Morocco Travel

TOURS

Berber Villages Tour





Bookmark and Share

7 Day Tour: Berber Tour - Discover Berber Villages: Travel to the Real Morocco
Duration:
9:00am - 6:00pm Daily
Morocco Travel: In Luxury 4x4
English, French Speaking Driver, Guide
Starting & Finishing Point: Airport in Ouarzazate

 

This Berber Village cultural tour is an EXCLUSIVE Travel Exploration historical journey (Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806) where travelers can discover Morocco's indigenous people. Let us be your guide to Morocco Travel.

 

ITINERARY

 

DAY 1:  OUARZAZATE

►Arrive in Ouarzazate, a French developed area that became a garrison town and is now the administrative centre of the Zagora region. Relax at your hotel and visit the souks. Enjoy dinner at the Berber Palace Hotel at their luxurious Moroccan Palace restaurant.

 

“See Ouarzazate and die” are feelings often expressed by Moroccans with regards to this magical city that is the door to the Sahara desert. Located just four hours from Marrakech, Ouarzazate is the main Berber city in the south known for its spectacular sunsets and dramatic mountain and desert scenery. Surrounded by breathtaking valley, Ouarzazate was once crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe.  

 

DAY 2: OUARZAZATE – ATLAS FILM STUDIO –  AIT BENHADDOU – OASIS OF FINT

►Fill up on a savory breakfast of baguette, fresh fruit, jams and a café cassis (Moroccan cappuccino) at a local pâtisserie and then begin your one-day excursion to Atlas Film Studios, Aït Benhaddou and the Oasis of Fint.  

 

Start your morning by touring the Atlas Film Studios. David Lean filmed Lawrence of Arabia at The Atlas Film Studios in the early 1960’s. Since then many famous directors have followed in his footsteps to exploit the magnificent scenery. International blockbusters shot here in recent years include: the French version of Cleopatra, Bertolucci’s Sheltering Sky, Scorsese’s Kundun, Gillies MacKannon’s Hideous Kinky, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Black Hawke Down, Oliver Stone’s Alexander The Great, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, and Penelope Cruz’s Sahara. 

 

►After visiting the Atlas Film Studio, we will take the road by pise to the picturesque village of Aït Benhaddou located 32 km from Ouarzazate. Aït Benhaddou is situated in Souss-Massa-Draâ on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here and Orson Welles used it as a location for Sodome and Gomorrah; and for Jesus of Nazareth the whole lower part of the village was rebuilt. In recent years more controlled restoration has been carried out under UNESCO auspices. Aït Benhaddou is one of many locations in this region used for shooting Hollywood films.

 

►Your guide will lead you on a private tour through this Berber village of towered and crenulated kasbahs that once guarded the lucrative caravan route through the Atlas Mountains. Explore the kasbahs by foot with the option to ride a donkey across a river. 

 

Aït Benhaddou was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the famous Southern Caravan route moving through the Sahara. Only six miles away, is the village of Tamdaght, dominated by the canyon walls of a Glaoui Kasbah. The Kasbah is famous and you will find its towers inhabited by storks. Walk outside the Kasbah’s lush terraced gardens and witness the same desert scenery that used in Gladiator and Alexander the Great.

 

►For lunch, relax on a terrace with clear views of Aït Benhaddouand enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal of mfouar (steamed wheat), Takila (a Berber tajine), couscous and fruit. After lunch, browse the village shops then climb back in the comfortable air-conditioned/heated 4x4 and head to the village of Tamadaght.

 

►After lunch, we will depart Aït Benhaddou and take the pise (windy road) towards the Oasis of Fint passing the "Plateau de pierres". On this road you will find a shining Oasis of palms. Visit this Oasis of Fint that hovers under the Atlas Mountains. Journey on a one-hour walk inside the Oasis where you will have a cup of tea with the headmaster’s family Azziz Ouaziz and tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery are king.

 

►After visiting the Oasis of Fint we will take the road to Kasbah Tifoultoute which stands majestically on the banks of Oued Tifoultoute. From a distance this old Kasbah is impressive with its castle-like architecture. In the 1960’s the Kasbah was converted into a hotel for the cast of Lawrence of Arabia. Tour the Kasbah and have lunch at its restaurant which is known for delicious mint and herb teas. See panoramic views from the rooftop.

