My husband and I loved this trip. It was the highlight of our holiday. Yes the car journey was long, but through the most breath taking views, it didn't feel long to me. The tour guide Abdul was fantastic. He was so knowledgeable. He knew all the best places for pictures and gave advice on where to stop for food and how much we should be spending. He gave us so much information on everything in Morocco, not just what was related to the tour. We asked many questions and he had an answer for every single one. I feel Abdul made the tour what is was and was a fantastic guide. If you like stunning views, a bit of adventure and are pushed for time this day trip is perfect. If we were to go back I think we would have spent a couple of days in Ouarzazate which is a tour they offer and we would have got more out of the area. But for a day trip I don't think you could fit much more into it. To sum up we were rally happy with this tour.
What a great tour! Weather was perfect for a trip through the mountains and out to Ouarzazate. The local guide was very knowledgeable and made sure we were comfortable for the long trip. Plenty of stops for photos and chance to 'customise' our tour spending more time in either location
I had a wonderful time on this tour. I booked the tour as an individual, so I was a bit annoyed at having to pay a substantial surplus, but it was worth it (especially as it meant I was by myself). I was promptly met by Mostafa, my guide and driver for the three days, at a pre-arranged meeting point just off to main square in the medina. Mostafa can communicate essential information in English and respond to simple questions, but he struggles beyond that. However, he speaks excellent French and is also one of the few people I have come across in my time learning standard Arabic who can talk fluently, at length and gladly in MSA, which was great for us both, if a little challenging at times. However, if there are other students of Arabic out there, I thoroughly recommend taking any tour with Mostafa, who is just a really great guy and excellent company.
The tour itself fits in an awful lot, so it will at times feel long, but there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about, including a self-guided tour of Aït Benhaddou, a tour of a movie set (in disrepair!) in Ouarzazate and then in Ourzazate itself on the first day. Incidentally, lunch on the first day was included as part of the movie set tour. We arrived into Ourzazate at about 4pm and checked into the hotel, which was quite nice, had lovely views from its pool and spa and hammam facilities (which weren't available).
Day two was more driving down through the Draa Valley to Zagora for lunch, arriving in Mhamid by mid-afternoon. In the end, we went to Erg Chiagaga, not Erg Lihoudi, which was great. I was alone at the camp and was very well looked after. The camels did, however, look a little sad. The camel ride up to the dunes was on arrival at about 16:30. In the early morning, I had a walk up myself, then breakfast and then back in the car to Marrakech. Lots of driving, but stunning views through the snowy and very windy mountains! We arrived back in Marrakech at about 18:00. It was a fantastic trip.
We were offered to take on the tour one day later to enjoy the best of the weather which we did. Our guide, Ahmed was great! He took us to some amazing places and showed us amazing sceneries. He told us plenty about Morocco, its culture and its people. He was more than happy to answer all our questions. He is a very skilled driver with a great sense of humour and offered to stop when we wanted to take pictures. We are not sure that Ouarzazate is really worth travelling to and visiting as except from a few studios which we could not visit, there is not much to see. We would have preferred to have more time to spend in Ait Benhaddou which was definitely the highlight of the trip. On our way back, Ahmed took us on a bit of off-road which was great fun. We would definitely recommend this trip and our guide Ahmed! This was definitely the highlight of our stay in Morocco!!
The main reason I went on this trip was to see a bit of the Atlas mountains and Ait Benhaddou. This meet my expectations. I got to see part of the Atlas mountains in stunning views and go to see the desert on the other side at a fairly reasonable price.
I have already been to Tangiers, Rabat, Fes, Marrakesh, Casa Blanca, Meknes and a handful of other places in Morocco mostly without guides. But in general: Manage your expectations and read up on the sites before you go. Guides can be hit or miss and companies rotate through 5 or 6 guides for a given trip to spread the work and to make sure there is always someone, so quality may drop because there is a new person in the rotation.
This is a day trip. Expect around 12 hours on this trip. Each way due to mountain roads and traffic will be about 4 to 4:30 hours. Make sure to buy any souvenirs on the way out to Ouarzazate because all the shops will be closed on your way back. You will get about one hour in Ouarzazate and about 2 hours in Ait Benhaddou to eat and see it. Prices at the cafes in Ait Benhaddou were reasonable for a tourist trap.
