3 Days Desert Excursion From Marrakech
Day 1: MARRAKECH – AIT BEN HADDOU – ROSES VALLEY – DADES VALLEY
Departing from Marrakech in the morning (riad or airport) towards the Dades Gorge, we cross the High Atlas mountains where we shall enjoy the extraordinary landscapes that these mountains offer us, the colour changes from oranges to greens, the shoulders of the roads occupied by vendors and a landscape worthy of view and we will cross the mountain pass Tizi n’Tichka, the highest point of the route with an altitude of 2,260 metres.. Our journey through the mountains will continue towards Ouarzazate. On the road as we go we will be seeing many kasbahs, sets of genuine adobe Berber houses, until we arrive at UNESCO declared World Heritage site; Ait Benhaddou. This fortified Kasbah was inhabited by the tribe of Ben Haddou until it began to deteriorate, UNESCO helped to rebuild a large part. Ait Benhaddou is a majestic sand coloured fortification, its interior looks like the set of a movie and is impressive to stroll around. Its citadel is tiny and consists of a few narrow cobbled streets. Climb until you reach the top of the fortification and there are some splendid views and the tones of the mountains are red and dramatic.
We will continue our route toward Ouarzazate, the intermediate point that joins the mountains and the desert; also called the Hollywood of Morocco, since the location and environment is the perfect location for making movies. One of the town’s charms is its medina in the old part of the city, with many narrow streets full of life and a central square which is a fantastic place to sit, watch and enjoy the daily life of the local people. Another outstanding point is the Kasbah of Taourirt, a fortified palace with winding corridors and where getting lost in the connecting rooms and stairways are really fun. From the top of its towers we have a panoramic and impressive view of the medina.
We will continue through the Valley of Roses, situated at the foot of the High Atlas. As its name indicates this is the area of an uninterrupted cultivation of roses, 30 km of a most important crop and as a tourist, fantastic, as the splendid greenery nestled at the foot of a canyon of ochre dyes offers a beautiful spectacle that forms one of the most important landscapes in Morocco. We will arrive at the Dades Valley by nightfall.
Day 2: DADES VALLEY- TODRA GORGES – DESERT (ERG CHEBBI)
Today after a good traditional Moroccan breakfast we will head toward the desert of Merzouga, stopping on the way to visit the large palm grove at Todra with its kasbahs. The river runs through the entire oasis of Todra and palm trees full of dates, olive trees and several crops grow on the riverbanks. Our route continues to the magnificent Todra Gorge, a mandatory stop to contemplate the great canyon, formed by limestone rocks of red vertical walls and where the last 600 meters of gorge are the most impressive, the canyon at its narrowest is about 10 meters and rises to 160 meters in height, a whole paradise of rocks with a river of crystal clear waters and this picturesque environment makes it an obligatory stop.
We then continue toward Erfoud, where the main fields of fossils are and next to the central square its important souk and market is the nerve centre of the population, and finally we will arrive at Merzouga where the camels will be waiting to take us into the heart of the desert for the night and to enjoy the mantle of stars and the silence that surrounds us.
Day 3: DESERT – DRAA VALLEY – HIGH ATLAS – MARRAKECH
An early start this morning to catch the spectacular sunrise with its changing colours that reflect on the dunes the higher in the sky it gets. The sand changes from red to golden to yellow and is an authentic desert experience. Our camels take us back to shower, breakfast and continue our route. En route we will go toward Tafilalet, which is the largest palm grove in the world, with about 800,000 date palms, and then we will continue toward Rissani, very famous for its dignified market, this city prides itself on being the last commercial stop before the desert begins, the atmosphere that is breathed in whilst strolling through the souks of Rissani is not found in any other place of Morocco, partly due to the rooves that filter the twilight rays of the sun into an explosion of colours and also having the well known smell of the combination of spices. Our journey continues towards Alnif, where we will find tremendous desert landscapes of black and brown stone and where along the small rivers or streams are tremendous oases filled with orchards and life. We will continue our route along the oasis of Tazarine to Nkob as we enter the Draa Valley; one of the most exotic destinations of Southern Morocco and the largest oasis in the country, where the culture, architecture and way of life are completely different to elsewhere in the country. The Draa is a great source of surprises, the kasbahs, the castles of clay and the Ksour are the most attractive things that emerge from this arid land, these buildings that happen along the valley grace the landscape with their beautiful construction.
We will then continue toward Agdz; a fairly large town that marks the official beginning of the valley and is very attractive photographically for all tourists, before turning to look at Ait Saoun with its 1660 metres of altitude where we can contemplate the natural rock formations that over time have been created. Late in the afternoon, we will arrive in Marrakech, transfer you to your hotel/riad and this is the end of our services.
Tour Include :
- Private Transport with A/C
- Driver/guide english speaking
- Hotel (breakfast & dinner included)
- Camel Ride & Night in Sahara Desert
- Camel Per person
- Sandboarding in The Dunes
Not included :
- Monuments tickets