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Imperial Cities, and Sahara Desert Morocco Tour – Fes – Marrakech – 5 days

 

Day 1:  Fes – Ifrane – Azrou – Ziz Valley – Merzouga: 425km.           

After breakfast in your Riad, you will leave Fes travelling towards Merzouga via Midlet and the Ziz valley. Today you will travel via the village of Ifrane, a beautiful mountain village, referred to as “the Switzerland of Morocco”.  Here you will also stop at the cedar forest on the middle Atlas Mountains.  During this journey you’ll experience glimpses of the Middle Atlas and Higher Atlas mountains and stopping at Azrou, a Berber village in the middle of the famous cedar forest – the largest in Morocco – where you may see Barbary apes. After exploring the nearby forest, your journey continues to Midelt along the magnificent hills and mountains of the Atlas.

En-route you’ll be travelling through the fascinating Tiz Ntalghamt pass and the Ziz Gorge, taking in views of the High Atlas plateau, seeing how the scenery changes to reveal hints of the desert as you approach the city of Errachidia where you’ll lunch and enjoy the Berber hospitality.  Afterwards, you’ll travel along the luxuriant Ziz Valley, stopping for panoramic views along the way to Erfoud and Rissani.  Arriving in Merzouga in the afternoon you’ll be welcomed with a glass of mint tea before checking into your Riad. Overnight at Kasbah Hotel Yasmina. (DBB).

Day 2: Merzouga area and the Camel trek:

After breakfast in your Riad, you can take a little exploration of the local area before the start of your camel trek and eventual night spent at the desert camp. Today, you’ll visit the Gnawa people, originally slaves brought from Sudan, to experience their music and lifestyle. Not far away there’s the lake of Merzouga, with its bird populations. You may also visit the nomad wire house where many Berber handicrafts are priced lower than in the big cities. On the afternoon you will mount your camel, guided by an experienced camel man to explore the golden sand sea of Merzouga. Dinner is under the stars in front of the tent where you will spend the night. (the camp in equipped with flush-toilets). (DBB).

Day 3:  Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Dades Valley:

Your camel Guide will wake you up early in the morning to watch what well may be the best sunrise of your life. You’ll peacefully camel-trek back to the village of Merzouga.  En-route you won’t fail to appreciate the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi sand dunes – changing with the light as the day progresses. After breakfast, you’ll leave for Rissani, Tinghir and Todra gorges – the highest, narrowest gorges in Morocco and after lunch in the heart of the gorge we’ll drive through the Dades Valley, where you’ll see the majestic sand castles and the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes”. Overnight accommodation will be in a fancy hotel overlooking the Dades valley. Hotel Xalucadades. DBB.

Day 4: Dades Gorge – Boutaghrar – Skoura – Ouarzazate: 140km.

After breakfast in the hotel we’ll drive through the Dades Valley towards Kalaa M’gouna and Ouarzazate. The route through Dades Valley is the way of the thousand kasbahs – providing numerous opportunities to take some of your best photographic shots of the trip. We’ll stop at Kalaa Mgouna, “the rose city”, to purchase the rosewater, which will make your linen smell good a long time after your trip is over.  Continuing onto Skoura and the dirds valley; you’ll visit the Kasbah Ameridil, a well-preserved Kasbah in this area. After some hiking in the valley and a restaurant stop overlooking the whole valley, for lunch, it’s onto Ouarzazate , “the Hollywood of Africa”, whose geography and beautiful landscapes has attracted many world class movie producers.  Here you may choose to visit the studios, containing props used in movies such as The Mummy, Gladiator and the Last temptation of Christ. .. Overnight accommodation will be in Dar Chamaa. (BDB).

Day 5: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah – Marrakech:

After breakfast in your Riad, we’ll head to Marrakech , visiting Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah. The former is the largest Kasbah in Morocco, built by T-hami El Glaoui, one of the last Berber chieftains during the beginning of the XXth Century, it used to be one of his stops during his long travel from the Sahara to Marrakech. Now one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Your journey will continue through the majestic Tizi n’tichka Pass (2260m) over the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. Your tour ends at your accommodation in Marrakech.