The Sahara

Off the beaten path

sahara

The Sahara – Off the beaten path :
Duration: 6 days, 5 nights

This Morocco trip takes you off the beaten path to the Sahara Desert near M’hamid into the dunes of Erg Chegaga, south of Zagora. It is for the more rustic at heart and is a great getaway trip starting and ending in Marrakech.
Discover this fascinating region which begins at the southern edge of the High Atlas, where desert and mountains meet.
The stony desert is broken by green oases where shade-giving date palms grow in profusion. Cut in by steep canyons and studded with arid hills it is criss-crossed by small streams or wadis right up to the edge of the great Sahara desert.
Here the light is intensely bright and the colors sumptuously rich.

DAY 1 – Arrival in Marrakech:

  • Arrival at the Marrakech Menara airport or arrival in another city (program available / on request)
  • Welcome by First Class Travel.
  • Transfer in to the hotel of your choice.

DAY 2 – Marrakech / Ouarzazate / Zagora:

  • Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart for Ouarzazate in Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4s driven by our professional English speaking drivers.

Upon arrival visit of the Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah one of the most exotic and best preserved in the entire Atlas region. Although towered red pisé is a feature of much of the south of Morocco, Ait Benhaddou has a definite edge over the competition. It comes as no surprise that among all other crenulated offerings, Ait Benhaddou became the favorite filming location of many Hollywood directors. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here, Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodom and Gomorrah and for the epic Jesus of Nazareth.

Tour at leisure through this Berber village of towered and crenulated Kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. Explore this fortified city composed of six Kasbahs and nearly fifty houses.

  • Lunch on a terrace overlooking the Kasbah.
  • Arrival in Zagora night at the hotel of your choice.

chegaga_dunes

DAY 3 – Zagora / Tamegroute / M’hamid / Chegaga Dunes:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Departure for M’hamid.
  • A first halt in Tamegroute where the library of the ancient Coranic School possesses beautifully illuminated Verses from the Coran written on gazelle skin, the oldest of which goes back to the 13th century. There is also a possibility to visit to the Potters workshops.
  • Continue along the Draa river & halt for lunch.
  • A couple more hours to M’hamid, the starting point of your camel trek.

This night you will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal under the stars, and sleep in one of our rustic yet comfortable nomad camps in the heart of the Chegaga dunes (include all the necessary comforts; showers, restrooms, beds, pillows, sheets, etc…).

DAY 4 – Chegaga Dunes / Foum Zguid / Ouarzazate :

  • Early wake-up call for those who wish to witness an amazing sunrise over the golden sand.
  • Breakfast at the camp.
  • Today we will continue in our 4x4s through the impressive landscape to the village of Foum Zguid.
  • Halt for lunch in Foum Zguid.
  • Continuation to Ouarzazate via trails and desert roads through various oases, Berber villages, and other picturesque landscapes…
  • Arrival to Ouarzazate for night at the hotel of your choice.

Marrakech

DAY 5 – Ouarzazate / Marrakech

  • Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart for Marrakech via the Tichka pass.
  • Arrive to Marrakech around 12h30.
  • Lunch in the Jamaa El Fna square, classified as world historical heritage by the UNESCO.

The afternoon is dedicated to a guided visit of Marrakech… Nestled on a plain at the foot of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is one of the most alluring cities in Morocco, still surrounded by its original fortifications. The heart of the old town is the Jamaa el Fna square, the huge main square where everything happens: from morning to night it throngs with life, orange and date sellers ply their trade from stalls, traditional water sellers wander around, snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and storytellers come and go to please the crowds. And, as night falls, food stalls appear as if by magic, and you can sit down and feast on freshly cooked local dishes. Yet Marrakech has many faces and you will explore the historic Medina of the Almohads, the majesty of the Bahia Palace along with the more modern boulevards and cafes of the French new town.

This visit begins with a guided tour of the Bahia palace one of the city’s architectural jewels…
We will then proceed to discover the Koutoubia mosque and square, symbol of the city of Marrakech…

After that we will meander through the souks and medina with our tour guides…to take a first-hand look at the real face of life inside the old medina which has not changed much since the middle ages; the neighborhoods still inhabited by locals, the souks where people of the medina still do their daily shopping and the various and very skilled craftsmen …the materials they use, their shops, tools and much more…

Then continuation through Marrakech’s narrow labyrinth streets to one of the Jamaa el Fnaa square’s terraces with an amazing view, taste a mint tea and discover this meeting point of different artists such as musicians, storytellers, and snake charmers.

Some free time to discover the square, do some shopping, or simply recall this amazing trip through Southern Morocco.
Return to the your hotel for the night.

DAY 6 – Departure from Marrakech:

  • Buffet Breakfast at the hotel
  • Depart for the airport.
  • Departure.