Sahara Desert Dream

Morning departure at 8 o’clock from your hotel or riad in Marrakech to cross the High Atlas mountains. After the Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2260m), you leave the main road and take a side road to the kasbah of Telouet. From there you continue along the Ounila valley to the kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou which we visit after lunch. In the afternoon, we continue south to the valley of Draa. We reach Agdez by the end of the afternoon, dinner and night in a riad.

After breakfast, we drive from Agdez to the dunes of Chegaga passing by the ancient road of caravansZagoraTamegroute and M’hamid (the gate to the Sahara desert) where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we continue to Erg Chegaga (300m) with 65km of off-road driving along the Sahara desert. By the afternoon, we have arrived to Erg Chegaga, there is time to have a camel ride for an hour before taking a walk to watch the sunset from the summit of Erg Chegaga (300m). After sunset, the night will be spent in a comfortable desert camp, which is also the venue for dinner.

If you wake up early enough, you can watch the spectacle of the sunrise. After breakfast, the road takes us from Erg Chegaga to Taroudant across the Sahara desert over the stony desert, “reg” and “hammada” and across the now dried-up Iriqui Lake. In the middle of this lake, we can search for fossils. At the edge of the desert at Foum Zguid, we drive north to Taznakht where we stop for lunch. After crossing the Tizi-n-Ikhsane and Tizi-n-Tighatine passes, we reach Tilouine, the heart of the saffron growing region. The road takes us on to Taroudant where we stop for the night in a luxury riad.

In the morning, there is a visit to the town known as “the little Marrakech”. It is spectacular for its massive ramparts and beautiful medina. From here you travel along the Souss river valley with all its argane groves as far as Agadir. The road then travels up the coast along the paradise valley, driving through Taghazout where lunch will be served. On arriving in Essaouira, you can explore the town, the Skala, the medina and all its innumerable shops as well as the sea front with its fresh fish restaurants. The night is spent in a riad in Essaouira.

After breakfast you can continue to wander round Essaouira, getting to know it better, perhaps enjoying more of the fresh fish. Return to Marrakech, stopping in a forest of argane trees and the co-operative of argane oil producers. We pass many Berber villages on the way. We reach the city of Marrakech by the end of the afternoon.

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