TRAVEL TO MOROCCO – ITINERARY BETWEEN MARRAKECH, OUARZAZATE AND MERZOUGA

The road between Marrakech and Merzouga via Ouarzazate is one of the most beautiful circuits to do on a road trip in Morocco. Dotted with points of interest, this itinerary will take you on a journey through nature and time. Between mountains, palm groves, valleys, kasbahs and villages with ancestral traditions, you will be totally dazzled by this circuit to do by car, taking all your time.

Les Voyageuses Roadtrip au Maroc Marrakech Merzouga

ROUTE FROM MARRAKECH TO OUARZAZATE BY CAR

Between Marrakech and Ouarzazate, a winding road winds through the High Atlas mountains, offering breathtaking landscapes of mountains of all colors, picturesque villages, verdant palm groves and centuries-old Kasbahs.

POINTS OF INTEREST ON THE ROAD BETWEEN MARRAKECH AND OUARZAZATE

The Tizi n’Tichka pass: The Tizi n’Tichka pass is the highest point of the road between Marrakech and Ouarzazate which culminates at 2260m. The panorama is dazzling. If you are lucky, the peaks of the mountains will be covered in snow, making for a beautiful contrast.

The Ounila Valley (optional): A few tens of kilometers after crossing the Tizi N’Tichka pass, a fork in the main road will take you through the Ounila Valley. The route is longer and more rocky to reach Ouarzazate, but the landscapes are worth the detour. If time permits, stop to visit the Kasbah of Telouet. Then take a break for a short hike to the Tazleft Caves. Continuing on the road, you will see the Tamdakht Kasbah, much appreciated by filmmakers for its particular aesthetics.

Ksar Ait Benheddou: This ancient fortress classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a MUST. Filming location for several Hollywood movies, this site will take your imagination on a journey. Plan at least half a day to take a guided tour and take the time to have lunch on a beautiful terrace overlooking the valley.

Ouarzazate Film Studios: 3 major film studios in Ouarzazate, Kanzaman, Atlas Studios and CLA Studios welcome visitors who want to immerse themselves in the sets of their favorite films.

The Fint oasis: A bouquet of greenery around a wadi, the Fint oasis near Ouarzazate captivates visitors with its authenticity and natural beauty. To do: a mule ride, a good tajine and why not an evening in a local before continuing the journey to Merzouga.

ROUTE FROM OUARZAZATE TO MERZOUGA BY CAR

The road between Ouarzazate and the Dades gorges is called the road of 1000 kasbahs. An excellent circuit for a roadtrip dotted with traditional villages, oases, gorges and you guessed it… kasbahs. Take the time to admire the beauty of the region by spending the night in the villages before continuing the long journey to the desert of Merzouga.

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POINTS OF INTEREST ON THE ROAD BETWEEN OUARZAZATE AND MERZOUGA

Skoura Palm Grove and Kasbah: An oasis of 50 km² of labyrinths of palm, olive and almond trees in the middle of the desert, the Skoura Palm Grove is an enchanting place. Spend the night there to visit the palm grove, the superb kasbah and meet the locals.

Valley of the Roses: Along the M’Goun River, you will pass through the valley of the Damascus roses, whose flowering period is from April to June. A “Moussem” rose festival is organized every year in May. It’s time for a shopping break to stock up on all kinds of local products made from roses, almonds, figs and all kinds of essential oils.

Dades Gorges: The journey continues along the Dades River. The landscapes on this route are absolutely beautiful. Naturally, ksars and kasbahs dot the route. Numerous hiking trails allow visitors to discover the fabulous rock formations, palm groves and villages of the region.

Tinghir Palm Grove: The Mellah district of Tinghir village is an ideal place to stock up. Don’t miss the spectacular view from the top of Kasbah Glaoui and a visit to the impressive irrigation system of the palm grove!

Gorges de Toudra: The Gorges de Toudra are very popular with hikers but also with climbing enthusiasts. A refreshing break to take during this roadtrip.
Imilchil village (optional): A Berber wedding festival is held here every year in October, giving you an extraordinary cultural experience in Morocco.

Wells of Khettaras in Erfoud – Settle in the car for the rest of the long drive to Merzouga. Many more stops before arriving in Erfoud. Take a short break to visit the roadside Khettaras galleries, underground shafts dating back to the 7th century.

Merzouga and Erg Chebbi: You have arrived at the village of Merzouga, the gateway to the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Most hotels offer camel rides to the famous Erg Chebbi sand dunes and even the option to spend the night in desert bivouacs. An experience not to be missed under any circumstances!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION TO SUCCEED IN THIS ROAD TRIP BY CAR BETWEEN MARRAKECH, OUARZAZATE AND MERZOUGA

Road conditions between Marrakech and Ouarzazate: This mountain road does not have a good reputation, but rest assured, the road has been widened in recent years and is very well passable by car. Drive slowly on the turns and watch out for the traffic. In winter, check the weather conditions as some stretches of high-altitude roads can be blocked by heavy snowfall!

Normal car or 4×4 to go to Merzouga? It is not necessary to have a 4×4 to do this road trip. A normal Berlin car is enough. The road is paved and well maintained from Marrakech to Merzouga. Some secondary roads to go to certain villages (the stretch of the Ounila valley for example) are more rocky and dusty, but remain very passable. Once in Merzouga, you can join a 4×4 excursion in the desert or access the camps on the dunes on the back of a camel.

How much time do I need for this roadtrip? Minimum 3 days (1 night in Ouarzazate, 1 night in Merzouga, 1 night in Ouarzazate or Marrakech). In 3 days, however, you won’t have time to see all the points of interest and you will travel many kilometers every day. Take a week to do this roadtrip at your own pace!

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