Marrakesh to Fes via the Atlas Mountains
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Apr 10, 2012 7:04 PM Last Post By: Nielo
Apr 7, 2012 12:46 AM
I have been following the forum and the advice/information is fantastic, but my head is spinning from it all!
My husband and I will be spending 14+ days in Morocco from mid April and then to Spain. I would like to run my travel plans past you for feasibility and further ideas. We normally use the local buses and trains when we travel but felt that to have more flexibility we would hire a car from Marrakesh to Fes.
The plan is ...
Day 1 Arrive Casablanca ... travel to Marrakesh
Day 2 Marrakesh
Day 3 Marrakesh
Day 4 Marrakesh
Day 5 Hire 2 WD travel through Tizi n Tichka pass, then Telouet, down Ounila Valley to Ait BenHaddou and Ouarzazate ... Question: Is the road bitumen via this route and suitable for a 2WD?
Day 6 Ouarzazate to Dades Gorge
Day 7 Dades Gorge to Todra Gorge
Day 8 Todra Gorge to Erg Chebbi/Merzouga ... Question: Is it reasonable to travel this distance in 1 day?
Day 9 stay overnight in Bedouin tent
Day 10 travel to Midelt or Azrou ... Question: Where would be the best place to break the journey? I understand that it is too far to travel from Merzouga to Fes in 1 day.
Day 11 Fes ... return hire car
Day 12 Fes
Day 13 Fes
Day 14 Meknes
Day 15 Meknes
Day 16 visit Volubilis
Day 17 to Tangier and to Algeciras
We are finding it difficult to get up to date maps of Morocco in Australia but my husband has just invested in a Garmin GPS and is downloading Morocco.
All ideas gratefully received.
Edited by: Nielo
Apr 7, 2012 2:22 AM
1Day 8 Todra Gorge to Erg Chebbi/Merzouga ... it is reasonable to travel this distance in 1 day without problem, it takes around 3-4 hours
Day 10 travel to Midelt or Azrou ... the best place to break the journey and stay overnight is Midelt. Then on the way to Fes you can make break in Azrou and look at monkeys and ceder tree.
It is too far to travel from Merzouga to Fes in 1 day.
You not need to have 4x4 for this trip, the roads are paved so if you not go off the road it is OK. I never had gone the way from Tizi´n Tichka pass to Telouet and down Ounila Valley to Ait BenHaddou, but I think there it is OK by normal car too.
Apr 7, 2012 2:43 AM
2Maps and GPS: http://www.morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/showthread.php?t=66 Your husband needs access to either Mapsource or BaseCamp software to make best use of any Garmin unit.
Day 5: yes, it's tarmac. The first stretch past Telouet to Animeter is old tarmac which is bit beat up in places but is still fine for 2WD.
Your itinerary looks OK with ample time on days 5-8, so I have a suggestion. Take your time coming over the Tichka, then visiting Telouet Kasbah, and stop overnight at Ait Benhaddou (lots of choice) rather than Ouarzazate. Some great photo opportunities in the evening/next morning when the light is much better.
Day 6 continue past Ouarzazate, maybe visit the film studio and Kingdom of Heaven set, possibly visit Kasbah Amerhidl at Skoura and then overnight at Kasbah Itran to the north of El Kelaa M'gouna. This is in a lovely setting overlooking the M'Gouna river. To reach it, turn left at the only big street in El Kelaa, then head north for about 6-8km.
Day 7: leisurely day travelling to Boumalne, then 60km north up the Dades gorge, then return to Boumalne. Then east to Tinerhir where you turn north up the Todra. Go through the narrowest section of the gorge (where most visitors turn back!) and carry on for 5-6km where I suggest you overnight at Auberge le Festival.
Day 8: continue north up the Todra to Ait Hani at which stage turn right (east) towards Amellago. This is a lovely route through gorges and great scenery. At Amellago turn south for Goulmima, then south east towards Erfoud and Merzouga.
Day 10: Midelt is probably best for an overnight break. Then visit Azrou and Ifrane on the way to Fez.
Apr 7, 2012 6:40 AM
3I agree with Tim about spending the night in Ait-Benhaddou instead of Ouarzazate.
Apr 10, 2012 7:04 PM
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