6 days from Marrakech: Fantastic gorges and the golden dunes of Merzouga
An individualized and comfortable tour combined with two days of trekking in the Dades gorges and camel riding in the desert. From Marrakech we will cross the mountains of the High Atlas and the Berber villages with houses made of stone and mud bricks; the itinerary takes you to the valley of 1000 Kasbahs with typical mud constructions and fantastic oases. From the valley of the roses you reach the valley of the Dades and the Todra with its magnificent gorges. In the Dades gorges you will do a 2-day trek with an overnight stay by a Berber family and experience the simple life of the Berbers in an authentic way. Finally you reach the desert of Merzouga and the great dunes of Erg Chebbi. On a trip with the dromedaries you can enjoy the sunset in the dunes and overnight in the desert and nomadic hospitality guarantee a unique and unforgettable experience. Through the magnificent oases of the Draa Valley the sixth day return to Marrakech.
Itinerary: Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of 1000 Kasbahs – Rosevalley – Dades gorge – Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – Dunes of Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley– Tamnougalt – Ouarzazate – High Atlas – Marrakesh
Type of tour: Private guided tour, 2 days trekking in the Dades gorges and dromedary excursion in the desert.
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants; maximum 6 participants in Jeep
Duration of the tour: 6 days and 5 nights with full/half board
Departure /Arrival: departure and arrival from / to your Marrakech hotel
Individual starting dates: ideal during the hot season
Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of 1000 Kasbahs –Rosevalley- Dades gorge
Our trip will take us through the High Atlas mountains by way of the historic Tizi-n-Tichka pass. With an elevation of 2,260 meters the size and beauty of the mountains cannot be overstated. This pass is also dotted with ancient oak woods, walnut groves, traditional Berber villages and picturesque valley pastures complete with free range goats and sheeps. The mountain pass opens into a high desert lunar landscape that is home to Ait Benhaddou, where we will stop for lunch. This UNESCO protected medina has been featured in such films as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth and The Gladiator. Morocco has long been a favorite of Hollywood and you will also have a chance to visit previous movie sets that are still standing. From here we set off through The Valley of 1000 Kasbahs. Kasbahs are ancient castles or strongholds. The road you travel along may be paved today, but 1000 years ago it was just a path full of traders going to and from Europe. These Kasbahs offered a safe place to conduct business and spend the night in safety. We then travel through Skoura and Kelaa M’Gouna an area known for both roses and its handcrafted daggers. Then through the lush Dades Valley. Here you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service and full dinner.
Day 02 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) tent or cave camping with Berber Family
After breakfast in the Riad we begin our trek through the Dades Gorge with a local guide. After around two and a half hours we will reach the entrance to the main canyon. This is where your guide will cook lunch and give some history about the area. After lunch we continue on to the Oanan oasis, about two hours away. Here we visit with a local Berber family for dinner and spend the night near caves used by traditional Berber nomads. The following morning after breakfast we continue our hike into the Bougfiane Gorge before returning to the Riad late morning. Lunch will be served on the terrace and in the evening dinner and tea.
Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – dunes of Erg Chebbi (camel riding)
After breakfast we set off to the Todra Gorge. This marvel of geography with cliffs of pink and gray reaching the sky cannot be overstated. It’s a wonderful spot for a break and peaceful walk. From here we travel to the near by village of Erfoud for lunch. This area is home to centuries old horizontal wells called Qauah, that once irrigated the desert. After lunch we set out for Merzouga and the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Here you will admire the gilded pink dunes from the saddle of a dromedary passing effortlessly through the sand. The Chebbi dunes are continuously changing and moving, reaching a height of 160 meters. The evening will be spent in a luxury desert camp enjoying first class Berber hospitality. Complete with the traditional mint tea ritual, dinner and music topped off with star gazing in the vast desert sky.
Rissani - Nkob – Draávalley – Agdz – Tamnougalt
Today you will be given a personalized tour of the three different districts of Fèz. The original city is now known as Fès-el-Bali was founded early in the Islamic Golden Age. This district walled and at its center is Qarawiyin University. Founded as a mosque in 857 the institution subsequently became a leading spiritual and educational center. Fès-el-Bali itself is a city within a city. Many of the historic souks, tannery and culinary aspects have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Fèz el Jadid, another district was added mid 13th century. At the time Fèz was the capital of Morocco. This new district was built around the Royal Palace and Jewish quarter. Fèz is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. The newest district dates back to colonial French rule, early 20th century. This area is the largest and most populist area.
Draàvalley - Ouarzazate – High Atlas - Marrakesh
Our final day starts with breakfast and a walk in a local oasis. Then we set off through the Atlas mountains to the city of Ouarzazate. This fortified village or kasbah was first recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. Hollywood has also recognized Ait Benhaddou in it own way filming dozens of movies here including The Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Marco polo (1982) and The Mummy to name a few. Here we will stop for lunch and a tour. Once the village tour is complete we will set off for Marrakech, arriving in the evening.
- Private transport in an air-conditioned Landcruiser (Minivan)
- English speaking driver/guide
- Pick up and drop-off at the airport or your Riad/Hotel in Marrakech
- The opportunity to ask a driver to stop when and where you wish
- Free time to explore the places such as Ait Ben Haddou, Draavalley ecc for walks and photo stop
- 3 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast and dinner
- 1 overnight in comfortable tent with private bathroom in the luxury desert camp in the desert of Merzouga with breakfast and dinner
- 1 overnight in the tent during the trekking in the Dades gorges
- 2 day trekking tour with local guide in the Dades gorges (all meals included)
- the camel riding with the local guide in the desert
- sandboarding and Berber drumming in the desert
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- entrance fees
- personal expenses