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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

3D2N Desert Tour from Fes to Marrakech

Sahara desert kisses,vera-53 There are many tour companies online offering desert tours and many of these range from Fes to Marrakech or Marrakech, or simply Marrakech 3 days round trip etc. However, I would absolutely recommend going with Morocco Excursions, and request for your driver to be Hamid!

He was such good fun to have around - he totally gets our humour and always cracks jokes with us, and he shares with us about his growing up, the Berber culture and the beautiful landscapes as he drives around. Not to mention - he takes such great photos too!

Read more to see details of the entire trip!

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Day 1: Fes - Irfane Cedar Forest - Berber village Zaida - Ziz Valley - Erfoud - Merzouga desert

We drove from Fes to the higher plains of Irfane, where it is termed as the mini Swiss of Morocco. The houses there are all rather clean and built Swiss-style, and it even have a central garden with fountain and several European style cafes. Here, you can step to feed some wild monkeys by the roadside.

We then drove on the beautiful flat plains of Morocco, which looked like Texas, with its arid landscape and desert bush plants. We stopped to visit a nomadic Berber family and see how they live their lives in tents. The family will basically sleep, eat and socialize with each other in one main tent, and there will be a smaller tent used as a kitchen, and another separate tent which is a toilet. They were very hospitable to us and offered to us Moroccan flatbread, with their own homemade jams and honey. (I swear the honey was the best I've tasted in a while!) Of course, Moroccan mint tea was always readily available.

This family had a herd of goats which they use to milk and also to make cheese with. The women will make use of warm months to weave carpets, which can take 3-4 months to complete by hand.

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Sahara desert kisses,vera v1 The highlight of our tour was Desert Luxury Camp - This experience was nothing short of magical and well worth the 1h bumpy ride into the desert! It was my first time in the desert and it was so quiet and windy at night, with the moon being the only light that was enough to light up the grounds since there was no noise pollution.

We also rode camels for the first time for both sunset and sunrise tours, and also tried our hand at sand boarding!

I will write about it in more detail soon!

Day 2: Merzouga desert - Todra Gorges - Dades Valley - Dades Gorges 

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We left Merzouga Desert sadly the next morning to head up to the valleys. We discovered a really lovely, old hotel that is now no longer in operations, but the whole place looks like a Wes Anderson movie set, with its dreamy rose-hued walls.

It was then a long drive onwards to Dades Valley where we were stunned by the rock formations and the scale of the villages that nested within the valleys. We spent the night at Riad Dades where we were welcomed by the overflowing hospitality of the hosts that ran the riad.

The riad was rather simple, but because I could speak French and hence converse with our host, he brought us to see his garden and explained that each family within the Dades Valley had their own plot of land that was allocated to them according to the size of their family. They grew almost everything in the garden, such as apricots, almonds, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, plums and several other fruits.

Day 3: Dades Gorges - Ouarzazate - Ait Ben Haddou - High Atlas Mountains (Tizni) - Marrakech

Ait Ben Haddou Morocco kissesvera-10 Fes to Marrakech tour - kisses,vera 2 Ait Ben Haddou Morocco kissesvera-17 From Dades Gorges, we continued driving where we saw the highlight - Ait Ben Haddou! This used to be a big old kasbah, that is not convered into a tourist attractive and Hollywood film set. Lots of movies like The Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Babel and Prince of Persia etc, were shot there. A huge downside was that the weather that day was close to 40C and we felt like we were being roasted in an oven.

The rest of the drive will take you to Tizni, a very famous road with elevation of 2260m along the High Atlas mountains, before you reach Marrakech in the evening.

And that concluded our 3 day roadtrip itinerary! Hope this guide is helpful for those considering the same tour :)

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