Marrakech to Erg Chegaga Desert Tour - 4 days

4 days depart: Marrakech, Tours

Are you looking for a unique desert adventure in the true desert, remote from villages and mass tourism? Then this 4-days desert tour from Marrakech to Chegaga Desert is the one for you. It takes you to both the Erg Lihoudi and Chegaga dunes.

First of all, you experience the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, offering splendid views around every bend in the road. You will get to stop to take photos of the beautiful landscape, and to stretch your legs-just ask the driver. The two most famous Kasbahs in Morocco; Telouet and Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou are prime examples of local adobe architecture; cool in summer, warm in winter. A traditional riad offers an excellent dinner and a refreshing night’s sleep.

Later on this amazing Marrakech to Erg Chegaga desert trip, you cross the Anti-atlas Mountains to Agdez. This is the head of the dra’a valley, the longest valley in the country. Another typical Kasbah reveals the secrets of rural Berber life. off-road through the dra’a valley, more ancient Kasbahs and green oases reveal more of the rural way of life.

In Tamegroute you can visit the green pottery co-operatives and the old Quranic library. Both are unique and well worth your time. In the Erg Lihoudi and Erg Chegaga Dunes, you will, without doubt, enjoy that much-anticipated camel ride. The desert experience is increased with a night’s sleep in comfortable tents in a luxury desert camp at the foot of the most expansive Sahara Dunes in Morocco.

On the way back to Marrakech, you can hunt for fossils in the dry lake of lriqui. And later there is an opportunity to discover Berber carpet craftsmanship in Taznakht.


day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate

Morning departure at 8:30 from your hotel or riad in Marrakech to cross the high Atlas Mountains.
After the Tichka pass, the highest in North Africa at 2260m, you leave the main road and take a side road to the Talouet Kasbah, which belonged to the lords of Atlas, the Glaoui family, Each addition to the building now stands in ruins exposed to the wind and the rain. The palace was abandoned and plundered after the last Pasha fled the country following the departure of the French in 1956.Wait to be pleasantly surprised by the traditional interior decoration as you reach the farthest end of the Kasbah.

From here you drive along the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ounila Valley, full of bends in the roads, surprise at the hues of the rock and soil, Berber villages and gardens, as well as smaller Kasbahs.

Almost at the end of the road, you reach Ait Ben Haddou, where you stop for a tasty lunch. This will energise you to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site and famous backdrop to innumerable Hollywood blockbusters. We continue the short distance to Ouarzazatefor the night in a riad or guest house.

4-days desert tour
day 2: Ouarzazte- M’hamid

After breakfast we set out over the Tizi-n-Tinfifte pass to Agdez. Descending from the pass you will be amazed at the view of the extensive oasis and the number of plam tress. This indicates the beginning of the dra’a Valley with its thousands of dates palms, producing ana amazing 44 varieties of dates. The date harvest starts in September and lasts couple of months, so this is the best time to stop in Agdez for the freshest ones.

Shortly after this small town, you stop the visit Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest Kasbah In the dra’avalley. Next you follow the ancient caravan road between the river and the mountains for a short while. On the way, we pass many villages and gardens offering a better idea of the way of life in the oases. Just before the police check-point in Tansikht, the driver can stop and show you the dinosaur footprints right at the side of the road. We come to the village of Tinsouline, from where you can drive just a kilometre or so off-road to the fascinating rock carvings of animals long extinct in Morocco at Foum Chenna, some 4000 years old.

Zagora is the largest town in the whole area and where we shall stop for lunch. Later we pass through Tamgroute, where a stop for the potteries famous for the green glaze, which you my have already seen in Marrakech, and also for its ancient Quranic library with exquisite hand-written Arabic texts.

In the afternoon we drive further south still, to M’hamid, the very gate to the desert and the end of the paved road. This is where the Sahara starts. Here a one-to two-hour camel ride leads to the highest dune to enjoy an unforgettable sunset.
You have dinner and spend the night at a luxury camp with private bathroom, king-sized beds, beautiful Moroccan furnishings and lamps tastefully arranged to enhance your enjoyment of the silence and beauty of the dunes.

