Morocco Road Trip: From Fes to Marrakech

Morocco is a country from 1001 nights. Oriental, colourful, with spicy or sweet smells around every corner. Hectic and turbulent in the big cities, there is a completely different way of life and a fascinating landscape in the hinterland. Blogger Elisa takes you on a road trip through Morocco in early spring.

My Morocco road trip took me along narrow roads to huge reservoirs whose banks shone pink, past lush green fields that I would not have expected in such a blaze of color so far south.

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A Morocco road trip from Fès to Marrakech in a rental car

What I love most about road trips? This is the infinite freedom that allows me such a journey. Only the tank needle is a fixed point that you have to keep an eye on from time to time. Otherwise I can decide anew at every crossroads where the path should lead me. And the trip through Morocco went exactly in this style – unplanned, with only a rough direction in mind.We need your approvalThis content is provided by Google Maps. By enabling this content, your personal data may be processed by the vendor and cookies may be set.


Fès – cozy and colourful 

Our journey started with a flight from Munich to Marrakech, from there we took a rental car to Fès. The city is an excellent starting point for a road trip, as it is still quite manageable. A large parking lot at the gates of the old town offers enough parking space and the ancient souk gives an excellent insight into the culture and diversity of the area. Leather goods of all colors and shapes are for sale on every corner. From the roofs of the city you have a wonderful view of the surrounding terraces, which serve as an extension of the living space and are also often equipped with various farm animals.

Accommodation recommendation Fès: Dar Bouanania

On the rooftops of Fez in Morocco, the view is of red brick buildings, clotheslines, satellite dishes and a mosque.
Above the rooftops of Fes.

Tazekka National Park and Friouato Cave

We started our road trip eastbound. The Tazekka National Park is located just under 120 kilometers from Fès, but due to the many photo stops and narrow roads, the journey time can be extended to a good 4 hours. Our goal should actually be the Friouato grotto, a huge hole in the ground and the only stalactite cave in North Africa.

 During our visit, access to the grotto was unfortunately closed due to construction work (according to information from a local, the construction work should have been completed since summer 2017), instead we let the unique landscape of the national park work its magic on us over a picnic.

On the green hill in the Tazekka National Park in Morocco you can enjoy a great view over the Friouato Cave.
View across the Friouato Cave to the Tazekka National Park.
In the hilly hinterland of Morocco, visitors can expect lush green meadows and yellow flowering plants.
The lush green landscape of the Moroccan hinterland.

Countless nameless streets and Beni-Mellal

We changed direction and continued south. What was special about the whole tour were not the classic highlights and sights, but the moments in between. So we had to stop in the middle of nowhere first thing in the morning to take in the lush green landscape. 

At the El-Hansali reservoir we were given oranges and invited to a mint tea and tagine. And in Beni-Mellal, a town on the western edge of the Middle Atlas Mountains, we got an impromptu tour from a young Moroccan we picked up looking for free WiFi. He in front in his dark BMW (his pride) and we behind in our white Dacia.

Accommodation recommendation Timoulilte near Beni-Mellal: Maison d’hotes Ait Bou Izryane

A tourist stands on a small hill in Morocco, her gaze is directed towards the El Hansali reservoir.
The moments when nature shows itself from its most beautiful side.
An antique teapot and three tea glasses are arranged on a silver tray, the tea glasses are filled with fresh mint for a typical Moroccan mint tea.
Moroccan mint tea – the national drink.

Road trip through Morocco: A luminous lake and a thunderous waterfall

While before we always went along the edge of the central Atlas Mountains, we now drove right into it. The road snaked up a hill, only to drop halfway down the other side at the top. The banks of the Bin El-Ouidane dam shone in various shades of red and we lingered for several photo stops.

 At the next destination, the Ouzoud waterfalls, we already noticed the proximity to Marrakech and the tourist development of nature. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the picnic we had brought with us to the sound of the roaring water.

The bank of Morocco's Bin El Ouidane dam glows in different shades of red, the water reflects calmly and clearly in the sun, in the background lie green-covered hills in the haze.
The luminous bank at the Bin El-Ouidane dam.
Behind a small village, the water of the Ouzoud waterfall in Morocco flows down a green overgrown mountain in narrow channels.
A highlight of the Morocco road trip: the Ouzoud waterfalls near Marrakech.

Traffic chaos in Marrakech

Google Maps and Marrakech are a bad combination and so my visit to the city started with a self-inflicted traffic chaos in the medina. Marrakech didn’t touch my travel heart too much, but of course that’s a completely subjective view. I recommend everyone to form their own opinion about the city. I only have to raise my index finger very briefly: Please do not take any photos with monkeys or snakes on the medieval market square Djemaa el Fna.

The entrance area of ​​the old Ben Youssef Koran school in Morocco is decorated with small, colorful tiles and paintings. An elderly gentleman has sat down on a bench under an archway to linger, his gaze directed to the street on which a cyclist is just passing.
In the entrance area of ​​the old Ben Youssef Koran school.
In the middle of a red house wall in Marrakesh there is a small cookshop, the cooking pot is old and burned in, small clay pots with pointed lids were arranged over a glass case.
In the medina there are many small and open food stalls.

What you should consider on a Morocco road trip

Major car rental companies can be found in every city in Morocco, mostly near the airport. When making your choice, pay attention to the common companies that are also known in Germany. You should definitely take out fully comprehensive insurance when renting, and also insist on the “Full-Full” tank policy. Cheap offers are best found online, search portals such as are ideal for research from home.

Outside the cities, traffic is very similar to that in Germany. In the inner cities, on the other hand, it can get very hectic, here pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders, donkey carts and sometimes grazing cattle join a large number of cars. Then it is simply a matter of keeping calm and surrendering to the flow of traffic. You should stick to the speed limits as far as possible, you will encounter police checks in every remote area.

Gas stations are basically in every small town. However, if you are planning a longer route through unpopulated areas, I recommend stopping at every petrol pump you come across.

In Morocco's hinterland, a shepherd lets his brown sheep graze on green hills.
People on the go: a shepherd with his flock in the hinterland.

After the road trip is before surfing: The fishing village of Taghazout near Agadir

The road trip is over, the rental car stays in Marrakech, but I’m on my way to another highlight of my trip through Morocco. My destination is a small dreamy fishing village on the Atlantic, where the calm and serenity of the surfing residents and visitors can be felt on every corner.

 Taghazout is located just under 25 kilometers north of Agadir, but you are far away from the hustle and bustle of Moroccan cities. Cafés, restaurants and surf shops are lined up along the only main street in the village, and the whole flair is shaped by the search for the perfect wave.

 In the village you spend the time between the individual surf sessions. You check the forecast over a mint tea or coffee at Cafe Florida or chat about the heaviest wipeout over a delicious tagine.

Above the roofs of Taghazout in Morocco you have a beautiful view of the sea.
Above the rooftops of Taghazout.
On Morocco's coast near Taghazout, water sports enthusiasts can be seen on the sandy beach.
Various beaches offer perfect conditions for surfers.

I wish you a wonderful Morocco road trip, with hopefully unique impressions and friendly encounters.

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