 

(Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806)  

 

DAY 3:  OUARZAZATE– SKOURA – EL KELLAT DES MGOUNA– BOULMANE DADES

►After breakfast at your hotel, we will depart Ouarzazate, taking the “Road of One Thousand Kasbahs” and passing by the large lake of Ouarzazate to drive to Skoura.

 

►Skoura is a fertile oasis lined with immense palm groves that provide great views of the Atlas Mountains alongside deserted landscapes. It is renowned for the cultivation of roses. The palm groves were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. The most beautiful Kasbahs in southern Morocco can be found here. Many of them are still partially inhabited.

 

►The small, sleepy town of Skoura has a big market Souk every Monday and a small group of administrative buildings. Most impressive in Skoura are the many Kasbahs that ripple through its dry rocky oasis. Skoura is referred to as the “Valley of OneThousand Kasbahs.” You will visit the 17th Century old Ben Morro Kasbah, which has been converted into a guesthouse and see the most imposing of the Kasbahs in this area, Amerhidil Kasbah. This fortified residence once belonged to the most powerful family responsible for protecting the village and its lands called the Glaoui. Today it is owned by the Sheikh of Amerhidil.

 

►We will visit the Kasbahs of Aït Abou, built in the 1800’s and the oldest Kasbah in the palm grove, is six stories and walls 25 m high. Its outside buildings have been turned into a garden filled with pomegranate,apple, pear, fig, quince and olive trees that provide the necessary shading for growing crops.

 

►Pass by Skoura, drive north heading towards the Amagoun Mountains and Berber villages standing among splendid landscapes and the Valley of Roses.

 

►Your driver will stop for you to view the Capp et Florale distillation factories laid out in El Kelaa Des Mgouna, a small Kasbah town that manufactures the entire nation’s products of eau de rose. The rose water and other products such as hand and body soaps, oil, crème perfume and dried flowers are for sale and also popular among Moroccans. The factories produce 3000-4000 petals a year. With ten tons of petals required to produce a few liters of precious oil, the harvest is understandably a labor of love and the culminating Festivities of the annual Rose Festival are all the livelier for it.

 

►Once in the Valley of Roses, you will immediately notice that the fresh mountain air in this part of southern Morocco has a hint of fresh roses which makes it a particular nice place to go for walks, short hikes and a long drive through the Hdida Valley to the plateau of Imi-n-Louh. Your driver will stop along the way so you can meet the friendly locals, many who are nomads and spend their winters in the nearby caves. There are many photo opportunities in this Dadès Valley town of ancient kasbahs.

 

For lunch, we will relax on a petite terrace at Kasbah Itran, a local auberge that overlooks two large abandoned crenulated Jewish Kasbahs and a river.

 

►After lunch drive to the Boulmane Dades and spend the night in a local hotel amidst the gorge.

 

(Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806)

  

DAY 4: TODRA GORGE – N’KOB   

►After a hearty Moroccan breakfast head for the adventure of a lifetime to experience the Todra Gorge in the High Atlas Mountains. The drive is scenic as with the new roads built, you will drive past the hotels at the mouth of the Gorge and up to the villages of Aït Hani, Tamtatouchte, and Imilchil. The Gorge extends from the village of Tamtatoucheto Tinerhir.

 

►The Todra, with cliffs rising dramatically up to 300m on each side of a narrow corridor, make up some of the most impressive cliffs and are by far, the highest in Morocco. The Todra Gorge is a spectacle with its gigantic rock walls changing color to create magical effects with the sunlight. In the morning, when the sun permeates through the bottom of the gorge, the rock changes from pink rose to deep ochre gradually throughout the rest of the day.

 

►A day at the Todra offers the option of extreme climbing or light hiking and sightseeing. A more strenuous hike would involve a three hour loop used by donkeys and mules heading north of the main gorge to Tizgui, home of palmeries and ancient kasbahs. For a lighter hike, try the Petit Gorge entering at the mouth of the gorge. The mouth is an enclosed section with overhanging cliffs and is the most dramatic scenery in the gorge. Climbing in the Todra Gorge is an unforgettable experience

 

►It is possible to have lunch inside the Todra Gorge or at one of the restaurants beneath the overhanging cliffs with a panoramic view. After lunch you can continue by road or hike by foot, or horseback to explore the surrounding area and its Berber villages. Sometimes you can find the Nomad women with children from the Atlas Mountains visiting the Gorge to carry water by donkey to their village. Your driver will give you the option to visit the picturesque village of Tamtattouchte, whose red toned earth houses are located at the other end of the gorge.

