Traverse the High Atlas Mountains via the magnificent Tizi-n-Tichka pass
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Benhaddou kasbah with a guide
Take a camel trek from Merzouga to Erg Chebbi and enjoy dinner under the stars at a Berber desert camp
Tour includes some meals and round-trip travel from Marrakech
Escape the busy streets of Marrakech’s Medina for the stark beauty of the desert during this 3-day excursion to Merzouga and Erg Chebbi. Cross through the Atlas Mountains via the stunning Tizi-n-Tichka pass, explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Aït Benhaddou kasbah and visit the desert oasis at Skoura. Then discover the Todra Gorge and the sacred city of Rissani before spending the night amidst the stark beauty of the Sahara Desert. This 3-day, 2-night excursion also includes a driver (who also serves as guide), 2 nights of accommodation (one at a desert camp), camel trek, meals as per the itinerary, round-trip air-conditioned transport from your hotel.
Day 1: Marrakech – Atlas Mountains – Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou – Dades Valley:
Your budget shared 3 days desert trip from Marrakech to Merzouga will start early in the morning with a drive east of Marrakech past small suburban towns to the High Atlas Mountains. A few stops will be made to take photos, enjoy the scenery, stretch your legs and drink a cup of coffee.
Drive uphill on curvy roads to the famous Tizi N'tichka pass before you reach Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, the first major stop today for sightseeing. The Berber fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou is a UNESCO-listed landmark and is also known as a set for major Hollywood epics, just to name a few movies that used the village for shooting: the Kingdom of Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, and Gladiator. Cross the river separating the Kasbah from the main road and explore the village at leisure. Should you wish to hire a local guide, they are available onsite.
After lunch at leisure at one of the local cafes, continue to Dades valley driving past Ouarzazate, Skoura Oasis, Klaa Mgouna, the capital of the valley of the roses, and famous for its rosewater artisanal distillation factories.
Upon arrival at Boumalne Dades, Follow Dades River on a tiny road passing by different fortified Kasbahs located on the side of the road to Dades Canyons. You will arrive at your hotel late in the afternoon.
Dinner and overnight at your Dades hotel.
Day 2: Dades Valley – Tinghir – Merzouga – Sahara Desert:
After breakfast at your hotel in Dades Valley, our journey today will start today with a drive along the road of 1001 Kasbahs to the oasis of Tighir, where we will deviate to a minor road driving along the river to Todgha where you will stop for a walk in the oasis under the shade of palm trees and continue to Todgha Gorges.
After some time at leisure to enjoy the immensity of the huge cliffs, and lunch at a local café ( At leisure ), we continue early in the afternoon to Rissani, famous for its dates market, and being a starting point of the ancient trading caravans crossing the Sahara desert to Tomboctou. After a quick stop, we will continue to Merzouga driving through some rocky desert landscape.
Upon arrival at Des dunes lodge, feel free to take a swim at their freshening pool before getting ready for your sunset desert trek to the camp.
Meet our camel caravan, and ride your camels through the amazing color-changing sand dunes with the sunset on the horizon as a backdrop. We reach our Sahara desert camp before darkness.
After some time to admire the sand dunes and the surrounding landscapes, get ready for a Moroccan dinner served under the stars next to the campfire. Late at night, your local nomad hosts will be entertaining you with their local music & drums.
Day 3: Merzouga – Ouarzazate – Atlas Mountains – Marrakech:
After an early sunrise camel trek through Erg Chebbi dunes arrive at the camp operator's lodge for breakfast, shower, and maybe a quick swim at the lodge pool if time permits.
Meet your driver and vehicle and drive back to Ouarzazate. After some time at leisure for lunch, we carry on in the afternoon to Marrakech through the High Atlas Mountains.
Your budget shared 3 days desert tour will end in Marrakech at about 20h00.
Please note the above driving times do not include time for sightseeing, lunches, drinks, and photos.
This tour is perfect for easy-going travelers with limited expectations. Otherwise, a private tour would suit you much better.
Your luggage is welcome on this Marrakech to Merzouga trip. It will be safely stored in the van while camping in the desert.
Please make sure you prepare a small backpack/rucksack for the camel ride and overnight in the camp.
Please bring your own bathroom condiments and towel for the camp.
Hat, sunglasses, good walking shoes, and wet napping are of good use during this tour.
Please wear jeans, trousers, or long shorts for the camel ride to have a comfortable trek in Erg Chebbi dunes.
If you wish to experience sandboarding in the dunes of Erg Chebbi, there are a few sand boards in the lodge to take with you to the camp. Just ask for it and if available, you will be given one cost 10euros pp.
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