6 days/5 nights: “Fantastic gorges and the golden dunes of Merzouga Erg Chebbi”
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 and day 3: Trekking with mules in the Dades gorge (total walking time 4.5 hours approx per day, with total climb of 200 metres), visit to a Berber family and overnight accommodation in the caves or in a tent.
After breakfast in the riad, we set off on a trek through the Dades gorge with the brothers Ibrahim and Youssef from the Panorama Riad. After around 2.5 hours of walking, we reach the entrance to the canyon, where we stop for lunch, cooked by the guides. After lunch, we carry on for around 2 more hours, to the oasis of Oanan. We visit a Berber family and spend the night in the nomads’ caves. Next day after breakfast, we continue our walk through the Dades gorge, to reach Imzoudar and the Bougfiane gorge, before returning to the riad. Open air lunch, dinner and overnight accommodation in the riad.
Day 4: Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – dunes of Erg Chebbi (camelriding)
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 from the saddle of a dromedary. 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 5: Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley – Agdz – Tamnougalt
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 anywherein the area during the harvest period from September to December. Whatever you do, make sure you taste this exceptional fruit. From Agdz we reach Tamnougalt, where we visit one of the oldest kasbahs in Morocco. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a traditional riad in Tamnougalt.
Day 6: Draàvalley – Ouarzazate – High Atlas – Marrakesh
After breakfast surrounded by the palms of the Draa Valley, we go for a walk in the oasis before resuming our return journey. We stop for lunch in Ouarzazate (with a visit to the Taourirt and the cinema studies, if you wish), then cross the High Atlas mountains to reach Marrakesh towards evening.
Ait Ben Haddou
Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the Million Kasbahs – Rosevalley – Dades gorge – Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – Dunes of Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley– Tamnougalt – Ouarzazate – 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.
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.