Highlights of the South

Erg Chebbi, Merzouga

(14 nights/15 days)
This amazing journey offers you a glimpse of the great diversity that is Morocco: the Atlantic Coast, lush valleys, mountains, deserts and gardens, crowded markets, vast expanses and, at the end, the majestic city of Marrakech. Discover ancient rock carvings, explore lively medinas, catch a glimpse of village life and ride camels into the dunes of the Sahara. A fantastic snapshot of southern Morocco.

Starts Agadir / Ends Marrakech

Day 1. Agadir

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel, rest of the day free to explore Agadir. With its long sandy beach and agreeable climate this town attracts thousands of visitors every year. The town is well equipped for tourism with many luxury hotels along the coast. Agadir has a lively centre with terraces where you could start your holiday watching the crowd and getting a feel of the Moroccan atmosphere. Hotel. (No meals included)

Day 2. Tafraoute

  • The tour starts by going south. A side-trip to the coast takes you to the National Parc of Souss Massa, an excellent spot for bird-watching. Via the town of Tiznit, which is well-known for its silver, you will head straight into the mountains of the Anti-Atlas. A drive through spectacular mountainous terrain brings you to the lively town of Tafraoute, which is surrounded by steep granite mountains. In February the valley is exquisite because of its blooming almond trees. In the immediate surroundings you can take a leisurely walk to simple villages with traditional houses painted in pink and red. Hotel. (B)

Day 3. Tafraoute

  • A free day to go for a walk or to enjoy the lively atmosphere at the busy marketplace. You might like to visit the famous ‘Blue Rocks’ or go in search of ancient rock carvings. Hotel. (B)

Day 4. Taroudant

  • A three-hour scenic drive brings you to the fifth royal city of Morocco. Taroudant has a provincial character. Inside the impressive city walls life goes by at a slow pace. Taroudant is possibly the best-known southern Moroccan city. It is situated in the middle of fertile agricultural land which produces vegetables, fruits and olives and the trade still takes place on waste land inside the city walls. There will be donkeys, camels and push-carts. In the picturesque souks of the city you will easily find your way and they are definitely worth a visit. Visit the local tanneries to see how leather goods are produced, using the same processes that have existed for centuries. From way back in time Taroudant has been famous for its Berber silver and the handicraft of the Touaregs. The bond with the people from the Sahara still exists and dates back to the time of the sultans who founded Taroudant. The central square has numerous cafés, offering shade and the possibility to observe daily life. Hotel. (B)

Day 5. Taroudant

  • Free day in Taroudant.
  • Optional excursion: you can visit Tioute, a peasant village 35 km outside the city in the middle of a date-palm oasis. Your driver can take you there. Here you can meet the friendly inhabitants of Tioute, stroll around in the oasis, or take a donkey ride through the palmery and olive groves. Relax and have a drink in the Kasbah-restaurant overlooking the village and its green valley or take lunch in the house of the local sheik. Hotel. (B)

Day 6. Ouarzazate

  • The old, extinct Jbel Siroua volcano, which reaches a height of 3304 m, lies between the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas. The bare mountain massif is impressive because of its grandiose appearance and capricious rock formations. This area comes to life in the summer, when the desert-nomads let their sheep graze here, escaping the heat in the Sahara. In October the local Berbers harvest the precious pistils of the saffron crocuses, which bloom here in masses. A six-hour drive takes you from Taroudant to Ouarzazate via the southerly slopes of this bizarre volcanic landscape. On the way you can have lunch in the Berber village of Taliouine, the last place where argania trees abound. Thereafter the desert takes over. Hotel. (B)

Day 7. Zagora

  • In the early morning you can visit the great kasbah of Ouarzazate. Later you can enjoy a drive through a dramatic landscape of black lava and deep canyons. After the Berber town of Agdz, you will pass the valley oases of the Oued Draâ, the largest river of Morocco, which nonetheless seldom reaches the sea, because its waters are absorbed by the sands of the Sahara. But on its fertile banks date-palms give shade to vegetable gardens and the laughter of children and women can be heard everywhere. The traditional houses are built as mudbrick castles, not unlike the large fortresses in Yemen. The journey ends in Zagora, once the end of the caravan route from Timbuktu, and now a sleepy town with a mainly black population. Hotel. (B)

Day 8. Nekob

  • Going back north along the River Draa and then east past desert mountains you will reach the village of Nekob where you will spend the night in a kasbah-hotel with swimming pool. You can either book a room in advance or spend the night in a traditional Berber tent. Berber tent. (BD)

