When taking a trip to Morocco, it’s nearly a requirement to make the journey to see the vast sand dunes of the Sahara Desert. It’s such an awesome experience!
But those beautiful Sahara Desert dunes are quite the distance from Morocco’s popular travel hubs such as Marrakech and Fez. The town of Merzouga, Morocco, is the main launching point for camel tours into the Sahara Desert. So this leaves travelers with the predicament of figuring out how to get from Marrakech to Merzouga.
While there is a highway and public transportation connecting these two Morocco destinations, it’s not a quick jaunt. The route from Marrakech to Merzouga is more than 560 kilometers that cuts through a precarious section of the High Atlas mountains and then past deep ravines, before ultimately descending down into the Sahara Desert.
Going from Marrakech to Merzouga is really a fantastic trip, with many points of interest to stop at along the way. We’d recommend against going directly between the two cities. Stopovers along the way in fascinating places like Aït Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, and Dades Gorge really add to a trip from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert.
Three Ways To Get from Marrakech to Merzouga
There are three ways for travelers to get from Marrakech to Merzouga:
🚗 Rental Car
🚐 Small Group Tour
🚌 Public transportation: Buses & Taxis
Deciding the Best Way to Travel from Marrakech to Merzouga
The best way to get from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert largely depends on:
- your travel preferences/style
- your comfortability with independent travel in Morocco,
- the amount of time you have to travel this route, and
- your budget.
The small group tours are actually the most affordable way to go and can cost even less than a do-it-yourself trip that uses public transportation. It’s also, by far, the most convenient option. And a group tour is essentially the only option for those who are limited on time.
Going from Marrakech to Merzouga by bus can be a fun travel challenge for those who prefer independent travel. It can be great for those who like to go slower and have the time to do so.
Renting a car can be a great way to go for confident drivers who prefer to have the flexibility and have the budget to do so.
Considerations for Renting a Car for a Marrakech to Merzouga Road Trip
Renting a car to self-drive from Marrakech to Merzouga can be the most expensive option and may be the most intimidating, yet it offers travelers the most freedom. The road through the Atlas mountains can be a nail-biter, leaving travelers tightly gripping the wheel with around tight curbs with steep drops on either side. Road hazards further include crazy drivers, livestock, speed traps, sand, and road conditions in general.
It can also get pricey for those traveling Morocco on a budget. Weeklong car rentals in Marrakech start at about $200 for an economy car with manual transmission. Expect to pay over $300 for an automatic. Factor in the added expense of car rental insurance and gas (petrol) and you’re realistically looking at a cost of about $60-$90 per day to rent a car on the low end. And that’s in addition to food, lodging, and tours, of course.
You can compare rental car prices at all the main agencies using Priceline’s Rental Car Search, which tends to offer the best rates for Marrakech.
Small Group Tours are the Fastest & Most Inexpensive Way To Go
There are several great small group tours that you can book directly from some of Morocco’s major cities such as Fez and Marrakesh, which can be fantastic for those who are short on time or those who prefer to forgo the hassle that comes with independent travel in foreign lands. Most of these tours make a nice multi-day itinerary from Marrakesh to Merzouga which stop at notable sites such as Aït Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, and Dades Gorge.
While tours typical are much more expensive than independent travel, we found this isn’t necessarily the case here in Morocco, if you know where to look. Many highly-rated tours from Marrakesh to Merzouga and the Sahara Desert are actually surprisingly affordable. Even if you’re backpacking Morocco, you may really want to consider hopping on one of these tours for a few days to get you from Marrakesh to Merzouga’s Erg Chebbi Desert.
A small group tour from Marrakech to Merzouga will whisk you along to all different stops with ease and gives you the opportunity to meet other travelers. All of your lodging and meals will be taken care of for you and a guide will be available to provide information and answer questions.
An added benefit of being part of a tour in Morocco is that you won’t have to deal with the hassle of persistent touts trying to sell you tours. They can get aggressive with independent travelers. Since lodging and transportation are taken care of too, it makes for yet another hassle that get removed when taking a Sahara Desert tour from Marrakech.
A big additional benefit traveling in a minivan is that it take you from each destination to the next. There’s no need to wait in a random town for hours (sometimes overnight) for an elusive bus to arrive.
Timing is a big consideration for taking a tour. Given limited public transport connections, a small-group tour is able to whisk passengers from Marrakech to all the main points of along the way to Merzouga, and back, all in three days. Meanwhile, it would take about a week to do when relying on buses and public transport.
Where to Find Budget-Friendly Marrakesh to Merzouga Desert Tours
Often we find it’s the most economical to book tours once on the ground in most destinations around the world. But GetYourGuide offers some incredible deals on 3-day desert tours from Marrakech to Merzouga. They have a low-price guarantee, so you know you’re getting the lowest price. And we actually never found rates this cheap while in Marrakech.
But these tours are on set dates and do end up selling out, particularly so during popular time periods. So it can be critical to reserve ahead to secure these deals.
- This 3-Day Desert Safari for $125 is an incredible bargain! For what breaks down to only $42 per day, this experience takes in stops at Ait Ben Haddou, Dades Gorge before the included overnight camel trek & camp into the Erg Chebbi (Sahara) Desert. It further includes a stay at a 4-star hotel and breakfasts and dinners. The value is almost unfathomable. This well-vetted tour receives a regular stream of rave reviews (over 1,000) from travelers on GetYourGuide. It departs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
- This 3-Day Sahara Desert Tour is nearly identical to the tour listed above, with the same inclusions and price. It’s simply run by a different tour operator. When choosing between this tour and the Desert Safari we recommended above, we’d simply suggest checking the most recent reviews and ensure the prices still the same.
- Continue onto Fes: While the two aforementioned small-group tours return to Marrakech, there’s also a nice option for those who are traveling onward to Fes. This Marrakech to Fes Desert Tour includes a similar itinerary as the other tours, but on the third day travels from Merzouga to Fes. The cost of this tour is noticeably higher than the other two, but it’ll save a lot of time and money unnecessarily backtracking to Marrakech for those who are continuing onto Fes.
Considerations for an Independent DIY Desert Trip from Marrakesh to Merzouga
Independent travel in Morocco has its benefits too. You’ll end up traveling deeper into the culture and exploring places that aren’t regularly receiving group tours. You’ll get to mingle with curious locals as you use the same public transit or share a cab, allowing for a more personal experience. It can be a fun adventure!
