Discover the mystical cities of Marrakesh, Fes and Ouarzazate, visit a Berber family in the High Atlas Mountains and ride a camel in the dazzling Merzouga desert.
Day 1 : Marrakesh – High Atlas – Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah – Ouarzazate – Dadés Valley:
Pick up from your accommodation in Marrakech at 8 o´clock in the morning, and depart to the High Atlas, subrange of moroccan Atlas mountains, going through Tizi N´Tichka port with stops for panoramic views and taking pictures of the Berber small villages that camouflage in the landscape. Then we continue south to the ksar (fortified village) of Ait Ben Haddou where we will visit the famous Kasbah (declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986). Famous films have been shot in this spectacular stage, including Gladiator , Obelix, The Mummy, The Jewel of the Nile, Sahara with Penélope Cruz…etc.
Free time for lunch in town.
Then we continue to Ouarzazate also known as “The gate of the desert” that in berber language means “noiseless or without confusion”. Here we will see the Taourirt kasbah, one of the most spectacular ksars in Morocco.
The next site to visit is the Rose Valley going through the big Skoura palm grove; a beautiful place to contemplate more than 700.000 palms and numerous kasbahs that are built in the surrounding area. In this Valley damascenes roses are raised for cosmetic use such as the valued rosewater. The Rose Festival is held here annually in May, it is an important moussem for Moroccan culture.
Finally we reach the Dades valley where we´ll spend the night.
Day 2 : Dades Valley – Todra Gorges – Merzouga – Camel Trek and overnight in berber camp:
After breakfast we´ll enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Dadées Valley from one strategic lookout in the mountains, from there we can appreciate the great number of kasbahs and the scenic characteristics of each one. A very good asphalt road leads up the valley from the city of Tinerhir to the gorge and then to the desert. After some stops on the way we´ll reach the Todra Gorges. The scenery is spectacular. Local people live in the area and can be seen in their adobe villages. Thanks to its rock sides with many uneven surfaces, these gorges are popular among rock climbers.
After a short walk in the Todra gorges you´l have free time for lunch in Tinejdad or Touroug and then we continue our way to the desert to reach the spectacular dunes of Merzouga.
We´ll take there a camel ride of one hour to our nomad camp located in the middle of a sea of dunes (Erg Chebbi). Before dinner we´ll see the sunset at the top of a dune for then sleep in a tent under a beautiful starry sky.
Day 3 : Merzouga Desert – Ziz Valley –Azrou – Fes:
Very early in the morning we have a “Date with the sunrise”. In the middle of the desert, waking up early is a “must do” to contemplate the most spectacular sunrise you´ve ever seen at the top of a dune close to the camp.
Then we return to Merzouga on the camels where a delicious breakfast is waiting for us. Once ready, we start our last day to the north through the Tafilalet palm grove, the biggest in the world. You´ll see thousands of palm trees along the 20km of road. This way leads us to the Ziz valley, which river comes down from the high Atlas and feeds the palm grove. Here we make a stop and from this high viewpoint, enjoy a magnificent view of the valley and the town of Aoufous.
We make another stop in Midelt, just in the heart of the Atlas where you´ll have free time for lunch and rest for a while. In the afternoon we continue our way through the Cedar Woods where, if we are lucky, we´ll see some monkeys. The next place we´ll visit is the city of Ifrane, situated in the northwestern slope of the Middle Atlas at 1630 meters above the water level. Its broad avenues, its urban development with perfect cleanness, the gardens, the green areas and its architecture make this city look like a swiss town. Ifrane feels misplaced in Morocco. Thats why it´s named the moroccan Switzerland, and if that´s not enough it has an important ski resort, Michlifen,
About 6 pm we arrive at Fez, transfer to the hotel, and end of our services.