4 days tour from Fes to Marrakech via the desert
Table of contents:
Highlights of our tour:
This tour is customized for 4 days starting from Fes across Merzouga and end in Marrakech. The tour itinerary will start by visiting the little Switzerland of Morocco Ifrane, where you will stop to discover the statue of the atlas lion. Then, in about half an hour, we will arrive at the forest of Cedar trees, we will stop to get to know the Barbary Macaque monkeys, feed them, and take some photographs.
Afterwards, we will cross the Atlas mountains to arrive to the dam of Errachidia, where the source of water of the desert comes from. Next, we will stop a panoramic view of at Ziz valley as you can see in the picture below. Later, we will pass by some cities and villages like Erfoud, where the festival of dates and the mineral fossils are.
In the afternoon, we will arrive at the highlight of our four days trip, the Sahara desert of Merzouga after about 7h drive from Fes. On the second day, you will do a full day trip around Merzouga where you will visit the nomads, the Gnaoua people, the Lake of Srij, and the small oasis of Hassi Labied. After all that, our camels will be ready to take you on the Erg Chebbi dunes to spend the night in the Berber tents (Bivouac).
On the third day, you will explore the Grand canyons of Todgha, with small activities before like wearing Berber clothes and stopping at some panoramic views.
The Fourth day will be from Dades gorges, you will visit the valley of rose flowers in Kalaat Mgouna. Then, you will visit the Atlas studio in Ouarzazate before you hike the Ait Benhaddou Kasbah. Eventually, the tour continues to Marrakech across the pass of Tichka in the Atlas Mountains.
Day 1: Fes to Merzouga desert :
We will start our 4 days tour from Fes at your accommodation or at an agreed point. Then, we will take you to Ifrane to visit the Atlas lion statue that is in the center of the city. After that, we will drive to the Azrou forest of cedar trees. There, we will get to know the monkeys, feed them, and take some pictures.
Later in the afternoon, we will pass by the dam of Errachidia, Hassan Addakhil. Also, we will stop at Ait Chaker panoramic view, we want you to see one of Morocco’s biggest valleys where many dates palm trees. Afterward, we will drive through the city where they sell most of those dates, Erfoud. Eventually, we will arrive at our destination Merzouga, we will take you to a hotel there to relax after driving for 7h from Fes.
Day 2: Full experience at Merzouga:
This day is the highlight of our 4 days tour from Fes to Merzouga package. We will take you on a full Merzouga tour, we will visit the Berber nomads who live in tents in the middle of nowhere. Not only we will visit the Gnawa people but also the lake of Srij where the camel go herding. Furthermore, we will visit one of the small oases in the village of Hassi Labied or Taboumiat Khutarat.
In the afternoon, the camels will be ready for you to ride on, you will cross the Erg Chebbi dunes, a quick stop on the way will be made for the sunset. Later, you will arrive at the camp, our staff will set fire after you have dinner, and they will play Berber music as an entertainment of the Berbers.
Not to mention, the stary sky at night and the Milkyway are worth to climb the dunes and watch the shooting stars.
Day 3 : Merzouga to Dades Gorges:
On this day, we will leave Merzouga after we take you on the camels again back to the center. Then, we will through Erfoud again, if you are interested, we will make a stop at one of the museums of mineral fossils. Afterward, we will head towards Tinghir across the old system of irrigation in Fezna. We will make a stop at one of the Berbers clothing cooperatives in order to try local’s clothes for free.
After lunch, we will head to the Grand Canyon of Todgha Gorges near Tinghir. There, you will have some free time to walk and take pictures. Next, we will drive to Dades, we will not only stop at the monkey toes mountains but also the curves of Tissdrine. Our third day ends when we take you to one of the Dades hotels to check-in (The hotel is usually booked in the river of Dades).
Day 4: Dades to Marrakech across Ait Benhaddou:
The last day of our 4 days tour is also full of fascinating places to discover before we arrive at Marrakech. To start with, we will visit Kalaat Mgouna, also known for the rose flowers. There, we will check one of the cooperatives to show you how they make and extract products from roses. Thereafter, we will drive through the town of Skoura with its beautiful tall palm trees, we will arrive at the city cinema, Ouarzazate. Here, we will stop at a panoramic view near Taourirt Kasbah, we will take pictures then head to Oscar studio. It’s where you will find much information about the movies they made around here especially in Ait Benhaddou.
