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Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

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Tokyo, Japan
posts: 557
reviews: 1
Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

Dear fellow TAers,

I am posing a question after poring over a lot of older and newer threads related to taking desert trips along this route and other routes. My wife has two concerns; one is that the Fez to Marrakech route is prone to flooding in the early stage (as documented on a Japanese TV travel documentary) and also that we wouldn't have enough time to do the journey comfortably if doing a 3 day/2 night trip.

The other option is to travel to Marrakech by train and go to the desert on a 3 day/2 night package. I suggested if she was worried about the time and possible flood delays doing a Fez to Marrakech trip of 4 days/3 nights would be better, though sadly this would leave us little time in Marrakech. Even with her plan, we wouldn't have much time there, as we would be arriving in Marrakech on March 25th around 4pm, and then returning to Marrakech on the 28th from our desert trip (26th-28th) some time in the evening.

My wife was the main one to propose this trip to Morocco and has her heart set on a desert trip. With that in mind, considering doing a desert trip on on a later trip to Morocco is unthinkable. Keep in mind we have already booked flights into and out of Morocco as we have another destination we're visiting and a limited time for this trip due to a limited number of reasonably priced flights from Japan to Paris (hence the dates are fixed for arrival in Paris and departure back to Japan).

With these facts in mind, can anyone help clarify which would be a better plan for the desert trip and perhaps help me allay my wife's worries?

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,239
reviews: 34
1. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

The route is not at all "prone to flooding". Rain happens and a bridge was washed away a few years ago. Long since mended.

Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 4,056
reviews: 55
2. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

Perhaps 12 years ago if memory serves me correctly (probably doesn't at my age!) I know because I had been driven across the bridge only minutes before it collapsed. Have no fears gaijinalways - this was a very rare event.

Stockholm, Sweden
posts: 2,545
reviews: 38
3. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

Apart from flooding, which already is explained above so I am sorry but, to do 3 days trip from Fes to Marrakech is not enough, it would be only stressful and long journey. Even if you take train to Marrakech and do the desert trip then is to little time still.

But a little taste of the desert can you have if you go from Marrakech to Zagora and even if you can maybe not reach Erg Chigaga so there you find lower sand dunes and can enjoy it anyway.

Casablanca
posts: 884
4. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

Best to do is doing it from Fes to Marrakech via the desert of the Erg Chebbi in 4D3N would be enough time and avoiding long drives.

About Floods as explained above, don't even think about it because it would not happen.

Enjoy your trip.

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 15
reviews: 9
5. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

I would suggest that you are perhaps trying to do too much in a short period of time. Marrakech is an amazing city, and rather than spending 3 days and 2 nights doing a desert trip (the minimum to do it properly and comfortably) you do something simpler. First, the Agafay desert is just outside of Marrakech, and places such as La Pause offer a wonderful glimpse of this landscape and you can spend a day there or sleep overnight there. And you will spend an hour in the car each way to get there. Second, you could do the mountain pass and go to Ouarzazate and on to Skoura, which is a gorgeous oasis valley town--then you get an incredible drive, but only spend five to 6 hours in the car each way. What you won't get are the sand dunes, but everything else is for most people more than enough...and then you won't stress and you can also enjoy Marrakech.

Tokyo, Japan
posts: 557
reviews: 1
6. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

Thanks all for your answers to my wife's concerns. As to the flood, that was more recent and a road being flooded rather than a bridge per se. Sorry, don't know thr name of the particular area, but it was earlier in the journey from Fez to Marrakech.

Tokyo, Japan
posts: 557
reviews: 1
7. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

Just as an addition, I know that flash flooding is a possibility in desert areas as I have seen it happen in California, so I am assuming it is also a possibility in areas of Morocco. I don't think this was a flood with reported deaths, just some inconvenienced travellers with a washed out road.

Concierge-san,

I like your suggestion, but I really think that my wife has her heart set on visiting the 'real' dunes. I believe most of the desert tours include Ouarzazate and Skoura.

Time is always an issue, but c'est la vie.

8. Re: Concerns over travelling from Fez to Marrakech

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