But on the do-it-yourself (DIY) route proposed throughout the rest of this guide, it’ll come at the cost of time, occasionally personal space, and lack seamlessness.
Anyone pursuing this trip from Marrakesh to Merzouga using public transportation will need to be comfortable with independent travel. Even more importantly, you’ll need to have more time then if taking a group tour. This is because there are very infrequent buses, with inconvenient connection times.
Because of this, traveling independently actually adds up to a bit more than some of those tours we mentioned. So it doesn’t really save any money to go this route.
The journey from Marrakesh to Merzouga on your own can be a moderate challenge. It’s not easy, yet not terribly difficult either. Having researched a bit of info upfront will make for a much more pleasant trip.
That’s why we put together this travel guide, showing exactly how to get from Marrakech to Merzouga. Info was desperately lacking during our visit. We wondered, can you use get from Marrakech to Merzouga by bus? What were the Morocco bus timetables? Where can/should you stop along the route? How much would it cost? Where would we stay?
We had to sort through tons of online reviews, forums, and blogs to piece together all this info. So we’ve now put together this travel guide and sample itinerary to potentially help out other independent travelers who may have stumbled across our little space on the web.
We’ve attempted to develop this fairly comprehensive resource with all the info assembled from our firsthand experience. Hopefully, this travel guide will now answer all of the questions you may have by providing some guidance on taking your own Morocco desert trip from Marrakech to Merzouga.
The remainder of this travel guide shows exactly how to do so.
How to Travel by Bus from Marrakech to Merzouga
Merzouga is the main access point to the rolling Erg Chebbi Desert sand dunes. You can travel directly from Marrakech to Merzouga using the 8:30 am Supratour bus, which is the only bus that currently makes the entire trip direct.
But that direct Marrakech to Merzouga bus is a 12.5-hour trip, if all goes well. Plus you’ll be missing some really awesome sites you could stop at along the way. We would highly recommend breaking up this lengthy bus journey with overnight stops at some of the spectacular destinations we’ve outlined throughout the remainder of this post.
Sample DIY Itinerary Marrakech to Merzouga Using Public Transport:
While Merzouga is the final destination to take a camel trek out into the Sahara Desert, there are two very notable stops to consider along the way, in addition to a handful of minor attractions. The two main places to stop are:
- The Aït Benhaddou kasbah (via Ouarzazate), and
- Dades Gorge
To access these two destinations in Morocco on the way from Marrakesh to Merzouga, it can take about a week, given the transport connections. Here is a suggested itinerary:
- Day 1: Enjoy the morning in Marrakech and take an afternoon bus to Ouarzazate to have dinner in Centerville.
- Day 2: Rise early and go to Aït Benhaddou and consider a stop at Atlas Studios on your return to Ouarzazate. Spend the afternoon at Taourirt Kasbah and consider a visit to the Cinema Museum.
- Day 3: Take the 12:00 CTM bus to Boumalene Dades, then transfer to a minibus into Dades Gorge to check into your hotel around 3:00 pm. Sip some tea and do some light exploring on your own.
- Day 4: Depart no later than 8:00 am for a hike around Dades Gorge and surrounding mountains (4-5 hours). Be sure to leave time to get back to Boumalene Dades for the 3:30 pm bus to Merzouga. (Otherwise, consider another night in Dades Gorge.) Arrive in Merzouga at 9:00 pm.
- Day 5: Relax in Merzouga during the day, as your camel trek will not depart until it cools off in the late afternoon. Enjoy your trip into the Erg Chebbi dunes of the Sahara Desert!
- Day 6: If opted for a one-night trek, return to Merzouga in the morning. Begin pursuing to the long road back to Marrakech (will need two days), or onward from Merzouga to Fes.
- Day 7: Continue traveling from the day prior.
How to Travel by Bus From Marrakech to Ouarzazate and Aït Benhaddou
First, to get out of Marrakech, you can find a Supratour or CTM bus to Ouarzazate at the bus station, which is located next to the train station. Buses run this route regularly, are air-conditioned and are fairly comfortable. The bus from Marrakech to Ouarzazate takes nearly 5 hours, which usually includes a 25-minute stop somewhere along the way, such as Touama.
You will want one full day around Ouarzazate, including Aït Benhaddou. So we recommend to either (1) take a very early morning bus to stay one night in Ouarzazate or (2) take an afternoon bus and stay two nights. Our Supratour bus cost Dh80 (~$8) per person.
Up-to-date prices and times for Supratour buses can be found at the ticket office at the Marrakech’s train station, located here. CTM bus times can be scouted out in advance on their website: here. The CTM bus station is also near the train terminal, located here.
How to Get From Ouarzazate to Aït Benhaddou
The main reason for a stop in Ouarzazate is to visit Aït Benhaddou. This kasbah is one of Morocco’s 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, recognized as such for its “earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat.” Read the full UNESCO description, here. Visitors may recognize Aït Benhaddou from the movie Gladiator and on Season 3 of Game of Thrones.
Aït Benhaddou is a must-do detour along the route from Marrakech to Merzouga. All the desert tours from Marrakech running this route stop here and independent travelers certainly should too. It’s a fascinating sight. It just takes a little work to get to.
Given the direct bus connections for onward travel, it is easier to stay in Ouarzazate and make Aït Benhaddou a half-day trip. Plus Ouarzazate has a lot more midrange and budget-friendly lodging options, a good assortment of restaurants and a handful of supermarkets.
To get to from Ouarzazate to Aït Benhaddou, your best bet is to hire a grand taxi for about Dh250 (~$30) or so for the 30km+ ride there, waiting an hour or two, and the return to Ouarzazate. You can find the taxi rank near Ouarzazate’s bus terminal.
The offers for the trip from Ouarzazate to Ait Benhaddou will start high, so be sure to negotiate it down to a more reasonable rate. Dh350 isn’t a horrible price but you should be able to talk it down still from there. Shoot for at least Dh250 or less.
You can also try to take a shared taxi for about Dh20 per person, each way. But it seems that during the afternoon, no one is available to perform this trip. Furthermore, we saw no taxis waiting around Aït Benhaddou for the return trip. Hence, securing a roundtrip taxi may prove best.
However you get from Ouarzazate to Aït Benhaddou, be sure not to miss it. This was among our favorite of the many kasbahs visited all throughout Morocco.
