Dades gorges, Merzouga Erg Chebbi desert, Fez – 4 days

 

1st day: Marrakesh – Ouarzazate
Morning departure at 8.30 from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh to cross the High Atlas Mountains.

After the Tichka pass, you leave the main road and take a side road to the Telouet Kasbah, which belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, the Glaoui family. Each addition to the building now stands in ruins exposed to the wind and the rain, having been abandoned and plundered after the last Pasha fled the country following the departure of the French in 1956. Wait to be pleasantly surprised by the traditional interior decoration as you reach the farthest end of the Kasbah.

From here you drive along the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ounila Valley, full of bends in the roads, surprises at the hues of the rock and soil, Berber villages and gardens, as well as smaller Kasbahs.  Almost at the end of the road, you reach Aït Ben Haddou, where you stop for a tasty lunch.  This will energise you for a visit to the Kasbah, after which you continue to Ouarzazate, where you visit us in the office for tea and to pay your balance.

The night is spent in a riad/guest house in or near the town.

2nd day: Ouarzazate – Dades Gorges
After breakfast, you set out towards the Dades Gorge, passing the Skoura Oasis, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees.

From here, our route takes us through Kela’a M’gouna, the Valley of Roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May. Here we stop to see the cosmetic articles which are made locally from the valley’s abundant flowers. These products are well-known throughout Morocco and are highly valued.

From here, you take an off-road route to have a better impression of the landscape. Along the way, you will stop at caves, used by whichever Berber nomads happen to pass and claim residence there. We will have a glass of tea with them before continuing to the Dades Gorge for lunch. This leaves you half a day to walk in the valley or to spend it relaxing or simply strolling by the fields and gardens, or having tea with a Berber family. You spend the night in a guest house.

3rd day: Dades gorges – Merzouga
After breakfast, the trip continues a short distance to Tinghir and the very different Toudgha gorges where you can take a short walk to appreciate the steep sides to the gorge and the narrow expanse of the sky above.

From there, you continue to the Chebbi dunes via Tinjdad, and the Oasis of Tafilalet near Erfoud, famous for its Date Festival, and Rissani, which is the seat of the Alaouite family of the present king of Morocco. Between Tinjdad and Erfoud, you can stop to go down into the ingenious underground water channels deep below the earth, always cool and preventing the evaporation of this source of irrigation. It is fascinating to climb down to experience the coolness below ground and to wonder at the ancient engineering involved.

At the camp, you are welcomed with a glass of tea, before taking a camel ride to watch the sunset from the top of the dunes. Later there is dinner and the night in a nomad tent at the foot of the dunes.

4th day: Merzouga – Fez
After breakfast, departure for Rissani and Erfoud, where there will be a stop to see how locally found fossils are worked into furniture and artifacts. It is a source of wonder to witness the sheer numbers and beauty of these fossils but feel assured there is no obligation to buy any.

From there the road leads north to Er Rachidia and the Ziz Valley, remarkable for the extent of its palm trees and the volume of dates produced each year.

Lunch is in Midelt, 1508M, which is called “the apple capital”, in the Middle Atlas and at the foot of the Ayachi Mountain.  The town serves as the commercial agricultural center for the surrounding area and is also one of Morocco’s principle cities for the mining of several minerals, such as fluorite, vanadinite, quartz, and cerussite.

We cross the Tizi-n-Talremt pass, known as the “she-camel” pass and reach Azrou, where you can see Barbary apes in the cedar forests looking out for tidbits. We reach Fez at the end of the afternoon.

Prices per person

No Days Meals
4 All inclusive
Total price
2 persons
445 € *
890 € *
3 persons
395 € *
1185 € *
4 persons
385 € *
1540 € *
5 persons
365 € *
1825 € *
6 persons
365 € *
2190 € *

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 transport in a private air-conditioned 4×4 a Toyota Prado, and fuel, an experienced English/French/Spanish/Italian-speaking driver/guide, all accommodation and meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner (please let us know if you have a special diet), entrance fees and local guides plus the camel ride on the relevant tours.

Drinks and tips are not included.

There is an option to go to and return from the camp by 4×4.

These prices are liable to fluctuation according to the current exchange rate.

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