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The Fascination of the Moroccan Desert

 « Traces Berbères Voyages » have been organising 4x4 holidays to Morocco since 2007 - no one knows the country like we do! Travelling in a group or independently, we can show you the real Morocco. From Marrakech, you will discover the authentic and original journey aboard Land Cruiser for the discoveries and emotions far from the beaten track.

Join one of our 4x4 safaris and drive across exciting landscapes of mountains and desert - discover the sights and sounds of this exotic culture. We travel along tracks and ancient camel routes to the heart of true Morocco – to a land where time seems to have stood still. If you prefer to travel independently, we can design your own tailor made holiday. We can give you a full itinerary, book all your accommodation, provide local guides, and organise vehicles for you - with or without a driver. If you want to combine a 4x4 adventure with city sight-seeing, trekking in the Atlas or time on the beach - we can provide the program for you…

The Fascination of the Moroccan Desert 5 days/4 nights :

The Moroccan Sahara offers far more than sand dunes. For visitors who find the time to travel to this area of great beauty and peace - we suggest a minimum of 5 days - the reward is an exciting mix of scenic gorges and valleys, dunes, beautiful oasis towns and a culture distinct from that in the north of Morocco.

 Highlights :

  • The great valleys of the south of Morocco. Dadès, Draa, the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas.
  • Gorges of Todra and Dadès.
  • The agrarian and pastoral life, linked to a centuries-old tradition.
  • Desert landscapes.
  • On the path of dromedary desert caravan.
  • The beauty of desert sun set and the awesome sun rise.
  • Dinner and lodging in a bivouac in the middle of the desert.
  • The authentic face of the Sahara with its Kasbahs and ksours.
  • A real track to discover.

Tour's Program

 

Day 1: Marrakech– Telouat – Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate

Early morning, departure from Marrakech by our 4WD. After few way moment, appears very beautiful scenery of small villages built in tiers succeed among oak trees, walnut groves and oleander bushes. The road snakes up before arriving at the spectacular Tizi n Tichka pass reaching 2260 m.

Just after the pass, we take the off-road for about 20 kilometres among deserted hills. The village of Telouet comes as a surprise dominated by the imposing ruins of the Kasbah. Which was once the main residence of the ‘ Lord of the Atlas’ Pacha El Glaoui , used to accommodate his court, the stables, a Mosque and countless slaves at a time when the man was ruling his own kingdom from Marrakech to Agadir and all the way east to the Sahara desert.

Visit of the Kasbah in Telouet, then tracks to Ait Ben-Haddou via Assif Ounila valley with its Berber villages… we reach the magnificently exotic Kasbah and ksour of Aït Ben Haddou, declared as World Heritage Site from UNESCO. Here we alight from our vehicle to visit these various Kasbahs, so closely-knit that they appear to be, but one complete building, backed up against the looming mountain in a stretch of unforgiving Hammada. The thick, high, sheer, elaborately decorated as a cob wall, stepped-up housing, turreted, crenulated ramparts, balustrades and arched 'babs'  which are a sight not to be missed. Obviously, here Hollywood has shot many of its films, including, as everyone will tell you: the Mommy, Gladiator, 7 days in Tibet, Babel, Alexander…Reaching Ouarzazate, for those of you who are interested; a visit to the impressive Atlas Film Studios can be arranged.
We’ll drive to the 100 year old Kasbah Taourirt for a quick visit of this complex of courtyards, a maze of richly decorated rooms, alleyways and crenulated towers. Dinner and overnight in Ouarzazate.

Distance: 220 Km, off-road: 35 Km  

Lunch: Ait Ben Haddou

Accommodation:

- Privileged accommodation: Dar Daif or similar 

- Economical accommodation: Les Jardins de Ouarzazate or similar 

 

