first time to morocco
after many years of procrastinating and to be fair waiting for my four kids to be of age to travel comfortably we are finally up for a camping trip to Morocco! I've four kids from 4 to 13 yrs all girls and have a 7 seater Nissan Patrol. We reside in southern spain and been taking small trips here and there getting to grips with off roading etc. Anyway, we are considering a trip to Morocco for a 14 day trip and would like to take in the Cities of Meknes, Fes and Marrakesh. Would preferably like to pivot from a couple of campsites near these as I don't want to subject the kids to too much driving and having to pack / unpack everyday. Therefore any ideas on campsites near these, this place came up near Fes and Meknes CAMPING AMAZIGH MOROCCO - VANS, GUEST HOUSE, does anyone have any other recommendations, what about near Marrakesh. I would envisage pivoting from these for half / day trips to other sites etc. Don't want to do anything too technical on the driving side just dirt tracks and washed river beds etc. What are your thoughts and recommendations?
Yes, I know that campsite very well, it's in a good location just down the road from some land I tried to buy!
Azrou is an ideal place to base yourself, it's a very friendly little town. The Tuesday weekly market is one of the biggest in the Middle Atlas. There are wild monkeys nearby, volcanos, springs, lakes and cedar forests.
Youtube video of monkeys: YouTube - Barbary Macaques in Cedar Forest, Morocco
I've attached a map below showing where to see the wild monkeys (the campsite is roughly the red dot on the map).
Spots 1 and 2: from Azrou (1450m) head south on the N13 to Midelt. As you leave town you pass an Afriquia fuel station on your right and ascend through a Holm Oak (evergreen oak) forest. 6-7km after the Afriquia you start to see the first of the cedars. Spot 1 is the crossroads with rock and fossil sellers on the left. If there's none here, or if you are coming from the south, the second spot is right at the southern edge of the cedar forest before open countryside.
Spot 3: head into Azrou from the campsite and turn left on a tarmac road signposted 'Cedar Gourand'. Carry on for 4km, the last couple of hundred metres are gravel and park up by the big dead cedar tree.
I've also included a waypoint marking Mischlifen, a winter ski resort set in the caldera of an extinct volcano. A nice round trip from Azrou is to take the N13 south past monkey spots 1 and 2, then take the P7231 to Mischlifen. Take a small road to the right to descend into the caldera. Afterwards continue on and return via Ifrane. As you exit Ifrane for Azrou, take the road to the left by the side of the Shell station signposted Ras El Ma (marked in orange on the map), for a scenic ride back through the forest.
There's also a pile of easy gravel pistes in the area which are the white roads on the map.
Travelling south I recommend going through through the cedar forest and limestone karst scenery going from Azrou to Ain Leuh, Sources Oum er Rbia (fierce springs), Aguelmane Azigza (good wild camping spot) and then on to Khenifra.
Come back if you want more info.
Azrou is beautiful.
we found it a little cold in late October but we had been a long way down the south for the 2 weeks before.
thought it worth mentioning though.
we really liked the place (even if it was only for 24hours) :(
Some campsites for you I have stayed at.
Camping moulay idriss N34 00.920 W5 33.743 (Nice enough although small)
Camping International N33 59.996 W4 58.162 (Was a dive in 2009, but a better in 2010)
This web site shows it Impression of Camping International in Fes, Morocco | www.nomadic-one.com
Camping le Relais de Marrakech N31 42.420 W7 59.409 (Nice, with swimming pool)
Some of the camp sites are geared up more for motorhomes than tents--the French for motorhome being camping car--and the ground is often rock hard. Pop-up/self supporting tents are easier in this circumstance, alternatively some very strong tent pegs and a massive mallet.
Tinmay 4x4 Centre has good camping facilities including a swimming pool. It's about 20km north west of Midelt at N32 45.090 W4 55.145.
Chefchaouen has Camping Azilan which is high above the town at N35 10.536 W5 16.001
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