3rd day: M’hamid-Chegaga Dunes

After breakfast, you return to M’hamid by camel or 4*4 as you wish, to visit the old village across the now frequently dry Dra’a River. The old village is typical of desert dwellings with adobe buildings and covered streets to keep out the searing heat of the height of summer. A wonderful example of these houses is Abdelhadi’s ancestral home which you can visit.

In the afternoon, there is the departure for the Erg Chegaga Dunes (300m) with 60km of off-road this route passes different features of the desert; “erg” (dunes) and “hammada” (stony desert), oases. These dunes are far away from civilization, in the desert proper, where nomadic life is hard, subject to the vagaries of the wind, sandstorms, and sparse rainfall. But the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming. Here you could have a second camel ride of you wish.

Dinner and the night will be in a luxury camp, with all the amenities of the first desert luxury camp in Mhamid.

day 3: M’hamid-Chegaga Dunes

After breakfast, you return to M’hamid by camel or 4*4 as you wish, to visit the old village across the now frequently dry Dra’a River. The old village is typical of desert dwellings with adobe buildings and covered streets to keep out the searing heat of the height of summer. A wonderful example of these houses is Abdelhadi’s ancestral home which you can visit.

In the afternoon, there is the departure for the Erg Chegaga Dunes (300m) with 60km of off-road this route passes different features of the desert; “erg” (dunes) and “hammada” (stony desert), oases. These dunes are far away from civilization, in the desert proper, where nomadic life is hard, subject to the vagaries of the wind, sandstorms, and sparse rainfall. But the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming. Here you could have a second camel ride of you wish.

Dinner and the night will be in a luxury camp, with all the amenities of the first desert luxury camp in Mhamid.

4th day: Chegaga Dunes-Marrakech

After breakfast, the road takes us through another 90km of the desert with varying scenery. At Lake Iriqui, you are very likely to experience a vast mirage in the heat haze. At the edge of the desert in Foum Zguid you can stop for coffee or even lunch.

From Foum Zguid, you turn north again along paved roads with wonderful rock formations at the side of the road. At the end of the road, you come to the village of Taznakht, famous for its iconic Berber carpets and rugs. If you are interested, you can visit one of the many co-operatives in the town to witness the in numerous patterns and designs.

We cross the High Atlas once again along a partially different route as far as Tizi-n-Tichka which we cross in the same place. We reach Marrakech at the end of the afternoon.

day 4: Chegaga - Marrakech

After breakfast, the road crosses another 90km of the desert, passing Laki Iriqui and the mountains as well as fossils, for enthusiasts. The first village beyond the desert, Foul Zguid, is the place for lunch and a refreshing shower.

We travel north past hills and oases of palm trees until we reach the town of Taznakht, a small Berber town famous for its rugs and gelims. You will have lunch here before continuing to across the Tizi-n-Tichka pass and back to Marrakech, which we reach by the afternoon.

  • Price / €
    Number of Participants:
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    Price per person:
    489 €
    470 €
    455 €
    425 €
    425 €
    Total price
    978 €
    1410 €
    1820 €
    2125 €
    2550 €
  • Included
    Transport in a private air-conditioned 4×4; Toyota Prado Tx or deluxe Van and fuel
    Accommodation in air-conditioned rooms/suites with private bathroom
    All meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner – with vegetarian and vegan options available
    Luggage service to the camp and all accommodation
    Free time to explore the sites such as Ait Ben Haddou, Ounila Valley, Kasbah Amredhil in Skoura, for walks, photos and tea/ coffee breaks
    Entrance fees and local guide
    Experienced local English/French/Spanish/Italian-speaking Berber and nomad driver/guide
    The night in luxury camps in each of the dunes with a private tent with toilet and shower, equipped with beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets, carpets, lamps and traditional hand made furnishings
    A Camel ride of about an hour – an hour & a half with a guide, and free sandboarding, if desired – just ask the camp staff
    Berber drumming and music
    The opportunity to ask the driver to stop when and where you wish
    Tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert
  • Not Included
    Drinks
    Tips
    Extras

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