The dunes of Morocco are the main protagonists of this tour through the south of the country: in this 10-day trip from Marrakech, we will discover the most spectacular corners of the desert, traveling through its three characteristic Ergs (fields of fine golden sand). Undoubtedly, an essential experience for those who travel with the intention of exploring incomparable and unique corners of the planet, where the human footprint is barely noticeable. You will remember it for a lifetime!
This trip, which will take you to the far and wild south, is articulated on its three Ergs. This name is known precisely to the fields of, or perhaps we should speak of ‘sea’ of fine golden sand since its immensity is such that its panoramic view is lost on the horizon. These three Ergs are Erg Chegaga, Erg Ouzina, and Erg Chebbi, and we will go through them in this order. In them, we will discover that the colors of the day have a special light here, especially the sunrise and sunset, which we will see on the back of our camels or from our tent camp. And of course, the night has a magical character here: the sky, free of clouds and free of light pollution, will shine with its blanket of stars and will remain engraved on your retinas… and in your hearts.
In addition to the best dunes of Morocco, we will discover other places of great interest in this circuit. Between Erg and Erg, we will take the opportunity to visit valleys full of palm trees, kasbahs, rocky canyons, and charming villages: Ait Ben Haddou, the Todra Gorges or Tinghir are some of the many examples that can be mentioned. Moreover, this circuit starts and ends in Marrakech, and we will not miss the opportunity to visit this beautiful city, which has a medina brimming with energy and monuments. And of course, we will spend time getting to know the local traditions, hand in hand with the local people who will show us their way of life, often based on handicrafts or the elaboration of natural products.
This tour of the Ergs or dunes of Morocco has a circular character: it begins and ends in the city of Marrakech. Below we explain in detail how the 10 days of vacation are distributed.
The initial day of the tour acts as an introduction to both Marrakech and the country. An English-speaking driver will be ready at the airport to transport you to the medina’s riad, where you’ll spend your first night. Your ability to catch a first glimpse of Marrakech depends on your flight’s arrival time. A more thorough exploration of the city will occur towards the conclusion of the tour, particularly towards the end when you delve deeply into the experience.
Certainly! You’ll be embarking on a road trip from Marrakech to the Moroccan dunes, with intriguing stops along the way. You’ll traverse the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi n’Tichka pass, witnessing villages nestled on slopes. A visit to the Kasbah of Telouet reveals exotic patios and rooms, a relic of history. Later, you’ll encounter the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, an ancient fortified village showcasing Berber architecture. Its UNESCO status and role in film make it a captivating destination.
Continuing from Ouarzazate, famous for its film studios, our journey takes us across Tizi n’Tinifift, a lower pass marked by striking black and gray granite mountains. The Draa Valley, known for having the largest palm grove in North Africa spanning over 150 km, greets us after Agdz. As we pass through, we’ll encounter the unique Moroccan palm trees, as well as kasbahs, small towns, and humble orchards that defy the area’s arid conditions.
Our path leads us to a quaint village in the Draa Valley, where we’ll dine and spend our second night in a kasbah. With thoughts now turning to the magnificent Moroccan dunes awaiting us the following day, this stop offers a taste of the beauty and anticipation of our upcoming adventure.
After a hearty breakfast at the riad in the Draa Valley, our focus shifts towards the ultimate destination: the captivating Moroccan dunes. As we progress, the asphalt road concludes in Foum Zguid, prompting our transition to 4×4 vehicles and dirt tracks, leading us into the heart of the Sahara desert.
From this point onward, our route mirrors the legendary Paris-Dakar rally, and there’s an intentional reason for this resemblance. Our path encompasses the expansive dry lake of Iriki, a vast plain that featured in stages of the rally due to its terrain conducive to high speeds. Today, it’s a designated National Park, serving as a dividing point before we reach our ultimate goal of the day: Erg Chegaga.
Erg Chegaga stands as one of Morocco’s three primary dune fields and serves as the location of our tent camp. Tradition welcomes us with Berber tea upon arrival. Amidst the remarkable sand formations, we’ll be treated to a unique sunset. As night descends, a delightful typical dinner and the warmth of a campfire create a pleasant ambiance. Gazing upon an incredibly starry sky, the brilliance of the stars will remain etched in our memories as we retire to our tents for the night, embraced by the same camp that has provided us with an unforgettable experience.
The Sahara desert in Morocco is a diverse landscape, and we’ll experience this on our fourth day. But before that, a special moment awaits us – a sunrise in the midst of the golden sand. As the first light of dawn bathes the surroundings, we’ll relish this unique experience. Following this, a breakfast at the tent camp sets us up for the day, and we’ll then resume our journey in the 4×4 vehicles.
Ahead, we’ll encounter landscapes reminiscent of the renowned Paris-Dakar rally. The arid, dusty terrain of the Zagora desert will be our playground, where our 4x4s will navigate with ease. Our destination is the town that lends its name to this distinctive slice of the Moroccan Sahara. Here, we’ll find our accommodation – a genuine oasis with all modern comforts seamlessly blended into the environment.
The establishment boasts amenities like a swimming pool, spa, and various private and communal spaces, making it a destination in itself. Arriving early provides the opportunity to relish a tranquil swim or engage in relaxed discussions about the day’s adventures and the journey so far. As the day draws to a close, a sumptuous dinner and a night of rest at the hotel await, concluding another eventful day of exploration.
The fifth day of your vacation brings you back to the enchanting Moroccan dunes, but the journey there is equally captivating. After enjoying breakfast at the hotel in Zagora, you’ll once again board your 4×4 vehicle to experience the exhilaration of traversing diverse terrains. From hamadas (rocky plateaus) to wadis (dry riverbeds), from small Berber villages to impressive dry lakes like the expansive Lac Maider, the landscapes will continue to awe you.