Day 9. Merzouga desert

  • A three-hour drive brings you to Erg Chebbi, east of Merzouga, an area with crescent-shaped dunes more than 90 m high. Large parts of the Sahara consist of these ‘wandering dunes’ which are continuously changing shape because of the movement of the fine sand. In the afternoon you will make an excursion on camelback into the dunes where you will sleep under the stars or in a traditional Berber tent. Enjoy the sunrise and sunset colours of the sky: the warm shades from pink to red and from ochre to gold. Berber Tent Camp. (BD)

Day 10. Todra Gorge

  • In the morning you first go to Erfoud, where the local market attracts the black Haratin. This traditionally dressed Negro population came here a long time ago with the camel caravans. The city is one of the best places to look for Berber carpets. After that you will travel past small oases and through desert landscape to the deepest river chasm in Morocco, the Todra Gorge. At its narrowest place it is only 80 metres wide and 300 metres deep. Enthusiasts can get up early the next day and walk a few kilometres along the river’s shore, under palm trees, over footpaths through vegetable gardens and through small, colourful villages. You spend the night in the Todra Valley. Hotel. (B)

Day 11. Ait Benhaddou

  • In the morning you can explore the river ravine which further upstream merges into the sparsely vegetated mountain range of the High Atlas. After lunch you drive west to Ait Benhaddou for a visit of the most beautiful kasbah of the country, the place where scenes of the Gladiator, Jesus of Nazareth and Lawrence of Arabia were filmed. You spend the night in an elegant Kasbah hotel with swimming pool. Hotel. (BD)

Days 12-14. Marrakech

  • You travel through the stunning Atlas Mountain range. On your way, you will see four thousand meter high, snow-covered peaks. The trip lasts five hours, with stops. The Tizi-n-Tichka, Morocco ‘s highest paved mountain pass, reaches an altitude of 2260 m. Along the road there are breathtaking views. When you reach the Haouz Plain, Marrakech, the ochre coloured city, is near. Your hotel is located near the Djemaa-el-Fna Square, the vibrant heart of the city. The activities on the square are continually changing – you’ll see snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and storytellers. In the evening open food-stalls are set up with delicious kebabs and salads. Your senses will be reeling in the narrow streets of the medieval medina. Fully loaded donkeys walk back and forth through the narrow streets, which smell of herbs, leather and meat stalls. You will be overwhelmed by the exuberant mix of colourful carpets, fruits, herbs and dyed skeins of wool. In the courtyards the tanners are busy working. Small gateways provide an entrance to the beautifully constructed and decorated sultan’s tombs, old palaces and Koranic schools. You have three days to explore, or you may like to make an optional day excursion to nearby areas – see below. Hotel. (B)

Day 15 Departure

  • Transfer to Marrakech airport for departure. (B)

Best season: from October until June

Optional Excursions:

Whilst in Marrakech, you have time to make a day excursion to nearby areas. Please advise if you would like to book.

  1. A day-excursion from Marrakech to Imlil in the High Atlas mountains, 1.5 hours drive each way. A glimpse of mountain Berber life with easy hikes on mountain paths.
  2. A day-excursion from Marrakech to Essaouira, on the Atlantic Ocean, 2.5 hours drive each way. A white-walled fishing port town full of charm.

Extend your stay
You can also extend your visit to Morocco by adding a few nights stay in Essaouira or return to Agadir and relax on the beach.

Prices per person:
Single supplement:
For parties with an uneven number of persons, a single room will be necessary and a single supplement will be charged

Prices will includes:

  • Meals as indicated in itinerary: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner
  • All transportation by minibus with an English speaking driver
  • Arrival transfer in Agadir and departure transfer in Marrakech
  • 12 Nights accommodation in tourist-class hotels on twin shared basis, 2 nights in Berber tents
  • Camels, one for each person (days 9 and 10)

Remarks:

  • Special rates apply for larger groups
  • Upgrading the accommodation from Berber tent to hotel-room (day 8) will cost extra In case of a single room request there will be an extra single supplement charged.
  • Accommodation is in well-situated tourist-class hotels. Rooms are equipped with a bathroom. One night accommodation in a Berber Tent (Nekob day 8) with communal bathroom facilities, one night accommodation in a Berber tent in dunes (day 9) with limited facilities.

Upgrade your stay:
Should you wish to upgrade the hotels and accommodation for your trip, we have a selection of traditional-styled riad and kasbah hotels that can fit with this itinerary. In some places you also have the choice of deluxe or luxury accommodation. Please enquire for a tour price with a different standard of accommodation.

Price Excludes:

  • Flights, visas, airport taxes
  • Other meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Tips, drinks, laundry, souvenirs and other personal expenditure
  • Entrance fees, local guides
  • Sleeping bags for nights in Berber tents
  • Personal travel insurance

For prices please contact us.


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