Day 1: Airport – Marrakech
The first day of this tour will serve as a contact with Marrakech and the country. Our English-speaking driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to the riad in the medina that will welcome you for the first night. And depending on the arrival time of your flight, you may or may not have free time for a first glimpse of Marrakech, which you will discover in depth at the end of this tour, around the dunes of Morocco.
Day 2: Marrakech – Telouet – Ait Ben Haddou – Draa Valley
Now yes: after breakfast at the riad in Marrakech, we will head by road to the dunes of Morocco, although we will not really reach them until the next day. But on the way we will discover many other places of interest, starting with the High Atlas Mountains: on our way south we will cross this huge natural barrier through the Tizi n’Tichka pass at more than 2,200 meters above sea level, whose ascent will give us spectacular views of its landscapes and the villages lying on the slopes.
Shortly after passing this port, we will make the first visit of the day: the kasbah of Telouet. It was the fortress and residence of the ‘Pasha’ of Marrakech or Lord of the Atlas, Thami El Glaoui, and although its exterior shows signs of the scars of time, inside we will admire patios and rooms of the most exotic and suggestive.
This kasbah, in fact, will be the appetizer of another that will come our way several tens of kilometers ahead: the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. This fortified village is the best example of Berber architecture, playing in the past a key role in the caravan routes in the desert. Its imposing adobe ensemble, which we will admire from different points of view, is still home to some families. Of course, it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and even today continues to captivate the major film producers, who set here the plot of films and series such as Game of Thrones.
After passing through Ouarzazate, also known for its famous film studios, we will cross another pass, that of Tizi n’Tinifift, in this case lower but very unique for its steep mountains of black and gray rock. And soon after, in Agdz, our route enters the Draa Valley, home to the largest palm grove in North Africa, with more than 150 km long. Traveling through it not only offers us the vision of these trees so characteristic of Morocco, but also the kasbahs, local villages and humble orchards, which defy the aridity of the environment.
Precisely in a small village in the Draa Valley is the kasbah where you will have dinner and spend the second night of this circuit, already with the mind set on the spectacular dunes of Morocco that await us the next day.
Day 3: Draa Valley – Erg Chegaga
After breakfast at the riad in the Draa Valley, we will return to the road with a clear direction: the dunes of Morocco. Actually, the asphalt ends in the town of Foum Zguid, so our 4×4 will travel from then on dirt tracks to enter the real Sahara desert.
From here, the itinerary will remind us of the Paris-Dakar rally, and not by chance: we will cross the great dry lake of Iriki, whose vast plain was part of some stages of this legendary event, because on its terrain you can reach really high speeds. Today it is a National Park that separates us from the great goal of the day: Erg Chegaga.
Erg Chegaga is one of the three main dune fields of Morocco, and it is where our tent camp is located, where we will be welcomed with a Berber tea, as tradition dictates. In the sand formations of the environment we will glimpse a unique sunset and in the evening, after enjoying a typical dinner and a pleasant atmosphere around a campfire, we will contemplate a sky with stars of special brightness: they will still shine in your retinas when you retire to sleep in your tent, in this same camp.
Day 4: Erg Chegaga – Zagora
Not all of the Sahara desert is made up of dunes in Morocco, far from it. And so we will discover on this fourth day. But first it will be the turn of another moment that can only be lived in a natural environment like this: the sunrise in the middle of this sea of fine golden sand. After bathing our eyes with the first light of dawn, we will have breakfast in the tents camp and return aboard our 4×4.
Ahead, we will see landscapes that were also common in the legendary Paris-Dakar rally. In this case, in the arid dirt terrain that characterizes the desert of Zagora, where our 4×4 will move like a fish in water. And in the town that gives its name to this unique portion of the Moroccan Sahara you will find our accommodation: a real orchard with all the comforts and perfectly integrated into the environment. Its facilities, with swimming pool, spa and other private and communal spaces, are an attraction in itself.
For this reason, it is worth arriving in good time to enjoy a refreshing swim in peace and quiet, or to sit comfortably to discuss the day’s experiences and the circuit travelled so far. And at the end of the day, dinner and night’s rest at the hotel.
Day 5: Zagora – Erg Ouzina
On the fifth day of the circuit, the dunes of Morocco return. But the landscapes that we will enjoy until we reach them are also worth it. Therefore, after breakfast at the hotel in Zagora, we will return to our 4×4 to feel the adrenaline of crossing hamadas, wadis or rivers without water, small Berber villages or impressive dry lakes like the huge Lac Maider.
