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Sahara Desert Safari / 4 days
visit Ouarzazate, then head to Rissani, Erfoud, and Merzouga

Sahara Desert Safari Tour

Sahara Desert Safari / 4 days

On this tour you will visit Ouarzazate, then head to Rissani, Erfoud, and Merzouga.

YOUR ITINERARY

Driving Time: 4 1/2 Hours
  • Breakfast at your riad in Marrakesh. 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.
  • Spend the night at a 4 star kasbah-style riad in Ouarzazate.
Driving Time: 4 Hours
  • Breakfast at your riad. Then take the road to Merzouga. En route to Merzouga, pass the Skoura palmerie of 1000 Kasbahs, the famous Amerdihl Kasbah, and the perfumed Valley of Roses. Visit the Sahara Desert towns of Rissani, home to the Moulay Ali Cherif Mausoleum, and Erfoud, capital of fossils with beautiful ksars.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Driving Time: 3 Hours
  • Option to have lunch with a Moroccan Berber family or visit the Todra Gorge en route to Ouarzazate.
  • 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.
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.Lawrence of Arabia was filmed at Aït Benhaddou
  • 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.
  • Spend the night at 4 star riad or hotel in Marrakesh.