a VirtualTourist member from Hong Kong
We went to Tunisia early this year for just a week without visiting the desert. We hope to spend at least an overnight in the Sahara when we visit Africa next time and the country may be Morocco. In Morocco, we definitely will also visit Casablanca. As we have already been to Tunisia and Egypt, I would like to know if the cities are very similar and that how many days should I spend there? Thanks.
Your best bet for an overnight stay in the desert is nearby Merzouga. The Erg Chebbi dunes are part of the Sahara. You can quite easily reach this destination from Marrakech ina 3 (better 4) days trip, guided or on your own by car.
never been to Tunisia and/or Egypt, so I can not compare cities.
Moroccan cities are very different from both Egyptian and Tunisian cities. Casablanca is not exactly a tourist destination and too far from the desert. Marrakech would be my first choice city for an overnight desert trip. There are many possibilities available. Also consider a couple of days in Essaouira, a delightful coastal town .
I had 10 days or so in Tunisia particularly to get down to the Douz desert festival and had already seen a lot of Morocco at that point. My opinion too is that Morocco and Tunsia on a whole are rather different from each other. and both worth seeing.
Tunisia has a lot more roman and pre-roman historic sites, Morocco has a lot more people still living in the rural areas living and working off the land....not so common to see people out and about with donkeys for example in Tunisia whereas you will see donkeys, mules and horses still used all over Morocco. In my opinion there are more beauty spots and stunning landscapes in Morocco than Tunisia which makes the journey just as interesting as the destination..
the sahara desert around Merzouga ie the erg chebbi dunes area are pretty impressive in my opinion.
How do you have and would you get a car and self drive - certainly the most time efficient way to see a good range of sites - make a circuit and go...
In addition to Marakech and Essaouira if youre coming down from Casablanca Id recommend a visit, even a night at Cascade douzoud which is just up in the hills above Azilal with northern Africas highest waterfalls.
then you could do a circuit from Marrakech along the dades valley road via the Glouai headquarters of Telouet to Ait Benhaddou and then to the desert ie Merzouga and back via Alnif and Nkob with a drive down to Zagora and back up to Ouarzazate and out to Essaouira.