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Sahara Desert Holiday Adventure / 5 Days
Ait Benhaddou / Ouarzazate / The Valley of Nomads
The Dades Valley / the Todra Gorge
On to Rissani / Erfoud / Merzouga / Ait Ouzzine / Skoura

Sahara Desert Holiday Adventure Tour

Included in Sahara Desert Holiday Adventure Tour

  • Welcome with Moroccan mint tea, dates, and almonds
  • Bon fire - Gnaoua Musicians of Khemlia, Drumming, and Dancing
  • Dinner in a Berber tent reminiscent of 1001 Arabian Nights
  • Moroccan Harira soup
  • Moroccan Roast Lamb known as Mechoui
  • Royal Couscous
  • Fruit or Pastry Dessert
  • 4x4 Land Cruiser, English, Multilingual Speaking Driver/ Guide
  • Accommodations in Ouarzazate with Breakfast and Dinner
  • Overnight in Luxury Bivouac encampment - Berber tent in the Erg Chebbi Dunes, Merzouga with Breakfast, Dinner & Music Celebration
  • Overnight option in the in Dades Valley or Todra Gorge
  • Sunset Camel Trek with Camel Trekking Guide
  • Extended Desert Trip includes Lunch with a Berber Family


Driving Time: 4 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.
  • 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.
  • Dine and spend the night at a 4 star kasbah-style riad in Ouarzazate.
Driving Time: 2 1/2 – 3 Hours
  • Breakfast at your riad. Take the road to visit the Valley of Roses, Bou Tharar, the Valley of Nomads, and the Dades Valley and its Gorge.
  • Your journey will then take you through El Kella Des Mgouna, the Valley of Roses. The perfumed Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Des Mgouna is a pleasant journey on the road to Ouarzazate. You will stop for a tour of the Capp et Florale distillation factories laid out in the small kasbah town that manufactures the entire nation’s production of rose water (eau de rose). Rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume, and dried roses are for sale and are also popular gifts among Moroccans. Ten tons of petals are required to produce a few liters of precious rose oil and the harvest is a labor of love. The culminating festivities of the annual Rose Festival are a lively time of year to visit.
  • The breathtaking Valley of Nomads located in Bou Tharar is a beautiful valley where nomads live in caves that are surrounded by Mount Mgoun. Mount Mgoun is the second highest mountain in Morocco and boasts extraordinary views of the rust colored, earthy scenery.
  • Visit the Dades Valley. The Dades Valley covers 125 km between the Todra Gorge and Ouarzazate. The Dades Valley boasts limestone cliffs with uniquely shaped erosions and superb scenery along the valley’s piste. Driving along you will pass flower-filled fields, fertile agricultural fields, riverbanks, and several fortified ksours. At the bottom of Gorge of Boulmane Dades there are ruined hilltop kasbahs and valley floor gardens.
  • Lunch will be served at a nearby guesthouse that offers local Moroccan fare and a panoramic view. Relax and sip mint tea while gazing at the impressive valley view.
  • Have dinner and spend the night at a riad or hotel with beautiful views of Dades Valley.
Driving Time: 4 1/2 Hours
  • Breakfast at your riad. En route to Merzouga’s Sahara Desert, we will pass the Todra Gorge and the Sahara Desert towns of Rissani, home to the Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum, and Erfoud, capital of fossils with beautiful ksar.
  • Take the road and have lunch in Erfoud.
  • Visit the Royal Palace gate. Enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the Borj-Est that rises 935 m (3067 ft) above the city. Tour the fossil sites in Carriere des Fossiles and the Maadid Ksar.
  • Erfoud is a city located in south-east Morocco. Although many ancient fortified villages have existed in the region for several centuries, Erfoud was built up by the French troops after the victory at Tafilalet that ended years of battle in 1932. Erfoud is an active city full of commerce, restaurants, street cafés, hotels, banks, handicrafts, and souvenir shops. While it is a modern Moroccan desert town, it still preserves the authenticity of a true Arab city with an impressively wild market and gorgeous surrounding landscapes filled with oases, dunes, and rocky mountains. Erfoud is a cinematic inspiration for movie directors. Many movies have been filmed in Erfoud, including Prince of Persia, March or Die, and The Mummy.
  • Continue the road to Rissani, a desert town from the ancient Alawi Dynasty and the birthplace of King Mohammed VI, the current King of Morocco. Visit the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty. Next visit Maison Touareg, a Tuareg house demonstrating Tuareg culture, and then the old Ksar of Rissani. Continue on the road to Erfoud.
  • 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.
Driving Time: 3 1/2 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.
  • Then take the road to the village of Ait Ouzzine, located in N’kob which is 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, partake in a cooking lesson on traditional bread and tajines (tagines).
  • 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 dessert.
  • 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 and spend the night at a 4 star riad in the heart of Ouarzazate’s Berber region with views of the Atlas Mountains, or choose to stay in Skoura with views of one-thousand kasbahs and the Skoura palmerie.
Driving Time: 4 1/2 Hours
  • Breakfast at your riad. Visit Skoura and the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs. Skoura is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside desert landscapes. It is renowned for the cultivation of roses. The palm groves were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. The most beautiful kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here and many of them are still partially inhabited.
  • The entrances to the palm groves in Skoura can be explored on foot, bicycle, or by mule. Ask your driver to stop if you are interested in stepping out of the 4×4 to see more of the area.
  • The small, sleepy town of Skoura has a big market Souk every Monday. Most impressive in Skoura are the many kasbahs that ripple through its dry rocky oasis.
  • After visiting Skoura, continue to Ouarzazate. Visit the Oasis of Fint and enjoy tea with Azziz O’Azziz, or tour Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate.
  • Continue on the road back to Marrakesh through the Tizi n’Tichka. Arrive in Marrakesh in the early evening.