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Best Overnight Trip

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Quezon city
posts: 11
reviews: 41
Best Overnight Trip

We are a couple who will be in Marrakech for 5 days this coming September. Coming from the tropics, the idea of spending the night watching the stars under the clear, desert sky really appealed to us. However, the most time we can allot for this desert trip is 3 days which my husband vetoed after research shows a possible 7-9 hour car ride on the way back. So I now intend to plan just an overnight trip somewhere that will best come close to that "desert feel".

My husband is an architect so great desert structures are obviously of interest to him. I have seen overnight trips with an itinerary going to Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate, Agdz and back.

Other destination experts have also suggested a trip to Imlil, Asni and Ouirika (Atlas Mountains).

Can someone give me an idea of what we will see/experience if we go up to the Atlas Mountains

vs going towards Ait Ben Haddou?

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 14
reviews: 2
1. Re: Best Overnight Trip

Sahara Desert overnight experience is different to the other areas in Morocco, i could say is too far to compare with mountains or with even Ait Benhaddou, 3 days trip is not too bad except the last day that has at least 9 10 hours drive back to Marrakesh, i would highly recommend Merzouga Erg Chebbi as it has the huge sand dunes in Morocco otherwise the Erg of Chiggaga needs more than 3days.

If you are really interested to experience the Desert, you have to provide more days and skip things on the cities that they would be the same everywhere in the world, and get a 4days/3nights to the Sahara Desert.

Youness L Morkosh Tours

Edited: 12:54 pm, July 17, 2013
Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 1,805
reviews: 64
2. Re: Best Overnight Trip

Atlas trips give you the mountain scenery, hiking trails, waterfalls and maybe a visit to a berber village or souk

Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 1,805
reviews: 64
3. Re: Best Overnight Trip

by the way, you may want to have a look at reviews of La Pause guesthouse in Agafay desert - it is not the real desert experience, but can be a good 1 night substitute for people who dont have the time to go to the sand dunes.

Thornton Cleveleys...
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 599
reviews: 22
4. Re: Best Overnight Trip

Going to Ait Ben Haddou you will spend the majority of your time travelling through and over the High Atlas mountain range which is beautiful but nothing like the desert! If you Google some images of Tizi 'n Tichka pass you will get an idea of the landscape which ranges from stark, barren mountain to bright green oasis.

If you are interested in kasbahs, I would recommend stopping at Telouet on the way to Ait Ben Haddou.

I'm not quite sure why you would go to Agdz as a main destination though. I can understand wanting to see some of the Draa valley between Ouarzazate and Agdz but the town itself wouldn't be first on my list of things to see in Morocco and it isn't remotely like being in the desert.

For more kasbahs, I would think that you'd be better travelling from Ouarzazate through Skoura, El Kelaa M'Gouna and then seeing Todra Gorge before heading back to Marrakech. Ouarzazate to Tinghir/Tinehir is known as the "Valley of the Kasbahs" - but be aware that they are mostly ruins. Without constant care and attention they just wash away in the rain and crumble back to the earth they are made of.

Edited: 2:38 pm, June 16, 2013
Cardiff, United...
posts: 906
reviews: 30
5. Re: Best Overnight Trip

Take the 3 day trip, go to Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate, Dades Gorge, Todra Gorge, Adgz.

I have done the desert tour, I have also done the above tour, the desert is better but you need an extra day (4 day trip) to do it comfortably.

I have spent a night at Tenihir (next to the Todra Gorge), there is no light pollution and in the clear night sky, you can see the million stars, it is very romantic with the gorge as the backdrop. You won't regret it. I have also spent a night next to Ait Ben Haddou, it can be a bit touristy, but I love it there, there is something magical when you see the sunset over the Kasbah at Ait Ben Haddou.

The main difference between what I have described and going to Imlil/Asni/Ourika is that in these places you are looking up to the High Atlas Mountains, but when you go to Ait Ben Haddou, you go up and over the High Atlas (it feels like you are at the top, looking down).

Thornton Cleveleys...
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 599
reviews: 22
6. Re: Best Overnight Trip

I'm confused, why would you go from Todra to Agdz? That is adding on a hell of a lot of mileage if you're only stopping over for one night.

Thornton Cleveleys...
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 599
reviews: 22
7. Re: Best Overnight Trip

Oh, just thought - would your husband be interested in the excavations at Aghmat? Have a look at this thread for more info tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293734-i9196-k5… They can also easily be visited as a half day trip from Marrakech or on the way to Ourika if you choose to take that direction for your tour.

Cardiff, United...
posts: 906
reviews: 30
8. Re: Best Overnight Trip

I misread the question, if you are only taking a 2 day/1 night trip, then Tenihir and Agdz is out of the question (especially if you are stopping off to go to the top of Ait Ben Haddou), if you are taking a 3 day/2 night trip then it is ok.

If you are taking a 2 day/1 night trip then I would take the advice LaLico gave about visiting the Kasbah of Telouet, then go onto the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou (stay the night there), this will be a nice trip as you will still get to go up and over the High Atlas.

Thornton Cleveleys...
Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 599
reviews: 22
9. Re: Best Overnight Trip

I wasn't being picky MIB15, I just honestly thought I'd missed something spectacular at Agdz for it to be worth all the extra driving. I was racking my brains trying to think what could be so important there!

Cardiff, United...
posts: 906
reviews: 30
10. Re: Best Overnight Trip

I am glad you pointed it out, there would be nothing worse for the OP to try and do everything in 2 days to find out at the last minute that it was all too much........

On a 3 day tour that does not go to Merzouga (it goes upto the Todra Gorge), it is nice to see different scenery on the way back to Ouarzazate, so you can drive south towards Alnif, then Nkob and Agdz, they are nice towns/villages with a large market there for locals. There was also a large kasbah (on that road, near to Ouarzazate), where they do a lot of filming, when we were there they had recently filmed the hollywood movie - Prince of Persia (The sands of time), it was nice coming back to the UK and watching the movie, it looked exactly the same but for a few CGI effects.

Was there anything spectacular there, probably not (especially after seeing the Gorges of Dades and Todra), but is was different and you do get a perspective of how the locals go about their daily lives.

Edited: 2:55 am, June 17, 2013