Embark on an unforgettable 8-day journey from Marrakech to Merzouga, the gateway to Erg Chebbi. Traverse the majestic High Atlas mountains, immerse yourself in the historic Ait Ben Haddou and Telouat Kasbahs, and capture memories at the famous “Atlas Studio” in Ouarzazate. Experience the picturesque Roses Valley and the dramatic Dades Gorges before indulging in a camel ride and a magical night at a Sahara desert campsite.
As night falls, rest in Berber tents amidst the tranquil dunes. After this enchanting desert experience, we’ll chart a new path towards Fez, offering encounters with the vibrant Rissani Markt, the fossil-rich Erfoud, the scenic Errachidia, charming Midelt, and the captivating Azrou. The journey continues through Meknes, the ancient Volubilis Roman city, the enchanting “Blue Pearl” of Chefchaouen, the historical wonders of Rabat, and the bustling metropolis of Casablanca, culminating in a return to vibrant Marrakech.
Highlights of the 8-Day Trip:
This 8-day journey promises a captivating blend of Morocco’s diverse landscapes, cultural treasures, and thrilling experiences. Join us on this remarkable adventure from Marrakech to the heart of the Sahara and beyond.
Program Itinerary of the 8-Day Marrakech to Merzouga Desert
Day 1: Marrakech to Boumalne Dades via Ait Ben Hadou and Ouarzazate [325 km]
Begin your 8-Day journey from Marrakech to Merzouga with a morning departure. As you travel to Dades Valley, you’ll traverse the spectacular High Atlas Mountains, crossing the renowned Tizi N-Tichka pass at an elevation of 2260 meters. En route, explore the UNESCO-listed Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, a cinematic wonder featured in movies like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Admire the diverse landscapes, with picturesque Berber villages dotting the route. Upon reaching Ouarzazate, often referred to as “the gate of the Sahara desert,” visit Kasbah Taourirt and the Atlas Film Studios. Continue on the mesmerizing Road of a Thousand Kasbahs before arriving in Boumalne Dades for dinner and an overnight stay in a traditional Riad or hotel.
Day 2: Boumalne Dades to Merzouga Desert via Todgha Gorges [269 km]
After a traditional Moroccan breakfast, set out towards the striking Todra Gorges. Before embarking on the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs, make your way to Tinghir and explore the Todra Gorge, a favorite spot for hikers with its narrow canyons and towering valley walls reaching 300 meters high. Your journey then takes you to the Merzouga Sahara Desert, where you’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the way. Arrive in Merzouga late in the afternoon and embark on a mesmerizing 1.5-hour camel trek into the heart of the desert. Witness a breathtaking sunset from atop the highest sand dunes before indulging in a sumptuous dinner accompanied by Berber drums and an enchanting night’s rest in a Standard or Luxury Desert Camp beneath the star-studded desert sky.
Day 3: Merzouga Sahara Desert Discovery [40 km]
Rise early for a memorable sunrise in the desert before returning to your Riad or Hotel in Merzouga by camel. Your experienced driver/guide will be ready for an off-road adventure tour around the captivating sand dunes. Immerse yourself in the Merzouga region, exploring Berber villages and visiting the fascinating Khamlia village, known for its Black people and Gnawa music. Absorb the panoramic views of the sand dunes, gaining insights into the nomadic way of life as you encounter tents and herds of camels and goats. Explore deserted mines and oasis palm groves, and then head back to Merzouga. Enjoy free time to explore Merzouga’s streets.
Day 4: Merzouga Dunes to Midelt via Rissani, Erfoud, and Ziz Valley [263 km]
Bid farewell to the Sahara Desert after an exciting off-road adventure and authentic nomadic experiences. Following breakfast, journey to Midelt via the towns of Rissani and Erfoud. Take the opportunity to stroll through the bustling local Souk in Erfoud, where you can shop like a local. As you continue, relish the panoramic vistas of palm groves in the Ziz Valley and explore the Rich Ziz Gorges, carved through volcanic rock. Cross the Tizi N Talghamt pass on your way to Midelt. Arrive in Midelt and spend the night in a Hotel with dinner, bed, and breakfast.
Day 5: Midelt to Fes via Azrou and Ifrane [204 km]
Embark on the next leg of your 8-day journey, departing from Midelt and heading to Fes. Traverse the Middle Atlas Mountains, passing through quaint old mud Berber villages. Pause to capture photos with the famed Barbary apes (monkeys) in the renowned Cedar forest before reaching Azrou. Continue your journey to Ifrane, often referred to as the “Switzerland of Morocco.” Finally, arrive in the fascinating city of Fes, where you’ll be dropped off at your Hotel/Riad for your stay.
Day 6: Full Day Fes Imperial City Sightseeing Tour
Delve into the treasures of Fes on a comprehensive guided tour of the city’s oldest and most captivating monuments. Explore the UNESCO-listed Fes el-Bali (Old Medina), the world’s largest living ancient medina. Highlights include Nejjarin Museum, Al Quaraouin University, the Jewish Quarter, a view of the famous leather tannery, and much more. The day offers free time in the afternoon to continue your exploration of the city. Rest for the night in your chosen hotel or Riad.
Day 7: Fes to Rabat via Volubilis and Meknes [205 km]
After breakfast, depart from Fes en route to Rabat, with a stopover in Meknes. Visit the archaeological site of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a glimpse into Moroccan life during the Roman Empire. Explore Meknes, where you’ll encounter the famous Bab El Mansour gate, Lahdim square, and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. Continue the journey to Morocco’s political capital, Rabat, a coastal city. Discover the city’s crenelated red ocher walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas, Hassan Tower, Mohamed 5 mausoleum, and more. Spend the night in a hotel/Riad in the Medina.
Day 8: Rabat to Marrakech via Casablanca [323 km]
On your final day of the 8-day journey, set out from Rabat in the morning and head for Marrakech via Casablanca. Begin with a visit to the awe-inspiring Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the second-largest mosque in Africa and the seventh-largest in the world, boasting a towering minaret. Upon arriving in Marrakech, the remainder of the day is yours to explore the bustling Djemaa El Fna square or engage in any activities you had planned before your journey to Morocco. At the appropriate time, you will be dropped off at your hotel, Riad, or the airport, marking the conclusion of your 8-day Marrakech to Merzouga adventure.