Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou – Dades Gorge
With our starting point in Marrakech we’ll drive to Ouarzazate through the dramatic Tizi ‘n’ Tichka pass (2260m), over the High Atlas Mountains, appreciating the beauty of the landscape on the twisted road through Berber villages. Arriving at the famous Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, the largest Kasbah in Morocco, now a UNESCO matrimonial historical site and still home to many Glaoui family members. Lunch is by the Kasbah before we continue on to Dades Gorge via Ouarzazate, “the Hollywood of Africa” along the “Road of the thousand Kasbahs”- the fascinating “sand castles” before stopping at Kalaat Mgouna, “the rose’s city” known for roses and its annual festival during the roses harvest in May. Eventually we’ll arrive at our hotel in the heart of the Dades Gorge.
Day 2: Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Merzouga
After breakfast in the hotel, we’ll drive back through the valley to see the amazing rock formation known as “the monkey toes” and the still-standing 19th century Kasbah of Ait Yul. Leaving the Dades valley towards Tinrghir and the Todra valley you’ll see panoramic views of the old mud Berber villages overlooking the valley. Once at the gorge we’ll walk under the 300m high red cliff, where many Rock-climbers come to enjoy their preferred sport. We’ll continue on to Erfoud and Rissani where we’ll have lunch before leaving for the village of Merzouga – the home of your guide Youssef – and where your camel will be awaiting you. You’ll be welcomed with a glass of mint tea before checking into our Hotel/Riad.
Day 3: Merzouga area and the Camel trek
After breakfast we can start exploring the area, visiting the village of the Gnawi people, originally slaves from Sudan to experience their music and lifestyle. Not far away there’s the lake of Merzouga, with its flamingos. You may also like to visit the nomad wire house where many Berber handicrafts are priced lower than in the big cities. By the afternoon you’ll be ready for your camel ride. Guided by an experienced camel driver, you’ll explore within the mysterious sand-sea of the Erg-Chebbi for 2-3 hrs before spending your first night under the stars, or if you prefer, in a traditional Berber nomad tent. Dinner will be served in the tent where you will spend the night.
Day 4: Merzouga – Fes
Your camel man will wake you up early in the morning to watch what well may be the best sunrise of your life. Afterwards, you’ll peacefully camel-trek back to your Riad appreciating the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi dunes – changing with the light as the day progresses. After breakfast in the local guest house we’ll travel to Fes via Errachidia along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock and through the Tizi Ntalghamt pass to Midelt. stopping in Zaida to enjoy a barbecue and refresh with a glass of mint tea before continuing on to Azrou, a Berber village in the Middle Atlas Mountains. There we’ll stop to see the Barbarian apes in the famous Cedar forest. Then it’s on to Ifrane – “the French village”, stopping for a picture and drink before arriving at your accommodation in Fes where the tour ends.