Good to Know:
1: Marrakech – Atlas Mountains – Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate – Dades
Our adventure begins at 08:00 a.m. as we depart from Marrakech, heading southward through the breathtaking High Atlas Mountains. Along the way, we’ll traverse the Tizi n’Tichka, the highest road pass in the Atlas range, offering panoramic views of this majestic landscape. We’ll pause at a charming local restaurant for a coffee or tea break, where you can savor the mountain scenery and explore nearby Berber villages.
Our next destination is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, an extraordinary Kasbah and remarkably preserved fortress. This historic site has served as the backdrop for numerous Hollywood productions, including Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and Game of Thrones.
Our journey continues to Ouarzazate, often referred to as the “Hollywood of Africa,” where we’ll visit its renowned film studios and the historic Taourirt Kasbah, a fortified residence steeped in history. From there, we’ll venture through Skoura, the Mgouna Valley (also known as the Roses Valley), and several charming Berber villages before reaching the captivating Dades Valley, where we’ll spend the night in a comfortable hotel.
Day 2: Dades – Todra Gorges – Erfoud – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi Dunes)
On the second day, we’ll depart from Dades Valley in the early morning and set our course for the magnificent Todra Gorges, one of Morocco’s most spectacular and picturesque canyons. Along the way, we’ll take leisurely strolls through the lush Todra Oasis and explore the awe-inspiring canyons.
Our journey then leads us southward to Erfoud, a small town renowned for its fossil factories, where you can discover a fascinating world of ancient remnants. We’ll continue our adventure through the Saharan Oasis, marveling at its unique beauty.
Upon arrival in Merzouga, the gateway to the Erg Chebbi dunes, you’ll have time to relax before embarking on a camel trek into the heart of the desert. The camel excursion typically begins around 17:00-18:00 in the summer and 15:00-16:00 in the winter. As you ride across the dunes, you’ll witness the mesmerizing sunset over the Sahara.
Upon reaching the desert camp, you’ll receive a warm welcome with traditional mint tea, followed by a sumptuous dinner in the camp’s restaurant tent. The evening will be filled with the rhythmic beats of Berber drums, played by locals around the campfire. Don’t miss the opportunity to stargaze in the clear desert sky and explore the nearby dunes.
Day 3: Merzouga – M’fis – Black Desert – Merzouga
Day three begins with an early morning wake-up call to witness the captivating sunrise over the Merzouga dunes. After breakfast and a refreshing shower, our day unfolds with a 4wd desert adventure, allowing us to explore the surroundings of Merzouga.
Our first stop is at the seasonal lake of Merzouga, known as Dayet Srij, where you may encounter flamingos and other fascinating bird species against a backdrop of dunes. We’ll proceed to the village of Khamlia, inhabited by people originally from Sudan and Mali, where we’ll immerse ourselves in the rhythms of Gnawa music and dance (optional).
Next, our journey takes us to M’fis, an old French village, where we’ll explore mineral and fossil mines. We’ll ascend a small hill, offering panoramic views of the dunes on one side and the Moroccan-Algerian border on the other. Fossil enthusiasts can enjoy a bit of fossil hunting.
Our adventure continues to visit nomad families residing in Berber-style tents at the base of the Erg Chebbi dunes. Here, you’ll gain insight into their daily life and traditions. A visit to one of their tents will provide an opportunity to savor a cup of mint tea or indulge in a delectable Berber pizza for lunch (optional).
Following our desert exploration, we’ll embark on an off-road journey along the Dakar Rally route, making a stop at a desert oasis before returning to our hotel in Merzouga. After a brief rest, you can take a leisurely walk through the village or explore the nearby dunes, soaking in the tranquil desert ambiance.
Day 4: Merzouga – Ziz Valley – Medilt – Azrou – Ifrane – Fes
On our final day, we’ll commence our journey back to Fes in the morning, following breakfast and a refreshing shower. We’ll pass through Errachidia, the largest administrative city in the desert region, and pause to appreciate the sweeping panoramic views of the picturesque Ziz Valley, adorned with thousands of palm trees.
Our route takes us to the apple-rich town of Medilt, where we’ll savor lunch. The next highlight is the Cedar forest of Azrou, a natural habitat for wild monkeys. You’ll have the opportunity to capture the natural beauty of this wilderness and perhaps even interact with the monkeys, although please note that they are wild animals and may not always be present.
Continuing our journey, we’ll pass through Ifrane, known as the “Moroccan Switzerland,” before ultimately arriving in Fes. Your arrival time will be approximately between 18:00 and 19:00, depending on the duration of our stops along the way.
This 4-day desert adventure from Marrakech to Fes promises an unforgettable exploration of Morocco’s diverse landscapes, rich culture, and desert wonders.