Imperial Cities, Erg Chebbi Dunes & Essaouira - 11 days

Itinerary Overview

1st day: Casablanca Airport Transfer
Upon arrival in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, you will be met and transferred to your Casablanca hotel, where you will check in and relax for the afternoon. Depending on time, you could choose to have an optional tour of the Hassan II mosque, or take a stroll through the medina and Mohammed V Square.

2nd day: Casablanca - Fes
After breakfast, you will leave towards Fes. On route, you will stop at Rabat, the capital city and residence of the King, for lunch and some time to enjoy the beautiful coastal city. After lunch, you will continue on to Fes, the spiritual capital of Morocco. Overnight in hotel/riad.

3rd day: Fes Sightseeing
After breakfast, you will begin your guided tour of the medina, one of the world’s largest walled-in cities. You will explore the narrow streets lined with fresh fruits, mounds of spices, intricately woven Berber carpets and many other art objects of Morocco. A visit to the King’s Palace, the tanneries, and potters are just a few places you will experience. For lunch, you will eat in a traditional restaurant in the heart of the medina. After lunch, you will complete the tour and return to your hotel/riad for the evening.

4th day: Fes - Merzouga
After an early breakfast, you will begin your ascent across the Middle Atlas mountains. Most of the day will be spent winding your way through beautiful lush forests, jagged rock faces, and Berber villages as you cross the Atlas mountains and begin to descend towards the Sahara desert. Half way, you will stop for lunch in the town of Midelt, famous for its fossils and rocks. We continue on mountain roads overlooking the wide flowing Oued Ziz. Passing through kasbahs and palm groves we head towards the adobe colored city of Er-Rachidia and then Erfoud (famous for its date festival and fossils). From here our trip continues to the dunes of Merzouga for a walk in the dunes of Erg Chebbi (250m). From the top of the dunes the sunset is spectacular. Here, at Erg Chebbi dunes, we will have dinner and spend the night in a nomad tent under a night sky full of stars. A night you will not forget.

5th day: Merzouga
In the morning, a three-hour camel ride across the great sand dunes and through the stony Sahara, is scheduled, stopping to prepare lunch among the dunes. In the afternoon, a camel ride for another two hours is programmed to reach the high dunes (Erg Chebbi). From here, at 250m, the sunset is a spectacular sight. Dinner and the night are in a bivouac at the foot of the dunes.

6th day: Merzouga - Dades Gorges
After breakfast, you will return by camel to the 4×4 and head back to Rissani and Erfoud. From Erfoud, you set out behind the High Atlas mountains on route to the Todra gorges for lunch. In the afternoon, you will take a walk up in the towering Todra gorges, with sheer cliffs of 985 feet high. The picturesque river valleys make for a beautiful journey towards the southeast of Morocco. Then continue your journey towards another impressive Dades gorges, passing by the strange rock creation of Tamnalt Hills. Overnight right in the heart of Dades gorges lined by the red and mauve rocks. Overnight in hotel.

7th day: Dades Gorges - Ouarzazate
After breakfast a walk in the Dades gorges is scheduled. Back at the car, the trip to Ouarzazate continues, going off-road along the Boutarar piste to visit Berber nomads in their caves and partake of a glass of tea with them. From here we continue through the valley of the roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May, and past the kasbahs of Skoura. In Ouarzazate, you stay in a riad.

8th day: Ouarzazate - Marrakech
After breakfast, the route goes on to the kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou, a World Heritage site and the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. It is the most famous kasbah in Morocco. From there the road continues along the Ounila valley to the kasbah of Telouet. This kasbah is set right in the midst of the mountains and was once the seat of the last Pasha of Marrakesh, El Glaoui, from where the highest pass in Africa, Tizi-n-Tichka was controlled. At the end of the afternoon we arrive in Marrakesh, dinner and night in a riad.

9th day: Marrakech Sightseeing
After breakfast, you will have a guided tour of Marrakech, the southern pearl of Morocco. You will discover the palace of Bahia, the Majorelle garden, the Saadian tombs, and many other hidden treasures. After lunch, you will continue the tour to the magnificent Koutoubia mosque and the famous square Djemaa el-Fna, one of the spectacular attractions of Marrakesh, dinner and night in a riad.

10th day: Marrakech - Essaouira
You will travel today to the seaside gem of Morocco. Situated along the Atlantic Coast, the medina of Gnaoua (formerly “Mogador”), is a UNESCO World Heritage city and one of the most enchanting places in Morocco. Explore Essaouira’s old medina and surroundings which boasts impressive examples of Moorish and European architecture, or take the opportunity to relax by the beach, dinner and night in a riad.

11th day: Essaouira - Casablanca
Transfer from Essaouira to the airport of Casablanca.

Trip At A Glance

Ouarzazate, Agdz, Kasbah Tamnougalt, Draa Valley, Zagora, Overnight in Erg Lihoudi Dunes desert, camel ride, Mhamid, Erg Chegaga Dunes, Foum Zguid, Tznakhte, Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, Skoura Oasis, Road of the thousand Kasbahs, Dades Gorges, Ouarzazate

What is Included?

  • Transportaion in a 4x4 air-conditioned Toyota Prado Tx and Fuel
  • Experienced local Bereber/ Nomad Multilingual-speaking driver/ guide
  • Overnight in a Erg Lihoudi Dunes desert camp
  • Overnight in a Erg Chegaga Dunes desert camp
  • All meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners with vegetarian and vegan options available
  • Camel ride for an hour to an hour and a half with the camelman and sand-boarding
  • Berber music and drumming around the fire under the stars
  • The opportunity to ask the driver to stop for breaks whenever you wish
  • Entrance fees and local guides in the relevant places

What is Not Included?

  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Extra

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