Sahara Desert Dream

Morning departure at 8.30am from your hotel or riad in Marrakech to Zagora, crossing the High Atlas and the pass of Tizi-n-Tichka (2260m). At panoramic viewpoints, there’ll be opportunities to stop to take pictures. The road past Ouarzazate and to the valley of Draa where we stop to have lunch at Agdez. In the afternoon, we go off-road along the Draa valley and the ancient caravan route between the mountains and the river. You then reach Zagora and the door of the Sahara desert, where you will have a short camel ride to watch the sunset and have dinner in the Nekhla dunes in a  luxury desert camp where you also spend the night.

After breakfast, we drive south from Zagora to M’hamid (the end of the paved road) passing by Tamagroute where you can visit the Qoranic Library, the underground kasbah and the pottery factory. Lunch will be in M’hamid. In the afternoon departure for the dunes of Chegaga (300m) with 65km of off-road driving along the Sahara desert, this route passes different features of the desert; ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, oases. The sunset from the top of Erg Chegaga is spectacular and afterwards there is dinner and the night in a comfortable desert camp at the foot of the dunes.

After breakfast, the road crosses another 100km of the Sahara desert, passing the Iriqui Lake and the mountains as well as fossils, for enthusiasts. The first village beyond the desert, Foum Zguid, is the place for lunch. In the afternoon, we travel north to the city of Ouarzazate past hills and oases of palm trees until we reach the town of Taznakht, a small Berber town famous for its rugs and gelims. We reach Ouarzazate by the end of the afternoon for the night in a guest house.

After breakfast, we visit the kasbah of Tifoultoute which belonged to the “Glaoui family” and the Atlas Film Studios. Driving north, you leave the main road and take a side road to the kasbah of Ait ben Haddou for a visit (this site has frequently been used as the background for some memorable scenes in many film masterpieces, such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Gladiator”). From here, you drive along the Ounila valley with beautiful and prosperous villages, stunning mountains and views to Telouet, you will stop to visit the kasbah of Telouet. After having lunch, we cross the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, the highest pass in Morocco, and reach Marrakech at the end of the afternoon.

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