Things to Do in Ouarzazate Morocco
This is Morocco’s version of Hollywood, so there are lots of film-related things to do in Ouarzazate Morocco. It’s also a pleasant city to visit. In addition to visiting nearby Aït Benhaddou, Ouarzazate’s main attractions are:
- Atlas Studio,
- Cinema Museum, and
- Taourirt Kasbah
While in Ouarzazate, you can visit two movie studios for some fun photo opportunities. These won’t be highlights to your Morocco trip but are certainly worth the effort and cost, if you have time after visiting Aït Benhaddou. If traveling from Ouarzazate to Aït Benhaddou by taxi, negotiate with your driver to stop at Atlas Studios on your way back into town where you can jump on one of their regular tours which run about every 30 minutes and lasts about the same (Dh100).
Otherwise back in Ouarzazate, you can also visit Cinema Museum where you can take your own self-guided tour of this other movie studio (Dh60).
Across the street from Ouarzazate’s Cinema Museum is the Taourirt Kasbah.
This is a nice visit to wander through its labyrinth-like corridors and stairwells. Since Cinema Museum and Taourirt Kasbah are right across the street from one another, these two Ourzazate attractions can make for a good way to spend half of a day.
Be sure to take a stroll through the Centreville area to see what’s going on and consider stopping for a bite in one of the many restaurants. There are typically local concerts and festivities there that locals come to gather for.
Restaurants in Ouarzazate Morocco
You’ll find a handful of restaurants in Ouarzazate, particularly near the Centreville area.
El Bahja was one of our favorite restaurants during our entire trip backpacking Morocco. This locals’ joint was always packed yet service was continuously fast and friendly. The keftas, tagines, and meat skewers were not only delicious but also generously priced. We stuffed our faces here multiple times and the bill came out under Dh80 (~$8) for meals, sides, bread, and drinks for two people.
Where to Drink in Ouarzazate Morocco
Don’t. Or just enjoy some mint tea at a café. But if you need to, a sectioned-off part of the supermarket in town sells booze.
Where to stay in Ouarzazate Morocco
There’s a variety of places to stay in Ouarzazate, spanning all budgets. For those looking for an inexpensive private room, we can suggest Hotel Marmar. It’s no-frills and basic, yet comfortable, and has extremely helpful personnel. You can find rooms including breakfast for as low as $20 per person. Visit hotelscombined.com here to check Hotel Marma rates across all top booking sites to ensure you find who offers the lowest price.
Tip: stay in the room above the office if wifi is important to you.
How to Travel From Ouarzazate to Dades Gorge by Bus
Dades Gorge is the next logical stop on a journey out to the Sahara Desert, from Marrakech to Merzouga.
From Ouarzazate onward, regular buses run few and far between, so you must plan your itinerary according to their schedules. From Ouarzazate, you may want to consider trying to stop at Skoura to see the famous oasis there. But with infrequent buses, it can only be done by hiring a taxi or making an overnight stop there.
In order to get to Dades Gorge, you must find a bus from Ouarzazate to Boumalene Dades. Once in Boumalene Dades, transfer to a minibus that will continue to Dades Gorge.
To get from Ouarzazate to Boumalene Dades, you can take one of two buses, which each takes nearly two and a half hours:
- CTM bus which departs Ouarzazate at 12:00 noon and cost Dh40.
- Supratour bus departs Ouarzazate at 1:00 pm.
Alternatively, you can consider a shared taxi, which will be infrequent and cramped, unless you buy extra seats. (This would be a good option to consider if you want to stop at Skoura.)
Once you get to Boumalene Dades, it is an easy minibus or shared taxi ride into Dades Gorge. They leave from the taxi ranks very frequently. The ride up Dades Gorge to about the 25km mark (where you’ll want to stay) should cost no more than Dh20 per person (possibly less) and should take about a half hour.
Dades Gorge on Your Own
In Dades Gorge, you’ll want to spend a day hiking in the area. If you are arriving in the afternoon, you may want to consider a half-day hike the following morning, before catching your next afternoon/evening bus to Merzouga. Perhaps spend what is left of your afternoon arriving relaxing or some light exploring on your own.
For a hike, we’d definitely recommend hiring a guide. There are no trails that are marked or signposted, so a hiking guide is essential.
We organized a guide with the hotel we were staying at for Dh300 (~$35), plus a bit more for a tip and a simple packed lunch. It would have been nearly impossible to navigate the trails otherwise. He also brought us over to a cave-dwelling nomadic Berber family where we had the opportunity to join them for a mint tea.
But the gorge itself, with its narrow and tall slot canyon formations, was truly an impressive highlight of Dades Gorge that we think is not to be missed.
Where to stay: We don’t have a strong recommendation for the hotel we used (it was just okay). But there are a number of listings with reviews to vet out on Booking.com. We recommend staying somewhere between the 24km to 27km area, for spectacular hiking opportunities.
Where to eat: Your hotel or guesthouse
Where to drink: Don’t. Or hopefully, you picked up something in Ouarzazate to enjoy privately and discretely.
How to Get From Dades Gorge to Merzouga
From Dades Gorge, you can opt to make a stop at Todra Gorge. But if one Gorge is enough, then this is where you’ll make your final push towards Merzouga. This is where all the Erg Chebbi Desert Tours depart from.
There is only one bus that leaves Boulmanes for Merzouga directly. It is a Supratours bus that leaves Boulmanes around 3:30. You can buy a ticket at a shop along the west side of the main stretch of the road. Look for the Supratour logo in the window. This shop is also where the Supratour bus stops to pick you up. The shop owner can keep you abreast if the bus is on time or running late and will store your baggage complimentary if needed.
From Boulmanes to Merzouga, it’s a long yet comfortable ride that takes nearly six hours. Be sure to arrange your accommodation in Merzouga in advance. Otherwise, you may be swarmed with touts upon arrival with offers for accommodation and camel tours.
Where to Stay in Merzouga Morocco:
We had a very pleasant stay at Chez Youssef, in which the owner met us at the bus station upon arrival to walk us back to his lovely riad. Rates start at $30 and include a very filling breakfast. You can also arrange camel tours directly with Chez Youssef, although we had booked ours elsewhere in advance.
Be Sure To Book Your Erg Chebbi Camel Trek in Advance
There are dozens (possibly hundreds) of operations in the area offering camel treks into this portion of the Sahara Desert known as Erg Chebbi. Tour agents aggressively swarm the bus upon its arrival in Merzouga to plead with passengers to take their tour.
For those with the patience to deal with this uncomfortable scene of dozens of touts grabbing you and climbing onto you, it may be possible to haggle down to a rate of about 550 dirham or so. Yet, their unvetted tours may come with variable quality, comfort, and well-being of the camels.
