Marrakech to Casablanca: Sahara Desert & Fes – 6 Days
This adventure tour showcases Morocco’s highlights, including Marrakech, Casablanca, Fez, and the Sahara. Starting in the ride city of Marrakech, explore the bazaars and colorful buildings, then head inland to discover the old forts, and sleep under the stars in a desert camp in the middle of the sahara desert dunes. Before ending the trip to Casablanca, visit the narrow streets of Fez and the medieval city, visit the Hassan II Mosque and the tallest minaret in the world.
Visit the argan tree cooperative and learn about the oil extraction process
Experience the dynamic culture of the Sahara desert community
Explore hidden oases, old caravan routes and fortified kasbahs in the desert
See souks, markets and take cooking classes in Marrakech
|Day 1 Explore Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 2 Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Dades Gorge||Boumalne Dades|
Day 3 Boumalne Dades – Erg Chebbi
|Day 4 Merzouga to Fes via Midelt, & the Atlas Mountains||Fes|
|Day 5 Fes to Casablanca via Rabat – Guided Tour||Casablanca|
|Day 6 Depart from Casablanca||airport|
Day 1: Arrival in Marrakech, & Private City Tour
Welcome to Marrakech! Nicknamed the “Red City” for its 1000-year-old red sandstone walls and buildings, Marrakech is a major economic center. Marrakech has Berber rather than Arab roots and was once an important trading capital of the Atlas Mountains tribe. Explore Marrakech’s bustling Jemaa el-Fna Square. The souk (market) is to the north, the Koutubia mosque and gardens are to the west, and the Kasbah (fortress or fortress) area contains the Saadien Tomb, Bahia Palace and El Badi. The place is south. Ville Nouvelle has the Majorelle Gardens.
To visit the Medina (Old Town) in a unique way, board the calèche (French for the carriage) and start adapting to the surroundings. Please pay attention to fondouks-medieval hotels that provide accommodation and supplies for merchants and travelers. Today, some have been converted into residences or large shopping areas and studios that you can explore. Find the way to the Koutoubia Mosque and the garden, and escape the heat in the garden between the fountain and palm trees. Although non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, its 12th century foundation and minaret are worth seeing.
As night fell, Jemaa el-Fna became active with musicians and storytellers, acrobats and dancers, and even snake charmers. Stroll through rows of food stalls, serving a variety of food from dinners to juice drinks, dried dates and small snacks. For a bite, or for a more relaxing experience, please look for one of the many cafes above the square and enjoy the food while watching the show below.
Day 2: Marrakech to Boumalne Dades via Ouarzazate
Enjoy convenient private transfers from Marrakech to your accommodation in Boumalne Dades, which takes about six and a half hours. On the way, your driver will pass the picturesque Tizi N’Tichka Pass and the High Atlas Mountains, over arid desert landscapes and wooded foothills.
As you leave the busy city, you will shift from a flat environment to green hills. You’ll start meandering your way through the gap through which a wide view emerges. Try to see the highest peak of Mount Toubkal, which stands at 13,671 feet (4,167 m). You’ll also pass traditional Berber villages and get a glimpse of their unique farmland. The authentic mud brick house stands in stark contrast to today’s striking modern buildings.
Stop in Taddert town and visit the Argan Oil Cooperative. Learn how local women extract the precious Argan nut oil for use in the health, food and cosmetics industries. Oil production is a prime example of rural economic development in Morocco.
Next, take a break in the beautiful city of Ouarzazate, which has gained popularity thanks to the film industry. You have the option of visiting a film studio or visiting the Musée du Cinema to learn about the films produced in the region and take a closer look at the props and sets. An isolated military post during the years of the French protectorate, Ouarzazate—which means “quiet” in the Berber Tamazight language—has long lived up to its name. Today, however, the city is Moroccan Hollywood, and you can regularly see filmmakers setting up shop at this vast desert junction with wide palm-lined streets. The center of Ouarzazate is easy to explore on foot. Avenue Mohammed V, the main street, runs east to west with shops, cafes, banks, pharmacies and tour agencies along the way.
On the way out of the city enjoy a quick visit to the Al Mansour Reservoir, an important water source for the local farming community.. At this point, your journey begins following the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, with its many kasbahs (fortifications) damaged—built with “struck earth,” a building technique using raw materials. You will pass by many small towns where you can see the traditional farming methods used. Be aware of wanderers tending to their animals, especially when you are near Boumalne Dades.
