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This itinerary is a 4 day/3 night spectacular tour over the Atlas Mountains and down to the desert in southern Morocco. There is quite a bit of driving (about 5 hours per day) but with loads to see and spectacular scenery it is a relaxing few days and invariably the highlight of a trip to Morocco. If you can spare more than the 3 nights it is well worth an extra night or two at any of the places on the route as they are much more than just stopovers. This is written as though starting and finishing in Marrakech but you can also start or finish in Fes, or even on the coast.

The trip starts in Marrakech and continues via the Tizin Tishka pass and Ait Ben Haddou. It then follows the road towards  Skoura where you stay overnight. The following day you drive via the ‘Road of 1,000 Kasbahs’ to the Todra Gorge and admire Morocco’s open countryside in the Dadès Gorge. In the afternoon  you reach Merzouga and the dunes of Erg Chebbi, stay in the hotel or change the way of the transport for a camel to reach the desert camp. The following day you leave the desert and you go along the track of the ancient caravan route to Agdz. The last day you return back to Marrakech.



Your Itinerary

Ait Benhaddou

Day 1 - Leave Marrakech

Your driver will meet you at your Riad in Marrakech and then drive you over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass at more than 2200m and on to the famous world heritage site at Ait Ben Haddou. Here you can visit the Ksar (old village) and even go into the original Kasbah (fortress) and some of the homes that are still occupied. You can even stay in the area for the night but assuming you have made an early start from Marrakech it is better to continue another 90 minutes or so. You go next through the French garrison town of Ouarzazate now famous for the film studios where many block-busters have been made. You can visit the studios or (more interestingly) the film museum and the Kasbah in the town. Our favourite place to stay is Les Jardins De Skoura another 40 minutes outside the town. Set in a beautiful oasis it is a lovely place and tempting to stay an extra night or two.

Morocco desert

Day 2 - Gorges and Desert

If you are only doing one night in the desert itself, you need to be away by around 9am and that will give time for a short visit to the Todra Gorge followed by an early lunch there or a bit later en route to Merzouga. You should aim to arrive at Merzouga by around 3pm for some mint tea before heading off into the Dunes. If you stay at Yasmina then the camels that take you to the camps are on the doorstep and you may even have time for a quick swim in the pool before you set off. You arrive at your camp after an hour and have time to settle into your tent before climbing up the dunes to watch the sunset. Enjoy dinner around the fire and an early night in the silence.

Day 3 - The Draa Valley

In the morning do rise early to see the sunrise then return to the hotel for a shower and a leisurely breakfast. This is an easy day’s travelling as long as you are away by 11am. You follow the newly paved road looping south to meet the oases of the Draa valley. There is less traffic here and you can cover the distance swiftly and the scenery is stunning both on the road and when you get to the Draa valley. There are good places to stop enroute and Ksar Jenna at M’Koub has beautiful gardens where you can have lunch. Then it is only an hour or so to Agdz, a typical desert town with 2 great places to stay, Dar Qamar or Kasbah Azul.

Day 4 - Back to Marrakech

The final day of your tour is essentially a drive back to Marrakech. It is about 4-5 hours driving and the timing is entirely up to you – a good option is a late morning start with lunch on the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, but if you didn’t have time for Ait Ben Haddou on the way out then a visit is only a small detour. Then it is winding back down the Atlas Mountains and returning to your riad or maybe staying outside Marrakech in somewhere like Villa Dinari a perfect place if you are thinking of doing little for a couple of days after the travelling.

Details -

Cost for the 4 days and 3 nights is £630 per person in mid season (excluding flights) It is based on 2 sharing on Half Board basis. Transport by car and camel included with driver/guide and the overall cost will be less if there are more people in the party to share the transport. Extra nights usually are around £100 per person including transport during the extra day. There is also the option to have a 4×4 for around £50 per day more.

You can get flights from as little as £100 per person return and do ask us for advice.  Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

All prices correct at the time of writing.  Give us a call or email us at to discuss your requirements and get a confirmed price.

Please remember this is a sample itinerary and we are happy to modify it to suit your plans.  We can add or remove days and look at different places to stay.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £630 per person
  • Accommodation on half board basis
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle with an English speaking driver)
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
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The start and finish for most Morocco Holidays. Highlights are the souks in the old Medina, the main square in the evening, the Majorelle gardens and the historical sites. You should definitely stay in a Marrakech Riad for at least a few nights but also some beautiful villas and hotels on the edge of town in rural Marrakech. Click for suggested riads More
Essaouira is our favourite at all times of year. Probably the prettiest coastal town in Morocco and loads to see and do. Great camel trekking, horse-riding, surfing kite/windsurfing, cooking lessons, lovely medina (more relaxing shopping than Marrakech). Also great places to stay in town and in the village click below for suggestions More
High Atlas Mountains
Incredibly close to Marrakech but a world apart, the Atlas mountains are an essential visit. Go for a day trip (trekking or driving tour), or stay in one of the beautiful kasbahs perched on a hilltop to relax and soak up the views More
Sahara Desert
The massive dunes of the Sahara should be on anyone's "bucket list" and it is easy to do a trip into the desert from Marrakech, Fes or the coast with a bit of planning More
Ait Ben Haddou
One of the most famous sights in Morocco, Ait Ben Haddou is a rock fortress on the south side of the Atlas. Always a good stopping point on our desert tours and a must for the photo album More
The Gorges
The Todra and Dades Gorges maybe a little over-hyped but certainly worth a stop on the way to Mezourga - part of our Desert & Gorges Tour More
A pretty walled town within easy reach of Agadir (so a lot of day trippers from the package hotels) but also a great place for a night's stop between the desert and the coast More
Having been re-built after and earthquake 50 years ago it doesn't have as much charm as other Moroccan cities but the beach and climate are lovely More
Oualidia Lagoon
A small seaside town built up around a pretty estuary and lagoon. Home to La Sultana, the best coastal hotel in Morocco and can easily be combined with a visit to Marrakech and Essaouira More
Less well known as a tourist destination but with recently introduced direct flights from the UK it is an interesting city where you can see the modern Morocco alongside the rivermouth Kasbah and the medina More
The biggest city in Morocco and an industrial sprawl. We generally advise not stopping there and even if flying to Casablanca head North to Fes/Rabat or south to Marrakech/Essaouira. If you are passing through it is worth visiting the spectacular seafront mosque.
The town of Chefchaouen is beautifully situated on a mountainside, often referred to as the blue pearl due to its shimmering blue buildings. It's worth learning the history behind the choice of this color, which contributed to the town's fame, making it one of the most photographed places in Morocco. In Chefchaouen, explore the picturesque medina with winding alleys and the Kasbah with its lush gardens, serving as a haven of freshness in the city center. Chefchaouen is a paradise for walkers, not only because of its most beautiful streets and alleys, which create an unreal impression but also due to the hiking trails around the city. Besides the Old Town, it's worth visiting the main square, Uta el Hamman, with numerous cafes, and seeing the 15th-century El Adamaa Masjid mosque in white-orange colors with its characteristic octagonal minaret. Chefchaouen is an excellent choice for a one-day trip or a relaxing overnight stay. More
Fes makes for a fabulous long weekend or as part of our "Grand Tour". The highlight is the medina which most people prefer to Marrakech, partly as it is on a hill you are much more aware of the geography. Also, do a day trip to the Roman ruins at Volubilis and ask about a night or two in the village of Bhalil More
The second good dune area of Morocco is Erg Chebbi by Merzouga - easier to get to (no 4x4 needed) and whilst the dunes are stunning we prefer Erg Cheggaga for a proper desert experience. More

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