In this way we arrive at Erg Ouzina, another of the great dune fields of Morocco. Here, we will be welcomed with Berber tea, to continue on foot to the heart of these formations of fine sand, taking a pleasant walk. The sunset will find us in them, perhaps at the top of the Great Dune, an unbeatable place to enjoy the sunset.
Very special will also be the Berber party that we will attend in the last hours of the day, enlivened with local rhythms and flavors. And dinner and the night’s rest will be precisely here, in an exotic and picturesque kasbah in the middle of the desert.
Day 6: Erg Ouzina – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
On this sixth day of the circuit, we will get up early to see a new sunrise over the dunes. After that, you will enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Kasbah hotel in Ouzina, as well as a restorative shower.
After that we will be ready to enter Ouzina, a tiny village that gives its name to these Moroccan dunes. Here live a few families, which we will know in first person: they will tell us about their way of life, their culture and their customs.
Later, the same will be done by the inhabitants of the ‘black village’ of Khemlia, so called because of the skin color of its people, as they have their roots in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, the hallmark of identity are their percussion rhythms, so unique that they are listed as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
Back in our 4×4, we will face the last stretch on track and asphalt to Merzouga. In this town, which gives its name to another portion of desert, we will change means of transport: the 4×4 will give way to the 8×8, that is, to the camels that will take us to the third Erg of this route through the dunes of Morocco: Erg Chebbi. This unique ride ends in a tent camp located in the heart of the dunes, under a spectacular starry sky. In this camp you will have dinner and spend the night, with all the comforts.
Day 7: Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Rissani – Erfoud – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley – Skoura – Ouarzazate
On the seventh day of this circuit we will say goodbye to the dunes of Morocco. But it will be a farewell in style: we will contemplate a new sunrise over the dunes, have a delicious breakfast at the camp and return by camel to Merzouga. There will also be time for a shower (in the camp or in a hotel depending on the package).
The route will now take us through other interesting towns of the Moroccan desert, such as Rissani or Erfoud. Very attractive is also Tinghir (or Tinerhir), which means “mountain town” in Tamazight language and accounts for its location between the elevations of the environment, although embedded in a beautiful palm grove from which stand out its red houses.
A little further on we will reach the Todra Gorges, another of the unique landscapes of southern Morocco: it is a rocky canyon formed by thousands of years of erosion of the river of the same name, which now appears only seasonally. Its walls reach 200 meters in some sections and form a picture worthy of seeing, either on foot through the gorge or by car along its winding road.
From here, the Dades Valley and the Valley of the Roses form the so-called Route of the Thousand Kasbahs: remains of ancient fortresses appear here and there, as well as palm groves and other tongues of vegetation. In this way we will reach Ouarzazate, where the hotel is located, where dinner will be served and where you will sleep tonight.
Day 8: Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After 8 days of intense route through the spectacular dunes of Morocco, the last kilometers on the road await us. We will face them after breakfast at the hotel in Ouarzazate and will take us back through the High Atlas to Marrakech. Upon arrival, you will have free time after unloading at the riad in the medina where you will sleep for the night. The day is therefore conducive to shopping or visiting some of the sights of this red city, preferably those that will not be seen the next day during the guided tour.
Day 9: Marrakech
After a good rest in the riad and a hearty breakfast, it’s time to discover the great city of this circuit: Marrakech. Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco (its historic medina and Jemaa el-Fna Square), it houses monuments of great beauty and value, testimony to its past as the capital of Almoravids and Saadis
Our official guide will explain all the details of these monuments and their history, as well as other questions about life in this Imperial City. During the visit, which will take the whole morning, you will see buildings such as the Kutubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, the Ben Youssef Medersa or the Bahia Palace, among others. You will also visit some of the artisan souks scattered throughout the medina.
The afternoon will be free again, for further shopping or to delve into the culture of the city, for example in the Museum of Marrakech, the Majorelle Gardens or other places of interest. And in the evening, rest in the riad of the medina.
Day 10: Marrakech – Airport
The tenth and last day begins with breakfast at the riad in the medina and will continue according to the time of the flight back home. That is, there may be free time for a last stroll through the city or we will be scheduled to leave for the airport. In either case, our driver will transfer you in a private vehicle to the terminal. There, we will put an end to our services, with gratitude for the trust placed in us and with the hope of a next meeting to continue exploring the beauties of Morocco.
TOURIST PACKAGE INCLUDED
- Pick up and drop off at the airport
- Comfortable private transportation with air conditioning
- English speaking driver / tour guide
- Sandboarding in the desert
- Camel ride
TOURIST PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS
- Plane tickets