I’m not a big fan of rushed trips, but I only had about 6 days to spend in Morocco and I was stupid enough to underestimate the size of the country. My original plan was to go from Marrakesh – Essaouira – Casablanca, but everyone told me that Casablanca was “a waste of time” (my flight departed from there anyway) and Essaouira could be done in 1 day. And I had Chefchaouen on my mind, it was a place that everyone loved and recommended so I really wanted to see it. I started to do some research online AFTER landing in Marrakesh and found a long, but doable route. So, how did I manage to see Marrakesh – Fez – Chefchaouen – Casablanca in only 6 days?
I flew into Marrakesh and spent one full day there. I think that was enough to be honest since it’s quite a small place, but the Medina is very beautiful so if you have time, stay for 2 days. I left to Fez with an 8 hour train the next day. The train departed in the afternoon so I had some time to spend in Marrakesh still. I arrived to Fez at about 22 and didn’t get to see anything. Woke up early, about 8, and wandered off to the Medina straight away. I bought a bus ticket to Chefchaouen at 16:30 so I had some hours to spend in Fez. I saw everything I wanted to see plus had a nice lunch just in time for my bus. I spent about 1 1/2 days in the mountains in Chefchaouen, which I think was enough to see “everything” but didn’t leave time to do other things such as go hiking. I spent an entire day just to get to Casablanca, but the train ride was quite nice so can’t complain. The day after my lovely couch host took me to the Hassan Mosque II, Northern Africa’s biggest mosque, their huge mall and the lovely Medina.
Casablanca isn’t really worth going to, although this mosque was pretty impressive. Otherwise, not the biggest fan. I’m happy I saw it though, since I’ve always been a very big fan of the movie “Casablanca” and I remember looking at a map when I was a teenager and telling myself “one day I’ll go to Casablanca, wherever the hell that is”, and flash forward to today… A dream come true.
So, let’s break it down for anyone who’s going this route. When I was traveling, I found some blogs which explained it quite well, but in my mind it still sounded really complicated (which is why I was a bit afraid to go this route), so I will try to explain it very easily. Feel free to comment if you don’t understand or have any doubts.
Marrakesh to Fez
Take the ONCF – train – straight to Fez. It takes about 8-9 hours and cost 206 DIRHAM.
Fez to Chefchaouen
Go with the CTM – bus – to Chefchaouen from the Fez bus station. The ride takes around 4 1/2 hours and cost me 75 DIRHAM. The ride is bumpy but incredibly beautiful, so make sure you don’t sleep the entire trip.
Chefchaouen to Casablanca
There IS a bus that goes straight from Chefchaouen to Casablanca but it departs at 7 AM. Since I wanted to do the sunrise hike with my friends, I decided to go to Tangier and then Casablanca. You can also go to Fez and then Casablanca. I took a local bus which cost me 45 DIRHAM in total to Tangier and the bus ride is 2 1/2 hours. Then I continued with the ONCF – train – to Casablanca, and it cost me about 100 DIRHAM. The train ride is 6 hours.
Casablanca to Casablanca Airport
This can be quite useful if you’re flying from Casablanca Airport. It’s quite far away actually so plan your journey a bit in advance. I went to the train station and took the train which departs to the airport. It cost 45 DIRHAM and took 45 minutes. But if you are for example coming from Fez or Tangier and want to go to Casablanca Airport straight away, make sure that you go on the train “Casa Voyageurs” so you can change trains there and go to the airport. The other train does not stop where you can switch trains to the airport, but will instead just take you to another part of Casablanca.
I also have to give credit to my lovely couchhost in Casablanca who welcomed me with open arms to his beautiful house. I haven’t always been lucky with couchsurfing to be honest, and I promised myself to not do it again, but I went with my gut feeling and couldn’t have asked for a better host. Not only did I feel completely safe, I also had fun and learnt a lot about Tunisia (where he’s from). He even bought me cookies! I have added Tunisia to my ever growing list of places I want to go to now and hope our paths will cross soon again.