Fez - Ifrane - Midelt – Ziz Gorges - Erfoud - Rissani - Merzouga
We will pick you up from your Riad (hotel) then drive south to Ifrane and Azrou through the Middle Atlas mountains. On the way we stop at the cedar forests to see the Barbary Apes in their natural habitat. Traveling through the Tizi Ntalghamt pass to Midelt and along the magnificent Ziz Gorges, you’ll see views of the Middle-Atlas plateau and the scenery changing from lush green to desert dunes as you approach the city of Errachidia.
In the midday, we will stop for lunch and then we’ll continue our journey through the Ziz Valley to Erfoud, Rissani and Merzouga. While in Merzouga, we will have some traditional mint tea and leave our luggage in a safe room to begin our camel ride to a Berber camp in the middle of the Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes, which are the highest sand dunes in North Africa.
The camel trek takes about 1hr 30 min from to the camp where we will set up Berber tents for our night in the desert. The tents are well equipped with mattresses, blankets, and cushions. After an authentic Moroccan dinner we will gather around the fire and enjoy the sound of traditional Berber drums under the stars.
Merzouga area, Culture and Tradition
After breakfast, we tour all the way round the dunes by route of the oasis of Merzouga, the nomadic depository, Khamlia village which is a small village in the Moroccan Sahara whose inhabitants are direct descendants of these slaves. We will visit the native Gnawa tribal people and learn about their heritage.
Not far away there’s the lake of Merzouga, with its diverse bird populations. We can enjoy the lake before leaving for Rissani. Once called Sijilmassa, this was the meeting place for the salt caravans, coming from Timbuktu in Mali. Sijilmasa was a medieval Moroccan city and trade entrepôt at the northern edge of the Sahara in Morocco. The ruins of the town extend for five miles along the River Ziz in the Tafilalt oasis near the town of Rissani. The town's history was marked by several successive invasions by Berber dynasties.
Here you’ll walk through the Souk, where locals sell spices, vegetables and cloths. After we enjoy lunch pizza and traditional mint tea in Rissani we travel back to your riad (leaving your luggage in a safe place) where your camel tour guide will be waiting for you. We will begin our 90 minute trek into the desert on camelback to spend our second night in the Erg Chebbi Dunes. The dunes are formed by the wind and are the highest in North Africa and provide many breathtaking sunsets and sunrises during your stay.
The camp consists of several comfortable Berber tents equipped with mattresses, pillows and linens, a restaurant, a kitchen. The evening will consist of an authentic Moroccan dinner and fire followed by people playing Berber drums.
Merzouga - Todra Gorge - Dades Valley
We will wake up early to enjoy a magnificent sunrise on the dunes head back to the hotel on camelback. Upon returning to the hotel, we will get cleaned up for the day, have breakfast and set-out for Tinghir and the Todra Gorges to finally arrive in the Dades Valley by the end of the day. In Dades Valley, we will have dinner and spend the night in a Riad.
Dades Valley - Skoura - Ouarzazate- Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
High Atlas Mountains - Marrakech
After breakfast we’ll drive through the Dades Valley towards Kalaat Mgouna and Ouarzazate. The route through the Dades Valley is also known as the way of the thousand Kasbahs. There are countless photo opportunities.
We’ll also spend time in the Roses Valley and Skoura Village, then continue to Ouarzazat, “the Hollywood of Africa”. Lunch is going to be at the famous Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, the largest Kasbah in Morocco. After touring this UNESCO World Heritage site, our journey will continue through the majestic Tizi n' Tichka pass, over the High Atlas Mountains. This scenic route reaches an altitude of 2260 meters. We will stop to enjoy the impressive views and visit the argan oil cooperative. We will arrive in Marrakech late afternoon and I will drop you off at your desired location.