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Experience the best of Morocco’s imperial medinas and the enchanting Sahara desert with our 3-Day Marrakech to Fes Desert Tour. Starting at 08:00 AM from Marrakech, you’ll journey through the breathtaking High Atlas Mountains, home to charming Berber villages and historic Kasbahs. Upon arriving at the Sahara desert, you’ll be mesmerized by its towering sand dunes, serene oases, and picturesque canyons. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy the warm hospitality of the nomad tribes and indulge in their delectable cuisine. Over the course of the 3-day tour, you’ll spend your first night at a cozy Dades Valley lodge and your second night at a stunning Sahara desert camp in Merzouga.
Your desert tour from Marrakech to Fes will commence at 8:00 AM from your hotel or riad. You will begin by crossing the High Atlas Mountains and the Tizi N’Tichka pass, which stands at an impressive height of 2260 meters. Along the way, you’ll witness the beautiful scenery of mud-brick Berber villages and shepherds tending to their flocks in green plateaus with snow-capped peaks in the distance. The journey will have multiple stops to allow for photo opportunities, leg stretches, and coffee breaks.
By noon, you’ll arrive at the UNESCO world heritage site, Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, which has served as a set for numerous Hollywood blockbusters such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones. After a guided visit to the mud-brick village, you’ll continue to Ouarzazate, also known as the Hollywood of Africa, which is home to the largest film studios in the continent.
After lunch at your leisure, you’ll visit the Skoura oasis and one of the best-preserved Kasbahs in Morocco, Amridil. From there, you’ll head to Kalaa Mgouna through the Valley of the Roses before reaching your boutique guest house in the Dades Valley for dinner and an overnight stay.
On the second day of your Marrakech to Fes Sahara desert tour, you’ll begin by traveling along the road of 1001 Kasbahs to reach the Tinghir oasis. As you make your way, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the remarkable scenery of the fortified villages that once hosted caravan roads until the early 20th century.
Upon reaching Tinghir, which was once a military post during the French occupation, you’ll take a secondary road to reach the oasis. You can explore the area and observe the locals farming and herding their cattle next to the stream. The walk will culminate in one of the most breathtaking views of your tour – the Todgha Gorges.
After enjoying a leisurely lunch at one of the local cafes, you’ll proceed to Rissani, one of the holiest towns in Morocco. The founder of the ruling dynasty, “The Alaouites,” hails from here and is buried locally. Rissani is also renowned as the starting point of the ancient caravan roads that traversed the Sahara desert to Tombouctou.
In the afternoon, you’ll travel across some rocky terrain to reach Merzouga, where your camel caravan will be waiting for you. Before arriving at your Sahara desert camp, you’ll embark on a camel ride over the Erg Chebbi dunes to witness a spectacular sunset.
You’ll have dinner under the stars while your local nomad hosts entertain you with drumming all night long. Then, you’ll spend the night at your Sahara desert camp.
After an early morning wake-up, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking sunrise camel trek over the dunes of Erg Chebbi. After the trek, you’ll head to the camp operator’s lodge in Merzouga for breakfast and shower. If you upgrade to the luxury camp, breakfast will be served at the camp, and showers are available in your tent.
You’ll then meet your driver/guide and embark on a picturesque drive to Fes, passing through the Ziz Valley via Errachidia, the capital of the Tafilalt region. Afterward, you’ll continue on to Midelt, where you’ll have leisure time for lunch. From there, you’ll traverse the Middle Atlas Mountains, passing through Cedar Forests and Berber towns like Imouzzar and Ifran, both famous as winter ski resorts for Moroccans.
During your journey, your driver might spot some Barbary apes and stop for photo opportunities. Late that afternoon, you’ll arrive in Fez, and your desert tour will conclude with a drop-off at your hotel or riad.
The best time to hike in Morocco is during the spring (March to May) and the fall (September to November). During these months, the weather is typically mild, with comfortable temperatures during the day and cool nights. The landscapes are also more colorful during these seasons, as wildflowers bloom in the spring and the foliage changes color in the fall.