Instead, we’d strongly suggest this well-reviewed Camel Trek, that includes great meals, comfy sleeping conditions, a consistent track record of 5-star reviews, and even includes sandboarding (most others do not). It’s easily bookable online at a competitive price. And once you’re booked, you won’t have the chore of trying to sort through the sea of aggressive hawkers once arriving in Merzouga. Check up-to-date pricing and availability.
Returning Back From Merzouga to Marrakech or Merzouga to Fez
Supratours has an 8 am bus returning to Marrakech, which you likely will not be back from your camel trek in time to catch and may need to stay an additional night in Merzouga.
Alternatively, you can continue onward to Fez. While there is a Supratour bus at 7 pm from Merzouga to Fez, its arrival time in the middle of the night can be inconvenient. Instead, we recommend taking a quick taxi from Merzouga to Rissani. There, you can catch a local bus directly from Rissani to Fez or Rissani to Meknes. If no buses are departing Rissani, you’ll most definitely be able to get a bus leaving to Er-Rachidia where even more onward travel possibilities abound.
Taking the Marrakech to Merzouga Desert Trip Across Morroco
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.
Or if you have anything else to add from your experience traveling these routes, please do share.
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Have a great trip backpacking Morocco!
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thank you for this helpful DIY guide! I have just one question, is it safe for just 2 female travellers? Thank you!
John Widmer says
Safety can always be a tricky and subjective question to answer for anywhere in the world. There’s always some level of risk involved. You’d probably be fine traveling this route as two female travelers. Of course, modest dress is an absolute must. Still, there’s always a potential for incidents. They have happened, but are far and few in between. It’s also in the realm of possibility that you may receive some unwanted attention. And you may find some added challenges, as we found that many of the men in Morrocco (e.g., taxi drivers, etc.) tend to deal directly with other men. These are all things to be aware of and make the best judgment for yourselves. If unsure, a tour from Marrakesh to Merzouga would be a safer and much more convenient option.
Markéta Byrtusová says
Ourzazate is really a beautiful small city; I had the opportunity to visit the city twice.Great article with lovely pictures. Nice trip choice.
Thanks for the excellent guide
Thanks for these amazing tips. Just a quick question. I’d like to combine the Sahara experience with tracking the high Atlas Mountains without going back to a big city. Is this possible? If so, is it better to do the Mountains first and desert after or vice versa, bearing in mind that the next stop for us will be Fez airpot. Thanks
John Widmer says
It really depends where exactly in the High Atlas you want to go. Many people trek around Imlil around Toubkal (highest mountain in Morocco). If that’s where you’re looking to trek, then unfortunately you’d have to go back through Marrakesh. I’d suggest doing that first, then going to the dessert. Because you can then get from Merzouga to Fez more easily without coming back through Marrakesh for a third time.
Great thanks! Super useful.
Hi , Me & my wife are going from Marrakesh to Atit Benhouda ( staying 1 night ) and then leaving for Merzouga ( staying 1 night ) and then go to Fes.
I wanted to know if there are any private taxi operator / driver who you know can take me around this route.
John Widmer says
There most definitely are private taxis you can hire along the way if you have the budget for it. There are established taxi ranks where you can attempt to find someone willing to drive the long distance and negotiate a fare price. Otherwise, you may be better served by a tour. But it seems your time is very as there is some much travel time and distance to cover between the locations you are planning to sleep. It may not leave much time to do anything there other than sleep.
Hi John, thanks so much for this post. I’m looking to do the same trip in late March 2018, just in reverse: coming down from Fes to Merzouga, spend a night in the Sahara, head on to Todra Gorge then on to Marrakesh (or straight to Imlil if there’s anyone that can take us). I’m hoping to cover this in three days two nights, or maximum four days three nights.
I’ve always preferred DIY, like you said it lets you immerse yourself more, but looking at the bus schedules – especially for the Merzouga to Marrakesh route – and the other sights that I want to see along the way (maybe Ait Benhaddou, Skoura, etc.) can’t help but feel joining a tour is the best option. I also find that I get frustrated and annoyed very easily by touts. I’ve some questions:
– How cold do you think it will be in the desert in late March? What would you recommend to bring along for the stay?
– Is it easy to arrange for a desert tour in Merzouga itself, and not pre-book it in Fes?
– You mentioned local buses at Rissani. For services to Tinghir (for Todra Gorge), how easy are they to find, how frequent and comfortable are they? Would you know how much they cost?
– Can I also find such local buses on the way from Merzouga to Marrakesh? I was thinking that if there are such services, and that they are frequent, getting from Merzouga via Todra Gorge (Tinghir) and possibly Ourzazate (for Ait Benhaddou) to Marrakesh will be easier and less time consuming than if I were to wait for the Supratour/CTM buses, or cheaper than grand taxis.
– Have you met with those who joined tours? Do you know if it’s common that the guides and drivers also try to peddle or tout souvenirs to buy to those who joined the group?
– Is there a tipping culture?
John Widmer says
Will try to answer your questions as best as possible…
-Merzouga weather averages: https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine,merzouga,Morocco
-Yes, it can be easy to arrange a desert tour in Merzouga but you will most definitely be bombarded by many touts competing for your business. If you don’t want to deal with touts, it’s best to book in advance.
-Local buses from Merzouga to Rissani are frequent and inexpensive. They aren’t comfy but the trip is short, less than an hour.
-Yes, there are some local buses running between towns between Merzouga and Ourzazate. But it’s a gamble as times aren’t published, they can be infrequent, not comfortable, and multiple transfer points which may lead to long waits and overnight stays. The Supratour bus is a sure thing. Schedule is here: http://www.supratours.ma/en
-Whether joining a tour or not, you will be offered souvenirs in the desert. Guides and drivers tend not to be aggressive with souvenir sales, but may stop at places to buy them.
-Yes, Morocco is a tipping culture.
Thanks a lot for the detailed and informative post. My husband and I will be going to Morocco for 10 days in December. We were looking for desert tours from Marrakesh on Viator, and were deeply worried that most of the desert tours are for 3 days, which do not offer much chance to get to know the places well.
I was apprehensive about planning something by ourselves, but your blog has really motivated me. So with the help of your blog, we have planned a DIY tour, which involves a mix of bus travel and rental car. It is disappointing that there is only one early morning bus out from Merzouga towards Marrakech. Since we are visiting in winter, when the sun rise time is around 7.30 AM, it is impossible to be back from the camel trek in time to catch the bus. So we are planning to rent a car for a few days, which helped us fit everything we wanted to see into the time we have.
