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High Atlas and Sahara desert hiking

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Itinerary

Day 1: Marrakech to the Happy valley of Ait Bougumez

Stop At: Cascades d'Ouzoud, Ouzoud 22576 Morocco
Morning drive from Marrakech towards the High Atlas mountains, on the wway, admire one of Morocco’s natural wonders. Travel into the Atlas Mountains by and air-conditioned vehicle, and witness the stunning, 360-foot (110-meter) waterfalls as they plunge down rugged cliffs. ... Watch for local Barbary apes and walk around the waterfalls. Continue to the happy valley of Ait Bougumez where we spend the night in a local family guesthouse.
Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Dinner
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Travellers stay in a local family owned guesthouse, they provide mattresses, a dining room, kitchen and hot shower.

Day 2: Walking through Ait Bougumez valley to Azib N'Ikiss plateau

Stop At: Ait Bougmez Valley, Agouti Morocco
Meeting with our mules caravan and trek along the Assif Arous River. Passing by Berber villages, green fields and some supposed Portuguese ruins, we reach our camp site near Ikkis. 5h walking
The Ait Bougmez Valley in Morocco is home to the country’s second tallest peak known as Jbel Mgoun, which runs along the Mgoun Massif in Morocco’s Central High Atlas Mountains.

Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in Tents

Day 3: Climb Tizi N'Oughoy (3500m) and descend To Tarkedit base camp

Stop At: M'goun Massif, Azilal 40000 Morocco
you will enjoy magnificent panoramas, picturesque views; mountains and Canyons varying in shape and color, flourishing vegetation, traditional villages offering you an insight into the daily life of the friendly Berber people.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in Tents

Day 4: Tarkedit base camp to the M'goun summit

Stop At: M'goun Massif, Azilal 40000 Morocco
We leave camp at dawn to ascend Jbel M'Goun (4071m) (8h), the second highest summit of the Atlas and descend to oulilimt camp.
Duration: 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in Tents

Day 5: Walking through Mgoun gorges and Rose valley

Stop At: Roses Valley, El Kelaa M'gouna N10, El Kelaa M'gouna 45800 Morocco
In the late spring months, the city is literally covered in roses. A pink carpet as far as the eye can see dots the otherwise brown landscape. It is believed that pilgrims who arrived in Morocco from Saudi Arabia brought rosa damascena, the variety of roses that are grown in this region, with them in the 10th century, and they continue to play a part in the city’s culture today.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in Tents

Day 6: Todra gorges, Rissani and Merzouga dunes

Stop At: Gargantas del Todra, Tinghir, Tinerhir 45800 Morocco
Walk through Tinghir oasis and Todra gorges.
Here, both the Todra and Dades Rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 25-mile stretch through the mountains, leaving behind this series of reliefs and etches in the rock. The Todra is the name of the last 600 meters (just under 2,000 feet) of the canyons. In places, this gorge measures just 33 feet across, but the cliffs are more than 500 feet tall on either side. The river has since dried up, leaving only the imagination to picture the powerful natural forces that once carved this region.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Rissani Market, Souk Rissani - Merzouga, Rissani 52450 Morocco
Visit Rissani Market
Rissani market is considered as the most important market in the region, both in terms of character, architectural, and strategic location occupied by, or given the volume of trade and craft activities.
This prestigious market in the region constitutes a distinct role in the economic and social life of the population. As well as a product for which tourism can accounts for, and attracts a locals and foreign tourists.
This market was built in the city center over an area of 30030 square meters in the protectorate time. It has been designed in the form of regular corridors consist of 675 shops,
Activities practiced in the market:
Sale of fruit and vegetables, foodstuffs, garments, linen, garments, utensils, small cafes, butcher, selling fish, shaving, sewing, selling cosmetics, carpets and copper pots, shoes, herbs, dates, traditional clothing.
This market also attracts other professional activities like carpentry as well as commercial activities, which is dominated by the nature of the local products such as date palm and henna and some seasonal agricultural materials.
Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in a bedouin desert camp

Day 7: Camel Safari in the dunes

Stop At: Merzouga Desert, Merzouga Morocco
One of only two ergs - a type large windy “sand sea” - in Morocco, the locals says the dune was created when a wealthy couple turned away a tired traveler and were thus punished by having thousands of tons of sand dropped over their house. Luckily, God made the right choice! The expanses of sand at Erg Chebbi shift daily in the wind to create spectacular dunes rising 150 meters in height over the rocky desert at their base.

