In the footsteps of the Tuareg
Easter Trip to Morocco
Departure from Marrakech Duration | 5 days
Marrakech, the great Imperial City of Morocco is the ideal starting point for some of the most interesting excursions to the Moroccan Desert.
Day 1: Marrakech – Telouet – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate
Our guide will pick you up at your hotel and we will start our journey from Marrakech towards Ouarzazate. Our journey takes us up into the High Atlas Mountains and after being on top of the Tizi-N’Tichka pass: the highest road in Morocco, we will descend to visit the Ounila Valley and take the route to visit the famous Kasbah of the Glaoui Dynasty: Kasbah Telouet.
After the visit we will continue on our way through one of the most beautiful and unknown routes from Morocco to take us across the mountains of the Atlas and its spectacular scenery to the famous Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou which is one of the largest and best preserved in Morocco. It was declared a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1987 and is the location where multiple movies have been filmed. Later we will drive to our hotel in Ouarzazate where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Day 2: Ouarzazate – Dades Valley – Todra Gorge – Rissani – Merzouga
After having a nice breakfast we will continue our adventure, leaving Ouarzazate we will cross the Dades Valley and the Rose Valley on our way towards Tineghir: a small and prosperous town with a beautiful panorama of contrasts between their homes and their palms and roses. This is an ideal starting point to enter the famous Todra Gorge where we will stop to enjoy the dramatic scenery. Then we will continue south, parallel to the palm groves of the Ziz Valley, through the city of Erfoud to reach Rissani. This is an important city: it was the first Imperial city in Morocco, the economic capital of the southern region and is the last trading post for nomads before the desert. It has a busy medina and souks and is more relaxed than Marrakech.
After strolling through this medina and after visiting its peculiar donkey parking area, we will continue on our way to reach Merzouga: a small settlement situated at the foot of the smooth golden red sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. This is where the charming little hotel is that you be spending the night.
Day 3: Merzouga – Khamlia – Ouzina
Today is a day dedicated to discovering the desert. After having your breakfast, we will leave Merzouga to visit the town of Khamlia: known as the village of the blacks. It is inhabited by descendants of former slaves originally from sub-Saharan Africa, who will offer us a sample of their music culture while enjoying a delicious tea.
After the visit we will travel further south in search of the Ouzina Valley, with no power and running water a place unchanged by time and away from the usual tourist routes, it is accessible only by off road vehicles. After our visit in the village we will drive to the hotel, once in the hotel we will change our 4x4 for another vehicle more suitable for the desert: the camel, which will bring us to the camp in the desert where you will be sleeping in Haimas on the Ouzina dunes. After the traditional welcome mint tea, we will have the chance to contemplate a sunset you will never forget, either from your camel, or from the top of the dune.
At the end the day we will have another wonderful experience: a traditional Berber dinner around the campfire under the canopy of endless stars.
Day 4: Ouzina – Mharech – Draa Valley
Today we will get up early to enjoy the sunrise at the top of the dune. Then we will return to the hotel where you can take a shower, have your breakfast and collect your luggage. We will leave Ouzina and travel to Mharech, a crossroads that will take us to the town of Alnif.
On the way, we will enjoy the numerous amazing landscapes, rivers of sand, Berber villages and endless hamada: black rocky deserts. From here we will travel through the mountains of Jebel Kem Kem until we reach the Draa Valley, where we will enjoy a unique experience of sleeping in a real Ksar from the nineteenth century. Tamnougalt is a village built of adobe and is being rebuilt using traditional methods to restore its many kasbahs. It was once an important caravanserai, a trading place for merchants on the routes to and from Timbuktu.
After getting comfortable in our rooms we can take a walk in the streets to admire the history and way of life, an experience that will allow us to discover the organization and culture of the Berber tribes and understand this type of construction. Dinner and overnight will be in a Kasbah hotel.
Day 5: Draa Valley – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After breakfast we will have some free time to stroll through the extensive palm grove surrounding the Ksar. At the agreed time, we will resume our journey and start on our way back to Marrakech. We will be crossing the Draa Valley and the Anti Atlas Mountains to get back to Ouarzazate. From there, we will take the High Atlas Mountain road through the high pass of Tizi n´Tichka that will eventually lead us back down to the Red City of Marrakech. Overnight will be in a hotel in Marrakech with breakfast included.
- Pick up and end at the hotel or riad
- Transportation in Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 or minibus
- English speaking driver
- Accommodations in hotels and one night in Berber
- Dinner and breakfast
- Camel ride at sunset and sunrise
- Half-day meals (dinner and breakfast if included)
- Tickets to museums
- Tips to guides or restaurants