Morocco Transportation Tips by angiebabe Top 5 Page for this destination
Morocco Transportation: 185 reviews and 179 photos
The government transport company for trains in Morocco is ONCF and have recently upgraded their website which is great to know and now great to use if you want to travel by public transport.
Routes not covered by train transport have the international standard bus companies CTM and Supratours and have now been linked into the www.oncf.ma site.
The train lines in Morocco north and south from Tangier to Marrakech and to the east of Fez and Meknes.
Overnight couchettes, available between Tangier and Marrakech, often book out so if you are wanting one you need to attend to that when possible - and traditionally tickets cant be bought outside Morocco.
Otherwise trains have 1st and 2nd class compartments - without a great deal of difference in price between the two but 2nd class do book out earlier during busy times. When I had to use the train Marrakech to Tangier only 1st class seats were left but the compartments were very full and as cramped - the Casa to Tangier leg 2nd class was almost empty so I went and found more room to stretch and relax in a 2nd class cabin.
Trains to Fes and Meknes usually require a change at Sidi Kacem whether coming from Tangier or from Marrakech.
CTM and Supratour provide buses at an international standard of quality. Well maintained buses with air conditioning, comfortable seats and large windows that generally leave and arrive on time. Stops are scheduled for official breaks. An extra fee is charged for baggage which is stored in the locked holds under the bus.
Tickets are valid for the day only so if you book a ticket for a journey from Fes to Merzouga and decide to get off at Midelt or Zouala for example you need a new ticket for the next time you get back on the bus. If you chose to stop at a country village such as Zouala drivers, as long as seats are available, will stop for you if you are out on the road to flag them down.
Other popular routes are daily journeys Fes direct to Marrakech, Merzouga to Fes or Marrakech, Marrakech or Fes, Marrakech direct to Tafraoute, Casablanca to Oujda, Marrakech or Ouarzazate to Zagora, Zagora to Fes.
Whereas with a train ticket you can get a special stamp from the ticket office or conductor if you decide to break your train journey and continue on the next day instead eg Marrakech to Tangier with a night at Casablanca on the way.
There are numerous local bus companies all over Morocco serving shorter routes and their communities. They tend to go when there are enough people on the bus so not necessarily right on time. There will generally be stops all along the way picking and dropping off passengers. Longer journey will have a 20-30 meal break. But there will normally be 10-15 minute stops to give passengers long enough for a toilet stop at a depot with public toilets.
Also in Morocco a major contender for transportation are long distance taxis, known as grande taxis. They are majorly Mercedes Benz cars or station wagons that have 6 passenger seats - 2 in the front next to the driver and 4 in the back. These are the preferred choice for people who prefer to reach their destination faster and will leave as soon as the 6 seats are filled.
Prices are slightly higher than a seat In a local buses but by western prices still low priced options for transportation. These are generally the taxis that are waiting at airports also.
Some drivers and their vehicles are also available to be hired for day excursions or for several days or weeks. Most hotels will put them up at no stage but you will need to cover their meal costs.
Other Contact: www.ctm.ma
flights to various airports in and around Morocco from the UK and around Europe - a number of these airlines are particularly handy to know about because they can link flights around Europe and can be extremely well priced - Easyjet is a particular favourite as is British Airways,
Royal Air Maroc (which has done away with its budget subsidiary airline Altas Blue and now offers its own competitive prices and timetabling - worth checking out as 23kg of luggage is included along with food and drinks) has particularly good routes around Europe and Africa
With all these aiirlines of course the earlier you book online usually the cheaper you can get your flights for.
www.easyjet.com - flights can be quite cheap between Milan Malapensa and Agadir or Marrakech, also flights between Madrid and Casablanca and Tangier, London Gatwick and Agadir and Marrakech etc
www.thomson-fly.com - rather nice airline supplying charter flights between Agadir, Marrakech and London and Manchester flying to and from on certain days of the week.
www.royalairmaroc.com - the big mama of Moroccan air space - but over the past year or so have been having excellent deals for return flights to Marrakech, Agadir and Casablanca - for online bookings at least a few weeks or month ahead.
www.britishairways.com - flies in and out of Agadir twice a week (which I use a lot these days for Agadir and heading on down to the Anti-Atlas or over to Taroudant and on to the desert or Dades valley road part of Southern Morocco bypassing Marrakech)
daily flights to Marrakech and certain days to Casablanca.
