Tour price is -----€ per person including PRIVATE travel in a 4 x 4 or minibus with driver and guide
You will be greeted by your personal guide upon arrival at the airport and escorted to your Riad in the heart of the historic Medina. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in. Marrakech, a former imperial city in western Morocco is also known as the ―Red City or ―Pink City due to the distinctive hue of the local earth used in the construction of its many brick buildings.
The medina, is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with maze like alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. Your Riad will be located in the heart of the Medina and within walking distance of the historic Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which by day is a market place but at night is a place of non-stop entertainment.
Dinner and lodging are included in Marrakech.
Early morning departure from your Hotel/Riad in Marrakech. We will then start our journey to the Dadès Valley which includes breathtaking views throughout the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2260m), the highest point in Morocco. Along the way we will make several stops in order to view and appreciate the magnificent panoramic views which include the Berber villages which seem to be born out of the mountains themselves. Later we will head towards Ait Ben Haddou, an ighrem (fortified village), and traditional Mud Brick city on the edge of the High Atlas Mountains.
It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has been featured in many films including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Game of Thrones and many others. We will have lunch in the village and continue on to Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is a city south of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, known as a gateway to the Sahara Desert. Its name comes from a Berber phrase meaning "without noise" or "without confusion". Its huge Taourirt Kasbah, home to a 19th-century palace, has views over the rugged local landscape.
We will continue towards the Dadès Valley. Along the way we will see the oasis of Skoura with its date palms, eucalyptus and oleanders, apple trees, vines, blossoming almond trees and spectacular ruins of fortified Berber architecture: ksur. Our journey will also take us across the Valley of the Roses (Kalaat M’gouna), located between the Atlas Mountain Range and the Sahara Desert, where rose fields stretch out as far as the eye can see, over 50 km in length, along the banks of the Dadès and M’Goun, where spring explodes in a luminous and inebriating array of colours.
Since the early 30s, a few French industrialists and perfumers began to promote the production of the centifolia rose, whose essence, known as “Rose of May”, is used in many prestigious perfumes and cosmetic products. Each year during the first or second week of May, this valley springs to life in a festival animated by Berber folklore featuring roses and all other local trades. The rose festival is a truly unmissable event.
We will arrive at the Dadès Valley where we will stay overnight.
After breakfast, we will enjoy the most amazing views of the Dadès Valley from one of the most panoramic points in the mountains. The Dadès Valley is home to many kasbahs that were built here for the added protection the valley provides and is often referred to as the Land of a Thousand Kasbahs. Along the route you will have a chance to see many of these kasbahs, each one unique on its own. In the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, near the town of Tinerhir, the Todra and the Dades Rivers have carved out a narrow canyon called Todra Gorge, a massive trench that rises over 250 meters to form one of the most spectacular natural sights in Morocco. The Todra Gorge is recognized around the world as one of the most spectacular canyons. The road from Tinerhir passes green palmeraies (palm groves) and Berber villages until, 15km along, high walls of pink and grey rock close in around the road. Thanks to its robust rock sides with many uneven surfaces, Todra Gorge is popular among rock climbers. After a short walk through the sheer cliffs of the Todra Gorge, we will take a break for lunch along the route on our way to the magnificent Merzouga Desert.
We'll drive through changing scenery, from barren mountain sides to fertile valleys, on the journey to Merzouga. With a backdrop of the orange-coloured Erg Chebbi sand dunes, the charming Saharan village of Merzouga feels wonderfully isolated, like the modern world has left it behind. The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an essential part of any visit to Morocco. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that's formed into picturesque, undulating crests and valleys. The Erg Chebbi is one of the world's iconic landscapes, with towering dunes up to 150 metres in height. Located at the end of a sealed road and just 20 kilometers from the Algerian border this really feels like frontier country. You will leave your gear at a simple auberge and then ride camels to the heart of the Sahara Desert, enjoying one of the most magnificent sunsets you will ever see, along the way. The dunes are stunning, especially as the evening light plays across them and sets off the colors of the sand.
Tonight, you will camp out in traditional style, with the chance to try some fantastic local cuisine while you sit around an open fire. Stay after dinner, enjoying lively music, drumming, Berber stories and dancing under a magnificent blanket of stars. You will enjoy the comfort of private tents (Jaimas), with proper size standing beds, coffee table and chairs. Each tent (jaima) has a private shower and toilet provided.
The entire camp is set up by our crew while you relax and enjoy the mighty Sahara Desert.
Early start to watch the sunrise over the spectacular Merzouga dunes around the camp. This is a once in a lifetime experience that you will not soon forget and one of the high points of our journey. We will return by camels (dromedary) to the town of Merzouga where we will have breakfast and start a full day of desert adventures. First, we’ll head towards Erg Chebbi, location of the Large Dune, Morocco’s biggest, around 250m in height. Departure in 4×4 along part of the route of the Paris/Dakar itinerary, with the mountains along the border of Morocco and Algeria on the horizon. We will visit the Khamlia Village whose inhabitants are direct descendants from the Gnawa tribe, originating from sub-Saharan countries such as the Sudan, Mali and Niger, who were forcibly moved from their homelands across the Sahara to Morocco as part of the worldwide slave trade. Here we will relax with some mint tea while listening to authentic Gnawa spiritual music played by local musicians. Next, we will visit a traditional nomad family and learn about some of their customs. After lunch we will return to the hotel and you will have the afternoon free to visit the village, climb the dunes or just relax.
Dinner and lodging at the Hotel.
After breakfast we initiate our return to Marrakech. We will journey through the arid but interesting pre-desert landscapes covered by Acacia trees on our way to the Draa Valley, created by the Draa River, Morocco’s longest river, formed by the confluence of the Dades River and Imini River. The Draa River flows from the Hight Atlas Mountains southeastward to Tagounit and from Tagounit mostly westwards to the Atlantic Ocean. The Draa Valley is a long, green oasis in a dry, rocky landscape. Known as “the date basket of Morocco”, this fertile corridor is home to many date palms, orchards and irrigated fields. The gateway to the valley is Agdz, which itself boasts a vast palmerie and a surprising number of ancient but well-preserved kasbahs. We will drive across the Anti Atlas Mountains towards Ouarzazate where we will have lunch. Driving across the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass on our way back to Marrakech where we will arrive in the evening.
Transfer to Riad, lodging and dinner included.
Morning start for a leisurely drive to Essaouira, a colourful fishing town situated within 15th century Portuguese fortifications, where great beaches and surf beckon. With the opening of Morocco to the rest of the world at the end of the 17th century, the Medina of Essaouira was laid out by a French architect who had been profoundly influenced by the work of the military engineer Vauban at Saint Malo. For the most part, it has retained its appearance of a European town. Relax on the beach or alternatively explore the UNESCO-listed medina with its various souks and woodcarving workshops. Any city gate leads to the medina, so you’re unlikely to get lost. The beach is in front of the Medina and there are plenty of cafés with terraces, both ideal for relaxing for a few hours. Blue doors and window frames abound as do the artists shops. Return to Marrakech in the late afternoon.
Dinner and lodging in Riad.
Breakfast and free morning. At pre-arranged time we will meet at Riad for transfer to airport. We will help you with all ticketing and boarding needs. Our services end here.