As your adventure unfolds, you’ll arrive at Erg Ouzina, another significant dune field of Morocco. Here, a welcome with Berber tea awaits you, and you’ll embark on a leisurely stroll into the heart of these fine sand formations. The sunset will grace your surroundings, and you might find yourself atop the Great Dune, a prime spot to witness the sun’s descent.
An extraordinary highlight of the day is the Berber celebration that awaits you in the final hours. Vibrant local rhythms and flavors will infuse the atmosphere, creating a festive ambiance. Your dinner and night’s rest will take place in an exotic and picturesque kasbah right amidst the desert landscape, ensuring you an immersive and unforgettable experience.
On the sixth day of your tour, an early rise is in store to witness another breathtaking sunrise over the dunes. Following this awe-inspiring experience, a delectable breakfast awaits you at the Kasbah hotel in Ouzina, providing a hearty start to the day. A refreshing shower will further rejuvenate you.
With newfound energy, we’ll venture into Ouzina, a charming village that lends its name to the surrounding Moroccan dunes. This village is home to a handful of families, and you’ll have the unique opportunity to interact with them firsthand. They’ll share insights into their way of life, culture, and customs, creating a meaningful cultural exchange.
Later on, a similar opportunity arises in the ‘black village’ of Khamlia, named due to its people’s sub-Saharan African heritage. The distinct identity of this village is characterized by their percussion rhythms, so extraordinary that they’ve earned recognition as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Once back in our 4×4 vehicles, we’ll navigate the final stretches of dirt tracks and asphalt towards Merzouga. In this town, which lends its name to another desert region, a change in transportation awaits – the 4x4s make way for the 8x8s, or rather, the camels. These majestic animals will lead us to Erg Chebbi, the third set of dunes on this remarkable journey through the Moroccan sands. Here, a tent camp nestled amidst the dunes offers a spectacular vantage point to enjoy the starry night sky. A sumptuous dinner and a comfortable night’s rest await you in this serene camp, marking the culmination of this extraordinary excursion.
The seventh day of your tour is marked by a stylish farewell to the Moroccan dunes. The day unfolds as follows: you’ll be treated to a captivating sunrise over the dunes, indulge in a delightful breakfast at the camp, and then embark on a camel ride back to Merzouga. There will be time for a refreshing shower either at the camp or a hotel, depending on your package.
The journey continues through fascinating towns of the Moroccan desert, each offering its own unique charm. Rissani and Erfoud are among the noteworthy stops, but the allure of Tinghir stands out. Named “mountain town” in the Tamazight language, Tinghir is nestled between elevations, surrounded by a picturesque palm grove that beautifully complements its red houses.
Further along the path, you’ll reach the Todra Gorges, a distinctive landscape of southern Morocco. Carved over millennia by the river of the same name, the rocky canyon showcases walls that soar up to 200 meters in certain sections. Whether explored on foot through the gorge or driven along its winding road, this formation is a sight to behold.
As the journey continues, you’ll traverse the Dades Valley and the Valley of the Roses, collectively known as the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs. This route is punctuated by remnants of ancient fortresses, palm groves, and stretches of verdant vegetation. Eventually, you’ll reach Ouarzazate, where the day concludes at your hotel. Here, a satisfying dinner will be served, and you’ll rest for the night in comfort.
As your 8-day journey through the mesmerizing Moroccan dunes nears its end, the final stretch awaits. Following a satisfying breakfast at your hotel in Ouarzazate, you’ll embark on the road that leads back to Marrakech. This route takes you through the scenic High Atlas Mountains, a fitting conclusion to your adventure.
Upon arrival in Marrakech, you’ll have some free time after checking into your riad in the medina, where you’ll spend the night. This day offers the perfect opportunity for shopping or exploring some of the city’s attractions. Consider focusing on sites that won’t be part of the guided tour scheduled for the next day, allowing you to make the most of your time in this vibrant red city.
As your remarkable journey through Morocco’s landscapes and cultures concludes, this leisurely day in Marrakech provides a chance to soak in the city’s charm and immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere before your departure.
After a rejuvenating night’s rest in the riad and savoring a delightful breakfast, it’s time to immerse yourself in the captivating city of Marrakech. This remarkable city, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic medina and Jemaa el-Fna Square, is a treasure trove of beauty and historical significance. As you explore, you’ll encounter monuments that stand as testaments to its rich past as the capital of the Almoravids and Saadis dynasties.
Guided by our official guide, you’ll gain insights into the intricacies of these monuments, their history, and the nuances of life in this Imperial City. The morning will be devoted to this insightful tour, during which you’ll have the chance to admire structures such as the iconic Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, the Ben Youssef Medersa, and the opulent Bahia Palace, among others. The journey will also take you through the artisanal souks scattered throughout the medina, allowing you to appreciate the city’s vibrant craftsmanship.
The afternoon grants you another opportunity for exploration, whether you choose to indulge in further shopping or delve into the city’s culture. You might consider visiting the Museum of Marrakech, the enchanting Majorelle Gardens, or other intriguing sites of interest. As the day winds down, return to the riad in the medina for a peaceful evening of rest, reflecting on the myriad experiences and wonders Marrakech has shared with you.
The tenth and last day begins with breakfast at the riad in the medina and will continue according to the time of the flight back home. That is, there may be free time for a last stroll through the city or we will be scheduled to leave for the airport. In either case, our driver will transfer you in a private vehicle to the terminal. There, we will put an end to our services, with gratitude for the trust placed in us and with the hope of a next meeting to continue exploring the beauties of Morocco.
In the 10 days that make up this Morocco tour from Marrakech, we offer the necessary services to enjoy the experience:
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