10 to 12 Night Fez to Marrakech Trip including the Desert Camp
This 10 to 12-day trip combines the best of imperial Morocco, with the best of rural Morocco
The cost of the trip is approximately 1600 euro per person (assuming 2 people) for a 10 day trip and 2000 euro per person for a 12-day trip. The final cost will depend upon room availability.
The itinerary of the trip is as follows:
- 3 or 4 nights at Riad Laaroussa in Fez.
- 1 night at Auberge Le Festival or Dar Bab Todra in Todra Gorge
- 2 or 3 nights at the Desert Camp.
- 1 night at Kasbah Ellouze or Riad Caravane near Aït Ben Haddou.
- 3 nights at Riad Adore or another riad of your choice in Marrakech.
- 5 or 6 days of transport in a 4WD Land Cruiser with an English-speaking driver.
Fez is a jewel of a city. It feels medieval in character, a throwback to an ancient past. It´s utterly beguiling; intense, sometimes noisy and chaotic, but never dull. It is deserving of a minimum of 3 days.
From Fez it is possible to take day trips to the sublime Roman ruins at Volubilis, and also Meknes and Moulay Idriss. It is also possible to take a day-trip to Chefchaouen.
In Fez, I only recommend Riad Laaroussa!
The trip from Fez to Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp takes 2 days (or 15 hours) and is a magnificent insight into some of the best of rural Morocco. We take you on routes that are virtually free of any traffic. En route you overnight in Todra Gorge.
You enter the desert at the frontier town of M'Hamid and exit the desert in the opposite direction via Foum Zguid. We recommend taking two days from the camp to Marrakech, spending one night en route at a guest house near Ait Ben Haddou.
The transport is private, in a Toyota Land Cruiser with an English-speaking driver. Although your driver is not an official guide, he will be knowledgeable. Given that the trip is private, you can decide where and how often to stop.
Marrakech is quite different in character to Fez. It's more modern, more cosmopolitan. Marrakech is, in my opinion, all about the souks, being bewildered and often lost in the endless labyrinth of streets and shops. But Marrakech is also alive with artisans, an uplifting experience in this world of mass produced goods. There are also some interesting museums, the Bahia palace being my favourite.
From Marrakech you can take a day trip to Essaouira, which has a long and wild coastline and a calm medina.
The number of days you spend in each place depends on the number of days you have available. The trip can therefore be tailor-made to suit your requirements.
If you prefer to fly, there are some limited flight options between Fez and Marrakech, Fez and Zagora and Zagora to Marrakech. Zagora is 3 hours from the camp. Please see the flight section for more information.
The cost of the sample trip below is approximately 1600 euro per person (assuming 2 people) for a 10-day trip and 2000 euro per person for a 12-day trip. The final cost will depend upon room availability.
At the desert camp all meals, all drinks and camel treks are included. In Marrakech and Fez breakfast is included. At the guesthouses en route breakfast and dinner are included.
Example itinerary (which can be reduced to 9 or 10 days):
Stay at Riad Laaroussa in Fez. This exquisite riad has 8 bedrooms and is perfectly located in the ancient medina.
Depart at about 0800. The trip to Todra Gorge is about 8 hours plus stops via Ifrane (being Little Switzerland in Morocco), Midelt, Azrou (a good place to see the Barbary monkeys and Cedar forests) and Er-Rich. From here there is a magnificent back route to Todra.
3 nights at Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp. The trip from Todra is about 7 hours plus stops. The route skirts around the Jbel Saghro, the lower reaches of the Draa Valley, Zagora and the pottery making town of Tamegroute. You enter the desert via the frontier town of M'Hamid el Ghizlane, from where it is 1h45 to the camp.
Overnight at Kasbah Ellouze or Riad Caravane near the UNESCO heritage ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. Depart camp after breakfast for the gloriously empty route out of the desert via Foum Zguid, driving through sand, dried out lakes and rocks. That takes 3 hours. It is then a further 3 hours to the guesthouses via the Berber carpet-making town of Taznakht.
Next stop Marrakech. It is 4-hour trip to Marrakech via the awe inspiring Ounila Valley, the Kasbah of Telouet and the Tizi n’Tichka pass, which goes over the High Atlas Mountains. In Marrakech there are hundreds of riads to choose from. Our recommended ones are the excellent Riad Adore or Riad TM nights, and at the top-end, Riad Farnatchi and Villa des Orangers.
The cost of the 3-night/4-day trip is 1650 euro for two people (or 825 euro per person) if staying at Kasbah Azul, 1610 euro at Riad Caravane and 1595 euro at Kasbah Ellouze. This includes:
3 nights at Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp. All meals, drinks and guided trips on camels are included. Other activities, including sandboarding, sundowners on the dunes and informal singing and drumming around the fire are also included.
Private transport in a 4WD Land Cruiser with driver.