FES TO MARRAKECH 3 DAYS DESERT TOUR
✪ Tour features :
Journey from Fes to Marrakech to the mysterious Sahara Desert via the town of Ifrane “Switzerland of Morocco”. Soak up breathtaking views of the Middle Atlas range & enjoy a stop at the Cedar forests of Azrou and glimpse Barbary Apes at play.
Witness the fabulous and largest Oasis in Morocco, in the Ziz Valley. Explore the remarkable fossil town of Erfoud on the way to the amazing Sahara. Experience a unique desert sunset and camp stay overnight under a starry sky. Visit the magnificent Todgha Gorge and the glorious Dades Valley.
Discover exhilarating activities (Quad biking, Sand Boarding) to undertake in the Sahara dunes. Visit a nomad family and share a cup of tea with them. Journey through Dades Valley past astonishing and rare rock formations. Visit the scenic Oasis of Skoura and the dynamic 17th century mud brick Kasbah of Amridil. Visit Ouarzazate, “Hollywood of Africa” and excite your cinema interests.
Experience Morocco’s amazing iconic ancient UNESCO World heritage site “Ksar Ait Benhaddou”. Visit the intriguing women’s cooperative and view the making of the World famous Argan Oil. Embrace the stunning High Atlas mountains and down to the exciting city of Marrakech, at the journey’s end.
” Please Click on each section bellow so that the details of each day will appear “.
✪ Day 1 : Fes » Ifrane » Middle Atlas mountains » Ziz valley » Sahara desert :
After breakfast, your Grand Morocco Driver Guide will pick you up from your Hotel or Riad in Fes to begin your Fes to Marrakech deser tour and your spectacular journey to the Sahara Desert region.
Today, your tour begins towards the long awaited, magical and legendary Sahara Desert, the largest hot desert in the world and where the undulating golden dunes glisten like gold in the sunlight. Travel dreams do come true and this visit to the desert may be one of yours “it will be beyond your wildest dreams”.
Leaving Fes, we travel to Ifrane town, which has a European image and atmosphere, with sloping roofs, chimneys housing large stork nests, generous flower beds and Chestnut trees. Thus, the nickname “Little Switzerland of Morocco”. The city was French built in the 1930’s and is known for its mountainous terrain, altitudes to 1,664 M and cold winter temperatures, -24 degrees, measured in 1935, the lowest temperature in Africa.
Skiing is a popular sport in Ifrane. It also claims the distinction of featuring in the top 10 of the world’s cleanest cities, ahead of Ottawa, Helsinki and Singapore. The Cedar plantations in Ifrane and the surrounding area are known to be the largest Cedar plantations in the world and cover about 134,000 hectares of Morocco, being still a potent symbol of national pride.
A stop at the Cedar forests of Azrou, in the Middle Atlas region, altitude 1,278 M where you may be able to glimpse and feed the Barbary Macaque Apes in their Cedar forest habitat and hopefully observe their antics. The Barbary macaque also known as Barbary ape or magot, is a species of macaque found only in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria along with a small population of uncertain origin in Gibraltar.
After a scenic driving through the middle Atlas and lunch, we will move through the striking Ziz Valley oasis, the largest palm groves oasis in Morocco. There is a wonderful sight of a dense canopy of palms between ancient striated cliffs dating back to the Jurassic period, 199.6 to 145.5 million years ago.
We will continue the trip to Erfoud, known as the capital for dates(fruit) and a global entity for fossil stones famous for amazing fossil beds and Paleozoic Strata, where ancient ‘Trilobite’ fossils are found, 505 to 570 million years old. An intriguing visit to a fossil museum is possible where you will witness some of the ancient specimens (Ask your guide).
After, we continue to the eminent Sahara Desert town of Merzouga, which is a Berber town on the edge of the Sahara Desert and regarded as the gate way to the Grand African Sahara, which is a huge expanse of sand dunes.
On approach you will observe a magnificent panoramic view of the golden dunes considered the highest sand dunes in north Africa at 350M elevation. Then we continue to the camel station to meet your camel and the experienced camel man who will guide your Camel Trek to explore the mysterious Merzouga sand sea . You will enjoy the most charming sunset in the Merzouga Dunes, and you will spend the night in a Berber desert camp, in the heart of the dunes.
