Exotic Sahara Desert Tour

From €425EUR

5 Days

Starts in Fes

+212 661 469 661

hello@besttravelmorocco.com

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SUMMARY

Tour Overview

Carefully selected hotels, Kasbahs, Riads. Includes one night in a traditional Berber camp

Qualified multi-language guide fluent in English, French, Spanish

Air-conditioned 4WD vehicle(s), mini bus or motor-coach

Fes, Ifrane, Azrou, Ziz Canyon, Merzouga, Erg Chebbi dunes, desert tour, Rissani, Todra Canyon, Dades Valley, Roses valley, Skoura Oasis, Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Atlas Mountains, Marrakech

INcluded in your tour

Tour Highlights

We have over 20 years of experience crafting a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are our most common itineraries, to be used as starting points in developing yours.

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

We are experts at creating a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are some of our most popular itineraries, and they may be customized to the utmost extent of your imaginations.

Fes to the Edge of the Sahara

Starts in

Starts in

We continue our journey onwards from Fes to Ifrane, through hills blanketed in forests of cork oak and giant cedar, where a few Barbary apes still call home. Passing through the Middle and High Atlas ranges, we will catch our first glimpse of Southern Morocco’s unique architectural style and stop for lunch overlooking a breathtaking view of the dramatic peaks of the High Atlas rising behind the town of Midelt. As we descend into the desert plains, the view changes from dramatic mountain peaks to an expansive oasis punctuated by countless Ksours (fortified villages), which then give way to a vast stony plain that marks the edges of the Sahara. Once among the dunes, you will be welcomed into a charming Kasbah where you will be able to relax beside the swimming pool, and enjoy the tunes of a desert blues band well into the evening.

Desert Culture + Tea with Nomads + Camel Trek

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Watching the sun rise amongst the dunes is a magical experience, and not to be missed. Your breakfast will be waiting for you upon your return, after which you will have the opportunity to visit the nomadic communities around Merzouga, stopping for tea in the souks, and enjoying the traditional Gnawa music. As the mid-day sun wanes, we will mount our camels and trek into the pink sands of the Moroccan Sahara; here, we will have ample free time for you to explore and take in the beauty and vastness of the desert dunes. Once the sun sets, a Moroccan dinner will be served alongside live music around the campfire, after which you are free to explore again - this time in the company of a million stars exploding against the pitch-black sky, and the all-encompassing silence of the Sahara at night.

A Desert Sunrise, Africa's Hollywood and Todra Gorge

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At your request, our staff will wake you at the crack of dawn to witness the spectacle of the desert sunrise, the colour of the sand contrasting beautifully with the palette of shadows on the dunes. After some light breakfast and tea we will ride the camels back across the desert to the Kasbah to freshen up before our journey back West towards the Todra Gorge, known as "Morocco's Grand Canyon". We will have lunch here and amble along the valley to take in the view. From there, we continue on to Ouarzazate, a bustling southern city often referred to as "The Hollywood of Morocco" owing to the many famous films shot on location such as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Kingdom of Heaven, as well as several seasons of the hit show, Game of Thrones. Here, we will explore the nearby Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah inMorocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the backdrop for many of the films and shows shot on location.

Lush Orchards and Fantastical Formations

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After breakfast we will have some time to relax and enjoy the views from the terrace across the valley. You may also decide to take a 1-2 hour trek through the villages in the area, passing fields cultivated by the local Berber women with the peaks of the Atlas Mountains as the backdrop. We then end our journey for the day at Ouarzazate, a bustling southern city often referred to as "The Hollywood of Morocco" owing to the many famous films shot on location such as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Kingdom of Heaven, as well as several seasons of the hit show, Game of Thrones.

Ouarzazate to Marrakech, Fantastical Kasbahs

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Starts in

Following breakfast we will explore the nearby Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the backdrop for many of the films and shows shot on location. We then continue north across the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech - a fantastical Arabian Nights city with myriad alleyways, souks, and market stalls. Marrakech is the second oldest imperial city, known as the "Southern Pearl" of Morocco, and has for centuries been an important stop for traders and travelers alike; this remarkable city never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travelers, and we’re sure you’ll love it too. We will arrive in Marrakech by the afternoon, giving you plenty of time to explore the vibrant streets at your leisure before settling in for the evening.

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

We have over 20 years of experience crafting a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are our most common itineraries, to be used as starting points in developing yours.

DAY 1: Fes → Ifrane → Azrou → Midelt → Ziz Gorges & Oases → Erfoud → Merzouga

After picking you up from your hotel in Fes we will embark on a picturesque journey towards Ifrane, through hills covered in forests of cork oak and giant cedar in which a few Barbary apes still make their home. Crossing strikingly beautiful passes over both the Middle and High Atlas ranges we will catch our first glimpse of the South’s incredible architecture. After passing through a barren plain of scrub and desert on the other side of the mountains, we will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, from which we will have a fantastic view of the dramatic peaks of the High Atlas rising behind the town. Crossing Tizi-n-Talremt (Pass of the She-Camel), we will descend into a desert plain along the Ziz valley. We will then head south to Erfoud and Rissani, into a huge oasis containing over six million palm trees and edged by many ksours (fortified villages). Our route will continue through an immense palm oasis and a vast area of stony plain that marks the transition to the desert before reaching the tranquil desert town of Merzouga, where we have selected a charming kasbah hotel on the outskirts of the Erg Chebbi golden sand dunes. There you will be able to relax beside the swimming pool, and in the evening enjoy a live traditional music show.

