Sahara Trip Merzouga, Dades Gorges
The program of the trip is as follows:
Day 1: Marrakech - Ouarzazate - Draa Valley - Zagora
Departure is planned from Marrakech at 7h30 in the morning, taking the road to cross High Atlas mountains via the Tizi n'Tichka pass towards Ouarzazate for lunch next to the famous Kasbah of Taourirt which presents the historical and cultural interest of Ouarzazate. After lunch you will travel to the south and cross the second pass which is Tizi N'Tnifift at 1710m and Ait Saoun village, the former route of caravans for Sahara traders coming from "Tombouktou", you will reach the first administrative centre called "Agdez Village" that marks the source of Draa Valley, with it's 6 successive palm groves stating (Mezguita palmary, Fezouata...) and Kasbahs stating the famous Tamnougalt Kasbah. You will continue through the lunar landscapes and the Pre-Sahara routes until you get to Zagora which is a small town, the native region of Saadian dynasty (Saadian tombs in Marrakech) who used to rule Morocco in the XVII century. 18 km further more you will arrive to Tamgroute, a small village where most of locals are pottery handicrafts, Tamgroute is also well know by it's old Coranic school and library collecting the old books. The next five kilometres will let you see the first sand dunes of Zagora called Tinfou dunes and give you a taste of Sahara desert dunes. You will be back to Zagora where you spend the first night of Marrakech, Zagora, Merzouga desert tour. Dinner and overnight in Zagora hotel.
Day 2: Zagora - Tansikht - Tazarine - Rissani - Merzouga
After breakfast, you depart from Zagora towards the famous dunes of Erg Chebbi known as Merzouga Sahara desert dunes as well. The adventure continues along the valley of Draa, the village of Benizoli and Tazarine crossing the villages of Ait Atta of the Anti Atlas. You will free time for lunch in Alnif, a Berber village known for trilobite extractions (Possibility to have a specialized guide to explore the trilobites, orthocere, ammonites and other fossils). After lunch, you will continue to Rissani city, the former capital of the Alawites Sultans. Rissani is known for its important market for caravans of sub-Saharan region Sijilmassa and the Moulay Ali Cherif gate, visit of the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, where the father of the founder of the Alouite dynasty is buried. This is a wonderful destination for those who wish to learn some of the history of the country. It is important to see these amazing locations, especially if you're backpacking around Marrakech after taking some cheap flights to get you into the area. There is much to see at the gate. Afterwards, you will cross the Erg Chebbi to arrive at the inn at the foot of Merzouga Sahara desert dunes. From here, the caravan begins by exchanging your transportation by camels, a camel trek over the dunes at the sunset which last for about 2 hours before arriving to the bivouac; A camp with traditional nomadic tents located in a oasis where you spend the night., Enjoy playing drums with the camels drivers around a fire in the middle of your bivouac waiting for the dinner.
Day 3: Merzouga - Erfoud - Todra Gorges - Dades Gorges
A wake up early morning to enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the dunes, or take a climb one of the highest dunes of Merzouga, in front of your bivouac to dominate the complte view of the sunrise, followed by a typical breakfast and return to the hostel to take a shower, meet our driver. You leave to Erfoud, another city known for fossils, you will cross the Tafilalt oasis, a short break to see the ancient system of irrigation before you arrive to Tinejdad. Continuation to Todgha Gorges where you will have free time for lunch and you can take a walk along the gorges, local restaurant are available between the canyons of Todra gorges. In the afternoon, you visit the former Jewish district in Tineghir city and continue the road towards the Dades valley and go up to the Dades Gorges, one of the most beautiful touristic sites of the southern Morocco. The 3rd night of Desert tour from Marrakech will be in the heart of Dades gorges. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 4: Dades - Skoura - Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Marrakech
The 4th and last day of your desert tour from Marrakech to Dades gorges. After breakfast, you start the tour via the Dades valley with its beautiful landscapes, Kasbahs and panoramic views of the ocre mountains where the colors and contrast changes every 200m. You will join the principal road nicknamed the road of 1000 kasbahs for many of the Kasbah which you cross during your desert tour from Marrakech, then you will visit the city of roses called Kelaa Mgouna, a rose festival is celebrated every year in this city, then the fascinating Skoura palm grove at 50km before getting to Ouarzazate. You will continue to Ait Benhaddou village, the fortified ksar with it's beautiful Kasbahs, Ait Benhaddou has served as a natural decoration for many movies producers since 1960's. Once you get to Ait Benhaddou village, you will have free time for lunch in a local restaurant overlooking the Kasbah, then you take a walk to go on the top of the hill to dominate the whole village. Afterwards. In the afternoon, you will leave the red city of Marrakech, the start and end point of your Marrakech, Zagora, Merzouga and Dades gorges Desert tour 4Days/3Night.