The camp consists of several comfortable Berber tents equipped with mattresses and linen, a dining room, a kitchen and a bathroom. The evening will include dinner, followed by entertainment around the camp fire, listening to traditional Berber drum music, gazing at the night sky full of the milky way stars and having the experience of a life time, which will captivate your heart and soul, not for a night, but forever. (Overnight in Sahara desert camp).
- Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour 3 Days Itinerary .
✪ Day 2 : Sahara desert » Rissani » Todgha gorges » Dades valley :
Before sunrise, on waking, you may climb the sand dunes for a fantastic view of the amazing sunrise in the Sahara Desert, followed by a typical traditional Berber breakfast.
You will then take the camel ride back through the shimmering dunes to the main road where you will meet your guide and vehicle to begin your journey towards your next destination.
After having experienced a memorable night in the spectacular sand sea dunes of Sahara, we depart for the town of Rissani which was an ancient strategic cross roads destination on the trans Saharan trade route, linking Western Africa with Europe and Asia. It was a major camel caravan and commercial center which gave great importance to the city from the 8th to the 16th centuries.
Caravans of up to 200,000 camels would arrive in Rissani each year, from many sub Saharan African countries, e.g. Mali, Ghana, Senegal, Niger, Guinea, all trading gold, ivory, local crafts, slaves and most importantly, salt, which was sometimes used as trade currency and more valuable than gold at that time. Camels were first domesticated by the Native Berbers in north Africa, c. 300 A.D. and the camel caravans traveled vast distances for long periods, up to 100 days to reach Rissani. They rarely traveled faster than the camel man’s walking speed and their ability to withstand hard conditions made them ideal for communication and trade.
Rissani is renowned for its cultural diversity of Berber, Arab and desert communities, all recognisable and differentiated by their clothing style and colours worn. Also, it is a diverse city and well known for its traditional markets / Souks, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, being the busiest shopping days for souvenirs, gifts, spices, crafts and jewelry such as silver. There is a live stock market for sheep, goats and donkeys, and traders in local fresh produce such as dates, olives, vegetables and many traditional items. It might be possible to stop here to explore these traditional markets and maybe taste some Moroccan sweet dates.
Departing Rissani, we will travel towards the Saghro mountain range. The vast desert road, lined with thorny ‘Acacia’ trees, stretches through a most impressive desolate, harsh and spectacular rocky landscape of the huge dry mountains. We pass through Alnif Village, which lies at the foot of the Saghro Mountains.
We then continue to Tinghir, where we will deviate to a minor road following the river of Todgha Gorge. Contemplate the scenic panoramic views of the old Jewish and Berber mud villages, overlooking the valley. Some time at leisure, to enjoy the immensity of the huge red cliffs, 400 M elevation, where many international rock climbers come to enjoy their preferred sport.
The Todgha Gorge is recognised worldwide for being one of the most spectacular rocky canyons. No wonder this place has been used for filming many movies due to its magnificent natural setting, one of the most famous movies being the “Mummy”.
In this area of Todgha Gorge, lives a large community of Berber nomads. Sometimes, you can sight Berber nomad women, who have Berber tattoos on their faces. They may be seen herding their goats to drink water at the river’s edge and collecting their own water which is carried by their mules, back to the caves where they live. (a visit to a nomad family might be possible).
After lunch, we continue our journey towards one of the most beautiful valleys in the Kingdom and enjoy colourful Berber mud villages overlooking the amazing Dades Valley.
We will drive along the spectacular Dades Valley to discover the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes” or sometimes “monkey fingers”. These extraordinary rock formations are metamorphic rock which has been severely eroded by rain, water (which has produced a chemical breakdown of the rock), wind and possibly sand storms over thousands of years.
The Dades Valley prides itself for the extensive production of roses, wall nuts, groves of palm and almond trees. It was the site of ancient nomad crossings and the valley is dotted with Oases and mud brick palaces known as kasbahs which gives the region its fairy tale nickname. (Overnight in a Hotel/Riad/ Dades valley).
- Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour 3 Days Itinerary .
✪ Day 3 : Dades valley » Rose valley » Ouarzazate » Ksar Ait Benhaddou » High Atlas mountains » Marrakech :
After spending the night in the heart of the beautiful Dades Valley and having breakfast, we continue driving through the Rose valley and Kalaat Mgouna, known as the Rose Capital, famous for Damaskina roses and renowned for the annual festival during the rose harvest in May and where Miss Rose of Morocco is chosen.
