Morning departure from Marrakech at 7 30 head towards Ouarzazate. We head for the Tizi N’Tichka a winding mountain road, the pass reaches a height of 2260m with beautiful views of the valleys. In winter the mountains are covered with snow.
We take a small road leading to Télouet which is the 1st kasbah you visit, visitors to morocco often pass by unaware of the palatial palace once the residence of the Glaoui family who ruled the southern region during the French protectorate. The Kasbah arguably boasts some of the best Islamic Architecture in Morocco. After our visit, we drive through the Ounila Valley, a beautiful valley lined with numerous crumbling Ksars and Kasbahs.
We arrive at Ait Ben Haddou, which is the largest Ksar, and is classified by Unesco. It has served as the setting for major films like Lawrence of Arabia, Diamond Nile etc. Inside the walls of the ksar are half a dozen Kasbahs or merchants houses and other individual dwellings, and is a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture. Here we can stop to take lunch.
On to Ouarzazate you visit the movie studios and the Taourirt Kasbah, unlike other Glaoui kasbahs, Taourirt escaped ruin by moonlighting as a Hollywood backdrop (Sheltering Sky, Gladiator, Prince of Persia) and attracting the attention of Unesco, which has carefully restored, small sections of the inner sanctum.
We continue to Dades Boumain where we check in to our riad for the night and have dinner.
Dades – Merzouga ( 4 hours drive )
After breakfast, today’s journey will start by driving along the road of 1001 Kasbahs to Tinghir oasis. You can enjoy the amazing scenery, taking in the remainins of fortified villages that were hosting the caravan roads until early in the 2Oth century.
Upon arrival at Tinghir, which was a military post during the French occupation, we will deviate into a secondary road to the oasis. Feel free to take a walk next to the stream and watch the locals farming and herding their cattle, your walk will end at one of the most magnificent scenes of your tour: Todgha Gorges.
After lunch at one of the local cafés, we continue to Rissani, known as the gateway to the desert, which is the starting point of the ancient caravan roads crossing the Sahara desert all the way to Tomboctou.
From here, we will cross some rocky terrain all the way to Merzouga, where our camel caravan will be waiting for us. Enjoy a camel ride over Erg Chebbi dunes to watch an amazing sunset, before settling in to our Sahara desert camp. Enjoy dinner under the stars while being entertained with traditional Berber music around the camp fire.
On the last day you will be woken up a half an hour before the sunrise to enjoy that magical view, then return to Merzouga by camel. Where you can enjoy a reviving shower and breakfast before continuing our tour.
We will come back from Merzouga to Marrakech via Tazarine and the Draa Valley. the Draa Valley stretches from the city of Ouarzazate into the Sahara Desert. It is a stunning oasis home to Berber villages, sumptuous Kasbahs, streaming sand dunes, lush green plains, snow-capped Atlas Mountains, endless stretches of palm trees and the Draa, Morocco’s largest river.
During ancient times, the river of Draa crossed the desert and traveled hundreds of kilometers west until it joined the Atlantic. Today, most of this river has dried but its path still leads through one of the most fascinating landscapes in Morocco. After leaving the peaks of the Atlas Mountains we descend back towards Marrakech arriving back to you riad around 7pm.