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Kasbahs, Deserts and Oases in Morocco

£2612 pp

Marrakech, Morocco

9 Days/8 Nights

Private Group of minimum 2

Kasbahs, Deserts and Oases in Morocco

What You'll Do

Discover authentic Berber culture on this stunning 9-day tour of Southern Morocco, and get under the skin of the country to experience the local side of the country, and see the sites that tourists miss. From magnificent fortified cities to dramatic gorges and mountains, endless deserts to bustling markets, this tour provides the perfect combination of incredible sights and hidden local gems, for those who wish to get to know the real Morocco.

This is your chance to experience a Moroccan tour that is different to your basic tourist trail. It’s a chance for you to join local people and discover a culture entirely unique and different from your own, as you experience life like a Berber: eating the local food, meeting the local people and doing the things that locals do day in, day out.

The tour will allow you to jump off at some of the most fascinating sites in southeast Morocco and will allow you to experience each place like a local. And the driving isn’t bad either.

From crossing over the spectacular piece of engineering, Tizi n’Tichka, and its white-knuckle series of switchbacks providing jaw-dropping views, to passing through the abandoned Glaoui Kasbah, you’ll find some of the most stunning roads in the world.

Discover incredible examples of old fortified towns and cities, and explore winding staircases and shady alleyways at Talouate, one of the most magnificent sights in the Atlas, and the UNESCO-protected red mud-brick Ksar of Ait Benhaddou.

Explore the route of a Thousand Kasbahs to the deep, dramatic gorges of Dades and Todgha, before setting your compass for Morocco’s wildest desert, Erg Chigaga. Here, you’ll stay in a beautiful desert camp, sleeping under the stars in one of the most alien, otherworldly landscapes on earth.

You’ll reach the desert by passing through Draa Valley, a myriad of colors within the rolling hills and rugged mountains. The landscape here seems barren, yet life finds a way to push its way through the rocky soil in the shape of emerald green palm trees.

Eventually, you will leave the desert for the African center of l’orrouge (red gold), or saffron, the most expensive spice, before heading north to Marrakech over another route through the High Atlas Mountains – a road trip you are sure to remember forever.

Experience
Highlights

Live in the desert and experience true, authentic Berber culture

Eat genuine, authentic Moroccan food with local families

Traverse the highest mountains ranges in North Africa and search for old fortresses

Stumble upon hidden gems in the magical city of Marrakech

Your Local Host:

Aziz

My name is Aziz (meaning, the Dearest one). Our business was created to bring people together, to authentically connect you, not only to Morocco’s incredible destinations, but to the heartbeat that lies beneath. I want you to come away with an eye for the beauty of its natural environment and the hopes and challenges of our people. I want you to touch and feel good quality workmanship and to taste the Ras El Hanout in our tagines. I would like you to build authentic connections and know that your visit matters.

Experience Itinerary

Arrival Day

Welcome to Morocco’s capital of tourism and most people’s first taste of the country. After you touch down to Marrakech a shuttle will be waiting for you at the airport, identifiable by a driver holding a card with your name on it.

You’ll be taken straight to your Hotel/Riad to settle in before we start our journey.

 

 

Accommodation

A comfortable riad in Marrakech

double room in a riad in marrakech

Explore Marrakech Like a Local

Today is your first truly Moroccan experience as you explore with your private Marrakech-born and bred guide, seeking out bustling markets, ancient mosques and the maze-like Medinas.

You will discover the Red City from at its oldest point, wandering the Medina’s narrow, atmospheric alleyways that lead to hidden gems, tombs and religious monuments decked out in marble.

Bahia and El-Badii Palace and Saadien’s Tombs will no doubt be the highlights. Afterward, your driver/guide will pick you up to explore the Majorelle garden, Museum Saint Laurent, and Berber Museum.

While in Marrakech you will encounter thousands of motorcyclists and horse-carts in the city, creating a whirlwind of energy that is truly addictive and fun to explore.

Spend the evening in the vast square of Jemaa El-Fnaa, where it’s carnival night every night, and musicians, acrobats, storytellers and slapstick acting troupes tap into the frenetic pulse of the Medina.

Accommodation

A riad in Marrakech

riad accommodation in marrakech

Into the High Atlas

From Marrakech, you’ll set off to see some of Morocco’s most beautiful landscapes and architectural sites, set against the soaring peaks of the Atlas Mountains.

Drive along craggy clifftops to tiny Berber villages in North Africa’s highest mountain range. As you drive towards Ait Benhaddou you drive over the Tizi n’Tichka pass (2260m/7400ft) to the splendid Glaoui Kasbah in Talouate and the lush green Ounilla Valley.

Eventually, you will arrive at Ait Benhaddou, the UNESCO-protected red mud-brick Ksar from the 11th century, where you can enjoy a local lunch experience with a family.

