Marrakech to the South

Explore the Moroccan Desert. remote sand dunes, camels and wonderful gorges.The Desert can be an inspirational experience at night, with the air being crisp, clean and clear, the stars being so close you can almost touch them and a silence that is deafening.

After the High Atlas Mountain range lays a mysterious, surreal and stunning landscape. This is the heart of old Morocco – the pre Sahara desert. It’s like stepping back in time into an all forgotten world; a world of fortified villages, Berber castles (Kasbahs) and abandoned Foreign Legion outposts. The Sahara region is where you’ll find one of the most diverse and dramatic landscapes in Morocco.



Day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate-Skoura- Dades Vally  (315 Km)

 Today, the journey goes to Ouarzazate and follows one of the most scenic routes in Morocco.  You drive over one of the great Atlas passes - Tizin-Tichka (2260 m) and reach Ouarzazate, called "Gateway to the Desert" - fascinates with a diverse and contrasting landscape: countless kasbahs made of clay, mountains and dry plains alternate.  Valleys and green oases, palm groves, and villages made of red-brown earth make up the charm of the region.  Continue along the Dadès river.  The road is lined with beautiful oasis villages, date palms, and numerous kasbahs.  It goes through the oasis "El-Kalâa M'Gouna" in the Rose Valley and further on the famous "Road of 1000 Kasbahs."  You spend the night near the Dadès Gorge, whose rock formations are known as "monkey feet.
 " Overnight stay: Hotel Riad Bahammou or similar. (B)

Day 2: Dades - Tineghir - Alnif - Zagora (approx 280 Km) 

The journey  on the road of the Kasbahs continues and leads you today to Tineghir, where you can see the imposing Todra Gorge.Then today you continue towards the Sahara and caravan station via Alnif. In Alnif there is the possibility to take a break.Then the journey continues  to Zagora, the largest place in the Draa Valley. You make a symbolic stop in front of the famous plaque "Timbuktu 52 Days. This is the last testimony to a time when Zagora was an important transit station for caravans. At that time, caravans moved loaded from here  with salt, spices and leather goods to the sub-Saharan part of Africa to return from there with gold, ivory and slaves. 

 Overnight stay: Villa Zagora Ma Villa au Sahara or similar (B)


Day 3: Zagora - M’Hamid El Ghizlane - Erg Chegaga (approx 160 km)

 With the 4x4, you drive on the old way that led the caravans from Draa to Timbuktu.  On the way to the desert, there is the possibility to visit an old library with antique books and a pottery workshop in Tamegroute.  Take your time on the journey through the "Hammada du Draa" to let this new landscape work on you.  A picnic in the great outdoors is possible in M'Hamid.  You cross the rocky desert and dunes to Erg Chegaga, the largest and less visited sandy desert in Morocco.  Afterwards, you ride on the dromedary to enjoy the magical sunset on a high dune.  Overnight stay: comfort nomad tent (B/D)

Day 4: Erg Chegaga - Foum Zguid - Ait Ben Haddou (approx 250 km)

 In the morning, you continue to the oasis of Fint via the route between Erg Chegaga and Wadi Draa, further through the dried up lake "Iriki.  What was once a huge lake has now become a completely dried up salt flat, but it is known for its fantastic mirages.  Your own mirage awaits you!  From Foum Zguid, you continue on country roads accompanied by the wide stone desert with its bizarrely shaped mountain ranges until you reach the city of the carpet cooperatives Taznakht  Then you drive to today's terminus.  The village of Ait Ben Haddou awaits you.  Decorated in reddish-brown tones, it is a beautiful example of traditional Berber mud-built architecture.  Here, you can see one of the greatest kasbahs in North Africa.  These structures have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and have served as the backdrop for many Hollywood films.  

Overnight stay: Riad Tamdakhte or similar (B) 


Day 5: Ait Ben Haddou - Telouet - Marrakech (approx 180 km)

 After breakfast, we return to Marrakech.  Before crossing the pass, you will visit the last kasbah on this trip.  Her inconspicuous exterior belies true inner beauty.  Wonderful, colorful tiles and mosaics, elaborate carvings and stucco work, decorative wrought-iron window grilles, and a magnificent view of the peaks on the horizon are the crowning glory of this stage.  All Kasbahs of your trip were built by the former foundling and later pasha Marrakech.  As a proud Berber, he wanted to protect his homeland and tradition from the influence of the sultans and sympathize with the French protectorate.  For this betrayal, his buildings were neglected after Moroccan independence.  After so much culture and history, your journey ends in Marrakech, where you can end the day.  
Overnight stay: Riad Dar El Amane or similar (B)
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