10 days from Casablanca: Marrakech, the Dades gorges and the desert of Merzouga and Erg Chigaga
From Casablanca via Marrakech, an individualized and comfortable off-road tour combined with a day of trekking in the desert of Erg Chigaga and a daily hiking tour in the Dades gorges. Experience the mountains of the High Atlas, the valley of 1000 Kasbahs, the picturesque Dades gorges and the oases of the Draa Valley with millions of date palms and the fantastic desert landscape of the Erg Chigaga dunes and Erg Chebbi.
Enjoy nomadic hospitality on a day of trekking with dromedaries in the desert; experience the life of the nomads and the thrill of 3 nights in the comfortable desert camp under the stars of the immense sky in the dunes of Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi.
Itinerary: Casablanca - Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of the 1000 Kasbahs – Rosevalley – Dades gorges – Todra gorges – Erfoud – Merzouga – Dunes of Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley– dunes of Erg Chigaga- Tazenakth – High Atlas –Marrakech - Casablanca
Type of tour: Private guided Landcruiser/Minivan tour with day hiking in the Dades gorges and day trekking with dromedaries in the desert
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants; maximum 6 participants in Jeep
Duration of the tour: 10 days and 9 nights with half board
Departure / arrival: departure and arrival from / to your Casablanca Hotel/airport
Individual starting dates
Casablanca – Marrakech
We will meet you at the airport or your hotel in Casablanca and travel to the Medina of Marrakech. Here you will have time to explore and shop. You will stay in a traditional Riad bed and breakfast in the old medina.
Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco and holds the promise of incomparable sensations. In the afternoon you will have a Guided tour of the city and your guide will accompany you through the narrow streets and vibrant souks in the morning. Tea service on the Riad terrace in the evening.
Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of 1000 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 1000 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.
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 hours 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.
Todra gorges – Erfoud –Merzouga – dunes of Erg Chebbi
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. 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 – Draá Valley – Zagora
After breakfast and a beautiful desert sunrise we resume our journey and set off to Rissani. This ancient mountain city is known the Ali Cherif Mausoleum as well it’s vibrant souqs and markets. Further down the road at Nkob we will stop for lunch before entering the Draa Valley. This lush valley produces some of the best dates in all of Morocco. There are millions of date palms that are harvested between September and December. These high quality treats are available along side the road as well as in every shop. From here we go to Tamnougalt, one of the oldest kasbahs (walled city or castle) in Morocco then on to Zagora where you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service and full dinner.
Zagora – Tamegroute - Mhamid – Oasis of Iriki – dunes of Erg Chigaga (sandboarding)
Your day begins with breakfast on the on the Riad terrace, followed by a walk through the oasis. Then off to the Draa Valley on route to Tamegroute. A region known for producing some of the best hand crafted pottery in all of Morocco. This is a one in a life time chance to get first pick at some of the greatest artwork in Morocco. From here we follow the highway to the end and the desert outpost of M’Hamid. This is where most of our guides were born and feel at home once the pavement ends. We travel through 50km of desert landscape passing along hand made “roads” that are centuries old. Passing through a traditional watering, the Iriki Oasis before passing through the Iriki salt flats and in the Erg Chigaga desert. This amazing series of golden desert dunes stretches for 40 km reaching a maximum height of 300 meters. Our Sahara Feeling camp is nestled within these timeless sand dunes. The evening will be spent in camp enjoying first class Sahrawi hospitality. Complete with the traditional mint tea ritual, nomadic dinner and music topped off with a bonfire under the open sky.
trekking with dromedaries in the dunes of Erg Chigaga
The Erg Chigaga sunrise is certainly something you don’t want to miss, the golden light bounces across the dunes in a truly magnificent fashion. After breakfast our day with the dromedaries begins. Gliding through the dunes sitting atop a dromedary is a marvelous experience. After a few hours of trekking through the dunes you will arrive at a stand of Tamarind trees. Here in the shade our guides will cook a traditional nomadic lunch of kebabs and fresh bread. From here we pass back through the dunes towards camp where you can enjoy a peaceful sunset and enjoy a wonderful dinner and tea.
lake of Iriki –fossil mountains– Tazenakht – Marrakesh
After 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. You will stay in a traditional Riad bed and breakfast in the old medina.
Marrakech – Casablanca
After breakfast we set off for Casablanca
- 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 Casablanca
- The opportunity to ask a driver to stop when and where you wish
- Free time to explore the places such as Ait Ben Haddou, Dadesvalley, Draavalley ecc for walks and photo stops
- half day city sightseeing tour at Marrakech with english speaking guide
- 3 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast and dinner
- 3 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast
- 1 overnight in comfortable tent with private bathroom in the luxury desert camp of Merzouga with breakfast and dinner
- 2 overnight in private comfortable tent in our desert camp in the Erg Chigaga dunes with breakfast and dinner
- the day trekking with dromedaries and local guide in the desert with picnic for lunch
- the day hiking in the Dades gorges with local guide and picnic for lunch
- sandboarding and berber drumming in the desert camp
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- Remaining lunch
- Dinner in Marrakech
- Personal expenses
- Entrance fees