Marrakesh to the desert and back, how many days?

Aug 6th, 2018, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Marrakesh to the desert and back, how many days?

I arrive September 16th to Marrakesh in the morning, and depart September 25th.

I'm traveling alone, and looking for driver and accomodations. I've reached out to various agencies. And reaching estimates of $2500 for 5 nights. Not sure if that is too high. I'm told the accommodations were 3 star.

So for a total of nine nights attempting to put together an excursion out of Marrakesh. Appreciate what experienced people have to say about this suggestion. Will it be too much driving? Should I add another night to the excursion so instead of 5 night it's 6 nights? But also want to experience Marrakesh without rushing through. I look forward to your suggestions. Thanks

1/2 nights at the Kasbah du Toubkal. 18 and 19 Sept.

Travel over the Atlas to Ait. 1 night.

Travel to M’hamid and then into the desert, desert camp 1 night.

Travel back north to the oasis of Skoura 1 night.

Travel back to Marrakech. 23th Sept.

I fly out the following morning on September 25th.
artyguy is offline  
Aug 8th, 2018, 04:59 PM
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Why so little time for Marrakech​​​​​? As I recall, I had 4 nights there, with just one day trip out into the High Atlas. I think Marrakech itself warrants at least 2 nights and better yet 3. I also don’t see wonderful Essaouira in your itinerary. I spent two nights there which was perfect. Walled city on the Atlantic, great fish, cool shopping and took a cooking class.

Can’t comment too intelligently on the $2500 cost but it feels a little high to me.

How much research have you done on Marrakech itself and Essaouira?
MinnBeef is offline  
Aug 8th, 2018, 08:04 PM
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I would say what do you like to do and are you a big city person? Some may prefer to hike in the mountains to going to the beach, or camping out in the desert versus staying in a swanky hotel in a large city
hamburger is offline  
Aug 9th, 2018, 05:11 AM
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@artyguy: you itinerary looks pretty good and I'm delighted you are getting out of the cities and seeing the beauty of the country. Your timings are good in that you are not being too ambitious which is the mistake many people make. Kasbah du Toubkal only accepts bookings for a minimum of two nights.

On your Marrakech-Ait Benhaddou leg make sure you go via Telouet to see (a) the Glaoui kasbah, 20dh admittance, and then (b) the salt mine (closed on Thursdays as they go to market).

To reduce the tour company costs I would make the liaison to Kasbah du Toubkal in a grand taxi, then have the tour company pick you up from there. That means you will only be with the tour company for four days/three nights and you could then be looking at €900 for that segment. The two nights in Kasbah du Toubkal will be close to €500.
TimCullis is offline  
Aug 9th, 2018, 09:21 AM
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Those are great suggestions Tim! Since my last posting, I've decided to cancel on Kasbah du Toubkal. Although the property looks amazing, I'm not a serious hiker and the town, after research isn't that rewarding. Therefore I've decided to add this extra time elsewhere on my way to Erg Chebbi. Thanks for the smart tips! Got a quote for $1800 for the 6 day excursion which seems fair, properties are very nice. Lot's of driving though...

Last edited by artyguy; Aug 9th, 2018 at 09:26 AM.
artyguy is offline  
Aug 9th, 2018, 11:36 AM
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Regarding 6 nights anywhere in Morocco for $1800, is this a non-Moroccan agency offering? I ask because it seems overpriced to me, even for upscale accommodations and I think you could do a great deal better from a local company. But if the convenience is worth the mark-up to you then that’s another issue altogether. I realize I’m making some assumptions here but possibly something to think about.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 9th, 2018, 01:33 PM
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I believe the $1800 was with local company. Accommodations are luxury. I also checked another company that also felt local and their price was $1600 and their accommodations were a bit modest. A British company wanted $2500 and their accommodations looked luxury also. What I just did is inquire for airbnb accommodations in Marrakesh and asked the hosts about local agencies.
artyguy is offline  
Aug 9th, 2018, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by artyguy View Post
. . . What I just did is inquire for airbnb accommodations in Marrakesh and asked the hosts about local agencies.
Good move. My usual advice for those of us who look for good value is to ask at one’s accommodation. I think you can do better. Another aspect is what sort of experience the various mid & upscale accommodations afford us. I find that in general I prefer the company of the other guests at mid-range hotels & guesthouses, as opposed to “luxury” that tend to offer a large measure of insulation from the riff raff, both local & foreign. I prefer the riff raff myself.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 10th, 2018, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2018
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MmePerdu, I agree with you about accomodation. Just back from Marrakech - we stayed in fairly simple (but good and very reasonably priced!) accomodation for four nights, did an Atlas Mountain/Merzouga trip for three nights and stayed in what we thought would be a nice, luxury hotel for four nights at the end. As soon as we were in the hotel immediately regretted this booking! Too touristy - could have been a hotel anywhere!
noler73 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2018, 07:51 AM
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Oh, I would want to avoid something like what you described noler73. It's so hard to know from just a website and even reading reviews.. until you are really there....Doing my best to research the B&B and hope I find good ones. Might even just make the reservations myself and hire just the driver. See what that costs. So much research for a short excursion. Thanks
artyguy is offline  
Aug 11th, 2018, 08:49 AM
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Can I recommend the driver that we used? The company was Morocco Road Trips - the driver was great and knew loads about the history/geography of the areas we traveled through. We were very well accommodated for and the trip was tailored to our needs. For 3 days it was €270 per person & that included some excursions, breakfasts/dinners and two overnight stays. I thought it was well worth it!
noler73 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2018, 09:28 AM
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thank you, sent a request for further information. Best wishes!
artyguy is offline  
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