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Tour 11.4

11 days/10 nights:„High Atlas, desert and the southern atlantic coast“

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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: Trekking in the Dades gorge (3–4 hours) – Visit to the Berber nomads
After breakfast in the riad, we set off on an excursion to the Dades gorge. We’ll be accompanied by the brothers Ibrahim and Youssef from the village of Ait Arbi Digh de Singe. After a 2 hour walk along the gorges and canyons of Dades, we reach the oasis and the Berber family for an open air lunch, before returning to the riad. Dinner and overnight accommodation in the riad.
Day 3: Todra gorge – Draávalley – Nkob- Zagora
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 the Draa Valley. The waters running down from the High Atlas have formed a long oasis which runs from Ouarzazate to M’Hamid. 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 typical 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 leave 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 and day 6: 2 days of trekking with a dromedary in the dunes of Erg Chigaga, with a visit to a nomad family.
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. Everybody taking part has his own camel and the time taken can be adapted to your own requirements. Your guides will take care of you and do the cooking. In the afternoon of the first day we pay a visit to a genuine nomad family, to see how the nomads of the desert live, have dinner with them and spend the night in a tent. We go back to our camp, where you can admire a breathtaking sunset among the dunes while awaiting dinner. Enjoy a hot shower. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a Berber tent.
Day 7: Lake of Iriki – fossil mountain – Fouum Zguid – Tazenakht – Taroudant
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 we head towards Taroudant. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a typical Riad in Taroudant.
Day 8: Taroudant – Tafraout – Ammeln Valley
After breakfast in the hotel, we head for Tafraout, an oasis of date palms located on a plateau. The main landscape feature around Tafraout is a series of bizarre granite formations, which help make it one of the most beautiful regions in the country. In the afternoon, we take a look around the splendid valley of Ammeln, with its picturesque villages and fantastic painted rocks and rock etchings. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a hotel.
Day 9: Tafroute – Atlantic coast – Essaouira
After breakfast in the garden of our Riad ee resume our journey to the Atlantic Ocean, and head along the coast to the north until we reach Essaouira. Dinner and overnight accommodation in a riad in the medina of Essaouira.
Day 10: Essaouira
After breakfast, we’ll have time to visit the beautiful town of Essaouira, on the Atlantic Ocean, a destination rich in charm and fascination. Among its attractions are the fish market and harbour, with the small fishing vessels which bring the fresh fish and all the abundance of the Atlantic to the land. The ancient fortifications, ramparts and, above all, the imposing medina, which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001, are unforgettable sights. As we walk the narrow lanes of the medina, we can admire the picturesque white houses with blue doors and window frames and the many shops and cafes. Dinner and overnight in the riad.
Day 11: Essaouira – Marrakesh
After lunch, we return to Marrakesh.

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Itinerary:

Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the Million Kasbahs – Dades gorges– Todra gorges– Nkob – Draàvalley – Zagora – Tamegroute – Mhamid – Oasis of Iriki – dunes of Erg Chigaga – Lake of Iriqui – Fouum Zguid – Tazenakth – Taroudant – Tafroute – Essaouira- Marrakesh

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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.

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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 4×4, 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.

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