Do you want to enjoy a tour of the desert and Marrakech, and at the same time have an expert agency take care of all the details? So, this proposal may be perfect for you, if you have a little more than a week for your trip. This is an 8-day tour of Morocco, from Marrakech to the south, which will make you discover the best of the Sahara desert and its people.
The desert is imposing. For its immensity, for its aridity, for its extreme temperatures, for its thundering silence. But with the company of our driver-guide, who has a deep knowledge of the route and the people who live there, the experience will become safe, pleasant and unforgettable. You will notice it in the major landmarks of the route, such as the dunes of Erg Chebbi, the Todra Gorges or the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. But you will also feel it in every anonymous corner and in every hospitable person you meet, with our intermediation.
This 8-day tour of Morocco does not conceive Marrakech as a simple place of arrival and departure: it reserves more than one day for you to get to know in depth this city, called ‘red’ because of the reddish color of its brick buildings. Imperial city for its centuries-old capital and great tourist reference of the country, it is a lively city where it is impossible to get bored. For this reason and for the services that we will provide you, you will feel at home when you are here.
This circuit of 8 days and 7 nights has a circular character: it starts in Marrakech and ends in the same city. The novelty is that it includes a day to discover Marrakech in depth, as well as free time in Marrakech and transfer services to/from the airport. This is the program, in detail:
As soon as you set foot on Moroccan soil and arrive at the airport, our agency will become your best companion: our staff will meet you at the terminal, with a private vehicle, to transfer you to the riad, located in the medina of Marrakech.
After check-in, it will be a good time to make a first exploration of the city on your own, which will serve as a preview for all that we will discover in a guided way on the seventh day of this 8-day tour of Morocco. And after this free walk, you will rest in the riad of Marrakech.
On the second day of the tour, we start walking: our driver-guide will pick you up at the hotel to head south, crossing the High Atlas Mountains that separate Marrakech from the desert. We will crown the Tizi n’Tichka pass, located at an altitude of 2,260 meters, which will offer us a spectacular view of the highest section of this mountain range.
The highlight of this day is the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village that is a World Heritage Site. From the outside, its huddled hamlet surrounded by high walls is a most unique sight. And from the inside, its narrow streets and nooks and crannies will evoke other times, such as its maximum splendor, when this place was an obligatory stop as a caravanserai on the routes traveling to Marrakech from the other side of the desert. In addition, movie buffs will recognize Ait Ben Haddou as the scene of important filming, such as
Game of Thrones
After discovering this ksar, we will continue our route by road, entering now in one of the valleys that lead to the desert: the Dades Valley. In one of its many charming villages, Boumalne Dades, we will put the brakes on and stop for the day: in a charming riad, dinner and rest will be offered for this second night.
The third day of the circuit is one of the most awaited, as we will reach the heart of the desert in the last part of the day. But first, there is a lot to see, and very interesting. In the Dades Valley, where we will start today’s route, we will come across villages and towns that deserve our attention, such as Tinghir, at the foot of rocky elevations and sheltered by a lush palm grove.
From Tinghir we take the detour that will take us to the Todra Gorges, another unique place in Morocco and in the world. It is a rocky canyon in the form of a corridor, with vertical and imposing walls on each side, while at the bottom of this unique valley flows tame Todra River, author of such a great natural work. The promenade that has been set up on its banks will allow us to better admire this space, which attracts many climbers every year.
Back to the Dades Valley, the itinerary will take us between rocky hills and ancient kasbahs until we reach Erfoud, anteroom of the desert. In this small town, fossils are the protagonist, since in its surroundings there is an important marble production industry, as well as deposits where animal species from millions of years ago have been found.
And soon after we will arrive in Merzouga, where our new travel companions will be waiting for us: the camels (one per person) that will take us to the luxury tent camp in the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. Thus, as authentic touareg, we will travel through this unique desert landscape.
At the camp, after a welcome tea, dinner will be served before retiring to sleep in luxury tents, where there is no lack of comfort, protected by the brightness of the stars in the sky.
