Four-day Southern Valleys and Sahara Desert tour

Tour Reference DV-MM4/125

An amazing four-day tour that will treat you to the unusual, the spectacular and often awe-inspiring natural wonders of the Moroccan landscape.

From the snow-capped peaks of the mountains to the sun-kissed dunes and plains of the Sahara – plus visits to two historic UNESCO-listed sites of special interest.

Category Desert Overland Tour
Duration 4 Days
Starts From Marrakech
Returns to Marrakech
Group Size 2 - 6
Prices from €210

Tour itinerary

Day 1

Marrakech | Ouarzazate | Zagora

After collecting you from your hotel or riad at 08.00am, we set off towards Ouarzazate enjoying the spectacular scenery as we climb upwards to the important Tizi-n-Tichka pass – the highest major mountain pass in North Africa - nestled at a height of 2,260m in the High Atlas Mountains.

 

As with the rest of the tour, your driver will stop off en route for photo opportunities of breathtaking views and the scenic beauty of the many Berber villages throughout our travels. Outward bound, we pass through Ouarzazate – but there will be time to explore and enjoy this “doorway to the desert” on the way back to Marrakech.

After Ouarzazate we head through the Jbel Sarhro volcanic mountain range: a wild and almost barren region of striking rock formations and panoramic views of gorges. Seemingly inhospitable, it is the homeland of the Aït Atta tribe whose ancestors can be traced back to before the 7th century. As we move into the Draa Valley, we follow Morocco’s longest river snakes its way towards the Sahara. Palm groves – the area is known locally as the Country of Dates – and various fruit and vegetable crops quench their thirst for life among the many oases along the valley floor.

 

We arrive in Zagora during the afternoon with an opportunity to visit the ancient library – one of the oldest in Africa - in neighbouring Tamegroute. Its archives include texts dating back to the 13th century.

Overnight at hotel or in desert camp at Zagora.

Meals included / not included
Breakfast Not included
Lunch Not included
Dinner Included

Day 2

Zagora | Alnif | Errisani | Erg Chebbi

 

After breakfast, we head towards Errisani. This part of our journey takes in yet more outstanding landscapes comprising regs (stony deserts), tables and mesas that bear a striking resemblance to many regions in the southwest of the USA. Soon, we pick up the outline of the dunes that heralds our arrival at Merzouga.

 

 

At the entrance to the desert, we change our mode of transport for an entrancing camel trek into the desert. You’ll have the opportunity to witness a fabulous Saharan sunset and take in some dramatic desert scenery as our guides escort us to their Berber camp behind an oasis in the heart of the Moroccan desert.

Here you can enjoy a traditional Berber meal and entertainment before becoming entranced by the total darkness and peace of the desert under a canopy of millions of stars. An incredible way to complete your day…and reflect on the popular belief that there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand in the desert!

Meals included / not included
Breakfast Included
Lunch Not included
Dinner Included

Day 3

Merzouga | Todra Gorge | Ouarzazate

 

The day begins early in the Berber desert camp – especially if you want to capture the magic of the Saharan sunrise. Our camels are prepared for the trek back to Merzouga for you to freshen-up and - fortified by a traditional Berber breakfast - we set off for a visit to the Todra Gorge.

 

 

This part of the tour takes us through the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs as we head into the High Atlas Mountains and the Todra Gorge. Here you can enjoy the glorious, fresh mountain air and take a trek through some of the 300m high – and sometimes just 20m wide - canyons which are popular with both amateur and professional rock climbers.

The next part of our route takes in Valley of the Roses, renowned as Morocco’s prime centre for rose cultivation and production of rose-based products. During early summer, the fields around the town of El-Kelaa M’gouna fill the air with a magical rose-scented aura to complement the fabulous array of pink colours. The Berber villagers here also grow and harvest Persian roses to make creams, soaps and rose water for sale throughout Morocco and for export abroad.

Today ends in the “Hollywood of Morocco” for your final overnight stop in preparation for our tour of Ouarzazate in the morning.

Meals included / not included
Breakfast Included
Lunch Not included
Dinner Included

Day 4

Ouarzazate | Aït Ben Haddou | Telouet | Marrakech

The day begins with a tour of Ouarzazate to see the 17th century Kasbah of Taourirt, one of the best preserved Kasbahs in Morocco - and the city’s main historic attraction. Many other Kasbahs occupied by the El Glaoui clan during the 18th and 19th centuries have fallen into disrepair and some stand simply as ruins.

