Sahara Desert 3 Day Tour Marrakech to Merzouga
>On this tour you will visit Ouarzazate and venture on to Rissani, Erfoud, and Merzouga.
DAY 1: MARRAKESH - TIZI N'TICHKA PASS - VALLEY OF ROSES - RISSANI - ERFOUD - MERZOUGA
Driving Time: 8 1/2 Hours
- Breakfast at your riad in Marrakesh. Then take the road to Ouarzazate.
- During your journey to Ouarzazate you will pass the olive groves of the Oued Zat as you ascend to the Tizi n’Tichka Pass. Built by the French in the 1920’s, the Tizi n’Tichka Pass will take you through stunning mountainous terrain. Along the route you will see panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains as well as fertile valleys, blue and red colored villages, and striking geology.
- En route stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where argan oil, argan butter, and argan cosmetics are made by hand from argan nuts. Berber women crack the nuts and the grind them one by one. Enjoy a complimentary tasting. This cooperative is run entirely by women.
- En route you will go by piste to visit Kasbah Telout, one of Morocco’s hidden jewels and a famous kasbah that is the ancestral home of the Pacha Glaoui Family. Kasbah Telout is hidden on a tiny road in a small village that is 20 minutes outside of Tichka. The original zellij tile, masterful design, and collection of authentic preserved silks are grand remnants of the Glaoui family. Although Kasbah Telout appears to be in ruins on the exterior, its interior is one of true splendor.
- On the road to Merzouga view the unusual flora and fauna of the Sahara.
- Enroute to Merzouga’s Sahara Desert, we will pass the Sahara Desert towns of Rissani and Erfoud. Go directly to Merzoug’s Erg Chebbi Dunes. Lunch en route.
- Arrive in Merzouga’s Sahara Desert, then venture out on a 2 hour dromedary camel trek to watch the sunset in the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Your Tuareg guide will share the secrets of the Sahara Desert. As you glide across the silent desert landscape there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling dunes. Enjoy dinner and music at a luxury bivouac in the Sahara Desert.
- Spend the night in a luxury bivouac tent in the Sahara Desert or a charming guesthouse.
DAY 2: MERZOUGA - RISSANI - ERFOUD - N’KOB - OUARZAZATE
Driving Time: 4 Hours
- Rise, have breakfast, and take a sunrise trek back to Merzouga. Take the road to explore Merzouga’s desert scenery by piste. View flora and fauna that is unique to the Sahara.
- Visit the Saharan Desert towns of Rissani and Erfoud. Roam and tour the old ksars, then continue to the village of Ait Ouzzine, located in near N’kob nestled within the Middle Atlas Mountains.
- Ait Ouzzine is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenelated kasbahs and tend to their 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 and partake in a cooking lesson on traditional bread and tajines.
- Explore and tour the village. Walk in the green fields and see how traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, livestock, and henna plants.
- Lunch will be served to you in Ait Ouzzine by a traditional Berber family. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices, a chicken and vegetable tajine (tagine), and fresh local fruits for desert.
- After lunch, have your hands and feet painted with henna, or have your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist. 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. Take the road through the Draa Valley back to Ouarzazate. Dine at your riad.
- Spend the night at 4 star riad or hotel in Ouarzazate.
DAY 3: OUARZAZATE - OASIS OF FINT - AIT BENHADDOU - MARRAKESH
Driving Time: 4 1/2 Hours
- Breakfast at your riad. Take the road to Marrakesh.
- Visit the Oasis of Fint and enjoy tea with Azziz O’Azziz, or tour Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate.
- Visit Ait Benhaddou. 32 km from Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jesus of Nazareth were filmed here. In recent years, controlled restoration has been carried out under the auspices of UNESCO. Ait Benhaddou once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. Most of the town’s inhabitants live in a more modern village on the other side of the river, however ten families still live within the old ksar.
- After visiting Ait Benhaddou, return to Marrakesh.
- Arrive in Marrakesh in the early evening and unwind. Dinner Recommendations: Your riad, Le Marrakeshi, Le Maison Arabe, and Le Comptoir. Later in the evening go out and explore Marrakesh’s Djemaa El Fna Square.