Transportation in Morocco 1

I have to say that I enjoyed the transportation in Morocco. It was hectic at times and it appeared to be without care at points, but in many ways it was better than what we get in England. So, here are my notes about the various modes of transportation available in Morocco, ranked roughly from worst to best (as we experienced them):

By far the worst was the ferry out of Tangiers! We decided to go with the Transmediterranea fast ferry between Tangiers and Algeciras. It was supposed to take about an hour and, according to the guide book, was likely to be 30 minutes to an hour late. If only it was! The ferry was so late that by the time it had arrived, we were supposed to be in Spain. It then proceeded to take its time crossing the Straits, taking over an hour and a half. To top that off, they refused to take either Moroccan Dirhams or Debit Cards on board the ship. If we had to do it again, I will only do the trip in the early morning (we did it in the afternoon) but I would be very likely to try to find a different way to get between Spain & Morocco!

Moroccan taxis are very interesting … and they would be ranked higher except for the annoyance factor that they bring! Grand Taxi rank in Marrakesh They are annoying because despite the fact that most tourist know the approximate fare, the cabbies insist on trying to rip you off. In addition, the two times that we felt the most uncomfortable were when we got off the bus from Essouira and coming out of the Tangiers train station. The cabbies virtually attacked everyone as they exited. We saw cabbies coming close to blows (or appearing to) over fares. Once in a taxi, especially once you are have fixed a fare, they are always very efficient and generally very helpful.

I am normally not a fan of the hop-on hop-off red double-decker tour buses, but the Marrakesh Tour bus is useful for two main reasons. First, they provide a great way to see the city walls around Marrakesh and the Gueliz area of the city. The Palmery from the tour bus Second, it is probably the second best way to see the Palmeries (the first would be a caleche) and you are pretty much guaranteed to see some camels. It only costs 130 dirhams for a 24-hour ticket on both circuits around the city. In addition, stop 11 is outside of the Artisanal Ensemble (the fixed-price store), which makes it easy to stop and check out prices.

Speaking of buses, the Supratours express buses are reasonably fast and comfortable. The one between Marrakesh and Essouira was the one that we used. It made one bathroom/refreshment stop during the approximately three-hour journey. I would not recommend doing what we did (there & back in two days) but it is an easy bus journey. Of course, there are two caveats about Supratours services – they are more expensive than regular buses (but about the same as CMT buses, the national service) and they do not leave from the normal bus terminal. In most places, Supratours have their own terminal (in Marrakesh the terminals are 10 minutes apart by taxi). Me in my bunk

By far, the best transportation that we experienced in Morocco was the Marrakesh-Tangiers Night Train. An adult ticket costs 350 dirhams (or about £27, when we were there) and it departs at 21.00 and arrives in Tangiers at 7.25 the next morning. It is a great way to travel between the major cities of Morocco and was a much better journey than the London-Edinburgh ScotRail Sleeper! Tickets for the train must be booked in advance of travel and book bottom bunks (if you are traveling as a couple, book both of the bottom bunks because it gives you a better chance of a private cabin).

One final note, if you want to ride a camel on the beach in Tangiers, expect to pay around 100 dirhams per person for a ride of at least 30 minutes and plenty of pictures!

One thought on “Transportation in Morocco

  • Maxine

    Whoa!! I wish I could have gone with you all. What a great experience… P.S. I am sure you would have wanted me on your first anniversary trip…. Love, Moter

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