6 Days from Marrakech to Merzouga Desert

Day 01: Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate – The valley of Roses – Dades Gorges

We pick you up from your Riad/Hotel at 08:00 and leave Marrakech to begin our tour in the Dades Valley. We pass through Tizi-n-Tichka in the high Atlas Mountains where we pause to appreciate the mountain views. We visit the Ait Ben Haddou village which is recognized by UNESCO as a world patrimony. It is famous as a backdrop for many films, including ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Alexander’. We take lunch here before continuing on our way enjoying the natural beauty of the landscapes and historical monuments such as Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate and Roses Valley, which is renowned for the Festival of Roses. We also pass through the little Berber villages of Skoura and “El Kelaa des M’Gouna” and “Boumalne Dades”. The latter is our final stop for the day. We shall stay overnight in a hotel which includes dinner and breakfast.

Day 02: Dades Gorges – Todra Gorges – Erfoud – Merzouga (Camel ride & Night in the Desert)

From Boumalne Dades we head to Merzouga in one of the largest wind-blown dunes in Morocco, Erg Chebbi. Through the Berber village Tinghir we visit Todra Gorge where the cliffs are as high as 600m and only 10m apart. We leave Todra passing through many Berber villages to pass through Tinjdad where we can stop for lunch or if you preferrable continue to Rissani where you could have the local specialty, Berber Pizza for lunch if we get there by Midday. After lunch, we make our way to Merzouga to meet the camels joining us on our trek. The camels take us to a Berber camp in the middle of an oasis amidst the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. 20 km long and 5 km wide it is also reputed as the highest sand dunes in North Africa. It is a unique and diverse environment. The camel trek takes about 1hr 30 min from the hotel to the camp where we continue the spirit of the nomadic Berber lifestyle. There we set up 3 Berber tents with additional restaurant and kitchen with the dunes naturally providing basic facilities. The tents are well equipped and we provide mattresses, blankets, and cushions. After dinner, we gather around the fire and enjoy the desert night perhaps with traditional Berber drums.

Day 03: Merzouga – Khamlia – Nomad Family – Merzouga

Wake up early morning to enjoy the sunrise on the top of the dunes in the Sahara desert, then have your breakfast. After these beautiful moments, you will start an explorative journey of the area; you will visit the nomads in their goat-hair tent and learn about the desert life, afterward you visit the Gnaoua people, originally slaves brought from Sudan, here you will have the opportunity to listen to their music and learn about their culture and lifestyle. Depending on what time of year you visit, you may have a visit to the lake of Merzouga and its bird population such as the “Flamingos”. Free afternoon and night in the hotel.

Day 04: Merzouga – Market of Rissani – Merzouga

After breakfast. We go to Rissani, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday are market days to buy spices, herbs, meats, vegetables, and fruits. To park the donkey, tie it on one leg and enter the souk. It’s time to walk the corridors of the Rissani market, mystics with the sun’s rays entering between the roofs. The colors stand out from the brown. Women who go unnoticed is the daily life of Rissani. It smells like cumin. It smells of freshly tanned leather. It seems that many adidas are used here, in addition to slippers. It is boisterous, how many species of a variety of color. Some sellers try to pull you to see what they offer, others expect a show of interest before approaching. You go walking and you do it among donkeys, bicycles, small carts, men holding hands, discreet and elusive women. This town centuries ago was the first imperial city of Morocco. At its best, it was an important caravan center linking Sudan, the Gao salt mines and the towns of southern Mauritania. In fact, the current dynasty was born on this earth. Return to the hotel to rest and free afternoon, dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 05 : Merzouga – Rissani – Alnif – Draa Valley – Agdez – Ouarzazate

After breakfast. We’ll continue driving towards Agdz via Alnif and Tazarine, before we get to the fascinating Draa Valley at the edge of the Atlas Mountains, along which lay hundreds of Berber Kasbahs.we will pass through Agdz to end our journey in Ouarzazate. Dinner and overnight stay in the riad.

Day 06: Ouarzazate – Telouet – High Atlas – Marrakech

After breakfast, we will set off for Marrakech, in our way we visit the Kasbah of Pacha Glaoui in Telouet. Then stop for lunch in a local restaurant in the middle of the high atlas. Then we continue through the spectacular views of the high Atlas mountains and we will then drop you off at your riad/hotel and end of our services.