Fez to Marrakesh via the Sahara 4 days / 3 nights
Description of the tour
This journey takes us from the heartlands to the south, crossing the Middle Atlas with its high mountain landscapes to the paler, ochre tones in the South of this route through Morocco. We will venture into the Sahara to enjoy the feeling of freedom and silence, that envelopes us in an ocean of sand, with the sound of the dunes a constant whisper.
Palm groves await the return to civilization as we uncover the hidden, but imposing Kasbahs they conceal, behind whose doors are encounters with smiling faces always ready to extend the fabled Berber hospitality. This route through Morocco,throws up great contrasts and is just waiting for you to pack your bag and join us to explore Morocco.
Half board (dinner) except in Marrakesh
Day 1 Fez – Sahara at Merzouga
Departure from Fez early in the morning. Today we begin this route through Morocco climbing over the mountains of the Middle Atlas, where the city of Ifrane, known as "the Switzerland of Morocco", is located - a mountain settlement with alpine style houses and with a European touch.
The route continues through the Ifrane National Park that runs through the forest of Azrou, where imposing Cedars, walnut trees and holly oaks abound. Expect to see troupes of wild monkeys, accustomed to people, as they go in search of food. We will then follow the route through the mountain pass of the Middle Atlas (Timahdit), until near Midelt, where we stop for lunch in an excellent local restaurant.
Our route then leads us through the through the fantastic Ziz Valley, an extension of palm groves, which spreads further than the eye can see. Arrival in Merzouga,by the Sahara at Erg Chebbi, where the caravan of dromedaries awaits you, to enter the dunes and marvel at the sunset.
Overnight in Khaimahs by the Sahara with dinner and breakfast
Day 2 Sahara – Gorges of Dadès
Morning departure from the Sahara in our 4x4.A morning stop at Rissani, to see its weekly market, unique in the area, which attracts numerous nomads, before continuing the route in 4x4 to the palm groves of Jorf to visit underground channels - an ancient irrigation system that the people of the town used to take water to their lands.
We will continue our route through Moroccountil we reach the Gorges of Todra, where we will stroll a while by the banks of the river and enjoy the views of the magnificent rocky canyon, a favorite spot for climbers and a favorite tourist destination in Morocco.
We take the road once again, passing through immense palm plantations until we reach Boumalne Dadès. The Dadès Valley offers a variety of landscapes of gorges and canyons, dotted with small villages with their plantations of olive and almond trees overshadowed by the geological formation called "The monkey’s fingers".
Overnight, dinner and breakfast in the Gorges of Dadès
Day 3 Gorges of Dadès – Ouarzazate
After breakfast, we leave behind the Gorges of Dadès heading towards Ouarzazate via a track that crosses the M'Goun Valley, a road where only 4x4 vehicles can pass with experienced drivers. You will visit one of the Berber families in the area, nomads who survive a little livestock and a common dwelling.
They usually invite you for tea and greatly appreciate any help you may receive, be it food or clothing, as there are many mouths to feed. We then follow the dirt track, until the Valley of the Roses, where you can visit the oil and rose water cooperative. The Rose of Damascus rose is used to prepare all cosmetics. Later we resume the journey along the so-called “Route of a Thousand Kasbahs”, which leads to the Skoura Valley, where you can visit the beautiful Kasbah of Amridil, one of the most scenic in this area and best preserved.
The road continues to Ouarzazate – film location capital, where the studios "Atlas" are based and where movies such as; Gladiator, Asterix and Cleopatra, The Jewel of the Nile, and many other titles were recorded.
Day 4 Ouarzazate – Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou - Marrakesh
Departure after breakfast to the Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou near Ouarzazate, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, where we will enjoy a guided visit.
The route then leads us through the Unila Valley with its Berber villages to the Kasbah Telouet, which we will stop to visit. Here was the site of the great Palace of theGlaoui clan, a jewel of Moorish architecture, built in the 18th century to control the salt caravan routes crossing from Sub-Saharan lands through the Drâa Valley onwards to the imperial cities.
This will leave us a last crossing of the High Atlas and the mountain pass; the Tizi'n Tichka, at 2260 meters, the highest in Morocco, with spectacular views. We will make a last rest stop, have a mint tea or coffee and visit a women's cooperative, where they prepare argan oil and all kinds of cosmetics.
Arrival in Marrakesh and end of our services.