Secrets of Morocco: The Merzouga Desert (4days)
Day 1 : Marrakech – Ait Ben Haddou– Ouarzazate
We leave Marrakech in the morning and travel south to the High Atlas Mountains and cross the Tizi n’ Tichka Pass, or ‘Gateway to the Sahara’, which at 2260m is the highest pass in North Africa, with stunning panoramic views. The winding road takes us through charming Berber villages perched precariously on the mountainside.
We stop to visit Kasbah Telouet, and imposing palace and ancestral home of PachaGlaoui, also known as ‘Lord of the Atlas’, a feudal warlord of the early 20th century who, supported by the Colonial French government, controlled all the caravan trade routes to West Africa and ruthlessly suppressed local rebellions.
We continue our journey south, passingseveral Kasbahs, includingAnmiter, another old Glaoui stronghold and one of the best-preserved fortified villages in Morocco, before reaching the tranquil Ounila valley.
From here we follow the track which once served as the main route over the Atlas, before the construction of the Tizi n’ Tichka pass, to the kasbahs of Tamdakhte and Ait Ben Haddou, where we stop for lunch. Thisbeautiful fortified city of terraced kasbahsis a UNESCO World Heritage site, and mayfeel strangely familiar, as several well-known films have been shot there, including epics such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Gladiator”.
Next we depart for Ouarzazate, also known as ‘the Hollywood of Africa’ because it is home to Atlas Studios, where the films mentioned previously were made. We have dinner here and spend the night in a hotel.
Day 2 :Ouarzazate – Roses Valley – Tinghir – Merzouga
After breakfast, we continue our journey, stopping first at Skoura, a lovely fertile oasis lined with palm groves and beautiful kasbahs, famed for its roses. We then continue westwards to the village of BouThahrar and visit the kasbah of Ait‐Youl in theDades valley.
We continue through the Dades valley, or the “Road of a thousand kasbahs” to the winding road through the magnificent Todra Gorge via Tinghir, which in places measures just 10m across with cliffs rising to more than 150 meters on either side. Lunch break at the gorge.
After we will continue to Merzouga where we meet our camel team and go for trek for an hour, then have dinner then camp for the night.
Day 3 :Merzouga – Tazarine – Zagora
In the morning we have breakfast, and then go for a camel trek for an hour, before transferring to vehicle. We travel through Tazarine, followed by the little Berber village of N’Kob. After Lunch, we continue to Zagora, where we have diner and spend the night in a hotel.
Day 4 :Zarora– Marrakech
In the morning we have breakfast then set off on our return journey to Marrakech. We take the track form Zagora passing by the dry riverbed of the Daraa.
We stop to have lunch in Ouarzazate. Here, we re-join the road and continue toward Marrakech. We will stop several times for photos opportunities of the glorious scenery before arriving back at Marrakech and your hotel.