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Tour from Tangier to the desert, ending in Marrakech

From north to south, crossing the most amazing cities and natural sites of Morocco. So is this 6-day circuit starting in Tangier and ending in Marrakech, which will take you to unforgettable places such as the Erg Chebbi dunes, the Rif Mountains or the Todra Gorges, to name just a few examples. If you have less than a week for your trip, choose this option that makes the most of each day of the program.

Charming cities, with a guide or on your own

Morocco has cities of great beauty, with common elements but very different from each other. The two most important are Marrakech and Fez, and are part of this route: we will discover them in depth with official guides. But there are many others that you will know freely, at your own pace, because its beauty is evident at every step: Chaouen, Tetouan, Rissani … And in all of them we will notice that the popular life bustles through its streets, maintaining traditional activities such as handicraft trade.

Dreamlike landscapes, close at hand

Leaving the Moroccan cities, virgin landscapes will open up before us, still little (or not at all) modified by man. The most representative example is the Erg Chebbi dunes, in the heart of the desert. But no less interesting is the Atlas Mountains, both in its most humid sector (Middle Atlas) and in its highest sector (High Atlas), the pre-Saharan valleys (Ziz Valley and Dades Valley) or the Rif Mountains, very close to the Mediterranean.

Itinerary of this 6-day tour from Tangier

In 6 days and 5 nights, this circuit starts in Tangier and ends in Marrakech, integrating in its program a very complete tour. To do so, we will always travel by road, making stops of maximum interest along the route:

  • Day 1: Tangier – Tetouan – Chaouen
  • Day 2: Chaouen – Fez
  • Day 3: Fez – Ifrane – Monkey Forest – Erfoud – Erg Chebbi dunes
  • Day 4: Erg Chebbi Dunes – Rissani – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley – Ouarzazate
  • Day 5: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech
  • Day 6: Marrakech – Marrakech Airport

Day 1: Tangier - Tetouan - Chaouen

The airport or the port of Tangier can be the starting point of this 6-day tour, or a place in the center of the city to be agreed upon, such as the hotel. Our staff will travel there with the corresponding premium vehicle to start the route as soon as they meet us and carry out the pertinent formalities to enter the country, if necessary.

Shortly after starting the road trip we will arrive at the first stop of interest of the program: Tetouan, whose historic medina is declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Its whitewashed houses and the widening at the foot of the old town are surprising for their authentic atmosphere, with a Spanish touch, a sign that the city was the capital of the Spanish Protectorate in the first half of the twentieth century.

After visiting Tetouan on our own, we will return to the road to go into the Rif Mountains and visit the next destination of the day: Chaouen. Its nickname says it all: ‘the blue village’ of Morocco, since its people paint the walls of their houses with that color, especially in the medina. This gives it a picturesque air, as well as its intricate sloping streets, humbly decorated with colorful flowers. The 14th century kasbah is the most important monument, very close to the Uta el-Hammam square.

In the evening, you will rest in a charming riad located in the medina, so that you will be very close to all these points of interest.

  • Pick up in Tangier (port, airport or city center)
  • Beginning of the route by road:
    • Tetuan
    • Chaouen
  • Night in riad in Chaouen

Day 2: Chaouen - Fez

The second day of the tour will take us to Fez, located about 200 km away by road. And in this city we will spend the whole day, since it has many attractions that are worth discovering in depth. Not in vain, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco and holds the category of ‘Imperial City’, for being one of the few capitals of the kingdom in the past.

The visit will be guided by an official guide certified by the Ministry of Tourism. This professional will take us through the most beautiful and characteristic corners of the medina, spread over its two historical areas: Fez el Bali (old medina, with origins in the ninth century) and Fez el Jedid (new medina, the result of the expansion in the thirteenth century). The Karaouine mosque, the medersas of Attarine or Bou Inania or the historic gates of the wall are some of the main monuments still standing after centuries. And this will be joined by neighborhoods with charm and personality, such as the tanneries (Chowara) and the Jewish quarter (mellah, around the Royal Palace).

The final itinerary will be decided by our guide, with the peace of mind of knowing that after that there will be some free time to complete the day. Those who prefer, can ‘get lost’ in the souks of the medina, where they will surely find objects of great value, as Fez is recognized as the city of best craftsmanship in the country, especially in ceramics, woodwork, embroidery and jewelry.

In the evening, after a day full of art and popular culture, it will be time to rest in a charming riad, located in the medina.

  • Breakfast in riad in Chaouen
  • Road trip to Fez
  • Guided tour of Fez, with official guide
  • Free time
  • Night in riad in Fez

Day 3: Fez - Ifrane - Monkey Forest - Erfoud - Erg Chebbi Dunes

The day after exploring Fez intensively, we will continue our route south: towards the Middle Atlas Mountains and beyond. In the first part of the day we will pass through Ifrane, a surprising mountain village that receives the nickname of “the Switzerland of Morocco”: this is because its houses have gable roofs, with a very steep slope, reminiscent of the constructions of that alpine country.

Next on the program is the National Park of the same name, although it is better known as Monkey Forest because of its friendly inhabitants: Barbary macaques are numerous here and are accustomed to human presence, so it will not be difficult to observe them. This nature reserve is also full of cedars, one of the country’s most iconic trees.

Afterwards, we will continue the ascent and cross the Middle Atlas to, kilometers later, enter the Ziz Valley. This natural route, parallel to the modest Ziz River, will lead us to the gates of the desert, specifically to Erfoud, a city famous for its wealth and variety of fossils and dinosaur bones.

