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The Red City Adventure Through The Desert

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2 travelers
What to Expect

Day 1: Marrakech: Exploring the Red City

Stop At: Marrakech, Marrakech, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region
Welcome to Marrakech! Nicknamed the "Red City" for the natural pigment in the sandstone used to build its walls and buildings, Marrakech has always been a major economic center.
Orient yourself around Marrakech's main square, Jemaa el-Fna: the souks (el Attarin, Haddadine, and Smata) are to the north, the Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens are to the west, and the kasbah (old fortress or fortification) area home to the Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, and El Badi Palace are to the south. On the southwest corner, you will find the calèches (French for horse-drawn carriage) that offer a unique way to tour the medina (old quarter). In the Ville Nouvelle, you will find the Majorelle Gardens—a perfect spot for respite away from the crowds.
Start your day at the Koutoubia Mosque with its towering minaret. Notice the open spaces and courtyards along many alleyways: these fondouks or caravanserai were once inns used by traders and merchants and their animals. Wander the souks and be sure to visit the Souk des Teinturiers (Dyers' Souk) to see how workers use traditional methods to dye cloth and wool.
Next, visit the 16th-century Ben Youssef Madrasa Islamic school to appreciate the carved cedar ceilings, zellij (intricate tile work), and Islamic calligraphy. Check out the 500-year old Saadian Tombs or visit the 19th-century Bahia Palace, one of the largest and most luxurious palaces in its day. And if time allows, visit the 17th-century El Badi Palace for comparison (be sure to check out the sunken gardens).

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Riad Maialou situated in the old medina of Marrakech, if by chance its fully booked wi give you a similar accommodation.

Day 2: Over the High Atlas mountains and into the desert

Stop At: Boumalne Dades, Boumalne Dades, Souss-Massa-Draa Region
Leave the busy city behind and head east toward the desert, ascending the High Atlas mountains. See if you can spot Mount Toubkal, the highest peak at 13,671 feet (4,167 m). Along the way, you will pass many Berber villages—made up of traditional mud-brick buildings.
Lunch in Taddert and tour the local Argan Oil Cooperative and discover how the local women extract the precious oil from the argan nut to make oil used in the health, food, and cosmetic industries. Follow the winding road to the Tizi n'Tichka pass and stop to appreciate the panoramic view.
Continue east, traveling through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, many in disrepair as they're constructed of pisé mud (rammed earth). As you head towards Boumalne Dades, you will pass many small towns where you can see traditional farming methods in use. Be on the lookout for nomads tending to their animals as you make your way through fragrant Kela'a M'gouna, the "Valley of the Roses". You'll eventually arrive in Boumalne Dades, a major town bridging the Dades River and your home for the evening.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Auberge Oued Dade is situated between the valley of Dades Gorge.

Day 3: Desert towns, fossil workshops, and camping in the Sahara

Stop At: Merzouga Desert, Merzouga Morocco
Today you will drive further east to your final destination: the sand sea of Erg Chebbi outside of Merzouga. Along the way, stop in Tinerhir to admire the river oasis that extends on either side of the town. The surrounding desert landscape reveals impressive buttes, mesas, and plateaus.
Nearby, you will have the opportunity to explore the Todra Gorge, a 984 feet (300 m) deep ravine, cut by the Todra River. Continue to the desert town of Erfoud. Known for its figs and fossils, visit a craft workshop and discover how the fossil-rich rocks are skilfully transformed into practical and decorative objects. It's a good idea to buy fresh figs here, as well!
As you near Merzouga—the town closest to the Sahara—stop in the market town of Rissani and be sure to visit the livestock auction as well as the "donkey parking lot". Leaving Rissani behind, you will start to see the beginnings of the massive sand sea of Erg Chebbi, looming on the horizon.
Upon reaching Merzouga, switch gears and transfer to your personal camel to begin your trek over the sands and to your Bedouin-style camp. Hike to the top of a nearby dune to watch the setting sun, before enjoying a warm meal by the fire.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Orient Desert Camp in the heart of the Sahara desert.

