Tour 6.17

6 days/5 nights: “The desert and the dunes of Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga”

Day 1: Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the Million Kasbahs – Rosevalley- Dades gorge
We set out in the morning from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh. We’ll be crossing the mountains of the High Atlas range and the pass of Tizi-n-Tichka (2,260 m), where the views are breathtaking. The scenic road runs through oak woods and walnut groves, Berber villages with stone and mud brick houses, and pastures where goats and sheep graze. After crossing the pass, we come down into the lunar landscape of the Lesser Atlas and reach Ait Benhaddou, a mud brick kasbah protected by UNESCO and known as the finest and most famous in Morocco, which has featured in a number of films, such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth and The Gladiator. After the tour we stop for lunch. Our journey resumes and takes us on to the Valley of Dades, travelling through magnificent oases of palm trees and spectacular kasbahs which have given this region the name of The Valley of the Million Kasbahs. We then pass through Skoura and Kelaa M’Gouna, famous for its roses and daggers, and finally stop for the day in the Dades gorge. We have dinner here and spend the night in a hotel or traditional local riad.
Day 2: Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – dunes of Erg Chebbi
After breakfast in the hotel, we continue on our journey to the spectacular Todra gorge. The road passes through Tinerhir, set amidst green palms, and yellow Berber villages, until we start to see high walls of pink and grey rock stand out against the sky. After a walk through the gorge, we resume our journey to Erfoud, where we stop for lunch. On the road to Erfoud, we’ll see the ancient Qanah, horizontal wells which were once used to irrigate the desert. Finally we head for the desert and the dunes of Merzouga, Erg Chebbi, where we can admire a breathtaking sunset in the dunes (erg), with their gilded pink hues, reach a height of 160 metres and their shape changes continuously. We spend the night in a desert tented camp, with a traditional Berber dinner and music. Don’t forget to gaze at the stars in the immense desert sky.
Day 3: Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley – Zagora
If you sleep in the desert, make sure you get up early to admire the golden light of dawn as it illuminates the sand dunes. After breakfast in our camp, we resume our journey and head towards Rissani, where we can visit Ksar Abdel Karim and an ancient mosque in Rissani. We pass through Nkob, where we stop for lunch, and reach the Draa Valley. The most luxuriant part, with millions of date palms, is located between Agdz and Zagora. The dates of Zagora are of particularly high quality and can be bought anywhere in the area during the harvest period from September to December. Whatever you do, make sure you taste this exceptional fruit. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a traditional riad in Zagora.
Day 4: Zagora – Tamegroute – Mhamid – Oasis of Iriki – dunes of Erg Chigaga (sandboarding)
After breakfast on the terrace of the riad, we go for a walk in the oasis before leaving for the desert. We pass through Tamegroute, famous for its craft pottery production, and reach M’Hamid, the desert outpost. From M’Hamid, we continue our journey into the desert. An adventurous journey through the Sahara by jeep awaits us. After covering 50 km of track, we reach the oasis of Iriki, where we have lunch before continuing towards the dunes of Erg Chigaga – an amazing series of golden desert dunes stretching for 40 km and reaching a maximum height of 300 metres. Here, you can admire the sunset amid the dunes. The typical nomad hospitality awaits us here in our tented camp, surrounded by the dunes of the Sahara, with the ritual welcome with mint tea, a traditional nomad dinner with music and a bonfire and overnight accommodation in a nomad tent.
Day 5: trekking with dromedaries in the dunes of Erg Chigaga
If you sleep in the desert, make sure you get up early to admire the golden light of dawn as it illuminates the sand dunes. After breakfast, we set out on our trek with the dromedaries to the dunes of Erg Chigaga. After 2 – 3 hours of travelling, we reach a famous tamarind tree, under whose shade the guides cook a lunch of kebabs and fresh bread baked in the sand in the traditional nomad style. We go back to our camp, where you can admire a breathtaking sunset among the dunes while awaiting dinner. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a Berber tent.
Day 6: lake of Iriki –fossil mountains– Tazenakht – Marrakesh
After breakfast, we continue on our journey by jeep along the old track of the Paris-Dakar rally, reaching the dried up salt lake of Iriki. We pass below the fossil mountain and finally leave the desert behind and reach Tazenakht, a famous carpet manufacturing centre. We stop in Tazenakht for lunch and return to Marrakesh towards evening.

Marrakech

Haut Atlas

Ait Ben Haddou

Draa Valley

Tamnougalt

Tamegroute

Mhamid

Iriki

Erg Chigaga

Lac Iriqui

Fouum Zguid

Tazenakth

Dadesschlucht

Todraschlucht

Merzouga

Erg Chebbi

Rissani

Nkob

Itinerary:

Marrakesh – High Atlas– Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the Million Kasbah- Rosevalley– Dades gorge – Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – Dunes of Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley– Zagora – Tamegroute – Mhamid – oasis of Iriki – dunes of Erg Chigaga – lake of Iriqui – Fouum Zguid – Tazenakth – High Atlas- Marrakesh

All prices are given at the bottom of each tour, day trip or trek.
Prices are always given per person and according to the number in the group: 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.

2 person

580/Person

3 person

537/Person

4 person

495/Person

5 person

458/Person

6 person

420/Person

There is a 25% reduction for children under 12 years old whilst we do not charge for children under 5.
Included in the price are the air-conditioned 4x4, Toyota Land Cruiser and English and French-speaking driver, all accommodation, all meals, a camel ride/trekking and sand-boarding, Berber drumming and music, free time to explore the sites, for walks, photo and tea/coffee breaks.
The price does not include entrance fees, drinks or tips.