Enjoy the views as you enter the Dades Valley and continue on to Kela’a M’gouna, the “Valley of the Roses”. Here, you can admire the cultivated rose bushes and visit rose bushes. Learn how craftsmen turn rose petals into rosewater and oil for the cosmetics industry.
Your final stop will be Boumalne Dades, a large city that crosses the Dades River. Enjoy views of the arid landscape and traditional architecture that contrasts with the green river valley.
Day 3 Boumalne Dades – Erg Chebbi
Enjoy a comfortable private transfer service from Boumalne Dades to your Bedouin tent accommodation in Merzouga, which takes approximately four and a half hours. Start early, because your driver will stop at several cultural attractions to show you the desert communities in the Sahara Desert.
Your first stop is the desert town of Todra. Here, you can admire the beauty of the neighboring villages along a vast river oasis with 30 miles (48 kilometers) of palm trees. The surrounding desert landscape shows impressive hills, terraces and plateaus. Tinghir has an ancient and colorful Jewish quarter, and you can also see the ancestral Moroccan Jews. You can visit the ancient Jewish quarter Elhaj Ait Ali and admire its interesting architecture.
Continue to the 984-foot (300-meter) high Todra gorge, which has stunning red limestone. Here, you can easily walk through the canyon or relax in the cool shallow water. Just before reaching Erfoud, you will begin to glimpse the changing Sahara dunes.
Irfoud is a bustling market town known for its annual Date Festival, fossil mining and artisan factories. On the way, before visiting the local artisan collective to learn about the fossils in the area, first enjoy the view of the hillside mine. Watch the complete process of how fossil-rich rocks are transformed into beautiful objects such as tables, plates, and bowls.
Next, you will head to the town of Rissani and enter through its impressive gate. Known for its livestock auctions, spend some time observing the donkey “parking lot” and walking around the popular market in town. Maison Tuareg is a warehouse full of traditional arts and handicrafts, including carpets, jewelry, leather goods, etc.
Moving on, you will soon see the changing sand waves of Erg Chebbi in the distance. Erg Chebbi is a vast set of sand dunes covering nearly 14 square miles (35 square kilometers), with some peaks exceeding 650 feet (200 meters) in height. The colors and shapes change according to the time of day and the wind, and are especially rich before sunset. Although not that big, these dunes are much higher than those found in Zagora.
After arriving near Merzouga, enjoy a short rest, prepare to ride a camel through the dunes, and arrive at your luxurious camp before sunset. After setting up the tent, climb up to the nearest sand dune and watch the colors of the sunset on the beach. Return to the camp for dinner and spend the night by the campfire, listening to the traditional Berber music of the locals. Before climbing into bed, savor the stars scattered in the unhindered night sky.
Although we recommend the atmosphere of the desert tent, everyone has their own preferences. If modern comfort is more in line with your style, you can always choose a comfortable hotel or hostel in Merzouga. In the morning, transform into an early riser (if you are not alone) and enjoy the extraordinary Sahara sunrise!
Day 4 Merzouga to Fes via Midelt, & the Atlas Mountains
Enjoy a comfortable private transfer service from Merzouga to your accommodation in Fes, which takes approximately seven and a half hours. Depart early because your driver will stop at several cultural attractions while admiring the expansive and expansive views in the unique landscape. Enjoy desert plains, high mountains and endless plateaus.
Your first stop is the town of Rissani, entering from its impressive gate. Known for its livestock auctions, spend some time observing the donkey “parking lot” and walking around the popular market in town. Maison Tuareg is a warehouse full of traditional arts and handicrafts, including carpets, jewelry, leather goods, etc.
Next, visit the bustling market town of arfoud, famous for its annual Date Festival, fossil mining and artisan factories. On the way, before visiting the local artisan collective to learn about the fossils in the area, first admire the view of the hillside mine. Watch the complete process of how fossil-rich rocks are transformed into beautiful objects.
Continue through the Tizi n’Talrhemt mountain pass and enter the Ziz Valley, known for its hidden oasis and palm trees. Along the road, you will see many fortified houses called ksars. Merchants built these houses to protect precious products and objects, such as gold, salt, and spices. Due to the nearby Muluya River and its surrounding orchards, stop for lunch in Middelt, known as the “Apple City”.
