Majestic dunes, gorges, kasbahs - 7 days
1st day: Fes - Merzouga
Departure from Fes at 8 o'clock, travelling via Azrou, where you can see Barbary apes in the cedar forest of the Middle Atlas. Lunch is in Midelt, “the apple capital”, at the foot of the Ayachi Mountain. We continue over the Tizi-n-Talremt pass and through the Ziz Valley, which is particularly well-known for its palm trees and the length of the oasis. All along the road there are innumerable “ksars”, small villages of individual houses. From here we reach Er Rachidia and then Erfoud, famous for its date festival and fossils. Once you reach the bivouac in Erg Chebbi, you will be greeted with a glass of tea and have time to wander the dunes before the sunset. Dinner is served and followed by an evening of music and the night in a nomad tent.
2nd day: Merzouga – Dades
If you wake up early enough, you can watch the spectacle of the sunrise, when the colour of the dunes and the play of shadows are an awesome sight. After breakfast you can walk in the dunes before leaving for Tinghir and the Toudgha gorges for lunch. The road passes through Tinjdad and the Toudgha Valley. Here there are plenty of opportunities to walk, such as along the river through the gardens or up the road on the other side of the gorges. Later the itinerary continues to the Dades Valley and the Dades Gorges for the night in a hotel.
3rd day: Dades Gorges – Agdez
After breakfast, we go south, through the Saghro mountain via the village of Tazzarine (featured in the film ‘Babel’), range to the village of N’Qob. We drive along the Dra’a Valley towards Agdez, passing oases and Kasbahs, beside the river. The oldest kasbah, Kasbah Tamnougalte, in the Dra'a Valley is situated near Agdez, and you will have some time to visit it. Some parts lie in ruins and some parts are still fully occupied. Today you will have time to walk in the Dra’a Valley as well.
4th day: Agdez – Mhamid
After breakfast, a visit to the Kasbah is planned, before driving off-road further down the Dra’a Valley to Zagora for lunch. The road follows the ancient caravan route between the Dra’a River and the mountains and gives a view of the gardens and kasbahs in the valley. Here again there is time to walk in the oasis if you wish. South of Zagora you can visit the potteries of Tamgroute which supply many restaurants and hotels in the area. There is also a possibility to visit the underground village and the Koranic school. In the afternoon, the trip takes us to M’hamid which marks the end of the paved road and the beginning of the desert. A two-hour camel ride takes us to the bottom of the highest dune where the view of the sunset is magnificent. The night is spent in a nomadic tent close to the dunes of Erg Lihoudi.
5th day: M’hamid – Chagaga
After breakfast there is an opportunity to visit the old village of Mhamid with its Kasbahs and in the afternoon, the 4x4 takes us to the Erg Chagaga dunes, travelling some 60km off-road. This route passes different features of the desert: ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, and the Sacred Oasis to dunes far away from civilization, in the desert proper where the silence and the expanse of sand is overwhelming. These are the greatest dunes in Morocco and are approximately 300m high and 35km long. Dinner and the night are in a bivouac of nomadic tents.
6th day: Chagaga dunes – Ouarzazate
After breakfast, the road crosses another 90km of desert, passing Lake Iriqui and the mountains as well as fossils, for enthusiasts. The first village beyond the desert, Foum Zguid, is the place for lunch and a refreshing shower. We travel north past hills and oases of palm trees until we reach the town of Taznakht, a small Berber town famous for its rugs and gelims. You will have lunch here before continuing to Ouarzazate for the night in a riad.
7th day: Ouarzazate – Marrakesh
After breakfast, we leave for to continue to visit the famous Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. This site has frequently been used as the background for some memorable scenes in many film masterpieces, such as "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Gladiator". We visit the Kasbah and have lunch before driving on to Kasbah Telouet, the palatial residence of the one-time Pasha of Marrakesh, Thami Glaoui. It now stands in ruins after he fled the country following the departure of the French. After visiting the Kasbah, we drive across the Tizi-n-Tichka pass and back to Marrakesh, which we reach by the afternoon.
Prices per person
- There is a 25% reduction for children under 12 years old whilst we do not charge for children under 5.The price for trips includes the transport in a private air-conditioned 4x4;Toyota Prado or Mitsubishi Pajero,and fuel. Experienced English-, French-, Spanish- and Italian-speaking driver / guide, all accommodation and meals as well as the camel ride on the relevant tours. Drinks and tips are not included.These prices are liable to fluctuation according to the current exchange rate.