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15 days tour in Morocco of the Saharan dream

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Day 1 : Airport :MARRAKECH / CASABLANCA

Marrakesh. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 2 : MARRAKECH / THE VISIT

Morning dedicated to the visit of Marrakech, the red city called “the pearl of the south”, imperial capital in the 11th century whose monuments, richly decorated with fine stuccos, mosaics and marbles, testify to the richness of this city’s past. The old city, or medina, is enclosed by massive ocher walls, which stand out against the breathtaking backdrop of the Atlas mountain range and stand out among the lush greenery of the palm groves. Lunch. Free afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 3 : MARRAKECH/OURZAZAT

Departure towards the High Atlas; after the pass of the Tizi’n Tichka, the “Pass of the Pastures”, located at over 2,200 meters, you leave the main road to reach Telouèt and its imposing kasbah, built by the Pasha of Marrakech in the early 20th century. Lunch. Shortly after, the spectacular “Salt Trail” begins (only if weather conditions permit), the ancient caravan route that leads directly to Ait Benhaddou, one of the best-preserved kasbahs in southern Morocco. Visit to the imposing ksar, background of many cinematographic productions. Continuation to Ouarzazate, visit of the kasbah of Taourirt, another sumptuous residence of Pasha Glaoui. Dinner and overnight.

Day 4 : OURZAZATE/TINEGHIR

The day is dedicated to the splendid panoramas of the mountain oases: we visit the ancient kasbah of Amerhidil, we travel through the Dadès valley with its fortress-houses and the “Rose Trail”, dotted with small earthen villages against the backdrop of High Atlas Mountains. Lunch in a village with incredibly decorated earthen buildings. Short foray to the Dadès gorges and continue to Tineghir, famous for its large and luxuriant palm grove, where it is nice to take a relaxing walk. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 5 : TINEGHIR/MERZOUGA

Upon departure, visit the Todra Gorges, a narrow and spectacular stone corridor dug into the mountain by the river. A short detour to Goulmima allows you to visit an ancient fortified village and its palm grove. Lunch. In the afternoon we continue in the direction of Erfoud and on the track up to Merzouga, an outpost of the Saharan desert. Dinner and overnight in a comfortable riad overlooking the dunes.

Day 6 : MERZOUGA/CUP/NEKOB

Departure to visit the ancient ksar of Rissani, cradle of the Alaouite dynasty and heir of ancient Sijilmassa, its palm grove and a deposit of marine fossils. Continuation to the oasis of Tazzarine, which with Alnif, was a stage on the caravan routes of the South. Lunch. In the afternoon continuation on the track in the direction of a canyon beyond which is Ait Ouazik, one of the oldest rock sites in Morocco, with elegant depictions of felines, gazelles and characters in hunting attitudes. Return to Tazzarine and continuation to Nekob. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7 : NEKOB/ZAGORA

Nekob is a village with beautiful kasbahs at the foot of the Jebel Sarhro volcanic massif, with pinnacles and pinnacles eroded by the wind. This itinerary is truly superb and takes place through a basaltic massif of remarkable beauty, which contrasts with the intense green of the oases. We reach the Draa Valley, dotted with typical fortified villages built in earth and straw, and visit the ancient capital of the valley: the village of Tamnougalt. Lunch. In Tinzouline we make a short detour to visit the rock carving site dating back to the time when the Libyan-Berber knights were the lords of the south. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 8 : ZAGORA/CHEGAGA DUNES

After breakfast we descend to Mhamid where the Draa disappears under the sands and the crossing of the erg (sand desert) still frequented by nomadic shepherds begins. Before leaving the Draa Valley, lunch in an earthen kasbah with a sedentary nomadic family. Beginning of the slope towards the pre-arranged field. The overnight stay takes place in the Chegaga dunes, in the magical silence of the desert and under a starry sky of incomparable intensity.

Day 9 : CHEGAGA/TATA DUNES

Continuation for Tata. Along the track, which crosses the bottom of a now dry lake, Lake Iriki, bordered to the north by the Jebel Bani wall, you reach Foum Zguid, where you find the asphalt again. The region is among the most desertic in the South, however rock art (engravings with animal figures) tells us that in prehistoric times the climate was much more favorable. Overnight dinner at the hotel.

Day 10 : TATA

Visit of the Tata region. The South has known human settlements since prehistoric times: visit some sites where Neolithic art is represented by petroglyphs depicting antelopes, lions, rhinos, elephants and enigmatic geometric designs. Visit the oasis of Akka and its mysterious ruined minaret. Packed lunch. Dinner with a local noble family, who organized the caravan trade with the other side of the Sahara.

Day 11 : TATA/TAFRAOUT (150 km of which 50 on track)

Departure for the famous village of Tafraout, surrounded by granite mountains, through the “Enchanted Valley”, the highlight of the day, a narrow canyon where the inhabitants took refuge centuries ago and built dry stone villages and an imposing “agadir” (fortified granary). Packed lunch in the valley. Continuation towards the Ammeln Valley and visit of a rural Berber house, with an intact structure: the kitchens and tools, the deposits, the oil mill. Overnight dinner at the hotel.

Day 12 : TAFRAOUT/AMTOUDI (130 km of which 70 on track)

Departure for the Anti-Atlas which offers unexpected panoramas: alongside the aridity of the rocks, long green cordons open up represented by cultivated valleys, such as the Ait Mansour valley, with palms, oleanders, almond and fig trees. The track then opens into the vast and dry bed of the Tamanart, where other engravings bear witness to the life of the past. The last surprise of the day is a visit to the fortified granary of Amtoudi, built entirely of dry stone on top of a rocky outcrop. Dinner and overnight at the hotel (simple, but in a splendid position).

Day 13 : AMTOUDI/TAROUDANT (km 280)

Departure for Bou Izakarn and, after passing a low pass, you leave the last foothills of the Anti-Atlas to reach Tiznit and its vast plain. This town, enclosed by 6 km of crenellated walls, is known for the manufacturing of Berber silver jewellery. Stop to visit the “silversmiths’ souk”. Continuation in the direction of Taroudant, called the “little Marrakech” for the strong similarities with this city: a lively medina, mighty crenellated walls, ancient origins. After lunch visit of the historic city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 14 : TAROUDANT/MARRAKECH (km 223)

Departure for Marrakech along a panoramic route of great charm: from the Tizi’n Test pass (2092 m.) you have a spectacular view of the Oued Souss plain. The pass is the culminating point of the Western High Atlas. Beyond, the winding road crosses cypress woods and alpine-type vegetation, there are numerous stone and earthen villages and finally an unexpected important monument: the mosque in the village of Tin Mal (12th century), from which the Almohad dynasty. The mosque has been restored and, as it is almost contemporary with the Koutoubia mosque, a brief stop will allow you to get an idea of the fine decorations inside the latter. Along this route you will be able to see Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. Arrival in Marrakech and hotel accommodation. Lunch at the hotel and free dinner.

Day 15 : MARRAKECH/ AIRPORT

Transfer to the airport

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