High Atlas Tichka / 2 Day
See the real Morocco on this Two Day Excursion from Marrakesh through the High Atlas Mountains to Ouarzazate.
DAY 1: MARRAKESH – OUARZAZATE
- Depart from Marrakesh and drive through the High Atlas Mountains, the largest mountain chain in North Africa and an ideal place for anyone who enjoys hiking, mountain climbing, or breathtaking natural scenery.
- Pass by Aït Ourir, a charming Berber village, where you can stop to take pictures of the Atlas foothills.
- 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 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.
- Stop in Ait Benhaddou, 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.
- Dinner Recommendations: Your hotel, Chez D’Mtri, Le Kasbah Des Sables
- Spend the night in Ouarzazate at a charming 4 star riad with views of the Atlas Mountains.
DAY 2: OUARZAZATE – MARRAKESH
- Breakfast at your riad. Depart Ouarzazate and take the piste, a winding road, to the Oasis of Fint, passing the Plateau des Pierres.
- The shining Oasis of Fint seems to hover at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Journey on a one-hour tour of the Oasis full of date palms and dramatic desert scenery. Have a tea with the Azziz O’Azziz and his family.
- After visiting the Oasis of Fint, take the road to Kasbah Tifoultoute. Standing majestically on the banks of Oued Tifoultoute. This old Kasbah is impressive with castle-like architecture. In the 1960’s the Kasbah was converted into a hotel for the cast of Lawrence of Arabia. Tour the Kasbah and have lunch at its restaurant which is known for delicious mint and herb teas. See panoramic views from the rooftop.
- Next, visit Atlas Film Studios. The studios are flanked by Hollywood-styled Egyptian figures and covers 30,000 sq m of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at the Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s.
- International blockbusters filmed here include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Sahara.
- Return to Marrakesh in the early evening.
wind: 2mph NE
H 49 • L 44
Weather from OpenWeatherMap