Morocco Sahara Tour
The Kingdom of Morocco explored from Marrakech to Merzouga, on the edge of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, is a 10 hour drive each way and too far for a 1 day camel trek from Marrakech; we recommend at least 3 nights / 4 days for our authentic Morocco trips, tours and desert excursion to break the journey each way.
If have limited time, but still want a desert experience, we offer a 3 day trip to Zagora that includes a camel trek to overnight in a Berber tent by the small dunes.
Day 1: We will meet you at your riad or hotel at 8:30a.m., depart Marrakech, and transport over the High Atlas mountains Tizi nTichka pass. We will have time to stop and enjoy impressive landscapes, and break for coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. We spend the afternoon visiting the World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou. This village of clustered kasbahs has been used as a backdrop for more than 20 films and was one of the most important fortress strongholds on the old Salt Road where caravans brought slaves, gold, ivory and salt from Saharan Africa to Marrakech and beyond. We pass through Ouarzazate, and the Valley of the Rose, famous for soft Persian rose oil. Our next destination is Dades valley. You will pass through many Berber villages, and in the desert, see barren red rock formations clustered with kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house many families and their livestock). Stay in Dades valley auberge (small country inn) with Moroccan dinner on the terrace, overlooking the valley gorge and gardens.
Day 2: After breakfast we will through the Saghro mountains and stop in Rissani for lunch. Back in the car, we’ll explore further until the Erg Chebbi dunes appear on the horizon. Our afternoon destination is the auberge 29km from Merzouga, where you meet your camel guide and ride into the dunes to the bivouac (camp). Upon arrival you will have a traditional tagine dinner prepared (vegetarians welcome), under the evening stars shining brilliantly in the sky. Climb the dunes and watch the moon rise before retiring to your bed in the nomad wool tent. Or you have a choice (with extra cost) of a sunset camel trek into the dunes, staying in the desert auberge with relaxing dinner, and breakfast early the next morning.
Day 3: Return by camel at sunrise to the auberge for breakfast and shower before going to Tinehir. Along the way we’ll drive offroad, and pass through folded exposed rock slabs of fossils and we can stop and visit a fossil workshop for a closer look at Sahara’s wonderful varieties of ancient life. We’ll have a visit to Todra Gorge, where sheer limestone walls rise to 300 m in its narrowest part. After lunch you can wander with a guide through palmeries, villages, gardens, and kasbahs for a close look at traditional Berber ways of life. Visit the market in Tinehir and old kasbah quarter. We will have a late afternoon arrival to stay in an old kasbah with evening Moroccan dinner by the pool