the imperial cities and the sahara desert - 6 days
Day 1: Casablanca – Fes
Collection is from your hotel in Casablanca followed by the short drive to visit the Hassan II mosque, the largest mosque out of Mecca and then it’s on to Fes where you’ll arrive in the evening and here you’ll overnight in our Hotel/Riad.
Day 2: Exploring Fes
Most of the morning will be spent visiting the medina (the old city) and its alleys. Your visit starts by visiting the Jewish Quarter, the Mellah and the Royal Palace (yard), which is the biggest in the country. You will be visiting the famous tanneries and the Quaraouine mosque. After lunch, in a typical Moroccan restaurant in the Medina, you’ll visit the Merinid tombs and experience a wonderful panoramic view of the city. Overnight accommodation will be at your Riad in Fes. Overnight in our Hotel/Riad
Day 3: Fes – Azrou – Midelt – Errachidia – Merzouga
After breakfast we’ll leave Fes travelling towards Ifrane, referred to as “the Switzerland of Morocco”. During this journey you’ll see glimpses of the Middle Atlas and Higher Atlas mountains. Stopping at Azrou, a Berber village in the middle of the famous cedar forest, the largest in Morocco, where you may well see Barbarian apes. Afterwards we’ll travel through the Tizi Ntalghamt pass to Midelt and along the magnificent Ziz Gorges carved through volcanic rock and along the luxuriant Ziz Valley, stopping for panoramic views along the way. We’ll drive through welcoming Berber villages to Erfoud and then Rissani, before arriving at Merzouga. Here you’ll be welcomed by a glass of mint tea before you check in to your Riad/hotel
Day 4: Merzouga area – the Camel trek and overnight in the camp
After a luxurious breakfast in your Riad you’ll start exploring the area. You’ll be visiting the Gnawa people in their village Khamlia, where you will learn about the Gnawa music and their lifestyle. Close by is the lake of Merzouga with its bird population, including the flamingos. Afterwards, you’ll visit the old city of Rissani. Rissani, the foundation of the Alaouite dynasty – the current ruling royal family in Morocco. Rissani is surrounded by 360 ksar (a fortified village with many towers) and has a big souk (an open market), held three times a week. Once called Sijilmassa, this was the meeting place for the salt caravans, coming from Timbuctou in Mali. Here you’ll walk through the souk, packed with spices, vegetables and cloths before driving back to the village of Merzouga, where your camels are awaiting you. Guided by an experienced camel man you’ll ride exploring within the sand sea of Merzouga. Dinner is in front of your tent where you will spend the night. Dinner Bed and Breakfast.
Day 5: Merzouga – Todra Gorges – Dades Gorges
Your camelman will wake you up early in the morning to watch what well may be the best sunrise of your life. After breakfast in the nomad tent, you’ll peacefully camel-trek back to the village of Merzouga. En-route you won’t fail to appreciate the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi dunes – changing with the light as the day progresses. After breakfast in the Riad, you’ll leave for Rissani, Tinghir and Todra gorges – the highest, narrowest gorges in Morocco. After lunch in the heart of the gorge we’ll drive through the Dades Valley, where you’ll see the majestic sand castles and the amazing rock formations known as “monkey toes”. Overnight in our Hotel/Riad.
Day 6: Dades Gorge – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
After breakfast we’ll drive through the Dades Valley towards Kalaat Mgouna and Ouarzazate. The route through Dades Valley is the way of the thousand Kasbahs – providing numerous opportunities to take some of your best photographic shots of the trip. We’ll stop at Kalaat Mgouna, “the rose city”, to purchase the rosewater, which will make your linen smell good a long time after your trip is overJ Your journey will continue to Marrakech via Ait Ben haddou Kasbah, the largest Kasbah in Morocco. The Kasbah was built by Et Hami El Glaoui, one of the last Berber chieftains during the 18th century, now a house of many Glaoui people. Your journey will continue through the majestic Tizi n’tichka Pass (2260m) over the High Atlas Mountains, before arriving at your accommodation in Marrakech
Tour ends at Marrakech Airport or at your accommodation.