For those who get up very early, the desert rewards with a surprise: the sunrise on the dunes of Erg Chebbi, which happens every morning… but every morning is different. What is certain is that it will bring lights of special nuances, to the delight of the eyes, the soul and the camera.
Afterwards, we will have breakfast and return to Merzouga. The plan for the day is to go into other corners of the desert to discover the most genuine places and people. For example, the inhabitants of Khamlia, descendants of former slaves brought from the other side of the Sahara, who delight with their music those who honor them with their visit. In our case, we will witness a gnawa concert, folklore protected as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
In the middle part of the day, the route becomes an adventure trail, as we will ride along Paris-Dakar tracks through abandoned villages and kohl mines. In such a hostile and remote environment, living here is quite a feat, and we will understand this as we visit nomadic desert families, who will tell us about their way of life, which resists being displaced by globalization.
The panoramic views from a strategic high point will make us reflect on all that we have experienced and all that is yet to experience, as the image of the desert will be imposing. And we will end the day with dinner and rest in a spectacular hotel in Merzouga, a premium oasis of Berber taste.
From Merzouga, the road back to Marrakech is long, so nothing better than making strategic stops along the route and enjoying the surroundings. The first stop will not be long in coming: Rissani, a small town that surprises with its beautiful medina, with walls and historical monuments, and with scenes full of customs, such as its donkey parking or its market of a thousand flavors, colors and smells.
After that, the route takes us towards the Draa Valley, passing through towns such as Alnif and Tazzarine. The arrival to this valley will not go unnoticed and we will recognize it by the huge palm grove that covers the land. The uniqueness of this oasis is not only its lushness, but also its size: with its 150 km of extension, it is one of the largest on the continent.
Finally, we will arrive in Ouarzazate, known as the ‘Hollywood of Morocco’, for its Atlas Studios, where scenes of famous feature films such as Lawrence of Arabia were shot. In this city you will find our hotel-riad to have dinner and spend the night of this day.
On this sixth day, we return to Marrakech, after several days in the desert and its surroundings. But before leaving for the High Atlas Mountains, it is worth discovering the main historical-artistic monument of this city: the kasbah of Taourirt.
This kasbah was the palatial fortress of the El Glaoui family, Pasha of Marrakech and Lord of the Atlas, that is, one of the most powerful lineages of the whole country until the last century. Externally it shows its characteristic aspect of austere Berber castle, in adobe and with geometric decorative games. Inside, it reminds us of the refinement of Islamic art, with ornamentation in plaster, ceramics and wood, mainly.
After the visit, we will return to the road to overcome the High Atlas Mountains, again through the Tizi n’Tichka pass and now descending through the fertile and wild valleys that carpet the north face of this mountain range.
We will arrive in Marrakech early, so that the afternoon will be free for shopping, leisure activities or simply rest, in order to face this World Heritage City with more energy and enthusiasm the next day.
The penultimate day of the tour has reserved for us the great cultural visit of the trip: the city of Marrakech, especially its medina, one of the largest and most beautiful in the country. Walled, its interior preserves neighborhoods and souks full of life, but also monuments of the first magnitude.
Therefore, we will enjoy the explanations of a certified tour guide, who will set up a route where there may be room for such symbolic places as the Koutoubia mosque (exterior only), the Jemaa el-Fna square (itself declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity), the Saadian tombs or the Bahia Palace. Although it is not possible to cover everything in this visit, it will help us to know and admire the real Marrakech, which would go unnoticed if it were not for a guided tour of this type.
The afternoon will again be free to continue shopping, rest or continue exploring other corners of the city that are also worth visiting: museums such as the Museum of Marrakech, the Majorelle Gardens or the medersa of Ben Youssef, among other possibilities. And in the evening, rest again in our riad in the medina.
The eighth day will be configured according to the departure time of your flight back home. But there will certainly be time for a leisurely breakfast at the riad in Marrakech. At the agreed time, we will pick you up for the transfer to Marrakech Menara International Airport, where our services will end.
The services included in this circuit are of the highest quality and cover all aspects of the trip, so you can enjoy the whole experience with peace of mind:
Despite the large number of services included in the package, you will be able to decide on these other services not included: