Morocco and Spain Itinerary (43 Days)

This epic six-week itinerary covered the countries of Morocco and Spain. All the immediate family (i.e. wife and daughter, and myself) were on the trip. And since it took place right at the end of Spring and the start of Summer, we knew that it would get hot the further south we were so we essentially started in the south in Morocco, then worked our way up north eventually to Northern Spain. Little did we realize that Summer had already started unseasonably early in Morocco so we were already facing desert heat in the high 90s and low 100s right from the outset. But what was even more surprising about this trip was that generally the waterfalls in Morocco had better flow than the waterfalls that we encountered in Spain.

Anyhow, from a logistics standpoint, we bought travel insurance given that it was such a long trip with a lot of potential things that could go wrong (more on this later). For the first week-and-a-half, we were on a fully escorted tour while in Morocco, encompassing Marrakech, Fes, and Chefchaouen while touring waterfalls, medinas, and historical sites in between. Then, we ferried to Southern Spain, where we hired a car in Malaga and spent the remainder of the trip driving all the way to Barcelona while zig-zagging through rural regions and major cities throughout. This included the flagship cities of Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba, Madrid, Cuenca, Segovia, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Leon, Burgos, Bilbao, San Sebastian, and finally Barcelona. Naturally, the diverse sights (including waterfalls) were visited throughout this fairly thorough tour of Spain.

Now we should mention this about things that could go wrong. We were originally supposed to hire a car in Algeciras, Spain instead of Malaga. However, the Tangier-Algeciras ferry was delayed to the point that when we showed up to the Europcar office there (shortly after 2pm on Saturday), they were closed for siesta and they wouldn't open until two days later on Monday, and we couldn't speak to anyone live over the phone (even with our working knowledge of Spanish, the language was still a barrier when it came to interpreting the automated answering service)! Fortunately, Julie had booked with Auto Europe, and we were able to get a hold of a live person who helped rearrange our bookings to pick up in Malaga. Of course, we had to taxi from Algeciras to Malaga in the mean time, which was an out-of-pocket expense of about 110 euros plus a couple of hours of delay. But at the end of the ordeal (see Day 11 in the itinerary below), the trip was still allowed to continue even if we ended up in Ronda a few hours later than we had planned for. The moral of the story here, is that even though Julie booked car rental with Auto Europe mostly for price considerations as they were cheaper than going direct, we were able to speak with an operator who was still available while the local Europcar offices were closed for the day. This is something worth considering when you decide which car rental solution works for you on your self-tour of Europe.

