Cultural Tours Handcrafted in Morocco
  • Morocco Sahara Desert tours - camel-trekking Great Southern Sahara
  • Southern-Morocco-tour-High-Atlas-Tizi n Test
  • Morocco-sahara-desert-tours-Agdz-market
  • Morocco-sahara-desert-tours-agdz
  • Morocco-sahara-desert-tour-Zagora
  • Morocco-sahara-desert-tour-Mhamid-oasis
  • Morocco-Sahara-desert-tours-Mhamid-hotel
  • Morocco-sahara-desert-tour-Erg Chigaga
  • Southern-Morocco-desert-tour-Tata-oasis
  • Tafraoute-painted-rocks-southern-sahara-tour
  • Tata-mountain-scenery-anti-atlas
  • Southern-Morocco-desert-tour-Tata-rock-carvings
  • Southern-Morocco-tour-Atlantic-Mirleft
  • Southern-Morocco-tours-Legzira-Mirleft-Atlantic
  • Morocco-Essaouira-tours
Morocco Desert Tour

Great Southern Sahara Tour

12 days / 11 nights (* see notes)

Tour Ref:   SV007
Tour start:   Marrakech
Tour end:   Marrakech (or Agadir)
Tour type:   Family, Cultural, Desert
Regions:   Southern Valleys, Atlas Mountains, Sahara Desert, Atlantic Coast
Available:   mid-September to early June upon request

Tour summary

A 12-day private Morocco adventure tour in 4x4 exploring the lesser-travelled regions of Southern Morocco. Starting from Marrakech, the tour crosses the High Atlas Mountains, the Draa Valley, the Sahara desert and the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Finally this unique Morocco tour reaches the Atlantic coast with lazy days at Mirleft and Essaouria before returning to Marrakech. Our Morocco itinerary includes travel-free days scheduled for cultural and outdoor activities including camel trekking in Sahara, hiking in Tafraoute, visiting prehistoric carvings in Tata, baking bread in desert and relaxing on the beach. Daily journey times under 6 hrs and carefully selected comfortable boutique accommodation throughout make this Morocco adventure tour suitable for families and children as well as couples, friends and people of all ages and fitness levels.

Please note: All our Morocco tours can be customised to allow extra days for shorter daily car journeys, extra activities, relaxation days, exploration days etc. We can also adapt tours to connect with different start/end locations in Morocco. Let us know your wishes and we will build your perfect Morocco tour itinerary.

Price: Contact us for a personalised quotation.
Prices will vary according to number of people travelling in vehicle, number of days, time of year, category of accommodation chosen and activities requested.

NB Our Morocco tours are private tours organised upon request.

Day-to-day tour itinerary

Day 1

Marrakech - HIgh Atlas Mountains - Kasbah Ait Benhaddou - Draa Valley - Agdz

In the morning you are met at your hotel/riad in Marrakech by your Sahrawi guide and driver to set out on your Moroccan desert adventure. Head south out of the city on exhilarating drive into the foothills and then up into the High Atlas Mountains travelling across the Tizi n’Tichka mountain pass in 4x4, winding and twisting at high altitudes towards the great South of Morocco. Visit to world-famous hilltop Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, which once controlled the spice caravans en route from the Sahara. Ait Benhaddou has achieved world-wide fame through its role in the movies – it’s featured as a backdrop for such great films as Lawrence of Arabia, Jewel in the Nile and Gladiator. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have lunch near the kasbah before continuing then via Ouarzazate and skirting the fringes of the Anti-Atlas Mountains to head south into the Draa Valley. At the market town of Agdz, dominated by the Jbel Kissane mountain, you will head off-road into the oasis to relax for the evening deep within the oasis gardens. Dinner is at the guesthouse. Options include a charming boutique guesthouse with pool (deluxe), or a restored 19th century kasbah near Tamnougalt (standard). Optional visit to the 18th century Tamnougalt kasbah museum itself - the oldest in the region. NB We can arrange pre-tour accommodation and airport transfers if required.

