Cultural Tours Handcrafted in Morocco
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Morocco Desert Tour

Sahara, Kasbahs & Medinas from Agadir

7 days / 6 nights (*see notes)

Tour Ref:   SV012
Tour start:   Agadir (or Marrakech)
Tour end:   Marrakech (or Agadir or Casablanca)
Tour type:   Family, Cultural, Desert
Regions:   Southern Valleys, Sahara Desert, Atlas Mountains, Imperial Cities (Marrakech)
Available:   mid-September to early June upon request

Tour summary

This 7-day desert tour from Agadir takes you an adventure that combines not only safari into the Sahara desert and traversing the High Atlas Mountains, but also time to explore two ancient walled cities of Morocco - Marrakech and Taroudant. Guided visits of the medinas will reveal their dynastic heritage, while travelling with your local Sahrawi hosts into the Sahara desert on the back of a camel you’ll get an authentic taste of nomadic traditional way of life. Stunning Anti-Atlas and High Atlas Mountains scenery, opportunities to explore off-road in the Sahara desert and in the lush Draa Valley oases, try haggling for spices or carpets in the souk, and go back in time inside the crumbling kasbahs of the Sahara Caravan trail. This private adventure tour of Southern Morocco has daily driving times of around 5-6 hours, with plenty of opportunities for add-on activities and down time for your own exploration, making it ideal for families, students, couples, friends and accessible to all ages and all 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

Agadir - Taroudant

Your desert adventure starts with pickup directly from your hotel in Agadir or from the airport. NB Transfers from Marrakech can also be arranged if necessary to start this tour in the afternoon (3 hrs’ transfer time). You travel inland for about 1.5 hrs, through the agricultural region and passing fruit farms of the Souss Valley to reach the walled city of Taroudant - known as ‘the grandmother of Marrakech’. The city was established as the capital during the Saadien dynasty, who ruled much of Southern Morocco during the 16th century before they moved on to conquer Marrakech. During the afternoon you will have a guided tour of the city’s ramparts and the Arab and Berber markets housed within the walls. The Berber market specialises in spices, fruit and clothing, while the Berber market consists mostly of arts, jewellery and crafts. After the walking tour you are free to relax at your hotel or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage around the ramparts before dinner.

Stay: Guesthouse , riad or boutique hotel in Taroudant

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2

Taroudant – Taliouine – Tazenakht - Foum Zguid

Today’s journey heads east from Taroudant, east following the River Souss, through the Jbel Siroua region of the Anti-Atlas Mountains to reach the edge of the Sahara desert. The first stop along the way is the village of Taliouine which sits at approximately 1500 metres altitude and is know as the ‘saffron capital’ of Morocco. This is the only region in Morocco to cultivate saffron - crocus sativus - and it allegedly the finest quality in the world. Saffron is harvested at dawn during September and October, when the hillsides are blanketed with their purple blooms and local women are out gathering the flowers. In the village of Taliouine you will visit a co-operative to learn how to recognise the real ‘red gold’ over a glass of saffron tea. You learn also about its many health-giving properties and uses in cooking. The route then twists past gnarled argan trees, small towns, and through the Anti-Atlas mountains to reach the Berber village of Tazenakht for lunch. The village is famous as a centre for production and trading of hand-woven carpets produced by women of the local tribes in the Atlas Mountains. You can pick up some great bargains if you have good haggling skills and a keen eye. After lunch in Tazenakht, the road continues for about 1.5 hrs to reach the edge of the Sahara desert at Foum Zguid where the late afternoon and evening are spent relaxing at our boutique hotel in the oasis, with shaded gardens and outdoor pool. Choice of luxury bungalow or standard ‘tent’ room. NB you may like to spend a half day in Tazenakht to learn how to weave carpets using traditional local methods, working with a women’s artisan co-op. Hikers may wish to add an extra full day for trekking in the Anti-Atlas around Taroudant.

Stay: Boutique hotel in Foum Zguid

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3

Foum Zguid - Lake Iriqui National Park - Sahara desert - Erg Chigaga dunes

The morning is free for you to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the desert oasis. Lunch is at the hotel, before continuing your Morocco desert tour with an off-road safari across desert tracks of the old Paris-Dakkar rally route, the salt-flats of dried Lake Iriqui and barren wilderness for an exhilarating 3 hrs’ drive. You reach the majestic, billowing dunes of Erg Chigaga in time to enjoy a camel-ride, climb the dunes at sunset or try your hand at sandboarding in the Sahara! The night is spent in our very comfortable bivouac desert camp at Erg Chigaga, where you will be looked after and entertained by our team of local nomadic ‘Blue Men’ - all from families indigenous to the region. Around the campfire after a delicious dinner, you can play the drums, share songs, stories and jokes or just gaze at the blanket of stars overhead. Tents are private with up to 4 people per tent, they are woven from camel wool and have proper beds and comfortable mattresses.