Continue on the scenic route that takes you via Ouallywood (as it’s known locally) movie studio and the sprawling Taourirte Kasbah to Skoura with its historic mud-brick Kasbahs such as Amridil Kasbah – Morocco’s most revered Kasbah.

Accommodation

A riad in Skoura

a riad double room in skoura

Valleys of Roses and Kasbahs

Today you’ll travel through the valley of a thousand Kasbahs, and after 50km you’ll find the renowned bottles of local rosewater for sale in Kelaa M’gouna, a small town famous for its roses and daggers.

After that, we go off-road and into the Atlas and the M’goun Mountains, where you can glimpse some best views along hidden livestock tracks, to the ancient rust-red and crumbling Kasbahs & Ksour that line the valley of Dades.

Another essential stop is the natural wonder of Monkey’s Toes before you head to your accommodation, where after a cup of mint tea at your hotel you have the option of hiking the beautiful canyons of the Dades gorges.

Accommodation

A riad at the Dades Gorges

riad accommodation at dades gorges

Discover the Todgha Gorges

This morning you’ll have the chance to see Todgha Gorges by as the sun rises, with their gigantic rock walls changing colour to magical effect as the day unfolds.

Later on, you leave Todgha Gorges and head towards the rambling settlement, Ksar of N’kob. With prehistoric rock-carving sites and 45 mud-brick ksours it’s a stunning place to explore and stay, and is a place that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

 

 

Accommodation

A hotel in N’kob

double room in a hotel in morocco

Saharan Experience

Today, you’ll strike out southeast to Morocco’s wildest desert via the Draa valley, a 125km belt of palm trees, oases and small settlements that eventually merges into the Sahara near M’hamid.

We’ll stop in what was once the most important settlement in the Valley of Draa thanks to its green pottery artisans and craftsmen. The Zawiya Naciria is still a site of pilgrimage and refuge for the mentally ill, and you’ll also find a working Quranic school with a library that was once the richest in Morocco, made up of ancient illuminated texts containing 4000 books.

Leave Temegroute through a dauntingly bleak landscape of sun-scorched rubble to the end of the paved road at M’hamid El-Ghizlane. Here, you reach the climax of the tour and the gateway to the towering dunes of Erg Chigaga.

At night, you’ll stay in a traditional Berber camp, where you’ll drift off to sleep while watching the twinkling stars after dinner by the campfire.

On this section of the tour, you’ll feel as far off the beaten track as it’s possible to get, with no civilisation for miles around and only the sounds of the desert accompanying you at night.

Accommodation

A luxurious desert camp

desert camp in the sahara

From the Desert to the Draa

Wake at dawn to watch the sun starting its daily arc, the cool blue morning sky replacing the Sahara shadows before becoming a glowing ball of fire.

You will take the off-road route out of the desert to M’hamid. About 100km along the road into Zagora you’ll pass a mixture of modern houses and older Ksour.

The edge of the road is lined with palm groves as you drive along Draa valley to Agdez,  where you’ll traverse the brooding mountain of Saghro, a starkly beautiful jumble of volcanic peaks.

You will also visit Bougafer Mines in order to see fascinating dinosaur fossils and stopover for a while in Taznakht Morocco’s capital of carpets and rugs.

Then, head to the village of Taliouine and the African Centre of l’orrouge (red gold) or saffron, the most expensive spice.

Accommodation

A riad in Taliouine

a pool at a riad in morocco

Road Trip Across the High Atlas

Set off from Taliouine via a road that was blasted through the high Atlas Mountain by the French in the late 1920s.

Here, you’ll cross the famed Tizi n’Test, a road that offers one of the best panoramic drives in morocco. Heading north to Marrakech you will stop over for Tinmal village to visit the 1156-year mosque.

Eventually, you’ll arrive back in Marrakech to finish your itinerary.

 

Accommodation

A riad in Marrakech

double bedroom in a riad in marrakech

Departure Day

Today is not goodbye, it is merely “take care and see you sooner rather than later” for another adventure.

Your guide will drop you off directly at the airport when you have checked out of your riad, and your whirlwind adventure will come to an end.

Location Information

Your tour starts in Marrakech, where you will be picked up from the airport and transferred straight to your accommodation.

From here you will head south, ending up as far as the Erg Chigaga, close to the border with Algeria, before you head back over the Atlas mountains to Marrakech, where you will be transferred back to the airport.

All accommodation and transfers are organised for the duration of the tour, so you can simply relax and soak up the incredible sights, smells and sounds of Morocco as you explore the southern region of the country.

  • Eng, Fr, Spa-speaking professional driver/tour guide
  • Shuttle from and to the Airport
  • Accommodation: 8 nights
  • City Guide: Marrakech Medina guided tour
  • Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • Private Transportation: 4WD, camel
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Visit to women's cooperatives
  • Toll road fees, fuel charges and all taxes
  • Transport Insurance
  • Meet up with locals
  • Camel ride in the desert