4 Day Merzouga Desert Tour from Marrakech
Day 1 – Marrakech to Dades Gorge
You will meet your driver after breakfast at your Riad and start out in your private van, driving across the windy roads of the High Atlas Mountains (over the Tichka Pass @ 2260 m) to start your desert tour from Marrakech. Watch as the mountains unfold before you, climbing ever steeper into the mountains that have been home to the Berbers for pre-historic times. Listen as your guide tells you all about these pastoral nomads and their beautiful culture.
After a drive through the stunning mountains you will stop for lunch in Ouarzazate, the movie capital of Morocco, and a very important city to the south. Not far outside the city of Ouarzazate is the new solar farm that has made world news for its scale and innovation.
After a typical Berber lunch you will continue your journey travelling through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs and into the astounding Dades Gorge where you will stay for the night. The Dades Gorge is a stunning site to see. Is it more fun to get to the top of the gorge on the switchbacks, climbing all the while past amazing rock formations? Or is the real treat when you get to the top and look back at the road taken and the stunning full view of the gorge? You can decide.
There will have plenty of opportunity to stop along the way to enjoy the beautiful sights and to take photos.
Day 2 – Dades Gorge to Merzouga
Depart from the Dades Gorge after breakfast for a short drive to the Todra Gorge where you will walk along the gorge basin enjoying the highest gorge in Morocco at 300 m, a popular spot for rock climbers and explorers.The Todra Gorge is a popular favorite because of its steep side walls and the amazing way the rock sides seem to loom overhead. Pass through the gorge along the river that created it and watch as the valley opens up on the other side to the trail heads for longer hikes.
Then you will head to Erfoud which is the home of some of the worlds oldest fossils as well as being the date capital of Morocco. (Not the online kind, but the fruit.) The valleys and oasis of the south are resplendent with date palms that bear the most delicious fruits you can imagine. And so many varieties. From here you will go to Merzouga which is the gateway city to the desert and Erg Chebbi.
After a tea break you will climb aboard your camel and enjoying a leisurely “stroll” as you head to camp for the night where you will enjoy dinner made for you by nomads.
Day 3 – Merzouga to Ait Ben Haddou
You will round up the camels and have breakfast at the hotel with an opportunity for a quick shower and then you will drive through the Nekob Oasis in the Anti Atlas mountains with a stop for lunch. Driving along the Draa Valley you will see many Berber villages and homes along with beautiful palm groves on your way to Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah where you will visit the UNESCO site, classified since 1987. This amazing ancient kasbah is a great example of ancient Berber architecture, a former stronghold in the area. It is currently home to five families who still live here and enjoy the traditional lifestyle mixed with modern amenities.
Day 4 – Ait Ben Haddou to Marrakech
Enjoy a morning walk around the fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou this morning. Ait Ben Haddou is a large kashah and famous as being the back drop for many modern movies including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Wander the streets and alleys and enjoy the amazing architecture while making your way to the top for a stunning view of the surrounding valley.
Later you will leave for Telouet Kasbah where we will tour the Kasbah before and crossing the High Atlas Mountains, across the highest pass, Tizi n’ Tichka at 2260m above sea level, and back to Marrakech with some rest stops along the way and plenty of opportunity to take some amazing photos, dropping you back at your Riad in the early evening.