Marrakech, Morocco
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clock-o3 days (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Escape the busy streets of Marrakech’s Medina for the stark beauty of the desert during this 3-day excursion to Mezrouga and Erg Chebbi. Cross through the Atlas Mountains via the stunning Tizi-n-Tichka pass, explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Aït Benhaddou kashbah and visit the desert oasis at Skoura. Then discover the Todra Gorge and the sacred city of Rissani before spending the night amidst the stark beauty of the Sahara Desert. This 3-day, 2-night excursion also includes a driver (who also serves as guide), 2 nights of accommodation (one at a desert camp), camel trek, meals as per the itinerary, round-trip air-conditioned transport from your hotel.
  • 3-day tour to Merzouga, the Dadès Valley and Erg Chebbi from Marrakech
  • Traverse the High Atlas Mountains via the magnificent Tizi-n-Tichka pass
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Aït Benhaddou kasbah with a guide
  • Discover lush palm groves in the desert at Skoura
  • Admire the Todra Gorge and follow the Dadès River to Boumalne du Dadès
  • Take a camel trek from Merzouga to Erg Chebbi and enjoy dinner under the stars at a Berber desert camp
  • Tour includes some meals and round-trip travel from Marrakech

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

This 3-day tour to Merzouga and Erg Chebbi is ideal for intrepid travelers hoping to explore Morocco away from the hustle and bustle of busy Marrakech. Visit UNESCO-listed sites and relax to traditional Moroccan music beneath star-lit Sahara Desert skies.
Trade the bustling city of Marrakech for the solitude of the desert during this 3-day, 2-night excursion to Mezrouga and Erg Chebbi, Over the course of your journey you’ll get an up-close-personal experience in the desert, including a chance to visit a desert oasis, explore a UNESCO World Heritage site and spend the night under the stars at a camp in the Sahara Desert.

Start the first day with a pickup from your Marrakech accommodation, continuing into the Atlas Mountains as you pass Berber villages and cross the Tizi-n-Tichka pass. You’ll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Aït Benhaddou kashbah, a historic meeting place and trading site, and check out the desert oasis at Skoura before spending the night in Bourmaine du Dadès.

On day two travel the “Road of 1,000 Kashbahs” to the Todra Gorge, stopping at the holy city of Rissani in the afternoon. Then climb aboard a camel for an unforgettable ride in the late afternoon sun toward Erg Chebbi and your evening camping accommodations in the desert. Spend the evening enjoying dinner and serenades of traditional music from local nomads under the stars. On day three you’ll ride your camel back to Mezrouga, heading back through the High Atlas Mountains to your Marrakech accommodations to finish the trip.

For a full run-down of the trip itinerary as well as more details about overnight accommodation choices, please read the details below.

Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Boumalne du Dadès
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). Perhaps visit Taourirte Kasbah — a popular meeting place for people from the Atlas, Drâa and Dadès Valleys.

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 Boumalne du Dadès in the evening, where your dinner and accommodation await.

Overnight: Hôtel du Vieux Château du Dadès in Boumalne du Dadès.
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Boumalne du Dadès – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
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.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Erg Chebbi – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
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.

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, a private tent with a bed is guaranteed and there are Western-standard bathroom facilities (hot shower).

After the ride back to Merzouga on day 3 you will have the opportunity to take a shower and freshen up at a private room in the hotel.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.5
107 Reviews
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k
, Nov 2018

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!

i
, Oct 2018

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.

B
, Oct 2018

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

S
, Oct 2018

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.

P
, Oct 2018

Overall really good experience and great value.

Positive things:
- Picked up and dropped off next to our riad,
- Slept under the stars in the Sahara, saw the sunset and sunrise in the desert,
- All of the places that we stopped off to visit were nice even for someone like me who has never watched a single episode of GoT. The guides were friendly and informative,
- Really good value when you think about what you pay and what you get.

Negative things:
- Be aware that road safety doesn't really exist in Morocco seriously. So probably not for you if you're scared of dying in a road traffic accident,
- The places they take you to eat at lunchtime are basically Moroccan equivalents to motorway service stations. In general you pay about 10 euros for an awful meal,
- The hotel on the first night was, er, quite average. Didn't have hot water when we showered,
- A lot of time spent in a minibus. I was aware of that when I booked so no complaints. But minibuses are difficult when you're over 6ft and you're sat there for 12 hours as is the case on the 3rd day. The air conditioning in the minibus wasn't great i.e. didn't keep me cool either,

Neither positive nor negative:
- Some people in the group were pretty negative about the desert camp we didn't take the luxury option. I thought it was ok. I wouldn't have wanted to sleep inside, but dragging the bed up a sand dune and sleeping up there was just fine really nice even. Not sure the sheets ever get washed, but I just slept in my clothes. If you are used to comfy hotels and can't exist without a shower and flush toilet then maybe take the luxury camp option,
- Probably best not to try and see the whole thing from the camel's point of view. Just enjoy the ride.

