Dar Soukaina

19 Derb El Ferranne, Riad Laarouss, Marrakech, 40000, Morocco
Dar Soukaina
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Forum Posts

Side trip to desert

by laneresq

Where is the nearest decent area to Marrakesh to see the desert where there is large sand dunes and not just a barren landscape? Please advise approximate travel time also if you know. Thanks!

Re: Side trip to desert

by angiebabe

Hi, well it depends what you want to make do with - the best dunes and largest dunes in Morocco are at the Sahara around Merzouga - Erg Chebbi - which is about 10 hours drive away from Marrakech - but they are accessible from the road with ordinary car - and there are hotels in the desert there and some right up close to the dunes.
I have tips in my Rissani, Merzouga and Morocco pages for some info and contacts re visits there.

The other option is going via Zagora which is about 5 hours from Marrakech - there is a big dune all by itself on the side of the road called Tinfou - which is in one of my tips in my Zagora page - about 15 mins south of Zagora. but then to get to the desert/sahara is about another hour and a half from Zagora down to Mhamid - there are some deserty areas that tourists get taken close to Mhamid to visit and stay overnight and do camel trips - and can drive there if get directions in normal car but nowhere near as majestic and magical as the Merzouga area - but to get to the big dunes called Erg Chigaga of the sahara in that region it is 45 km by 4x4 only - which takes another hour or so from Mhamid - and even then those dunes are only half the size of Erg Chebbi at Merzouga. I have contacts at my Riad Malal tips and other tips in my Zagora page if you want to be taken on a trip into the desert of that area including overnight
the drive down to Zagora and to Mhamid is scenic and the area is interesting though.

Re: Side trip to desert

by smartidea

Erg Chegaga and Erg Chebbi are the two closest desert to Marrakesh, Chigaga is about 90km rough road from Zagora; and Erg chebbi can be reashed by a rented car , the roads are in good shape,,,,

I would recommend doing the trip to Erg Chebbi, as it's one of the amazing desert in Morocco, Erg chegaga is kind of a larg Desert with small dunes.

Re: Side trip to desert

by laneresq

Thanks!!!! I was planning a trip to see Ait Benhaddou from Marrakesh and am contemplating whether to go further and make it a two or three day side tour or just a day trip. Sounds like to see anything significant as far as "dunes" for desert that would be farther than what you can do in one day, right?

Re: Side trip to desert

by laneresq

Thanks! I was planning a side trip to Ait Benhaddou from Marrakech and was just curious how much further it would take to see desert "dunes" like we think of here as the desert from that point. Sounds like it would be a two day plus trip to do that, right?

Re: Side trip to desert

by angiebabe

Yes it youre wanting to go to Ait Benhaddou then yes its worth going on further to the desert - I would definitely choose Merzouga as the desert to see and spend some time in plus do the road up to Dades Gorge and back along the way - and around Kelaa Mgouna valley of the roses roads with kasbahs if youve got time - youre definitely best doing with your own car or car and driver - and best done as a 3 day circuit which is a popular one - especially if you want to stay a night in the desert which is also worth it.

Re: Side trip to desert

by missy.pulliam

It is a great place to explore, that's all I can say...have fun...

Travel Tips for Marrakesh

Language - Arabic & French

by sue_stone

In preparation for my visit to Marrakech I tried to remember some Arabic words that I had learnt when I visited Egypt a few years prior. The only thing I could remember was 'La shukran', which means 'no thank you' - vital words required in cities such as Marrakech when you are constantly hounded to buy or look or follow!

So, besides that, I was a bit concerned about language issues during our stay, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that French was widely spoken, and that people automatically spoke to us in French, not Arabic. I can speak a smattering of French, and understand enough key words to get the gist of what someone is saying so we didn't have any issues. Almost all signs and menus etc that we saw were written in both Arabic and French (and sometimes English too) so that made life a lot easier, and we also found that most people we came into contact with spoke enough English for us to communicate. So don't worry too much about trying to learn Arabic - just brush up on your French and you will be fine.

Women clothes

by johnsakura about Clothes

You'll find lots of these type of dresses. The female djelabas are very feminine and look great. If you think like this: why should I buy one of these? if im not going to wear it on the streets of my town? it makes the perfect night dress to sleep.

Coffee and Cake

by TomorrowsAngel about Local Cuisine

There is a street vendor selling a hot spicy ginger drink with uncooked ginger brownie type cake. It's cheap and very addictive. All the men were lined up along the front of trays filled with coconut-encrusted dark balls of date/ginger.

By Day and By Night

by keeweechic

By day it is a live with snake charmers, henna artists, water sellers, fortune tellers and stalls. As the day goes on, the square gets busier but by early evening the day crowd starts to disperse to make room for the nights entertainment and food stalls and it all becomes like a bit huge restaurant with entertainment

Imported Tradesmen

by keeweechic

The palace is made up of 160 rooms opening off a maze of passageways and corridors. The bedrooms of the Harem varied in size depending on their importance. Some one thousand tradesmen were transported from Fez to work on the huge task which took around 15 years to complete

The Palace is also a favourite roosting ground for storks, seen all along the palace walls.


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 Dar Soukaina

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Dar Soukaina Marrakech
Dar Soukaina Hotel Marrakech

Address: 19 Derb El Ferranne, Riad Laarouss, Marrakech, 40000, Morocco