How does this Morocco Itinerary look?

Aug 16th, 2018, 08:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 155
How does this Morocco Itinerary look?

My husband and I are going to Morocco for 2 1/2 weeks with focus on the two Imperial Cities of Fes and Marrakech, the desert (Merzouga/Erg Chebbi), Casbahs/gorges and hiking in the High Atlas (around Imlil/Ourigane/Toubkal). We are not really big city people, hence not too much time in Fes and Marrakech and we love the outdoors hence the hiking and desert. The plan is to rent a car as we leave Fes, drive to Marrakech via Desert and High Atlas. I got the estimated drive times from ViaMichelin which I have found to be pretty accurate. We are not getting a 4-wheel drive as it seems all the roads we need access to are paved. We would love feedback on this itinerary in terms of timing and suggestions of places to stay at each location. We would like to stay in nice Riads in Fes and Marrakech and up for anything at other places. We do not need super high end, but we love nice views (especially from communal rooftop outdoor terraces and decent beds and getting to know hosts/locals so no Four Seasons type places. We are also interested in the smaller towns staying with hosts that can provide suggestions or guides for hiking in the local areas (eg for Desert camping overnight, hiking in Dades area and near Imlil). Thank you in advance! We will most likely try and pull this off in October of this year. I will also now go read through other posts on this forum for suggestions.

# nights Place & Activity
1 Fes: arrive at night, stay over night
2 tour Fes (1)
3 tour Fes (2)
4 day trip to Meknes & Volubilis via train/grand taxi
5 last day in Fes (3)

6 Pick up rental car & drive Fes to Merzouga (7 hours) with stop at Azrou market/walk in Cedars; stay at Merzouga hotel
7 Camp at Merzouga’s hotel’s tent camp in Erg Chebbi, mom rides camelJ
8 Explore near by attractions, stay at Merzouga hotel

8 Visit Dayet Srji salt lake with pink flamingos on way to Dades Valley (3 ½ hours), stopping at casbahs along the way; stay near Boumalne Dades, perhaps at Riad Dades
9 Explore Dades Gorge and drive to Msemrir; stay near Boumalne Dades

10 Visit Skoura, and and other Casbas on way to Ait Ben Haddou (2 hours); stay in Ait Ben Haddou, perhaps at Auberge Ayouze

High Atlas:
11 Visit other nearby Casbahs and drive to Imlil (3 ¾ hours; stay in Imlil
12 Do a guided day tour/hike
13 Explore Ourigane or Ourika Valley

14 Drive to Marrakech (1 hour),
15 Tour Marrakech
16 Tour Marrakech
17 fly home

Drive times per ViaMichelin website:
Train Fes to Meknes, 45 mins, another 15 cab ride to Volubilis
Fes to Merzouga 7 hours/300 miles
Merzouga to Boumalne Dades3 ½ hours/155 miles
Boumalne to Skoura 1 hour/45 miles
Skoura to Ait Ben Haddou 1 hour/42 miles
Boumalne to Ait Ben Haddou 2 hours/87 miles
Ait Ben Haddou to Imlil3 ¾ hours/139 miles
Boumalne to Imlil 5 ½ hours, 224 miles
Imlil to Marrakech 1 hour/42 miles
hamburger is offline  
Aug 18th, 2018, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,688
Hi, hamburger,
Having returned only 4 months ago from Morocco, I am by no means an expert, so can't respond to your specific questions. I worked with an agent and had a driver, so that we could cover a lot of territory but didn't do any hiking, so don't presume to know the best places to visit. But here are my thoughts:

1) You might get better responses on Trip Advisor (if you haven't already visited that site). There are more people who do a wider range of travel than you might find here. Still, if you do a search on Morocco on Fodors, you might find a few folks who traveled similarly.
2) You have a good amount of time in Fes! If you are not city people, you might want to add the last day elsewhere, but 2 full days of touring seems sufficient with an additional day to explore Meknes and Volubilis. We loved staying in Dar Seffarine in Fes; you can look for the page for Dar Seffarine on my trip report to see if you are interested in it: Morocco, A Visual Journey
3) I had not heard of Dayet Srji salt lake so I did a search; it looks like it's in the desert and it's seasonal, so that water leves vary a lot. I'm no expert here but I think that you'd need to have a 4 wheel drive to explore it and may not find what you're looking for.
4) Google puts the drive from Ait ben haddou to imlil at 4 hours, 36 minutes. From what I've seen when I was planning, there are day (or few day) trips to Imlil from Marrakech which might work for you. There are lots of kasbahs, though most of them are not open for tourists. We visited Ait Ben Haddou, which we enjoyed a lot, although it is the most commercial of the kasbahs. We loved Telouet and Amridil.
5) This is a place I WISH I stayed in: Les Jardins de Skoura - Official site Charming guest house skoura - ouarzazate in south morocco

Last edited by progol; Aug 18th, 2018 at 05:19 AM.
progol is offline  
Aug 19th, 2018, 08:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 155
Thank you !

Progol thank you for your suggestions. I will look at ur trip report. So was The Dar you stayed at in Fes quiet? That is the key thing for us. I have posted this itinerary on Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor as well
hamburger is offline  
Aug 21st, 2018, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,688
<<So was The Dar you stayed at in Fes quiet? That is the key thing for us. >>

Dar Seffarine was very quiet. It's very popular, though, so if you want to stay there, you should contact them to see about availability.
progol is offline  
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