Back in Morocco, I had the opportunity to go through the Middle Atlas to reach Merzouga from Fez with Noble Explorer. I had already passed several times in certain corners of the Middle Atlas, but this was my first road trip in this region of Morocco this season.
At the end of winter, the landscapes are magnificent. The melting snow offers magnificent landscapes without adding the inconveniences of winter: cold, blocked roads…
In this new post published on Noble explorer blog, I will share with you a short story about this road trip in the Middle Atlas with Noble explorer.
South of Fez: lake, waterfall, Ifrane or Azrou
I told you about it in a previous post entitled Discover Fez, the south of Fez does not lack interesting places for day trips.
During this journey in the Middle Atlas towards Merzouga, I did not make any great discoveries. It was nevertheless an opportunity to see again pleasant places in this region of Morocco such as Lake Dayet Aoua or the monkeys of Azrou nestled in a forest of cedars.
This region is located at 1200/1400 metres above sea level and at the beginning of March there was very little snow left. You will have to wait for the higher roads of the Middle Atlas to see the snow and the still completely snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas looming on the horizon.
After making a few stops on the road between Fez and Ifrane (especially for the Sefrou waterfall or the various lakes located north and east of Ifrane), it was the perfect time for a meal stop in Ifrane. A good mint tea while watching the storks flying above Ifrane, an image that moves away from that which one can have of Morocco.
The Middle Atlas stretches from Fez to Midelt and from Taza to Beni Mellal approximately. On this second portion of the road, the road rises a little more and with the altitude, the landscapes change.
The snow is more visible on the peaks near national road 13. Small wadis are formed here and there with the melting snow.
The landscapes are magnificent and having already travelled to this region in other seasons (September), they are very different, and much greener and the presence of snow and water completely upsets these landscapes.
It is by travelling these roads in winter that one can see the richness of Morocco. Far from the souk, desert or camel clichés, Morocco offers grandiose and very varied landscapes.
Even if the cities that you can cross on this road are not necessarily exciting, the background is often impressive, a magnificent panorama that you can see when entering the small town of Zaïda.
Midelt is surely the best place to spend a night on the road between Fez and Merzouga. Approximately halfway, you can find a few hotels or inns and a good number of restaurants.
Travel time in Morocco
When driving in Morocco, do not rely on travel times provided by Google Maps or your GPS. They are often vastly underestimated.
In general, you can start at an average speed of 50/60 km/h. Some portions are at 80 or 100 km/h but you quickly lose time in the villages or following trucks or other slow vehicles.
Approximate travel time between Fez and Midelt: approximately 4 hours
Watch out for mobile speed cameras. They are very numerous on the roads of Morocco and without keeping an eye on the speedometer, you can quickly exceed the speed limits, especially in the descents…
The snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas
After passing Midelt, we leave the Middle Atlas. The road is still quite long towards Merzouga but the landscapes remain impressive.
A few kilometres after Midelt, we will see, in the distance, the still snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas. The landscapes are always magnificent and the view of the Jbel Ayachi which culminates at 3757 metres is magnificent!
Unlike the road that separates Marrakech from Ouarzazate, the road between Fez and Merzouga does not cross the High Atlas. So there is no switchback mountain road and the driving is very easy.
After passing the High Atlas, which you bypass, the landscapes change quite quickly to arrive at much redder, drier and more desert landscapes. These landscapes remain magnificent.
A road trip in Morocco is a trip in its own right. Navigating the High or the Middle Atlas takes time, but the landscapes are truly breathtaking. If you have already visited several cities in Morocco, I highly recommend that you take the plunge, Book a tour with us and take a road trip in Morocco. Another trip to the same country that has so much to offer!