Fez desert Trips Camel Tour to Marrakech 3 Day
On this trip you’ll discover the heights and valleys of the High Atlas before exploring the south of Morocco on your way to the endless dunes of Erg Chebbi—one of Morocco’s two Saharan seas of wind-blown sand dunes and back. Over 3 amazing days you’ll walk through the Palm Valleys of the ziz valley, stay in the beautiful Dades Valley, pass through the spectacular Todra Gorge—a narrow, 300m high canyon—ride a camel into the Sahara at sunset, discover the rocky landscapes and hidden oases of the Dades Valley, and visit the once prominent trading post of Ait Ben Haddou—famous for its 17th century fortified kasbahs. Along the way you’ll pass through Berber villages where locals are always friendly, cross some spectacular mountain passes of Tichka, soak up the sweet, pungent scent of the High Atlas junipers, travel through the gorgeous green valleys of rural Morocco that lead you to its vast desert plains, witness a caravan of camels silently passing you by, sleep under the stars of the brilliantly clear night sky and wake to a spectacular desert sunrise like no other. This journey through the High Atlas and Sahara has all the ingredients for an unforgettable nature adventure!
DAY 1: FES – MIDELT – ZIZ VALLEY – ERFOUD – MERZOUGA 450 KM
Meet your Guide at 8am in your Riad, and embark a long driving day, where we will meet different colors of the kingdom by leaving the old Moroccan city of Fes. In the way we will pass through the most modern and clean city in the country Ifran. This Berber name of Ifran means caves and it is nicknamed in Morocco as a little Switzerland since it is a very green town and is a ski resort in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco because of its high altitude at 1665 meters. Ifran is very known as well by The Brotherhood private university, established in 1997 by The king of Morocco Hassan II and the king of Saudi Arabia Fahd. Where all classes are taught in English, it is an international university. Lunch will be scheduled in a Berber village called Midelt which is situated on the foothills of the eastern part of the High Atlas Mountains. From vast plateau we start crossing up those tough mountains which are still settled by a big Berber community. The landscapes here includes palm tree oases at Jbel Ayachi (at 3747 m) before driving down the curves and join the pre-saharan zone passing first by Errachidia.
Stop for the photo in Ziz valley which is the beginning of palm grovesand dates. Erfoud is the capital of Fossils in Morocco so you will have this chance to visit one of the factories where they make beautiful articles out of marble. And right after that we may if time permit, visit the mausoleum of Mouay Ali Chref in Rissani the founder of the actual Alaouite dynasty of Morocco at 17th century. We drive to Erg Chebbi time for a cup of tea and packing for desert camp. Meet up with Camels for camel-ride and head to the dunes to watch the sunset .Overnight in the Berber tent in the middle of the most spectacular dunes of morocco, Highest dunes, spend 1 night the friendly berbers enjoy their music, dance around the fire… dinner in the camp.
Accommodation: Desert Camp
Photography, Macaque Monkeys ( barbary apes )Camel Trekking, Desert Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 2: MERZOUGA – ERG CHEBBI DUNES SAHARA DESERT – 30km
Exploration 4×4 & Camel Trek for sunset) Throughout the sand dunes we go for a drive on these fabulous landscapes on the edge of the Erg Chebbi, the largest sand dunes in Morocco. We will see plenty of nomadic black tents in the middle of nowhere. We shall stop by a nomadic family to have tea and see what a nonadic life looks like. We go on our drive and let’s discover the nomadic life of Touareg people by visiting Alkhamliya, a village where nothing has been changed through centuries. Either we lunch here in Alkhamliya village or we go back to our hotel and lunch there. After a nape we go on a camel ride to meet one of the most fascinating sight we will ever seen, the superb sunset in the middle of the high sand dunes of Merzouga. Tonight we stay in Berber tented desert camp and enjoy a wonderful stars view.
Accommodation : Desert Camp
Meet Nomads and Lunch with Berber Pizza at Gnaoua house
Meals Included : Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 3: MERZOUGA – TODRA GORGE – DADES GORGE
Early wake up for the sun rise from the highest dunes, chance to see some wild life. Time for breakfast and shower, last chance to enjoy the dunes, we set off to Rissani to explore the capital of ziz valley, Moroccan 2nd dates basket, famous for Sijilmasa in the old times, a carrefour of Caravans, where Merchants from Tombouctou Trade, Gold, Silver, Ivory, Silk, Slaves, Camels… visit to dates market and drive to arfoud to explore the fossils, then we drive along the stone Sahara, to reach the impressive underground irrigation channels from 12th centure. Stop for mint tea and some drums, then we drive to the most spectacular gorge of Morocco, Todra gorge, enjoy a walk with your guide to explore the irrigation system and traditional farming gardens, a visit to a berber family to learn about carpet, recommended, to knock your socks off, after the berber family co-operative, showing their goods and carepets, great place to shop from mohamed’s family ( situated in the other side of the river near the mosque ) great place to buy genuine berber carpets and souvenirs, then you walk to the gorge, drive back to your hotel in the Tinghir.