We continue through the “Road of the thousand Kasbahs” and earth castles to the ‘Oasis of Skoura’ in the Skoura Valley.
The Oasis of Skoura is UNESCO protected, and is famous for its numerous Kasbahs and here we will stop to visit the iconic 17th century ‘Kasbah of Amridil’, located in the Oasis and appears on the 50 dirhams note. Amridil Kasbah was founded over 300 years ago and is largely unchanged today. It is one of the living museums of Morocco and is the ancestral home of the Nasiri family. The present generation of the family live on site, have a museum of ancient Moroccan artifacts as part of the Kasbah.
In ancient times camel caravans of gold, spice, slaves, salt and other cargo, off-loaded in Skoura, after many weeks trekking across the desert from several sub Saharan countries e.g. Mali, Senegal, Ghana and Asia. Today, Skoura’s historic mud brick castles remain and traders still arrive with desert products, especially trading salt.
Moving on, you may have an opportunity for photo stop at one of the many cinema studios as we now visit Ouarzazate. This city is known as the “Hollywood of Africa” and was a former caravan town on the silk and salt route in the eastern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.
About 20 Km out of Ouarzazate, we will visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage listed site of “Ksar Ait Benhaddou”. This Ksar (village) is one of the most intriguing of the Red Earth Castles lining the ancient road of the old caravan traders and is the oldest mud village in Morocco. It was once a commercial hub for caravan traders and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
This village has been a back drop for many international movies, such as, Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Prince of Persia, Indiana Jones, Kingdom of Heaven and many more.
The journey will continue from Ksar Ait Benhaddou through the dramatically beautiful landscapes of the High Atlas Mountains areas, passing through old scenic Berber mud villages and over the Tizi n Tichka pass at altitude 2,260 M. En route, we will visit a women’s cooperative for making the world famous Argan Oil. You will see the process of extracting the oil from the Argan fruit. This will enrich your knowledge of the wonderful Argan tree, which grows only in Morocco. Tree climbing goats have an important role in assisting in the oil production (ask your guide).
The Argan tree is registered as Bio-patrimony Heritage by UNESCO and is found only in south west Morocco in the Arganeria Biosphere. The oil making process is passed down through the generations of women and is used for cooking, medicines, and cosmetics.
Once through the Pass and over the High Atlas Mountains, we continue travelling to our final destination, the wonderful Marrakech which was originally called Amur n Akuch, a Berber name meaning “Land of God”.
This city is one of Morocco’s Imperial Cities, because at some time in the country’s history, Marrakech was the capital of Morocco from 1071 A.D. for the following 2 centuries. Sometimes called the Red city because of the red walls surrounding the Medina.
Marrakech is a major tourist destination and home to many Kasbahs, Mosques, Palaces and gardens. The ancient Medina is a walled Medieval style city, dating to the Berber Almoravid Empire. It was founded in 1062 A.D. by Yusuf bin Tashfin and was the capital of the Almoravid powerful empire which covered a vast area from the grand Sahara, West/North Africa to Europe.
Now your amazing 3 Days Desert Tour from Fes to Marrakech finishes and you will be transported to your Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.
- Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour 3 Days Itinerary .
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
3 Days Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour
WHAT IS INCLUDED :
- Travel in an air-conditioned 4WD or Minivan, with a professional, licenced English speaking driver/guide.
- Pick up / drop off from and to your Hotel or Riad in Fes / Marrakech.
- Wi-Fi Hotspot in the car + 2 water bottles for each per day.
- 3 Days / 2 nights accommodation with Breakfast & Dinner while on tour.
- Entrance to all included sites and monuments during this Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour .
- Sand Boarding and Quad biking in Sahara (Optional).
- Turbant (head wear) each for the camel trek in Sahara.
- Overnight stay in a Desert camp and camel trek.
- Dinner & Breakfast in the Desert camp.
- Monuments fees & all taxes.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED :
- Travel insurance.
- Flight ticket.
- Snacks, drinks and incidentals.
- Hotel services, such as room service or laundry service.
- Tips and gratuities during this Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour .
- Personal expenses.
This * 3 Days Fes to Marrakech Desert Tour itinerary is customised by Grand Morocco LLC. “If our set itineraries do not match what you are looking for, please contact us and we will tailor-make an itinerary to suite your requirements”.