Day 1: Marrakech. Greet and meet at the airport and transfer to your Riad. You will be welcomed at the airport by Ben and your guide/driver. Ben will brief you on the itinerary, after which you will have some time to unpack, unwind, and explore your surroundings.
Day 2: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Zagora. You will be picked up early in the morning and head towards Ouarzazate via the Tichka Pass, the highest road pass in Morocco. This trip will offer you views of the High Atlas Mountains and beautiful scenery peppered by small Berber villages typical of the region. We will make a stop in Ouarzazate to visit Kasbah Taourirt, the old Gladoui palace residence of the Pasha of Marrakech. Then, on route to Zagora, we will visit the small town of Agdz and impressive Kasbah of Tamnougalt with distinctive wall decorations and tapering towers. We will continue passing the scenic river Draa Valley lined by many palm groves and Sub Saharan Berber villages where life continues unchanged over many centuries.
Day 3: Zagora – Tamengroute – M’hamid – Erg Chigaga. We will depart in the morning toward Tamegroute, which is home to a famous Koran library that contains many rare books and documents. In the library, you will see documents written on gazelle skin that date back to the 13th Century. You will also have a chance to visit the Underground Kasbah and pottery artisans. After that, we will drive to M'Hamid, known as "the doors of the desert,” the last town of the Draa River. The palm oasis and the road all dissolve into nothing but sand and rocks as we drive through the sand dunes. We will pay a visit to a small, unique water oasis in the desert – Oasis Sacred. Later in the day, we will arrive at Erg Chigaga, just in time for the sunset. At night, we will sit around the fire, enjoy the starry sky, and listen to local Berbers play their drums.
Day 4: Erg Chigaga. We will get up early to take images of the sun rising over the sand dunes, which gives the sand a beautiful mix of colors. Then, after a leisurely breakfast, we’ll saddle our camels and trek over the area, crossing the impressive and surrealistic sea of sand dunes.
Day 5: Erg Chigaga – Taznachkt – Ait Ben Haddou. We will swop our camels for 4x4 vehicles and head to the old Paris-Dakar road to Forum Zguid, crossing Lake Iriki, a dried salt lake bed. We will stop for lunch in Taznakht, where you can watch local women making handmade Berber carpets. Then we will continue north to arrive at small village by the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou.
Day 6: AitBen Haddou – Marrakech. Early in the morning, we will visit the UNESCO protected Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. This Kasbah is one the most impressive and well-preserved fortress cities in Morocco. Built on a hilltop, Ait ben Haddou has been featured as a backdrop for memorable films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. The views from the upper heights of the Kasbah are impressive and well worth the required climb through winding, narrow streets. Then we will start heading back toward the Atlas Mountains via the Ounila Valley – an off road that offers unparalleled views of green valleys, river and remarkable colored slopes and hillsides. The region nearby is home to salt mines that produced a product once as valuable as gold. We will visit Telouet, a rustic town that was once a principal stop on the main caravan route to Mali. Here we visit an amazing relic of Moroccan history, the crumbling Kasbah that was once the palatial residence of extremely powerful Glaoui family. Then we will cross the Atlas Mountains back to Marrakech.
Day 7: Marrakech. A free morning to wonder the streets of Marrekech then after lunch a airport transfer depending on your time of departure.
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Africa Morocco Leisure Pursuit Photography and Videography Desert Expeditions