Photography, walking, Carpets Co-operative
Meals Included: Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 4: DADES VALLEY – OUARZAZATE – AIT BENHADDOU – MARRAKECH
From the great canyons of Todgha we go along the road of 1000 kasbahs, since there are enormous Kasbahs on both sides of the road. Some of those old fortified houses are restored but unfortunately a lot of them are ruins. We drive up to visit the Dades gorge & valley, and we head to the Berber family for Lunch, cooking course, a walk o discover the valley and spend some time wit the Berbers before we head to visit to one of those kasbahs is scheduled by seeing Amrhidil Kasbah. We pass a town called Boumalen situated on the edge of Dades valley which rises in the High Atlas Mountains, giving life to a huge Berber community by its rich agriculture. Along this valley another valley called valley of roses appearing with the green colors of its Alfalfa plants, olive trees, fig trees and grapes. This valley gives birth to a rose from which locals produces different cosmetic products like soap, perfumes and skin creams. Locals here celebrate this rose by organizing a national festival eachend of April. Getting to Ouarzazate (Hollywood of Africa, Noiselessly town, The door of the desert), is a city situated in the middle of a bare plateau, south of the High Atlas Mountains. It is mainly inhabited by Berbers, who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs and building for which the area is known. One of those building is Taourirt Kasbah diverted in 17th century.
Why this town is nicknamed as Hollywood of Africa? Simply because it has been noted as a film-making location, with Morocco’s biggest studios inviting many international film companies to shoot their movies like: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Living Daylights (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Martin Scorsese’s Kundun (1997) and Babel (2005). the we continue to Marrakech via
We start our day visiting the fortified city of Aït Benhaddou, built in the 11th century. Once up on a time this Kasbah was the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. It is situated on a hill along the Ounila River and has some beautiful examples of kasbahs, which unfortunately sustain damage during each rainstorm and windstorms. Most of the town’s inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; however, around five families are still living within this Kasbah.
Aït Benhaddou Kasbah has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and several films have been shot there, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Time Bandits (1981), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Kundun (1997), Gladiator (2000) and Alexander (2004). From this beautiful fortified house we head to Marrakech.
Visit Cinema Museum
Ait benhaddou Kasbah
Optional Traditional Hammam
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAY 5 MARRAKESH, FULL GUIDED CITY TOUR
A Full guided tour will be scheduled to discover Marrakesh which is known as the “Red City”. Marrakesh is the most important former imperial city in Morocco’s history, it is situated near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountain. Like all the old cities, Marrakech comprises both an old fortified city The Medina and an very modern city called Gueliz built during the French occupation. Marrakesh has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna. The square is full of story-tellers, water sellers, dancers, snakes charmers and musicians. During the night the square turns into a huge open-air restaurant.
During our visit we will see The Koutoubia Mosque, built in the 12th century in the reign of Almoravid Dynasty. We will go among narrow streets and allies in ancient city. We pass by “seven saints” during the reign of Moulay Ismail, the festival of the seven saints was founded to the request of the Sultan. The tombs of several renowned figures were moved to Marrakesh to attract pilgrims. Marrakesh was dominated in the first half of the 20th century by T’hami El Glaoui, “Lord of the Atlas”, and Pasha of Marrakesh. Still there is a house called Dar Pacha El Glaoui from where he used to rule the whole southern part of Morocco.
Guided walking tour Marrakech
Jamaa lfna & Koutoubia
Coranic medrassa ben youssef
Monuments and Heritage Tour
Meals Included: Breakfast
OPTIONAL EXTENTION: DAY 6: ESSAOUIRA (EXPLORE ESSAOUIRA AT YOUR OWN PACE)
A one day on your pace will be for sure wonderful, since there is no way to get bored. Due to the plenty activities you will be able to enjoy amazingly as Essaouira is well renowned for its kite surfing and windsurfing, with the powerful trade wind. Horse riding, camel riding along the beach, quad biking are activities that one can enjoy while staying in Essaouira. It is known by the delicious seafood too.
In Essaouira, several small art galleries are found all over the town. Since 1998 Essaouira is getting known by its Gnaoua Festival of World Music, normally it is scheduled in the last week of June. It brings artists from all over the world. Although focused on Gnaoua music, it includes rock, jazz and reggae. In the early 1952 the film director and actor Orson Welles made his movie Othello. Now there is a square named Orson Welles.
Along the half way between Essaouira and Marrakesh you will see enormous Argan tree on both sides of the road. These Argan trees are frequently climbed by goats. Argan oil is produced by several women’s cooperatives and it is used to prepare couscous, salads. Moreover it was traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases before being founded as good enough for cosmetics by Europeans manufacturers. Still stop by one of these cooperatives is worthy to see how Berber women squeezed the Argan fruits between hands to extract this precious oil. We arrive to our hotel in Marrakesh and if time permit we go out for a walk.
Walking tour Essaouira ( free time )
Visit to Argan Co-operative
Port, Medina & Skala
Meals Included: Lunch