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What’s the Best Way to Get Around Morocco

Navigating Morocco: What’s the Best Way to Get Around?

Blessed with diverse landscapes, from the sweeping Sahara to the soaring Atlas Mountains, Morocco is a traveler’s paradise. However, with such a vast and varied terrain, choosing the right mode of transportation can make or break your Moroccan adventure. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best ways to get around Morocco, catering to different travel styles, budgets, and destinations.

The Freedom of a Self-Drive Morocco Road Trip

For those seeking ultimate flexibility and independence, renting a car in Morocco is an appealing option. This allows you to create your own itinerary, stop wherever you please, and truly immerse yourself in the country’s beauty at your own pace.

Renting a Car in Morocco

Major international rental companies like Hertz, Avis, and Europcar operate in Morocco, making it relatively straightforward to rent a vehicle. However, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the requirements, such as having an international driving permit and acquiring the necessary insurance coverage.

Average rental costs can range from $25 to $50 per day for a basic sedan, with prices varying based on the season and duration of your rental. It’s advisable to book well in advance, especially during peak travel periods.

Driving in Morocco

While the prospect of a Moroccan road trip is exciting, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges that come with driving in the country. Roads can be narrow, winding, and occasionally poorly maintained, especially in remote areas. Additionally, traffic in major cities like Marrakech and Casablanca can be chaotic, with aggressive driving styles being the norm.

To navigate successfully, it’s highly recommended to equip yourself with a reliable GPS system or offline maps, as road signs can be scarce or misleading. Defensive driving, patience, and a willingness to embrace the local driving culture are also essential.

Pro Tip: Consider renting a 4×4 vehicle if your self-drive plans include venturing into more rugged or remote areas, such as the Sahara Desert or High Atlas Mountains. The added ground clearance and off-road capabilities can make navigating unpaved roads and challenging terrain much easier.

Suggested Self-Drive Routes

One of the most popular self-drive routes in Morocco is the iconic Marrakech to Merzouga journey, which takes you through the breathtaking High Atlas Mountains, past the Aït Benhaddou Kasbah, and ultimately to the towering dunes of the Sahara Desert.

For those seeking a coastal experience, the route from Casablanca to Essaouira, via El Jadida and Oualidia, offers stunning Atlantic Ocean vistas and charming seaside towns along the way.

Alternatively, consider a loop through the Rif Mountains, starting and ending in Chefchaouen, the famous “Blue City.” This route takes you through scenic landscapes, traditional Berber villages, and the Mediterranean coastal towns of Al Hoceima and Nador.

“Driving in Morocco is an adventure in itself. Be prepared for winding roads, donkeys carrying loads, and the occasional camel crossing.” – Lonely Planet

Luxury and Convenience with Private Transfers and Tours in Morocco

If you prefer to sit back, relax, and leave the navigation to the experts, private transfers and organized tours in Morocco are excellent options. These services cater to travelers seeking a hassle-free and comfortable experience, with the added benefit of knowledgeable guides to enhance your journey.

Private Transfers

Several reputable companies, such as Riad Marrakech Transfer and Morocco Luxury Transfer, specialize in private vehicle transfers within Morocco. These services provide door-to-door transportation in air-conditioned vehicles, often with English-speaking drivers.

Sample prices for a one-way private transfer from Marrakech to Fez (around 350 km) can range from €200 to €300, depending on the vehicle size and number of passengers.

Customer Review: “We booked a private transfer from Marrakech to Essaouira with Riad Marrakech Transfer, and it was worth every penny. Our driver, Hassan, was punctual, friendly, and made sure we had a comfortable journey. He even stopped along the way so we could take photos of the stunning coastal scenery.” – Emily and Jack, UK

Organized Tours

For a truly immersive experience, consider joining an organized tour in Morocco. Companies like Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, and Travel Talk Tours offer a wide range of itineraries, from short city breaks to comprehensive country-wide explorations.

In addition to comfortable transportation, these tours often include expert local guides, pre-arranged accommodations, and carefully curated activities and experiences. Prices can vary significantly based on the tour duration, inclusions, and level of luxury, but generally start around $100 per day for a basic group tour.

Case Study: “We opted for a 10-day tour with Intrepid Travel, covering the highlights of Morocco, from the bustling markets of Marrakech to the tranquil oases of the Sahara Desert. Our guide, Ahmed, was a wealth of knowledge and helped us truly understand the rich culture and history of this amazing country.” – Sarah and Tom, Australia

Buses, Trains, and Shared Taxis – The Budget-Friendly Way Around Morocco

For cost-conscious travelers or those seeking a more authentic local experience, Morocco’s public transportation system offers a budget-friendly and convenient way to get around.