Kasbah Taourirt survived, partly through support from UNESCO which is helping with restoration but also as an authentic backdrop to numerous Hollywood movies that used the area for location shots. Ouarzazate is home to two major film studios and visits can be included as part of this tour by prior arrangement.

 

We continue our journey towards Marrakech with short a detour to visit the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou. Dating back to the 17th Century, this ksar is an outstanding example of early southern Morocco architecture.

And, not only will you be stepping back in time here, you can also follow in the footsteps of film stars who have appeared in productions such as Gladiator, The Mummy, Lawrence of Arabia and Game of Thrones which used this magnificent backdrop for some of their location shoots. Weather permitting (as the route can be challenging at certain times of the year) we follow the road from Aït Ben Haddou further into the mountains to discover the Kasbah Telouet.

 

Reputed to be the most beautiful Kasbah in Morocco, it’s hard to understand why as you approach the crumbling, ochre-coloured building. But step inside and you’ll start to appreciate how this unusual edifice has earned such an important place in the history books of Morocco.

 

Kasbah Telouet dates back to the 18th century and was occupied solely by the legendary Glaoui family until as recently as 1956. Among its occupants was The Lord of the Atlas - T’hami el Glaoui - one of the country’s wealthiest and most powerful pashas. Amidst the decay, restoration work is revealing some remarkable craftsmanship and with it an insight into the layout and lifestyle enjoyed within this magnificent former residence.

 

Rejoining the road from Ouarzazate we proceed through the spectacular Tizi n’Tichka Pass before beginning our descent to Marrakech to reunite you with your hotel or riad in the evening.

Meals included / not included
Breakfast Included
Lunch Not included
Dinner Not included

Pricing

2 Persons €360 pp
3 Persons €280 pp
4 Persons €250 pp
5 Persons €240 pp
6 Persons €210 pp

Solo travellers are always welcome. Please ask for details and availability. For groups of more than 6 guests, please ask our Reservations Team for more information about availability and prices. Reductions apply for children accompanied by adults. No charge for children under 5 years. All local taxes, state taxes, parking fees, tolls and fuel charges are included within the price. Please see below for more information.

Accommodation

Except for the Berber camp, the inclusive prices for accommodation are based on staying at a 3 or 4 star riad or hotel. Your accommodation can be upgraded to 5 star for part or all of your tour if you wish. Just ask our Reservations Team.

Inclusive and Exclusive

What is included

  • Accommodation in Berber tent at desert camp
  • All fuel, travel taxes and tolls as per itinerary
  • Camel trek and guides
  • Collection from your accommodation
  • English speaking driver
  • English/French/Spanish speaking tour guides
  • Evening meal and entertainment at desert camp
  • Half-board accommodation as per itinerary
  • Overnight accommodation with breakfast
  • Overnight accommodation at desert auberge *
  • Return to your accommodation
  • Transportation in A-C 4WD or people carrier

What is not included

  • Airport-train-seaport transfers to accommodation
  • Entrance fee to attractions or events en route
  • Flights or travel to and from Morocco
  • Gratuities at your discretion
  • Lunches, snacks and drinks
  • Incidental expenses and souvenirs
  • Personal travel and health insurance
  • Any other items or services not shown as inclusive

Notes:

• By prior arrangement as an alternative to desert bivouac accommodation

Upgrades and changes to your itinerary

We’re more than happy to alter this itinerary to suit your individual requirements prior to booking. Just let us know what changes you would like and we will advise. And if you would prefer to travel throughout in a luxury limousine or have any special requirements you would like arranged for your tour, please ask us for details.

Other information

As with many of our tours, this itinerary involves a significant amount of travelling and walking, often on uneven surfaces. Please think carefully about the personal mobility (especially young children) of those in your group and the suitability of this tour for them before booking. Our Reservations Team will be happy to advise you on this.

Contact Us

To book this tour, request more information about the tour or advise of any special requirements you may have, please send an email to us using the form below.

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Contact information

Phone (office): +212 524 433 513

Fax: +212 524 433 513

Mobile (Morocco): + 212 662 27 39 30

Mobile (Spain): + 34 659 320 701

Email: tours@magnificentmorocco.com

Address: Angle Rue Tarik Ibn Ziad & Ibn Aicha Résidence Excel Sior

Imm. 18 No 6 Gueliz

Marrakech

Morocco