An individualized, private and comfortable tour with the off-road/Minibus to the Imperial Cities, the 2 desert areas of Merzouga and Erg Chigaga, combined with a daily dromedary trekking in the desert and hiking in the Dades Gorges and 3 overnight stay in the luxury and comfortable desert camp of Merzouga and Erg Chigaga.
The route takes you to the Imperial Cities of Morocco, the valley of 1000 Kasbahs with typical mud constructions and the magnificent Dades gorges and you will reach the 2 desert areas of Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga with the great dunes. Experience the desert atmosphere on a daily trekking with the dromedaries and 3 overnight in a comfortable desert camp. You will also spend a day hiking in the Dades Gorges and arrive on the Atlantic coast to visit Essaouira
Itinerary: Marrakesh – - Casablanca - Rabat - Chefchaouen- Volubilis - Meknes - Fèz - Ifrane - Azrou - Midelt- Errachidia - Merzouga (Erg Chebbi) - Rissani - Erfoud - Thinghir - Dades Gorge - Boumalne du Dades - Jebel Saghro - Tizn -Tazazert Pass - Nkob - Draa Valley - Agdz - Mhamid - Iriki Oasis - Erg Chigaga Dunes - Lac Iriki - Fossil Mountain - Foum Zguid - Tazenakht - Taroudant - Essaouira – Marrakech
Type of tour: Private off-road/minibus guided tour with a daily trekking in the desert and a daily hiking in the Dades gorges
Min. participants/max. participants: from 2 participants, max. 6 participants in the Jeep
Duration of the tour: 14 days and 13 nights with half board
Departure /Arrival: departure and arrival from / to your Marrakech hotel
Individual starting dates
Marrakech - Casablanca - Rabat
We set out from Marrakech north to Casablanca. This is the economic heart of Morocco. Many European manufactures have set up shop in Casablanca making this city an industrial power house. Here along the coast we will visit the Great Mosque of Hassan II, which is open to non-Muslims. From here we travel north along the Atlantic coast to Rabat. 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. The souks here are top quality offering some of the finest handmade goods in Morocco. The accommodations for the night are in a traditional Rabat Riad bed and breakfast complete with tea service
Rabat – Chefchaouen
Today we travel to the blue city of Chefchaouen. Wonderfully situated on the southern slopes of the Rif Mountains. Known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco Chefchaouen is a photographers dream come true. Because of the location in the Rif Mountains the city has a rich history of being a place of refuge for Moors expelled from Spain to Jewish refugees fleeing here in the 1930’s. Accommodations for the night will be in a local Bed and Breakfast
Chefchaouen - Volubilis - Meknes – Fèz
Setting out into the Rif mountains we head towards the Saiss plain. Here we find archaeological site of Volubilis. This imperial Roman city dates back to the 3rd century BC and is also a UNESCO world heritage site. There are well preserved columns and mosaics here. 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. Meknes is also home to Moulay Ismail’s 17th century Imperial Villa, the Bab El Mansour gate and the old souk. After a proper days tour we head to Fez for the evening in a Riad bed and breakfast. Tea and dinner to be served in the evening.
Fèz (guided city tour in the morning)
Today you will be given a personalized tour of the three different districts of Fèz. The original city is now known as Fès-el-Bali was founded early in the Islamic Golden Age. This district walled and at its center is Qarawiyin University. Founded as a mosque in 857 the institution subsequently became a leading spiritual and educational center. Fès-el-Bali itself is a city within a city. Many of the historic souks, tannery and culinary aspects have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Fèz el Jadid, another district was added mid 13th century. At the time Fèz was the capital of Morocco. This new district was built around the Royal Palace and Jewish quarter. Fèz is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. The newest district dates back to colonial French rule, early 20th century. This area is the largest and most populist area.
Fèz - Ifrane - Azrou – Midelt
Our day begins by setting south towards Ifrane and Azrou. 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. We spend the night in our hotel in Midelt, the 'apple capital', in the middle Atlas Mountain.Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Midelt - Errachidia - Erfoud - Merzouga (Erg Chebbi)
Setting out form Midelt we head east towards Erfoud area. The journey goes through the Ziz valley, famous for its large number of date palms to Errachidia and via Erfoud. 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 luxury desert camp, fitted with private tent and bathroom 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.
Erg Chebbi - Rissani - Erfoud - Tinghir – Todra gorges- Boumalne Dades - Dades gorges
After breakfast in the dunes we set out for the Todra Gorges. 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 Boumalne Dades, this is a trading village and the last stop before we enter the Dades Gorge. 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 in the Riad, we set off on an excursion to the Dades gorge. You will be accompanied by your guide on a 2 hour walk through the remote gorges and canyons of Dades. Around lunch time we will reach the oasis for an open air lunch. The afternoon is spent taking the leisurely scenic back to the Riad. Here a hot show, dinner and tea service awaits.
Boumalne du Dades - Jebel Saghro - Tizn- Tazazert Pass - Nkob – valley of Draa – Agdz
After breakfast our day begins with a journey through the impressive natural landscape of Jebel Saghro. The route we take will allow you to get the best view of the impressive and unique rock formations. Our next destination is the Tazazert pass, one of the highest in Morocco with an elevation of 2,283 meters. The Tazazert plateau is famous for its pyramid like rock formations. Then through the lush Draa Valley to the historic village or Agdz. Here you will stay in a Moroccan Riad bed and breakfast, complete with tea service and full dinner.
valley of Draa – Zagora – Tamegroute - Mhamid - Iriki Oasis - Erg Chigaga dunes (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 metres. 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.
Lac Iriki - Fossil Mountain - Foum Zguid - 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 garden of our Riad, we pay a visit to the attractive town of Taroudant, with its walls and medina with its souk. We resume our journey to the Atlantic Ocean, and head along the coast to the north until we reach Essaouira. Overnight accommodation in a Riad in the medina of Essaouira.
Essaouira – Marrakesh
After breakfast, we'll have time to visit the beautiful town of Essaouira, on the Atlantic Ocean, a destination rich in charm and fascination. Among its attractions are the fish market and harbour, with the small fishing vessels which bring the fresh fish and all the abundance of the Atlantic to the land. The ancient fortifications, ramparts and, above all, the imposing medina, which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001, are unforgettable sights. As we walk the narrow lanes of the medina, we can admire the picturesque white houses with blue doors and window frames and the many shops and cafes. Return to Marrakech in the afternoon where our tour ends
- Private transport in an air-conditioned Landcruiser (Minivan)
- English speaking driver/guide
- Pick up and drop-off at your Riad/hotel in Marrakech
- The opportunity to ask the 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
- Guided City tour (½ day) in Féz with an English-speaking guide
- 5 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast and dinner
- 5 overnight in air-conditioned room with private bathroom in Hotel/Riad with breakfast
- 1 overnight in a comfortable tent with private bathroom in the luxury desert camp in Merzouga, Erg Chebbi with breakfast and dinne
- 2 overnight in a private tent in our comfortable desert camp in Erg Chigaga with breakfast and dinner
- the daily hiking in the Dades gorge with the local guide and picnic for lunch
- the daily trekking with dromedaries and local guides in the desert with picnic for lunch
- sandboarding and Berber drumming in the desert
- tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert camp
- Remaining lunch
- dinner in the imperial cities
- entrance fees
- personal expenses