This is truly the best route to get from Fez to Marrakesh as you’ll encounter diverse landscapes and, most importantly, Morocco’s most majestic sand dune formation, Erg Chebbi.
After breakfast we will meet you in Fez and depart for Merzouga through the Middle Atlas region. We will drive through Ifrane, the “Switzerland” of Morocco and the cedar forests of Azrou where we can stop to hand feed the monkeys. We will continue to Midelt where we will have lunch. We will then follow the Ziz River through the valley and stop to see the Ziz Gorges on our way to Merzouga. Once we arrive in the village, we’ll spend the night at a local hotel on the edge of the sand dunes.
Today we will explore the desert region and the marvel that is the Erg Chebbi desert dunes. We will will make a circuit of the desert dunes where you will have the opportunity to see the the nomad’s way of life and the amazing changing contrasts of the desert. We will visit the village of Khamlia to hear the Gnawa musicians. Enjoy a traditional Berber pizza for lunch. In the afternoon we will return to Merzouga to meet your camel guide. Ride the caravan into the desert to see the sunset over the dunes and spend the night in our desert camp. We will have a traditional tagine dinner, drink delicious mint tea, and listen to some Berber drumming while watching the stars and the rising moon in the amazing Sahara desert. Sleep under the night sky or in a traditional Berber wool tent.
Camel trek back to the hotel in Merzouga after sunrise and enjoy breakfast and a quick shower. We leave the Sahara desert dunes of Erg Chebbi, an off-road drive across the hamada (black desert) to get to the Sahara town of Rissani, optional visit of the animated local market if we’re lucky enough to visit on market day. Afterwards, we head north to Erfoud that is known for the fossils; here we can stop to visit a fossil workshop before we continue to the impressive Todra Gorge, a world-renowned location for rock climbing, where you can hike before we check into a local hotel for dinner and sleep.
After breakfast at the hotel, we begin our journey along the Road of the Thousand Kasbahs, since there are enormous kasbahs on both sides of this ancient trade route. Some of those old fortified houses are restored but unfortunately a lot of them are ruins. We pass through Dades Valley and go up to the mountainous area through an off-road trail where there are many Berber villages and few nomads living in caves. Here we will have the chance to visit one of the families and take a look at their daily life and their main activity, herding goats and sheep. We will be impressed by the landscapes of the colorful rose valley before we reach Skoura palm grove. Finally, we reach Ouarzazate for the dinner and overnight at a hotel.
After breakfast you will have a chance to see Ourzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco. But we will soon depart to Ait Benhaddou to visit the World Heritage Site. This is one of Morocco’s best-preserved fortresses. We will continue with a visit to the traditional High Atlas Berber village of Telouet and the Kasbah el Glaoui. We will have lunch in a local restaurant in Telouet before crossing the Tizi n’Tichka pass to Marrakech. In the evening, we’ll drop you off at your preferred location in Marrakesh and conclude our tour.