Next, you will climb 7,146 feet (2,178 m) above sea level on the Col du Zad mountain pass. Walk through the cedar forest of the Atlas Mountains and enjoy the scenery. Keep an eye out for the local Barbary macaques socializing in the trees!
You will arrive in Fez in the late afternoon. After setting up your accommodation, head to explore the city. Start from the Mausoleum of Marinede, where you can enjoy a charming panoramic view of the old town. On the hillside below, you might see the leather drying in the sun. Then enter the bustling medina and enjoy walking through the charming streets of Fes.
Day 5 Fes to Casablanca via Rabat – Guided Tour
Enjoy a comfortable private transfer service from Fes to your accommodation in Casablanca, which takes approximately four hours. Along the way, your driver will stop in the Royal City of Rabat, the capital of Morocco since 1956. As this is a private transfer, you are welcome to explore Fez for the last time before departure.
Rabat is the second largest city in the country and was awarded the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. Upon arrival, explore the medieval fortifications of Chellah Cemetery, where you can stroll through Roman and Islamic ruins. Wander through the Medina (Old City) and find Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. This abandoned 12th-century project features the minaret of an incomplete mosque and approximately 200 pillars.
Take time to explore the historic medina and stroll the charming streets. Stop at the open-air market (market) and savor local handicrafts and commodities, such as carpets, spices, slippers, jewelry, leather, etc. Although bartering is part of the fun, your guide will be happy to help you make the purchase.
You can also visit the Andalusian gardens of the 20th century and enjoy a peaceful space away from the crowds. Then go through the gate of Kasbah des Oudaïas, which is the gate of the old city center of Rabat. Kasbah des Oudaïas is home to the city’s oldest mosque and Musée des Oudaïas handicraft museum.
When you are ready, you will continue to drive to Casablanca. After settling down, go out to see the huge Hassan II Mosque (home to the tallest minaret in the world) glowing in dim light. Then explore the “New Medina” Hobous of Casablanca. The charming streets were built by the French in the 1930s and have Art Deco architecture. Walk into some handicraft shops and browse local crafts, including olives, textiles and spices.
Or venture into the old medina. At the beginning of the 20th century, Casablanca consisted only of the old medina, which included no more than thousands of residents. The walls around the old city were initially pierced by four gates, two of which survived today. Bab Marrakech and Bab el-Jedid are on the west side, facing Tahar el-Alaoui Avenue.
You can also relax in Mohamed V. Square, a well-ventilated square with tall palm trees and French colonial buildings. Stroll in the garden, admire the fountain, or relax on the benches and watch the crowds. If you want to go further, you will find the Arab League Park nearby, which has 30 acres of walking trails and green spaces. Bordering the northwest side of the park is the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Look at the clock tower, it marks the busiest entrance to the old medina and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the center of Casablanca. The current tower is a 1993 replica of the original structure in 1911, which fell into disrepair and was demolished around 1950. Or explore Notre Dame Cathedral. This 1956 Catholic church is a notable example of European modernism, known for its elongated concrete entrance and striking stained glass windows, designed by French artist Gabriel Loire. It overlooks Rond-point de l’Europe (aka Mers Sultan Roundabout).
Day 6 Depart from Casablanca
From your residence in Casablanca (or a predetermined meeting point) to Casablanca Mohammed V Airport (CMN) in a comfortable private car, the journey takes approximately 45 minutes. Your driver will ensure that you arrive at the airport in sufficient time to board the flight. Go home safely and comfortably or go to your next destination!
- include Private tour
- Daily breakfast Hotel accommodation and all transportation in Marrakech
- Airport Full transportation with air-conditioning,
- crossing the Hight Atlas Mountains of Morocco
- gas and driver English speaking guide and driver Overnight in Amizmiz, Essaouira & Marrakech
- Tour Guide in & Marrakech
- including breakfast
- Daily including breakfast, free time to explore scenic spots, take photos, etc.
- Customized and flexible stops
- Travel insurance
- Entrance tickets to monuments
NOTE : At Traveling Morocco Agency we offer Luxury & Standard accommodations Tour from Marrakech to Casablanca via Dades Gorge, Erg Chebbi, Fes, .
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