The Original Sahara desert tour in Morocco over 3 days, Marrakech desert tours
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Rose Valley – Dades Gorge
Our Sahara desert tour have you rising early. Leaving Marrakech at 8am, you’ll be travelling toward the town of Ouarzazate passing through the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass, the highest road passage in Morocco at an altitude of 2260m. Take in the picturesque landscapes and breathe in the clean air of the High Atlas Mountains as we pass through scenic Berber villages in the region. Our Sahara Desert tours allow you to learn about Morocco’s rich history – they aren’t just about the searing heat of the sands. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, a well-preserved fortress city that has provided inspiration and filming locations for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
Travelling further, our Sahara excursion will continue along the Road of One Thousand Kasbahs to the Skoura Oasis before visiting the Valley of the Roses (Kelaa M’Gouna), birthplace of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers in the world. Don’t leave here without browsing the range of creams, soaps and rose water available. We’ll then pass through the Tamnalt Hills with their strange rock formations before arriving at our first campsite, the Dades Gorge.
Day 2: Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
After breakfast, our team will take you to Todra Gorge, another nearby formation that’s also Morocco’s highest altitude oasis. Consisting of ochre-coloured cliffs 300 metres high, the narrowest portions of Todra Gorge are only 20 metres wide. Heading towards the small oasis of Merzouga – the launching point for thousands of Sahara Desert tours. Located at the base of the Erg Chebbi dunes, here you’ll meet your camels and guides waiting to take you over the dunes on one of the world’s most exhilarating desert trips. Walking out over the dunes at sunset is a breath-taking experience and one no Sahara excursion would be complete without.
After two hours travelling on camel back, you’ll reach camp with a dinner of tagine and refreshing mint tea. Rest here under the stars in a traditional nomad tent in one-of-a-kind accommodation.
Day 3: Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Nekob – Marrakech
On the final day of our Marrakech desert tours, we like to offer adventurers the chance to see a dune sunrise. Returning to Merzouga, your next destination will be the ancient city of Rissani. An important historical stop on any Sahara excursion, Rissani is where the Arab dynasties first entered Morocco. Speak to the local Saharan people – easy to spot in their traditional indigo robes.
From here our party will travel toward the Sarhro volcanic mountains featuring striking rock formations and panoramic views including Draa Valley, the largest oasis in Morocco. Traversing the High Atlas Mountains and the pass, you’ll be back home in Marrakech in the evening.
Extended Sahara desert tour from Marrakech desert tours over 4 days and 3 nights
Day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Zagora
Your Sahara excursion begins in the morning with our guides driving the party through the High Atlas Mountains. We like to begin our desert trips crossing the Tizi-n-Tichkpa pass – at over two kilometres above sea level it is the highest mountain pass in Morocco. On the way, we’ll stop at Ait Benhaddou, a well-preserved kasbah made famous by several movies filmed nearby – including Lawrence of Arabia.
Travelling across luxurious palm groves and the oases of Draa Valley, our Sahara Desert tours party will arrive at our final destination of the day – Zagora – early in the afternoon. Marvel at the ancient library of Tamegroute, the oldest in Africa and containing texts as old as the 13th century. Browse local pottery sellers and make sure to take note of the natural green tint of henna in the pieces.
Day 2: Zagora – Alnif – Errisani – Erg Chebbi
Setting off in the morning, your party will travel through a rocky landscape of ‘regs’ – tables and mesas resembling the southwest region of the United States. From there we’ll head straight to the dunes of Merzouga, the launching place of many Sahara excursions in Morocco. Here you’ll find your camels and guides waiting to take you on one of the world’s most beautiful desert trips. Trekking for two hours on camelback, you’ll arrive at camp, but not before seeing one of the most breathtaking sunsets of your life over the Sahara dunes. Sleep under the stars in a nomadic tent after an evening of tagine and Berber music.
Day 3: Merzouga – Todra Gorge – Ouarzazate
In the morning, enjoy the stunning sunrise over the desert before setting out for your final day of your Sahara excursion. Leaving for Ouarzazate after breakfast, you’ll travel along the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs and finally enter the astonishing Todra Gorge near Tinerhir. Before moving onto to Ouarzazate, you can explore the beauty of the Gorge. From there, move onto El-Kelaa M’goun passing by several Kasbahs. El-Kelaa M’gouna is huge fields of pink roses which are used for making creams, soaps and perfume. You will also find small shops selling rose products like rose-scented soap and rose water. Finally reach Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco.
