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Trips to Essaouria and Ait Ben Haddou

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Marlow, Bucks
posts: 21
Trips to Essaouria and Ait Ben Haddou

We are visiting Marrakech for a week at the end of October and are really looking forward to our stay in this colorful and lively city. However this is our 1st trip to Morocco and are concerned we will be missing an experience if we spend the full week only here, so we are looking into taking a couple of trips allowing us 5 nights and 3 days in Marrakech and 2 nights and 4 days exploring. I am not familiar with the best transport options or distances involve, but so far we are considering an overnight stay in Essaouria, from what I have read from previous posts the Supratours bus seems the most favorable option to travel to and from. Also a journey to Ali Ben Haddou, again spending the night there in order to take advantage of what I've read to be the most favorable lighting conditions at sunset and at dawn. I may not yet fully appreciate the magnitude of the place but I believe a couple of hours is ample to wander round the Ksar, is there anything else we should do when visiting this wonderful Unesco site?

I believe the journey to and from Marrakesh will take us through the Atlas Mountains are there any specific places/ things we should stop and see enroute. What would be the best means of transport, would it be advisable to hire a car and drive? I would love to know if my suggested plans sound plausible and if this sounds like a sound plan. I would be very pleased to hear any recommendations.

3 replies to this topic
Cardiff, United...
posts: 895
reviews: 30
1. Re: Trips to Essaouria and Ait Ben Haddou

Sounds like a great plan.

Hire a private driver for 2 days (expect to pay a total (not per person) of around £100 per day for a driver with a seven seater type vehicle), on the first day leave Marrakech and head over the High Atlas mountain, stop off as many times as you like, most of the views are stunning.

Take some time out at the Kasbah of Telouet, it is very nice and usually very quite there (you can easily spend an hour at this Kasbah), then head off to the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, spend a few hours looking around and then go up to the top of the Kasbah as the views at the top are unbelievable, you will need to spend the night in the area (as it will be a long day).

The next day, you can ask your driver to drop you directly to Essaouira (it is around a 6-6½ hour drive), take plenty of stops along the way, once you are in Essaouira, you can say goodbye to your driver (as you can get the Supertours coach back to Marrakech on the next day, make sure you book your ticket as soon as you arrive in Essaouira as the coach can get fully booked). Make sure you spend at least one night in Essaouira, the vibe is so chilled out and it is so relaxing there.

I hope you have a wonderful time, it is a bit of travelling to do, but you will see some of the best that Morocco has to offer.

Edited: 3:34 am, September 11, 2013
Hanworth uk
posts: 61
2. Re: Trips to Essaouria and Ait Ben Haddou

Hi from marrakesh to essaouira its no more than maximum 3 hours drive a nice dual carrige way only about 15/20mile normal road nice lovelly drive done it last september cheers

Marlow, Bucks
posts: 21
3. Re: Trips to Essaouria and Ait Ben Haddou

MIB15 thanks for your support on our proposed itinerary, and suggestion to take a driver for the trip. We had originally planned to return to Marrakech for a night between trips but I can see that we would probably gain more to travel directly on. Where would you recommend stopping when driving through the Atlas Mountains and on route to Essaouria We are not really interested in commercial or mass tourism but still want to see the highlights and get an insight to the local life.

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