I cannot thank you enough for inspiring us!
Here’s our planned 10 day itinerary if it helps any of the readers:
Day 1-2: Arrive in Marrakesh. Spend two nights in Marrakesh. We are planning a day trip to atlas mountains on day 2.
Day 3-4: Take 11.15 AM bus from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate. Spend the day of arrival sight seeing in Ouarzazate and visit ait ben haddou next day. Will probably have some more time for sight seeing in Ouarzazate next day as well.
Day 5: Rent a car in the morning and head to Dades Gorges with a pit-stop in Skoura. Will arrive in Dades Gorges by noon. Hope it would give us enough time to explore the area. Night stay in Dades Gorges.
Day 6: Head to Merzouga in the morning, to reach around 1 PM. Camel trek from Merzouga to desert camp. Spend the night in the desert.
Day 7: Head back from desert camp to Merzouga, have breakfast and drive back to Ouarzazate. Will arrive in Ouarzazate by late afternoon/evening, return the car and spend the night there.
Day 8 – 9: Take 8.05 AM bus from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh, spend 2 more nights in Marrakesh
Day 10: Leave Marrakesh
Will update more after our trip!
John Widmer says
Glad our post gave a good starting point for your trip. What you’ve planned with the rental car from Ouarzazate sounds like a great way to be able to maximize your time and have more flexibility. The way those buses are timed is disappointing. Thank you for sharing your trip details, as it can likely help to give others some food ideas as they pursue a similar journey. Hope you have a great trip and please do let us know how it goes. Happy travels!
Hi John & Heather,
I am writing this post as I sit on the bus from Chefcaouen arriving to Fes. I was hoping to do a desert tour starting from Fes and ending in Marakesh. Thank you for your blog! It has been quite hard finding information about where to start the desert tour etc.
So, do you think I shld get the bus from Fes to Merzounga and book a desert tour from Merzounga which will end in Marakesh (is there such an option)? Or shld I just get a bus from Fes to Marakesh and book a tour starting from there instead?
I am a solo female traveller therefore would very much prefer to go with other travellers to the dessert instead of having a private tour. Not keen to drive all alone as well hahaha. Thanks guys!
Heather Widmer says
Apologies for the delayed response, we hope this reaches you in time.
If you’re keen to travel with a group, it’d be best to travel to Marrakesh and take a tour from there. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Fez to Merzouga for a camel trek and then get back to Marrakesh on your own. In that situation, you’d likely only be with a group during the camel desert trek. There’s no tours that we’re aware of that start Merzouga and end in Marrakesh. Hope this helps and enjoy your time in beautiful Morocco!
Hi John & Heather
i just finished about one month journey in Morocco.
your blog helps me a lot for the itinerary arrangement and transportation.
thank you so much for this detail information.
i follow the places you have visited, imlil trekking, Dades Gorge and Sahara desert.
those places are amazing. i only regret that i didn’t visit Azrou.
i went to Fez directly after Sahara trip and pass by Azrou. it is beautiful forest and cover snow when the time i am in Morocco.
thank you for your sharing. i had good time in Morocco. 🙂
Heather Widmer says
Thank you so much for the comment and sharing your experience in Morocco. We’re thrilled to hear that you had a wonderful time in a beautiful country!
Hello John! Very useful information, thank you.
My Gf and I are planning to go from Marrakesh to Merzouga by rental car.
Do you know anything about the road conditions?
Is it necessary to have a car with 4-wheel-drive, bc that wouldn’t be in our budget 🙁
Heather Widmer says
Hey Dennsen, thanks for the comment. So happy to hear you found our information helpful.
At our time of visit, we observed the roads were in pretty decent shape. There were some parts of the journey where the roads went through mountains on some steep inclines. It would probably be best to have a 4-wheel drive, but I think it’s doable in a standard vehicle.
Enjoy your time in Morocco!
Tucker Denham says
Incredible information! If we are planning a trip around 12 days long, flying into Tangier and out of Marrakesh what itinerary or cities would you propose we hit?
Heather Widmer says
Hey Tucker, thanks for the comment and question. In our opinion, we’d suggest to head to Chefchaouen (known for those historic blue-washed buildings) following Tangier. Make your way to Fes and then head to Merzouga for a camel trek tour in the desert. Head up to Marrakesh and leave yourself a day or two to visit Imlil in the Atlas mountains outside of Marrakesh. Have a great time in Morocco!
Bhavya Sharma says
I just want to ask one thing. I liked your blog very much I just wanted to know from where you get all money to visit so many countries. Do you have any business or what. I am also traveler but due to less money can not visit every where.
John Widmer says
We work online which helps fund our travels. We don’t earn much, but we don’t spend much either. We had also saved hard for many years which helped to fund the beginning of our travels, but now we rely more on working while we travel. I’m going to write a more detailed post about this soon, but we have discussed it further on our FAQ page, which you can find here:
I would like to tell you that your post was extremely useful to me. I didnt have much time to plan my itinerary and I was searching for info and bump into your useful guide to Morocco. Honestly: Great!
We are also independent travellers and we avoid tours unless there is a very very very good reason.
We would liket to do tha 2 night tour to the desert and the same kind of itinerary as you did. I have two questions
1- What time do the 2night tours arrive to Merzouga, as it would be ideal to catch the 8 am bus back to Marrakech??
2- I presume they are back after 8 am, so what are my chancesto get a public transport back to Marrakech and arrive there before 11 am next morning ? We have our flight at 12 pm : )
Many thanks, and keep up the good work!
John Widmer says
So glad to hear that this post was useful!
1- The 2-night tours tend to arrive into Merzouga in the late afternoon of Day-2 for the camel trek, in which you’ll spend the night out in the desert before returning to Merzouga by camel during the following morning.
2- If taking the 2-night tour, then just stay on the tour, in which case transport back to Marrakech is included during Day 3. It’s not a one-way tour. In this post I was simply suggesting that it is possible to leave the tour early and not return to Marrakech, and use public transport for anyone who wants to do onward travel throughout Morocco. But if you’re taking one of the 3-day/2-night tours, they’ll take you back to Marrakech on Day 3. No bus needed. And you’d be back in Marrakech the night before your flight. 🙂
This is very helpful as I am planning a family trip for May’17 and would take all public transportation. I am still confused on some part. Our flights will be round trip Marrakech, will do 3 nts in Marrakech and then will follow your itinerary. The way I am understanding you stayed one night in Ouarzazate, one night in Dades Gorge, one night in Merzouga and then one night to camel trek. I believe if you arrive Merzouga in afternoon then u can directly go to camel treck, please correct me if I am wrong and would not have to stay one night in Merzouga.or u do have to stay one night in Merzouga and one night for camel treck.
