep safe your belongings.
> Relax at Jnan sbil - If you want to see a lot of youngsters, this garden is their hideout place.
> Palais Royal Dar El Makhzen - from Jnan sbil, walked all the way to this palace. Do not use mapsme. It will lead you to the dead end. Use google maps if you are coming from Jnan sbil garden.
Take CTM bus from Fes to Chefchaouen (travel time was Approx. 4.5Hrs and cost 80 MAD for bus and baggage)
Stayed one night in Puerto Azul. Paid 40 MAD for the taxi from CTM bus station to the hotel. The hotel is about 1KM away from the blue city and you need to walk from stairs to medium slope hill to reach the blue city. Good exercise though.
> Explore the Blue City – Wake up early and start wandering at around. Hike to the lookout point to see the roof views of the blue city and the surrounding mountains. It is so calming up there and relax. Perfect spot to your legs after the hike. Bring some food. Enjoy the magnificent view.
> Go to Hotel Nisrene – take your perfect instagrammable shot.
> Eat at Le Lamp Magique. This spot is so popular to see the picturesque Chefchaouen landscape. Meal ranges from 150 - 250 MAD. Try the hot mint tea!
From Chefchaouen, take CTM Bus to Tangier (travel time was approx. 3Hrs and cost 45 MAD). The bus will make a quick stop in Tetouan then continue to Tanger. From Tanger CTM station I took a taxi to Tangier Ville train station(costs 40 MAD).
Buy your ticket to Marrakech (costs 327 MAD for the first class seat). I recommend the first class seat as It will be a long overnight trip from 11PM to 9AM. There are fast trains to Casa Voyageurs but departs early and you need to transfer trains.
> Stay at Le Maison Arabe - This famous hotel is a go-to for tourists to enjoy exclusively Moroccan cuisine and their hotel spa. They serve delicious breakfast and dinner. They have a band performing traditional Moroccan songs during the course of the dinner. I was upgraded to suite room overlooking the pool. I ate a lot. Swam on their pool and got drunk (I got free moroccan wine).
> Explore Jemaa el-Fnaa Square. Good luck. Crowded.
> Koutoubia Mosque - 12th century Mosque.
> Saadian Tombs - the only remains of the Saadian dynasty, containing princes and other prominent people. Beautifully made tombs to honor the lives of the people close to the Sultan (entrance fee is 70 MAD).
> Book Shared Group 3 days Desert Tourfrom Marrakech to Merzouga Dunes with Marrakech Desert Trips costs 3,260 MAD (with upgraded private room at Dades Valley and Luxury Desert accommodation plus sand boarding activity at Sahara Desert. Regular price without any upgrades costs 925 MAD). I recommend this tour and the company. I think it will be more expensive if you do it alone or you don’t know any locals, else you do a roadtrip.
> Visit Palais De La Bahia (entrance fee costs 70 MAD).
> Eat at Riad Omar and see the sunset at the rooftop. I had a funny story, my bill was 360 MAD. I told them that I would pay cash, I went to the ATM machines nearby and the ATM were not dispensing any cash using my Debit card. They told me it was Sunday and the bank were closed. I don’t know if that was true. I tried 3 ATM machines far away from the restaurant and the waiter was following me. Luckily they accept credit cards! so, bring enough cash.
> Shop at Marrakech Herboristerie. You can buy argan oils and lots of Moroccan herbal medicines. They even have Moroccan V, it was offered secretly though.
> Overnight stay at Riad Dar Aby. This 6 rooms Riad has unexpectedly beautiful interior. Not luxury but comfortable. I had to leave early for my 3 day tour to Sahara Desert. This Riad only accepts cash.
Ait Ben Hadou Kashbah, Ourzazate & Dades Valley
Wake up early and eat your breakfast. The tour company will pick you up before 7:30AM. For your travel belongings, I advised to bring everything with you and just left it safe on the van during the tour in case you have to go somewhere else after, If you don’t need to go back, Just tell the driver to drop you anywhere you want along the route.
> Wander and enjoy the view. For G sake do not sleep! The Tizi-N-Tchick road which is 2260 above sea water will give you different feels of Morocco. There are two stops one for refreshment and another stop to see the Atlas Mountains. It is a nice viewpoints, do not missed this view!
> Explore Ait Ben Hadou Kashbah. There is a tour guide onsite. Small tour activity costs 40 MAD. If you don’t want to join the tour you can explore it yourself. This Kashbah is very famous as it served a location of many movies and tv series like Gladiator, Game of Thrones etc. Buy a souvenir art painting made from saffron earth stone.
