Day 1: Marrakesh – Ouarzazate
After breakfast, depart early for Ouarzazate, a former caravan town on the silk and salt route in the eastern foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Ouarzazate is known as the Gateway to the Sahara. First of all, we will travel through the dramatic landscape of the High Atlas Mountains passing through the berber town of Taddert and over the 2260 meters high Tizi-in-Tichka pass. We will stop at the famous Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, 30 kilometers from Ouarzazate. The kasbah is one of the most intriguing red earth castles lining the ancient road of the Kasbahs, and is a UNESCO world heritage site. We continue on our way to Ouarzazate. We will stop to visit the Taourirt kasbah former home of the famous Pasha Glaoui. The painted ceilings, arches, beautiful small windows with wrought iron works and woodwork have helped make it another UNESCO site. The local guide will explain lifestyle of the pasha in the former feudalistic Moroccan society, stressing the status of his women, the favourites and common-law wives as well as the slaves. In the afternoon, enjoy a private visit of the Atlas Corporation Studio, a well-known cinematographic centre renowned for blockbuster productions including “Asterix and Cleopatre” directed by Alain Chabat; and the Oscar-wining “Gladiator”, directed by Ridley Scott. Overnight accommodation will be at the hotel or riad in Ouarzazate.
Day 2: Ouarzazate – Skoura – Kalaat Mgouna – Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge
You will leave Ouarzazate to Todra Gorge by driving through the “Road of the thousand Kasbahs” – the fascinating “sand castles”. We will continue in our journey to stop at Kalaat Mgouna, “The roses city” known for roses and its annual festival during the roses harvest in May. After when we reach Boumalne Dades we will turn left to follow the valley to see the amazing rock formation “the monkey toes”, and the still-standing 19th century Kasbah of Ait Yul. Leave the Dades valley towards Tinghir and the Todra valley. Watch the panoramic views of the old mud Berber villages overlooking the valley. Get to the Gorge and walk under the 300m high red cliff, our trekking guide will take you in a short walk between the palmes trees “1 hour and half” where many Rock-climbers come to enjoy their preferred sport. Overnight accommodation will be in guesthouse.
Day 3: Todra Gorge – Erfoud – Rissani – Merzouga (camel safari)
Today our trip will lead us to Erfoud and Rissani where we have lunch; afterwards, we leave for the village of Merzouga, where your camel will be awaiting you. before you mount your camel, guided by an experienced camel man, to explore within the mysterious sand-sea of the Erg-Chebbi. Here you will spend your night under the stars or if you prefer, in a traditional Berber nomad tent.
Day 4: Merzouga – Erg Chebbi Tour (gnawa music, visit mines, black desert, nomad people)
After visiting the village and oasis of Merzouga, you’ll visit the Gnawa people, originally slaves brought from Sudan, to experience their music and lifestyle. Then we continue to see the panoramic view behind the Erg Chebbi of sand dunes so as to take lot of pictures and to see how the colour of the dunes is changing by the light of the sun. After that we go to the village of Mirdani — an old village in ruins. Also stopping at M’fis, the place where coal was extracted and the large majority of the population of Merzouga worked to earn a living. A very interesting day which is spent in or very near the dunes — the highest dunes in Morocco. After the village of Mirdani we continue to the Bedouin families in their tents at Kem Kem. After having tea there we continue to finish the tour by visiting where you can see the fossiles and the oasis of tissardmine in the afternoon we will come back to Merzouga hotel or riad.
Day 5: Merzouga – Valley ziz-Medilt
After a wonderful sunrise in Merzouga we will travel to Medilt via Errachidia along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock and through the Tizi Ntalghamt Pass to Midelt where we will spend the last night before to leave you in Fes.
Day 6: Medilt – Zaida – Azrou – Ifran – Fes
During this journey you’ll experience glimpses of the Middle Atlas and Higher Atlas mountains. Stopping at Azrou, a Berber village in the middle of the famous cedar forest. The largest in Morocco. There you may see Barbary apes. After sometime in the forest your journey continues to the Middle Atlas Mountains and the berber village of Immouzer Kandar and Ifrane, a wonderful mountains village, referred to as “The Switzerland of Morocco”. Stop for a picture or a drink then drive to Fes where the tour ends.