Getting around Morocco
Royal Air Maroc (www.royalairmaroc.com) operates regular internal flights from Casablanca airport to Agadir, Dakhla, Fes, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Oujda and Tangier. Internal flights tend to be expensive compared to other modes of travelling around the country.
Included in ticket cost.
The Moroccan road network is extensive, and continued infrastructure development means that it’s increasingly easy to travel by car. Bear in mind that accident rates are high and road safety awareness among many drivers negligible, so nervous drivers may feel happier taking public transport or hiring a driver.
Side of road:
The high-speed toll roads connecting Tangier, Rabat, Casabalnca, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech and El Jadida are of excellent quality. Coastal communities and most large towns are also well served by good roads. In the interior, south of the High Atlas Mountains, road travel becomes much more difficult, especially across the Atlas Mountains in winter.
The major routes around Morocco are designated National Routes or A roads.
International and local car hire companies have offices in major towns, cities and airports. Car hire is generally expensive, and prices vary with the season. The minimum age for driving a hired car is 18, although many hire companies require drivers to be 21 or over.
Metered petits taxis are available in major towns. Larger, grands taxis are usually Mercedes cars, used for travel outside medinas and to areas outside towns. These can be shared, but fares should be agreed before departure as they don’t have meters.
Bike hire is available in most major towns – although attempting to cycle through city traffic is inadvisable. For those travelling longer distances, bikes can be transported on trains and buses.
Making use of the extensive bus network is the cheapest and most popular way to get around Morocco. Buses serve most communities, and private operators compete for custom on the more popular routes. The major bus companies are Compagnie de Transports Marocains (www.ctm.ma), Trans Ghazala (transghazala.com), and Supratours (www.supratours.ma).
Traffic drives on the right in Morocco and the wearing of seatbelts is compulsory. The speed limit is 40-60kph (25-37mph) in cities and built-up areas, rising to 80kph (50mph) on more major roads and up to 120kph (75mph) on motorways. No alcohol at all is allowed in the bloodstream when driving.
There is no national breakdown service. Hire cars contain contact details in case of emergency.
Foreign driving licences are accepted, as well as International Driving Permits. Third-party insurance is required. You must carry your licence and insurance documentation at all times. A Green Card is also necessary. Insurance can be arranged locally.
Getting around towns and cities:
There are extensive bus services in Casablanca and other main towns. Casablanca also has a super-modern rapid transit tram system. Urban-area petits taxis are plentiful and have metered fares. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped, although it is common to round fares up at least to the next dirham on short trips.
The Moroccan rail system, run by Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF) (www.oncf.ma) provides regular services. The network runs from Oujda in the northeast to Casablanca on the west coast, Tangier on the north coast and Fes and Marrakech in the interior. However, only a small part of the country is served, and even large centres such as Agadir and Essaouira are not covered.
By rail note:
A new Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line is expected to open in 2018.