- Tour Plan
- 4 Days Tour in 4wd or Mini-van with air conditioned
- Airport Transfer
- All Entrance fees
- All transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
- Bottle of water / day / person
- English-speaking driver during the tour
- Pick up and drop off to your accommodation
- Private Service (without other travelers)
- Professionally guided tour
- Tips and what's not listed on the Included list
How about combining a trip to the Atlantic coast’s Essaouira with a desert? That’s exactly what this four-day desert tour provides. You spend two amazing nights in the desolate dunes of Erg Chegaga and Erg Lihoudi, which is known as “the gate to the Sahara” in Morocco.The oldest Kasbah in Tamenougalte’s Dra’a Valley, south of Ouarzazate, is an enclosed settlement where families continue to live mostly as they have for generations.
You can take pictures of the oases’ endless palm trees and dilapidated homes. Notable features of Tamegroute include the magnificent Arabic manuscripts housed in the Qoranic library and the historic Zaouia Naciria, known for its green glaze pottery.
Highlights of a desert vacation include dancing to Berber music over a campfire, enjoying a delicious traditional Moroccan meal back at the camp, and taking a camel ride against the backdrop of a desert sunset. The peaceful, quiet nights spent in these majestic dunes at the desert camps are simply once-in-a-lifetime experiences.You can watch the traditional Berber rug-weaving technique in action and, if you’d like, buy one from the cooperatives in Taznakht while traveling west toward the ocean.
The little, government-run saffron museum in Talouine provides information about saffron cultivation. Taroudant’s magnificent, complete city walls are what made the town well-known.
The blue and white fishing port of Essaouira awaits with even more treasures to explore at the conclusion of this Ouarzazate desert excursion.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
Ouarzazate – M’hamid
At 8:30 a.m., depart Ouarzazate for Essaouira as part of your Erg Chegaga desert tour. We'll cross the Tizi-n-Tinfifte pass and arrive in Agdez. As you descend from the pass, you will be astounded by the sight of the vast oasis and the multitude of palm trees, which collectively signify the start of the Dra'a Valley and its millions of date palms, which yield an astounding 44 different types of dates.
The ideal time to visit Agdez to get the freshest dates is during the two-month-long date harvest, which begins in September.You visit Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest Kasbah in the Dra'a Valley, shortly after leaving this small hamlet, and then you briefly travel the historic caravan route that runs between the river and the mountains.
The driver can pull over and point out the dinosaur footprints along the side of the road just before the Tansikht police checkpoint. We arrive at the village of Tinsouline, from where you may drive a short distance off road—roughly a kilometer—to the amazing 4000-year-old rock engravings at Foum Chenna, which depict species that are long extinct in Morocco. The largest town in the region is called Zagora, and it is where we will have lunch.
After that, we travel via Tamgroute, where we stop to visit the potteries known for their exquisite hand-written Arabic writings and their green glaze, which you may have already seen in Marrakech. We travel even further south in the afternoon to M'hamid, which is the exact entrance to the desert and the terminus of the paved road. This is the beginning of the Sahara. To see an amazing sunset, take a camel ride to the top of the dune here.
You eat dinner and spend the night in an opulent tent featuring king-sized mattresses, a private shower, exquisite Moroccan furnishings, and lighting that are thoughtfully placed to maximize your enjoyment of the solitude and beauty of the dunes.
M’hamid – Chegaga Dunes
You visit the ancient town across the now-frequently dry Dra'a River after breakfast. The historic settlement has covered streets and adobe buildings, typical of desert homes designed to ward off the intense summer heat. The afternoon session begins with a 60-kilometer off-road ride to the 300-meter-high Erg Chegaga dunes.
This path passes through oasis, "hammada" (stony desert), and "erg" (dunes), two distinct desert landforms. These dunes are located in the actual desert, far from civilization, where nomadic people face difficult living conditions due to erratic weather patterns, sandstorms, and little rainfall. But the vastness of the sand and the quiet are overwhelming. If you'd like, you can ride a camel again here.
Dinner and the evening will be spent in an opulent camp equipped with all the comforts of Mhamid's first desert night.
Chegaga Dunes – Taroudant
Following breakfast, we continue traveling 90 km via the stony "reg" and "hammada" deserts of the Sahara, as well as the now-dry Lake Iriqui. You may see a mirage in the midst of this lake, but we can promise you that the "water" is not actually there until it has been raining a lot, which is not common and prevents us from crossing the muck. You can look for fossils here; some are scattered about, but the majority are firmly embedded in the rock.
We continue north to Taznakht, known for its Berber gelims and carpets, where we halt for lunch at the edge of the desert at Foum Zguid. The epicenter of the saffron-growing region, Taliouine, is reached after traversing the Tizi-n-Ikhsane and Tizi-n-Tighatine passes. The small, government-run museum features fascinating exhibits about saffron farming, and the aroma wafts in from the entrance. We continue on the trip to Taroudant and spend the night in a riad there.
Taroudant – Essaouira
The settlement dubbed "the little Marrakech" is visited in the morning. Its magnificent medina and enormous ramparts make it amazing. From here, you proceed to Agadir by way of the Souss River Valley, which is home to several argane groves, banana, and orange plantations.After that, the route heads north along the coast, passing via the surfer's haven of Taghazout and around the Anti-Atlas Mountains, which provide varied views of the ocean and enticing bays.
Your desert journey from Ouarzazate to Essaouira comes to a conclusion as we transport you to your riad in Essaouira!