Sahara at Chigaga – “the great unknown” 4 days / 3 nights
Description of the tour
This is one of the routes through Morocco where you will discover the Sahara at Chigaga, an area off the beaten track as it is only accessible with 4x4 vehicles and advisable to venture into only with experienced guides.
We will take you on a route through Morocco, laden with handicrafts, of adobe buildings from another era, Berber villages, landscapes of contrasts, where in an instant we pass from desert to oasis, fertile valleys and arid plains, due in large part to the High Atlas, which acts as a weather barrier separating the climatic influences of the Sahara and the Mediterranean climate and giving rise to drastic changes in temperature.
Day 1 Marrakesh - Agdz
We will leave Marrakesh heading to Agdz crossing the High Atlas where, en route we will be crossing over the Tizi-n-Tichka, at 2,260m the highest in Morocco, and will stop to take in some spectacular views of the highlands. We will take a break on the way for a mint tea and visit a local cooperative which produces argan cosmetics and oils from the nut of the argan tree.
Once over the highest point, we will be descending into a more arid, desert landscape, but little by little the green returns as we reach the Drâa Valley with its palm groves which accompany us all the way to Agdz.
Overnight in Agdz
Day 2 Agdz – Sahara at Chigaga
After breakfast we head towards the desert of Chigaga through the Drâa Valley, passing through Zagora until Tamegroute, a rock-hewn village with adobe houses with a beautiful Kasbah that can be visited and a madrasa (school) - the oldest in the area. It is also famous for the manganese and copper colors of its pottery.
We then continue to the M'Hamid, which is the last town to stop, eat and buy bottled water before the desert adventure.
After 2 hours heading into the desert, we will arrive to the Khaimahs where we spend the night. Sunset camel ride through the dunes to see the sunset and festive evening at the camp.
Overnight in Khaimahs by the Sahara
Day 3 Sahara at Chigaga – Aït Ben Haddou
Departure from the camp to Foum-Zgit, which will take a little over two hours as we cross the dunes of Chigaga via the dried-up Lake Iriki (22 kilometers). We will stop by the first village Foum-Zgit to rest and have tea, then continue passing through a village famous for Berber carpets; taznakt, and where if you feel like it, you can visit a weaver’s workshop.
The route will continue to cross the Middle Atlas to arrive in the afternoon to Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which you can visit at leisure as most tourists visit in the mornings
Overnight in the peaceful village of Aït Ben Haddou.
Day 4 Aït Ben Haddou - Marrakesh
First thing in the morning, is the ideal time to visit the Kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou, after which we will continue on our route through Morocco descending the Unila Valley lined with Berber villages and on to the KasbahTelouet, which we will stop to visit. Here was the site of the great Palace of the Glaoui 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.
All that remains is to cross back over the high Atlas mountain pass and descend into Marrakesh again.
Afternoon arrival back in Marrakesh. End of our services.