Marrakesh to Erfoud Dunes to Fez?


Jun 7th, 2000, 07:44 AM
Phil LaBelle
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Marrakesh to Erfoud Dunes to Fez?

I am meeting my wife in Morocco for a week in August 2000 (she's in Africa for 6 weeks on a fellowship). Fodor's guide recommends renting a car (without driver?) for a 2 day Marakesh to Erfound (day 1) to Fez (day 2) trip.

Is it better to rent a driver? How much will this run us? On the map this looks like a longish trip, is it?

Any help would be aprreciated!

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Jun 25th, 2000, 09:39 AM
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I'd say that you want to rent a car with a driver and scale down your plans, both.

Marrakesh to Erfoud is (a) a *long* way, (b) a trip that requires crossing the Atlas. That is no joke. Looking at the map in my Lonely Planet, I think the most direct route Marrakesh-Erfoud is by way of Ouarzazate, which you reach through the Tizi n'Tishka Pass, the highest in Morocco. When I went Ouarzazate to Marrakesh last October on my trip with the very good adventure travel company Wilderness Travel, Ouar-Marr took most of a day (even though it's only about 200km) on hair-raisingly windy mountain roads from which it was a loong way down -- and we were in a Land Rover with a professional Moroccan driver. Pouring rain during some of the hairiest bits didn't help. Anyhow, it's not that you couldn't do it -- two of my tripmates went back to Ait Benhaddou by car after the group tour ended, and had a good time -- but you may not want to. Though the trip is scenic. *Definitely* scenic.

We drove Fes to Erfoud in a single day. That's a much easier trip than Marrakesh to the Erfoud side of the mountains. It's full day of driving, but very doable, with the remarkable, almost cartoon-like Ziz Valley to look down on.

Overall, I'd suggest not trying that loop in under three days, even if you have a driver. You'll be so pressed for time that you won't have a chance to stop and marvel at what you see.

Hope this helps.
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