Don't assume that only the budget airlines have budget flights as often BA and RAM have prices cheaper than either Easyjet and or Ryanair - especially take into account the cost of luggage which BA and RAM include into their tickets - though lately BA from Gatwick has started ticketing without hold luggage but allowing it to be booked if required for only £20 for 20kg. Also you are given a seat allocation with your ticket rather than sit anyway such as the budget airlines and you can make requests at time of checkin at no cost.
www.ryanair.com - their airports and schedules change quite often so it pays to look or use sites such as www.momondo.com and www.skyscanner.co.uk or .com for an idea of what airlines are running where and when. Occasionally their prices have been the lowest when other airlines have been pricey but generally their prices are on a par or even more expensive - prices for luggage is expensive, you need to make sure you print out your invoice/ticket or you will get charged £40 and airports such as Stansted and Luton take a lot longer to get to...
www.airarabia.com - do flights from Spain, Italy, Istanbul elsewhere areound Europe
Iberia and Brussels airlines also share some of the routes
Apparently there will be flights in and out of Essaouira from London late 2013.
Other Contact: www.royalairmaroc.com www.brit
Suzuki small but gutzy & quite good road clearance
Other Contact: www.maltacar-marrakech.com
Type: Car/Motor Home
CTM Casablanca-Ouarzazate, Casa-Oujda return
There are 2 main bus companies that operate around Morocco at international level - CTM and Supratours
- this mean buses that go from A to B with quality buses, routes with scheduled stops for pick up and drop at set locations between major destinations versus stopping for every Tom, Dick and Harry that the local buses do when they are of course providing a service for the local populations.
Scheduled lunch stop breaks and comfortable and clean buses and interntional standard bus drivers.
Not all destinations would necessarily have to be with CTM or Supratours - Ive taken local buses for short routes for example from Tangier to Asilah, Tangier to Tetouan, Tetouan to Chefchaouen, and Chefchaouen to Fes and also Casablanca to Marrakech - and this can for sure be a great way to be amongst and see the locals and experience how they travel and what they travel on.....dodgey seats, curtains shut so your surrounding passengers can sleep but you cant see the landscapes as the tourist that you are....!,endless stopping and starting, police checkpoints...fumes and heat or cold...
otherwise Ive used CTM to get from Fes to Marrakech (daily am departures 7am arriving 315pm - think theres a night one too but dont know what time) and from Marrakech to Casabalanca, and Casablanca to Barcelona (about 1200 dirham and noone could tell me how many hours it would take, finally got told at Marrakech that it was 18 hours but it was actually about 30 hours! ....and we changed buses at Algeciras for a Spanish bus)
There is usually a charge for luggage - 10 dirham or something, about 1 euro....not expensive
which you also could a ticket for or notation on your bus ticket that you have paid for luggage also.
As per international requirements there are proper stops enroute - on the Fes to Marrakech we stopped at a service station somewhere out on the plains around Khenifra - I remember the delicious boiled eggs i bought there for lunch with cumin powder provided to dip them into it - yum - and lovely lush spring paddocks around us in fab warm sunshine of March)
The website for the trains that run in Morocco from Tangier down to Marrakech and over to Fez and Meknes via Sidi Kacem works well for timetabling and prices and includes the CTM and Supratour buses that cover the major routes where the trains don't go.
Other Contact: www.oncf.ma
wow someone just rated my post here as helpful and i see these posts are from 4 years ago! well the original poster for this question never signed back in to see our answers since 26 july 4 years ago anyway - but again i even more so say that to get a rental car and then maximise your time by having a driver or guide with you is still an excellent way to go!!
Mentally to doubt this is like saying either do your travels independently or whole hog with tourist company - try to see if you can stop anywhere the group or driver doesnt want to stop....and you can pay heaps for a tour company that usually use a 4x4 - at 1000 dirham a day divided by the number of people - and take you to more expensive places to sleep and eat - so add that to your daily cost whereas a rental car for 300-400 dirham and driver for 300 dirham and maybe 50 dirham for their food (£4!! quibbling over paying for their food that when with the right recommendations of a good driver or guide can increase your experience time in morocco much - hotels will look after their bed for the night so dont worry about that part) - but yes otherwise get a good map, a good guidebook, make friends on VT here for info - and go with a good camera and enjoy some wonderful sights while driving yourself around - those who say its easier, cheaper or safer to use the bus well good luck to them!
Type: Car/Motor Home
The new freeway between Marrakech and Agadir, and actually now connecting all the way up to Casablanca, opened a few months ago and what an improvement!
Though the road between Marrakech and Agadir, via Chichoua, is rather scenic, and as the only major access route the road itself has been well maintained but heavily traffficked with all matters of transportation trying to get between either major destiination.
- Huge trucks, buses, grande taxis and car commuters all trying to hurry along and with only a few passing lanes and many winding and blind corners, inclines with blind crests theres a high risk of accidents along this route.
The new freeway has sections of between 100-120km/h speed limits - with warnings of radar in place to catch speeders - and also warnings of flying birds that may fly suddenly out between areas of road cuttings.
At the moment only one petrol station with rest rooms and refreshment services is open, on the freeway around about the Chichaoua exit, - but there were more still in the process of being built.
The whole drive took us 2-2 and half hours which is at least an hour off the old route! The toll for the full length cost 66 dirham. When I last drove in February when only the section from Chichaoua to Marrakech was open that section had cost 7 dirham.
Type: Car/Motor Home
arriving off the ferry at Tangier
The main ferry port to Morocco is at Algeciras in the south of Spain - with many ferries heading over to Tangier throughout the day from early morning to about 10pm at night - I caught the last ferry over one night and it didnt leave until after 11pm!
There are large 'slow' ferries that take around 2 and a half hours to reach their destination in Tangier - or there are 'fast' ferries which almost are not much different! but often will be as fast as one and a half hours.
When buying your ticket, note that your ticket is not interchangeable between the various companies! There is a big departure board of the ferries leaving - you can ask at the various counters if theirs is running to advertised time, and at what time their next is leaving - take note of what is advertised - compare whether the boats advertised are slow or fast ferries and if they are running on time - they wont refund your ticket usually either if you find the ticket youve bought is leaving after ones that are leaving before yours! And buy your ticket for what seems to be surely the next ferry or fast ferry leaving.
The Duty Free prices for alcohol and cigarettes seems to be better and rather attractive on the slow ferries - but the fast ferries do have a duty free shop too. The Tarifa fast ferry never seemed to have any atrractive prices at all.
And this is why I reckon its an absolute waste of time to worry about prebooking your ticket before you get to Algeciras! There are too many unpredictabilites in the situation but plenty of ferries!
For a faster trip, but one needs to know the times (www.frs.es::fares) as they are only every 2 hours - from Tarifa they go on all the odd numbered hours starting from 9am - returning from Tangier they travel on all the even numbered hours starting from 8am, catch a fast hydrofoil from the port of Tarifa - about 30 minutes from Algeciras, and a nice town to visit while you are there with an interesting fortress castle and old town - is an excellent option but one I always take coming back from Tangier - in only 35 minutes!
Buying a return ticket gets you a 10% on the ferry ticket prices.
The ferries coming back from Tangier to Tarifa always have transport provided as part of the ticket to see you to Algeciras - even upheld when one time I arrived there was a problem with the bus and the ferry company provided taxis to transport every passenger on to the terminal at Algeciras.
buses to Marbella (which direct buses to Malaga airport also leave from this bus station, and taxis from here are about 60 euro) and Malaga leave from outside the shops on the road that runs along the Algeciras port entrance. Buses to Gibraltar leave from the Algeciras bus station which is about 10 mins walk from the port/ferry terminal. but the bus from Tarifa does go from dropping off passengers at the Algeciras ferry port up to the bus station.
