Sahara Desert Dream

Morning departure at 8am from your hotel in Marrakech to Ouarzazate passing through the High Atlas mountains and over the pass of Tizi-n-Tichka at 2260m. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos. Otherwise the first scheduled stop is to visit the kasbah of Telouet which served as a palatial residence and the headquarters of the powerful Glaoui tribe, and we then drive along a track which crosses the valley of Ounila and leads to the kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, where we have lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the Kasbah before leaving for Ouarzazate for the night in a guest house.

Morning departure from Ouarzazate to the Todra gorges, passing the oasis of Skoura where we stop to visit the kasbah of Amridil. From here, our route takes us through Kela’a M’gouna and the valley of the roses. Our trip continues along the road of a thousand kasbahs to the Dades gorges for lunch. In the afternoon, there is time for a stroll alongside the Dades valley before continuing to the Todra gorges for the night in a riad.

After breakfast, we go off-road from Tinghir to N’Qob, passing the Tizi-n-Tazzazert mountain in the Saghro mountain range to the village of N’kob for lunch. From here, our route takes us to the Dra’a valley at Tansikht in the afternoon, continuing south along the Draa valley and the ancient road of caravans until we reach Zagora. Dinner and night in a riad.

After breakfast, we drive from Zagora to Erg Chegaga passing by Tamegroute where we stop to visit the Koranic library, the underground kasbah and the potteries. From here, the road leads south to M’hamid, the very gate to the sahara desert and the end of the paved road. This is where the sahara starts. Lunch will be served in a restaurant in M’hamid. In the afternoon, we make our way across another 66km through the varying features of the sahara desert; ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, oases, to Erg Chegaga which, at 300m high and 45km long, are the largest in Morocco. These dunes afford a wonderful view of the setting sun. Here a one hour camel ride leads to the highest dunes to enjoy an unforgettable sunset. After dinner, nomad music enhances the exoticness of the desert as you listen round a camp-fire. Overhead the stars twinkle down on you and you feel you can pull them out of the sky. A “star-gazers” app on your phone will help identify them. You spend the night in a comfortable desert camp. 

If you wake up early enough, you can watch the spectacle of the sunrise. After breakfast, the road takes us from Erg Chegaga to Agdez. We drive another 100km across the sahara over the stony desert, “reg”and “hammada” and across the now dried up lake Iriqui where you can search for fossils. At the edge of the desert at Foum Zguid, we stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive north to Taznakht, famous for its carpet shops. Turning back south we arrive in Agdez at the end of the afternoon, dinner and night in a riad.

After breakfast, we visit to the kasbah of Tamnougalte before driving from Agdez to Marrakech via the Anti-Atlas and mountain pass of Tizi-n-Tinfifte (1660m). Once in Ouarzazate, we visit the kasbah of Tifoultoute, originally the residence of the Pasha of Marrakech and a symbol of the feudal period of the lords of Atlas. Afterwards, an unpaved track to the oasis of Fint nestling among the mountains, which once served as the crossroads of caravans, provides a hidden delight. Alternatively lunch will be in the High Atlas mountains. We reach Marrakech by the end of the afternoon.

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