Transfer to/from airport in Marrakech
Transport by air conditioned 4x4 or minibus, fuel included
Guide and Driver
Hotel/Riad of your chosen category (Breakfast and Dinner, unless otherwise mentioned)
1 night in Merzouga Desert Camp (Jaimas) with breakfast and dinner
Sahara Camel trek (one camel per person)
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 and discover the city. Marrakech is the second most important of the four imperial cities which include, Fez, Meknes and Rabat. The actual city was founded in 1062 by the Almoravid dynasty. The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122–1123, and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period, have given the city the nickname of the "Red City" or "Ochre City". Marrakech grew rapidly and established itself as a cultural, religious, and trading center for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa; Jemaa el-Fnaa is the busiest square in Africa. Marrakech is considered a symbol of Morocco and today it is one of the busiest cities in Africa.
Early departure to Ouarzazate driving through the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass, that with 2.260m is the highest point in our country. We´ll enjoy beautiful landscapes viewpoints on the way and make some stops to take pictures of the berber villages. Then we´ll take a small road that goes to the Telouat Kasbah and have a chance to visit the Kasbah of Pacha Glaoui. After visiting the kasbah you´ll have free time to enjoy a typical meal in town. In the afternoon we´ll continue our drive through an ancient caravan route, where you can see the small berber villages and families that live in adobe houses that speckle the mountains, to reach 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 continue through the Ounila Valley on to Ouarzazate. Ouarzazate is a city south of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, known as a “The gate of the 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.
Dinner at the hotel where we´ll spend the night.
After breakfast we´ll depart towards Merzouga. We will drive through Draa Valley, created by the Draa River, Morocco’s longest river. 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. Along the way admire the Oasis of Tazarine and the villages of Nkob and Alnif, where we’ll stop for lunch. After lunch, and a two hour drive, we will finally arrive at the magnificent Merzouga Dunes. After a short rest we will leave our luggage at the Hotel/Kasbah and we will depart towards the heart of the Sahara Desert in a caravan of dromedaries (camels). Enjoy some spectacular views over the sand dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon before enjoying a hearty Berber meal and a campfire this evening, often with local musicians helping enhance the atmosphere. You spend this magical night sleeping in comfortable Berber tents (jaima) under a blanket of stars.
Today is a complete desert day. 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. Stop at Tissardmin oasis where we can find fossil quarries still present in the area. 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 saying farewell to the desert, we will head towards Rissani, where we will visit the local market. A former major caravan center, Rissani remains a major commercial center in the region, with a large souk, particularly lively on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. We continue then to Erfoud where we can visit the manufactures of fossilized marble before starting our way to Touroug and Tinjdad palm groves. One hour later we´ll reach one of the best places in the High Atlas, the Todra Gorges. The course of the river has carved out this cliff-sided canyon and it´s because of its beauty and the high rock sides that´s very popular among climbers. After a short walk through the sheer cliffs of the Todra Gorge, we will take a short break for lunch. In the afternoon we continue to the Dadès valley, also known as the valley of figs, going through Boumalne Dadés where we’ll stop at the “monkey legs”.
Dinner and lodging at the Dadès Gorges.
After breakfast we will journey across the Valley of Dadès, visiting along the way the numerous berber villages that give this area its name, “The Land of a Thousand Kasbahs.” We will drive through the exotic Oasis of Skoura and the town of El-Keela M´gouna in the Valley of the Roses, until arriving in Ouarzazate, where we will make a stop for lunch. We will then continue our journey to Marrakech, which includes breathtaking views throughout the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2260m), the highest point in Morocco. Arrival in Marrakech.
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