Sahara Desert Morocco Dream Tour
9 Day Tour: Travel Morocco's Kasbahs, Ruins and Waterfalls
Duration: 9:00am-6:00pm Daily
Morocco Travel: In Luxury 4x4 English, Arabic, Berber, French Speaking Driver, Guide
Starting & Finishing Point: Your Hotel In Marrakech
Travel Morocco's Kasbahs, Ruins and Waterfalls
. Begin your tour in Marrakech, Cascades D'Ouzoud Waterfalls, Ait Benhaddou, the Todra Gorge and Ouarzazaate's Kasbahs fertile Oasis, then head to the Erg Chebbi Dunes & have lunch in a Berber village. Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806
. Let us be your guide to Morocco Travel.
DAY 1: MARRAKECH HISTORIAL TOUR
►Depart from the airport or your hotel. Your introduction to Marrakech
will begin in the Medina
, the old quarter of the Marrakech
. From here we will explore this historically charming area
by foot. In Djemma el Fna,
you will visit the famous 12th century Koutouba Mosque
and its influential minaret.
►Your guide will help you navigate through the labyrinth like streets and alleys of the Djemma. Enjoy the aromatic streets, taste the fresh squeeze orange juice and venture into the souks (shops) specializing in Berber carpets, silver jewelry, artisan workshops, handmade shoes, tanneries, etc.
is a city of undergroundchannels built by the architects from Cordoba,
Spain to provide water for the town and palmeraie.
We will drive to the LowerMedina to explore more of Marrakesh’s secrets: ElMansourmosque, the sixteenthcentury Saadian Tombs
with its stark towers, the ruined 16thcenturyEl Badhi palace
, and the Mellah
and the Jewish quarter
►Enjoy a three- course lunch consisting of a fresh salad, tajine and fruit at one of Marrakech most delectable restaurants. After lunch we will head north of the Mellah to visit the 19th century Bahia palace, originally built for Si Moussa, a former slave who became King Moulay Hassan’s chamberlain. The palace holds a courtyard and riads decorated with beautiful carved stucco and Arabic architecture.
►Next we will visit the contemporary Moroccan Art Museum
or Tiskiwin, a private museum
dedicated to popular arts & crafts
, styled as a beautiful Spanish-Moroccan house
, next door to Dar Si Said palace,
a smaller version of the Bahia. Now onward to the new city, we will navigate our way to French, Gueliz
and head to the Majorelle Gardens
, a magical and lush small garden estate designed by Jacque Majorelle
and maintained by Yves Saint Laurent
►The Majorelle Garden is filled with colorful walkways, ponds, cactus and plants as well as a beautiful shop with hand-made goods. On our return to your hotel, we will pass by the La Mammounia Hotel’s Garden where Alfred Hitchcock wrote the famous film The Birds.
►Explore the outdoor foodstalls at Djema el Fna Square for dinner and spend the night in a local riad.
DAY 2: MARRAKECH – CASCADES D’OUZOUD WATERFALLS EXCURSION
►Breakfast and depart from Marrakech to visit the Cascades d’ Ouzoud and experience one of the most spectacularsights in Morocco.
►Located in a plush valley, within friendly Berber village are three beautiful tiered waterfalls with a series of spectacular wide to narrow plunges that drop 110m into the river below.
►Trek along the river up to the caves or Gorges of Oued el- Abid or stay close by and enjoy the natural scenery. Take pictures to capture the essence of the beautiful cataracts and the rainbows that often appear near the bottom of the falls. In the summer time, enjoy a picnic and mingle with Marrakshis that frequent this peaceful area on the weekends.
►Enjoy lunch at foot of the CascadesD’Ouzoud
surrounded by lime-trees. Take a swim in the refreshing water or stroll through the network of great paths leading to the basins below the cascades. Other memorable hikes include exploring the under-ground passages by the Berber village sited on the slopes of wooden hills.
►Cook outside for dinner near the falls and sleep in a Berber tent underneath the stars or opt to stay at the Dar Essalam, a hotel located near Ouzoud village which has a charming courtyard lined with lime trees. Another option which is common in this country of penetrating skies is to sleep on the rooftop of the hotel under the Moroccan stars
► Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Mararkech.
