This 2-day desert trip from Ouarzazate takes you to the famous red sands of Erg Chebbi in Merzouga. Ride camels here around the towering dunes, watch the sunset, enjoy the camp-fire and music in the camp and spend a night in a comfortable private tent.
Take photos in Skoura’s green oasis and the fortified Kasbah of Amredhil, go for a walk in the Valley of the Roses, discover the Dades Valley and the Toudgha Gorges, or take a walk by the river.
Enjoy the spectacle of the sunrise in the morning, stop by villages featured in international movies and drive through the Dra’a Valley, past palm trees, Kasbahs and Berber villages.
1st day: Ouarzazate – Merzouga Erg Chebbi
Morning departure to the Dades Gorge, passing the Oasis of Skoura, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees. Kasbah Amredhil waits for a very worth-while visit. It has been beautifully restored and gives a clear idea of life within such housing. It is made entirely of adobe, an excellent building material; warm in winter and cool in summer, due to the thickness of the walls.
From here, our route takes us through Kelaa Mgouna, the Valley of Roses, where we stop to see the cosmetic articles made locally from the valleys abundant roses. These products are well-known throughout Morocco and are highly valued.
You stop in the beautiful and always green Dades gorge for lunch. The area, which now forms the Dades Gorges, lay at the bottom of the sea millions of years ago. Great quantities of sediment were deposited around giant coral reefs, and over time this material became compacted into a variety of sedimentary rocks such as sandstone and limestone. Eventually, the movement of the earth’s crust caused the region to rise above the sea, forming the Atlas Mountains and surrounding landscape.
The trip continues via the Ziz Valley, famous for the Date Festival each November, Erfoud, well-known for the millions of fossils found in the area and Rissani, where the River Ziz disappears. Between the 14th and 18th centuries, it was the location of the famed desert capital, Sijilmassa, where fortunes in gold and slaves were traded using caravans that crossed the Sahel. In the afternoon you can take a one – one & a half-hour camel ride in the Sahara. The sunset from the top of the dunes is spectacular (250m).
You have dinner and spend the night at an authentic nomad camp with shared bathroom facilities and a private tent for each couple or family.
Alternatively, you can choose a luxury camp with private bathroom, king-sized beds, beautiful Moroccan furnishings and lamps tastefully arranged to enhance your enjoyment of the silence and beauty of the dunes.
2nd day: Merzouga – Ouarzazate
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. The itinerary continues to the Draa Valley, via the village of Tazzarine (featured in the film Babel), and on to NQob for lunch.
In the afternoon the journey takes us to Tansikht, where we cross the Dra’a River and turn north along the ancient caravan route to understand and appreciate local life in the oases with their huge palm trees and ancient villages.
At Agdez, at the head of the Draa Valley, there will be a visit to Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest kasbah in the valley and where some 13 families live, before returning to Ouarzazate, via the mountain pass of Tizi-n-Tinfifte with its amazing rock formations in the mountainsides (1660m).
Prices on request!