Logistics

Getting to Morocco

Direct flights from the US arrive at Casablanca International Airport. To arrive at other Moroccan airports from the US or Israel, you must go through Europe. From Spain, you can take the ferry from Tarifa or Algeciras to Tangier or Ceuta. Less frequent ferries leave from Gibraltar and other Spanish ports. The Casablanca airport and the Tangier port are connected by a high-speed rail that went into service in 2018 and will be improved further beginning in 2020.

Al Boraq, Morocco’s High Speed Rail
NicholasNCE, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Road System

The Government of Morocco has made major progress in installing highways and improving roads throughout the country. It is much easier, safer and faster to get around in the 21st century than in the 20th century. Still, many roads are narrow or windy, and some are unpaved, particularly in the mountainous villages where many Jews used to live.

Getting around Morocco

Grand Taxis
By Steffan Jensen https://reversehomesickness.com/africa/taxi-fares-morocco/

In addition to the high-speed rail, the main rail lines go from Tangier to Marrakesh and from Rabat to Oujda via Meknes and Fez. Another track on the Rabat-Oujda line goes from Taourirt to Nador. For destinations South of Marrakesh and to other destinations, the rail line connects to Supratours Line buses, which are owned by the rail company, ONCF.

Many bus companies compete with each other to cities and towns throughout Morocco. The quality of these buses varies. Most travelers seeking comfort use Supratours or CTM buses. In most cities and towns, all buses leave from the same bus terminal.

For travel between cities and towns, an alternative to a bus is a grand taxi, generally a non-air conditioned Mercedes that fits seven people. You can find them normally at grand taxi stands. They will wait until they are full before departing. If you don’t wish to be squeezed in for a long trip, you can negotiate a price for the full taxi.

Renting a car in Morocco is easy for those who are age 21 or older. You can reserve from abroad or just go to a rental agency. If you wish to go off-road, many agencies have 4×4 vehicles. Make sure that you have insurance and that your gas tank and tires are filled before leaving town.

If you have a group, you might also consider renting a van and driver. Travel agencies can help you find them.

Within cities, you can take buses or petit taxis to get around. Most petit taxis have meters for your whole group (up to three passengers), so you don’t need to negotiate fares.

Many Jewish sites are located within cities or towns. To get to sites outside of towns, you could either rent a car or negotiate a two-way trip with a taxi. In some villages, you can get around by mule or donkey. To get to and from mountainous areas by dirt road, you can pile into the back of a truck.

Whether you are with a group or are an independent traveler, you would benefit from bringing or renting a GPS. You also should consult the maps of Jewish Moroccan sites in the Diarna website, which is based on Google Earth.

Tour Groups

Van in Morocco
From https://www.mrandmrsadventure.com/blog/2018/04/20/vanlife-morocco-important-travel-tips

Tour operators provide multiple forms of transport for tour groups. Depending upon the size of the group, vehicles comprise buses or vans. Be prepared to do lots of walking, especially in cities or towns with large medinas or mellahs.