8 days from Casablanca: Marrakech, oases, trekking in the desert of Erg Chigaga and Essaouira
From Casablanca via Marrakech, an individualized and comfortable off-road tour combined with a day of trekking in the desert of Erg Chigaga. Experience the mountains of the High Atlas, the picturesque oases of the Draa Valley with millions of date palms and the fantastic desert landscape of the Erg Chigaga dunes.
Enjoy nomadic hospitality on a day of trekking with dromedaries in the desert; experience the life of the nomads and the thrill of 2 nights in the comfortable desert camp under the stars of the immense sky in the dunes of Erg Chigaga. The tour continues via Taroudant to Essaouira and ends in Casablanca.
Itinerary: Casablanca - Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate – Draávalley – Agdz – Tamnougalt – Tamegroute – Mhamid – Oasis of Iriki – Dunes of Erg Chigaga – lake of Iriqui – Fouum Zguid – Tazenakth – Taroudant – Essaouira – Casablanca
Type of tour: Private guided Landcruiser/Minivan tour, dromedary excursion 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 – Ouarzazate – Draá Valley –Agdz
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 roaming free range goats and sheep. 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 village 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 journey to Ouarzazate. Then through the lush Draa Valley to the historic village or Tamnougalt. Here you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service and full dinner.
Draávalley– 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 Tamnougalt Oasis. Then once again we pass through the Draa Valley on route to Zagora and 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 mountain – Tazenakht – Taroudant
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 head to Taroudant, a walled mountain city. Here you will spend the night in a traditional Riad bed and breakfast.
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
- 2 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
- 2 overnight in private comfortable tent in our desert camp in the Erg Chigaga dunes with breakfast and dinner
- the trekking with dromedaries and local guide in the desert with picnic for lunch
- 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