8-Day Desert Tour from Fez to Marrakesh

8-Day Desert Tour from Fez to Marrakesh

For those who wish to travel from Fez to Marrakesh without too many long stretches sitting in a vehicle, this is a wonderful tour. We will extensively explore the area around Merzouga’s sand dunes (Erg Chebbi) and drink in nomadic desert culture. A bonus excursion to the Ouzoud Waterfalls is another highlight of the trip before arriving in Marrakesh for a guided tour of the city.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fez – Volubilis – Meknes– Fez

Your driver will pick you up at the airport or another location of your choice in Fez in the morning. We leave the city to visit the Roman ruins at Volubilis. Here you can explore on foot the bath house, the columns and the ancient streets. In the afternoon we travel to nearby Meknes for lunch in the picturesque medina before returning to Fez where we will check into a local riad for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day 2: Fez Guided City Tour

Today we explore Fez on foot with a local tour guide. Visit the historic city of Fez, entering from the Bab Boujloud, the most famous port and heading towards Dar Batha, a Hispanic-Moorish building which houses a beautiful Museum of popular art, continuing with a visit to madrasas, minarets and exquisitely decorated city gates. The visit continues then through the tannery Chouara, where you will discover fascinating leather processing, including cleaning and dyeing with natural tints. We then visit the Qaraouiyine mosque. Founded by a Moroccan woman in the 9th century, it is the oldest continually-running university in the world. The sightseeing stops along the square, where craftspeople tinker away and sell their goods. We will emerge from the medina through the Bab Semmarine. Dinner and accommodation in the riad.

Day 3: Fez – Ifrane – Azrou – Midelt

After breakfast, we leave Fez and head south, passing through Ifrane, which looks like a quaint Swiss mountain town. Once we reach the cedar forests of Azrou we will likely encounter some Barbary monkeys. They are usually friendly and you can interact with them if you like. We will have lunch near here before continuing through the mountains toward Midelt. We end our first day in the “apple city” where we will stay in a local hotel.

Day 4: Midelt – Rissani – Khamlia – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi

Enjoy breakfast before heading south to the Sahara. Travel through the Ziz river valley, arriving in Rissani where, if it is market day, we will see cloth, spices and livestock for sale. Enjoy lunch here before continuing farther to the village of Khamlia. This village is famous for its musical culture and we will enjoy a performance by a group of local musicians. Afterwards, travel to Merzouga village at the edge of Erg Chebbi, the tallest sand dune formation in all of Morocco. Here you can leave your luggage at a hotel and stop to enjoy a cup of mint tea with your camel guide. In the late afternoon, you’ll hop on the caravan and your camel trekking guide will lead you deep into the heart of the sand dunes to our desert camp. The camel ride is 1.5 to 2 hours during which you’ll see a spectacular desert sunset. At the camp, enjoy a traditional meal and drumming around the campfire before you sleep under the stars or in a classic wool nomad tent.

Day 5: Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Todra Gorge – Dades Valley – Ouarzazate

Wake up early if you want to see the sunrise over the dunes of Erg Chebbi and return by dromedary to the inn, where breakfast is waiting. Your driver will then ferry you to the steep cliffs of Todra Gorge where you can explore a little on foot before continuing to the Dades Gorges where we will stop for lunch and have an opportunity to see the famous monkey fingers rock formations. In the afternoon, we continue to Ouarzazate, the centre of Morocco’s film-making industry. At this gateway city between the desert and the mountains, we will settle in for dinner and a night spent in a local hotel.

Day 6: Ouarzazate – Ouzoud Waterfalls

In the morning we have breakfast at the hotel and then head to the nearby Taourirt Kasbah. This 19th-century fortress was the a of power for the el Glaoui clan and located at a strategic junction of ancient caravan routes between the Sahara and Marrakesh. Travel back in time and see how Moroccan chieftains used to live in these large village/fortress structures. We then continue our journey, heading north over the mountains. We’ll stop for lunch at one of the many Berber villages along the way. In the afternoon we will make a stop at Imi-n-Ifri, mouth of cave in Berber, to take spectacular photographs at this peculiar geological formation. From here we continue to cross the Middle Atlas up to the beautiful waterfalls of Ouzoud, 110 m high. We will have dinner pass the night in a local hotel.

Day 7 : Ouzoud Waterfalls – Marrakech

Considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in Morocco, Ouzoud Waterfalls will fill our morning. Here you can take a walk in the lush green vegetation and bathe in the fresh water of the el-Abid River, which flows all the way to the Atlantic coast at Casablanca. Ouzoud means grinding grain in Berber and you can see many flour mills near the top of the waterfalls. After a relaxing morning spent in nature, we will have lunch and then begin our journey to Marrakesh, Morocco’s red city. We will arrive there in the late afternoon when we will check into a local riad near the medina for dinner and overnight accommodation.

Day 8: Marrakesh Guided City Tour

On our final day together, we will have a tour of Marrakesh with a local guide. Explore the souk around the famous square of Jemaa el fna where acrobats, story-tellers and henna artists all work at the base of the iconic Koutoubia Mosque tower. Our Marrakesh tour offers the opportunity to see many noteworthy sites, including the Bahia Palace and the Menara with its lush olive groves. Near the city square, there are souks with various craftspeople, producing woodwork, iron goods, woven baskets, leather and jewellery. In the late afternoon we drop you off at the airport or at another location of your choice in Marrakesh if you wish to continue your stay.

Includes:

  • Transportation (4×4 SUV or minibus with air-conditioning)
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Hotel/riad overnight stays
  • Breakfast & Dinner (except for breakfast on first day and dinner on last day)
  • Local city guides where applicable
  • Camel trekking at Erg Chebbi
  • Accommodation in traditional nomad tent
  • Turbans for protection from sun and sand
  • Sandboarding in The Dunes

Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Lunches
  • Drinks
  • Admittance fees (for optional attractions such as museums and mosques)
NOTE: If the tours that we offer do not match what you’re looking for, contact us and we will prepare a custom itinerary according to your wishes.

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