Day 1: Marrakech / Zagora
We will meet you at your riad or hotel at 8:30a.m., depart Marrakech, and transport over the High Atlas mountains Tizi nTichka pass. We will have time to stop and enjoy impressive landscapes, and break for coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. We pass through Ouarzazate, have lunch and follow the Valley Draa to overnight in Zagora, with a 4x4 pre-dinner side trip to look at the stars in the dunes.
Day 2: Zagora / Daraa valley / Merzougua
Today we retreat along the Valley Draa and turn east of the stark Saghro Massif. This route is peppered with isolated villages and towns, rocky mesas and acacia trees. We will have lunch near Rissani before departing for the Erg Chebbi dunes. Our late-afternoon destination is the auberge (small inn) 29km from Merzouga, where you meet your camel guide to ride into the dunes at sunset to the bivouac (camp). Upon arrival you will be served a traditional tagine dinner (vegetarians welcome), prepared under the evening stars shining brilliantly in the above. Climb the big dune and watch the moon rise before retiring to your bed in a nomad wool tent. Or you have a choice (with extra cost) of a sunset camel trek into the dunes, staying in the desert auberge with relaxing dinner, and breakfast early the next morning.
Day 3: Merzougua / todra gorges
Return by camel at sunrise to the auberge for breakfast and shower or swim before going to Tinehir. Along the way we pass through folded exposed rock slabs of fossils and we can stop and visit a fossil workshop for a closer look at Sahara’s wonderful varieties of ancient life. We'll have a visit to Todra Gorge, where sheer limestone walls rise to 300 m in its narrowest part. After lunch you can wander with a guide through palmeries, villages, gardens, and kasbahs for a close look at traditional Berber ways of life. Visit the market in Tinehir and old kasbah quarter. We will have a late afternoon arrival to stay in an old kasbah with evening Moroccan dinner by the pool.
Day 4: Todra gorges / Dades valley and gorges
Our next destination is Dades valley of a thousand Kasbahs. You will drive off road through barren red hillsides clustered with Kasbahs, (fortified dwellings that house many families and their livestock), many Berber villages, and vist Nomads for tea. Stay in upper Dades valley auberge with dinner on the terrace, overlooking the valley gorge and gardens.
Day 5: Dades gorges / ait ben hadou kasbah / Marrakech
From Dades after breakfast we’ll head to Ouarzazate for lunch, passing through Valley of the Rose and Skoura oasis. After lunch, the World Heritage Site, Ait Benhaddou is our next stop. This village of clustered Berber Kasbahs has been used as a backdrop for more than 20 films and was one of the most important fortress strongholds on the old Salt Road where caravans brought slaves, gold, ivory and salt from Saharan Africa to Marrakech and beyond. Descending the High Atlas mountains Tizi nTichka pass to Marrakech, we will have time to stop and enjoy impressive landscapes, with coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice breaks. You will need to book a hotel this night in Marrakech.
Hotel pick-up and drop-off
comfortable air conditioned vehicle
your language speaking driver/guide
Entrance fees to monuments
1 night in hostel in Dades gorges
1 night in desert camp in Erg Chebbi dunes
What's not included?
Berber music and animation
Tizi n'Tichka pass and coffee break in panoramic view
Ait Benhaddou Kasbah
Valley of Roses
Lots of Berber villages
Erg Chebbi dunes
Day 1 : Marrakech - Ait Benhaddou - Ouarzazate - Dades Gorge
Day 2 : Dades Gorge - Merzouga - Erg Chebbi dunes
Day 3 : Erg Chebbi dunes - Marrakech