Section 1: New Years’ Eve Morocco desert 2023
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate – Dades Gorge (30 December)
Travel towards the High Atlas Mountains via the highest road pass in Morocco, Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2,260m), offering a remarkable view of mountains, valleys and Berber villages. Upon descent, you will make your way to the amazing UNESCO-protected 16th century fortress, Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, where great classics like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator was made.
You can take a walk or hire a donkey to carry you across the river to this Kasbah. Then take a route of A Thousand Kasbahs towards the Skoura Oasis. Here you will visit the Kasbah Amridil featured in many Moroccan brochures. Then on to the Rose Valley (Kella M’gouna) known for the production of Moroccan roses and its variety of beauty products. Your journey continues passing Tamnalt Hills, a bizarre rock creation hillside resembling monkey feet. End your day at Dades Gorge, a deep gorge of red and mauve rock.
Day 2: Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi (31 December)
Depart Dades Gorge to visit another deep oasis in Morocco, the Todra Gorge. Its walls are 300m tall and at their most narrow part, only a mere 20m apart. Spend some time appreciating this natural wonder before resuming your trip towards the Sahara Desert. Approaching Merzouga, you will see the first sand dunes of the desert, where your camels will be waiting to carry you across the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. Then later in the afternoon saddle on your camels and make your way across the desert during a beautiful sunset for about 2 hours, before arriving at your camp for the night. Overnight in the Nomad tent under a night full of stars, Berber music and delicious food prepared for you by your guide. Ring in the New Years’ Eve Morocco desert in Erg Chebbi.
Day 3: Merzouga – Midelt – Ifran – Fes (1 January)
You will wake up to enjoy the sunrise over the dunes of Erg Chebbi, possibly the best moment of the Merzouga desert. After breakfast, you will travel to Fes by passing through the Ziz Valley Gorge and Midelt, an impressive mountain city with traditional buildings similar to those in southern Morocco. Located at 1,488m in altitude, it is well situated just at the foot of Jbel Ayachi (3,737m). Your journey continues via Azrou and the cedar forests where colony of monkeys will keep you amused. Drop off at your Riad/Hotel in the evening.
Possible to return to Marrakech on Day 3.
Day 1: Fes – Midelt – Erfoud – Erg Chebbi (31 December)
After an early breakfast, you will begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas Mountains. Most of the day will be spent winding your way through beautiful lush forests, jagged rock faces, and Berber villages as you cross the Atlas Mountains and begin to descend towards the Sahara Desert. Half way, you will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. We continue on mountain roads overlooking the wide flowing Oued Ziz.
Passing through Kasbahs and palm groves we head towards the adobe colored city of Er-Rachidia before arriving in the late afternoon at Merzouga, a city on the outskirts of the Sahara Desert. Then later in the afternoon, saddle on your camels for your journey across the desert during a beautiful sunset for about 2 hours, to reach your camp for the night by the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. Overnight in the Nomad tent, under a night sky full of stars, Berber music and delicious food prepared for you by your guide. A night you will not forget. Ring in the New Year in Erg Chebbi.
Day 2: Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Dades Gorge (1 January)
Waking up early to catch the sunrise over the dunes, you will make your way back to Merzouga on your camels. After breakfast, as you start traveling to Erfoud, you set out behind the High Atlas Mountains on route to the Todra Gorge, passing by nomad people along the way. You will take a walk up in the towering Todra Gorges (985 feet high). The picturesque river valleys make for a beautiful journey towards the southeast of Morocco. Then continue your journey towards another impressive gorge Dades passing by strange rock creations of Tamnalt Hills. Overnight in the heart of Dades Gorge.
Day 3: Dades Gorge – Ouarzazate – Marrakech (2 January)
After breakfast, you begin your day’s journey towards Ouarzazate via the High Atlas Mountains. Take off road about 25kms on your 4×4, you will discover nomad life in caves before arriving in the the center of Moroccan roses and rose products. Continue your trip via the Road of One Thousand Kasbahs. You will pass by the Skoura palm oasis just before arriving in Ouarzazate. Here, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. In typical Moroccan fashion, the true treasures must be searched out and discovered… usually off the beaten path. In actuality, this setting has been used for more films than any other location in Morocco, including Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth, and recently The Gladiator. In the afternoon, you will be dropped off at your Riad/Hotel.