> Go to a local restaurant for lunch. Lunch costs around 90 - 150 MAD)
> Stopped at Kasbah Taourirt. Visit the nearby colorful souks stalls full of Moroccan ceramics, metal lanterns and carpets. You can buy your scarf here. You need it on your Sahara Desert trip to protect your face from the sun and sand.
> Along the route is a beautiful scenery of Kasbah’s and incredible rock formations. If there still time you can walk along the river beside the mountains in Dades Valley.
> I stayed on a private room at La Gazelle Hotel. Basic hotel accommodation arranged by the tour company. Great hotel view of the mountain and river. Dinner was tasty though.
Todgha Gorges, Erfoud & Sahara Desert
> Explore Todgha Gorges. This limestone river canyon reminded me of Zion Nat’l Park in the US. There were rock climbers having a good time climbing the routes of this spectacular high rock walls. There was an arranged tour. We visited local farms and Kasbah’s.
> Learn how local make carpets out of sheep, lamb, goat and camel wools. I learned that each family has distinctive designs, and patterns are all made up in their minds. Manual work.
> Explore Erfoud - stopped at the view point of this photogenic oasis town in the Sahara Desert. I learned that during October the town has a date festival and it is becoming popular.
> Drive at the edge of Erg Chebbi’s dunes. You will notice quickly the massive sand dunes along the way and wonder how these magnificent orange landscape like seas formed. You will feel the excitement. I said, at last I am here!
> Refresh at Hotel Nasser Palace, wait your camel ride to desert camp. Make sure you are dropped off at the correct camp. If you booked luxury tell the driver you booked the luxury camp accommodation. I was wrongly dropped at the standard camp. It’s ok I still enjoy it and get a refund for the price difference.
> Stopped to watch the sunset. Climbed the highest sand dune to get the best view. Feel the breeze and the bliss.
> Stay at the Desert Camp – Enjoy the delicious dinner, play traditional Moroccan music using drums and other instruments. Socialize and dance until you drop.
We woke up at 6:30AM. (if you want to brush your teeth, do it before other does, it is a standard camp so shared WC. Water is a scarce).
> Ride your camel and see the sunrise. Notice the color of the sand dunes changed due to insufficient sunlight and the traces from yesterday camel footprints were gone. Enjoy the camel ride back to the hotel and take your breakfast.
> Back to Marrakech, last train to Casablanca is at 8:30PM. If you missed the train take CTM bus it would leave Marrakech at 2AM the next day (costs 95 MAD for bus fare and baggage).
> I arrived in Casablanca at 5AM the Casa Port train station was 15Mins away from CTM bus station if you want to walk. I took a taxi and paid 10 MAD to Casa Port train station.
> Bought my train ticket that departs at 5:30AM to Mohammed V International Airport (costs 43 MAD).
> Arrived at Mohammed V International Airport. I recommend to be at the airport at least 3Hrs before your departure. The queue was crazy from check in to immigration.
> Leave Casablanca to Singapore at 9:30AM.
ONCF train schedules and tickets here
CTM bus schedules and tickets here
SIM cards costs between 5MAD to 200MAD depends on the data plan. I bought SIM card from orange costs 200MAD for 20GB of data. you do not need that much because mosts of the hotel has a WIFI. The sales lady will try to ask for a tip but is up to you if you want to give them. Others did not tip.
Taxi fares are based on negotiated price. You can save taxi fares if you share it with other commuters along your route. Avoid taxi’s outside the stations they normally charge more.
Best if you know a local that will arranged the trip for you. you’ll get big discounts. I met one but it was after I booked everything.
I was dropped on the standard camp not the luxury camp. I told them that even though I did not experience the luxury desert accommodation, I still enjoyed the trip and the tent in the standard camp were also decent. However, the WC was shared. In luxury, you’ll have your own WC inside the tent, so you have the luxury of shower and great lighting and blankets. Also, you can have your breakfast at the desert camp itself. I got the refunded for the price difference of my desert accommodation and the sand boarding. Happiness!
The travel time from Sahara Desert to Marrakech is 9Hrs. If I would do it again, I start the trip from Marrakech - Fes - Chefchaouen - Tangier and end in Casablanca.
Do not use drone or maybe bring one. my backpacks were inspected and the airport security is looking for a drone. I was just lucky that I did not bring mine. I think I will be fined and they may confiscate.