Sahara Desert Morocco Dream Tour
6 Day Tour: Magical Sahara Desert Dream
Tour Duration: Duration: 9:00am - 6:00pm Daily
Tour Duration: Duration: 9:00am - 6:00pm Daily
Morocco Travel: In Luxury 4x4
English, French Speaking Driver, Guide
Starting & Finishing Point: Your Hotel In Ouarzazate
The Magical Sahara Desert Tour is a mystical and adventurous trip into Southern Morocco's (Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806) kasbahs, desert dunes and Berber villages. Let us be your guide to Morocco Travel.
DAY 1: OUARZAZATE
►Reception at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Your Morocco Travel Sahara Desert Tour begins here. After breakfast and relaxing at your hotel, visit Kasbah Taouirt.
►Kasbah Taouirt was built by the Glaoui. Its location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South it was then one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Explore its nooks and crannies and discover some local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.
►After visiting Kasbah Taouirt, return to your hotel in Ouarzazate for a relaxing afternoon by the pool or ask your guide about an extending your tour to the souk. At the souk you will have the opportunity to take in the smells of local spices such as Cumin, Saffron and Cinnamon as well as Berber amber and musk while visiting small caftan and Moroccan Baboosh (shoe) shops.
►Enjoy couscous or a tajine for lunch at a local restaurant in Ouarzazate.
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 & 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’sSheltering 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.
► Your guide will share the fascinating history of Aït Benhaddou which once served as the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh in present-day Morocco. Most of the town's inhabitants now live in a more modern village at the other side of the river; ten families however still live within the ksar.
►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 Benhaddou and 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. Then tour the surrounding area where date palm oases and dramatic desert scenery is 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 – ERFOUD – MERZOUGA
►Rise early, and drive to Merzouga Sahara Desert passing the unusual flora and fauna of the Sahara.
►You will find the Erg Chebbi Dunes of the Sahara Desert at 22 km long, (North-South) 5 km and 150 meters high. Considered by many to be the largest dunes in the Sahara Desert, the dunes constantly shift due to the considerable desert winds. The locals believe that these dunes were sent as a punishment for turning away a weary traveler from the desert. They say that after they sent away this traveler, the gods made the dunes pile up right outside their town; to teach them a lesson and to never send away weary men and women ever again.
►Have dinner and spend the night in a Berber biouvac tent by the Erg Chebbi dunes in the Sahara Desert.
►Rise early. Your camels await you for a trip across the Erg Chebbi Dunes.
►You will be taken on a 2 hour cruise on the back of a dromedary into the dunes to camp overnight at an oasis. Your Tuareg guide will share some of the Sahara Deserts’ secrets. As you glide across humpback on these silent, mystical dunes there will be countless opportunities to photograph the endless rolling sand dunes that appear before you in heaps for thousands of miles. You will witness the sunrise across the east over the dunes.
►You will Upon return from your trek, enjoy a quiet breakfast and then continue your adventure within the Sahara desert.
DAY 4: MERZOUGA – N’KOB
►After breakfast, you will depart Merzouga and ride across the palm groves to visit the ksours along the kasbah studded road to Rissani. The 19th century Abbar Ksar, once a residence to Alounite princes and the Oulad Abdelhamin Ksar, built for the brother of Sultan Moulay Hassan, is popular to visit. Also interesting to see is the Mausoleum of Moulay Ali Cherif where the father of the founder of the Alouite Dynasty is buried.
►We will arrive to Rissani, an ancient capital for the Alaouite Sultans and the most important market town for Sub-Sahara camel caravans was built on the ruins of Sijilmassa. Stop in Rissani for a lunch and visit its souks where stalls are piled high with pyramids of dates, vegetables, spices, rugs, carpets, pottery, jewelry and metalwork.
►The Rissani souk is one of the most famous in the area and surrounded by donkeys, mules, sheep and goats enclosed in corrals. After a tour of Rissani, we are off to Alnif. Alnif is known for its rocks, fossils and minerals found in shops along the roadside Trilobites are the areas main export.
►Pass by Alnif and head towards to N’kob. Nkob has 45 kasbahs, a tribute to its ancestral importance and its key role in the caravan trade route with Timbuktu. It reveals much about Berber life and culture in southern Morocco as well as being a tranquil haven and a staging post for trekking in the region and the Saghrou Moutains. The Saghro Mountain region was also once known for having a significant Jewish population. The Jews co mingled with the Berbers and lived side by side and intermarried, prior to the 7th Century Arab invasion.
►A traditional Berber family will serve you dinner in Ait Ouzzine. 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 or your hair adorned with saffron by a local village artist and relax. Experience the tradition of Berber perfume made from musk and amber along with the villages own spices.
►After dinner, sip mint tea and rest at the local Riad Ksar Jenna or restored palace Kasbah Ait Omar. Ksar Jenna is 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.
(Book a Tour or call (800) 787-8806)
DAY 5: N’KOB – ZAGORA – OUARZAZATE
►Have breakfast and then drive to Zagora for your one-day excursion to this quiet Saharian desert town.
► 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 visit the Dunes of Tinfo, which 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. We will also 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 then return to Ouarzazate.
►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.
►Arrive in Ouarzazate, have tea or a drink at a local hotel with views of Kasbah Tifiltoute, then dine at a local restaurant and spend the night at your riad.
DAY 6: OUARZAZATE
Departure from Ouarzazate. This ends your Morocco Travel experience.
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