Merzouga Dunes Trip
The 3-4Day Erg Chebbi & Ait benhaddou Kasbah Desert Tour:
Erg Chebbi is a dune field of about 22 Km from north to south and about 5 Km from east to west at the widest point. The highest dune, 884 m, is in the north. Among the dunes there are several oasis and you can easily get water just by digging a little. The trip to the oasis starts with a long route by road which is an experience itself geographically speaking, and also because of the numerous stops to cool down and get in contact with the people.
Option1 : 3 Day2Night Tour
Day 1 :
We Depart from Marrakech at 09h in a modern, air conditioned transportation. We travel over the Atlas mountains, enjoying the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside below and we visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. This journey takes approx 3h. From there, after our break, we continue to Ouarzazate (approx 1 hour or so) for lunch break & Sightseeing. Lunch is available in the local cafe’s. After lunch, we continue along the route of The Dades Valley to reach our guesthouse where we will stay for the night. The guesthouse offers Private ensuite rooms and an evening meal and breakfast are included.
Day 2 :
The next morning we continue along the Dades valley, visiting Dades Gorge, Todra, Todra Gorge and other interesting sites, making our way to Merzouga. At Merzouga we explore the village and meet our Camels who will take us for 1 and a half hours into the Dunes to reach our desert camp at Erg Chebbi. Each person rides their own Camel . The Camel trek is usually just prior to sunset, so that you may enjoy the sun setting over the landscape from the top of the Dunes. Once we arrive at the Desert camp, we are greeted with a cup of delicious hot minty tea and we spend the evening under the stars, on the dunes and beside the warmth of the fireside. We enjoy a locally cooked meal of Tagine or couscous (vegetarians are catered for with vegetable tagine), a drum party and story swapping. The camp has toilet facilities. Those that wish to can sleep directly under the stars, but there are Bivouacs for everyone. The stars in the desert are a great opportunity to see as their are no artificial lights around and you can fully appreciate the glory of the skies above.
Day 3 :
Wake up early , just prior to sunrise, we have a 1h30 camel ride at sunrise to explore the area further and we head back to Merzouga on our Camels. When we reach Merzouga, have breakfast & have the opportunity to shower and then we begin our journey through the stony desert and over the Atlas mountains, with plenty of stops for photos, exploring and lunch as we return to Marrakech. The usual arrival time in Marrakech is between 17:00hrs and 18:00hrs.
If you prefer to break the distance of the last day then we suggest to spend the night in the Kasbah of Ait benhaddou as follows.
Option 2 : 4 day 3 Night Trip:
Day 1: Pick up from Marrakech at 8am, 2 hours drive via the tizi ntichka pass, stops along for pictures, a visit to Telouet and it’s ancient 17 century kasbah, lunch at a peaceful oasis with a Berber Folklore Show, an hour and a half drive to Aitbenhadou kasbah (11 century kasbah, UNESCO World Heritage Site), a visit to the Atlas Studio, hotel overnight in Ourzazate.
Day 2: Breakfast at the hotel, pick up at 9:00am,2 hours drive along the magical Drâa River, one of the longest rivers in Morocco, stops at some beautiful adobe kasbahs and Berber villages en route, enjoy the enchanting Draa Valley, lunch in Alnif. Tow hours drive to Merzouga, Stop along the great sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, a visit to the black Gnoua people, two hours camel ride thru the dunes, overnight under a berber tent.
Day 3: Breakfast at the camp, pick up at 9:00am, drive to Todra valley and the Todra Gorge lunch at the spot, stops along the Dades valley, the monkey fingers valley and the Dades Gorge, hotel overnight.
Day 4: Breakfast at the hotel, pick up at 9:00am, drive via the thousand kasbah route, the rose vally, a visit to Skoura oisis with it’s authentic 17 century kasbah, a visit to Taourirt kasbah (the former residence of the Glaoui), lunch in Ourzazat, 4 hours drive via the tizi ntichka pass with stops along, back to Marrakech.