Marrakech to Fes desert tour in 3 days
Table of contents:
Highlights of our tour:
Many visitors coming to Morocco every year fly to Marrakech or Fes, these two are known for their beauty and monuments’ architecture. The majority of tourists come to experience the Sahara desert night and the famous camel ride over the dunes. That is to say, our Moroccan travel agency has designed an itinerary that fits all the needs for a 3 days tour to the desert and back to Fes.
At first, we will start the 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes via Merzouga desert in the morning from Marrakech passing by Ait Ben Haddou and Ouarzazate to discover them. From there, we will hit the road via Skoura to arrive at Boumalne Dades. After exploring its Gorges, we will ahead to overnight at one of the local hotels.
On the second day, we will start with a fresh and rich breakfast then take the road to arrive at Tinghir. There, we will visit the Todgha Gorges and enjoy the amazing atmosphere. Subsequently, you will ahead via Melaab to try the Berber traditional dress. After that, the trip continues via many Berber villages to pass through Erfoud and arrive at Merzouga for the camel ride and spend the night at the camp.
Eventually, many activities can be done but it is recommended to try Sandboarding while watching the sunset.
At night after dinner, the Berber staff will play a show for you where you can enjoy traditional music and dance.
On the last day, you will watch the sunrise then take breakfast before passing through Errachidia to see the largest dam in the region. Then, we will visit Ifrane or little Switzerland, known as the cleanest in Morocco. After we take a break, we will continue to reach Fes where our tour ends.
Day 1: Marrakech to Boumalne Dades via Ait Ben Haddou:
The first day of the 3 days desert tour from Marrakech to Fes begins in the morning. Pickup service by your professional driver/guide. At first, you will leave Marrakech through the High Atlas mountains. On the way, you are able to stop for some pictures at the Tizi N Tichka cole, an altitude of 2260 meters where to enjoy the best views of mountains and villages.
Stopping at one of the Argan oil cooperatives, you will be able to see the way they use Argan oil to make cosmetics. Even more, you can try food cooked using it.
From there, we will hit the road via Telouet, a famous town for Kasbahs. Several stops can be made for pictures until you get to Ait Ben Haddou. There, you can have lunch after or before visiting the Kasbah at one of the local restaurants.
Your local guide will accompany you all the way to the top of the Kasbah and explain its history.
Next, you will arrive at Ouarzazate, famous for the largest movie, and series studios. It is optional to make a visit before heading to Boumalne Dades via Skoura and the city of Roses.
At Kalaat Megouna (the city of roses), you will have the chance to buy some rose water’s cosmetics (beauty products), then we will continue to reach Boumalne Dades.
Overnight at one of the local hotels/Riads.
Day 2: Boumalne Dades to Merzouga via Tinghir (Tinerhir):
In the early morning, you will wake up and have a fresh breakfast. We will start the second day of your 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes and Merzouga with a visit to the gorgeous Tinghir and the Todra canyons.
We will leave the Gorges of Dades, offering amazing views as far as the eye can reach. When arrived at Tinghir, you will admire how long is the valley of Todgha, full of palm trees. There, you can stop to take some pictures and continue to the canyons. A fresh atmosphere and charming views are waiting for you.
Todgha canyons are a place where to enjoy a family picnic as the citizens do in summer. Also, it is where the climbing with ropes’ sport is practiced.
We will stop for some time to ascertain the area and move to try the Berber dress at one of the common shops. Subsequently, we will continue to pass via Erfoud the city of fossils, 40 minutes then we will arrive at the Sahara desert.
Furthermore, you will be welcomed with tea to restore, then you can use the bathroom and a room is offered to pack what is needed… After that, you will ride camels through Erg Chebbi, where you will admire the beautiful landscapes.
At the camp, it is recommended to use the Sandboard at sunset time, known as the best sport to practice in the Sahara desert.
To conclude, you will enjoy a Berber music show after dinner.
Day 3: Merzouga desert to Fes via Erfoud and Ifrane:
In the morning, it is highly recommended to wake up early so you will not miss the spectacular sunrise. Surely, the staff will wake you up for a hike to the top of a sand dune where the view is clear. Moreover, you will have breakfast either at the camp or at the hotel.
The last day of our 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes via Merzouga is full of exciting destinations.
We will start by taking the road through Erfoud. There, we may stop to see the process of extracting fossils, and making them soft. Next, we will ahead to see the dam of Hassan Addakhil in Errachidia, known as the largest in the region. The only source of water for Merzouga, Erfoud, and nearby towns. After some photos, we will continue throughout the Tizi N Tlghamt road and reach Midelt. This city is called the capital of apples, a decorative huge apple can be found in the center of the city.
From Midelt, we will resume through the Middle Atlas mountains to reach Ifrane. It is called little Switzerland for its clean gardens, public areas… Moreover, it is classified as the finest in Africa and the eighth worldwide.
We will stop to visit Ifrane and the city garden then we will move to Fes. You will arrive in the evening where our staff will drop you off at your accommodation or airport.
Book your 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes via Merzouga desert!
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Ait Ben Haddou:
Ait Ben Haddou is known as the most fascinating Ksar in Morocco. It is also called the palace of Glaoua. This group of the earthen building surrounded by high walls is located in the High Atlas range. Between the 18 and 19 centuries, the tribe of the Glaoua built their Kasbah where they used to stay. Every tribe has its leader and Ben Haddou was theirs. He used to stay At the top of the Kasbahs in his own vast room. Many stories say that Ben Haddou was a very rich leader supported by the French administration.
