Please like Wild Trips FB page. The madmen who spent nights working at this website will be grateful! (And you'll get updates, new travel infos and photos)

Please like Wild Trips FB page. The madmen who spent nights working at this website will be grateful! (And you'll get updates, new travel infos and photos)

MOROCCO

Trip report: by car, by dromedary or on foot among deserts, canyons and chaotic markets
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world

MOROCCO: PHOTOS AND TRIP REPORT

Here below some of the most fascinating photos from Morocco. Together with the photogallery, you will find a funny and interesting trip report full of info and anecdotes describing the whole travel itinerary. If you haven't read them yet, check out all travel info and precise itinerary here: www.wildtrips.net/morocco.htm.

Ait Ben Haddour
Ait Ben Haddour - This fortress and the citadel are a great start for a Moroccan trip.

MOROCCO TRIP REPORT AND PHOTOS

In Morocco, the most fascinating places are arguably Marrakesh and the surrounding natural landscapes.
We purchased three flights each (one Pisa-Marrakesh and two Marrakesh-Pisa) and we were ready to go. Two return flights per person might seem a little bit excessive. The fact is that we were unsure if we could stay one week or just five days, so we spent ten euros more (yes, it was really low-cost) and we booked both possibilities. In the end, we were able to enjoy a full week in Moroccan territory.
We landed at Marrakesh airport, we picked up the rental car and we immediately drove towards Ait Benhaddou, our first stop along our travel itinerary.
The road ran through wild mountain scenery, a taste of the beauty of this region. When we reached our destination, the holiday had just begun but we were already very excited: from the road the view on the old town was stunning.
Ait Ben Haddour
Ait Ben Haddour - The place is so photogenic that many Hollywood movies have been recorded here.
Ait Benhaddou is a village made of mud houses surrounded by bare hills. The citadel, perched on a hill in spectacular position, is beautiful, famous and starred in several movies.