A few kilometers ahead we will arrive at Merzouga, a small village where we will leave the vehicle to take another means of transport: camels. On the back of these animals we will cross the dunes of Erg Chebbi, located on the outskirts of the village. In the heart of this place dominated by hills of fine golden sand is a camp of luxury tents where we will sleep, but not before tasting the Berber welcome tea and a traditional dinner at the heat of the bonfire. The bright stars in the sky will be our sentinels at night.

  • Breakfast in riad in Fez
  • Continuation of the route by road:
    • Ifrane
    • Monkey Forest (Ifrane National Park)
    • Half Atlas
    • Ziz Valley
    • Erfoud
  • Merzouga: camel ride to the dunes of Erg Chebbi
  • Dinner and night in luxury tents camp in Erg Chebbi

Day 4: Erg Chebbi Dunes - Rissani - Todra Gorges - Dades Valley - Ouarzazate

On the fourth day of this circuit we have to get up early, for a good reason: to see the sunrise over the dunes of Erg Chebbi. The spectacle of the dawn lights acquires here an incomparable beauty, which justifies such an early alarm. After that, breakfast will be served at the camp and we will return to Merzouga, where we will resume the route on asphalt.

Shortly after resuming the march, the first stop will be Rissani. Its traditional market with authentic stalls and the popular scenes of its medina (with donkey parking included) give a great charm to this town, which also has a medina with historic buildings.

From here, the route will take us to the Dades Valley, which offers a unique combination of ruined kasbahs, bare mountains, palm oasis and farmland. One of the tributaries of the Dades is the modest Todra River, ‘author’ of the Gorges that bear its name. We will go to this gorge to admire the cliffs and canyons, in some points really narrow and high.

As the day draws to a close, we will arrive in Ouarzazate. This is the largest and most important city in the region, largely thanks to its film industry, since the most important studios in the country are located here. In one of the city’s hotel-riads, we will have dinner and rest for the night.

  • Sunrise on the dunes of Erg Chebbi
  • Breakfast at the Erg Chebbi tents camp
  • Return to Merzouga
  • Continuation of the route by road:
    • Rissani
    • Dades Valley
    • Todra Gorges
  • Dinner and night in Ouarzazate

Day 5: Ouarzazate - Ait Ben Haddou - Marrakech

Although the route presents us with many kasbahs in ruins, there are others that are still standing in a very good state of preservation and can be visited. For example, the kasbah of Taourirt: this Berber castle was the residential palace of Thami El Glaoui and his family, one of the most powerful in the country until the mid-twentieth century. Its adobe construction and decoration in humble but tastefully refined materials make this fortress an outstanding example of local architecture.

Back on the road, we will stop shortly after to admire another jewel of the Berber civilization: Ait Ben Haddou. In this case it is a ksar or fortified village that was an important stop for the caravan routes to Marrakech. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a picturesque hamlet under a kasbah and surrounded by an impregnable wall.

After the visit, the road begins to climb to an altitude of 2,260 meters, the exact point where the Tizi n’Tichka pass is located, the most important and most used in the High Atlas. Its panoramic views are spectacular, with snow-capped peaks several months of the year.

The descent will be pleasant, through valleys of greenery, dotted with villages and cattle farms. And after about 100 km from the port, we will arrive in Marrakech, the final destination of this day. But first there will be free time to stroll freely around the city before resting in the rooms of the riad in the center.

  • Breakfast in hotel-riad in Ouarzazate
  • Kasbah of Taourirt
  • Continuation of the route by road:
    • Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou
    • High Altas (Tizi n’Tichka pass)
  • Arrival in Marrakech. Free time
  • Night in riad in Marrakech

Day 6: Marrakech - Marrakech Airport

The sixth and last day includes a tour of Marrakech during the morning, after breakfast and check-out from the riad. Therefore, this circuit is very interesting for those who have their flight back home in the afternoon.

It will be a visit led by an official guide of the city. Your tour will depend on the time available and could take us through the Jemaa el-Fna square, the surroundings of the Koutoubia mosque, the Ben Youssef medersa, the Bahia Palace or the Saadian Tombs, among other options. It will undoubtedly be an itinerary that will make the most of the morning to get the best knowledge of this city, which is also declared a World Heritage Site and is considered one of the Imperial Cities of the country.

After the visit and at the agreed time, our staff will transfer you by private vehicle to Marrakech Airport. And at the passenger terminal, when only the final boarding remains, our services will end.

  • Breakfast in riad in Marrakech
  • Guided tour of Marrakech, with official guide
  • Transfer to Marrakech Airport
  • End of our services

Services included in this 6-day tour from Tangier

These are the services included in the travel package that will allow you to make the most of the six-day tour, with a quality that is always premium:

  • Pick up in Tangier at the beginning of the tour (port, airport or other point of the city)
  • Transfer to Marrakech Airport at the end of the tour
  • Private vehicle with chauffeur for all the trips along the route.
  • One night in riad in Chaouen, on breakfast only basis
  • One night in a riad in Fez, on a breakfast-only basis
  • One night in a luxury tent camp in the dunes of Erg Chebbi, half board (dinner and breakfast).
  • One night in hotel-riad in Ouarzazate, half-board (dinner and breakfast)
  • One night in a riad in Marrakech on a breakfast-only basis
  • Dromedary ride (one per person) in the dunes of Erg Chebbi
  • Guided tour in Fez, with official guide
  • Guided tour in Marrakech, with official guide

Services not included

These services are excluded from the package, although we can provide prior advice and counseling:

  • International flight (or ferry ticket) for the arrival in Tangier
  • International flight back home (from Marrakech)
  • Dinners in Chaouen, Fez and Marrakech
  • Midday lunches
  • Beverages
  • Tips
  • Entrance fees to monuments and museums

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