John Widmer says
If you are renting a car, that is all very possible. But assuming you are using busses, it won’t be possible due to the time tables.
If you can get an early bus to Ouarzazate, a one night could work to see Aït Benhaddou during the afternoon you arrive. Otherwise, you’d need two night.
As for Dades Gorge, one night is also possible but will be tight. You could try to get there early and go for a hike that same day or get there at whatever time and go hiking the following day. Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to catch the only bus from Boulmine to Merzouga, which leaves at 2:45 pm from Boulmaine.
For Merzouga, you must stay a night there unfortunately because your bus will not arrive until 9 or 10 at night. So you must wait it out the next day there until your camel trek departs that afternoon. You can then do a one or two night camel trek across the desert.
Hope that helps.
Rob Ferguson says
Hi Jon, firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to post this, and more importantly reply to all those seeking advice (like me) I am leaving Dublin and going to Morocco on the 4th Sept, returning 14th (flying in and out of Marrackech) I have a rough travel plan laid out, but after careful thought I think I might be trying to see too much in 10 days. I’ve mapped out my proposed plan below, and would very mu h welcome an alternative, suggested edits and advice 👍 there’s a few things I would love to do such as visit the blue city, (Chef), visit the Paradise Valley, and see a few of them places you mentioned from Marrackech to merzouga – here’s my plan..
Day 1 – Arrive in Marrakech (19:40) stay one night. (Sept 4th)
Day 2 – Day 4
Catch bus to Agadir check into hotel 5th, stay 5th,6th check out 7th. – bus back to Marrakech. Stay the night
Day 5 (8th September) – Get early (12.5) hr bus from Marrakech – Merzouga
Check into hotel in Merzouga on the 8th, stay 8th, 9th & check out 10th.
10th Sept – meet camel tour guy, head out in desert, stay the night in tent arrive back in Merzouga following day 11th Sept.
Depart Merzouga, 11th @19:00 hrs bus – Fes 12th (6AM), spend couple hours in Fes and get afternoon bus to Chefchaouen.
Spend as long as possible in chefchaouen and be back in Marrackech in time for my flight home on the 14th @ 20:05..
Sounds like a grand plan, but I can’t see it going as smoothly as I expect lol, I am looking forward to hearing back from you Jon and I can get my trip confirmed. I’m open to suggestions, and if you think my plan is crazy then I would love to read your proposed plan for my trip from 4th – 14th sept – thanks in advance.
if you nee to contact me, my email is [email protected]
John Widmer says
Hey Robert, Glad to hear you found this helpful. I’d say your plan seems perhaps a bit aggressive (long travel days) yet still very doable. The biggest change in your itinerary I would suggest is with Merzouga – there’s really no need to spend a few days there. There’s not much to see and Merzouga is used more so as a base to to begin your camel tour through the dessert. I’d suggest beginning your camel tour on Sept 9th which will depart in the later afternoon. You’ll be finished with your camel tour early the next morning, the 10th. Try to catch a local bus to Fes on the 10th, rather than spending the day in Merzouga.
Chefchaouen is one of my favorite places in Morocco, so I’d recommend trying to squeeze it in, if timing permits. However, it will put you further away from Marrakech, which it seems you need to return to. If your return flight is not booked, perhaps consider departing from Fes, Tangier, or even Casablanca if at all possible. That would save you from yet another long full day on a bus, which you have many.
Overall the plan is viable, but you’re covering a lot of ground in a fairly small amount of time, and hence will be spending a good portion of your trip on a bus which won’t be much fun. I hate to suggest skipping Chefchaouen but that would give you more time to explore some of the other places, like Fes, that you’ll be visiting and will cut out some travel time. So, it’s something to consider. Also, I’d consider the possibility of joining a tour from Marrakech to Merzouga. Those tours cover lots of amazing places that you’d otherwise be skipping over during your 12.5 hour direct bus ride. Joining a tour will also prevent the unnecessary day you inevitably will have to spend in Merzouga doing nothing but waiting for your camel trek to begin. Consider that. Then, instead of returning from Merzouga to Marrakech, you could continue onward to Fes on your own.
Hope that all helps to give you some ideas to ponder over as you finalize your travel plans.
Mary Yabut says
Very informative, thank you so much. We are a group of 6 travelling this July 2016 going to Casablanca for 2 nights, then Marrakesh for 3 nights, 4 to 5 nights to Erg Chebbi then to Fez. From Marrakesh to Erg Chebbi to Fez im not sure if we should drive or take the bus with combination of taxi to the sites. This post was really helpful.
John Widmer says
So glad to hear this post was helpful! Thanks for commenting to let us know. As for your pondering of taking a bus versus driving. I would probably recommend, being that you’re a big group of six, that driving may make more sense if you’re able to find a decent price on a one-way car rental. Whatever you decide, hope you have a great trip to Morocco!
Hi! Thanks so much for this post which encouraged us to tackle a visit on our own. Going well! Just to add: So far we’ve stayed one night in Ait Benhaddou, Skoura and Dades Gorge each, and we never had a problem getting onward transportation. Shared taxis abound, and we’ve yet to pay more then 30 Dirhams for a ride …
John Widmer says
Glad to hear this post helped! Thanks for the added info about taking shared taxis. At the time we went we found them to be somewhat unfrequent between certain towns and a sometimes a bit hectic to negotiate a fair price. Am glad to hear you’re having success with them and at what seems like very fair prices. Hope the rest of your journey through Morocco and to the Sahara has been great!
Great Info John, definitely helpful in preparations. I am debating the idea the DIY, but can’t be sure, as I don’t speak any native languages. Also debating on other options. Reading through this post I got a feeling that, one day should be enough to cover Ait Ben Houdad and Ouarzazate, am I right? In that case taking a guided trip makes sense. I am also debating the idea of doing tours but dropping of at Merzouga to go on to Fes. What do you think of these options.
I don’t want to fill up your blog my itinerary, but would mind taking a look at it in the Lonely Planet. Detailed itinerary is in a post at the bottom of the page.
