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Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

Galway, Ireland
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Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

Myself and my boyfriend are travelling to Morocco in Juky. We are planning on renting a car and doing the drive ourselves. We are also planning in staying one night in Ouarzazate. Has anyone done this? Is it safe to do this without hiring a driver? Are the roads safe? Has anyone driven to Fes from Merzouga?

Any tips/recommendations would be greatly welcomed!

Thanks

Castril De La Pena...
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1. Re: Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

Very well worn tourist trail, so no need whatsoever to be concerned. Just take it easy, don't speed, expect the unexpected and everything will be fine. Ideally take four days over the trip with overnight stops in Ouarzazate area (anywhere from Ait Benhaddou to El Kelaa M'Gouna), Merzouga and then either Midelt or Azrou.

Azrou is my favourite little town in northern Morocco surrounded by the Middle Atlas mountains with cedar forests, wild monkeys, volcanoes, wild flowers, lakes... How to find the monkeys: tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g616013-c145720/Azr…

Come back if you want more information.

Edited: 26 May 2013, 14:00
Stockholm, Sweden
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2. Re: Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

As Tim says, not be worry at all, it is nice road. I recommend you to take your time and not have to much hurry. It is nice to overnight even somewhere near Todra Gorge or Dades for to visit them also. Count with at least 4 days for your trip from Marrakech to Fes.

Edited: 26 May 2013, 15:30
Zuerich
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3. Re: Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

Hi sunnysun85. Just back from Morocco yesterday. We did the drive from Marrakech to Merzouga with a driver as first timers, but I would not hesitate to do the driving myself next time. My observations correspond to those above.

1 - You will be shocked at how far it really is - both in distance and time!

2 - You absolutely cannot speed - there are police checkpoints about every 20-30 minutes on the highway, in all cases you need to slow down to 20km/hr to pass by, in many cases you must actually come to a full and complete stop at the sign and wait for the officer to give you a "wave"... if you do not do this you will get a fine (and we saw MANY tourists getting fines).

3 - Driving is necessarily slow and mostly courteous - they use a "beep" of the horn to warn for everything (other vehicles, bikes, donkeys, dromedaries, people, dogs,...) as all of these things can appear in the middle of the road.

4 - Drivers take care of their vehicles - so they slow down for rough road, speed bumps, or other obstructions.

5 - The landscapes are very different and very beautiful, so you will want to stop often to take pictures and look about.

6- the sun and heat make driving difficult - both on the eyes and for hydration. Stop often enough to relax your eyes, drink lots, and by association this typically means more WC breaks.

7 - The most beautiful places we found were off of the highway - going into the valleys and gorges, stopping at the palmeries and going for a walk in the shade, or going into a village for a break rather than stopping at the highway-side tourist cafe / petrol station.

...and my final observation is that if you are planning a night in the desert in Merzouga, you should not plan to drive very far the next day. The overnight experience is absolutely fantastic(!!!) but you will not get very much sleep (late meal, drumming and singing, night desert walk, sleeping in a tent, wind noise, sun-rise photos, hard camel ride back to Merzouga - bum hurts!). Best to stay in Merzouga that night or Rissani or maximum Erfoud.

The driving is good but follow the advice above... take a few days and enjoy the road! Feel free to PM me if you want some very current recommendations.

Stockholm, Sweden
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4. Re: Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

I am glad that you enjoyed and, that you next time you not hesitate to drive self :)

5. Re: Driving from Marrakech to Merzouga and on to Fes

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