Morocco: The Road to Erfoud

Morocco Road Trip, Part 1: From Fez to Erfoud

I must admit, I came to Morocco with one thing in mind: to photograph the golden sand dunes of the Sahara Desert at sunset, and I’m not even a photographer.

To get to the Sahara I expected an arduous road trip, a few stops here and there, one night at a hotel, one journey and then another. However, the whole trip was totally a pleasant surprise. We stayed in Fez for a couple of nights and visited the oldest (8th century) Medina.

Tired from exploring and walking through a maze of more than 800 very narrow streets of El Bali Medina the day before, I expected to sleep during the whole journey to Erfoud where our five-star campsite (hotel) was located near the Sahara Desert. Well, I did not sleep during the ten-hour journey because I was so enthralled by the scenery - a gradual collection of landscapes that meld together to create a real sense of Morocco. This segment of the journey gives the literal meaning to the saying, “It’s not the destination, but the whole journey”.

We left Fez early in the morning. The hillsides were softened by haze as our vehicle climbed the Atlas Mountain. The sun started to peer through the cedar woods of the Middle Atlas Mountain like something from an impressionist painting.

We stopped for coffee at Ifrane, a charming ski resort, said to be the “Switzerland of North Africa”. For a winter off-season, it was crowded with young people.

After passing Azrou, a tourist and University town, the crowd melted away from our view. Soon the road followed the lines of the mountain with short, straight section and bends to reveal patches of snow on the mountainside, and then what appeared to be a ski resort, but people were just frolicking in the snow. All I know that were threading through the Atlas Mountain, but our guide would occasionally announce which Atlas Mountain peak we were seeing, for example, the Lower Atlas, Middle or Upper Atlas.

I thought the view of a snow-covered mountain fading into a hazy blue, bisected by a gray mound, and salmon-colored valley best represents a micro-climate.

The drive was overwhelmingly beautiful as the road revealed different scenery and colors – from the snowy peaks of the lower, middle and high Atlas Mountain chain to ocher to salmon, to cocoa brown and red.

We arrived at Erfoud just about sunset. I took some photos as the sun fall away beyond the horizon to give me this beautiful backdrop.

[Where is Erfoud? You may ask! Somebody made a comment on my you tube video naming the exact location, so I’ll just give you the Wiki link Erfoud for this oasis town near the Sahara.]

Here's the link to my You Tube video: click  HERE  or to watch it on You Tube.

Click on the thumbnail below to watch the short version.

Note:  All photos by the author



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