We were thinking of renting a car for our journey from Fez to Merzouga and onwards to Marrakesh. Having factored in the cost, insurance, drop off charges, and the limited time we had, we would be better off paying for a private tour. We read many reviews of different operators before deciding to book a tour with Ven a Marruecos. While most of their reviews were in Spanish or Italian, they communicated very well in English. We booked a 4D3N private tour from Fez to Erg Chebbi to Marrakesh in late Feb. You could do the circuit in 3 days, but we would not recommend it. It would be hectic given the distances you have to cover. Before we left our country, we were given a full itinerary of our tour, including the list of accommodation and what were and were not included. Our driver guide was Moha, a handsome young man with a cheerful charisma, fluent in English and Spanish. Moha picked us up at 8 am from our riad in Fez. The Toyota Prado 4x4 was a welcome sight... clean, large and comfortable, a great change from the grand taxis we had been taking.
Moha is cautious driver which put us at ease. As we love to take pictures, he would stop whenever we asked him to. There were no shopping stops or recommendation to buy things. We were even invited to have tea and at Berber pastries at his grand parent's house in Merzouga, by the edge the dessert. It gave us a rare glimpse into how people live there. Moha included an interesting stop at an oasis not in our itinerary. Our highlight was the camel ride to the dunes, sleeping in a large Berber tent with ample supply of warm blankets, and an excellent tagine dinner. It was made all the more enjoyable by our very humorous guide, Hassan.
What I appreciate about this tour is that we had a room for two nights at Merzouga. The first night gave us our much needed rest after a tiring full day on the road. The second night was spent in the dunes under the Milky Way. It was refreshing to have a nice breakfast by the pool and a warm shower back at the hotel the next morning before setting off on a long journey again.
On our last day, we could not get a bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira. At it was getting late, Moha stayed behind to help us find an alternative transportation. Thanks to his help, we made our way to the seaside town without having to cancel our pre-booked accommodation.
I am tempted to go into details, but I think there are too much already on this site. If you decide on a private tour, get in touch with Moha. This is his family business and you can expect very good personal attention and value. Moha has every reason to do so
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