DAY 3: MARRAKECH - OURIKA VALLEY EXCURSION
►Take a day off from the city heat to escape
. Travel in an air-conditioned/ heated Land Cruiser and visit the Souk Tnine de L’orika, the gateway to the pleasant Ourika Valley
►The souk, located near a picturesque zaouia with a rock drop background, has the largest souk of the valley every Monday. Your driver will stop and browse at local crafts and other Moroccan treasures.
►The next forty miles of road will be filled with gardens, land cultivated by palm tree plantations and fruit trees, tiny hamlets, summer homes, and cafes and restaurants where it is possible to have lunch in a traditional auberge or if you prefer something more key, a picnic facing the snow capped mountain and overlooking the Ourika River.
►Moving through the valley we will visit Setti Fatma, a favorite weekend resort of many Marrakshis that is appreciated for its beautiful streams and waterfalls. We will visit the famous tomb of Setti Fatma. During the middle of August an exciting four day festival takes place over the tomb.
►Visit the Setti Fatma seven waterfalls.
►Have lunch near the Setti Fatma Cascades in a traditional Moroccan restaurant or have a picnic near the lake.
►Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.
DAY 4: MARRAKECH - TELOUET KASBAH – TIZZIN TICHKA PASS – AIT BENHADDOU - OUARZAZATE
►During your journey to Ouarzazate you pass the olive groves of the Oued Zat, as you ascend onto the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass Road. Built by the French in the 1920’s, the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass can be described as having mountainous barriers, Mediterranean and oceanic influences and desert borders. long the route you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as sights of fertile valleys, blue and red colored pise villages and other striking mineral environments.
▶En route you will go by piste to visit Kasbah Telouet, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous Kasbahs that is the origin of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Kasbah Telout is hidden among a tiny road in a small village that is 20 minutes outside Tichka. It’s history stands alone with its original zellij tile, authentic, preserved silks and grand remnants of the Glaou family. Unlike the other Kasbahs in Southern Morocco, Telout was occupied by the Glaoui’s instead of the slaves and has stunning views. This Kasbahs has yet to be coined a UNESCO World Heritage site and while it appears in parts to be in ruins on the exterior, its interior is one of true spelndor.
►Stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where Argan Oil, Butter and Cosmetics are made with the Argan nut by hand as Berber women crack the nuts and the grind them one by one. Have a complimentary tasting. This cooperative is run entirely by women.
►During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and became the administrative centre of the Zagora region. Ouarzazate became famous when it’s nearby Kasbah; AitBenhaddou
appeared in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia
. Visit Ait Benhaddou.
►Located 32 km from Ouarzazate lies the picturesque village. AïtBenhaddou
of Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa- Draa on a hill along the Ouarzazate River Lawrence of Arabia
was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah
; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films. Aït Benhaddou which once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present- day Morocco.
►Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains.
►Continue to the Skoura.
►Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Skoura.
DAY 5: SKOURA – VALLEY OF ROSES – TODRA GORGE – ERFOUD – RISSANI – MERZOUGA
►Breakfast at your Riad in Skoura. Visit Skoura
and it's magnificent palmerie along with the Amerdihl and other renowned Kasbahs. Then take the road to the Todra Gorge en route to Merzouga.
►Visit the ValleyofRoses. Your driver will stop for you to view the Capp et Florale distillation factories laid out in the small kasbah town that manufacture the entire nations products of eau de rose. The rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers are for sale and also popular among Moroccans.
►The drive is scenic as with the new roads built, you will drive past the the mouth of the Gorge and up to the villages of Ait Hani, Tamtatouchte. The Gorge extends from the village of Tamtatouche to Tinerhir. The Todra, with cliffs rising dramatically up to 300m on each side of a narrow corridor, make up some of the most impressive cliffs and are by far, the highest in Morocco.
► The Todra Gorge is a spectacle with its gigantic rock walls changing color to create magical effects with the sunlight. In the morning, when the sun permeates through the bottom of the gorge, the rock changes from pink rose to deep ochre gradually throughout the rest of the day.
▶Lunch at the Foot of Todra Gorge
▶Next continue the road to the Todar Gorge. The Todra Gorge is a canyon in the eastern part of the High Altas Mountains in Southern Morocco near the town of Tinerhir. Both the Todra and neighbouring Dades rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons. Local people and Nomads live in the area and can be seen with their small donkeys or herding camels and goats.
►After lunch continue by road to explore the surrounding area and its Berber villages. Sometimes you can find the Nomad women with children from the Atlas Mountains visiting the Gorge to carry water by donkey to their village. Your driver will give you the option to visit the picturesque village of Tamtattouchte, whose red toned earth houses are located at the other end of the gorge.