Stay: Standard or luxury desert camp Erg Chegaga

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 4

Erg Chegaga - M'Hamid el Ghizlane - Zagora - Draa Valley -Ouarzazate

Early morning breakfast at your desert camp in Erg Chigaga before heading off in 4x4 to continue for about 2 hrs off-road to reach the village of M’Hamid el Ghizlane at the foot of the Draa Valley. Here you can stock up on water and snacks for the road if required. You then head north through the palm groves and across the ridge of the Jbel Bani mountains. After a coupe of hours you reach Tamegroute which is famous for its traditional local pottery and also for its Koranic School and library. You will have the opportunity to visit both of these along the route before reaching the desert town of Zagora where you stop for lunch. You can choose to have lunch in a simple street restaurant in the town centre, or to have delicious lunch served in the gardens of a riad in the oasis at the edge of town. In the afternoon your Morocco tour continues with a beautiful scenic drive north, following the route of the Draa River through the palm groves. You stop to visit either the museum inside the mud-built, inhabited ksar of Tissergate just outside Zagora, or the 16th century kasbah of Tamnougalt before reaching Ouarzazate at the end of the day. Dinner is at your accommodation in Ouarzazate - hotel, riad or kasbah-style guesthouse. NB You can enjoy a full afternoon of hands-on pottery-making workshop at Tamegroute by adding an extra night to the tour here in Zagora.

Stay: Hotel or guesthouse in Ouarzazate

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 5

Ouarzazate - Ait Benhaddou - Telouet - High Atlas Mountains - Marrakech

Today is a day for discovering unspoiled valleys, mountains and historic kasbahs before arriving in the bustling medina city of Marrakech. After leaving Ouarzazate, you head north and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. This impressive stronghold once controlled the spice caravans en route from the Sahara. Ait Benhaddou has achieved world-wide fame through its role in the movies – it has featured as a backdrop in blockbuster films Lawrence of Arabia, Jewel in the Nile and Gladiator. There are around 8 families still living here and some of the original construction dates back to the 17th century. Nowadays, a few houses ares still occupied and are open to visitors. You can walk through the narrow alleys to the grain store, or agadir, at the top of the hill which has incredible views across the surrounding desert landscape. From here you take the less-travelled route north via the enchanting Ounila Valley. Mud-built Berber villages, snow-capped peaks (in winter) and valleys filled with almond blossom and wild flowers (in spring) make this a spectacular drive which leads you to the restored Glaoui kasbah at Telouet. The kasbah has many magnificent mosaics, carved ceilings and well-preserved reception rooms. You can enjoy a delicious lunch nearby, overlooking the valley below. After a visit to the Telouet kasbah you join the main Tizi n’Tichka mountain pass which leads to Marrakech. The road twists across the highest point at 2260 meters with dramatic mountain scenery along the way. After about 2 hrs you descend into the agricultural plains of Haouz province and reach the exotic medina of Marrakech where you stay for the next two nights (or more if required). Dinner awaits at your hotel tonight.

Stay: Traditional riad or hotel in Marrakech

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Day 6

Marrakech - half-day guided visit and free afternoon

Half-day morning tour with city guide of Marrakech - also known as ‘the red city’ for it’s famous pink-hued ramparts. Our English-speaking city guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning and take you through the souks of the medieval medina, introducing you to artisans, bakers, carpenters, spice- merchants, apothocaries and also including visiting the landmark monuments of Ben Youssef Medersa, the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque. Your tour ends at the famous Place Jemaa el Fna square where you can enjoy lunch from a roof terrace overlooking the bizarre activities of the acrobats, storytellers, musicians and snake-charmers. Rest of the day is at leisure or we suggest you take a horse-drawn carriage to the new town are of Guéliz to visit the exquisite Majorelle Gardens, owned by Yves St. Laurent and originally private home of the painter Jacques Majorelle. We suggest you return to the square for an evening dinner at one of the outdoor food-grills to sample anything from grilled meats, fried fish, fried aubergines, boiled snails, harira soup, spiced ginger tea, boiled sheeps head and other local delicacies. Even if you decide to eat elsewhere, the experience of the Place Jemaa el Fna at night is an intoxicating one - with smoke swirling up from the grills, the poundng rhythms of the street musicians, the call to prayer ringing out from the mosques as the excited crowds gather for this nightly ‘circus’.

Stay: Traditional riad or hotel in Marrakech

Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 7

Marrakech - deaprture

Your Morocco adventure tour ends in Marrakech today with check-out by midday and we will transfer you to Marrakech airport for your departure flight. We can also transfer you to Agadir or Casablanca airports if required (allow 3.5 hrs’ drive to either). 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

  • This tour can be followed in the reverse direction starting in Marrakech and ending in Agadir.
  • This tour can be followed as a circular tour starting/end Marrakech, or starting/ending Agadir.

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