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Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

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Toronto
posts: 15
reviews: 5
Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

I'm going to be in Morocco in December for 10 days. I'm planning on going to Essaouira, Marrakesh and Fes (flying into Agadir and out of Fes). I'd like to do a desert trip from Marrakesh. How quickly can one be organized (ie can I go the following day)? Also, where to go -- Erg Chebbi or Erg Chibaba? any advice would be appreciated ...

1. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

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Vancouver, BC
posts: 5
2. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

Hi,

When will you be there - I'm in Marrakesh, Dec. 24-27 and I'm trying to go on a daytrip to the Sahara, will be in Morocco until Dec. 31. Just wanted to see if anyone else is there at the same time and would like to travel together.

cheers!

posts: 1,111
3. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

You can organize a desert trip from Marrakech real easily. Departing the next day is not a problem.

A good place to get one is Hotel Ali, just around the corner from Djemma El Fnaa square. It has tours from around US$30 per night.

For more, including a comparison between Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga, go to:

www.triotours.com/faq/ma/desert-trip.htm

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 24
reviews: 27
4. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

Hi BeijingPrincess,

I will be in Marrakesh around the same time as you. Let's plan a trip to the Sahara!

Happy Travels,

Suzanne

MindBody8Spirit@aol.com

Hi,

When will you be there - I'm in Marrakesh, Dec. 24-27 and I'm trying to go on a daytrip to the Sahara, will be in Morocco until Dec. 31. Just wanted to see if anyone else is there at the same time and would like to travel together.

cheers!

Ottawa
posts: 3
5. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

Three of us just got back from 9 days in Morocco and had an amazing time. We booked the trip through the whitecamel(www.whitecamel.com)Highly recommended,and visited Fes, Marrakesh, camped in the desert, and ended with a night in Ouarzazate.

A few thoughts for anyone planning a similar trip at this time of year. Riads are charming but can be cold. In Fes, our riad, Dar Masmoudi, had beautiful tile work everywhere meant that all the rooms were freezing, even when they turned up the heat. By the time we got to Marrakesh, things had warmed up a bit but our riad there, Dar Pangal, was built around a traditional open courtyard so it wasn't much better. If you go at this time of year, no matter what the weather report, pack several wool sweaters and a jacket.

Julio, the owner of Dar Pangal, was an amazing host and very interesting to talk to. He walked us through the Jamaa el Fna the first night and had great restaurant recommendations. After two nights in Morocco, we were already tired of tagines so he took us to a wonderful Thai restaurant, Narwama, next to the Jardines de la Koutoubia hotel. We also ate at Ryad Tamsna, and Dar Moha -- our best Moroccan meal of the trip. Lunch at La Mamounia is a good way to see this historic but faded hotel.

Stores, at least those in Marrakesh, don't like to take credit cards except for large purchases like a rug. Inevitably, my card, was rejected or the system was down. It's also hard to make a purchase with a 200 dirham bill so if you take money out of an ATM, get change at a bank or your hotel before you go shopping.

None of us are campers but it was worth it to be able to ride camels and watch the sun rise over the dunes. Our desert guide, Moha, was great

Enjoy it.

6. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

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7. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

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Removed on: 9:21 am, November 27, 2005
London
posts: 22
8. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

What was Ourzazate like - its on my itenerary butwould love to know about things I shouldn;t miss - both there and in Marrakech. Any help would be appreciated.

9. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

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Removed on: 3:02 pm, December 08, 2005
Ottawa
posts: 3
10. Re: Help organizing a Sahara trip from Marrakesh

Ouarzazate is a good basecamp to explore 2 of the nicest valleys in Morocco: The Draa Valleys (to the south, towards Zagora) and the Kasbah Valley (to the east, towards Merzouga.

Besides, the city has a wonderful kasbah that can be visited inside and is very near of the cinema-famous kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou,is one of the best preserved kasbahs we saw. It's in the center of Ouarzazate, to the east, close to the Club Mediterranee.You can visit the interior and the roofs, from where you can have a beautiful view of the valley and palms around.

Another wonderful kasbah Aitbenhadou it has been background of many Hollywood films,not many people live still here but some families, living from carpet-making and agriculture (and from the tourists too).

There is a new town at the other side of the river, where most of the inhabitants have moved. There are the hotels and restaurants.

To visit, cross the dry river (there are camels to cross too) and enter by the right side, where the souvenir shops are. You can hire a guide, but there's no need to.

To get there, leave Ouarzazate by the road to Marrakesh. After 23 kms there is a little road to the left, there are signs showing it.

You will pass trought the High Atlas when driving to Ouarzazate,be aware, the road is very difficult!