Explore the wonders of Morocco’s Sahara Desert on an unforgettable 3-day tour from Marrakech to Merzouga. Spend a night beneath the stars in a Bedouin camp at Erg Chebbi and ride atop your camel as you marvel at both sunset and sunrise views! Capture photos of Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah and Ouarzazate film studios, plus so much more awaiting discovery.
Leave Marrakech behind and head into the desert, over the High Atlas Mountains to Ouarzazate. On a clear day, see Mount Toubkal, the highest peak at 4167 meters. Travel through Berber farmland and villages and admire the traditional adobe houses of the mountain people.
Refresh in Taddert on the way. Continue to the Tizi n’Tichka pass (2260 m), which connects Marrakech with Ouarzazate. Stretch your legs and enjoy the panoramic views of the winding road and rocky mountains.
As you descend Tizi n’Tichka, you’ll arrive in Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a gateway to the Sahara Desert. Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou is one of Morocco’s most iconic and well-preserved fortified villages. This UNESCO world heritage site has been a set for various Hollywood blockbusters such as Gladiator, Troy, and Babel. Its earthen buildings blend into the surrounding landscape, making it seem like it has always been a part of the desert.
From here, continue to Ouarzazate, also home to one of the world’s largest movie studios. If interested, you can join an optional studio tour to get a closer look at sets and props. From Ouarzazate, continue east toward Boumalne Dades. Along the way, you’ll pass the El Mansour reservoir. This road is known as “the road of one thousand kasbahs” because there are so many mud-brick forts along it. These were once built by people trying to fend off invaders.
As you pass through Kelâat M’Gouna (the Valley of the Roses), keep your camera handy so that you can take pictures of this beautiful area. Eventually, you’ll reach your destination: Boumalne Dades, for dinner and overnight.
Start your day by driving through the idyllic desert to Tinerhir, in the center of an extensive oasis. Admire the Gorge-984 feet (300 m) high- and the River that cuts through the red limestone rocks to create it. Take a walk to explore the canyons and relax below cool water from the shallow River.
Continue driving through The arid landscape, making stops at several small towns on The way, including Erfoud, known for its delicious dates And fossils. Visit a craft workshop To learn how fossil-rich rocks are carefully turned into practical and decorative objects.
As you near Merzouga, you will catch your first glimpse of the massive Erg Chebbi sand sea on the horizon. The sand dunes here rise to an impressive 656 feet (200 m), and the area covers 14 square miles (35 square km).
Choose your camel and ride into the color-changing desert to enjoy the setting sun atop a large dune. Then, return to your Erg Chebbi camp for dinner. Relax around the campfire listening to traditional Berber music and admiring the star-filled night sky before retiring to your Bedouin-style tent.
Start your third day of adventure by waking up before dawn to see the sunrise from atop a camel. Next, you’ll travel back to Marrakech, riding through the Draa valley and Saghro mountains. Take in the stunning volcanic landscapes as you make your way to the village of Nkob.
Have lunch with a view of the mountains, or later in Ouarzazate. Then it’s off to Tansikht village via Draa River Banks, exploring the palm groves and ancient Kasbahs along the way. As you near the peak of the valley, you’ll arrive at Kasbah Tamnougalte, where you can get an incredible view of the watchtowers on the nearby mountains.
Your journey across the High Atlas Mountains and through the Tizi Ntichka pass will end late in the afternoon with a drop-off at your hotel in Marrakech.
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