How to Travel Morocco

Figuring out how to navigate Morocco alone was quite difficult at first. There aren’t that many guides out on the country yet—English guides, at least—and barely anything is online so far. While trying to plan my first trip to Morocco, I was completely stumped. My usual resources (Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor) yielded very little. Lonely Planet didn’t even have a guidebook out on it; the closest thing I found was a PDF pamphlet. As for me, my trip to Morocco wasn’t motivated by sights I wanted to see or adventures that I wanted to have—I just wanted an extreme change in environment and culture. I didn’t even know about Place Djemaa el Fna or the huge Souks.

I think my European counterparts actually fared better, planning- and knowledge- wise. For them, Morocco is actually a considered travel destination; I have never heard Americans talk about visiting, usually preferring to get their feet wet with Europe before anything else.

There are different things you look out for depending on where and how far you want to go.

agdz sunset CTM bus stop morocco travel

Within a City…

Within the large cities, there is public transportation in the form of buses. I actually don’t recommend this simply because it’s usually brimming with people and puts you in greater risk of being pick-pocketed. If you need a second reason, petit taxis should only cost a few euros AT MOST, making Morocco one of the cheapest places ever to casually use taxis. Take advantage of this. When I was in Marrakech, most of the riads I saw were within walking distances of Place Djemaa el Fna—some were even within the souks. So if you want to really get to know the area and get the vibe, I do like walking within cities.

In regards to intercity traveling… 

Sure, you may be landing in Marrakech and for 2 days or so, it’s a very fulfilling destination, with sights you’ve only seen in movies. However, most people choose to travel to other cities as well—and I highly, highly recommend this. Why? Because Morocco has so much more to offer than you think

Anyways, after researching the sights you want to see and the experiences you want to have, the second question is usually: How the hell do I GET there?

open car door sahara tour trek 4x4

  • Intercity buses. Outside of hiring a Grand Taxi, which may cost hundreds, depending on your negotiating skills, how do you do that? Luckily for you, there are TONS of bus companies willing to drive you hours to other cities for very affordable prices. For example, my bus ride to M’hamid from Marrakech, which makes it an 11-hour journey, cost me only 16€ for a one-way ticket. You can also take a day trip to Essaouira from Marrakech (4 hours away) for just 14€ round-trip!Now, not all bus companies are equal. You can see locals mostly taking CTM, and for good reason. CTM is the safest and most official way to travel; in every city, CTM has kiosks and stations with every modern facility you need (although sometimes the bathroom may be behind a random building). The other bus companies, SupraTours, etc, may be cheaper but they are less stable and organized.
  • Grand taxis. For cities that are situated closer to each other, like Ouarzazate and Agdz, there are Grand Taxis. Grand Taxis are large, shared taxis where you pay per seat and it may make more sense to take these sometimes as opposed to a bus. With a taxi, you operate on your schedule (as long as you have enough people to fill the car). Although it may be intimidating at first, it is amazingly economical. The 1-hour journey from Agdz to Ouarzazate costs 30 dirhams. Do you know how much that costs in euros? 3€.Watch out, though. If you order a taxi, they will assume that you want the whole taxi to yourself instead of sharing it with locals. This will cost you ENORMOUSLY. To find a grand taxi, go near a station or the city center.
    guides surrounding the 4x4 travel morocco sahara desert tour
  • Renting a car. Like anywhere, Morocco allows tourists to rent their own cars for intercity travel. Many companies accept foreign drivers license instead of an international one. Renting a car is one of the best ways to travel Morocco—you get complete control of what you see… as long as you’re brave enough to face other drivers on the winding roads through the High Atlas Mountains. Moroccans speed through these things like no other—speaking from someone who took a grand taxi from Agdz to Ouarzazate, I can honestly say that my entire body was braced for impact the whole time.I will say, however, that renting a car in Morocco is not necessarily cheap! Especially if you pick up the cars from the airport—those can cost an arm and a leg. From what I’ve heard from locals and other travelers, it’s better to get to Morocco first, and then scope out non-international rental car companies while you’re in the city. These will give you better deals (depending on the season) and some accept negotiations. sahara desert tour in 4x4 experience
  • Booking a tour. And finally, you can book a tour, which includes the freedom of car rental, a price that is more affordable, and an all-inclusive experience! I am usually very picky about the tours I take—I find very few to be worth the money that I fork over and always end up wishing that I had gone it alone instead. It is completely different in Morocco, especially for those hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sahara! First of all, there are no signs whatsoever when driving in the desert. Second of all, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to risk getting trapped in the sand outside of all civilization anywhere. For such adventurous, natural experiences like Morocco, sometimes it is better to have a guide.Although I didn’t technically take an all-inclusive tour from Marrakech in Morocco, my guide-turned-friend did accompany us on the bus and ensured that we got to M’hamid safely.There are many tour companies operating in Morocco. Many of them you can find while walking around on the street, although I was a little hesitant when I saw those. Some you can find online, although you usually have to email them for a quote first. No matter what company you choose, they are all very accommodating and the experiences you have will probably have no rival.