The Kasbah nowadays is visited by thousands of tourists coming from Marrakech to discover the desert. The enchanting views of this old Kasbah even attracted archaeologists to discover its history. Further, they say its structure dates to the eleventh century at the era of Thami El Glaoui the Pasha of Marrakech.
Visiting the Kasbah is easier now using the p31 road of Tizi N Tichka.
Starting from Marrakech using the excursions we organize, you will reach Ait Ben Haddou where your knowledgeable guide will tell you about its history. Using the stairs, you will get to the top. On the way, you will get amazed at how the painters draw the Kasbah using tea and sugar then fire. From there to the top for some pictures with panoramic views.
Not to forget that Ait Ben Haddou was more like a studio for movies lately. The Gladiator, Alexander, The Bible, all these famous movies and tv series are shot at the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou.
Ouarzazate is the second visited destination during the 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes via the desert. Its name refers to Ouar Zazate which means the noiseless city. Also, it is nicknamed the door to the Sahara desert, where you start to feel the heat of the southern desert. It is famous for the last 20 years for the Atlas Studios, many movies should be mentioned as the Gladiator, Cleopatra, and more.
Just next to the Atlas Studios, there is the fancy Cla hotel. The very traditional designed hotel where visitors can stay and discover all the parts of the studio.
Another famous thing in Ouarzazate is the Kasbah of Taourirt, containing about 300 rooms, it is called the maze of Ouarzazate. Surely, a local guide is recommended to discover this hidden area. Belonging to the Thami El Glaoui, it is very preserved and important at the present time.
Back on the track, we take the direction of El-Kelaa M’Gouna and the Valley of the Roses. The dirt road is winding, zigzagging between red, arid, and folded cliffs. The passage of the Bou Thrarar pass offers one of the most beautiful panoramas, dominating the village of Tamalout towards which the track goes down in twists and turns. Some children climb the cliffs, reminding us that these villages are not abandoned. Here we are in the heart of the Valley of the Roses, which takes place towards El-Kelaa M’Gouna, at an altitude of 1,400 meters.
The queen of the flowers, cultivated and distilled for the manufacture of rose water, only appears in April-May. In the meantime, it is the flowering laurels that hold the limelight, brightening the landscape. A few steps away, Berber women dressed in black wash their clothes in the stream. They run away by trotting at the sight of the cameras.
During our 3 days desert tour from Marrakech to Fes, you are able to visit this city and even buy some rose water products.
Todgha Gorges and Tinghir:
The Gorges of Todra are one of the best-visited destinations during our 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes and the desert, many say that they are nicer than those of Dadès.
The gorges of Todra are at 15 km from Tinghir, they are the doors of entry of the high Atlas, and they are impressive with their immense limestone cliffs. These Gorges are important for the population, apart from any symbolic significance around, because they feed the large palm grove of Tinghir. At 15km from the city of Tinghir, the Todra Gorges offer a beautiful natural representation.
You can walk in the gorges just for a few hours, go hiking or even trekking.
The city of Tinghir, located in southeastern Morocco, and is part of the region of Ouarzazate. Tinghir, whose suffix “IGHIR”, means “shoulder” in Tamazight, is since taken over by all the surrounding villages that bear this name “ghir” at the end, so it’s not so original anymore. Another characteristic of Tinghir is its palm grove of course! It is one of the most beautiful palm groves of the region and it extends over a little more than 30 km. And it’s something else than the poor palm grove of Marrakech.
Merzouga and Erg Chebbi:
At 35 km from Rissani, 50KM from Erfoud, and 130 from Errachidia, we find this impressive set of dunes, called Erg Chebbi.
It is a region with a climate and desert landscape, composed of sand “erg” and stone “hamada”. On the dry rivers, there are the oases in which the different population centers that were originally nomads are settled. Today, a small part of them are still there.
This dune complex (ERG) is 22 km long from north to south, 5 km wide, and its dunes have a maximum height of 150m.
Next to the dunes, surrounded by palm trees, there are three villages. Hassi labied to the east, which is distinguished by its palm grove. 5 km to the south is Merzouga, which has developed in recent years thanks to the development of this type of tourism and agriculture. Khemliya, 6 km south of the previous one, is characterized by its old black African population. East of Erg Chebbi continues the Stony Hamada, which extends towards Algeria.
Although rain is very short and rare, in 2006 flooding along the dunes destroyed many buildings and killed three people.
Ifrane, the last visited city during our tour of 3 days from Marrakech to Fes and Merzouga desert. Here, the houses have sloping roofs like in Switzerland, the palm trees have given way to plane trees whose leaves fall on the sidewalks.
Although the site had been inhabited for centuries, the town of Ifrane as we know it was built by the French during colonization. It was a small winter sports resort and a place for hiking.
The town was nicknamed the Little Switzerland of Morocco. The architecture is so particular, not only because of the climate (we are at 1600m of altitude) but also because the will of the time was that no Frenchman should feel disorientated there, that’s why we can find typical roofs of several French regions. For example, a half-timbered house with a stork on the roof reminds us more of Alsace than Morocco.