Day 1: Agadir – Taliouine – Taznakht – Agdz – Draa Valley
Meeting you in Agadir, the regional capital of the South, you will travel across the Sous valley, and see a lot of orange groves and fields of argan trees along the way. You will visit Taroudannt, an old Moroccan fortified town, and stop for lunch at Taliouine, a town in between two mountain chains at 1,180m. This town is also well-known as a massive saffron-growing area. Then, you will head towards Agdz via Tazenakht Bouazer. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Agdz – Zagora – Tagounite – M’hamid
Travel on the road along the Draa Valley and the palmeries, the Draa Valley is the first region in Morocco known for the harvest of a large amount of important dates and the season is in October. The Draa Valley has also a mixture of villages between the Berbers and Arabs. Stop here for lunch before continuing to the Zagora dunes of Erg Lihoudi via Tagounite and M’hamid. Dinner and overnight at Bivouac.
Day 3: M’hamid – Chigaga
After breakfast, ride a camel for an hour and then start with a 4×4 track to the big sandy dunes of Chigaga, the largest sand dunes in Morocco. You will have lunch under the shade of palm trees and tamarisk. After lunch, you will head back on the track towards Chigaga. Arrival at Bivouac Chigaga to attend the sunset, dinner and overnight in tents or under the stars.
Day 4: Chigaga – Foum-Zguid – Tazenakht – Ouarzazate
Departure to Ouarzazate after breakfast, via the trail from Erg Chigaga and the dry bed of Draa valley through Lake Iriqui and Foum-Zguid. You will continue your travel via Tazenakht to Ouarzazate, where you will have plenty of opportunities en-route to make photo stops to capture wonderful landscapes of palm groves, argan trees and the volcanic massif Jbel Siroua.
Day 5: Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After breakfast, you will visit the oasis of Finnt prior to departure to Marrakech via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass at an altitude of 2,260m. Lunch en-route. Arrival in Marrakech.
Day 6: Marrakech – Chichaoua – Imintanout – Agadir
Departure from Marrakech in the morning, crossing the plain of Haouz and the High Atlas. Lunch is taken at Bigoudine and a visit to a traditional Berber house. In the late afternoon, visit Agadir’s fishing port, kasbah and the new town. Drop off in Agadir at your hotel/riad is the end of tour.
Day 1: Casablanca – Marrakech
You will be greeted at the airport by your guide. Start making your way to Marrakech, expecting to arrive in the afternoon. You will explore the city’s beautiful garden Jardin Majorelle and Koutobia Mosque before are transferred to your riad/hotel in the evening. After a rest, you can take a walk into the vibrant Djemaa el Fna Square to soak up the sights, sounds, smell and taste of all that Marrakech has to offer.
Day 2: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Rose Valley – Dades Gorge
Pick up at 8:30am from your Riad. You will begin your day’s journey heading towards the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2260m altitude), the highest road pass in Morocco offering one-of-a-kind views of mountain ranges, valleys and Berber villages. Then follow the road of A Thousand Kasbahs, passing the Skoura oasis, where you will have time to visit another important Kasbah Amineter, which is featured in many brochures about Morocco. Your journey continues via Rose Valley to Dades Gorge, passing by the a strange rock creation of Tamnalt Hills.
Day 3: Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Merzouga
Transfer from Boumalne Dades to Merzouga via Todra Gorge, the highest oasis valley gorge in Morocco. Arrive in the desert where your guide and camels will be waiting to carry you across the sandy dunes of the Moroccan Sahara. Camel trek as the sun sets across a desert landscape, for approximately 2 hours to reach your desert camp and home for the night: a traditional nomad tent. At your desert shelter, you will be served mint tea, whilst a delectable meal of tagine and fresh Moroccan salad is freshly prepared for you by your guide, with an entertainment of Berber music throughout the night.
Day 4: Merzouga – Nekob – Agdez – Ouarzazate
Waking early, you will have a chance to watch a spectacular sunrise over the swelling dunes of the desert before returning to Merzouga to shower and depart. We visit the ancient city of Rissani, the place from which Arab dynasties first came to Morocco. You will see men wearing the indigo blue robes distinctive of the Saharan people. Then you head towards the volcanic mountains of Sarhro, a region of dramatic rock formations and gorges with superb views. We meet with the largest oasis of Morocco, Draa valley which is lined up by many palm groves.