At both destinations, Tangier and Algeciras there are good transport links to continue on with your journeys. Frequent buses from Algeciras to connect with airports at Gibraltar - only 45 minutes away and 2 euro by bus - or Malaga - 2 and half hours away and only 12 euro by bus. Or once at Tangier many taxis to take you to the trains heading south or to the local bus station where there are many buses to the nearby beach town of Asilah or to the Rif mountain towns of Tetouan or Chefchouen. The grande taxi station is also at the local bus station which may be an even better option for transportation to these destinations.
From the port of Algeciras there are also ferries to the remaining Spanish enclave in Morocco, of Ceuta. For taking your car over to Morocco or for a specific visit to Ceuta or Mellila this is also a good option as a shorter and cheaper ferry trip is also involved. But as a foot passenger into Morocco with limited and rather difficult transport links from the border at Ceuta into Morocco where the nearest town is really Tetouan this is not such a recommended way of getting in or out of Morocco as is via Tangier from Algeciras.
Getting into Morocco from Algeciras is an excellent option for budget travellers if direct flights into Morocco are rather expensive - there are budget airlines that fly to nearby airports such as Easyjet and Monarch who fly to Malaga and Gibraltar.
Another bonus of coming via Gibraltar are the excellent tax free prices of alcohol - and if you are a smoker or have friends who smoke in Morocco - excellently priced cigarettes too.
There has never been a problem with bringing either items into Morocco. There are many large supermarkets around Moroco that have large alcohol departments - with good prices too for very good Moroccan wine and beer and cheaper brands of vodka - but cigarettes are quite expensive.
Your passport needs to be sighted and stamped while you are on the ferry - an announcement will be made that the police staff on duty to do this are ready for this to be attended - take note when you see a stream of passengers start heading in one direction. But do note that your passport MUST be stamped with this entry visa before you leave the boat and enter Morocco.
If returning by ferry from Tangier then you must take your passport and fill in a departure card at the ferry terminal before boarding your boat.
There are ATMS at Tangier ferry terminal - they are to be found after youve left the terminal building to the left of the central buildings on your way out. Money changers here had good exchange rates whenever Ive been.
There will be loads of taxi drivers touting and hassling for business as soon as you get out of the terminal - head left and away from them and catch taxis that are on the outskirts for more realistic prices - generally petite taxis - little blue cars - have the better prices - either see that the meter is on or negotiate the price before you set off - and if a grande taxi - ie a big mercedes car - no meterr but negotiate the price. Shouldnt be any more than 20 or 30 dirham to the bus or train station.
Type: Car/Motor Home
Well I have finally had the experience of seeing and being on TiznTichka in heavy snow!!
and I can vouch for the snowploughs being in there pretty quick and actively clearing the roads!
There was initially a skiddy patch but otherwise as the snow was new and fresh it was soft and okay for driving slowly in from 1st to 3rd gears rather than the scarey icey of snow thats been sitting in freezing temperatures - and we saw 3 snow ploughs actively working through the whole route that was inundated with lots of, and still falling, snow.
We unfortunately had to sit for almost an hour as a van ahead had got stuck or broken down, and then trucks and buses had moved on up to an incline section in the road so by the time the troubled vehicle was off out of the way the large and heavy vehicles had difficulty getting going - a snow plough truck was in there though giving them pull starts and we noticed that the large trucks had shovels on board ready for such a time!
it did take several hours to get over the pass and there line of traffic was long but the constant speed of about 20 to 30 kms an hour was not too bad considering.
The snow barriers were down at Taddert for a long line of oncoming traffic ie heading for Ouarzazate direction - waiting for the traffic to Marrakech to get through first - quite a bit of congestion at Taddert caused a bit of wait in our traffic though. And also the snow barriers were down further down the mountain as well stopping traffic at Tazlida and on further. So if you are worried about whats happening at TiznTichka and whether there are problems getting over it there are a number of opportunities where you will be able to find out or be stopped.
It was all very beautiful to see the area that Ive travelled so often through the seasons of course so totally covered in fresh white snow!
Type: Car/Motor Home
Type: Car/Motor Home
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