Erfoud, “the capital of dates”

When travelling in Southern Morocco, why not head off to discover Erfoud and its palm groves? In the heart of the desert, this charming town rests at the foot of the High Atlas on the road of a thousand kasbahs. It makes for a perfect base camp for exploring Morocco’s desert where you will find endless extraordinary landscapes!
The French were the first to settle down in Erfoud in order to keep an eye on the rebellious tribes of the Tafilalet Valley. The town prospered thanks to the flourishing commerce of its marble and its dates. It is also known for its curious marine fossils (coiled goniatites, orthoceras, trilobites, etc.), all about 360 million years old!

Visiting Erfoud

  • Anyone passing through Erfoud must visit its marble quarries. There are many in the region and they are specialized in the extraction and polishing of fossilized rock. Fifteen kilometres south east of the town are the quarries of Goniatite, a very precious black marble brimming with fossils!
  • Borj East : from the top of this boulder that looks over both Erfoud and the surrounding oases, the view is incredible! The Tizimi palm grove extends as far as the eye can see along the Ziz and Rheris oueds. In the distance you can see the first sand dunes, stained pink during the sunset. A magical and serene moment to be had here.

Excursions around Erfoud

  • Venture down the Marha plain a few kilometres from the Fezna oasis. In the middle of the desert you’ll discover the celestial stairway, the golden spiral and Orion’s city, three monumental works by the German artist Hannsjoerg Voth. The site is indescribable!
  • From Erfoud, head north on the N13 towards ksar Maadid, a charming little fortified village on the road of a thousand kasbahs. Not far from here is the Aïn Al Ati spring, an incredible fountain in the middle of the desert!
  • Next, go south of Erfoud on the Rissani road through the landscapes of the reg and the palm groves of the Tafilalet Valley. Fifty kilometres after Rissani you can reach Merzouga, and the edge of the Chebbi erg.


Erfoud is 20 km north of Rissani, 280 km from Ouarzazate, and 320 km south of Meknes. You can opt to share a bus or taxi or get there by your own means.