Day 5: Ouarzazate – Ait Benhaddou – Marrakech
In the morning, you will be picked up to visit one of Ourzazate’s main attractions, Taourirt Kasbah, the former palace of Thami El Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech in the 19th century. It is a wonderful construction consisting of high smooth earth walls, decorated with geometric patterns. You will also visit Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, another one of the most spectacular sights in the south of Morocco, and is one of the most well preserved and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986 for it’s typical architecture. The ksar was served as a natural decoration for several movies including “Laurence of Arabia” and “Jesus of Nazareth”. Recently, the government announced a plan to rehabilitate Ait Benhaddou ksar in order to conserve the cultural heritage. After lunch, you will make your back to Marrakech.
Day 6: Marrakech – Casablanca
Transfer to airport.
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou
Travel towards the High Atlas Mountains, crossing the mountain ranges via the highest road pass in Morocco Tizi-n-Tichka (altitude 2,260m) offering one-of-a-kind scenery of mountains, valleys and Berber villages. Visit the extraordinary sight of the Atlas Mountains before taking a minor road to Kasbah of Telouet. The crumbling Kasbah belonged to the powerful Glaoui tribe remembered as the “vulture” sultan and his son who lived there until the 1950’s. Once a beautiful Kasbah, it is still worth the visit today as the history and drama will unfold itself. Then you have the choice to take the main road or travel off road via the Ounila Valley, a route that offers unparalleled views of green valleys, river and remarkable colored slopes and hillsides. Visit the amazing UNESCO protected 16th century site of Kasbah Ait Benhaddou.
Day 2: Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate – Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge
This morning you will travel towards the city of Ouarzazate, a peaceful provincial town with wide streets, hotels and municipal gardens. Continue your journey via the road of A Thousand Kasbahs to Skoura Oasis lined by many palm groves, and the Rose Valley known for production of Moroccan roses. At Boumalne Dades, you can take the smaller route that will lead to Dades Gorge. We will pass by strange rock creation of Tamnalt Hills, a bizarre rock resembling monkey feet. We will travel to the top of the Dades Gorge, a deep gorge of red and mauve rocks towering above the road. Then we return back to Boumalne Dades and travel to another very spectacular gorge, Todra Gorge.
Day 3: Todra Gorge – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
This morning, depart from Todra Gorge towards Tinejdad then Touroug Erfoud. Visit the fossils center and the ancient city of Rissani that thrived from the 8th to the 14th centuries thanks to the caravan routes of the kingdom of Sijilmassa. It was also the home of the Alaouite people, the early conquerors of all Morocco. You will see men wearing the indigo blue robes distinctive of the Saharan people. Then later in the afternoon, saddle on your camels for journey across the desert during a beautiful sunset for about 2 hours to reach your camp for the night by the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. Overnight in the Nomad tent, under a night sky full of stars.
Day 4: Merzouga – Khamlia – Taouz – Ouzina – Ramlia – M’harch
Returning from the bivouac, you will travel to the village of Khamlia, where you have the opportunity to listen the Gnaoua music. A short stop over for mint tea, travel to Taouz (the last village in the south) and Oued Ziz through the track of Paris-Dakar, passing by small villages lost in the desert Ouzina (lunch spot) and Ramlia. After crossing Ramlia, you will approach a very sandy Wadi Rheris and a track which follows the mountain Jusq’a M’harch.
Day 5: M’harch – Zagora
Depart to Zagora right after breakfast through the tracks of Paris-Dakar while crossing the plain desert plateau of acacia trees and Calotropis, hamadas and meeting with the nomadic tent. Dinner and overnight at the hotel including breakfast.
Day 6: Zagora – Tamagroute – M’hamid – Dunes de Chigaga
You are will travel in a 4×4 through a beautiful desert landscape by visiting the old Koranic school in Tamegroute to the Village of M’hamid for lunch break. This Oasis consists of a small group of palm trees around a source in the midst of the desert, which has running water throughout the whole year. It is deemed as a source of life to the nomads. About 45kms south of M’hamid, you will reach the dunes of Chigaga (Chegaga). This largest group of dunes of the region reaches a height of 300 m on a length of 40 km. Dinner and night in nomad tent or under the star-filled sky with entertainment.
Day 7: Erg Chigaga Dunes – Ouarzazate
After breakfast in Erg Chigaga (Chegaga), depart with the 4×4 via the old Paris-Dakar race road to Foum-Zguid crossing Iriqui lake. Lunch break at a berber village named Tazenakht.
Day 8: Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After breakfast departure to visit the town of Ouarzazate, the Kasbah of Taourirt, kasbah Tifoltout, and Studio Cinema. Then pass through the village Merzgane Ighrem where you will stop for lunch, before continuing by road to Marrakech via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass.