Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Dades Gorge (D)
This morning after breakfast, set off in a comfortable private a/c vehicle for your circular 4-day journey through the Saharan landscapes of both the Hamada (stone desert) and Erg (dune desert). Your first visits include Ait Benhadou, Ouarzazate and Skoura Palmerie, where an ancient Kasbah once held treasures of the silk route in desert oasis terrain, followed by a visit to the spectacular Todra Gorge where steep walls hundreds of feet high tower above. Enjoy a relaxing and highly scenic tour day with stunning views of this mystical land. Cozy accommodations in a comfortable hotel with optional ‘Hammam’ bathhouse experience this evening.
Overnight at your hotel, Dar Essyaha Dades or similar.
Day 2: Dades Gorge – Todgha Gorge – Erg Chebbi dunes (B, L, D)
Make your way through the far reaches of Morocco’s eastern perimeter to within 12 miles (20km) of Algeria’s border where you will encounter the magnificent Erg Chebbi dune landscape. Morocco’s most famous Saharan dune is just breathtaking and transforming to the soul. On foot or camel back, you have the option to travel into the remote dunes to reach your Nomadic-style camp hidden in the dunes. An evening sunset climb to one of the higher dunes is customary, followed by dinner and perhaps a campfire experience and Berber songs and storytelling can be arranged. Temperatures normally 50-60 degrees F (12-15C) at night.
Accommodation in a desert camp, Auberge les deunes d'or or similar.
Day 3: Merzouga – Ouarzazate (B, D)
This morning after breakfast, you have a final chance to climb the dunes before setting off. A long but scenic journey then brings you through the southern Anti Atlas desert terrain where you may see nomadic camel herders crossing plains and witness the thriving date palm communities of this remote landscape. Your final destination, Ouarzazate, is the Moroccan Sahara’s largest center and home to one of Hollywood’s most versatile studios for film-making. Spend one night here and, if time permits, make a tour of Ouarzazate’s main attractions and bazaar.
Overnight at Hotel Dar Chamaa Ouarzazate or similar
Day 4: Ouarzazate – Marrakesh (B)
Today you depart Ouarzazate early and drive the breathtaking pass of Tizni-n-Tichka over the high Atlas to Marrakech (approx 4 hours). Your final day on tour and a chance to visit Marrakech and its famous souk (market place) with snake charmers, fortune tellers, acrobats, and more. Time permitting you can also visit Koutoubia Mosque and see ‘new’ Marrakech. You will have free time to explore the many fine eateries of Marrakech and the Djemaa El Fna square.