Embark on this 7-day trekking Saharan Adventure for a truly unique desert experience. Begin your trip from Marrakesh with a wonderful drive over the majestic Atlas Mountains, via the famous pass of Tizi-n-Tichka and by beautiful, green, lush Berber villages.
Visit the famous former palatial residence, Kasbah Telouet and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. Drive through the Dra’a Valley’s palm tree groves, along ancient Kasbahs, via many fields and gardens. Stop by Zagora, after which you will visit the green pottery co-operative and the old Quranic library in Tamgroute. Later you arrive in Mhamid, the last town before the desert, at the desert camp in the Erg Lihoudi dunes. This will be the venue for dinner and the night’s rest.
You will trek with camels for three days and three nights to explore the most beautiful Sahara Desert in Morocco. You will cross different features of the great Sahara Desert; “erg” sand dunes, “reg” rocky desert, “hammada” flat ground, and oases. Meals and the camp will be prepared each day by your camel-men. You can walk or ride camels whenever desired for about three hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. On the fifth day of the trip, we arrive at the Erg Chagaga dunes, where you can climb to the top (300m) to witness the spectacle of the sunset.
Enjoy a wonderful 4×4 off-road drive through the largest Sahara Desert in Morocco. Hunt for fossils in Iriqui Lake and learn about Berber rug and carpet-making in Taznakht. Tour the symbol of Ouarzazate, Kasbah Taourirt, and stop by the cinema studios to discover the film sets of many Hollywood movies. Drive back over the Atlas Mountains and arrive in Marrakesh by the end of the day.
1st day: Marrakesh – Agdez
Morning departure at 8 o’clock 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 is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco, one of Morocco’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. The architectural style is well preserved and the earthen constructions are perfectly adapted to the climatic conditions and in harmony with the natural and social environment. Probably originating in the 17th century, it is also famous as the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbuster films. Having driven through Ouarzazate, we continue south over the Tizi-n-Tinfifte pass to Agdez. Descending from the pass you will be amazed at the view of the extensive oasis and the number of palm trees, all indicating the beginning of the Dra’a Valley with its thousands of date palms, producing an amazing 44 varieties of dates. The date harvest starts in September and lasts a couple of months, so that is the best time to stop in Agdez for the freshest ones. We spend the night in a guest house.
2nd day: Agdez – M’hamid
After breakfast, there is time to visit the rest of the Kasbah before taking the ancient caravan road between the river and the mountains. On the way, we pass many villages and gardens so that you can gain a better idea of the way of life along the oases. Once in Zagora, we stop for lunch in a very pleasant riad. In the afternoon we drive to M’hamid, the gate to the desert, to enjoy the sunset in the dunes close to the village.
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.
3rd, 4th and 5th days: Trekking
We trek by dromedary for three days and three nights to discover the most beautiful desert of Morocco and its vast dunes with varying features of the desert; ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, oases. We arrive in the afternoon of the fifth day at the famous Cheggaga Dunes, where you can climb the dunes to watch the sunset from the top. We have dinner and spend the night in nomad tents among the dunes. NB Walking time is approximately five hours a day (two and a half hours in the morning, and the same again in the afternoon), although it is also possible to ride the camels. Other camels are there to carry the equipment. Your meals and the tents are prepared by our guides and camel drivers.
6th day: Cheggaga – Ouarzazate
After breakfast we drive another 90 km across the Sahara over the stony desert, “reg” and “hammada” and across the now dried-up Lake Iriqui. In the middle of this lake, you are likely to experience a mirage and unless it has been raining hard, which is rare, and in which case we cannot cross due to the mud, we can assure you, that “water” really is not real. Here you can search for fossils; some lying loosely around but most fixed firmly into the rock. At the edge of the desert at Foum Zguid, we drive north to Taznakht, famous for its Berber gelims and carpets, where we stop for lunch. Turning back east we arrive in Ouarzazate at the end of the afternoon.
7th day: Ouarzazate – Marrakesh
After breakfast, we go into Ouarzazate to visit the cinema studios and Kasbah Taourirt, which used to belong to the Pasha of Marrakesh. We then return north over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass to Marrakesh which we reach at the end of the afternoon.
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