Desert Safari Trip from Marrakech to Merzouga
Day 1 Marrakech- Dades Valley
In the early morning we leave the cool courtyards and sun-drenched bazars behind us and drive towards the High Atlas Mountains. You will cross the pass of Tizi-N-Tichka, offering breathtaking panoramic views of quasi-desert landscapes, fertile valleys and red colored Berber villages along the way.
Take a step back in time when you make a stop in the small Berber village of Telouet, where you will find the old Kasbah, also called the Palace of Glaoui. This beautiful old Kasbah was built between the 18th and 19th century, and has some nice preserved rooms.
This once incredibly wealthy region of Morocco was given the nickname The Valley of the 1000 Kasbahs, with prime position on the trans-Saharan trading route, beautifully ornate and phenomenally expensive Kasbahs filled the valley. The most famous one is the stunning Ait Ben Haddou, which still inhabits four families and is still used as filming location for many series and movies such as Gladiator, Cleopatra, Prison Break and many more.
We continue our drive towards Skoura, a scenic stretch of rose gardens and palm groves. Its towering mud brick castle Amirdil reminds of past times when the small town was a bustling caravan crossroad filled with spice and gold merchants on their way to Ouarzazate.
Our final destination for today will be the Dades Gorge and Valley, with different types of interesting and unusual geological formations. In a beautiful scenic landscape we will spend the night in a Hotel overlooking the Dades River and Mountains.
Day 2 Dades Valley – Merzouga Sahara Desert
After breakfast, we will make a stop at the famous monkey fingers mountains in Tamlalt. The cliffs are a spectacular rock formation, shaped like monkey fingers, rising up from the river. One of the natural wonders of Morocco which can not be missed. After shooting some photos we will continue our trip towards Tingerhir and Todra Gorge, a deep dramatic canyon where the cliffs are 600 meter high and only 10m apart. We will have lunch here, or in the Berber village Tinjdad.
From here we leave all the mountains and rock formations behind us and wait until the golden dunes appear at the horizon. In the mean time we listen how our blue scarved driver sings along with old Touareg songs. We ask our selves what it is, that draws us to the Sahara? Maybe the majesty of saffron dunes, changing color as the sun gradually sinks? Or the waking up at night with the Milky Way above you? Well after two hours from the Todra Gorge we will arrive at the small desert village of Merzouga, where you will meet your camel. Your desert adventure starts now. Of course there’s no better way to experience the desert than a night in a traditional or luxury nomad camp. Your camel will bring you to your camp where you can enjoy a traditional Moroccan dinner under the starry sky, and later relax around the camp fire while listening to the nomads playing drums. Here you will find your answer about what draws us to the Sahara maybe: having the feeling of complete solitude and being far away from civilization.
Day 3 Merzouga – Marrakech
The Nomads will wake you up before sunrise, so you can watch the sun come up from a high dune.
After breakfast and saying good bye to your camel, we will start our journey back to Ouarzazate. On our way, we visit the beautiful Draa Valley with thousand of palms and old Kasbah’s. Be sure to buy some fresh dates here as they are just delicious. We will have lunch here or in the small village Nkoub. After lunch we continue our drive towards mountain road Djebel saghro and tizi’n –Tinififft. We will make several stops to enjoy the panoramic views from here. We will arrive back in Marrakech around 6pm (Insha’Allah!)