Day Overnight Activity
1-2 Madrid, Spain
Hotel Maydrit
Travel, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Madrid City Center
3 Marrakech, Morocco
Riad Lorsya
Travel, Marrakech Medina, Djemaa el-Fna, Koutoubia Mosque
4 Marrakech, Morocco
Riad Lorsya
Marrakech Medina (Ben Youssef Medersa, Mnebhi Palace, Old Medina, Saadian Tombs, Kasbah Quarter), Cascades de Setti Fatma, Djemaa el-Fna
5 Bin el-Ouidane, Morocco
Hotel Chems du Lac
Imi n'Ifri Waterfalls, Cascades d'Ouzoud
6 Fes, Morocco
Riad Ahlam
Sources Oum er-Rbia, Fes Medina
7 Fes, Morocco
Riad Ahlam
Fes Medina (Medersa Bouinania, Place Baghdadi, Nejjarine Fountain and Museum, Tanneries, Attarine Medersa, Souk el Henna), Royal Palace Gate, Overview of Fes
8 Fes, Morocco
Riad Ahlam
Volubilis, Moulay Idriss, Meknes (Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, Dar el-Ma, Heri es-Souani, Bassin de l'Aguedal), Bab Mansour, Fes Medina
9 Chefchaouen, Morocco
Casa Perleta
Source Ras el-Maa, Chefchaouen Medina, Spanish Mosque
10 Chefchaouen, Morocco
Casa Perleta
Chefchaouen Medina, Bridge of God, Cascades d'Akchour
11-11 Ronda, Spain
Hotel San Gabriel
Car Rental Pickup, "Cascada de Ronda", Centro de Ronda (Plaza Socorro, Puente Nuevo)
12 Sevilla, Spain
Sevilla Central Suites
"Cascada de Ronda", Ronda Bullring, Cascada de Cueva del Gato, Cascadas de Huesna, Centro de Sevilla
13 Sevilla, Spain
Sevilla Central Suites
Real Alcazar, Catedral de Sevilla (Giralda Bell Tower), Metropol Parasol, Plaza de Espana, Museo del Baile Flamenco, Torre del Oro
14 Granada, Spain
Arte Vida Suites
Granada (Albayzin Quarter, Mirador San Nicolas), Plaza Bib-Rambla
15 Granada, Spain
Arte Vida Suites
Fuente Agria, Travelez (Barrio Alto, Era de la Fuente), Granada (Albayzin Quarter, Mirador San Nicolas)
16 Granada, Spain
Arte Vida Suites
Museo de Cuevas del Sacromonte, Great Mosque, Basilica de San Juan de Dios, La Madraza, Capilla Real, Plaza Bib-Rambla, Alhambra (Generalife, Alcazaba, Charles V Palace, Palacio Nazaries)
17 Ubeda, Spain
Apartamentos Sol de Mayo
Cazorla, Cascada de Linarejos, Ubeda
18 Ubeda, Spain
Apartamentos Sol de Mayo
Cascada de la Cimbarra, Baeza, Ubeda
19 Cordoba, Spain
AC Hotel Cordoba
Jewish Quarter, Mezquita, Alcazar de los Tres Reyes Cristianos, Roman Bridge
20 Toledo, Spain
Hotel Santa Isabela
Consuegra, Toledo, Catedral de Toledo, Plaza de Zocodover, Puente Viejo
21 Madrid, Spain
Eric Vokel Atocha Suites
Ronda de Toledo, Centro de Madrid (Plaza Mayor, Cathedral, Royal Palace)
22 Madrid, Spain
Eric Vokel Atocha Suites
Archaeological Museum (MAN), Retiro Park, Museo de Reina Sofia
23 Madrid, Spain
Eric Vokel Atocha Suites
Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo, Cascada del Molino, Ventano del Diablo, Cuenca (Casas Colgadas, Plaza Mayor)
24 Segovia, Spain
Infanta Isabel Hotel
Monasterio de Piedra, Cascada de los Litueros, Segovia (Roman Aqueduct, Plaza Mayor)
25 Segovia, Spain
Infanta Isabel Hotel
Segovia (Plaza Mayor, Alcazar, Catedral de Segovia), La Granja de San Ildefonso (Mercado Barroco, Royal Palace and Gardens, Fountains)
26 Salamanca, Spain
NH Salamanca Puerta de la Catedral
Pozo de los Humos, Salamanca (Plaza Mayor, Scala Coeli, New Cathedral [Corpus Cristi], Roman Bridge)
27 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Hotel Montenegro
Ieronimus, Fervenza do Toxa, Santiago de Compostela (Catedral, Praza do Obradoiro, Old Town)
28 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Hotel Montenegro
Museum of the Cathedral, Mercado de Abastos, Mirador de Ezaro, Fervenza do Ezaro, Beach at Ezaro, Santiago de Compostela
29 Ribadeo, Spain
Parador de Ribadeo
Mondonedo, Salto do Coro, Praia As Catedrais, Ribadeo (Plaza de Espana, Waterfront)
30 Cain de Valdeon, Spain
Tudor Court Hotel
Waterfalls of the Cares Gorge
31 Burgos, Spain
Hotel Meson del Cid
Cascada de Nocedo, Leon (Catedral de Santa Maria, Museo San Isidro de Leon), Burgos (Catedral de Burgos, Plaza Mayor)
32 Bilbao, Spain
Hotel Bilbao Jardines
Orbaneja del Castillo, Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo, Puentedey, Cascada La Mea, Cascada de Pedrosa de Tobalina, Cascada de Penaladros, Casco Historico de Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
33 San Sebastian, Spain
Hotel Niza
Cascada del Rio Gandara, Nacimiento del Rio Ason, Cascada de Gujuli, Salto del Nervion, San Sebastian (Playa de la Concha, Casco Historico)
34 San Sebastian, Spain
Hotel Niza
San Sebastian (Playa de la Concha, Casco Historico, Monte Urgull)
35 Torla, Spain
Apartamentos Russell A Ruata
Cascada de Cotatuero, Torla
36 Torla, Spain
Apartamentos Russell A Ruata
Cola de Caballo, Cascada de Arripas, Cascada de la Cueva, Cascadas del Estrecho, Gradas del Soaso, Torla
37 Espot, Spain
Roca Blanca
Ainsa, Val d'Aran, Cascada de Gerber, Espot
38 Barcelona, Spain
Inside Barcelona Apartments Sants
Cascada de Ratera, Estany de Ratera, Estany de Sant Maurici, Barcelona (Ramblas de Catalunya)
39 Barcelona, Spain
Inside Barcelona Apartments Sants
Montserrat, Sant Miquel de Fai, Salt de Tenes, Car Rental Return, Ramblas de Catalunya
40 Barcelona, Spain
Inside Barcelona Apartments Sants
Barcelona (Casa Batllo, Park Guell, Cosmocaixa)
41 Barcelona, Spain
Inside Barcelona Apartments Sants
Barcelona (Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila / La Pedrera, Barri Gotic, Catedral de Barcelona, Ramblas de Catalunya, Ramblas de Mar)
42 Madrid, Spain
Hotel Mediodia
Travel, Madrid (Museo del Prado)
43 Home Travel

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