THREE DAYS / TWO NIGHTS
We will meet you at your riad or hotel at 8:30a.m., depart Marrakech, and transport over the High Atlas mountains Tizi nTichka pass. We will have time to stop and enjoy impressive landscapes, and break for coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. We will spend the afternoon visiting World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou. This village of clustered Berber Kasbahs has been used as a backdrop for more than 20 films and was one of the most important fortress strongholds on the old Salt Road where caravans brought slaves, gold, ivory and salt from Saharan Africa to Marrakech and beyond. We’ll pass through Ouarzazate, and the Valley of the Rose, famous for soft Persian rose oil. You will pass through many Berber villages, and once in the desert, see barren hillsides clustered with kasbahs (fortified dwellings that house many families and their livestock). After visiting the Tamnalt hills, we stay Dades valley auberge (small country inn) in the upper gorge.
After breakfast we have a short drive to walk through a massive fault dividing the High Atlas mountains. Todra Gorge sheer rock walls rises to 300 m in its narrowest part. Then we’ll head for the Erg Chebbi sand sea. We continue deeper into the desert landscape, until dunes appear on the horizon. Our mid-afternoon destination is the auberge (small country inn) 29km from Merzouga, where you meet your camel guide and ride into the bivouac (camp). Upon arrival you will have a traditional tagine dinner prepared (vegetarians welcome) under the evening stars shining brilliantly in the clear night sky. Climb the dunes and watch the moon rise before retiring to your bed in a nomad tent.
Return by camel at sunrise to the auberge for breakfast and shower. The remainder of the day is spent driving back to Ouarzazate where we’ll stop for lunch and visit the old Glaoui Kasbah Taouirt. Then we cross the High Atlas once more, down the Tizi nTichka pass. Arrival evening in Marrakech at approximately 6pm. Marrakech hotel this night optional with an extra cost.