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Great Sahara Desert Voyage

Hosting you is a delight

Plan your Morocco travel with your local expert Tour Operator, Global Morocco Exploration. Customize your tour to your travel style. Our expertise, client-focused approach, and pricing reflects the quality and value of each trip we run.

We design each itinerary around you, so our suggested itineraries are a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely tailored to you.

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Best To Have:  9 DAYS

Best Time:  All year round except July and august

Great For: couple, families and groups

Description: Explore the majestic golden Sahara, lush green valley an oasis of Ziz, exotic Marrakesh, Morocco Hollywood Ouarzazate, the Kasbahs, the glorious Dades and Todra Gorges and the magnificent Rose Valley Kellaa M’goun

DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO MARRAKESH

Pick up at the airport of Marrakesh, and check in your riad, a delightful hotel in the historic medina. You have the day to relax and start with a great place to visit Jemaa el-Fnaa, the center of Marrakesh life. Overnight in boutique Riad in the old Medina of Marrakesh

DAY2: MARRAKESH GUIDED HISTORICAL VISIT

Breakfast at your riad and set off to explore the fascinating city of Marrakesh. Start your visit with old Medina. Explore this charming area on foot. In Djemaa el Fna, you will visit the famous 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. The guide will take you through the intricate streets and alleys of the Djemaa el Fna. Enjoy the smells of food and explore the souks specializing in Berber carpets, silver jewelry, handmade shoes, and leather tanneries.

Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Marrakesh’s most tasty restaurants. After lunch explore the El Bahia Palace which is a set of gardens located in Marrakesh. It was built in the late 19th century, planned to be the greatest palace of its time. The name means "brilliance". As in other buildings of the period in other countries, it was intended to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. There is a 2-acre (8,000 m²) garden with rooms opening onto courtyards.

Visit the Saadian Tombs are mausolea in Marrakesh which date to time of the Saadian dynasty sultan Ahmad al-Mansur (1578-1603). The tombs were discovered in 1917 and were renovated by the Beaux-arts service. The mausoleum includes the burials of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River. Among the graves are those of Ahmad al-Mansur and his family.

Visit Marrakesh Museum. The museum is housed in the Dar M’Nebhi Palace, constructed in the late 19th century by Mehdi M’Nebhi. The palace was carefully renovated and converted into a museum in 1997. The house itself represents an example of classical Moorish architecture, with fountains in the central courtyard, traditional seating areas, a hammam and intricate tilework and carvings

Later a short drive to Gueliz or Nouvelle Ville of Marrakesh to explore Marrakesh modern areas. Continue to the magical Majorelle Gardens designed by Jacque Majorelle and preserved by Yves Saint Laurent. Its blue and yellow colored paths make of it a attractive garden with various ponds, cacti, and plants.

Evening free to explore Marrakesh on your own. Your private driver will be available to escort you to a variety of restaurants we recommend. B&B accommodation in a boutique Riad

DAY3: MARRAKESH- TIZI- N-' TICHKA PASS - AIT BEN HADDOU KASBAH

Pick up at Marrakesh and start your journey towards Ouarzazate region to explore its famous Kasbahs-sandcastles beyond the reach of time.

Kasbahs are great rise colored citadels standing proudly on the hillsides, defying anyone who passes to ignore them. These are the far famed kasbahs of the Moroccan south, residences built from adobe, a mixture of clayey earth and straw, their architecture of striking originality and rare elegance. Morocco’s kasbahs retain all of their poetry, serene in their power and living witness to the victory and apogee of the mountain culture that brought them into being. Perfectly adapted to their natural surroundings, they are also an expression of the social life of a sedentary mountain people. Standing eternal, they are southern Morocco’s dearest heritage.

You will pass the olive fields of the Oued Zat as you ascend to the Tizi n’Tichka pass (2260-meter-high) that will take you through spectacular mountainous land. Along the road you will see panoramic sights of the High Atlas Mountains as well as rich valleys, colorful villages, and striking geology.

Explore The majestic Taourirt Kasbah listed as a national heritage monument. It was built in the 19th century and was the Pasha of Marrakesh ‘s largest residence. Its architecture, with its many crenellated towers, geometric motifs, and interior richly attired in painted stuccowork and cedar wood, is a marvel to behold. The Kasbah has just been restored throughout, and now houses exhibition galleries, a library and an Amphitheatre.

