7 days from Marrakech: Berber villages, oases and nomads of the desert
An individualized and comfortable off-road tour combined with a day of hiking in the Dades gorges and two days of trekking in the Erg Chigaga desert with a visit and overnight stay to a nomad family. From Marrakech you 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 Dades valley and you will do a day of trekking in the oases of the magnificent Dades gorges. Experience the picturesque oasis of the Draa Valley in an authentic way with millions of date palms and the fantastic desert landscape of the Erg Chigaga dunes. In a 2 day trek with the dromedaries, you will visit desert nomads and experience their simple life with an overnight stay by a nomad family. The thrill of 2 nights in the comfortable desert camp under the stars of the immense sky in the dunes of Erg Chigaga guarantee a unique and unforgettable experience.
Itinerary: Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the 1000 Kasbahs – Dades gorges– Jebel Saghro– Nkob – Draàvalley – Zagora -Tamegroute – Mhamid – Oasis of Iriki – dunes of Erg Chigaga – Lake of Iriqui – Foum Zguid – Tazenakth – High Atlas- Marrakesh
Type of tour: Private off-road guided tour combined with 1 day hiking in the Dades gorges and 2 days trekking with dromedaries in Erg Chigaga desert
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants; maximum 6 participants in Jeep
Duration of the tour: 7 days and 6 nights with half board
Departure /Arrival: departure and arrival from / to your Marrakech hotel
Individual starting dates: ideal in the cold season
Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of 1000 Kasbahs–Rosevalley – Dades gorges
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.
Hiking in the Dades gorges
After breakfast you will spend the day exploring the remote canyons of the Dades Gorge. Our guide will take you on a 2 hour mountain trek to an isolated oasis where you will enjoy a picnic with a view. After lunch we continue our hike back to the Riad where a relaxing evening of tea and dining awaits.
Jebel Saghro – Draávalley – Zagora
After breakfast our journey takes into the Jebel Saghro mountain range. By way of the Tizi n’Tazazert pass. This ancient pass reaches an altitude of 2,283 meters and offers the finest views of Jebel Saghro. Our guides know all the best look out spots to take in these spectacular rock formations. On our descent brings us to the Tagourt Plateau and its one of a kind pyramid-like Tazlout rock formation. Passing through the Acca n’Akhbache and Bab n’Ali gorges before we reach the lush 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. We move on to Zagora, dinner and overnight accommodation in a typical Riad.
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, 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 05 and day 6
2 days of trekking with a dromedary in the dunes of Erg Chigaga, with a visit to a nomad family.
Get lost in the desert!! Two beautiful days trekking around Erg Chigaga. The first day you will set off with the dromedaries through the dunes. Everyone will have their own dromedary for the trip. The Sahara Feeling dromedaries have been in our family for years and are very good with first time riders. The first night will be spent with a traditional nomad family. This is your chance to see how the Sahrawi people have lived in the desert for thousands of years. This first night will be spent tenting under the stars. Of note, there are no mosquitos. On the second day we continue our trek through the dunes and back to base camp along the scenic route. Once there you can enjoy a hot shower settle in with some tea and enjoy a peaceful dinner.
Lake of Iriki –fossil mountain– Tazenakht – Marrakesh
breakfast, we continue on our journey along the old Paris-Dakar Rally track. Passing once again through the dried up salt lake of Iriki to a truly unique mountain of fossils. Once back in the pavement we journey to Tazenakht. Here we will stop for lunch and have another golden opportunity to collect some of the rugs Morocco is world famous for. This region is known for producing the finest woven rugs. This is your chance to buy them straight from the source, the quality simply cannot be overstated. From here we travel back towards Marrakesh 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
- 2 overnight in private comfortable tent in our desert camp in the Erg Chigaga dunes with breakfast and dinner
- 1 homestay in the nomad camp (with all meals)
- the 2 days trekking with dromedaries and local guide in the desert with all meals
- the 1 day hiking with local guide in the Dades gorges with picnic for lunch
- sandboarding and Berber drumming in the desert camp
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- remaining lunch
- entrance fees
- personal expenses