How to get to Morocco…
To begin this road trip in Morocco, you’ll need to fly into Marrakesh. Marrakesh has one airport, Marrakesh Menara Airport. There are almost daily flights from London Gatwick or London Heathrow Airport. British Airways, Easyjet and Ryan Air are the only airlines that fly directly from London to Marrakesh. To find the best deal, I always recommend firstly switching to an incognito tab on your internet browser and using sky scanner or google flights to search for the best deals. The flight is only 3.5 hrs and costs between £85-£180 depending on the season you choose to travel.
The best time to travel to Morocco is in the shoulder season, from March to May and September to November. This is when the weather is warm but not too extreme. If you want to be able to explore the country without having to compromise due to extreme weather, then stick to Spring or Autumn for your Moroccan road trip.
Where to rent a car in Morocco…
The best way to get around Morocco is by renting a car, as public transport can be quite unreliable and isn’t an effective way to freely move around the country, especially if you don’t have too much time.
The roads in Morocco are mostly in good condition for this itinerary and are easy to navigate as long as you plan your route and give yourself plenty of extra time for any unforeseeable events, but mostly because of the many ‘stop and take a picture’ spots you’ll encounter along the way.
The best place to rent a car is from Marrakesh, at Menara Airport. You can use websites such as Rentalcars.com or Sixt to find the best deals on car rentals. We found ours via Booking.com’s Rent a Car website, and we were very pleased with our experience! We rented our car through Select Rent a Car.
After reading quite a few reviews and blog horror stories about renting in Morocco, I expected our experience to possibly be complicated, but to a much-delighted surprise, it wasn’t!
We were given the exact car we booked. It was in almost mint condition, with only a couple thousand miles on the meter and the rental company was super honest and easy to deal with.
Things I heard about renting a car in Morocco to be mindful of:
- not being given the car you actually booked and being given a lower class tier one (one that might not be suited for the road trip as it is advised to take a 4×4)
- being given a car that is all banged up and not in good condition
- scams and tricks by omitting information or mistranslating parts of the contract (and blaming it on language barriers)
- hidden fees like car cleaning fees
All of which should be able to be avoided if you go for the right rental company and ask the right questions!
Tips for driving in Morocco
Right, after actually managing to securely and confidently rent a car for your road trip in Morocco, there’s still the actual driving that needs to be done. This is, again, something to be wary of, and I’d recommend reading these tips for driving in Morocco carefully.
Hire your car with a trustworthy rental company and ensure you know what’s included in the contract. Make sure this includes insurance or that yours covers this. Take pictures and videos of the inside and outside of the car before hitting the road.
Plan your route in advance. Like in any foreign country, it’s best to get to know the roads beforehand. Read up on blogs, create a google map route and save it to your phone so you can access it easily.
Allow plenty of time for your journey, especially when driving long distances. The roads may be in good condition, but there is still a lot of construction work going on and a lot of police checkpoints on the road that can slow you down. Not to mention the slow-paced truck drivers that you often encounter on winding roads where it’s almost impossible to overtake.
Avoid driving at night and inside the Medina. When you arrive in the Medina in Marrakesh, it’ll become very clear very fast why you want to avoid driving here. There is basically no driving etiquette whatsoever, and it’s very easy to get lost and stuck in traffic, so this is an absolute no-go. Driving at night is also something to be avoided as roads aren’t well lit, Moroccan drivers don’t use their lights, and many pedestrians simply walk on the road without any fear of being run over.
Keep your eyes on the speed limits and stay well within them. There are a lot of policemen on the roads and several police checkpoints along the major highways who are monitoring the road profusely. If they catch you speeding or trying to take over a car when you’re not meant to, they will fine you. It’s not a massive fine, but if you accumulate these, it can add up to a big extra expense. There are also several radars on the road that are not signalled, so just stay within the limit! In case you’re wondering, speed limits in Morocco are 50km/h in towns and cities, 80km/h on open roads and 100km/h on motorways.
Be a cautious driver. As Moroccan road etiquette isn’t the best, you’ll need to be extra cautious. Keep a good distance between your car and others, keep your eyes out for any sudden movements, and use your horn on tight bends.
I know all these tips for driving in Morocco might seem like driving in Morocco is stressful and not worth it, but I promise you, it is. Once you get used to the road conditions and the driving style, it’s pretty straightforward. These tips for driving in Morocco are here to educate and help you so you can drive confidently on your road trip in Morocco.
Now that all the important tips, pointers and information have been shared on what you need to know before getting on the road, it’s time to get to the juicy stuff. Time to share all the best places to visit in Morocco and the best things to do in Morocco during an epic road trip across the country.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into this Morrocan road trip itinerary.