Spectacular nature & oriental flair – welcome to Morocco! In terms of area, Morocco is larger than Germany. And of course it’s not that easy to put together the ideal travel route.
Are you planning a road trip through Morocco and looking for the perfect route? In this blog article we present our itinerary with all stops. It leads from Marrakech over the Atlas Mountains and spectacular gorges into the desert and on to Fès, taking you to all the highlights that there is to see in Morocco. You can look forward to the right mix of “on the road”, great cities and gigantic nature, so to speak.
We also have some useful tips for planning in this article and a map with the most important places so that you can prepare your Morocco road trip perfectly.
1. Our route through Morocco: All stops and highlights 1. Marrakech Marrakech is the perfect first stop of a Morocco road trip. Why? First of all, one of the largest airports in the country is located here. Also, Marrakech is very touristy – even more touristy than we would have expected, which makes getting into the country a bit easier. For example, Marrakech has really great accommodation and restaurants.
The heart of Marrakech is the crazy main square called Djemaa el Fna. We still have never seen anything like it. And then of course there is the medina with its magnificent palaces and souks (markets). Not to forget the gardens, especially the Jardin Majorelle and André Heller’s Anima.
We stayed three nights in Marrakech. During this period you can get a good insight into the city. If you are traveling with a rental car (more on this later in this article), then only pick up your car on the day of departure. This saves you the nerve-wracking traffic through the old town.
Further blog article: Marrakech Tips
Our accommodation tips: Riad dar Karma (boutique riad), La Sultana (luxury Hotel) Recommended stay: 3 Nights
2. Ait Ben Haddou From Marrakech we take the N9 road in the direction of the Atlas Mountains. Our itinerary leads over the imposing Tizi n’Tichka pass to Ait Ben Haddou – the famous clay town.
The road is winding, but paved throughout and therefore easy to drive on. It meanders higher and higher before you come to 2260 meters high you reach the mountain pass Tizi n’Tichka. Then it goes down again towards Ait Ben Haddou, where you have two options. Either you continue on the N9 (our choice) or you branch off towards Telouet. This route is bumpier than the main route, but should now also be easy to drive on and the landscape is even more impressive.
We needed about 5 hours for the route. ) – including countless photo breaks. The nature here is truly spectacular and we would recommend you allow enough time.
One of the most famous photo opportunities in all of Morocco awaits you in Ait Ben Haddou. Ait Ben Haddou is a so-called Kasbah, a fortified city made of clay. It is enthroned on a hill and towers impressively in the middle of the barren landscape. Ait Ben Haddou is not only UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a film set for countless Hoolywood productions.
Depending on how much time you have on the day of arrival If you still have time, you can either visit Ait Ben Haddou right away or the next morning (which we did). You should take a few hours to stroll through Ait Ben Haddou.
Our accommodation tip: Riad Caravane
Recommended stay: 1 night
3. Dades Valley The next stage of the road trip leads from Ait Ben Haddou to the spectacular Dades Valley ( Gorges du Dades). The river Dades has dug a gigantic gorge here, which is (largely) passable by car.
The first stop is in the small town of Ouarzazate. There is the Kasbah Taourirt. It can’t compete with Ait Ben Haddou, but it’s definitely worth a short photo break.
The route takes you further to Skoura, a small town , which is known for its huge palm oasis. At the town of Boumalne du Dadès, you then turn north. This is where the actual Dades Gorge starts. The route is incredibly spectacular and makes you want to keep stopping to take a picture.
The most famous stage is in the Dades Gorge at kilometers 06 . There the road meanders in hairpin bends up the slope. Once at the top, a small vantage point with what is probably the most famous photo motif in the region awaits you. The next stage destination is only a few kilometers from here: the accommodation called Auberge Chez Pierre. In total, we needed about 5 hours for the route from Ait Ben Haddou including all breaks.
Our accommodation tip: Auberge Chez Pierre Recommended stay: 1 night
4. Via Todra Gorge to Merzouga (Desert) The road trip takes you from Dades Gorge to Tinghir. Here you should definitely stop to admire the beautiful oasis. In Tinghir the road branches off northwards into the famous Todra Gorge.
Todra Gorge is similarly spectacular to Dades Gorge. However, because the Todra Gorge is closer to the main connection between Marrakech and the desert, significantly more buses stop here.
