1st day: Marrakesh – Dades
Morning departure from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh to cross the High Atlas Mountains. From these mountains, the views over the valleys and the Berber villages perched on the mountain sides, sometimes barely distinguishable from the mountains themselves, are spectacular.
Having crossed the pass, you continue to descend until you finally reach Ouarzazate where you stop for lunch. Later the road continues to the Skoura Oasis, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees. From here, the route takes us through Kela’a M’gouna, the Valley of Roses, with a stop to see cosmetic articles locally-made from the valley’s abundant roses. You stop in the Dades gorge for the night.
2nd day: Dades – Merzouga
After breakfast, there is time to walk by the river before continuing to Toudgha to the very different gorges there. Lunch will either be here in the gorges or later at the bivouac at the Erg Chebbi dunes. You drive there via the Ziz Valley, and the towns of Erfoud and Rissani. In the afternoon you can take a two-hour camel ride in the Sahara. The sunset from the top of the dunes is spectacular (250m) and afterwards there is dinner and the night in a traditional nomad tent at the foot of the dunes.
3rd day: Merzouga – Ouarzazate
If you wake up early enough, you can watch the spectacle of the sunrise, when the colour of the dunes and the play of shadows are an awesome sight. The itinerary continues to the Dra’a Valley via the village of Tazzarine (featured in the film ‘Babel’), and on to N’Qob for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive along the Dra’a Valley towards Agdez, passing oases and Kasbahs, beside the river. The oldest kasbah, Kasbah Tamnougalte, in the Dra’a Valley is situated near Agdez, and you will have some time to visit it. Some parts lie in ruins and some parts are still fully occupied. The last part of the day’s journey is across the Tizi-n-Tinfifite pass to Ouarzazate. Here you will spend the night.
4th day: Ouarzazate – Marrakesh
After breakfast we visit Kasbah Taourirt in the town and which belonged to the Glaoui family, the Pashas of Marrakesh. Driving north, you leave the main road and take a side road to Ait ben Haddou, which also belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, the Glaoui family. This is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also well-known as being the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbusters. The road then continues along the Ounila valley with beautiful and prosperous villages, stunning mountains and views to Telouet, where you will stop to visit the Kasbah and perhaps have lunch. Alternatively lunch will be in the mountains! We reach Marrakesh at the end of the afternoon.