This trip is dedicated for those who love to travel and we call it the “Moroccan Circle”. You can start it at any point but here it is described starting from Marrakech, going south over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara desert and the town of Taroudant, then down to the coast at Essaouira. This works perfectly over 12 nights but can be done comfortably in 10 nights as well. We often recommend clients do it in reverse enjoying some chill-out time in Essaouira to start with and then finishing in Marrakech when you can fully appreciate the vibrancy of the city.
Arrive at Marrakech airport where your driver will meet you and take you straight to your riad. After checking in and enjoying a mint tea, take a horse and cart trip around the city as a fun way to help you get your bearings. We have loads of fantastic riads, one of our favourites is Riad Hikaya
Spend the next 2 days enjoying everything Marrakech has to offer. Take an early morning visit to the Majorelle gardens before it gets too hot and all the bus loads of tourists arrive. Spend afternoons visiting the various mosques and historical sites, not forgetting to indulge yourself with a traditional Moroccan exfoliation and massage in a local hammam.
Lastly, and not to be missed is the main square at night where you can wander amongst the snake charmers, storytellers and henna tattooists before sitting atop a rooftop bar with a chilled glass of wine watching the action unfold beneath you.
You will leave Marrakech early and within 30 minutes be winding your way up the Atlas Mountains to the Tizni-Tichna pass and the gateway to the desert south. A good lunch-time stop is the World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou – a rock fortress and village carved into the mountains. In the afternoon you head south to the quiet town of Agdz for the night. Kasbah Azul is a perfect place to unwind after the travelling.
From Agdz, you travel along the Draa valley, famous for its oases and pottery until you reach the end of the road at M’hamid. From here it is 4×4’s (and camels only) and you have an hour or so to reach the desert camp in the massive dunes of Chiggaga. Here you will assigned sleeping quarters, maybe climb a dune to watch the sunset and then settle to watch your nomad hosts prepare dinner and entertain you while you eat. Then to bed under the stars.
The next morning it is worth waking early for a short camel trek to watch the sunrise and then a leisurely breakfast. Once packed up it is a gentle day’s travelling across the desert and iriqi dry lake bed to exit the desert at Foum’sguid where you pick up the road again. It is possible to push on to Taroudant and have an extra night there but a gentler pace is to stop at Foumsguid and enjoy the last of the desert scenery. You will stay in Bab Rimal and so have a chance for a swim and a proper clean up
Today you have around 4 hours driving along the southern flank of the Atlas Mountains. You pass through first Tazenacht which is the centre of the Berber rug making industry so a good shopping point if luggage allowances permit. You also pass the main area for growing saffron, more expensive by weight than gold and it can be possible to visit one of the farms up in the valleys. You finish for the night in Taroudant, one of the prettiest towns in the south, and you should have a chance for a quick tour before heading to Dar Zitoune for the night
Travel from Taroudant up the winding coast road to Essaouira to relax for 4 days.
There is loads to do in the area around Essaouira: camel trekking or quad-biking on the massive beaches, loads of watersports and the town itself has fabulous souks and loads of places to eat.
You can stay in one of the riads in the centre of Essaouira or somewhere like Rebali Riads on the beach some 20 minutes to the south of town whichi s the perfect place to relax after the days on the road
On day 13 your driver will come to pick you up to take you back to the airport to catch your plane home.
Cost for the 12 nights is from £1095 per person in mid season (excludes flights) based on 2 sharing a double room or from £950 per person for a group of 4. Includes all transport (private air-conditioned vehicle with English-speaking driver) and accommodation on B&B basis plus half board for 3 nights in the desert. The trip can also comfortably done as 10 nights from £965pp with a day less in Marrakech and on the coast.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.