However, it’s still possible to hike in Morocco during the summer and winter months. Summer can be hot, but the higher elevations in the Atlas Mountains offer cooler temperatures. Winter can be cold, especially at higher altitudes, but there are still opportunities for winter hiking and skiing. It’s important to note that some trails and passes may be inaccessible during the winter months due to snow and ice.
It is technically possible to climb Toubkal without a guide, but it’s not recommended. The terrain can be challenging, especially for inexperienced hikers, and having a guide can provide added safety and support. A guide can also help with navigation, especially in areas where the trail may not be clearly marked.
In addition to safety concerns, climbing Toubkal without a guide may not be permitted. The Moroccan authorities require hikers to obtain a permit before climbing Toubkal, and our tour companie and guides are licensed to issue these permits. If you don’t have a permit or are caught climbing without one, you may be fined or even deported.
It’s also worth noting that climbing with us can enhance your overall experience. Our guide can provide insights into the local culture and history, and can help you appreciate the natural beauty of the area. We will also take care of logistics, such as arranging transport and accommodations, leaving you free to focus on enjoying your hike.
Climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, but it’s generally considered a moderate to strenuous climb. The difficulty of the climb will depend on several factors, including your level of fitness, previous hiking experience, and the route you choose to take.
The standard route to the summit starts in the village of Imlil and involves hiking to the Toubkal Refuge, where climbers can rest for the night before making the final ascent to the summit the following day. The hike to the refuge is approximately 5-6 hours and involves a steady uphill climb.
The final ascent to the summit involves some steep and rocky terrain and can take 3-4 hours, depending on your pace. Altitude can also be a factor, as the summit of Toubkal is 4,167 meters (13,671 feet) above sea level. It’s important to acclimate properly to the altitude and take necessary precautions to prevent altitude sickness.
That being said, the climb to Mount Toubkal is accessible to most hikers with a moderate level of fitness and previous hiking experience. It’s recommended to train and prepare for the climb in advance, with a focus on building endurance and stamina.
Overall, while climbing Mount Toubkal can be a challenging hike, the stunning views from the summit and the sense of accomplishment make it a rewarding experience.
The temperature in the High Atlas Mountains can vary greatly depending on the season and altitude. In general, the higher you go, the colder it gets.
During the winter months (December to February), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can drop below freezing, especially at higher altitudes. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach -10°C (14°F) or colder at the summit of Mount Toubkal. It’s important to come prepared with warm clothing and gear if you plan to visit during the winter.
In the summer months (June to August), temperatures in the High Atlas Mountains can be quite hot during the day, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, especially at higher altitudes, so it’s important to pack warm layers for evenings and early mornings.
Overall, it’s best to come prepared for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions when visiting the High Atlas Mountains, as the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly.
Hiking Toubkal Mount in the winter can be challenging and requires proper equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are some essential items you should bring with you:
Insulated and waterproof boots: Your boots should be sturdy, waterproof, and insulated to keep your feet warm and dry in snowy conditions.
Warm clothing layers: You’ll need to dress in layers, including a base layer, mid-layer, and outer shell, to stay warm and regulate your body temperature. Insulated jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves are also necessary.
Waterproof and windproof jacket and pants: You’ll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect you from the snow, wind, and rain.
Crampons and ice axe: In snowy conditions, you may need crampons and an ice axe to help you navigate the mountain safely.
Backpack: A sturdy backpack with a waterproof cover is essential for carrying your gear, snacks, and water.
Sleeping bag: If you plan to spend the night in a mountain refuge, you’ll need a warm and insulated sleeping bag.
Sunglasses and sunscreen: The sun’s reflection on the snow can be intense, so bring sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your eyes and skin.
Morocco is generally considered a safe country for trekking, but like any travel destination, it’s important to take appropriate safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Stay on designated trails: Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing off into unknown areas.
Dress appropriately: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions and bring the necessary equipment, such as proper footwear, warm clothing, and rain gear.
Stay hydrated: Bring enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your trek.
Avoid hiking alone: It’s always safer to hike with a group or a guide, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
By taking these precautions, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding trekking experience in Morocco.