DAY 2: Merzouga Culture and Traditions → Tea with Nomads → Camel Trekking in the Erg Chebbi

A relaxing morning and after breakfast, we will take a 4WD vehicle off-road tour around the dunes. On the tour we will visit the oasis of Merzouga, the nomadic depository, and Khamlia Village, where we will be able to hear gnawa music from the local people who are descendants of ex-slaves that found their way to Morocco from Senegal via the Salt Route. We will continue on to meet desert nomads in their tents and discover their way of life. We will also visit the nearby Lake of Merzouga, with its diverse population of birds. Afterwards we will leave for Rissani. Once called Sijilmassa, this was the meeting place for the salt caravans coming from Timbuktu, Mali. Here you'll be able to walk through the souk, where you will be able to find spices, vegetables, and clothes. After having a pizza lunch in Rissani we will drive back to our kasbah, where we will relax and be greeted with a glass of mint tea. In the afternoon you will have a chance to leave all unnecessary luggage behind in safe rooms at a hotel before mounting your camel (or 4WD if you can't do the camels) and riding into the Moroccan Sahara. We will have time to wander around the dunes before watching the sunset. In the evening we will dine on Moroccan cuisine and enjoy traditional live music around the campfire. You will spend the night in warm Berber tents in the silence of the desert, and you can relax outside and marvel at the Milky Way spreading across the pitch-black night sky, and maybe even see some shooting stars. (HB)

DAY 3: Merzouga → Rissani → Todra Canyon → Dades Valley

If you would like to wake up early so that you can watch the spectacle of sunrise, when the color of the sand contrasts beautifully with the play of shadows on the dunes - after which you might want to try your hand at sand-boarding down them. After a refreshing shower and breakfast, we will ride the camels or fun 4X4 off-road drive through the dunes back to the kasbah in Merzouga town before heading out of town to the Todra Gorge, known as "Morocco's Grand Canyon". We will have lunch here and take the opportunity to explore along the river and through the gardens or up the road on the other side of the gorge to take in the view. In the afternoon we will continue our scenic drive into the Dades Valley, also known as the “Valley of 1000 Kasbahs” for the countless abandoned kasbahs one can see dotting the countryside among the palm trees. Later that afternoon we will arrive in the Dades Gorge, where we will watch the sunset's orange glow against the rocks before having dinner and spending the night in our hotel.

DAY 4: Dades Valley → Boutarar → Roses Valley → Skoura Oasis → Ouarzazate

After having breakfast at our hotel in the Dades Gorge we will have time to relax on the terrace and enjoy the views across the fertile Dades Valley. You may also decide to take a 1-2 hour trek through the villages of the area, passing fields cultivated by the local Berber women with the peaks of the Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. We will continue our journey towards Ouarzazate, first going off-road along the Boutarar piste to visit local Berber nomads in their caves and join them for a glass of tea. From here we will continue through the Kelaa M'gouna, the "Valley of the Roses", which is famous for its Rose Festival in May and its locally-made cosmetics, made from the valley's abundant roses, that are highly valued throughout Morocco. Further on our way we will pass the Skoura Oasis, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some now sadly in ruin, stand among the palm trees, before arriving in the bustling southern city of Ouarzazate, known as "Morocco's Hollywood" due to the many Hollywood blockbusters its film studios have produced. We will have dinner and spend the night in Ouarzazate.

DAY 5: Ouarzazate → Ait Benhaddou → Atlas Mountains → Marrakech

After breakfast we will head to the nearby Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the backdrop for many of Ouarzazate's films including notably "Lawrence of Arabia". After enjoying the kasbah we will continue north across the High Atlas Mountains to Telouet, a village set right in the middle of the mountains which was the former seat of the last Pasha of Marrakech, El Glaoui, who used the location to control the mountain pass. We will go through this very same pass on a road which was completed by the French Foreign Legion in 1936 and winds up over the Tizi n'Tichka Pass, offering stunning views over the mountains before descending past Berber villages to the plains surrounding Marrakech. Even today, the name Marrakech conjures up scenery straight out of Arabian Nights - alleyways, souks, and market stalls. This remarkable city, with the graceful architecture of the renowned 11th-century Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline, never fails to satisfy the curiosity of its visitors. We will arrive in Marrakech by the afternoon.



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Other Tours

We are experts at creating a Moroccan experience perfectly tailored to our guests needs. These are some of our most popular itineraries, and they may be customized to the utmost extent of your imaginations.

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