My guide, Abdul, spoke fluent French and English. Which was great because I need some French practice. But he mostly spoke English for the other travelers.
He will not guide you through the sites when you arrive, but he did give realistic times for spending at the places had to ask him. You are going to have to pay more for a better package for that.
He drove very well in the mountains, safely passing. He explained lot of little details for the other passengers. We made short stops along to way out Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate in order to see some views and he explained some of the berber culture and other background information.
He also gave tips like fair prices for some of the stuff to buy. He did not push or drop us at any stores or shops to be harassed by vendors this is way too common in Morocco, but every stop was for a view the place on the tour.
Great day crossing the High Atlas mountains with diverse countryside and wonderful views. Our driver, Chakib, was fantastic - he was safe and very knowledgeable about the areas and local customs. We loved climbing to the top of Ait Benhaddou, and this was really the highlight of the trip. Ouarzazate was, in my opinion, not really worth visiting apart from eating in a nice restaurant with a good view. We went to the museum of cinema (waste of time). I think this trip would be improved by making Ouarzazate the first and shorter stop (or omitting it altogether) and coming back to and spending more time at Ait Benhaddou - we felt we didn't have enough time here (only 45 minutes).
Incredible value for money. Mustafa is a fantastic guide, who put our safety and wellbeing first. He was flexible and adaptable and tailored the tour to suit our personal interests. The first hotel in Ouarzazate offered a terrace pool and restaurant, spa facilities and a bar. The highlight for us was the basic camp that we got to by trekking on camels for a couple of hours into the heart of the Sahara. Surrounded by huge, soft sandunes, sitting around a campfire eating soup and tagine was a truly authentic experience. The mud huts were basic but comfortable and had rustic charm but we chose to sleep under the stars outside instead. Waking up to the sunrise over the dunes is an experience we will never forget. Although on the outset it looked like we were trying to see and do a lot in a very short time, we came away feeling like we've really seen Morocco while still having plenty of time to relax and take it all in.
Beautiful drive thru the Atlas Mountains to get to Ouarzazate! Our driver/tour guide was great. He picked us up promptly at pick-up time and told us to take our time finishing breakfast as we were the only two people on tour that day. I felt bad for the guy, he drove us around for ten hours that day. Five up and five back and never once complained about the drive or his job. We were so impressed with our driver we hired him the next day for a Marrakech private city tour. We both tipped our guide $20 USD each which he was very happy to receive. The conditions going thru the Atlas Mountains were at times bad as it was mid-January. There was heavy snow in the morning, but cleared up going back to Marrakech late afternoon. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for an adventure!
The drive was scenic. Out of the 12-hour trip, 8 hours were spent driving/riding in a 4x4 SUV through winding mountain two-lane roads where the driver would make frequent passes to get ahead of the many trucks moving at a slower speed. The driver did make photo stops and bathroom breaks. The other 4 hours were spent as follows: one hour in the town of Ouarzazate either walking around and shop or visit the film museum, 30 minutes driving to lunch and 2.5 hours at the lunch place where there is an adjacent old town/ruins you may visit after lunch if you can take the heat. It was a decent experience but you should be prepared for the long drive in a car without air condition.
Our experience did not come close to the booking details on your site and the contracted tour company was unhelpful in resolving the issue appropriately.
Here are a few of the more noteworthy issues or things that my friend and I feel a bit mislead on:
- the drive out was 4.5 hours and back was 3.5-3.75 nowhere near the 3 hour mark listed on Viator's site.
- we never even had the chance to go see the film museums. The driver simply pointed at the studios and drove past. This was disappointing to say the least.
- the Berber museum was closed for Ramadan, which we understand but should have been communicated to us with an option to decline the trip. Our driver didn't understand our surprise it was closed.
- in Ouarzazate we drove next to one castle and then went to a 'museum' where the merchant spoke for a few minutes about Berber culture and then hounded us to buy rugs and other items. Not a museum by any standard.
- our driver was late. Not by a whole lot but still not a great impression. He drove quite fast still the ride was longer than stated but barely said a word the entire trip.
- the UNESCO site was nice but our driver basically said it was old and a UNESCO site. Hardly things that weren't immediately apparent.
I tried to resolve this issue with the locally contracted company, Morocco Attractive Day Tours, and their customer service was responsive but unhelpful. This 'tour' was a complete waste of time.
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