So there you have it! All the ways to travel Morocco! Of course, navigating all of this is half of the excitement, so I won’t give everything away. But if I’ve left anything out, please don’t hesitate to email me about it.

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  • http://snowintromso.com/ Van @ Snow in Tromso

    If I would visit Morocco I would definitely want to visit other places than Marakech and the desert too as Marakech is supposed to be very touristy?!! But you’re absolutely right, I wouldn’t have a clue of how to get there. So thanks for the advice! ;)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Yeah, Marrakech is reaching a saturation point with tourists! But there are certain parts that you still have to see… just for a shorter period of time :) Haha, thanks, hopefully it helps :p

  • http://theladyerrant.com/ Elle

    Nice tips! I’d love to visit Morocco. . .or anywhere haha. I love/hate when there aren’t a lot of guide books and tips floating around. It feels like such legit traveling, and yet it can be so inconvenient

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, agreed. I’m at that point of being home where I just want to get back out on the road again! And that love/hate thing totally exists for me too. There’s a sense of wonder but at the same time huge confusion :p

  • http://www.melaniefontaine.com/ Melanie Fontaine

    I can imagine that Morocco would be a place that’s a bit difficult to navigate at first! But I imagine that that’s half the reason why traveling to Morocco can be such an adventure! :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Yup! It was actually the first time where I had to navigate so much on my own.. which is why going there was so addicting I did it twice!

  • http://www.migrationexpert.com.au/ Rachel

    I’ve heard of the great cities in Morocco as well as the Draa valley, that I’d love to see not only on pictures, the view must be stunning in person! I will put Morocco in my bucket list, and have a safe trip!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      It’s amazing! I’ve never picture Morocco the way that I saw it… I only ever thought about barren lands, etc. But there’s so much more out there! Definitely bucket list worthy ;)

  • Kerri & Kris

    We have been slightly wary of taxis ever since we visited Romania. When we tried to get to our camp-site from the station (~12km along one road according to google) the taxi driver tried to tell us that it was really 30km and that google was wrong! We ended up getting a minibus for 2 Lei (£0.40) each instead, on the way back we walked, we were exhausted by the time we got to the station!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Oh no! I hate when an experience from another country gives you some wariness for a completely different country! In Morocco, you definitely need to agree on a price beforehand… although I have never encountered anything like what you said about Romania!

  • http://www.tothedayslikethis.com/ Sammy @ Days Like This

    Such a helpful post! Thank you!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      You’re welcome! I hope it comes in handy :)

  • Shing

    Wish I had read this post before my trip to Marrakech, I imagine my trip would have been a lot different… ah well, I have an excuse to return! The bus is such good value and definitely preferable over a taxi where being ripped off is highly probable.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      I hear a good story behind that! And returning is never too big a chore ;) Yeah, I asked a taxi driver for a quote from Ouarzazate to Marrakech for conversational purposes (why, I don’t know) and it was almost $100!! HECK no!

  • Joseph Stark

    Great content. Travel to morocco is may be a good decision in holidays. There is much more to explore, though, when you take a deeper look at your adventurous side.