Visit The Tifoultout Kasbah Built in the 17th century to accommodate the pasha of Marrakesh’s guests, The Tifoultout Kasbah was renovated 30 years ago and is now a hotel and restaurant. It stands beside the village of Tifoultout, near Oued Draa, a spot where tranquility and peace of mind reign supreme.

From its terrace, you can enjoy magnificent views of the city of Ouarzazate below, and of the surrounding mountains while having your lunch

Visit Telouet Kasbah whose construction started in 1860, and further buildings were added over the course of the decades. The result is a masterly work of art, fortress, chateau and caravanserai all rolled into one, a marvel of painted woodwork, wrought iron, sculpted stucco and colorful zellij. Legend has it that it took 300 craftsmen three years to sculpt its ceilings and walls.

Explore The Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. A revelation of pure beauty listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah is a stunning work of architecture overlooking the Ounila Valley. A graceful ensemble of adobe kasbahs, this one of the oldest and most impressive ksars in all morocco. The earliest of its buildings, a granary standing on the hilltop, dates back to the 11th century. The village gradually grew up around it over the course of the centuries, adding houses, more granaries, cowsheds, a well, and protective surrounding wall.

Architecturally, this museum village located some 30km from Ouarzazate, is without parallel. Its outer walls sport few shutters and only two doors, making sure that its inhabitants knew who was coming and going =, while inside, a public square, a mosque, a koranic school and the village residences jostle for space. Immortalized in such films as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Babel” and “Indiana Jones” , this magnificent fortress stands radiant and untouched by time, an uncut diamond shining proudly forth from its rocky setting.

B&B accommodation in a nice riad.

DAY 4: OUARZAZATE - SKOURA - VALLEY OF ROSES - BOUTHARAR VALLEY OF NOMADS - BOUMALNE DADES VALLEY & GORGE TINGHIR

Breakfast at your Riad and drive to explore Skoura oasis and the Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs. Skoura is an abundant haven with enormous palm groves that offer gorgeous views of the Atlas Mountains along with desert sceneries. It is well-known for the cultivation of roses. The palm groves were placed in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour. The most stunning Kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here. The Valley of Roses, just north of El Kelaa Mgouna is for certain an enjoyable trip on the way to Ouarzazate. You will stop for a visit of the cooperative producing various products of roses: rose water hand and body soaps, oil, crème fragrance. The annual Rose Festival is a perfect time of the year to visit.

Your journey will lead you to the breathtaking Valley of Nomads located in BouTaghrar. The stunning valley where nomads still live in caves will allow you to travel back in time . The valley is surrounded by Mount Mgoun which is the second highest mountain in Morocco with astonishing views of earthy scenery. A stop to have tea with a nomadic family to see the everyday life of the nomads and observe their weaving of Berber carpets.

Continue to the Dades Valley that covers 125 km between the Todra Gorge and Ouarzazate. The Dades Valley is located in the high valley of Dades that is scattered with Oasis, palm groves and kasbah. Carved through the walls of the High Atlas Mountains by the Dades River, Dades Gorge is an exceptional natural beauty. It has spectacular views which is best seen in the morning when the sun reaches the bottom of the canyon. Driving along you will pass fertile agricultural fields, riverbanks, and several fortified ksours.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant offering local Moroccan food and a panoramic view. Relax and sip mint tea while contemplating the remarkable valley view. Continue your discovery of the Dades Valley and Gorge after lunch.

Overnight at a Boutique Riad Tinghir.

DAY 5: TINGHIR – ERRACHIDIA – AOUFOUS -ARFOUD RISSANI – ERG CHEBBI DUNES IN THE SAHARA DESERT OF MERZOUGA

After breakfast start your expedition of the day. Visit Errachidia one of the most famous and ancient Moroccan cities located in eastern Morocco. The city has a lot of wonderful places to visit, museums, ksars, valleys. It is located in the Ziz Valley. Errachidia, whose former name is Ksar Souk, was named Mouly Rachid, in tribute to one of the main founders of the Alaouite dynasty.

Explore two large gardens and the exquisite details of the medina's tallest towers at Musee des Sources de Lalla Mimouna. Currently composed of gardens and a museum, the complex dates back to the 16th century. Following destruction about a century later, it was rebuilt in the mid-19th century as the home of Haha tribe leader qaid al-Hajj Abd-Allah U-Bihi. Tour the site to discover information about its Arab-Andalusian and Moroccan landscaping and architecture. Afterwards, you can linger in the onsite bookshop, cafes, and boutique.

