Discover all corners of Morocco’s most expansive sand dunes. This 3-day desert tour from Marrakech to Erg Chegaga takes you to the rustic-coloured dunes of Erg Chegaga, a perfect place to escape the bustling cities and find your soul in the middle of the majestic Sahara Desert.
You cross the High Atlas Mountains, Kasbahs & oases and the Dra’a valley to Erg Lihoudi in M’hamid. Then, continue to the Erg Chegaga’s expansive dunes, where silence and majesty are breathtaking. Here, you ride camels and spend a magical overnight in a private tent in a nomad camp in the golden dunes of the Erg Chegaga Desert.
Your encounter with the magnificent Sahara Desert starts here!
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After your morning departure at 08:30 from your hotel or riad, you set out on your 3-day desert tour from Marrakech to Erg Chegaga. You travel over the high Atlas Mountains and via the famous Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2260 m). All along the road, you will stop at panoramic viewpoints to admire the beautiful scenery of green valleys and Berber villages.
As you descend the Atlas Mountains, a side road leads to Kasbah Telouet, which used to be the palatial residence of the Lords of the Atlas, the Glaoui Family. The Kasbah now stands in ruins after the last Pasha fled Morocco following the departure of the French in 1956. But, wait to be pleasantly surprised by the architectural marvel of this historic home.
After a scenic drive along the beautiful Ounila Valley, you will arrive at Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. It is one of Morocco’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a favourite film location for several Hollywood blockbusters. After lunch in one of the restaurants alongside the Salt River, you will visit the Kasbah to learn about the history and cinematic artworks filmed on this site.
Having crossed Ouarzazate, an hour’s drive takes you to Agdz. As you descend the Tizi-n-Tinfifite pass (1660m), you will be amazed by the splendid views of the extensive green oases and the innumerable palm trees, all indicating the beginning of the Dra’a Valley.
You spend the night with dinner and breakfast in a beautiful guest house overlooking the valley.
Following breakfast in your riad, continue your 3-day Erg Chegaga desert trip from Marrakech, travelling south alongside the ancient Caravans Road as far as Zagora, the last town before the Sahara Desert. Here, you visit the local green pottery co-operatives and the old Quranic library.
Then, you continue further south as far as M’hamid, the end of the paved road and the venue for lunch. In the afternoon, you continue to Erg Chegaga dunes with about 65km of off-road driving through the varying features of the Sahara; ‘erg’ (dunes), ‘hammada’ (stony desert) and oases.
At the campsite, you check in to your tent and enjoy a relaxing glass of tea and Moroccan biscuits. Then, you take a camel ride to watch to summit of the Erg Chegaga dunes (300 m) to enjoy the sunset. These dunes are far away from civilization, and the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming.
Back at the camp, dinner is served, followed by an evening of nomad music and drumming around a campfire. You spend the night in your tent, equipped with a private toilet & shower, king-sized beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets & carpets, lamps and beautiful Moroccan furnishings, all tastefully arranged to enhance your stay.
If you get up early in the morning, you will be rewarded by an incredible sunrise, when the colour of the dunes and the play of shadows are an incredible sight. You will also have time to wonder about the dunes and experience the tranquillity of this magical setting. Back at the camp, breakfast is served.
Then your 3-day Erg Chegaga desert tour from Marrakech continues through another 90km of the Sahara Desert with varying scenery: Lake Iriqui, where you are likely to experience a vast mirage in the heat, the mountains, with the opportunity to look for fossils.
You travel west from here, following the old track of “Rally Paris-Dakar” as far as Foum Zguid, the first village after the desert and the venue for lunch. From here, you drive north along paved roads and past fantastic rock formations to the small town of Taznakht, famous for its Berber carpets and rugs. If interested, you can visit a display room with looms and women at work.
After a tea break in Ouarzazate, you cross the Atlas Mountains via a different road. You will stop at panoramic viewpoints for photos and stretch your legs along the way. You arrive in Marrakech by the end of the afternoon.