We parked and we walked along the narrow streets of the sand-colored village at the feet of the fort. On the walls of the mud houses there were colored textiles and souvenirs for sale, but, unlike the fort, the village wasn’t a touristy place, probably because most tourists went directly to the fort. Therefore we could immediately feel the unique atmosphere of Morocco, a country rich in beauty and history where every stone, every hut, every cous-cous spreads an aura of Moroccan culture.
Ait Ben Haddour
Ait Ben Haddour
Once we had crossed the village we walked into an arid plain at the feet of the majestic fortress.
Amazed by the imposing fortress and by the decorations on its muddy walls, we resumed our drive when it was almost sunset. We stopped at a hotel along the road. It was in a poor village with its own charm. The small market, especially, was lively and quite characteristic.
The next morning we set off towards the nearby Ouarzazate.
Ouarzazate
Ouarzazate road - It's less famous and seldom visited by tourists, but this is another very quaint citadel
Its historical town center featured a fortress and sand-colored houses. It wasn’t as spectacular as Ait Benhaddou, but we liked it. We walked through the alleys and we met some kids playing ball and a tiny shop.
Ouarzazate
Ouarzazate
Our next destination was the Dades Valley, that we reached driving through barren plains crossed by dry rivers. There were small villages made of huts and many sand-colored fortresses. We met 17 millions fors along our travel itinerary.
The Dades Valley is surrounded by red mountains and contains several villages and farm fields that take advantage of one of the few fertile areas of that part of Morocco. We drove along the valley until it became a steep canyon. The road twisted and climbed until we arrived at a beautiful viewpoint on the Dades.
Dades
Dades fortress - This valley boasts green fields and red mountains and it's one of the most authentic and beautiful places to be visited in this part of Morocco.
Dades
Dades
Coming back, we stopped at a restaurant where we had a good lunch with couscous and tajine and other typical dishes. The we walked for two hours to the top of one of the mountain, which offered us a wide 360-degree panorama that ranged from cultivated fields to the chain of red mountains and to a rocky desert.
Dades
Dades - From the top of a mountain, at the end of a beautiful trek.
Dades
Dades
It was almost sunset and the sky and all the colors were getting red, making everything more beautiful.
We left the Dades and we drove towards the Todra gorges, our next destination along our a-little-bit-planned-and-mostly-improvised travel itinerary.
In the morning we went to visit the gorges. Craggy red mountains, villages and sand-colored (yes, you guessed it right) fortresses. The “usual” scenery, which wasn’t boring at all. After having crossed the impressive canyon that makes the Todra gorges famous, we continued our drive until we reached an isolated and wild plateau, with Berber villages perched at the foot of the mountains.
Todra gorge
Todra gorge - Another beautiful destination for some trekking in the mountains.
While on the way back, some children threw us a few stones, showing their appreciation for our visit.
We parked near the canyon, and we began a long trekking described in two rows of the Lonely Planet guide. We crossed some barren mountains and then we walked down to the Todra valley, passing through fields and a village before reaching the main road and then, with a last effort, our car.
Todra gorge
Todra gorge
We started our drive towards Merzouga. We stopped soon in a random hotel, spending a little as always.
The next day we drove near villages and forts before arriving at the gates of the sand dunes of Merzouga desert. At Erfoud and at Merzouga afterwards we walked into a couple of hotels to get some info on how to visit the dunes. We were proposed a camel ride to a tented camp in the desert, where we could have dinner and sleep. After bargaining a little bit we agreed on the price.
We mounted the dromedaries and we began the slow ride through the dunes. The dromedaries were tied to each other and our guide held the first of the row.
Merzouga Dunes
Merzouga Dunes - A camel ride into the desert of Merzouga is a memorable journey, especially if sleeping in one of the tented camps.
The dromedary is a very staid animal that quietly obeys every order.
In the meantime, the buildings behind us disappeared and we found ourselves surrounded by dunes that were higher and higher. The colors ranged from light yellow to red, sometimes interrupted by some sad, lonely and thirsty green bushes.
Eventually we arrived at the tented camp in the middle of the desert. There were five or six tents that could host from 8 to 10 people each, but there were only few guests. The tents were empty, with only some blankets and sleeping bags laid on the ground.
At sunset we walked on the dunes surrounding the campsite: the panoramas were stunning.
Merzouga Dunes
Merzouga Dunes
In the morning, we admired the view a little bit more and we rode back to Merzouga on our smelly camels. Once in the city we decided to rent quads. Following a guide, we climbed and descended the dunes. It was fun, although a bit expensive.
Merzouga Desert Quad
Merzouga Desert by Quad
We got back to our car and we left the desert behind us. We met the vibrant town of Rissani, with lively and quaint market stalls. The vendors followed us trying to sell us some crap.
After Rissani the landscape became almost lunar, with dark stony plains surrounded by bare mountains. Then some vegetation reappared and with it also some villages with the ever-present forts. We arrived in the Draa valley, broader than Dades and even more fertile.
Draa Valley
Draa Valley - A wider and even greenier valley, Draa is home to many date trees and, of course, picturesque citadels.
It was full of palm and date trees. Of all the ancient cities made of sand-colored, decadent houses, the most fascinating one had an imposing fortress that looked over vast cultivated fields. There were picturesque muletracks, handmade water channels and farmers dragging donkeys laden with vegetables. There were also the best dates of the world.
Draa Valley
Draa Valley
We slept in Zagora, then we continued our travel itinerary to Marrakesh. Along the way we noticed – hold it – some forts.
Draa Valley
Draa Valley
We entered Marrakesh in the afternoon. We drove through the confused traffic with immense courage. We parked near the center, in a car park, for a fee paid to a shady person. We chose a budget hotel recommended by the Lonely Planet guide, just a few steps away from the main square of Marrakesh, Djemaa-el-Fna.
Marrakech
Marrakech, Jamaa el-Fna - The main square of Marrakech, it's arguably the most lively place in the world where you could have dinner.
This square is full of stalls offering food. One must be careful to avoid the tourist traps, but the food was good. We walked around the large and lively square, which was really funny with all the people and the screams and the weird foods, and then we went to sleep.
The next day was dedicated to the visit of Marrakesh, with its distinctive markets and the exhausting bargaining, the beautiful old alleys, the mosques and the monuments. Overall, Marrakech is a wonderful city both for the streets, the monuments and the ancient buildings and for the liveliness and the people.
Marrakech
Marrakech
The next day our group of five split up: three of us stayed in Marrakesh to enjoy massages and steam baths. A friend and I, instead, drove for an hour and something to Essaouira, a pretty destination that should be added to any travel itinerary in Morocco.
In fact Essaouira is a beautiful city on the Atlantic coast. It’s famous for surfing but it also has a quaint harbour full of colourful fishing boats and a citadel perched over the sea. There are some stalls on the seafront where you can eat fresh seafood at very good prices – especially if you are good at bargaining and if you walk from one restaurant to another asking for discounts.
Essaouira
Essaouira
We rented two surfboards at a well organized surf center and we rode the waves (or tried to) for an hour and a half. The water was cool and a wetsuit was necessary, also considering that there was a good wind.
Essaouira surf
Surf at Essaouira - A beautiful fishing town with very good surfing.
At this point, I am happy to write some useful info and, in particular, a meteorological observation. Morocco is warm and sunny, and during our vacation in November a t-shirt was more than enough almost everywhere, on the dunes, in the oases, in the cities... The only place that was too cool for sunbathing was precisely the Atlantic windy coast. Those looking for a sun tan should keep this in mind.
After surfing we went to see the camels that roamed the infinite oceanic beach: they were huge, taller and healthier than those of the desert. After wandering for the lovely town and its market we got back to our car when it was almost dark.
Essaouira
Essaouira
We met our friends and we spent the evening in the modern part of Marrakech, in a chic restaurant.
The dinner costed about twenty Euros per person, but it was remarkable. There was a disco, which offered alcohol, and, upstairs, there were belly dancers and several escorts who entertained elderly businessmen.
The next day, after a short walk downtown, we drove to the airport and got our flight to Italy. It had been one of the best holidays in terms of good moments per euro spent. And this made us even happier of our journey.
If you are enjoying these photos and trip reports, please like the following Facebook page by clicking here (you'll find updates with info, photos and new itineraries):

Click here for all the trip reports.

Contact info@wildtrips.net for any queries on a travel itinerary, advices about a trip report or to organize sailing holidays in Italy.
Site Map - Privacy