Stay: Traditional kasbah or boutique guesthouse in Agdz

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2

Agdz - Draa Valley - Zagora - Tamegroute - M'Hamid el Ghizlane

Your Morocco desert adventure continues off-road after breakfast through the Draa Valley, following the course of the Draa river towards the Sahara (where the river disappears underground). You will take off-road for a while to see villages and ksour (villages) close up, scenes of everyday simple pastoral life. At Tissergate (after about 1 hour) you can opt to see the small museum displaying objects such as agricultural tools, domestic utensils, tribal costume and jewelry. Lunch is taken in a beautiful shaded riad garden in the palm groves of desert town of Zagora - the last provincial town before the Sahara. After lunch you visit the nearby Berber pottery at Tamegroute run by local families and their children. You will have time to learn from artisans how to decorate your own small bowl using locally grown henna dye. Then continue on the ever dwindling tarmac road, over rocky mountain ridges until you reach your hotel in the palm groves just before M’Hamid el Ghizlane – where the road surface suddenly stops and the Sahara desert extends all around. You will stay in either a boutique guesthouse with pool (deluxe) or a 3-star kasbah-style hotel with pool (standard).

Stay: Boutique guesthouse of kasbah-hotel in palm groves neat M'Hamid

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3

M'Hamid - Sahara desert - Erg Chigaga dunes camp

Morning is free to relax and enjoy the gardens and pool of your chosen hotel. NB You may wish to book quad biking activity for a couple of hours in the local small dunes and oasis. Lunch in the shade before the desert adventure tour continues. After lunch you head off from M’Hamid in the 4x4 for about 50km deep into the desert, travelling off-road across stony hamada, small dunes and flat wilderness until you reach the majestic high dunes of Erg Chigaga. Along thee way you will also stop to visit the ‘sacred oasis’ with its natural spring and holy ‘marabout’ tomb. At the dunes of Erg Chigaga you will spend the night in our very comfortable bivouac desert camp and in the company of local nomadic tribespeople – the ‘Blue Men’. You will have time for a short camel ride in the dunes, climb to the top of the highest dune (300 m) to watch the sunset over the incredible sea of dunes that stretches out for miles before you. You can also try sandboarding down the dunes. Dinner will be served in a large restaurant tent and your desert hosts will entertain you with traditional Sahrawi songs around the campfire. Tents are private with up to 4 people per tent, they are woven from camel wool and have proper beds and comfortable mattresses.

Stay: Bivouac desert camp at Erg Chegaga dunes (standard or luxury)

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 4

Moroccan Sahara desert adventure day

This day is designed for you to truly experience the Sahara in all its beauty and ruggedness. You can choose to stay at the base camp to relax, read and explore on foot. However our desert tour includes a day trekking with camels and Sahrawi guide into the surrounding dunes, taking a picnic lunch with you. You will learn the traditional way of life from these gentle Sahrawi nomadic people - share their songs, stories, games and even learn how to bake flat-bread in the desert. You spend the night with dinner back at the main bivouac desert camp at Erg Chigaga dunes. NB You can choose to omit this day of you wish.

Stay: Bivouac desert camp at Erg Chegaga dunes (standard or luxury)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 5

Erg Chigaga dunes - Sahara desert - Lake Iriqui - Foum Zguid - Tata

Early departure after breakfast at the desert camp before the sun gets too high to continue across the Sahara desert in 4x4, over the dried Lake Iriqui and following the desert tracks of the old Paris-Dakkar rally route. At Foum Zguid you rejoin the tarmac road. From here you head west, skirting the Jbel Bani mountain ridge and heading into the historical Sahara province of Tata. The region is rich with Berber and Sahrawi culture and crafts - carpets, woven baskets and silver Tuareg jewellery. You reach our very special 500 year-old guest-house by lunchtime and settle in. In the afternoon you can relax in the patios and terraces of this rural hideaway, stroll in the oasis or head off-road in the 4x4 with a local guide to seek out Prehistoric rock carvings to be found in the area.

