If you can’t decide between Zagora and Merzouga, you can do both. You’ll leave Marrakesh with a 2-day-tour to Zagora. On the way back to Marrakesh , you will stop at Ouarzazate to change buses to a 3-day-tour to Merzouga.
See it all for less time and less money.
DAY 1: MARRAKEsH — OUARZAZATE — ZAGORA
You leave Marrakesh around 7:30 am and will drive through the High Atlas Mountains. The first stop is cafe in Ait Barka, 80 km outside of Marrakesh . The next stop is at the summit of Tizn’t Tichka ( the height atlas mountains in 2260 meters above the sea level ) for 10-15 minutes to take pictures.
The first proper stop will be at Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah, located at 30 km from Ouarzazate, around noon. This castle is made of mud and surrounded by a defensive fence and towers. It is a perfect model of a traditional Moroccan house in the south. The Kasbah was recorded as World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1987 and attracts people from all over the world. It has even made appearance on the silver screen with Gladiator, The Mummy, and Lawrence of Arabia.
A local guide will show you around Kasbash for about an hour. You will find lunch on your own before continuing on your excursion at around 2:15 pm.
There will be stops before Zagora at Agdaz Gorges and Valley Draa to take pictures.
You will arrive to Zagora around 5:00 pm where a camels caravan will be waiting to take you into the heart of the desert where you’ll spend your night in tents.
In the desert we have three options of camps :
Basic one, set of tent with toilet outside.
Medium one, set of tent with toilet and shower outside .
Luxury one, set of tent with toilet and shower inside.
The camel trek takes about one hour to reach Bivouac.
Dinner and live berber music show will being waiting for you.
DAY 2: ZAGORA — Ouarzazate — BOUMALNE DADES
The wake up call for your second day is early, 6:00 am. After your breakfast in Bivouac, you will take rejoin the camel caravan and watch sunrise from the desert.
You will stop by Ouarzazate to visit Taourirt Kasbah ( the kasbah played a major military and commercial role due to its strategic location next to the Valley, and it’s classified as a Heritage of a human world by UNESCO. ) and the museum of cinema. Most of your tour group will continue to Marrakesh while you switch to a 3-day-tour group enroute to Merzouga.
With the 3-day-tour group, you will then continue through Ouarzazate, onto the Valley of Roses (Kalaat Mgouna) where you will have another stop. for picture before going to Boumalne Dades where you will spend your first night. You will arrive around 6:00 pm.
DAY 3: BOUMALNE DADES – MERZOUGA
Our journey will start with a drive through Dades Gorges and the famous Toudgha Gorges. After some time for pictures of cliffs and lunch at a local restaurant, you will continue to Rissani, known for its dates market, and being a starting point of the ancient trading caravans crossing the Sahara desert to Tomboctou.
Upon arrival at Merzouga, we will meet our camel caravan, and ride through the amazing sand dunes of ‘Erg Chebbi’ with the sunset in the horizon.
We reach our camp in three options :
Basic one, localited next to the village with toilet outside.
Medium one, in the middle of the dunes, also with toilet outside and shower in the next morning in the hotel.
Luxury one, in the middle of the dunes with toilet and shower inside the tent.
A great view to admire the sand dunes and the surrounding landscapes, get ready for a Moroccan dinner served under the stars next to the camp fire and a live local music show.
DAY 4: MERZOUGA – MARRAKEsH
Wake up early to catch the sunrise in the desert. After taking breakfast, you will ride a camel back to meet your driver and continue back to Ouarzazate to visit the museum of Cinema and Kasbah Taourirte before arriving in your hotel in Marrakesh around 7:30 pm.
Pick-up from your hotel in Marrakesh
Transportation by air-conditioned minibus
Camel ride to Zagora (in the evening and in the morning)
Desert camp at Zagora (with dinner and breakfast)
Hotel in Dades with Dinner and Breakfast
Camel ride in Erg Chebbi (in the evening and in the morning)
Desert camp at Erg Chebbi (with dinner and breakfast)