One of the most famous photo opportunities is waiting on Beginning of the gorge on you: The almost vertical, reddish rock walls look almost threatening. We strongly recommend that you drive even further into the gorge. We even drove so far that a river ended our way. You can always get off and explore the landscape a bit on foot.
The longest stage of the day is still to come: From the Todra Gorge it then goes back via Tinghir to Merzouga. Merzouga is a tiny place that right on the edge of the desert. From here you even have a direct view of the dunes – so beautiful!
Our tip: Be sure to arrive on time so that you have enough time to Marvel at the sunset in the desert!
Our accommodation tip: Riad Madu
Recommended stay: 1-2 nights
5. Midelt From the desert, the road trip heads north towards Fes. Since the entire route with a driving time of over 7 hours was too far for us and the nature in this region is very impressive, we decided to make a stopover with an overnight stay in the small town of Midelt, which is about halfway.
The landscape between Errachidia and Midelt is one of the most impressive we have seen in Morocco. We stopped dozens of times for photos and therefore only reached Midelt after about 5 hours. Midelt itself is a rather unspectacular place. There is a very nice promenade, but that’s about it.
Our accommodation tip: Riad Villa Midelt
Recommended stay: 1 night or directly to Fes
6. Fes The next stop on our itinerary is one of the highlights of every trip to Morocco: Fes. You can reach the old royal town from Midelt after a good 3-hour drive. If touristy Marrakech has left you a bit disappointed – Fès will make up for it!
The Medina (i.e. the old town) of Fès is the oldest and largest in all of Morocco. It’s practically impossible to get your bearings, so it’s best to fully immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle. The medina is like a labyrinth and the streets are sometimes so narrow that two people can hardly walk next to each other.
Pure Sensory overload on you. This is especially true for the famous tanneries, which are located in the middle of the medina: leather is still tanned here by hand according to ancient methods – the stench is unbearable. But there are also real treasures waiting for you in the medina, including the Medersa Attarine, a Koranic school from the 14. Century.
Fès is certainly one of the most impressive and exciting travel destinations in Morocco. We highly recommend stopping here on your trip. Quite apart from that, the most beautiful riad of our entire Morocco trip is located in Fès with the Karawan Riad.
Further blog article: Fès Tips
Our accommodation tip: Karawan Riad
Recommended stay: 2-3 nights
7. Casablanca Casablanca is the last stop on the trip, as it is home to the largest airport in Morocco. But we have to admit: Casablanca was our least favorite of all the places in Morocco. The financial city has little flair and unfortunately we could hardly find anything nice in it.
But Casablanca has one of the most impressive buildings in all of Morocco: the Hassan- II Mosque. Not only is it one of the largest mosques in the world, but the mosque’s minaret is also the second tallest in the world. The dimensions of this mosque are simply enormous and we would say that a stop in Casablanca is worthwhile just to see this monument.
Further blog article: Casablanca tips Our accommodation tip: Barcelo Anfa Casablanca Recommended stay: 1 night
2. Map: Morocco itinerary at a glance So that you can get a better overview of the route, we have marked our travel route on this map. As you can see: we have booked an open jaw flight, but it’s no problem at all if you decide (e.g. for reasons of price) for a return flight to Casablanca or Marrakech.
3. Road trip Morocco: More tips Through Morocco with a rental car: Our experiences We can only warmly recommend you to travel Morocco by rental car. You are flexible and can get off at any time to take photos. Many think that driving a car is unsafe. Don’t worry: there is little traffic on the streets and we have not had any other negative experiences. You won’t regret it.
As always, we booked our car through Sunny Cars. Sunny Cars acts as an intermediary, ie you will then be assigned a local rental car company after your booking. What we think is great at Sunny Cars: In the event of damage, the deductible will be refunded to you.
Here you can look for cheap rental cars (fully comprehensive): Sunny Cars
You may be wondering how the traffic in Morocco looks like, do you need an international driving license or what else needs to be considered? You will find answers to all these questions in our detailed Morocco travel guide.
Further blog article: Morocco travel guide
Morocco Travel Guide Are you looking for a printed travel guide? Then we can highly recommend the Stefan Loose travel guide. Loose travel guides are characterized by the fact that they are quite detailed and very well researched.
The new edition of Stefan Loose’s Morocco travel guide was published in 2019 and is therefore quite up-to-date. Our conclusion: Perfect for all individual travelers!
You can buy the travel guide here: Stefan Loose Morocco
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been on a road trip through Morocco did? How was your itinerary? Please leave us a comment. We look forward to your additional tips and experiences!