7 days from Marrakech: Gorges, the desert and the Imperial Cities
An individualized, private and comfortable tour with the off-road/Minibus to the Imperial Cities combined with a dromedary trip and an overnight stay in the desert of Merzouga, in the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
The route takes you to the valley of 1000 Kasbahs with typical mud constructions and the magnificent Dades and Todra gorges and you will reach the Merzouga desert and the great dunes of Erg Chebbi. Experience the desert atmosphere on a trip with the dromedaries at sunset and overnight in the luxury tented camp of Erg Chebbi. From the desert the tour will then take you to Fez, Meknes and Rabat, the famous Imperial Cities of Morocco and will end in Marrakech.
Itinerary: Marrakesh – High Atlas- Ait Ben Haddou – valley of the 1000 Kasbhas – Dades gorge – Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga- dunes of Erg Chebbi - Rissani – Erfoud – Oasi Ziz -Er Rachidia – Midelt – Azrou – Ifrane -Fèz -Moulay Idriss – Volubilis- Meknes- Rabat – Casablanca - Marrakesh
Type of tour: Private off-road/minibus guided tour with a dromedary excursion in the Merzouga desert
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants.
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: all over the year
Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the 1000 Kasbahs – Rosevalley- Valley of Dades
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.
Todra gorge – Erfoud – dunes of Merzouga, Erg Chebbi –camel riding (ca. 1,5 hours)
Aftera 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.
Merzouga – Rissani – Erfoud - Al Rachidia – Midelt
After breakfast in the dunes of Erg Chebbi we set off towards the mountains, passing through Rissani and Erfoud. In the north we reach Al Rachidia and the valley of Ziz, famous for its millions of date palms. Midelt is the largest town in the Middle Atlas region. This high elevation valley is well known for its top honey production. Here you will spend the night in a local bed and breakfast.
Midelt –Azrou – Ifrane – Fèz
Our day begins by setting north towards Azrou and Ifrane. This region is will known for its towering cedars, oak forests as well as mountain streams and lakes the dot the fascinating geography. This is also the cultural centre of the M’guild Berbers. Many amazing knotted rugs are available here from the artisans themselves. The next stop is Ifrane, in many ways Morocco’s youngest city. In 1929, during the French protectorate period Ifrane was officially founded. Delighted by the alpine climate, low temperatures and snowy winters for skiing the French laid out and built a European village, in Morocco. From here we continue north to Fèz, another of Morocco’s UNESCO protected world heritage sites. The medina here contains shops selling good that simply cannot be found anywhere else. After seeing the textiles, leather goods, ceramics and metal work its easy to see why Fèz is known as the cultural hub of Morocco. Priority has been given to the preservation of the 13th-15th century Islamic architecture making Fèz a wonderful place to spend the day. You will spend the night, in the Riad in the heart of the medina.
Fes – Moulay Idriss – Volubilis – Meknes
After breakfast in the Riad we head out for Idriss a town named after Morocco’s first Islamic ruler. This 7th century holy city is home to the mausoleum of Idriss, the main attraction. After a tour of this amazing hilltop village we make our way to the Saiss plain and the archaeological site of Volubilis. This imperial Roman city dates back to the 3rd century BC and is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Also located in the Saiss is one of Morocco’s 4 imperial cities, Meknes. This military stronghold with its combination of Spanish and Islamic architecture is known as the Versailles of Morocco or the city of a hundred minarets. Here in the old Meknes medina you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service.
Meknes – Rabat
After breakfast iwe set out for Rabat, the fourth and final imperial on our check list. Rabat was founded in the 12th century as a military stronghold. Used as a haven for Barbary pirates in the 17th century. These pirates and the problems they created lead to Morocco being the first nation to recognize the United States as a sovereign nation. You will be able to tour monuments from dating back to the Romans in this Atlantic port town. Overnight accommodation in the Riad in the Medina.
Rabat - Casablanca - Marrakesh
After breakfast in the hotel, we proceed along the Atlantic coast to Casablanca, one of the biggest and most modern cities of Morocco and an important industrial centre. Here, we'll visit the Great Mosque of Hassan II, which is also open to non-Muslims. Finally, we return to the red town of Marrakesh, the most picturesque of the imperial cities.
- 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
- 2 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 Merzouga, Erg Chebbi with breakfast and dinner
- the camel riding (1,5 hours) with local guide in the desert
- sandboarding and Berber drumming in the desert camp
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- dinner in the imperial cities
- entrance fees
- personal expenses