Our first stop on our journey will be in Ifrane, known as “Morocco’s Switzerland” because of its chalet type summer homes. Built by the French in 1929 as a cool respite during the hot summer months, this town is known for its gardens and tree lined streets. After Ifrane, we drive to the Azrou cedar forest where you can see monkeys in their natural habitat. Our tour continues through the Middle Atlas mountains to Midelt for lunch and on through the High Atlas mountains, into the Ziz valley with stops for picture taking of the panoramas. Next, we stop to visit the village of Erfoud, an oasis town known for its fossils. We arrive at the Erg-Chebbi dunes with an astounding height of 150 meters and where our camels are waiting. After a picturesque hour long camel ride through the sand dunes, you will arrive at your camp for dinner and enjoy some music by the fireside, under the star and moonlit desert sky. This camp has everything you will need for a cozy night in your tent.
The next morning you will want to wake up early to enjoy the magical sunrise among the sand dunes. After breakfast we will start our tour around the Erg-Chebbi area with a visit to a nomad family and then on to Rissani, the ancient capital of Tafilalet and the home of one of the oldest markets in Morocco. We will visit this ancient souk, where visitors can still experience the true mystique of Morocco. Our tour continues with a visit to the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, third great-grandfather of Moulay Cherif, founder of the Alaouite Dynasty of Morocco. After Rissani we will drive back to Merzouga to have lunch in a small village called Khamlia. In this village you will want to enjoy Gnaoua music,a traditional North African music. At the end of the day we will drive you to your hotel or back to your camp to spend a second night in the desert.
On your second morning you may choose again to see the sunrise among the sand dunes. After a refreshing shower, you will have breakfast at the camp followed by a camel ride. We begin our drive back to Erfoud, an oasis town known for its fossils. Next we are off to a small village called Jorf. In this village you will visit an underground system of irrigation, a marvel of technology from ancient times. After Jorf, we will continue on to Todra valley with its beautiful palm orchards and old Berber-Jewish kasbahs, and explore the Todra gorges, a splendid series of limestone river canyons. After lunch in Todra valley we will continue on our way to Dades valley where you will spend the night in a hotel.
We will have plenty of time to follow the ancient trading route through the Roses valley to the Skoura valley, known as the valley with a thousand kasbahs. Skoura’s historic mud brick kasbahs dot the valley, a testament to the ancient desert traders who made the two month journey across the Sahara. After Skoura we will drive to Ouarzazate to visit the Kasbah of Taourirt, the most impressive fortification in Morocco. There, you will explore the ancient streets and earthen buildings. Next we will visit the Atlas Film studio and see where many popular movies have been filmed (Lawrence of Arabia, Patton, The Jewel of the Nile, The Living Daylights, The Mummy, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, etc.). By afternoon we will arrive at the Kasbah Ait Ben-Haddou, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most famous and historic places in Morocco. We will drive over the Atlas Mountains via the Tichka pass at the breathtaking altitude of 2260m. Along our trip, there will be plenty of places to stop and enjoy the beautiful scenic vistas. Our day’s journey will end at your riad in Marrakech.