Fez and the Sahara - best options?

Old Mar 11th, 2008, 01:28 AM
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Fez and the Sahara - best options?

I'm planning to travel to Spain and Portugal in Dec/Jan 2008/9 and have always wanted to visit Morocco. I have five days which I could spend there - yes I know it's not nearly enough - but it's that or nothing. After reading advice here and in guidebooks, I've decided that the 2 things I most want to do are visit Fez and the Sahara (hopefully overnight in tented accomodation).

The other thing is that I'll do a camel ride if it's absolutely the only way but would certainly prefer 4WD or other option. Can anyone recommend a company that would suit for 2-3 day Sahara trip.

With such a short time frame I obviously want to maximise my travel time. What's the best way back to Spain or England from the desert - do I need to go to Fez, then fly out, or would it be better to train to Casablanca and ferry out?

Many thanks

judybroad is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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We just flew from Ourzazate on Royal Air Moroc back to Casablanca to catch an international flight (we ended our trip with a few days in Skoura, which was lovely). It wasn't as cheap as the train (we took that from Marrakesh to Fez), but it wasn't brutal, and depending on where you are in the desert it could be a good option. I'm not sure what other flights leave from that airport, but there was a 6 am and 7 pm to Casa.
alyssabc is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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Fes to Sahara desert can be done in five days. I suggested the following itineray:
first 2 days in Fes.
third day head to desert, advisable early morning as its pretty a drive almost 7 hs, but you ll enjoy the landescapes, Azrou, Midelt, Ziz gorge... End up in Merzouga dunes, which ll be your third night. Next day drive back to Meknes, get there by the afternoon, see Moulay ismael Mausolem, Kara prison, Hdim Square...you may have a night there or drive to fes. Note that you may rent a car in fes.
Good luck.
tizi001 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 04:44 AM
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It's a day on the road to reach Merzouga from Fes, which is the most practical desert destination for you. You can hire a car and make it to an auberge in the sahara with just a bit of piste; the auberge will then transfer you by Land Rover or camel. Chez Michel, or auberge derkouwa, is the best.

You can cross the Straits of Gibraltar by ferry from Algeciras or preferably Tarifa. Then take the train to Fes.

Can't recommend a company as this is what I do!
markwillenbrock is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Auberge derkouwa is far from the dunes, you are driving from Fes to get dunes, and end up in a place thats 10 km from the dunes and on the top of that pay an extra for the Land Rover to get you to dunes!!! My suggestion is that when get Erfoud drive straight to Rissani thats 21 far, later on get the metaled road to Merzouga which 36 Km. During the way you ll come cross alot of signs of Auberges on the Road. Check Mouhayot Auberge,or Kanz Eremal, or Tombouktou, This are far from dunes about
0 mins walk. Ask for a Room that has a veiw to the Breathtaking dunes.
Enjoy ur time.
tizi001 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:02 PM
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I'm in the process of booking the same type/length tour. We're flying to Spain and taking Ryanair (really cheap to fly and you don't waste a whole day traveling) and then 5 days/4 nights in Morocco. Here's the itinerary, we're finalizing this week.

Day 1: Fez
Upon arrival to Fez Sais airport
escorted to the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco which is Fez - afternoon exploring and discovering the city of Fez. Dinner show and spending the night at a Riad in Fez.
Day 2 - Early departure, lunch in Midelt, overnight at hotel Kasbah Tizimi.
Day 3: Merzouga dunes.
4x4 wheel drive to the dunes of Erg Chebbi in Merzouga The dunes are the largest dunes in north Africa . On the way, a visit to Rissani Village, the Palace Ouled Abdelhalim and then the dunes
of Merzouga. A Berber dinner & entertainment & sleeping in a private Berber tent.
Day 4: Merzouga dunes ,ride the camels to witness the sunrise from the top of the dunes then back to Fez.
Day 5 Fez - touring the city of Fez in the morning and then back to the airport of Fez for your flight back to Spain.

Email me if you need help. We don't go for another 2 months but I received great advise from fodorites who have made the trek.
ez4ucolo is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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I'd love to email you to ask you questions about your trip, but can't locate your email address?

Why don't you email *me* at:
[email protected]

Brahmama is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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we visited Morocco we realy dont knew how will explore it but we realy again have chance with great expereine around the exotic views and the nice poepsl we met , we had circle with berberespace.com we rent 4WD with driver we realy cant forget it we had much more expreice with explore and how to do it ,we started from Marrakech and ended it in Fez 5 days tours with same compnay (berberespace.com) we realy we hope to visite Morocco as soon as we miss the lovely poepls there , so have fun and feel free if any questions. enjoy
Veronica212 is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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My husband and I recently went on a trek in the Sahara with Mark Willenbrock from Mad about Morocco. www.madaboutmorocco.com

We cannot recommend Mark enough. His professionalism comes through from the initial email. Mark spent time working with us to get our itinerary exactly how we wanted it (and was quite patient with out million questions) and to reflect our general demeanors. And he made sure we saw all of the major sites as well as many that were off the beaten path. Added benefits are that when in the Sahara, he has AC in his car (key when you get caught in a sandstorm and cannot open the windows). In addition, he always brings a Berber guide as a backup once you enter the desert to help with any unforseen problems (he knows the desert very well and it was great to see that he was taken all precautions b/c things change when a sandstorm rolls in - mother nature and all). Finally, he caters to private tours so you really are seeing things you want to see. We saw many tours where people were packed into 4x4x and did not have A/C and had sand blowing at them (similar to a snow blizzard) for hours. Finally, it was wonderful to have somebody who spoke English (Mark is British) as our French was limited. Our trek with MArk was the highlight of our 2 week trip to Morocco and we cannot recommend it enough.
denverdame is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:34 AM
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denverdame, Copy and paste again!

Please Mark, could you answer me please how come you are a guide in Morocco while you are British??
the_moroccan is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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My husband and I recently spent 3 weeks in Morocco and Spain.
Here is our Morocco itinerary:

Arrive Casablanca evening
Driven to Meknes for overnight
in Riad

Driven to Merzouga with stops in local villages - stop to see monkeys in Cedar Forest- lunch in Midelt - night in the desert tent via Camel ride

Drive from Merzouga to Midelt
with stops in local villages
to see Gnoua musicians and school

Drive from Midelt to MEknes for tour and lunch, Volubilis for tour, on to Fes for tour

After much searching through Fodors site, we hired a guide to drive us and make all arrangements. His name was Rachid Ouragaga. His e-mail address is <r[email protected]> . We were happy with his services.
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