Moroccan Desert & Hiking in the Atlas Mountains – 8 Days
This 8-day tour combines the culture and adventure of Marrakech, the desert and the High Atlas Mountains. Begin and end in Marrakech and explore the historic souks of the medina, ancient tombs, ancient religious schools and secret gardens. Cross the High Atlas Mountains into the Moroccan desert and explore medieval castles, caravan routes and Sahara dunes. Finally, a two-day trekking trip in a small village at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, enjoying food and overnight stays with local families.
Watch the performances of acrobats and snake charmers at Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech
Explore the sand dunes, oasis, hidden valleys and ancient castles in the desert
Ride a camel in the Sahara Desert and enjoy traditional music by the campfire
Stroll along the quiet bluRide a camel into the Sahara Desert and spend the night in a Bedouin tent
Hike through the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains
- Eat bread with a Berber family and experience local traditions and hospitality
|Day 1 Arrive; Marrakech: Exploring the Red City||Marrakech|
|Day 2 Over the High Atlas mountains to Ouarzazate and Boumalne Dades||Boumalne Dades|
|Day 3 Desert towns and camping in the Sahara||Erg Chebbi|
|Day 4 Date palms, Alnif, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah||Ait Benhaddou|
Day 5 Return to Marrakech
|Day 6 Amizmiz and the High Atlas mountains||Amizmiz|
|Day 7 Return from the Atlas mountains to Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 8 Depart||Marrakech|
Day 1 Arrive; Marrakech: Exploring the Red City
Welcome to Marrakech! Marrakech is nicknamed the “Red City” because of its 1,000-year-old red sandstone walls and buildings, and is a major economic center. Unlike Fez, Marrakech has Berber descent rather than Arab descent, and was once an important trading center for the Atlas tribes. Head to the bustling Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech: to the north is the souk (market), to the west is the Koutoubia mosque and gardens, the Kasbah (fortress or fortifications) area has the Saadi dynasty mausoleum and Bahia Palace and Badi Palace are in the south. In the new city, you will find Majorelle Gardens.
To visit the Medina (Old Town) in a unique way, board the calèche (French for the carriage) and start adapting to the surroundings. Please pay attention to fondouks-medieval hotels that provide accommodation and supplies for merchants and travelers. Today, some have been converted into residences or large shopping areas and studios that you can explore. Find the way to the Koutoubia Mosque and escape the heat in the garden between the fountain and palm trees. Although non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, its 12th century foundation and minaret are worth seeing.
As night fell, Jemaa el-Fna became active with musicians and storytellers, acrobats and dancers, and even snake charmers. Stroll through rows of food stalls, serving all kinds of food from dinners to juice drinks, dried dates and small snacks. For a bite to eat, or for a more relaxing experience, you can find one of the many cafes above the square and enjoy the food while watching the show below
Day 2 Over the High Atlas mountains to Ouarzazate and Boumalne Dades
Leaving the busy city, head east to the desert and climb the High Atlas Mountains. See if you can find Mount Toubkal, the highest peak at 13,671 feet (4,167 m). Along the way, you will pass many Berber villages-made up of traditional mud brick buildings. Enjoy lunch at Taddaret and visit the local argan oil cooperative to learn how local women produce expensive argan oil to produce oil for the health, food and cosmetics industries.. Follow the winding road to Tizi n’Tichka pass and stop for a panoramic view.
Continue east to the desert hub and filming location in Ouarzazate. Take a tour of a film studio to discover which of your favorite movies were shot in the nearby desert area. Movie lovers may like to visit the film museum. Follow the ancient castle valley to Boumalne Dades, passing many small towns, where you will see the traditional farming methods used. As you walk through the fragrant “valley of roses” Kela’a M’gouna, look out for the nomads who care for the animals. You will eventually arrive at Boumalne Dades, a major town connected to the Dades River.
Day 3 Desert towns and camping in the Sahara
Today, you will continue driving east to your final destination: the sand sea of Erg Chebbi outside Merzouga. Along the way, stop at Tinghir to admire the river oasis that extends to both sides of the town. The surrounding desert landscape shows impressive hills, terraces and plateaus. Nearby, you will have the opportunity to explore the Todra gorge, a 984 feet (300 meters) deep gorge cut by the Todra River. Continue to the desert town of Erfoud. Known for its figs and fossils, visit a craft workshop to learn how fossil-rich rocks are skillfully transformed into practical and decorative objects.
