Depart from your Riad at about 8 in the morning on a heading for the desert at Erg Chebbi. We cross the mountains of the Middle Atlas where we can expect to see varied inhospitable looking landscapes full of tales about life in this area. We will be able to take photos and stop in many interesting places, like the town of Ifrane which all the world knows as the “Moroccan Switzerland”; a settlement built in an alpine style, by the French, with houses of sloping roofs which are clearly nothing to do with the traditional architecture of Morocco. Due to its altitude (1630 meters) Ifrane is surrounded by trees and what is most striking is the nature that surrounds this small city, in particular the National Park which is well worth a stop to visit. One of the more interesting inhabitants is the Barbary monkey that continues to survive in the extensive forest of cedar trees. The scenery begins to change again leaving behind greenery and becomes a barren landscape, but before that manages to catch your eye, we make a stop in Midelt to eat. Our route will continue through the Ziz Valley; an immense grove of some 9000 palm trees in amongst the kasbahs that follows the course of the river before stretching on to become lost somewhere in the remoteness. It is a hidden treasure in Morocco especially for all lovers of nature. The High Atlas is a great pleasure to be able to admire, particularly the immensity of the mountains and the erosion that over the years the waters that formerly came from the mountains has produced with great force. The contrasting green of the palm trees, red earth of the mountains and the small ochre coloured typical Berber houses that are all over the course of this valley and set in a spectacular landscape should not be missed. Little by little the desert sand welcomes us with the sight of a small dune and when we arrive at the riad, our hosts will be waiting with a welcome tea while preparing the camels that will take us to the camp in the middle of the desert. During the journey we can go on taking many photographs, this is an experience that without a doubt will astound you. At night you will see that the desert takes on a very different colour and depending on the time of year you go, the temperature can even get quite cool. We serve dinner singing and playing to the rhythm of the drums, and the big fireplace will keep us company until it is time to go to sleep. This magical and authentic night under the starry sky of the desert is simply to be enjoyed, worry free.
Day 2: MERZOUGA – RISSANI – TODRA GORGES
This morning we’ll get up extra early to see the spectacular sunrise. Gradually as the sun appears over the horizon, the desert sand glows with a reddish colour, before shifting to shades of yellow as the sun comes further up. After leaving the desert behind and returning on camels for a shower and breakfast, we head off to Rissani; very famous for its souk and for being the last commercial stop before the desert, this proud and dignified city has a special atmosphere we can almost breathe in as we stroll through the markets. Rissani has something not found in any other place of Morocco, a twilight ambience owing to its roofs that filter the late sun into an explosion of colours and rich outstanding smells of the combination of spices so well-known. The souk becomes the meeting point for a large part of the population of the region, a real feast of colours, smells, flavours and textures that inundate the visitor in an unknown world, where animals are bought and sold and there is a grand market of donkeys; Morocco’s authentic medium of transport. This area alone truly makes the city a world worthy to know.
We will continue in the direction of Erfoud to visit the factory of fossilised marble and the fossils and minerals museum which hosts a collection of unusual fossils. We will continue our route reaching one of the strongest points of Southern Morocco; the Todra Gorge. More than 100 meters in height, with actual houses excavated in the rock, this is a magical place of vertical stone walls caused by the erosion of the water and the air during centuries, a perfect place for climbers. Surrounded by a low-flowing river of crystalline water we can enjoy this pause, until the time for a quiet stroll to spend the night in our Hotel.
Day 3: TODRA GORGES – DADES VALLEY – SKOURA – OUARZAZATE
Today after breakfast our trip will continue on the path of the Thousand Kasbah; curious looking fortified citadels built with adobe, these majestic buildings are completely integrated with the landscape and some of them exhibit high towers and decorated walls of Berber origin that can sometimes appear as white silhouettes. We cross the Dades Valley; this land has a very peculiar reddish colour that floods the view, a beautiful tonality that is the same as the countless kasbah we will find as we move into the valley, where we will have the opportunity to stop and visit a Berber family so you can see and share their daily ceremony of taking a tea. We continue our route and almost reach the highest point of the gorge, red sandstone rocks appear whose erosion over the years has created very peculiar forms. Finally we arrive at the top where the view of the gorge appears before us in a magnificent way, offering a picture of extraordinary beauty. We then head for the Valley of Roses, on the way we will make various stops to contemplate the massive flower cultivation that this valley offers us, where we will discover an impressive landscape; nature in its pure state, alive, with harmonious colours and impressive scale make this valley a landscape worthy of admiration. Our route will continue quietly toward the palm grove at Skoura. Framed by the impressive massif of M’Goun and arid mountain chain of Jebel this extensive grove with more than 700,000 palm trees stands out, for it is an important enclave of greenery and life in this mainly arid plateau, an element that also distinguishes it from other palm groves is the great concentration of kasbahs that are spread throughout the oasis,We will arrive at Ouarzazate mid-afternoon where we stay overnight.
Day 4: OUARZAZATE – AIT BEN HADDOU – HIGH ATLAS – MARRAKECH
Today after breakfast we will visit Ouarzazate; known as "The Door of the Desert" it is the centre of all Morocco’s contrasting landscapes, with high mountains, snowy peaks, extensive palm groves, lush valleys and is the favourite place of many film directors, so we will visit the Film Studios, as this city essentially lives from the cinema industry. We go on, to Ait Benhaddou; one of the best preserved Ksour and a place which enjoys the status of UNESCO World Heritage site. Encompassed within a strong defensive wall and reinforced by turrets, it a miracle that the highly decorated adobe houses built with mud and stones are still standing. High on a hill and surrounded by the desert landscape of the Anti Atlas this is without any doubt one of the most magical places of Morocco. We will continue our trip towards Marrakech by passing through the High Atlas and through the mountain pass of Tizi n'Tichka (2260 meters altitude); an extraordinary mountain range filled with great landscapes, this is Berber territory with its typical small villages, etc.
We arrive at Marrakech in the middle of the afternoon,End of excursion.
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