 

►End your day with a drive to the village of N’kob for an overnight stay at Ksar Jenna, a beautiful Maison de Charme in a riad style, built with the materials of the Moroccan tradition such as taddelakt and zellig. Ksar Jenna has wide open spaces, 7 rooms with every comfort, with large bathrooms and large common spaces, plunged in an oasis of quiet, in the heart of a luxuriant garden, with lots of palm trees, bougainvilleas, rose bushes, jasmines. 

 

DAY 5:   N’KOB– DISCOVER THE BERBER VILLAGE OF AIT OUZZINE

MORNING DEPARTURE:

►Enjoy breakfast at Ksar Jenna and then walk to the village of Ait Ouzzine for a traditional Berber experience.

 

►Just 5 kilometers after N’kob is Aït Ouzzine (the nice village). Aït Ouzzine is a Berber village inhabited by over 300 families who live in beautifully painted crenulated kasbahs, with their own henna fields, water wells, livestock and gardens. This peaceful village is tucked away along an impressive desert route connecting the Draa Valley (Tansikht) and Rissani.

 

Meet a local Berber family, partake in a cooking lesson of how to make traditional bread and a tajine. Then explore and tour the village by foot. Walk in the green fields and see how the traditional Berbers live with their gardens of herbs, live stock, and henna plants.

 

►Lunch will be served to you in Aït Ouzzine by a traditional Berber family. The menu will include a traditional meal of fresh baked bread with spices and a chicken and vegetable tajine and fresh local fruits for desert. After lunch, you can have your hands and feet painted with henna by a local village artist and relax. End the afternoon with mint tea and almonds. Then rest at your hotel before having a traditional dinner with the Berber family of couscous and sheep’s stomach that is grilled by fire. This is similar to an American barbecue. After dinner return to riad Ksar Jenna for an overnight stay. Sip wine in the moonlight on the terrace.

 

(Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806)

  

DAY 6:  N’KOB –  ZAGORA – OUARZAZATE      

►Fill up on a savory breakfast of baguette, fresh fruit, jams and a café cassis (Moroccan cappuccino) at a local pâtisserie and then begin your excursion to Zagora. Zagora is a Saharan desert town in the southern Drâa Valley.

 

►Zagora is favored by travelers for its desert dunes, palms, 45 varieties of dates and its Hollywood sunset mountain backdrops. Take the road by pise (windy road) to discover the land where caravans once transported sugar, tea, dates and other dry goods to Ouarzazate.

 

Walk the palmery and hamlet set amid lemon, almond and olive trees, and gardens of the village of Amazrou. Visit the former Mellah (Jewish quarter), where a mosque now stands. Amazrou is inhabited by Arabs, Haratines and Berbers who continue the Jewish tradition of silver making.

 

►Later enjoy a camel excursion across the Dunes of Tinfo and visit the old Kasbah Ait Lkaid in the village of Tamegroute. At the end of the main road you will find the famous road sign to Timbuktu that reads “52 jours” – 52 hours by camel.

 

►Enjoy lunch at a local kasbah hotel restaurant in the town of Zagora. The Dunes of Tinfo (as well as many other sand dunes in Morocco) are famous for their healing qualities for rheumatoid arthritis. Ask your guide to bury you in the sand from head to toe for this a 20 minute spa-like experience.

 

►Upon return to Ouarzazate we will take the road to visit Zagora’s unique, beautifully glazed forest green pottery at the local cooperative in the desert town of Tamagroute and pass by the Koranic library.  

 

►Take the road back to Ouarzazate, check in at your hotel, have dinner and relax for the evening.

 

                               

DAY 7:  OUARZAZATE

Rise early for your departure to the airport. This ends your Morocco Travel experience.

 

Morocco Travel | Marrackech Travel | Ouarzazate Travel | Casablanca Travel | Customized Morocco Tour | Imperial Cities Tour | Absolute Morocco Tour
Sahara Desert Tour | Ouarzazate Kasbahs & Berber Village Tour
ColdFusion Web Development by Ecomsolutions