december travel from Marrakech to Merzouga? Help!
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Nov 25, 2012 5:40 AM Last Post By: khamlia
Nov 21, 2012 3:46 AM
We Want to travel independantly from Marrakech to Fes via Erg Chebbi from the 29th Dec to the 1st Jan.
the problem is reaching Merzouga from Marrakech as we would like to see stuff along the way (example Ait B, Todra etc)..... does the bus or train from Marrakech stop anywhere on the way to Merzouga? I dont know if we can stop along the way without using a driver or car hire.
Please help, very confused!!!!
Nov 21, 2012 3:55 AM
1Valentina, you have 4 days for your trip from Marrakech to Fes, or? You can do it by bus, not the train.
And you can make stop
1 day in Ouarzazate (stay overnight there) and visit Ait BenHaddou.
2 day in Tinerhir (stay overnight there) and visit Todra Gorge and Dades maybe too
3 day to Erg Chebbi with overnight there
4 day overnight bus to Fes
it will be a little rush but you can manage it by bus.
Nov 21, 2012 4:02 AM
But is there a bus that stops in Ouarzazate and then from ther stops to Tinehir? We would stay here for one night but then HOW do we get to Ait B from Ouarzazate and back? And how do we visit Todra Forge from Tinehir? Sorry for the questions but I am just very confused about this part.
Nov 21, 2012 5:07 AM
3You can go by Supratours bus - http://www.oncf.ma - there you find all schedule and even prices.
You go from Marrakech to Ouarzazate. To Ait BenHaddou you can take taxi, it is not so far, apporx. 20-30km.
Next day you take the bus to Tinerhir and to Todra you can take a taxi again. Maybe to go see Dades can be a little difficult by taxi, I don't know this piece. Anyway if you want to see Dades more than Todra go of the bus in Boumalne.
Next day you take the bus again and come to Merzouga at evening.
Be aware at bus station in Merzouga, there are waiting touts so you can maybe try to search on internet after some accommodation there you can stay the first night. They can wait for you at bus station and can also arrange for you camel trek with overnight in sand dunes.
And next day at evening go by bus to Fes. It is overnight bus. So it is Supratours bus the whole way.
Nov 21, 2012 6:59 AM
Nov 21, 2012 9:59 AM
5Valentina, I think you are setting yourself up for quite a bit of stress and uncertainty. Things can go wrong, buses can be late etc. Must you include Fez in your plan?
Get your guidebook now, choose hotels in both Ouarzazate and Merzouga, and make reservations.
From Marrakech, both Supratours and CTM buses stop in Ouarzazate.
If I were you, I would take CTM as the new Ouarzazate CTM bus station will be operational by then, and it's an easy walk with luggage to hotels from there. Buy that bus ticket asap after your arrival in Marrakech.
Going to Ait Ben Haddou is time consuming and difficult with shared taxis, as Khamlia will tell you.
You cannot possibly see both Todra and Dades gorges.
Keep in mind that both CTM and Supratours will get you as far as Rissani, but only Supratours goes all the way down to Merzouga, arriving late in the day. But there are shared taxis as well.
Why not focus on a nice relaxing desert experience in the Erg Chebbi Dunes at Merzouga, and forget about your other ideas?
From Merzouga there is an early morning Supratours bus to Marrakech.
Nov 21, 2012 11:18 AM
6...... a added difficulty in December is the short daylight, just make a simple plan, don't try to do too much and I second the suggestion to get a good guide book...... the reliable LP or Cadogan guide to Morocco.
Nov 21, 2012 11:28 AM
your plan is do-able, but I agree with the last two comments on the fact that you are taking on an awful lot.
We have our own transport and still doing the long journeys can be a lot more stressful than expected. Our experience of buses here is that they are a lot more punctual than you expect, but things still go wrong and you don't have much room for error with your plan. Travelling here with the long distances you are at risk of rushing from place to place with more of the stress of the journey and less of the enjoyment of exploring and meeting people.
Both Todra and Dades were amazing, but we were there in spring for the blossoms so fertile Dades wins my vote. Ait Benhaddou is beautiful, but I hope you have better weather than we did! For pictures of both gorges and info on the desert check out the link. Morocco and beyond...
Good luck with your plans, enjoy your trip, there are some incredible sights along the way.
Nov 21, 2012 11:45 AM
8Thanks to everyone for your replies.
I have spent about a week trying to plan this, changing everything atleast ten times.... Its confusing as ive never been to Morocco before.
This is my proposed schedule:
27 Jan - arrive in Marrakech 0900am, 2 nights
29 Jan - depart for Ourzazate, arrive 1300 with Supratour and take taxi to Aït-Benhaddou - stay overnight.
30th Jan - see Todra somehow and probably sleep another night here.
31st Dec - arrive to Merzouga with bus, have written to ten companies based here for desert tour, none replied yet!
1st Jan - night bus to Fes, depart 1900 Supratour
2 Jan arrive Fes, stay in Fes for 2 nights/3 days
4 Jan go to Meknes, then onto Casablanca (is it worth sleeping in Meknes?)
6 Jan morning flight from Casablanca
The desert tour has been very hard to do as none have replied.
Nov 21, 2012 12:14 PM
927, 29, 30, don't you mean Dec.?
Be prepared to alter your plans after you get to Morocco, depending on circumstances.
Nov 21, 2012 12:18 PM
10...... when you get to Merzouga you'll be overwhelmed with offers from the moment you step off the bus, best to settle in to a hotel first and see what they recommend. Your itinerary looks ok, Khamila is something of a Desert expert be guided by her.
Watch out for replies or Private Mail from touts, respondents here are not always collegial, at times predator and prey.
Nov 21, 2012 12:25 PM
Nov 21, 2012 12:25 PM
12Valentina, one thought I have now. If you stay in Erg Chebbi only one night and want to do camel trek you can do only on short at morning. If you wish to do camel trek with overnight in sand dunes you need to stay in Erg Chebbi 2 nights. You come late to Merzouga so it is late also for camel trek. So in such case you need to process a bit your itinerary.
But otherwise your plane sounds good in my eyes. I was doing that piece so many times so I talk from my own experience. You have only to solve your night in Erg Chebbi, if you will take this camel trek over night.
And David, to take taxi from Ouarzazate to Ait BenHaddou I not see some reason why it would be difficult.
P.S. thanks moroccotraveler, now I saw your comment and it made me glad :)
Edited by: khamlia
Edited by: khamlia
Nov 21, 2012 12:45 PM
13Valentina, where you will be dropped off in Merzouga is not near to where most of the hotels are located. I arrived there by taxi, and the driver was kind (?) enough to take us to our hotel for a price. If you are offered a ride by one of the touts there, you should take it, but don't pay him too much. Make your hotel reservation soon! I stayed at Auberge Les Pyramides and I recommend it. 200dh per night, breakfast and dinner included.
Nov 21, 2012 12:58 PM
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