Intercity Buses

Long-distance buses are a popular mode of transport in Morocco, connecting major cities and towns across the country. Two of the largest bus companies are CTM (Compagnie de Transports Marocains) and Supratours, both offering modern, air-conditioned coaches and reliable service.

CTM operates an extensive network, with routes linking destinations like Marrakech, Fez, Casablanca, and Tangier. A one-way ticket from Marrakech to Fez, for instance, can cost around 100 Moroccan dirhams (approximately $10 USD) for the 7-hour journey.

Most major cities have central bus terminals where you can purchase tickets in advance or on the day of travel. However, it’s advisable to book early, especially during peak seasons or for popular routes.

Insider Tip: For added comfort on longer bus journeys, consider splurging on a first-class ticket, which typically provides more legroom, wider seats, and extra amenities like snacks and beverages.


Morocco’s rail network, operated by ONCF (Office National des Chemins de Fer), is another affordable and efficient way to travel between cities. While the coverage isn’t as extensive as the bus system, trains are generally more comfortable and faster, especially for longer distances.

For example, the train journey from Marrakech to Fez takes around 7 hours and costs around 200 Moroccan dirhams ($20 USD) for a second-class ticket. You can book tickets online, at train stations, or through authorized travel agencies.

Morocco also operates a high-speed rail line called Al Boraq, connecting Casablanca and Tangier in just over 2 hours. While more expensive than regular trains, this service offers a modern and efficient way to travel between these two major cities.

Grand Taxis (Shared Taxis)

Grand taxis, or shared taxis, offer a unique and cost-effective way to travel shorter distances in Morocco. These large Mercedes sedans can carry up to six passengers and often serve as a connection between towns or cities not directly linked by trains or buses.

To use a grand taxi, simply head to the designated grand taxi stand in a town or city and negotiate a fare with the driver. Prices are generally reasonable, and the experience of sharing a ride with locals can be both culturally enlightening and entertaining.

However, it’s important to be prepared for potential discomfort, as grand taxis can be crowded, and drivers may take circuitous routes to pick up or drop off additional passengers.

Pro Tip: If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of sharing a grand taxi with strangers, you can also hire one privately for a slightly higher fee. This can be a more convenient and comfortable option for small groups or families.

Petit Taxis (City Taxis)

For urban transportation within cities like Marrakech, Fez, and Casablanca, petit taxis (small taxis) are a convenient and affordable option. These small vehicles are typically metered, but it’s still recommended to agree on a fare with the driver before starting your journey, especially for longer rides.

While petit taxis can be a practical way to navigate cities, be cautious of potential scams or overcharging, especially around tourist hotspots. It’s advisable to have your hotel or accommodation provide a rough estimate of fair prices for common routes.

Safety Tip: When using petit taxis, especially at night or as a solo female traveler, try to choose reputable taxi companies or request a ride through a trusted app or your accommodation. Additionally, consider sharing the taxi details with a friend or family member for added security.

Flying Between Cities – Is it Worth it for Traveling in Morocco?

With Morocco being a relatively compact country, domestic flights may not be the most practical or cost-effective option for most travelers. However, in certain cases, taking to the skies can save valuable time and offer a more comfortable journey.

Major airports in Morocco include Marrakech Menara Airport, Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, and Fez-Sais Airport, served by national carriers like Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia Maroc, as well as several budget European airlines.

For example, a direct flight from Marrakech to Fez takes just over an hour and can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the airline and booking date. While more expensive than ground transportation, this option can be appealing for those short on time or looking to avoid long journeys by road or rail.

However, it’s important to factor in additional costs, such as airport transfers and the potential for delays or cancellations, when considering domestic flights in Morocco.

Time-Saving Tip: If you plan to visit multiple destinations within Morocco, consider creating an open-jaw itinerary by flying into one city and out of another. This can save you from backtracking and optimize your travel time, allowing you to experience more of the country.

Exploring Morocco on Two Wheels

For adventurous souls seeking a truly immersive and exhilarating way to experience Morocco, renting a motorbike or scooter can be an unforgettable option. This mode of transportation offers unparalleled freedom and access to remote regions, winding mountain roads, and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Several companies, such as Morocco Bike Rental and Marrakech Motorbike Tours, offer motorcycle and scooter rentals, with daily rates ranging from $30 to $100, depending on the vehicle. It’s essential to have a valid motorcycle license and adequate insurance coverage before embarking on a two-wheeled Moroccan adventure.

While riding a motorbike or scooter in Morocco can be thrilling, it’s crucial to exercise caution, wear proper safety gear, and familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and customs. The winding roads and unpredictable driving habits of other motorists demand a high level of vigilance and defensive riding skills.