Duration: 5 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in a bedouin desert camp

Day 8: Anti Atlas mountains, Draa valley to Ouarzazate

Stop At: Draa Valley, Zagora 45600 Morocco
The Draâ Valley is Morocco’s longest river. It’s formation is that of the Dades River and Imini River and flows from the High Atlas Mountains southeastward to Tagounit and from Tagounit mostly westwards to the Atlantic Ocean somewhat north of Tan-Tan. The water from the Draâ is used to irrigate Palmeraies and small horticulture along the river. The inhabitants of the Draâ are called Drawi, used to refer to the dark skinned people of Draâ that make up the largest portion of its inhabitants. The Draa Valley originally was known as the Valley of Olives but when the 19th Century caravans passed through the date palms arose within the trails they traveled. The palms proved to be a better choice to continue as a grown commodity because they bare dates, are used to make baskets, leafy carpets and over shade for the inhabitants.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Atlas Film Studio, Km 5, road of Marrakech BP 28, Ouarzazate 45000 Morocco
Atlas Film Studios wasn’t built until 1983 when Moroccan entrepreneur Mohamed Belghmi recognized the need for a permanent studio in the area. But Ouarzazate was first used as a movie location by acclaimed British director David Lean for his 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. Familiar with the area, Lean knew that the site could provide an authentic setting for any ancient, desert-based story.

Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Riad Bouchedor, a Charming riad in the old part of Ouarzazate.

Day 9: Ait Benhaddou, Atlas Mountains and Marrakech

Stop At: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Douar Ait Ben Haddou, Ait Ben Haddou 45000 Morocco
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, Aït Benhaddou was once a major stop along the caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara. The striking visage of southern Moroccan architecture is thought to be 17th-century, and contains a mosque, two cemeteries (Jewish and Muslim), a public square, and areas for threshing grain outside of the ramparts.
Despite not being completely abandoned, the earthen architecture is vulnerable to weather and lack of care. While the site has maintained its authenticity, lack of maintenance and its sparsity of inhabitants led to serious deterioration. Assigned a five-year plan by officials, the ksar received some care and restoration between 2007 and 2012, using as much wood and earthen techniques as possible to keep the site as historically preserved. One of the remaining families opened a traditional café to give visitors an overview of the ancient lifestyle in the fortress. A way to preserve the tradition and heritage.
The Kasbah was the decor for many international films and tv blockbusters, like the famous Game of Thrones, Laurence of Arabia and Gladiator, to name a few.
Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight in a charming riad in the Medina.

Day 10: Eploring the red city of Marrakech, Souks and Medina

Stop At: Saadian Tombs, Rue de la Kasbah, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
The Saadian Tombs are a series of sepulchers and mausoleums in Marrakech that house the remains of important figures from the Saadi Dynasty, which ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659. Shortly after the fall of the dynasty, the tombs were sealed off and hidden, only to be rediscovered in 1917.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
The Jardin Majorelle, or Majorelle Garden, is a botanical and artist’s landscape garden in Marrakech. Originally created by the French artist Jacques Majorelle over a period of 40 years, and later restored by Yves Saint-Laurent, it is one of the most beautiful gardens in Morocco.

Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.
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Reviewed June 22, 2019
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Date of experience: April 2019
O-Travels2019, Owner at Original Travels, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2019
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