Travelers looking to get from Merzouga to Aït Benhaddou will save themselves the confusion of public transportation transfers by hiring a private car. The total travel time for the 250-mile (400 km) journey is approximately five hours and 30 minutes, and the highway passes through many fascinating points of interest along the way. Taking a private transfer will allow you to stop and experience these points as you please and stay at each for as long as you like.
This 8-day trip starts and ends in Marrakech, including both Merzouga and Aït Benhaddou. It passes over the High Atlas mountains into Morocco's desert, finishing with a two-day hike through small villages in the Atlas foothills and an overnight with a local family.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 5 hours, 30 minutes
The trip from Merzouga to Aït Benhaddou covers a wide range of topography, history, and culture.
You will travel through the flat desert for about three hours until you reach the city of Tinghir, an oasis with excellent views of the mountains. Stop to walk among the paths next to canals, and watch local farmers tend to their vegetable crops and gardens.
Outside of the city, you will find the spectacular 500-foot-tall cliffs of the Todra Gorge. The Todra Gorge is a series of limestone river canyons on the eastern side of the High Atlas Mountains. Stopping to snap some photos is a must. Serious hikers may want to budget even more time to explore the trails.
A little over an hour past Tinghir, you will come into the Valley of the Roses, which is filled with its eponymous flower in the spring. If you are traveling in May, check to see if the rose festival is happening while you are passing through.
On the last leg of your journey, 46 miles (75 km) outside of Aït Benhaddou, you will find the Kasbah Amridil near the city of Skoura. The 300-year-old kasbah is still owned and in use by the same family that built it.