John Widmer says
Hi Raj, I somehow missed this comment when you had initially posted it a few weeks ago. Sorry about that!
Yes, one full day should be enough to cover Ait Ben Houdad and Ourzazate. I wouldn’t let you lack of language prevent you from attempting the DIY-version. We don’t speak French or Arabic either yet managed to get by most of the time. However, I would suggest a tour to Merzouga simply to maximize your time. Then ditch the tour after the camel trek to make your own way to Fes.
I took a look at the itinerary you sent. It looks good and is similar to our itinerary. But I would just caution you that it seems a little fast-paced. Many of the travel distanced between these locations will take a full day of travel time itself, leaving not much time to enjoy the destination you’re going to. You may want to consider cutting a destination or two in order to prolong your time in other places. Chefchaouen was a highlight for us, so although that is furthest out of the way, it would be a shame to cut that from your trip. We did not go to Rabat nor Casablanca as other travelers we met in Morocco seemed to cite them as lowlights. Perhaps consider skipping that too and then departing from Tangier instead of Casablanca. …just a thought.
Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if any other questions as you plan your trip and we’ll try to respond back more timely! 😉
Brandon Harrell says
Thank you for your informative post!!! I am headed to Marrakesh in February and will be there for a week. I really want a Desert Tour to be the highlight of the trip. Considering that we are flying out of Tangier, We would want to ideally get a tour that would depart from Marrakesh and Finish in Fes. That being said all of the Quotes I am getting are in the 275 – 350 range. I know that you were saying that your quotes were significantly cheaper but I am assuming that you were not going to multiple locales and starting and finishing your trip in one city.
Do you have any suggestions? I am not opposed to doing a DIY option but considering the somewhat tight schedule of our time in morocco, and the other cities we want to visit i wonder if the Guided Tour would be best… and if so If you know of any “wiggle room” in the prices.
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
John Widmer says
There are few desert tours from Marrakesh to the desert and then onward to Fes. Those that exist do tend to get pricey. The package tours that I’ve suggested in this article are roundtrip starting and ending in Marrakesh, which you can find a 3-day version for around $100 USD. A week is pretty tight to cover Marrakesh, a dessert trip, Fes, and Tangier (without being on a tour the entire time) – but it may be possible.
Given that you only have a week, I would not suggest the DIY version. Heading out to Merzouga on your own will take more time as you’ll have to rely on the infrequent busses which travel that way. A tour may be the way to go, even for the entire 7-days, if you can find one that matches your desired itinerary.
Otherwise you may want to consider booking only a desert tour from Marrakesh and perhaps applying some DIY tactics to get to Fes instead of returning to Marrakesh on the tour. For example, you could consider the following:
Spend 1-2 days in Marrakesh. Go on a 3-day desert tour from Marrakech. The third day of the tour would entail returning by camel to Merzouga early in the morning and then an entire day bus ride back to Marraskesh. Instead of returning to Marrakech on the tour, you could leave the group that morning and take public transportation towards Fes. There are only unscheduled 2nd class busses running during that time, so you would have to be comfortable with those. From Merzouga, take a quick taxi to Rissani and from there you should be able to find a 2nd class bus to Fes. If not, take a bus to Er-Rachidia where there will be more bus connections going to Fes. The bus will take the entire day to get to Fes and you’ll likely arrive at night. You could also consider hiring a taxi to take you the entire way which will be more expensive but more comfortable and quicker. They will be no shortage of taxi drivers eager to negotiate such a trip. After your first night in Fes, you can then spend a full day in there. Then you should still have a day to get to Tangier. It’ll be a very tight timeline, but that’s one way you could possibly make it work without breaking the bank.
Hope that helps!
I am planning a trip to Morocco and will be renting a car. We are planning on driving ourselves from Fes to Merzouga in one day, leaving very early in the morning to ensure that we arrive before sunset in Merzouga. Has anyone done the drive? I know that it is a long drive, but aside from that I have heard that the roads are paved, but drivers can be a little aggressive. I am from NYC so I am used to aggressive driving. Would you advise against driving?
We are staying in a luxury tent in Merzouga and we understand that they will pick us up by 4X4 in Merzouga to take us to the tents – but where do you leave you rental car? Any experience with this?
Also, we are then going to drive from Merzouga to Ouarzazate for one night, then to Atlas Mountains and then to Marrakesh. Is this drive okay as well?
John Widmer says
It will be a VERY long drive but certainly doable. I’d recommend leaving as early as possible to ensure you get to Merzouga in time. The roads are decent enough condition. Some of the mountain roads get very twisty and can be a bit scary at times, but you’ll likely be fine. We met some folks from Canada who did the drive and made it out to Merzouga without incident. And the driving isn’t too aggressive but you’ll just have to get used too what I thought was some strange driving customs such as often driving in the middle of the road instead always staying in the right lane.
Most all of the places with luxury tents in the desert also have hotels or riads in Merzouga, which is typically your meeting point. So you’ll likely leave your car there.
The drive from Merzouga to Ouarzazate and through the Atlas mountains should be mostly the same route you came in on from Marrakesh. If you’re passing through the small town of Asni, watch out for the many stray dogs. We noticed there were a few road kills there 🙁
Have a great trip and good luck on the journey!
Hello John! Thanks for sharing your experience. Your write up convinced me not to hire a driver in Marrakech. I will then rent a car in Marrakech and drop it off in Fes. I will stop in Imlil for 1 or 2 nights, then through Merzouga, where I’d like to spend a night in the desert.
How easy is to hire a good guide in Merzouga? I’m sure competition is high…so how to stay safe from touts and scammers…if any? Also, do you know how much the guide\dinner\desert night will cost me when booked once there and not online? I travel with my gf, but we are happy to join a group tour!
Thanks to those who can help 🙂
John Widmer says
It is quite easy to find a guide in Merzouga. But competition is very high and there are dozens (hundreds?) all vying for your business. A guide\camel\dinner tends to cost around $40 euro per person. To avoid having to deal with the many touts once you get there, I’d strongly recommend organizing a tour beforehand. You shouldn’t need to prepay or provide any credit card info. Just find a good tour online and confirm with them via email for meeting spot and time. Hope that helps. Enjoy!
Heya, thanks for the very good tips on hand. I will be making this trip at the end of this month for the first time and your information have been very helpful. Question: So you stayed one night at Chez Yousef and afterwards check out and join the cameltrekking.com tour? Did they pick you up from Chez and after the trek, where do they drop off you off? My plan was to head to Fez after Mergouza and I understand I need to get to Rissani bus stop to catch the 730pm bus onwards to Fez. Thanks much!! 🙂
John Widmer says
So glad to hear this helps!