Day 4: Date palms, movie locations, and Aït Benhaddou Kasbah

Stop At: Ait Ben Haddou, Ait Ben Haddou, Souss-Massa-Draa Region
Wake early to appreciate a desert sunrise and further explore the Sahara: rent a sand board, join the Erg Chebbi tour around the sand dunes or a quad ATV tour, or lounge by a pool in nearby Merzouga.
Head south to Khemliya, a traditional Saharan village (with its people originally from Mali). Here you can enjoy traditional music, drumming and dancing before taking a casual walk around the village and its farmed plots in the sand. You will have a second chance to stop in Rissani to visit Maison Tuareg, a storehouse selling traditional arts and crafts, including carpets, jewelry, and leather goods. From there, pass through umbrella-shaped trees of the acacia forests before reaching Alnif for lunch. Continue on through the Draa Valley, dense with date palmeries and another opportunity to pick up a box of dates for the drive.
Continue west to the desert hub and popular filming location of Ouarzazate. Made popular by the growing movie industry, you will have the option to tour one of the two movie studios and envision how the nearby regions have been featured in many movies. Some popular film credits include Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Prometheus, American Sniper, and Game of Thrones. To learn more about the history and filmmaking process in the area, stop at the Musée du Cinema.
Continue west to medieval Aït Benhaddou. A protected UNESCO site, Aït Benhaddou is the most famous kasbah in Morocco and once upon a time, held an important position along the trans-Saharan trade route between Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and the southern desert. Spend the night in the old town and wander the empty alleys after the day-crowds have left. Pay a nominal fee to enter a few of the kasbahs and climb up to the rooftop for pretty views.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Maison D'Hotes Nouflla

Day 5: Return to Marrakech

Stop At: Marrakech, Marrakech, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region
Before the crowds filter into the old kasbah, explore the narrow passageways and alleys to get a real feel for this 11th-century fortified city. Leave Aït Benhaddou behind, and return to Marrakech, traveling one more time up and over the High Atlas mountains and through the Tizi n'Tichka Pass.
After exploring Morocco's quiet desert towns and various deserts, soon you will be back in the bustling city of Marrakech. You may wish to take the afternoon at a slower pace—find a café near Jemaa el-Fna and enjoy your last (local) Moroccan meal before catching your flight home.

Duration: 10 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up travelers from the starting point confirmed in the reservation or from the accommodation in Marrakech.


  • Menara Airport, Marrakech Morocco
Departure Time
Suppliers and travelers coordinate start times within the given time periods.

10/20/2019 - 1/30/2021Monday - Sunday:08:00 AM - 11:30 PM
5 days
  • 5x Breakfast
  • 3x Dinner
  • Accommodation included: 4 nights
  • Private transportation
  • Accommodation at selected good and centrally located 4* hotels /Riads
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Local English Guide in Marrakech souks
  • Breakfast
  • Entry/Admission - Merzouga Desert
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Sites Fee Visit
  • Flight Ticket
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.


About the operator

This tour has not yet been reviewed, but you can read what other travelers have to say about this operator.

By: Morocco Safari Travel Day Tours
87 reviews
Certificate of Excellence
Cheong K
Toulouse, France
Extremely memorable and pleasant trip
Ben and his team took great care of us and showed us the beauty of Morocco. We visited Fès and its ancient Medina,
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Two Days, One Night Trip to Zagora
Had an amazing trip to Zagora thanks to Yassin and Amigo Trip! He picked us up on time at our Riad in Marrakech,
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Venessa O
Fez & merzouga & chefchaouen & Meknès / volubilis
Our trip with all of our tour guides in Morocco was just amazing. Ben was very helpful with everything, Omar and
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Yu Bing C
Sahara desert with shooting Stars
It's around 7 hours drive from fez to reach the Merzouga desert entrance. Then around 5 mins of four wheel drive
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Fes and Merzouga Sahara desert
The trip to Fez and Merzouga Sahara desert was very unique and authentic. Very recommended to those who want to
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Grenoble, France
Camel trekking in the sahara desert
Truly an amazing experience that can only be found in Morocco. The English guide was really friendly and we had a
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say kean Y
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Morocco safari travel day tour
5 of us booked a 12 day tour with Morocco safari day tour from Marrakech-Essaouira-Ouarzazate-Gorge
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Fez meknes chefchoune
Excellent and positive experience - super friendly staff...I am a person who always looks for a safe and
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Singapore, Singapore
Marrakesh / Ouarzazate Aug 19
I am a solo female traveler who wanted to go on a road trip across the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara. Morocco
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Best Trip of 2019
It was a very enjoyable and affordable 8days trip with Morocco Safari Travel. We arranged the tour with Ben and he
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Excellent Tour Company that provided good and memorable experience
We booked with Ben for our 16 days tours to Morocco. The tour was well organised taking into account the
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It was our memorable trip for Year 2018 and thank to Morocco Safari Travels
We had our trip in Dec 2018 and it was a memorable trip of the year! My sincere thanks to Ben from Morocco Safari
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Tour of Morocco
My trip to Morocco can be compared to a story in which the plot pulls you in from the first page and only gets
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Durban, South Africa
Magical Morocco
Had the pleasure of visiting Morocco organised by Ben and his team at Morocco Safari travels .. The only word to
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Mohamed Yusuf S
Tour of Morocco
A fantastic and adventurous experience that was well planned out. Tour operator, Ben, is a very well organized and
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