So overall a good trip and excellent value. The negative points are just a reflection of the fact that the trip is really inexpensive. Except the one about road safety, that's generally applicable to Morocco.

S
, Jul 2018

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.

R
, Jun 2018

We just did this tour a couple of weeks ago. Our tour was managed by Ando Travel. We loved everything about the Marrakech tour to Erg Chebbi. We did spend the extra for the luxury camping. It is a long trip and you are in a minibus for many hours over the 3 days but the trip is broken up with many stops along the way. Our driver Louis would make stops for everyone to accommodate bathrooms, ATM, shopping for Argan/Olive oils, rose water, cofffee etc. We booked the tour to take the camel ride and camp in the desert. I was not expecting the breathtaking and stunning views throughout the Atlas Mountains. Ait Benhaddou kasbah where Games of Thrones is filmed was also a unique stop. The Todra Gorge was also spectacular! The terrain and scenery throughout this tour was such a pleasant surprise. The hotel for the overnight stay was ok. We did AC and private amenities. The stop at the Berber village where we saw local's farming, learned about the agriculture, and saw a carpet demonstration were engaging and great learning experiences. Finally we made it to the Sahara for the camel ride to camp. The sunset over the desert was beautiful and the color changes of the sand in the light was simply magical! The desert was AMAZING! Our tent was also more than expected! So glad we paid for the deluxe. It was so nice! We had a quick sleep and we were back up and off to see the sunrise and trek back on the camels to meet the van. The last day was spent driving back to Marrakech. We had plenty of stops for lunch, bathroom, and shopping along the way. All along our tour, the guides were so knowledgeable and friendly. I cant say enough good things about them. The spoke so many languages and made it fun for everyone. And the food was delicious! I have a deep respect and appreciation for the Moroccans who worked to cook and feed us all during Ramadan! That could not have been easy! I guess the only regret is that I wish we had booked two nights in the desert to really experience the Sahara! It was not long enough to enjoy the beauty given the long drive. Lastly, I would not let the touristy aspects deter you from this trip. The scenery is worth every minute. You dont have to shop and buy things in the stalls that they take you to, and you can also go eat at different locations from the places you are taken. Food wasnt so expensive as some other commenters stated. Lunch for 10-15 US/pp is quite reasonable especially given that there were several courses. Just have alot of small change in Dirhams to pay for bathroom stops and tips. Enjoy!

J
, May 2018

Words cannot describe how amazing the camel trek, desert camp, and star gazing experience was. Food and stay was underwhelming. Also, the consistent tip request from tour guides took away from the experience.

j
, May 2018

Loved the Marrakech tour to Erg Chebbi and the luxury camp plus camel ride. It is a long trip and you are in a minibus for 8 hours but the trip is broken up with several stops along the way, like coffee at the stunning Atlas Mountains where the temperature plummets. To lunch at the Ait Benhaddou kasbah where Games of Thrones is filmed, along with many other famous films. Stopping at the Todra Gorge for an overnight hotel stay and dinner which included air con and private amenities. Before heading out for another drive stopping at a Berber town where you see how the local's farm which includes a carpet demonstration and sale. Then the last dash to make the Sahara, jump on the camels, to reach base camp, to watch the sunset followed by dinner. Loved the tent, double bed and private amenities, necessary for a good nights sleep before waking for sunrise and the camel ride back. Then back in the minivan back to Marrakech which is also broken up again with lunch and toilet stops along the way. I only wish I had booked two nights in the desert, to really experience the Saraha, as it was not long enough, given the long drive. Meeting people from around the world was also another highlight of the tour, sharing insights into what makes us similar, yet different and sharing an experience where I made new friends.

a
, Apr 2018

Tour bus driver did not speak English or French, through no fault of his own. He was a polite and competent driver, but nothing more and didn't provide any information. The restaurants they take you to are tourist only, anticipate spending about 80-120 MAD per meal for very mediocre food with few options. The stops/tours often require a tip, I wouldn't believe any language that says the money goes to any particularly good cause for the local population but we were responsible tourists and tipped generously regardless. The vehicle itself was a minivan of 7 passengers, 2 of which had two be seated in very uncomfortable middle seats. The scenery in the desert is spectacular but go ahead and book a cheaper tour while in Marrakech. We paid extra due to all the positive reviews but had a very mediocre experience.


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