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This 3-day Sahara Desert tour to Erg Chegaga from Marrakech is the most exciting tour for travellers with just three days available and who wish to have a unique, full desert experience. On this trip you are far out in the dunes, away from any impression of civilization.
It starts with your being fetched from your hotel or Riad in Marrakech at 08.00 to head south for the magnificent High Atlas Mountains. You cross the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, (2660m) the highest pass in North Africa. You will be astounded by the panoramas and will wish to take memorable photos. Just let your driver know where you would like to stop.
On the way you make a visit to the former presidential palace, Kasbah Telouet, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. These are the two most famous Kasbahs in Morocco and an essential part of any desert tour. Before reaching Ouarzazate, you can visit the Atlas Film Studios, and view the sets of many Hollywood movies still in place here.
That night you will have the excitement of spending the night in a traditional rural riad or an authentic guest-house in Agdez, a small town right at the head of the Dra’a Valley, which leads down to the desert. From here onwards, you have the distinct impression that you are on your way to a different world – new, exciting, oriental. With a local guide to explain the history, you have the opportunity to visit the largest of the hundreds of Kasbahs in the valley, namely Kasbah Tamnougalt. From here the thrill increases as you go off-road through the Dra’a Valley, passed ancient kasbahs and green oases. This is part of the ancient road of the caravans which used to ply goods up from Mali and Niger having crossed the Sahara for days on end.
After reaching the largest town before the Sahara, Zagora, you will have an opportunity to visit the co-operatives of the nationwide famous green pottery and the Koranic Library with its magnificent manuscripts, have that peak experience of riding camels in the Erg Chegaga Dunes. At night under the amazing panoply of stars, you will sleep in a comfortable luxury desert camp at the foot of the most expansive Sahara dunes in Morocco. The next day the wonder continues as you drive off-road in the Sahara Desert, hunt for fossils in the dry lake of Iriqui, and get to know Berber carpet-making skills in Taznakht.
Discover the tour itinerary below. Your journey starts here!
Desert Tour 3 days Departure from Marrakech
Morning departure from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh to cross the High Atlas Mountains. After the Tichka pass, you leave the main road and take a side road to the Telouet Kasbah, which belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, continue along the new and stunningly beautiful connecting road for Ait Ben Haddou. This is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco visit the stunning Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to Ouarzazate for lunch and the night in agdez.
After breakfast there is time to visit the rest of the Kasbah before taking the ancient caravan road between the river and the mountains. On the way, we pass many villages and gardens so that you can gain a better idea of the way of life along the oases. We drive to M’hamid, where we stop for lunch. You continue to the Erg Chagaga dunes (300m) with 60km of off-road driving. This route passes different features of the desert; ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, oases. These dunes are far away from civilization, in the desert proper Once there you can take a camel ride of about an hour and a half. Dinner and a night’s sleep are in a bivouac of nomad tents.
After breakfast, the road takes us through another 90km of desert with varying scenery: Lake Iriqui, the mountains and fossils. Lunch will be in Foum Zguid, the first village after the desert, where it is also possible to freshen up with a shower. From here the drive back to Marrakesh is along paved roads via the village of Taznakht, famous for its Berber carpets and rugs. From there we cross the High Atlas again to reach Marrakesh in the end of the afternoon.