Afterward, we will drive to Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, this attraction will amaze you, it’s a Berber fortress since the 11th century, built by the Glaoui family. Now, it is one of the World’s Heritage site that attracts many visitors each year. Eventually, we will arrive at Marrakech after we make quick stops, one at the top 2260 meters of the Atlas mountains, and one at the argan oil cooperative. Our 4 days tour from Fes ends when we take you to your accommodation in Marrakech.
Book your 4 days desert tour from Fes now!
In order to book our Fes desert tour for 4 days, please fill in the name of the tour in the subject field. Also, if the itinerary we suggested is missing some of your needs please let us know, we will make sure to answer you within 24h.
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We have customized different tours itineraries from Fes, desert tours, and city tours. However, if the plans below do not match what you are looking for, please fill in our contact form with your needs.
Our 4 days desert tour from Fes to Marrakech across Merzouga is full of beautiful places and sceneries to see. Therefore, we want to give you an overview of the things you will see and experience during your travel with us.
Ifrane, the little Switzerland:
If you are looking to be in Switzerland and Morocco at the same time, then you should explore Ifrane. It’s the cleanest city in Morocco and the eighth worldwide with European architecture. Therefore, they call it the little Switzerland of Morocco. Ifrane is the coldest city in Morocco that records about -23°C=-9.4°F during the wintertime. That’s to say, it snows a lot here, and for that reason, many Moroccans come here to snowboard.
Ifrane is famous for the statue of the Atlas lion that a German prisoner has carved during the French colonization in 1912. Not only Ifrane is known as one of the best and the most expensive universities in Morocco, but also it’s where one of the king’s palaces.
Azrou Cedar forest:
Not far from the city of Ifrane lays the forest of Azrou, known for the tall cedar trees that reach up to 25 meters. Also, they are native to the mountains of the Himalayas and to the Mediterranean. This forest is also a home for one of the unique animals in the world, the Barbary apes. That’s to say, the maggots that are known to be the Old World species monkeys. Not to mention, they are usually found in Algeria and Morocco in the Atlas with a small population in Gibraltar.
We come to feed these monkeys and they are usually in families, they do not go in groups. Actually, they somehow do not like to mix up with other families, sometimes we find them hurt and blooded other times we see them fighting.
The dam and Ziz valley in Errachidia:
Errachidia is the gate to the Sahara desert, it’s the first city after crossing the Atlas mountains. It is in the region of Daraa Tafilalet, the first origin name is Imtghern, former name Ksar Souk. After that, the brother of the king Mohamed V prince Moulay Rachid call it Errachidia. Not to mention, Errachidia is where most of the military bases are because it’s near Algeria, and there are political conflicts between the two countries.
Hassan Addakhil dam:
Errachidia is famous for the dam of Hassan Addakhil, it’s where the source of water coming from for the regions around like Errachidia itself, Erfoud, Merzouga… It is intelligence from the Alaouite dynasty to build this dam in 1968 at that place near the Atlas mountains because when it rains in the mountains it all floods to the dam.
Ziz valley or Ziz river is a long river that expands from Errachidia to Algeria in about 282 km crossing the Sahara desert. However, what is interesting about this river is only the 30km where there are so many palm trees of the dates. Many locals have their agriculture in this valley and they usually plant palm trees because the dry weather and soil help it a lot in growing. Once we arrive here, there is a panoramic view at Ait Chaker, you will be able to see the river with its beautiful and huge palm trees.
Erfoud, the dates city:
Erfoud or Arfoud is a city in the southeast of Morocco, not far from the Erg Chebbi dunes. There are two theories about its name. First, many people say that the name is coming from a plant whose name is Ounfoud, it’s a Berber plant that is in the river of Ziz that is passing east Erfoud. Other people say that the name is coming from “Ar Afoud” which means to the knee in Berber, that’s referring to a measure the depth of the river by two Berbers who were crossing.
Erfoud is famous for the big international festival that lasts for 3 days each October, a celebration of the fruits of the date. Many people from different countries come here to celebrate and export dates, as well as enjoy the concert, music, and theater they make at the center square of the city.