Day 2: Ouarzazate– Gorges de Dadès – Gorges Todra – Erfoud– Merzouga

Driving further towards the beautiful Skoura (42 Km), where a small interval will be organized to visit the fabulous Kasbah of Amerhidl. Then we continue along this Valley of the Roses, through El Klâat Mgouna, (Citadel of the Mgouna Tribe) where thousands of small pink roses, first planted by French settlers, are grown to make the rose oil essence - "Eau de Rose" - so beloved by Berber people. Continuation on up to the Ksour of Aït Youl and a brief visit to this fortified village, tucked up against the stony slopes with its associated palm grove. Then we drive up via a superb grouping of Ksours at “Ait Arbi”, known by the local Berber as the "Hills of a Thousand Bodies", where the rocks shape look like human feet. We are now on a poor path, driving through a small canyon and zigzagging bends with narrower gap to reach Taghia n'Dadès, with some 63km from the foot of the Gorge, at Msemrir (1700m).
We shall now drive for some ½ hours down this fault in the plateau - giving all the appearance of the earth that has been savagely split open, by a great force - to make several plots on the way. In the evening these gorgeous rock formations are coloured with bands of pinks, reds and purples, whilst the ruins of Kasbahs and Ksours stare silently down on us.
We will stop for lunch at the heart of the Todra gorges. It is a wild landscape, populated with Berber villages and nomads minding their herds of goats. Hike down the narrow gorges, the fruit of the separation of the High Atlas and Djebel Sarrho. Where you’ll refresh yourself a bit by bathing your feet in the cold and crystalline water of the river… Then you take Lunch and continuation to the impressive Merzouga’s dunes of Erg Chebbi, we set out further east along the Tinejdad Valley - the stamping grounds of the Berber warriors of the south, the highly-independent Aït Atta tribe - through palm grove and stark hills along a well-surfaced road, occasionally covered with blown sand...

We continue to Merzouga, there we switch cars with camels in order to admire the sunset, and spend the night under Berber tents in a luxury bivouac, very deep between sand dunes.

Distance: 350 Km, off-road: 50 Km

Lunch: Dades Gorges

Accommodation:

- Privileged accommodation: Kasbah Tombouctou or similar

- Economical accommodation: Hotel Nacer Palace or similar

You have a choice between spending the night in an air-conditioned room or in bivouac.

 

Day 3: MerzougaKhamliaTaouzOuzina–  Ramlia–  M’harch

Early in the morning, and in order to admire the sunrise, return on camels to the bottom of the dunes. After breakfast, departure to the village of Khamlia (village of Gnaoua who make music in the desert), then a break for a mint tea in Gnaoua’s house. Then departure to Taouz and descent of Ziz Wadi by the track of Paris-Dakar passing by small village lost in the desert of Ouzina (and Ramlia, where you will have your lunch. After Ramlia crossed very sandy of the wadi Rheris and track which follows the mountain that leads to Mharch. Dinner and overnight in Mharech.

Distance: 165 Km off-road

Lunch: Picnic    

Accommodation:

- Accommodation 1 and 2: Camping Oasis El M'harch or similar

 

Day 4: M’harch – Zagora

After breakfast, departure to Zagora through the track of Paris-Dakar while crossing desert plates, Hamada’s and nomads under the tent. Dinner and overnight in Zagora.

Distance: 170 Km off-road

Lunch: Picnic

Accommodation:

- Privileged accommodation: Riad Lamane or similar

- Economical accommodation: La Perle de Deraa or similar

 

Day 5: Zagora – La vallée de Draa – Agdez – Ouarzazate – Marrakech

After breakfast, departure to Ouarzazate via Draa’s Valley with its numerous palm groves and Kasbahs, also via the mountains of the Anti Atlas. Lunch and then continuation to Marrakech via the Tizi N’tichka’s passes.

Distance: 350 Km

Lunch: Ouarzazate

 

Included services:

  • Transportation with 4x4 with a personal driver including gas and driver's fees.
  • Accommodation 4 nights based on double occupancy, daily half board. Our priorities in selecting accommodation are: the authenticity, the comfort and the quality of service.
  • Monuments entrance fees
  • Full board is supplied during the tour, and vegetarian food is available.
  • Camel riding in Merzouga
  • The accompaniment of tourists own language speaking guide / driver during the circuit, a national certified guide for a group of more than 8 persons.
  • All taxes.

Excluded services:

  • International Airfare
  • The transfer from Moroccan cities or airports to Marrakech: If you want a member of our staff comes to receive you wherever you are: a supplement is then charged.
  • The extra cost of meals
  • All the drinks
  • The optional suggested excursions (to reserve and to pay on the spot).
  • The optional tips

Children:

  • Under 2 years of age are free of charge
  • 3 to 11 years old: 50% discount
  • 12 years old and up: full cost  

Important precisions:

  • The meeting place in Marrakesh will be communicated to you after the definitive confirmation of your reservation
  • The pick up will be provided from Hotels/ Riads situated in the heart of the Medina

For further information or Reservation, feel free to get in touch with us: Contact

 

Itinerary

The Fascination of the Moroccan Desert - Itinerary