Day 1: MARRAKECH – AIT BENHADDOU – OUARZAZATE
You will be collected from your Riad or the airport; we will travel in the direction of Ouarzazate by crossing the High Atlas over the incredible pass of Tizi n’Tichka at 2260 meters of altitude. This a great mountain range filled with extraordinary landscapes that we cross admiring the Berber territory with typical small villages, strongholds and farmsteads.
We will make a stop in an Argan Oil Cooperative to see how to remove this slow and laborious oil; Morocco women have developed this work, they are responsible both for its collection and the impeccable removal of the nut inside: they are crushed by hand using just two stones as they sit on the floor on a mat to make their work; a curiosity that will surely astound you to see.We continue on a rough track to reach the magic village of Ait Benhaddou; the best preserved Ksar and one which enjoys the status of World Heritage site declared by UNESCO, its highly ornate adobe houses are encompassed within a strong defensive wall and reinforced by turrets, this spectacular kasbah, built with mud and stones is miraculously kept standing. At the time that it was inhabited, high on a hill and surrounded by the desert landscape of the Anti Atlas, it was without any doubt one of the most magical places of Morocco.After lunch we will continue our route toward Ouarzazate; the intermediate point that joins the mountains and the desert; also called the Hollywood of Morocco, since by its situation is the perfect environment for filming movies in arid lands. 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 winding stairways are really fun. From the top of its towers we have a panoramic and impressive view of the medina. Dinner and lodging in Ouarzazate.
Day 2: OUARZAZATE – DRAA VALLEY – SAHARA DESERT
After breakfast we will head towards the Draa Valley; one of the most exotic destinations of Southern Morocco and the largest in the country. There the culture, architecture and way of life are completely different to Europe, is a great source of surprises; the kasbahs, the castles of clay and the ksour are the most attractive since they emerge from the same arid land, these buildings that happen along the valley soften the landscape with its beautiful constructions. After lunch, our route will continue for two hours to reach the impressive dunes of Merzouga, where we take a welcome tea while resting and as the camels are prepared that will take us to the foot of the large dune. We can be taking photographs during the course of the hour and a half trek on the camels; an experience that will astound you without a doubt. At night you can see that the desert takes on a very different colour and as the seasons change; it can become quite cool depending on the time of year you go. Dinner is served to the rhythm of singing and playing the drums and the big fireplace will keep us company until the time to go to sleep. So it is best to enjoy this magical and authentic night without any worries under the starry sky of the desert.
Day 3: DESERT – KHAMLIA – TOUR OF DUNES – MERZOUGA
One of the experiences that must not be missed in the desert is seeing the dawn; impressive landscapes of dunes that happen before our eyes and that are changing as the sun rises over the horizon; a visual spectacle that you are not going to forget.
The camels await us to return us to our riad where we can have a shower and enjoy a traditional Moroccan breakfast. Our adventure continues then to the surrounding dunes of Erg Chebbi, an extent of fine desert sand where the natural scenes are ever changing in the landscape all the way to the border with Algeria and connecting with the track of the old Paris-Dakar Rally. We continue along the track making several stops; the Oasis of Tissardmine and we will continue through the desert to reach a nomadic settlement in the area where we will share a tea and get to know some secrets of their lives and customs. Another obligatory stop is the town of Khamlia where people originally from black Africa live; there we will enjoy their traditional Gnawa music while we have a delicious tea. We will return to the Riad for lunch and in the afternoon you are free to take advantage of the romantic sunset that the desert offers us.
Day 4: MERZOUGA – TODRA GORGE – DADES GORGE
After breakfast today we will leave for Rissani; very famous for its market, this city exhibits itself with dignity and pride and it was the last commercial stage before the desert in the days of the trading caravans. There is a unique atmosphere to soak in as we stroll through the souks of Rissani, not found anywhere else in Morocco, at twilight the city roofs filter the last rays of the sun in an explosion of colours that overtake the senses, rivalling even the by now well-known aroma of the rich combination of spices in the souk. We will continue toward Erfoud to visit the factory of fossilized marble and the Museum of the fossils and minerals where there is an extraordinary a collection of fossils.
Our trip continues toward the palm groves of Touroug and Tinjdad and on to where we are scheduled to arrive at one of the strongest points of Southern Morocco: impressive Todra Gorge which is more than 100 meters high, with its houses excavated in the rock, it is a magical place of vertical rocky walls caused by the erosion of the water and the air over many centuries; a perfect place for climbers. Surrounded by a low flowing river of crystalline water we can enjoy this stop until lunchtime. In the afternoon we will continue toward the Dades Valley passing through Boumalne where the valley opens and its value to the landscape is spectacular, with great architectural value, various ksour and its numerous kasbahs, many of them in ruin and marked out along the narrow valley. We will arrive in the gorges where we will spend the night.
Day 5: DADES GORGE – VALLEY OF ROSES – SKOURA – HIGH ATLAS – MARRAKECH
After a good breakfast, today we continue along the interesting Moroccan Route of the 1000 Kasbahs, where there are some curious adobe built fortified citadels, these magnificent buildings are completely integrated with the landscape and even some of them have high towers and walls decorated with Berber symbols that sometimes appear silhouetted in white colour.
Our next destination; the Valley of Roses, is famous for its large scale cultivation of roses, creating an impressive scene of pure living nature, harmonious colours and a landscape worthy of our admiration. We will then continue our journey towards the Skoura Palm Grove which, with more than 700,000 palm trees, stands out as an important enclave of greenery and life in this arid plateau. There is a large concentration of kasbahs spread throughout the oasis and its vicinity. This location exudes a special beauty and it often seems that time has stopped and we are in another more bygone era.
Following our route we will arrive in Ouarzazate where we visit the famous Kasbah Taourirt. It is considered to be one of the best preserved kasbahs of Morocco, this kasbah is very labyrinthine inside and also offers superb panoramic views. At this point we will stop for lunch. After our rest, we continue toward Marrakech crossing the mountain pass of Tizi n’Tichka, this mountain road winds between the peaks of the Atlas, punctuated by numerous curves but which offers spectacular views of both the High Atlas and the tops of Toubkal, its fertile valleys that extend to their feet are a special spot. We will arrive at Marrakech around 17:00 hours.
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