3-Day Tour: Marrakech to Merzouga by Way of Dadès Valley plus Erg Chebbi Camel Trek
Day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Tinghir
Stop At: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Douar Ait Ben Haddou, Ait Ben Haddou 45000 Morocco
Following a morning pickup from your accommodation in Marrakech, head deep into the High Atlas Mountains in your air-conditioned minivan to begin your tour. Travel along the Tizi-n-Tichka pass and past rural Berber villages, where local shepherds herd their flocks the way they have for thousands of years.
First, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Benhaddou kasbah, where locals and travelers alike have met to socialize and trade down the centuries. Soak up the atmosphere at your leisure, then head onward with your guide to Ouarzazate for lunch in a local cafe (own expense).
In the afternoon, head onward with your guide to the oasis at Skoura. Pause to admire the lush, green palm trees rising like a mirage in the dry desert, then continue on along the Dadès River through deep gorges, where the ruins of ancient kasbahs lie among traditional Berber villages.
Arrive in tinghir in the evening, where your dinner and accommodation await.
Overnight: Hôtel bougafer tinghir
Duration: 5 hours
Accommodation included: bougafer hotel
Day 2: Tinghir – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
Stop At: Merzouga Desert, Merzouga Morocco
After breakfast at your hotel, hop back aboard your minivan and travel out along the famous ‘Road of 1000 Kasbahs’ to nearby Tinghir. Stroll through the oasis to the mighty Todra Gorge, where a deep crevasse in the orange limestone provides spectacular views, then sit down to lunch at your leisure (own expense) in one of the local cafes.
In the afternoon, visit the holy town of Rissani — birthplace of Morocco’s ruling royal family and the age-old capital of the Tafilalt region. Continue on to Merzouga, a small village sitting on the borders of the Sahara Desert. Meet your camel caravan and, with the sun slowly moving across the afternoon sky, set off toward Erg Chebbi and your camp in the heart of the desert.
With traditional music from local nomads to entertain you, enjoy dinner and an evening under the stars before retiring to bed.
Overnight: campsite in the Sahara Desert
Duration: 6 hours
Accommodation included: Auberge sahara desert camp
Day 3: Erg Chebbi – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
Stop At: High Atlas Mountains, 40000 Morocco
Following an early-morning stroll before breakfast to enjoy sunrise among the sand dunes (optional), ride your camel back to Merzouga and meet your driver for the start of your return journey to Marrakech.
Stop for lunch in Ouarzazate (own expense), then head onward through the spectacular scenery of the High Atlas Mountains. Arrive back at your Marrakech accommodation in the mid-evening to conclude your tour.
Duration: 9 hours
No accommodation included on this day.
- 2x Breakfast
- 2x Dinner
- Accommodation included: 2 nights
- Overnight accommodation in Tinghir city
- Camel trekking Erg Chebbi
- Overnight accommodation at a Sahara desert camp in Erg Chebbi
- Transport by air-conditioned minivan/minibus
- Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
- Local guides
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not recommended for child under 6 years old
- Good walking shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended
- It can be cold at night and in the winter so please bring appropriate clothing.
This tour was exactly as it was described and just as magical as I could ever have hoped for. Highly recommend this company. They picked us up right from the main square that was near our hostel and had plenty of stops for photo ops and breaks, and I can't even begin to describe the night in the desert! The standard hotel night was a beautiful suite that was bigger than I imagined. Food was amazing, people were amazing, and it is my favorite trip I've ever taken.
Overall, we really enjoyed this trip, but we would suggest some improvements. The drive down to the desert was not bad, stopping for extended periods where we got to meet with Berber people and learn about life for them. At least some life. These conversations were nice, though quite superficial. We understood that there are 4 peoples who lived together (supposedly in harmony) for hundreds of years, but not much about the daily life. We understood that they farmed alfalfa and lavender, olive and dates, but in the end, we did not understand much about their beliefs, or ideas. I think there is an opportunity here to paint a picture of Berber life that was missed. Instead, there was more of an emphasis on their crafts and trades, presumably to encourage the buying of scarfs, carpets and art. The accommodations the first night were quite good, better than I thought it would be (though the food wasn't). There was even a pool, though not a lot of time to take advantage of it. The stops along the route were well placed and allowed for us to stretch our legs. The Sahara was quite beautiful, and we loved the camel rides. The desert is so stark and formidable, it's hard to imagine how caravans traveled in ancient times. Our camel ride was about an hour, and we arrived at the camp to have some mint tea and then a nice dinner. After dinner, some of the guides played drums, sang and encouraged us to dance. They did a good job of getting everyone involved in a good fun way. In the end though, the trip was very superficial. I would have liked more information at the camp about what caravans were like. How these large caravans managed to get through the desert for 50 days. What life was like for the people who lived in and around the desert? I personally would have liked more of a cultural understanding. The ride back the next day is tough. The camel ride was beautiful in the early light, but the bus ride was long and tough. I wish there was a way to break up the trip back, but I can't really see how, due to the distances. Overall, it was a great excursion, but lacking in cultural immersiveness. We would have liked to understand better how they lived, especially in the Sahara, so that we can appreciate the strength of these people who had lived there for hundreds of years.
A fantastic experience for the price! Apart from seeing the unique Moroccan countryside, you'll also meet people from all over the world in the tour group. Be prepared for a lot of driving, especially on the third day.
This 3 day tour is a must. The High Atlas Mountains, the valley, Berber village, a gorge. Stayed in a lovely hotel on the first night and then onto the Sahara and camel trek. We opted for luxury camping and it was fantastic. Downsides - We didn't get to see the stars due to clouds and the return journey is 11 hours with a few quick breaks and a lunch stop. Try and get Mohamed Bajo as your driver as some off the other people we met on the same tour had an unpleasant experience with their drivers who drove too fast and didn't talk to them!
Everything about this trip we'd read before was the truth ! First if all - our fantastic driver - Obama Mohamed! We haven't met such a friendly, helpful and a funny guy working in the tourism business before! He explained us everything about the local customs, history and tour details with lots of patience. The trip to the Sahara Desert was well organized, luxurious option really woth its price. It's unforgettable experience!
The tour was perfectly organize, we could see soo many things, and many many thanks to the bus driver Obama Mohamed who drive us very well and explain many things of Marocco and was very kind. Excellent!!!!
The trip was wonderful. Just some tips if you are going in December. The weather in the desert is cold at night but I have thick coats on so I slept comfortably. Dont throw tissue into the toilet as it can't be flushed. To see the sky filled with stars, wake up between 5:30-6:30 in the morning. Omar the boss I guess is very nice. My drop off location is in a different hotel and he paid for a small taxi at the medina to have the driver drop me off. I really appreciate is kindness and I stongly recommend joining his tour to the desert. Remember to dress warm and you should be very much enjoying this memorable experience.
Although a lot of driving, riding camels on the Sahara is totally worth the drive. Our guide Hussein was an excellent driver and our group was so fun! Riding camels in the Sahara was so surreal and beautiful. Upgrade the tent if you can!
the ride in the van is long, AC worked well, at the begining its a curvy road, i was getting almost sick, but the driver stops few times to stretch your legs ,use bathroom, etc. the best part is the night in the desert, what a magestic place! we picked the luxury tent, and it was worth it! we played drums at night around a fire, and we had a fun group. next day wake up early and see the sunrise, it was awesome. Going back to Marrakech is a long drive, again, be prepared. the agent from ANDO travel was great also, he always answer when contacted, and was corteous always.
Our camel trek experience far surpassed our expectations. Nothing but compliments to all our guides who were fun and informative as we travelled thru the Dades valley and introduced us to the Berber culture. We had signed up for the luxury tour and were so happy that we did. We had a huge tent-complete with a very comfortable kingsized bed along with a second bed and a complete modern bathroom-plus our luggage was taken to our tent for us so we had it all with us overnight and didn't need to take a backpack with us on the camels. The actual camel trek was so well done.-the campsite was beautiful with the tents in a square and carpets laid down leading to each tent. We mounted the camels late afternoon and had a beautiful ride into the desert, then dinner and entertainment under an incredible starlit sky. The guides also lined up all the camels in the moonlight for us to take some incredible silhouette pictures of them. The next morning we were up early for breakfast before sunrise, then a camel ride and stopping to climb a dune to watch the sunrise. An altogether an incredible experience.The ride back on the last day was an long one along curving roads most of the day-not an easy day but unless you took an extra day, no way to get back by evening. My husband and I were by far the oldest couple on the tour and we felt that they really kept an eye on us and were there to help us climb the dunes etc.The night we returned i got up with food poisoning so be careful in your food selections as you stop in many restaurants along the way-am sure i let my guard down the last day and ordered a tomato salad which is probably where i contacted it.No one else seemed to have any problems so it was most likely just a wrong choice on my part
In general a good trip, but a few negatives:The minibus was full and rather cramped. You have to spend rather a long time in the bus. First night Hotel Bougafer was Ok, but not great and bed was very hard. Next day a visit to the big Kasbah which was great but you get taken to the usual man who spends 45mins trying to sell you carpets. Next night was in the desert. The camel ride was great (but sore). We paid for tor the upgrade at the desert came which was worth it. But the upgrade is only the camp, not the hotel. Next day is a very very very long and uncomfortable drive back to Marrakech. The driver who was supposed to also be our guide, whilst friendly, said pretty much nothing on the trip.
It was definitely worth it driver Mohammed was extremely nice, first hotel stay was good, but the first tour to the movie set uniesco village where they shot gladiator and GOT the guide was total ripoff. He barely gave any tour and took so much tip from us... The second tour guide for Berber village on the 2nd day was extremely funny and nice though.