Stay: Boutique guest-house in Tata (or simple hotel)

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 6

Tata - Tafraoute

We head north from Tata following the Tata river gorge as far as Ighrem. Alternatively (time permitting) we may head west and north via the charming oasis and gorges of Tazegzaute, also known as ‘the enchanted valley’. Either way the route takes you through small Berber villages, encountering very few tourists. This is a beautiful drive through unspoilt countryside. Along the way we stop for either a picnic-lunch (100 dh per person) at Tazegzaute (spring & autumn only), or at a local restaurant in Ighrem. By the end of the afternoon you reach the Anti-Atlas village of Tafraoute. Here you will stay in charming traditional guesthouse with pool (subject to availability) or in a hotel. We can only offer fairly simple accommodation here, but the whole point of being here is about the awe-inspiring landscape!

Stay: Hotel/auberge in Tafraoute

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 7

Tafraoute adventure and activity day

Tafraoute free day for hiking or other excursions from the guest-house - hike to see the famous painted rocks of Tafraoute, or to visit a local family in a nearby village. Picnic lunch and local walking guide to discover some of the 26 villages and magnificent sights of the Ameln Valley which sits nestled against granite mountains peeks, sheer cliff faces and fascinating rock formations. NB you can choose to omit this day of you wish. Additional days can be added for rock-climbing instruction here (minimum 2 extra days).

Stay: Hotel/auberge in Tafraoute

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 8

Tafraoute - Tiznit - Atlantic Coast - Mirleft

The desert adventure continues to the west this day, driving from Tafraoute towards the windswept Atlantic coast. You pass through the Anti-Atlas Mountains along a stunning series of gorges, the Kerdous Pass and valleys until you reach the town of Tiznit and stop for lunch. Tiznit is a 19th century garrison town and is famous for it decorative silver jewellery. From Tiznit it is a short drive of less than an hour to Morocco’s southern Atlantic coastline where you can relax for the afternoon. Spend the night overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with dinner at your hotel in Mirleft.

Stay: Boutique hotel in Mirleft

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 9


Free day to enjoy the beach, hotel pool or local activities. You may wish to drive south (approx 30 mins) to Sidi Ifni for lunch at Legzira Beach with its natural sea-eroded rock archways. Dinner is at your hotel in Mirleft. NB you can choose to omit this day of you wish.

Stay: Boutique hotel in Mirleft

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 10

Mirleft - Agadir - Essaouira

Today’s journey takes you from Mirleft to the charming fishing-port of Essaouira, travelling along the stunning Atlantic Coast renowned as a surfer’s paradise. You pass rocky outcrops, lighthouses, fishermen’s caves on the coastal side; argan forests and pine on the landward side. Stop in the resort town of Agadir for lunch in one of the many touristic restaurants on the promenade OR continue north for an hour to the surfing spots of Taghazout for lunch in a street cafe. You decide (lunch and dinner today not included in price). After about 5 hours’ drive you reach Essaouira mid-afternoon. We suggest you eat dinner at the outdoor fish grills once you get to your accommodation in Essaouira.

Stay: Traditional riad or hotel in Essaouira

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 11


Free day in Essaouira to relax and explore this laid-back medina and enjoy the beach, the art galleries, cafes and the funky shops. Meals not included today so you can choose from the range of options in the town and some lovely night-time dining spots. NB We can arrange extra cultural and adventure activities if required this day, or add an extra day.

Stay: Traditional riad or hotel in Essaouira

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 12

Essaouira - Marrakech (or Agadir)

Your private Morocco tour ends today and we transfer you by road to Marrakech for your departure flight (allow 3 hrs to Marrakech airport), or to your hotel in Marrakech. NB You can also choose to end the tour in Agadir. Alternatively, you can choose to continue your holiday in Morocco with us by adding on one of our Suggested Morocco Adventure Tour Itineraries.

Stay: N/A

Meal plan: Breakfast

  • Itinerary can be adjusted to start Marrakech and end in Agadir.
  • Itinerary can be adjusted to omit "rest-days & hiking days" and reduce to a 9-day / 8-night tour.
  • Itinerary can end on Day 10, returning directly to Marrakech from Mirleft (omitting Essaouira).

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