Day 1: Fes to Merzouga via Ifrane, Cedar Forest, and Ziz Valley
Our journey commences early in the morning as we depart from Fes, venturing south towards the captivating Sahara Desert. We’ll traverse a variety of landscapes, beginning with Ifrane, a city affectionately known as “Moroccan Switzerland,” created by the French in the 1930s, which has evolved into one of Morocco’s premier ski resorts. Our route takes us through the scenic cedar forest of Azrou, where you may have the chance to encounter Barbary Macaques, wild monkeys native to the region. As we cross the Middle Atlas Mountains, you’ll be entranced by the breathtaking vistas. A possible lunch stop awaits in Zaida or Midelt before we proceed southward, climbing the Tizi-n-Tlghoumt pass, where the desert’s first hints become apparent. Along the way, we’ll pause to admire the panoramic splendor of Ziz Valley, a vast oasis adorned with palm trees. Our day concludes with our arrival in Merzouga, the gateway to the desert.
Day 2: Exploration of Merzouga and Erg Chebbi Dunes
The second day of our adventure is dedicated to the wonders of the Erg Chebbi dunes. We’ll embark on an exploration of the desert’s hidden treasures, including the seasonal Merzouga lake, where you may be fortunate enough to spot pink flamingos. Our journey continues to Khamlia, a quaint village where you can savor a refreshing mint tea while immersing yourself in the rhythms of Gnaoua music, an enchanting form of African Drum Music. Our path leads us to Mifis, where you’ll discover mineral mines. We’ll then venture off-road into the stony expanse of the black desert, ascending to one of its highest peaks for panoramic vistas of the Erg Chebbi dunes. Our next destination is the nomadic people, where you’ll have the privilege of visiting their traditional tent and gaining insight into their customs and daily routines. Lunch will be a delightful affair, either with the nomads, under the shade of an acacia tree, or at a cozy local restaurant where you can savor Berber Pizza. In the afternoon, we return to Merzouga to embark on a mesmerizing camel ride, revel in a spectacular desert sunset, and retire to a desert camp for a traditional dinner, complemented by rhythmic drum music around a campfire beneath the starlit sky.
Day 3: Merzouga to Todra Gorges via Rissani, Erfoud, and Tenghir
Rise early to witness the captivating desert sunrise before we embark on our journey towards Todra Gorges after breakfast, a refreshing shower, and a morning camel excursion. Our route takes us to Rissani, the former capital of Tafilalet and a vibrant regional marketplace (Souk). We’ll then explore Erfoud, known for its fossil museums, before heading to Tenghir. En route, we’ll pass through Jorf, Touroug, and Tinejdad, where you’ll have the opportunity for a delightful lunch break. As we arrive in Tenghir, you’ll be treated to a panoramic vista of an oasis teeming with palm trees, with an ancient mud-brick village as a picturesque backdrop. A short distance away, Todra Gorges beckon, offering an opportunity for an invigorating walk amidst their dramatic beauty.
Day 4: Todra to Ouarzazate via Dades Valley, Roses Valley, and Skoura
Our day begins with a departure from Todra in the morning as we venture eastward to Ouarzazate, traveling along the renowned Thousand Kasbahs route. Along the way, we’ll pause to explore Dades Valley and Mgouna, renowned for its enchanting rose valley. We’ll also visit Skoura, where you’ll have the chance to explore the beautifully preserved Ameridil Kasbah. After a delightful hike in the valley, we’ll enjoy a lunch break before proceeding to Ouarzazate, affectionately known as “Africa’s Hollywood” due to its captivating landscapes that have drawn renowned filmmakers. You may even opt to visit the film studios and discover props from famous movies such as The Mummy, Gladiator, and Lawrence of Arabia before checking in to your hotel.
Day 5: Ouarzazate to Marrakech via Ait Ben Haddou and High Atlas Mountains On our final day, we embark on a journey from Ouarzazate to Marrakech, traversing the majestic High Atlas Mountains. We begin by exploring the Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, a marvel dating back to the 11th century, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a splendid example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture. After our visit to the Kasbah, we navigate the winding roads of the High Atlas, punctuated by opportunities for breathtaking panoramic views. We’ll make stops along the way for picturesque photo opportunities, as well as lunch or refreshments. Ultimately, our journey leads us to the vibrant city of Marrakech, where you’ll have the chance to explore its wonders before checking in to your hotel.