Continue through the dramatic Ziz Gorges and valley where the Oued Ziz brings life to the last southern valley of the Ziz and the Tafilalte oases. The Ziz Gorges are a series of gorges on the upper course of the Ziz River. They are defined by two gates at the southern and northern ends. At the southern end is the Hassan Addakil dam and lake. Nearby is the Tunnel de Légionnaire built by French colonial troops in the 1930s in order to create a passageway to the Ziz Gorge. The gorge was formed by the Ziz River cutting through the Atlas Mountains. Ancient fossils are commonly excavated and sold in the area

Have lunch with a Berber family at Aoufous village in the Ziz Valley. The Ziz valley, presents a spectacular sight of a dense canopy of palms. Next, head the road to the scenic Erfoud city where you will visit Borg Est 935 m high above the city which allows you to enjoy gorgeous views. Explore the fossil sites located at 13km from Erfoud to Merzouga where you can see the fossilized stones dating to a very ancient geological era.

Continue to Rissani, a desert town from the ancient Alawi Dynasty to discover the old Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif, the first King of the Alawi Dynasty.

Upon arrival to Merzouga, lean about special dish of the area named “Medfouna”, spend the night at a boutique riad in Merzouga.

Day 6: MERZOUGHA ERG CHEBBI LUXUARY CAMP

Rise and have your breakfast at leisure. Take a 4x4 or quad to explore the vast golden desert, meet the Nomads warmth and hospitality is legendary. A stop at Khamlia, the village of Gnawa to enjoy the charming music of Gnawa.

Return back for lunch, relax over a cup of tea with Sahrawi herd. In the afternoon another expedition is waiting for you, a camel trek or 4x4 drive along the dunes of the golden Sahara Desert to enjoy sunset over the majestic Erg Chebbi Dunes. Once you reach the heart of the Sahara, a warm welcome at your luxury camp where you will spend the night under the huge sky full of bright stars. Dinner and overnight in the camp

DAY 7 MRZOUGA- RISSANI-ALNIF -AGDZ 3H30

Get up early and ride your camel or 4x4 to watch the sunrise over the majestic Sahara Desert. Take your breakfast at the Riad in Merzouga. Later; head the road by a different route through Alnif to Agdz, giving a taste of the Draa Valley.

Go through Alnif, a town in Tinghir Province, Drâa-Tafilalet. It is located in oasis of palm groves located between Ouarzazate and Errachidia from one side the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara from the other side.

Alnif town is an oasis nestled on the southeast edge of the Anti-Atlas Mountains. It is a blatantly charming town. For fossil hunters, this is paradise. Alnif and the surrounding basin is the best place in Morocco, and one of the most famous in the world, for collecting the prehistoric creatures known as trilobites.

Continue to Agdz which is a town in mid-southeastern Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains. It lies at the feet of Djebel Kissane and along the shores of the Draa River. Agdz means ‘resting place’ and is set on the old caravan route that connected Marrakech with Timbuktu

B&B accommodation in a boutique Riad in Agdz

Day 8: AGDZ- OUARZAZATE - MARRAKESH (Driving Time 5 1/2 Hours)

Breakfast at your Riad in Agdz and drive to Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco. Start your visit with the Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate with its Holly-wood style Egyptian figures and cover 30,000 sq m of desert. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia here in the early 1960’s. Many other famous directors have followed in his paths to use the magnificent scenery.

On the way you will visit also Kasbah Telouet which is one of Morocco’s hidden gems. It is the ancestral home of the Pacha Glaoui Family and former route of the caravans from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. The Kashah was established in the 18th and 19th centuries and represented the El Glaoui family's power hence named Glaoui Palace. It can still be visited but it is steadily becoming more damaged and is slowly collapsing. In 2010, work was underway to restore the property

On the way stop for lunch and visit the Argan Cooperative where Argan oil, Argan butter, and Argan cosmetics are made by hand from Argan nuts by Berber women. You will be invited to taste the Argan natural products. Drive to Marrakesh; inner at a nice restaurant. B&B accommodation in a nice Riad in Marrakesh

Overnight at a Boutique Riad or Hotel in Marrakech.

DAY 9: MARRAKESH-DEPARTURE

Breakfast at your Hotel. Departure for Marrakech’s Menara Airport