When you are close to Merzouga, the town closest to the Sahara Desert, stop in the market town of Rissani, and be sure to visit the livestock auction and the “donkey parking lot”. Leaving Rissani, you will begin to see the beginning of the huge sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, looming on the horizon. After arriving at Merzouga, ride a camel into the desert and watch the sunset on the big sand dunes. Return to your Erg Chebbi camp for dinner. Relax by the campfire, listen to traditional Berber music, admire the vast starry night sky, and then return to your Bedouin tent.
Day 4 Date palms, Alnif, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah
Before exploring more deserts, wake up early to witness the Sahara sunrise. You can choose to rent a sandboard, take a four-wheeled ATV tour or relax by the pool. Afterwards, head to nearby Khemliya for a stroll in a traditional Saharan village. You will have a second chance to visit Maison Tuareg in Rissani, a warehouse that sells traditional carpets, jewelry and leather products. From there, walk through the umbrella trees of the acacia forest, and then arrive at Alnif for lunch. Continue through the Draa Valley, which is full of date palm trees, and has the opportunity to pick a box of dates for a drive.
In the early afternoon, we arrived at Aït Benhaddou, protected by UNESCO. Wander the winding alleys and climb the old lot – the perfect place to marvel at its serenity and surroundings. Notice the ancient trade routes of the camel caravans that once connected the Sahara and Marrakesh. As you continue to explore Aït Benhaddou, fans of movies and Game of Thrones will love to visit the epic HBO series as well as attractions in movies such as Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia. Overnight in the old castle. Enjoy dinner on the terrace overlooking the river and valley below.
Day 5 Return to Marrakech
Before the crowds flood into the old castle, explore the narrow passages and alleys to truly feel this 11th century fortified city.Leaving kasbah ait benhaddou , returning to Marrakech, crossing the High Atlas Mountains and the Tizi N’Tchka Pass. As you descend along the northern slope of the High Atlas Mountains, you will notice dramatic changes in the climate and landscape. After experiencing the tranquility of all the mountains and deserts, you will soon become a part of the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.
You may want to spend your rest of the afternoon at a slower step. Visit Jemaa el-Fna and grab a bite from one of the many food stalls, then stroll at night to admire the illuminated Koutoubia Mosque.
Day 6 Amizmiz and the High Atlas mountains
Not far south of Marrakech is the small town of Amizmiz at the foot of the High Atlas. Before meeting your mountain guide, explore the humble market in the old town, and then start hiking along quiet narrow roads and mule paths. Due to the remoteness of the area, you are unlikely to encounter other tourists. Therefore, you will enjoy hiking between traditional Berber villages that embrace the hillside, the daily life of local farmers and shepherds. Explore the terraced fields built by local farmers and turn the mountainside into land suitable for farming.
Before continuing the hike, visit with the local family to see how they live and enjoy a traditional lunch with them. Meet another local Berber family, relax at home like guests, enjoy warm meals and their company.
Day 7 Return from the Atlas mountains to Marrakech
This morning, you will head to the High Atlas Mountains to look at the highest peak, Mountains Toubkal. Close to the top, you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the mountains and the road that winds down the mountain.
Have breakfast with your host, then bid farewell and head to the trail. Before returning to Marrakech, continue to explore the local scenery and other nearby towns.
Upon arrival in Marrakech, explore the kasbah area south of Jemaa el-Fna, visit the Saadian Tombs and explore the 500-year-old craftsmanship in its construction. As you pass through the Mellah (Jewish quarter) and the 19th-century Bahia Palace, you can visit the sunken gardens of the 17th-century El Badi Palace. Visit the only surviving Almoravid monument, the 12th-century Almoravid Koubba, and spend some time at the Marrakech Museum. Located in the Dar Mnebbi Palace in the 19th century, the museum is home to large-scale exhibitions of modern and traditional art, including artifacts from Berber and Moroccan Jewish and Islamic culture.
Day 8 Depart
Depending on your flight time, you may want to visit the Majorille Gardens. Not far from the country, visiting these lush and wide gardens is an ideal place to escape the heat and noise. Relax before transferring to the airport for a flight back home.
- include Private tour
- Daily breakfast Hotel accommodation and all transportation in Casablanca
- Airport Full transportation with air-conditioning,
- gas and driver English speaking guide and driver Overnight in Casablanca, Fes, Chefchaouen & Marrakech
- Tour Guide in Fes & Marrakech
- including breakfast
- Daily including breakfast, free time to explore scenic spots, take photos, etc.
- Customized and flexible stops
- Travel insurance
- Entrance tickets to monuments
NOTE : At Traveling Morocco Agency we offer Luxury & Standard accommodations Tour from Marrakech to Marrakech via dades valley,Amizmiz, Ait benhaddou, Sahara desert & Marrakech .
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