10-Day Guided Tour from Fes to Merzouga Desert
This spectacular Fez desert tour is ideal for those who are interested in seeing the breadth of Moroccan culture and landscapes. From the rich urban history of Fez (also known as Fés) and Marrakech to breathtaking star-gazing in the tranquil sahara desert, this tour showcases the diversity and variety of Morocco.
Fez Desert Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Fez
Your guide will meet you at the airport at your specified time and transport you to a Riad, well-located in the medina, which is the historical part of Fez. Depending on the arrival time, you may visit some of Fez. Dinner and overnight in a riad.
Day 2: Visit of the Medina of Fez and Monuments
After a delicious breakfast at the riad, we began our Fez desert tour in the new part of the city, where we approach the royal palace, barium Jews (Mellah). Then we’ll go to a viewpoint where we can see all the medina from the south tower and the few mosques. By foot, we'll navigate the medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In its labyrinthine streets structured by guilds of potters, dyers, … etc, the bustle of people will transport you back centuries. You will notice that it is a medieval town and that time has stopped the clock. Dinner and overnight in riad.
Day 3: Fes – Ifrane – Cedar Forest – Midelt – Ziz Valley – Merzouga Desert
We went south to cross the Middle Atlas Mountains to reach Ifrane, called ” Little Switzerland” for its resemblance to the country. One of the animals that once lived here was the lion of the Atlas, which has now become the symbol of the city and have dedicated a stone statue in the middle of it. Take the opportunity to stop and take some photos.
We cross the famous cedar forests and admire the Great Cedar Gouraud, the largest ancient cedar in the region and also to feed the hundreds of monkeys of Gibraltar that inhabit the area.
Lunch at midelt. After departing from here the land becomes rougher and full of spectacular geological features and deep green valleys, like the Ziz Valley formations. We begin to see typical adobe architecture, palm trees, some distant Kasbahs.
Finally, we are at the gates of the desert. After an hour after we arrive at Erfoud, then onto the impressive dunes of Merzouga. At the hotel, take a moment to rest and sip of cup of Berber tea, leave the luggage in a room and climb to the first dunes that are outside the hotel to take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunset. Dinner and overnight at the hotel, located a few meters from the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
Day 4: Merzouga – Nomadic Families – Riding camels and night in traditional nomad tent (khaima)
We’re in the sahara for a day of Total Desert. After a hearty breakfast, we'll navigate around the Erg Chebbi sand formations, seeing the Great Dune of Morocco (over 250 meters). We'll connect with the track that was part of the route taken by the former Paris-Dakar rally in front of a backdrop of Algeria's mountains in the distance.
Stop at the oasis of Tissardmin where we can find fossil workers and continue towards a nomadic settlement where we will learn some of the secrets of traditional Berber life and customs. Brief stop at a vantage point where we can contemplate the Erg Chebbi as a whole.
Reach the village of Khamlia, primarily populated with descendants of people from Mali. Relax with a cup of tea while enjoying a short concert of spiritual Gnawa music. After stopping by the hotel briefly, you begin your camel caravan. Enter the heart of the dunes and enjoy an unforgettable sunset. Arrive at the camp and relax in a traditional nomad tent (khaima) made of camel wool. Dinner and overnight in the tents or under a spectacular canopy of stars.
Day 5: Desert Merzouga – Rissani Market – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley
"Date with the Dawn.” We recommend you wake up early to walk to the highest dune near the camp to enjoy the sunrise and the relaxing desert scenery. Hop back on the camels to ride to the village of Merzouga. After a delicious breakfast, we say goodbye to the desert and leave for Rissani. If we’re lucky your journey will take you there on one of the market days: Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday.
Follow the road to Erfoud where there is possibility to visit the fossil-working craftsmen, before continuing to the palm groves of Touroug and Tinjdad.
One hour later reach one of the strongest points of the High Atlas: The Todra Gorge. The bed of the river has formed gorge walls of enormous proportions and great beauty. It is a paradise for climbers and a unique place. Lunch at the site and an optional half-hour hike to see and enjoy in detail the Todra Gorge.
In the afternoon continue to the Dades Valley, known as the Valley of figs, to Boumalne Dades. Stop at the famous geological "monkey fingers." Dinner and night in the Dades Gorge.
Day 6: Dades Valley – Vallée de Rosas – Boutagrar- Palm Skoura – Ouarzazate
After breakfast, we enjoy one of the best views of the Dades Valley. We will do so from one of the most strategic locations that offer us the mountains. From there we'll see the picturesque kasbahs of great interest. When we reach the Kasbah of Ait Youl we will make a detour and venture deeper into the Central High Atlas. We'll visit a nomadic family who still live in caves in the Valley of Boutagrar where time seems to have stopped. We’ll see mountains, canyons and valleys where nomads still live. Arrival at Valley of Roses and the town of Kelâa M’gouna. Lunch in the village and in the afternoon pass through the palm of Skoura, and then on to Ouarzazate. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
Day 7: Ouarzazate – Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou – High Atlas Mountains – Marrakech
The morning is dedicated to the visit of Ouarzazate: Kasbah of Taourirt, Film studios. Then exit to the fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou, visit its famous Kasbah (Declared World Heritage by UNESCO). This is the spectacular backdrop for films such as Gladiator
and Jewel of the Nile
. Lunch in the village and in the afternoon departure to Marrakech crossing the winding mountain pass of Tizi Ntichka. Here we leave the lunar landscape that will give way to prevailing green and ochre colors. Arrive in Marrakech at 18:00. Free evening to discover the famous Djemaa el Fna. Dinner and overnight in Riad.
Day 8: Free Day in Marrakech
Free day to put into practice the art of haggling in the souks or discover the secret places of the medina at your leisure. Dinner and overnight in the riad.
Day 9: Marrakech – Beni Mellal – Khenifra – Middle Atlas – Fez
We left Fez direction crossing the numerous valleys that make up the Middle Atlas; Beni Mellal and Khenifran with techniques to get some rest and have lunch for some people down the road stops. In the middle of summer when the days are long, we may have a chance to detour to the Ouzoud Waterfalls. But in winter the days are short and it is impossible because of our arrival time in Fez. Dinner and overnight in a riad.
Day 10: Conclusion of Fez desert tour and airport
Breakfast and free morning until the appointed time. Transfer to the airport where we accompany you to your check in counter. It is advisable to be at the airport two hours in advance. Finally our journey ends and we bid you farewell.