For geology purposes, Erfoud is the city of mineral fossils. For instance, they find in the mountains nearby goniatites, Orthoceras, Trilobites, crinoids (Scyphocrinites Elegans), and corals. Of course, we are able to take you to one of the museums to check how they make those fossils, and why not if you are interested to buy some of them.
There are many Jewish who come to Erfoud to visit one of their cemeteries. Therefore, if you are Jewish, we would be more than happy to take you there.
Merzouga and Erg chebbi:
Camel trekking is the top-rated attraction to do in the world according to TripAdvisor. Therefore, visiting Merzouga is not only the highlight of our 4 days tour from Fes to Marrakech but also all of our Morocco desert tours.
Merzouga is not far from the borders of Algeria, about 50km=30miles. It’s in the region of Daraa Tadilalet in the province of Errachidia. Also, the name of Merzouga is coming from a family name of an Arab tribe”Merzouq”. However, there are some people who say that Merzouga means actually wealthy because of its Erg Chebbi sand dunes that attract many visitors each year.
You may hear the terms Hassi Labied, Takojt, or Khamlia, that’s referring to the villages around. Also, you may hear about Lala Merzouga, that’s the name of the biggest sand dune in Erg Chebbi. Not to mention, the first income of Merzouga is tourism, that’s why they try to keep it clean and safe.
Merzouga is not only a town where Berbers live but also where Arabs and Gnawa people live here. Even with the mixed tribes and roots, the big village remains peace and admired by many tourists for the hospitality of its people. Let’s take a look at the best things you can do here in Merzouga:
There are many tourists who stay in hotels and come in the afternoon or early morning to only experience the ship of the desert, the dromedaries. Furthermore, there are tourists who have even more days to take the camels as nomads and travel in the wildness for a week or two. With our tour of 4 days, the camel ride will be twice, once in the afternoon to the camp and one in the morning from the camp. Not to mention, if you are wondering the difference between a camel and a dromedary, the camel is with two humps, and the dromedary is with one. Therefore, in Merzouga or the whole of Africa, there are only dromedaries, camels are usually in Asia.
Camping at Berber tents:
If you want to fully experience the lifestyle of the Berber nomads, then the camel ride is incomplete without spending a night in the tent. For tourists, locals have set many camps behind the dunes of Erg Chebbi, there are luxurious and standard ones, they make dinner, set fire, and play drums. Normally, these tents should be made out of the goat’s fur as the nomads that’s the standard.
The Srij or Sarij lake is a worthwhile place to visit, it’s where hundreds of camels go herding during the day when they are not used for work. Also, it’s where you will find many birds like Egyptian nightjars, desert warblers, and immigrant flamingos.
As mentioned previously, there are many different people in Merzouga. Here in Khamlia live the dark skin people called Gnawa, they are also known to have been used as slaves. Now, they live here in this peaceful village, they have certain music they call Gnaoua. Therefore, with our 4 days trip, our tourists will be able to get there and get to know them and their music.
Another worth to try activity is the ATVs or quad biking. This thing is not included in our Fes desert tour for 4 days. However, you can contact us to include it.
There are many Berber fortresses in Morocco that are built with clay and hay. However, the best and the most visited is the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. Glaoui family built this Kasbah in 757. However, the founder is Benhaddou, one of the big cheikhs at that time.
At the entrance of the Kasbah from the bridge, you will find a sign with Ksar written on it. Normally, Ait Benhaddou is a Kasbah, not a Ksar because Kasbah is coming from the word Kasab which means bamboo, and the roves of the Kasbah are built with it.
This Kasbah is on the east side and it’s at the tip of the Atlas Mountains. Therefore, some people call it the gate to the Sahara desert because it starts from here. Ait Benhaddou is an important historical site. Therefore, it is one of the Unesco world heritage sites.
The most important thing to know about the Kasbah is that it is famous for the movies that were made here. For instance, they made a part of the British-American drama Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia. Therefore, being here is an honor because you are at a place where many famous movies were made.
There are many other sites that we will see with our 4 days tour itinerary from Fes to Marrakech like the grand canyons of Todgha Gorges and Monkey Toes in Dades. If you need any other information about other sites on the way from Fes to Marrakech, please contact us, we will be glad to answer within 24h.