►Continue the road to Rissani, Rissani is the Sahara desert town that is from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausolem of Moulay Ali Sharif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next visit Maison Taureg House and then the old Ksar of Rissani. Continue the road to Erfoud.
►Visit Khemlia - Berber - Sudanese Gnaoua Trance Music:
Last shop is Khemlia where you will visit a Sudanese- Berber, Moroccan village. The Musicians of Khemlia have been living in this remote village for a century and perform 100 year-old Gnaoua Trance music songs. Spend an hour listening to Gnaoua Trance music using old world instruments by these Sudanese Berber Musicians. Tea is served and then there is an option to explore their village.
▶Arrive in Merzouga before sunset, then go by dromedary camel for 35 - 45 minutes- one-hour, at sunset into the Erg Chebbi Dunes to camp overnight luxury Biouvac tent at an oasis. Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Deserts’ secrets. As you glide across humpback on these silent, mystical dunes there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling dunes.
►Overnight at a Luxury Desert Camp in Merzouga's Erg Chebbi Dunes.
DAY 6: MERZOUGA – AIT OUZZINE - NKOB
▶Breakfast at the foot of the Erg Chebbi dunes in the Merzouga Sahara Desert. Breakfast and then take the road to explore Merzouga’s Sahaara by piste. Enjoy the flora and fauna that is unique to the Sahara.
▶Then take the road to visit Ait Ouzzine village located in N’kob which is nestled within the Saghro and Middle Atlas Mountains.
►AïtOuzzine is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani. Meet a local Berber family, partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread and a tajine. Then explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, live stock, and henna plants.
►Lunch will be served to you in Aït Ouzzine by a traditional Berber family. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices and a chicken and vegetable tajine and fresh local fruits for desert.
►After lunch, you can have your hands and feet painted with henna or your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist and relax. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices. End the afternoon in Ait Ouzzine with mint tea and almonds.
►Overnight in a Charming, Boutique Kasbah Hotel in Nkob.
DAY 7: NKOB - OUARZAZATE
►Breakfast at your Riad in Nkob.
►Take the through the Draa Valley to Ouarzazate. The Draa Valley is the road of the old caravans that were once traveled to transport dates and other good from the Draa Region to Marrakech.
►En route pass the Sahara Desert town of Agdz and the heart of the Draa Valley known for its 45 qualities of dates. Stop for a picturesque view in Agdz and its stunning palmery along with local trade routes famous for bringing dates, spices and other goods from the South to Marrakech.
►Visit the market of dates in Agdz. Try various dates of the region and see how the local souk works. Panoramic view of Agdz Palmeraie from a garrison atop Agdz. Next continue to Kasbah Tamnagoult.
►Visit Kasbah Tamnagoult. Tamnougalt is a village in the Draa River valley in 95 kilometers south of Ouarzazate. The village is close to Agdz. It is the former capital of the Mezguita region and residence of former caïds. Its name means 'meeting point' in Tachelhit (Berber). Continue onwards towards the village of Ait Ouzzine, located in N’kob which is nestled within the Middle Atlas Mountains.
►Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Ouarzazate.
DAY 8: OUARZAZATE – MARRAKECH
►Rise early, have breakfast at your hotel. Morning at leisure.
►For lunch, relax on a terrace with clear views of Aït Benhaddouand enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal of mfouar (steamed wheat), Takila (a Berber tajine), couscous and fruit. After lunch, browse the village shops then climb back in the comfortable air-conditioned/heated 4x4 and head to the village of Tamadaght.
►Only six miles away, is the village of Tamdaght, dominated by the canyon walls of a Glaoui Kasbah. The Kasbah is famous and you will find its towers inhabited by storks. Walk outside the Kasbah’s lush terraced gardens and witness the same desert scenery that used in Gladiatorand Alexander the Great
►On the return to Ouarzazate- last stop- visit the Atlas Film Studios. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara.
►Arrive in Marrakesh in the late afternoon, spend the evening dining at the spectacular Fantasia. The fantasia
is a warrior ceremony
opposing various groups of horse riders
, Each group quivers under light, and the riders point their long rifles to the sky, shout out simultaneously and leave behind them a cloud of dust, before spouting their " black baroud of honor "
► Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.
DAY 9: MARRAKECH DEPARTURE