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Merzouga World Music Festival

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The Merzouga World Music Festival takes place among the majestic dunes of Erg Chebbi under the blue sky and sun, an ideal setting to highlight the natural wealth of the region. This unique festival is place of cultural exchange, featuring artists, dancers and musicians from all the world. 

Day 1 : Casablanca - Marrakesh

Arrive at Casablanca International Airport. Have breakfast upon arrival, then visit the Mosque of Hassan II Casablanca's landmark building designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau. It is an extravagant symbol not only of the city, but also of Morocco itself.  Hassan II Mosque II  is one of the largest mosque in the world with a gigantic glass floor for over 24000 worshippers. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 meters.  Its location looking out to the Atlantic gives it an exceptional beauty. Intricately carved marble pieces, vibrant mosaics and zellige tile details pay honor to traditional Islamic architecture, and yet still manage to feel contemporary.

After visiting the Hassan II Mosque, take the road to Marrakesh. Check in your Riad and then you will be escorted to one of the best restaurant in the medina.

Day 2 : Marrakesh Guided Tour

Breakfast at your Riad. Explore the fascinating city of Marrakesh starting from new part Gueliz or Nouvelle Ville of Marrakesh. Continue to the magical Majorelle Gardens designed by Jacque Majorelle and preserved by Yves Saint Laurent. Its bleu and yellow colored paths make of it a attractive garden with various ponds, cacti, and plants. On our return to your Riad, a stop at  Mamounia Hotel and Garden.

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.

Next visit the 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, visit the Museum of Marrakesh, a Contemporary Moroccan Art Museum, a private museum devoted to popular arts & crafts situated within a beautiful Spanish-Moroccan house.

Visit the Jewish Mellah istablished in 1558 by Moulay Abdallah. During the Spanish religious wars, Jewish refugees escaping the country were welcomed by  the Sultan and offred this place to settle and live in peace.

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 nice Riad

Day 3 : Marrakesh-  Ait Ben Hadou- -Ouarzazate - Kalaa M'Goun- -Boumalen Dades

Breakfast at your riad and start your journey towards Boumalen Dades. 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 Ait Benhaddou kasbah which is located at 32 km from Ouarzazate.  It is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. The site has been declared as a world heritage by UNESCO and many movies has been filmed there:  Lawrence of Arabia, Sodom and Gomorrah and Jesus of Nazareth. Ait Benhaddou was a caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. Most of the town’s inhabitants immigrated to other nearby villages and only few families still live within.

Visit to Ouarzazate film studio, the Moroccan Hollywood where many famous movies were filmed. Continue to Kellaa Megoun ‘ Rose Valley’ and visit of local cooperatives of Roses local product.

Continue to Dades Gorge, carved through the walls of the High Atlas Mountains by the Dades River. It has stunning 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.

Full board accommodation in Boumalen at a hotel in Boumalen.

Day 4 : Boumalen Dades -Tinghir- Errachidia - Merzouga

Breakfast at your riad . Take the road to Merzouga.  On the way to Merzouga, visit of Todra Gorge. A stop for lunch at the desert town Rissani that dates back to the ancient Alawi Dynasty. Continue your journey to Merzouga via Erfoud to enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the Borj-Est that rises 935 m to see panoramic views over the town and its palm dunes. 

Erfoud is an vigorous city with gorgeous surrounding landscapes filled with oases, dunes, and rocky mountains. Arrival to Merzouga and before sunset venture out on a 1-hour camel ride to watch the sunset in the Erg Chebbi Dunes. Your Berber guide will lead you through the golden dune where you can enjoy taking pictures the endless rolling dunes of golden. Diiner and overnight at the heart of the desert in a camp.

Day 6 : Merzouga – Khamlia Village - Festival

Rise early and take your camel back from the desert camp to Merzouga. On the way wash the magnificent sunrise over the dunes. Once at your Riad, take a shower and get your breakfast and relax near th swimming pool of your Riad before heading for a 4x4 drive expedition that will take deep in the sahara desert where you can visit scattered Berber villages and nomad’s tents. During the 4x4 excursions around the dunes  you will visit the mines, fossil farms, visit nomad families; excursions to dinosaur prints, ancient rock, ruined Portuguese fortress, Lunch at Khamliya village where the festival is taking place. Free afternoon enjoying the festival music and exploration, Dinner and overnight in a boutique Riad.

Day 7 : Merzouga - Alnif - N'kob - Agdz

Take you breakfast and return by a different route today through Alnif to Agdz, giving a taste of the Draa Valley. Agdz means ‘resting place’ and is set on the old caravan route that connected Marrakech with Timbuktu.

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

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.

Dinner and overnight in nice Riad in Agdz

Day 8 : Agdez - Ouarzazate - Marrakesh

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 - Essaouira Guided Historical Tour

Breakfast at your Riad.  Drive to the former Portuguese fishing village of Essaouira passing by roadside towns and Berber village. Essaouira previously known as Mogador by European sailors and traders, is a city in the western Moroccan economic region of Marrakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. The modern name means "the little rampart", a reference to the fortress walls that still enclose part of the city.

Visit of the medieval town  Essaouira with its lovely white-washed and blue houses and learn about the local tradition and enjoy  the fresh seafood.

Essaouria is famous for its annual Gnaoua Music Festival that attracts many visitors  in June. It also has an wide beach for surfing called Plage de Safi.

wander along the  main square, Place Prince Moulay el Hassan, and then  visit the Skala du Port, the fishing harbor, offers remarkable views of the Portuguese ramparts. Discover the ramparts, the spice and jewelry souks of the medina, and the Jewish Mellah. The medina of Essaouira , an example of a late-18th century fortified town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch

After lunch visit Orson Welles’ Square and memorial, designed by Samir Mustapha, one of the towns artists, which pays homage to the filming of Othello in Essouaria.

In the early fifties, the film director and actor Orson Welles stayed in Essaouira filming his classic version of Othello which contains several memorable scenes shot in the labyrinthine streets and alleys of the medina. Return to Marrakesh in the evening. Dinner in a nice restaurant. B&B accommodation in a nice Riad in Marrakesh. Spend the night at 4 or 5 Star Accommodations in Essaouira.

Day 10 : Essaouira Day at leisure 

Breakfast at your riad. This is a day free for to explore the city at leisure. The beach is a nice place for wander. You can have a camel ride on the Essaouira beach. Some locals do offer camel rides on the beach .

Essaouira is also a kitesurfing destination. Alternatively, you can spend some time in the medina to enjoy seeing craftsmen, little shops, and other gems also worth to explore.

Dine and spend the night at a 4 or 5 Star hotel in Essaouira

Day 11: Essaouira - El Jadida – Casablanca

Breakfast at your riad. Then, drive along the coast to the town of El Jadida for an overnight before tomorrow’s departure.  El Jadida is a port city on the Atlantic coat of Morocco with enormous Portuguese. it’s quieter and more relaxing and is relatively the same distance to the airport as Casablanca. Dine and overnight in a charming guesthouse in EL Jadida

Day 12 : El Jadida- Casablanca

Breakfast at your hotel. Depart Casablanca’s International Airport. Do plan on having a full three hours at the airport today since customs can be slow.

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