Day 4: Ouarzazate – Ait benhaddou – Telouet – Marrakech
This morning will explore kasbah of Taourirt. This was one of the homes of Pasha Glaoui. In your Sahara desert trips in morocco, you will travel by the largest film production center of Morocco and if you like, continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou. This Kasbah is perhaps the most impressive and well-preserved fortress cities in Morocco, which the Moroccan Government itself jumped on the bandwagon in 1994 to rehabilitate the Kasbah in order to preserve the cultural and national heritage. The Kasbahs were a major stop for camel caravans carrying salt through the Sahara and returning with gold, silver and slaves.
We will visit the Kasbah of Telouet which was occupied by the Pacha Glaoui during his reign and is frequented by Moroccan travellers. It sits in the village of Telouet nestled outside the Onilla Valley. The Harem and reception hall areas give one a good idea of the former luxury in which El Glaoui lived, as well as a look at the Andalusian style of decorating. However, the older parts of the Kasbah are in complete ruins, making it difficult to see properly. Walking through the crumbling passageways is like walking through a maze and some have gotten lost exploring the dilapidated Kasbah Enjoy the spectacular sights of mountains and valleys while travelling to Marrakech
Day 1: Marrakech – Telouet – Ouarzazate
Start the Sahara excursion from Marrakech outside the hotel/riad at 9:00am, you’ll travel to the High Atlas Mountains. You have to cross the mountains through Tizi-n-Tichka (2,260m), the highest road pass of Morocco. All along the way in the excursion to the Sahara, you can enjoy the scenery of Berber villages, mountains and valleys. Take the pleasure of the extraordinary Atlas Mountains – Kasbah Telouet. This Kasbah owned by the powerful Glaoui tribe, popularly known as “vulture” sultan, and his son who stayed there till 1950. Though it was once a gorgeous Kasbah, today still it is worth visiting because of the drama and history that it unfolds.
Then you can either travel along the main road or take an off road through Ounila Valley. This alternate Sahara desert tours route will offer astounding views of rivers, lush valleys and remarkably colored hillsides and slopes. Next, visit the astonishing UNESCO-protected Kasbah Ait Benhaddou of the 16th century. You can walk through or ride on a donkey to cross the river and reach Kasbah. Move along the windy streets to reach the upper level of Kasbah for breathtaking views. Then, move towards Ouarzazate.
Day 2: Ouarzazate – Zagora – M’hamid – Sahara Erg Chigaga
After breakfast, our desert trips party will visit Erg Chigaga passing by Tamnougalt, the oasis containing palm trees and over 100 diverse types of dates. Green pottery of Tamegroute with its chief characteristic and ancient techniques provide infinite variations to the glaze. Upon leaving the Saharan village, M’hamid, drive along an off-road of about 60km and reach Erg Chigaga Dunes. You have to cross Hamadas and can explore the wonders of the Moroccan desert. Enjoy the majestic view of sunset, climb up the dunes or enjoy the amazing sight of the shooting stars. Stay overnight in a Berber-tented camp.
Day 3: Erg Chigaga – Iriki – Foum-Zguid – Marrakech
Having breakfast, drive down the sand dunes on an enthralling and peaceful wilderness on Dakar tracks, moving along Iriki, the natural dried lake. After driving quite a long distance on the off-track, you will come to regular road moving by the small town Foum-Zguid and reaching Tazenakht, previously a regional trading post of the region. Though small in size, it is a big centre of carpets. You will return to Marrakech by late evening.
The shortest of our desert trips
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Zagora – Erg Lihoudi
From your riad, our Sahara excursion party moves from Marrakech to the High Atlas Mountains for reaching the first spot, Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. After wandering for sometime in this UNESCO-protected site, move on to Ouarzazate. Many Hollywood movies have been filmed at this city, including Kingdom of Heaven, The Mummy, Prince of Persia, Lawrence of Arabia and The Gladiator. Now travel through Draa Valley, en route to Zagora. After arriving there, explore the land before saddling on the camels and heading off to the desert for the 2 hours camel trek. Finally you will reach Berber desert camp for night stay. The camp offers private Berber bivouacs in a night full of dazzling stars.
Day 2: Erg Lihoudi – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After tasting a traditional breakfast in Berber, you can go for a 2 hours camel ride by sunrise for exploring the area. Now, it is time to start the return journey to from the desert. There are many halting places while traveling over and across the High Atlas Mountains. You can enjoy the magnificent views of the adjacent countryside as well as the local communities living in the mountainous area. You are likely to arrive in Marrakech by evening.
Become an explorer
Book your next adventure holiday with Morocco Desert Tours. With a wide range of packages, including trips to Fes and Marrakech desert tours and a variety of camel treks, there’s something to excite everyone.
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