5 Days From Fes to Marrakech
Day 1: Fes – Ifran – Azrou Ziz Valley – Merzouga
After breakfast we will depart for Merzouga through the Middle Atlas and Higher Atlas mountains, stopping at Azrou, a Berber village in the middle of the famous cedar forest – the largest in Morocco – where you may well sight Barbarian apes.
We will drive through Ifrane, the ‘Switzerland’ of Morocco and the cedar forests of Azrou where we can stop to hand feed the monkeys, continuing to Timhdit and then Zaida, to enjoy a barbecue or tagine for lunch, followed by a refreshing glass of mint tea, we’ll travel through the Tizi Ntalghamt Pass to Midelt and along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock, taking in views of the Anti-Atlas plateau, you’ll notice how the scenery changes to reveal hints of the desert as you approach the city Er Rachidia, and then travel along the luxuriant Ziz Valley, stopping for panoramic views along the way.
We will drive through welcoming Berber villages to Erfoud, and then Rissani, the foundation of the Alaouite dynasty – the current ruling royal family in Morocco. Rissani is surrounded by 360 ksar (a fortified village with many towers) and has a big souk (an open market), held three times a week. Arrive to Merzouga at the end of the afternoon.
You’ll be welcomed with a glass of mint tea before you check in to your Riad.
Day 2: Merzouga area and the Camel trek
After a luxurious breakfast in the riad you will start an explorative journey of the area, today we will explore the desert region, we will make a circuit of the desert dunes where you will have the opportunity to visit the nomads in their goat hair tent and learn about the desert life, afterwards to Khamlia, village of Gnawa people, originally slaves brought from Sudan; here you will have the opportunity to listen to their music and learn about their culture and lifestyle, you may also visit the nomad wire house where many Berber handicrafts are priced lower than in the big cities.
On the afternoon you will ride your camel, guided by an experienced Camel man, to explore within the mysterious sand-sea of the Erg-Chebbi, on your way, pause to watch the sunset then continue your ride – seemingly in the middle of nowhere!, we will have a traditional dinner and delicious mint tea in front of the camp where you will spend your first night under canvas – or if you prefer, under the stars, for your convenience, our camp is equipped with western bathrooms.
Day 3: Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley
If you like, early in the morning, your camel man will wake you up to see the spectacle of the sunrise – what well may be the best sunrise of your life -over the dunes of the Sahara, you’ll peacefully camel-trek back to your riad for luxurious breakfast and a shower.
After breakfast, we will leave for Rissani, if it is a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday this is an opportunity to explore the souk, once a meeting place for many caravans coming from Timbuktu in Mali, Rissani, once Sijilmassa, is the foundation of the Alaouite Aynasty, the current ruling family, with most of the woman veiled, and men hooded, this is a very traditional Moroccan town,we’ll continue driving towards Tinghir Todra gorges, the highest, narrowest gorges in Morocco.
Here you will have the option to hike for an hour within the valley, where you will meet locals and learn about the culture and geography, after a tradition lunch in the heart of the gorge, you will continue to the Dades Valley, where you’ll see the majestic sand castles and the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes”.
Overnight accommodation will be in a luxurious hotel overlooking the Dades valley.
Day 4: Dades – Gorge – Skoura – Ouarzazat
After breakfast in the hotel, you will travel through the Dades Valley towards Kalaa M’gouna and Ouarzazat, the road through Dades Valley is the way of the thousand kasbahs – providing numerous opportunities to take some of your best photographic shots of the trip, next you will enjoy the fertile Rose valley and the rock formations along the way, we’ll stop at Kalaat M’gouna, “the rose city” known as the ancient city of the Jews of the Dades.
The fortress of Tiliit has been the centre of a Jewish region ruled by the Spanish-Jewish family of Perez from the end of the 15th century until the reign of Moulay Ismail in 1672. Where you will have the option to visit the cooperative for the roses, to purchase the rosewater, which will make your linen smell good a long time after your trip is over continue to Skoura and the birds valley, visit the Kasbah Ameridil, a well-preserved kasbah in this area, after some hiking in the valley stop in a high restaurant, lunch in high looking the whole valley, on to Ouarzazate .
Ouarzazate “the door to the Sahara desert”, it’s the main Berber city in the south known for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery. Surrounded by breathtaking valleys, Ouarzazate was once crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe also it’s “the Hollywood of Africa”, whose geography and beautiful landscapes has attracted many world class movie producers. Here you may choose to visit the studios, containing props used in movies, you may have already seen, such as The Mummy, Gladiator and the Last temptation of Christ. Overnight accommodation will be in a local riad.
Day 5: Ouarzazat – Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah – Marrakech
After breakfast and shower in your riad, you’ll take the way from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh; there is the fortified Kasbah of Aït Benhaddou, which was built in the 11th century by T-hami El Glaoui (Now one of the UNESCO heritage site) your journey will continue through the majestic Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2260m) over the High Atlas Mountains, before arriving at your accommodation in Marrakech. Where the Tour ends at.