8 days from Casablanca: Marrakech, the Dades gorges, the desert of Merzouga and Essaouira
An individualized and comfortable tour. From Casablanca you will reach the Imperial City of Marrakech where do you will spend 2 nights; then 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. Finally do 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 the overnight in the desert and nomadic hospitality guarantee a unique and unforgettable experience. Through the magnificent oases of the Draa Valley we will reach the Atlantic Ocean and the white town of Essaouira before the tour brings you back to Casablanca.
Itinerary: Casablanca - Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Valley of 1000 Kasbahs – Rosevalley – Dades gorge – Todra gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – Dunes of Erg Chebbi – Rissani – Nkob – Draávalley– Zagora- Tazenakth – Taroudant – Essaouira - Casablanca
Type of tour: Private guided Landcruiser/Minivan tour and camel riding in the desert
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants; maximum 6 participants in Jeep
Duration of the tour: 8 days and 7 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 traditional local Riad.
Todra gorges – 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 nearby 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 – 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– Tazenakht – Taroudant
After breakfast we set out for Tazenakht. This region is the heart of Moroccan woven rug culture. This is your chance to buy them straight from the source, the quality simply cannot be overstated. We will have lunch and then head for Taroudant, where you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service and full dinner.
Taroudant – Agadir – Essaouira
After breakfast in the Riad garden we tour the walled city of Taroudant. Dating back to the 10th century this city was built up around trade and providing safety to those on the Atlas caravan route. From here we make for the Atlantic Coast and the city of Essaouira. This fortified port city was instrumental to trade because of the Alizee winds that now make the area something of a surf town. Here you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service.
Essaouira – Casablanca
After breakfast you have time to explore Essaouira. A top attraction is the harbour filled with blue wooden boats and local fish market. The Essaouira medina is a UNESCO world heritage site. This 18th century European designed seafront fort is known for its brass cannons and massive ramparts. Behind the walls is the traditional narrow laned shop filled medina, lined with signature blue doors and window frames. Essaouira is also a top surfing destination. After a full day on the city we return to Casablanca towards 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 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, 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
- the camel riding (1,5 hour) with a local guide in the desert
- sandboarding and berber drumming in the desert camp
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- Dinner in Marrakech and Essaouira
- Personal expenses
- Entrance fees