Adventure Awaits: For the ultimate two-wheeled Moroccan experience, consider embarking on a guided motorbike tour. Companies like Explore Morocco Tours offer multi-day excursions that take you through the High Atlas Mountains, along the Atlantic coast, and even into the Sahara Desert, with knowledgeable guides leading the way.

Special Considerations

Exploring Morocco with Children, Seniors, or Disabilities

When traveling with children, seniors, or individuals with mobility challenges, it’s essential to consider the accessibility and comfort of your chosen mode of transportation. Private transfers or organized tours with reputable companies can often cater to special needs, providing amenities like child seats, wheelchair accessibility, and knowledgeable guides to assist with any specific requirements.

Additionally, certain modes of transport, such as trains or domestic flights, may offer a more comfortable and convenient experience for those with limited mobility or specific medical needs.

Solo Female Traveler Safety Tips for Getting Around Morocco

While Morocco is generally a safe destination for solo female travelers, it’s important to exercise caution and take necessary precautions when navigating the country’s transportation systems.

When using public transportation like buses or trains, it’s advisable to opt for women-only sections or carriages, where available. Grand taxis and petit taxis should be used with caution, especially at night or in remote areas.

For enhanced security, many solo female travelers choose to hire private drivers or join organized tours, which can provide an additional layer of safety and peace of mind.

Expert Advice: “As a solo female traveler in Morocco, I always felt safest when using reputable tour companies or private drivers recommended by my accommodation. It’s worth the extra cost for the added security and peace of mind,” advises seasoned traveler and blogger Amanda Williams.

Getting Around During Major Holidays or Peak Seasons

During major holidays, such as Ramadan or Eid al-Adha, and peak travel seasons like summer, transportation services in Morocco can become overwhelmingly crowded and stretched to capacity.

It’s essential to book tickets, transfers, or tours well in advance to secure your spot and avoid disappointment. Additionally, be prepared for potential delays, longer wait times, and higher prices during these busy periods.

If your travel dates are flexible, consider adjusting your itinerary to avoid peak times, as this can result in a more comfortable and enjoyable experience overall.

Peak Season Tip: If you must travel during peak periods, consider joining an organized tour or booking private transfers. While more expensive, these options can help alleviate the stress and chaos often associated with overcrowded public transportation during busy times.

Top Tips

Money-Saving Hacks for Transportation in Morocco

Traveling on a budget in Morocco doesn’t mean sacrificing convenience or comfort. Here are a few money-saving hacks for transportation:

  • Negotiate: Haggling is an integral part of Moroccan culture, and this extends to transportation services like taxis and private transfers. Don’t be afraid to politely negotiate rates, especially for longer journeys or when dealing with touts.
  • Share the Cost: For grand taxis, splitting the fare with fellow travelers can significantly reduce your individual expenses. This also applies to private transfers, where sharing the cost among a group can make the service more affordable.
  • Consider Passes: If you plan to use public transportation extensively within a city or region, investigate the availability of daily or weekly passes, which can offer significant savings compared to purchasing individual tickets.
  • Bundle Tickets: Some tour companies and transportation providers offer bundled packages that combine multiple services, such as transfers and accommodation, at a discounted rate.

Cultural Etiquette for a Smoother Journey

Respecting local customs and cultural norms can go a long way in ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience in Morocco. Here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  • Dress Modestly: When using public transportation or in more conservative areas, it’s advisable to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.
  • Tipping: While not always expected, tipping drivers, guides, and porters is appreciated and can foster goodwill. A small gratuity of 10-20 Moroccan dirhams is generally appropriate for good service.
  • Basic Arabic Phrases: Learning a few basic Arabic phrases, such as “Shukran” (thank you) and “Afak” (please), can help you navigate transportation more smoothly and show respect for the local culture.
  • Patience and Flexibility: Embracing a more relaxed attitude and being prepared for potential delays or unexpected situations can go a long way in ensuring a more enjoyable travel experience when getting around Morocco.


Whether you prefer the freedom of a self-drive road trip, the luxury of a private transfer, the affordability of public transportation, or the thrill of exploring Morocco on two wheels, there’s a mode of transport to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences.

By considering factors such as your budget, time constraints, destinations, and travel style, you can choose the best way to navigate Morocco and make the most of your incredible journey through this captivating country.

So, pack your sense of adventure, embrace the unique transportation experiences Morocco has to offer, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this enchanting land of contrasts.


TAGS: marrakech to casablanca marrakech to agafay marrakech to ourika marrakech to sahara marrakech to rabat marrakech to agadir

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