Yes, we just stayed one night in Chez Yousef and we had arranged to meet the owner of CamelTrekking at the bus station after we checked out. He personally picked us up at Noon and drove us to his riad (at no cost to us), which was about a 10-minute drive. At the CamelTrekking riad, we were given access to a room and the pool for the rest of the day while we awaited our camel trek to begin. We were also able to order a lunch there.
After the trek, we returned to CamelTrekking’s riad where we could shower off in one of the rooms where we kept our luggage. Then he provided us with a cab (again, at no extra cost to us) from his riad to Rissani. The cab driver tried to sell us his services to take us the entire way in his cab, but ultimately wasn’t too pushy and even helped us buy our bus ticket in Rissani. In Rissani we caught a local bus towards Fez. Supposedly these leave every few hours. The local busses aren’t as nice as the CTM and Supratour busses and don’t have reliable timetables. But it gets the job done and if you leave Rissani in the morning, you can get to Fez at a reasonable time in the early evening. Whereas if you take that 730pm bus to Fez, you would have to wait around Rissani all day doing nothing and then you’ll wind up in Fez really awkward time in the middle of the night / extreme early morning. So I’d really recommend going with an earlier local busses. Hope that helps! Enjoy your trip!
Thank you – this is really helpful. We are planning to travel from Marrakech to Ouarzazate in April with two small kids. Because we have the kids, I would really like to buy our bus tickets in advance, but I can’t find any online booking option. Did you find that the buses were busy such that we might have a problem if we just turned up without a booking? We arrive in the evening and need to leave the next morning. Any info gratefully received!
John Widmer says
When we traveled all throughout Morocco during the month of May we used only busses. Every single time we just bought our tickets minutes before the bus was scheduled to depart and never had any problems with full busses. So I wouldn’t worry at all, particularly since you’ll be able to buy a ticket the day before. Also, there are many busses that go from Marrakech to Ouarzazate each day, so in the off-chance that one bus is full (not likely), you’ll still have lots of other times to choose from. So I wouldn’t worry much about that. You should be just fine to just arrive and buy your tickets. Hope you and your kids enjoy Morocco!
Hi john, nice DIY guide. Very useful and gave me some good idea what to do near marrakech. Allow me to ask some question.
I am now in fes, planning last min to merzuga for overnight, then to Marrakech. What do you recommend as I will not be on time to catch the 8am bus in time coming back from dune. Can I make a 2 day trip to Marrakech with some stop / site seeing in between” once in marrakech, meeting up with friends, I have 5 more days to hang around.
Thx in advance,
John Widmer says
Glad you found it helpful. From Merzouga you should be able to find transport to Er-Rachidia, where you can likely find local busses towards Marrakech. I’m not sure you’d be able to get there in the same day (pending what time you leave Merzouga) but I’d imagine you could at least get to Ouarzazate, which would make for a nice overnight stop. And from there you could catch one of the CTM or Supratour busses to Marrakesh. Hope that helps and it reached you in time!
Your report is very helpful and informative! Congratulations!!!
I’d like to ask u a question. We plan to go from Marrackesh to Merzouga with only one night stop in between. We are thinking of staying in Skoura since there is a CTM bus service from Marrackesh to Skoura. Unfortunately I don’t see any bus from Skoura to Merzouga. Do you know if the supratours bus to Merzouga does any stop to Skoura or we have to go back and take it from Ouarzazate? Thank you for your help!!!
John Widmer says
I can tell you for a fact that the Supratours bus definitely does pass right through Skoura. What I’m not sure about is whether or not it stops there. Sorry. But I do recall that it made a stop of two in between Ouarzazate and Boulmanes, so I’d imagine that Skoura may have been one of those stops. Unfortunately, Skoura is not listed on the Supratours website, so that doesn’t help.
Nonetheless, if Skoura is not a stop, I’m fairly the certain the bus driver would still drop you off there. It just may be a little hassle to pick the bus up again the following day. You could always get a share taxi from Skoura onward to to Boulmanes, where I know for certain you can pick up the Supratours bus there that would take you onward to Merzouga. Hope that helps a little. Sorry I couldn’t provide more certainty about the Skoura stop.
Or if you want to play it safe with the bus connections, you could stop at Ouarzazate or Boulmanes instead. I’d recommend Ouarzazate, as there is a good amount to do to fill a one-night stop and its a pretty neat city.
hello…i am going to visit morocco with my husband at christmas, and we were searcing for direct transport from marrakesh to merzouga. We cannot find a direct bus or train line, but i saw you ‘ve mentioned that there is one..can you please inform me more for the cost of the ticket and the schedule. snd then we want to continue from merzouga to fes…is there a bus for there too? thank you very much!
John Widmer says
There is a Supratours bus that leaves Marrakesh at 8:30 each morning, arriving in Merzouga around 9:00pm. You can find schedules and timetables for this bus at http://www.marrakechtickets.co.uk/morocco-rail-timetables
I don’t know the cost of this route but simply based on the cost of other Supratours buses and distances, I’d take a guess its probably somewhere in the ballpark of dh200.
There is a also a Supratours bus directly from Merzouga to Fez. (You can find the timetables at the same website I provided above.) However, you’ll notice that this bus leaves at 7:30pm and gets into Fes in the middle of the night, which I wouldn’t recommend. As suggested in this article, instead consider a quick taxi to Rissani where you can catch a local bus directly to Fez or at least to Er-Rachidia where even more onward travel possibilities abound. The local buses aren’t as comfortable or quick as the Supratour & CTM buses, but they’re cheap and will get you to where you need to go.
Karen Warren says
What a fabulous looking place! I’ve been to Morocco but only to the north (around Tangier) – this looks much more authentic.
John Widmer says
Thanks! Yes, we visited Tangier too and it certainly wasn’t our favorite. The desert and the mountains is what we really enjoyed in this exotic land. Hopefully you can go back one day and take a journey further south!
Wouwww thanks a lot for sharing.
Very good / helpfull informations.
In witch period have you been there?
Just trying to find out best solution for the last day. Desert to Marrakech.
How much did you spend for the self tour
John Widmer says
We did this trip in May. The camel desert tour was 70 euros per person for the 3-day tour, inclusive of all meals, water, guide, camels, camp, and equipment. You can read all about that here: