Marrakech, Morocco

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clock-o4 days (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Get out of the city and into the desert during this 4-day, 3-night excursion from Marrakech into the Sahara Desert. Travel along the Tizi-n-Tichka pass through the Atlas Mountains, and check out the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Benhaddou kashbah. You’ll also follow the “Road of 1,000 Kashbahs” to Todgha Gorge and see the wide-open spaces of the Dadès Gorge. Then trek into the desert by camel, spending the night under the stars camping in the Sahara. Your desert excursion also includes a driver (who serves as guide), 3 nights of accommodation (including 2 nights of camping), meals as per the itinerary and round-trip transport by air-conditioned minivan.
  • 4-day Sahara Desert tour to Zagora and Merzouga from Marrakech
  • Take the Tizi-n-Tichka pass through the High Atlas Mountains with the guide
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou
  • Enjoy traditional Moroccan dinners under the stars near Zagora and Erg Chebbi in the Sahara Desert
  • Explore the oasis at Skoura and discover lush palm groves in the desert
  • Marvel at Morocco’s open countryside from the summit of the Dadès Gorge
  • Travel the famous ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’ to the mighty Todgha Gorge
  • Tour includes some meals and round-trip travel from Marrakech
Find some solitude in the desert as you escape Marrakech for this 4-day, 3-night trip to explore the starry skies and UNESCO World Heritage-listed attractions of the Sahara desert. This excursion is a great opportunity to explore the stark-but-beautiful landscapes of the Sahara while enjoying a little dose of desert culture and history along the way.

Start your first day with a pickup from your accommodations in Marrakech, continuing into the High Atlas Mountains up toward the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, observing remote Berber villages and local farmers along the way. Stop by the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Benhaddou kashbah, check out a number of remote desert oases and then trek by camel into the desert for an unforgettable evening camping in the Sahara.

Ride your camel on day two back to Zagora, continuing by car to visit the small village of Mezrouga. You’ll eventually rejoin your camel caravan, trekking back into the desert towards the town of Erg Chebbi and your remote camp, where you’ll spend a second night under the stars.

On day three head to the ancient town of Rissani, before driving the “Road of 1,000 Kashbahs” to Tinghir and visiting the Todgha Gorge. You’ll spend the evening of your third day at a hotel in Bourmaine du Dadès. Finish your trip on day four with a trip through the scenic Valley of Roses, stopping at the Oasis of Skoura before heading back to Marrakech for drop-off at your accommodation.

For a full run-down of each day’s activity, along with details about accommodation choices during your trip, please review the itinerary below.

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Zagora

Following a morning pickup from your accommodation in Marrakech, head out of the city in your air-conditioned minivan through the fertile Haouz Plains toward the High Atlas Mountains. Pass through rural Berber villages where local farmers tend their goats, and take the high Tizi-n-Tichka pass through the mountains.

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kasbah Aït Ben Haddou, where locals have traded and socialized for thousands of years. Enjoy free time to visit the site at your leisure and soak up a little of the atmosphere, then head onward to Ouarzazate for lunch (own expense).

After lunch, your tour will take you to the Oasis of Agdz to enjoy the view of Kasbah Tamnougalt, then continue through the oases and palm groves of the Drâa Valley to Zagora. Meet your camel caravan before setting off on your 1-hour camel trekking adventure into the Zagora Desert. Enjoy breathtaking views of the setting sun on route to your desert camp, then sit down to a traditional Moroccan dinner under the stars as locals play traditional folk songs for your entertainment.

Overnight: Campsite in the Sahara Desert
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Zagora – Alnif – Merzouga

Following an early stroll to admire the sunrise among the sand dunes (optional), enjoy breakfast at the camp then ride your camel back to Zagora. Meet your driver for the onward journey through the Anti-Atlas Mountains and the lunar landscape towards the town of Alnif, where you will stop for lunch.

After lunch (own expense), continue to Merzouga — a small village on the edge of the mighty Sahara Desert. Meet your camel caravan and, as the golden sun begins its slow descent over the dunes, set off toward Erg Chebbi where your secluded camp in the heart of the desert awaits.

With the rhythms of traditional tamtam drumming from local nomads to entertain you, enjoy dinner and an evening under the stars before retiring to bed.

Overnight: Campsite in the Sahara Desert
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Merzouga – Tinghir – Boumalne du Dadès

Perhaps make the most of your time in the desert with an early-morning walk over the dunes to enjoy the sunrise. After breakfast, ride your camel back to Merzouga and meet your driver. There, hop back aboard your minibus and head on to the town of Rissani — the ancient capital of the Tafilalt region and the birthplace of Morocco’s ruling royal family; the Alaouite dynasty. Since the Middle Ages, this has been the traditional starting point for camel caravans crossing the Sahara Desert to Timbuktu.

Next, take the famous ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’ to nearby Tinghir. On route, admire the many ancient earthen citadels lining the way and listen as your guide explains their usage in Berber culture. Stroll along the river in Tinghir, then move on to the nearby Todgha Gorges and enjoy lunch in one of the local cafés (own expense).

After lunch, continue on through the Dadès Valley. Enjoy a little free time to relax at the summit of the Dadès Gorge and enjoy panoramic views over the Moroccan countryside. Afterward, continue on to your hotel in Boumalne du Dadès for dinner and an overnight stay.

Overnight: Hotel in Boumalne du Dadès
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Boumalne du Dadès – Ouarzazate – Marrakech

After breakfast, your journey will take you through the picturesque Valley of Roses to the oasis of Skoura, one of the largest in Morocco, and on to Ouarzazate.

After lunch (own expense) in Ouarzazate, head onward crossing the High Atlas Mountains to your accommodation in Marrakech where your 4-day Sahara Desert tour will come to an end.

Meals included: Breakfast

Please note:
There are two different accommodation options for this tour:
Standard accommodation: You will stay a standard en-suite room at Hotel du Vieux Chateau du Dades (or similar) with air-condition not being guaranteed; the desert camp will be in a shared tent with camp beds and basic washing/toilet facilities (no shower). Private accommodation is not guaranteed, it might be double, 3-bed or 4-bed room and tent.
Deluxe accommodation: You will stay in an en-suite room Western standard bathrooms and air-condition at Auberge Ait Oudinar (or similar). In the desert camps, a private tent with a bed is guaranteed and there are Western-standard bathroom facilities (hot shower).

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

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I
, Dec 2015

I have such fond memories of this trip. Be prepared for long hours spent in the car, but that's what it is as we're talking about vast distances. The guys from the tour operator were super accommodating. My boyfriend and I were the only ones who had booked a 4-day tour, and we had to join two different 2-day ones. But in the end, it worked - we got to meet and make friends with even more people, so what looked like an inconvenience in the beginning turned out to be a fun experience.

So yes, it might not have been a perfect trip, but we did have a great time and the 2 nights spent in the desert were simply unforgettable.

J
, Aug 2015

I have mixed sentiment about the 4-Day Sahara Desert Tour. Many of the features of the tour were quite fun and interesting and the camp guides both in Zagora and Merzouga Sahara were fantastic!

However, be forewarned, the trip as it is explained was not the case for me.

If there are not enough people on your tour, you have no way of knowing and your tour will be altered to a two-day tour and additional two-day tour resulting in backtracking, revisiting sites, driving straight through others, and overall rushed feeling for the entire expedition which is likely the reason you're shying away from a three-day trip.

I booked through Viator hoping an local US company would have the backing to handle any potential issue I might have should the tour provider be unable to fulfill what they promised. I was disheartened to hear that Viator takes their cues directly from the provider and if they don't choose to amend the issue on their side, Viator will not take responsibility.

There are many options once you arrive in Marrakech and if you're staying with a hotel/riad, I suggest you book with them since they have some skin in the game and are willing to take responsibility if the tour does not live up to the expectations outlined.

A
, Jul 2015

I had a wonderful time on this tour! The desert camps were pleasant, with a good atmosphere the hotel in Dades Gorge was in a beautiful location. There is a lot of driving, so be prepared to spend 5-10 hours in the car. Of course, we saw a lot!

Since no one else had booked the 4-day tour, I started the trip with one tour group and continued with another. It was a bit inconvenient as I had to double back to Air Benhaddou and then wait while tour group number 2 did the tour I'd already done. With that said, I'm pleased they were able to sort everything out under the circumstances.

I also found Zagora a bit disappointing and probably wouldn't have done that part as it's on the outskirts of the desert. Merzouga was amazing though! Overall, a wonderful experience I'm really happy to have had!


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