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Deserts and Gorges of Morocco

9 days from £1935pp plus international flights.

This holiday takes you through the diverse landscapes and sights that Morocco has to offer, from the lively souks of Marrakech through dramatic gorges and barren valleys to the sweeping desert dunes of the Sahara. 

Explore the historic sites and souks of Marrakech, enjoy the silence of the Sahara desert with a night in a Bedouin-style tented camp, explore or hike in the beautiful Dades Gorge, have a picnic at a desert oasis, try tasty tagines and delicious couscous, and find out just what a kasbah is.

This is a private trip, and once you leave Marrakech you have the freedom of your own private car and driver to take you around. Local guides will take you around the key sites, whether it's a walking tour of Marakech or some gentle trekking in the Dades Valley. We've also included a came ride out in the sand dunes to make this desert adventure even more memorable. There's no need to rough it as you'll be staying in some lovely hotels, full of character, and with modern facilities providing every comfort.   

This popular 9 day trip is an ideal break from life's normal routines and you will return with an appreciation of life in southern Morocco and some treasured memories.

Itinerary
Villa des Orangers Marrakech

DAY 1: ARRIVE MARRAKECH

On arrival at Marrakech airport you will be met and taken to your hotel in the heart of medina. Villa des Orangers is next to Koutoubia Mosque, a well-known city landmark, and is just around the corner from the main square of Djemmaa El Fna. There are courtyards and a garden, and pools both in the garden and on the roof terrace, so you'll be able to rest after your journey.   
Souks in Marrakech

DAY 2: MARRAKECH TOUR

This morning you'll be collected from your hotel for a guided tour of some of the main sites of the city. Return to Villa des Orangers fir a light lunch and a rest. In the afternoon you'll have the chance to explore on your own, maybe trying out your bargaining skills in the souks, visiting some of the gardens and palaces or you can take it easy by one of the pools or try the traditional hammam. 
Breakfast, lunch
Swimming pool at Xaluca Dades

DAY 3: TO BOUMALNE DADES

Leaving the city behind, you'll be driven over the Atlas Mountains, past the desert town of Ouarzazate, a backdrop used in many films, and on to the small town of Boumalne Dades. You'll be able to stop for lunch en-route. In total this scenic drive will take about 5 hours, arriving at your hotel, Xaluca Dades, in the mid to late afternoon. You'll have time to enjoy a swim in the large pool and soak up some sun on the terrace before dinner. 
Breakfast, dinner
Dades Gorge

DAY 4: DADES GORGE

Today you'll set off with your driver to visit the famous Dades Gorge. The gorge begins as quite a wide valley with lush vegetation, but soon changes as limestone cliffs start to close in, forming an impressive and dramatic gorge. Kasbahs can be seen dotted through the landscape, adding to the charm of this region. You'll have the chance to get out and explore on foot with half a day's guided trekking, to experience the gorge for yourself. Afterwards you'll return to Xaluca Dades.
Breakfast, dinner.
Todra Gorge

DAY 5: TO ERFOUD

Today your journey continue as you head to Erfoud, a small town on the edge of the Sahara Desert. If you travel direct the drive will take about 3 hours, but you'll probably prefer to take the journey in a more leisurely fashion, perhaps stopping to see Todra Gorge on the way, and having a break for lunch. Your hotel for the night is Kasbah Xaluca. Relax after the journey with a swim in the outdoor pool or perhaps a spa and hammam.
Breakfast, dinner
Belle Etoile desert camp

DAY 6: DESERT PICNIC & DESERT CAMP

The morning you'll be collected from Kasbah Xaluca for an exciting 4x4 drive into the desert. You'll be having a picnic at the lovely oasis at Tisserdmine, used as the backdrop in the film 'Sahara'. You'll then return to the hotel. In the late afternoon you'll be whisked off to the sand dunes at Erg Chebbi, location of your very own desert camp. There will be the chance to try a camel ride while you are staying at this camp. Watch as the sun sets over the desert, a blanket of stars above you. After dinner and some more star gazing, it's time to settle down for a night under canvas in the Sahara. 
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Skoura Oasis

DAY 7: VILLAGE VISIT, THEN ON TO SKOURA OASIS

This morning it's breakfast at the desert camp before being driven to the village of Rissani, known for its market. It's nice just to wander around. You'll find fruit and vegetables, spices, herbs and clothes at this lively venue, as you mingle with the locals. You'll then head back towards Marrakech, stopping on the way for a guided tour of the desert oasis town of Skoura, with its palm trees and lush vegetation. Tonight you will stay in a small kasbah in Skoura village.
Breakfast, dinner.
Ait Benhaddou

DAY 8: TO MARRAKECH

After a breakfast you'll set off for Marrakech. On the way you can stop at Ait Benhaddou, a collection of kasbahs making up a small village where a guide will show you around.
On arrival in Marrakech, you return to the lovely Villa des Orangers.
Breakfast

Breakfast at Villa des Orangers

DAY 9: DEPART

After breakfast you'll be driven back to the airport in time for your flight home or onward arrangements, leaving with many happy memories of Morocco.
Breakfast
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1935 (ex. international flights)

Includes: 

Accommodation on twin share basis; airport transfers; half day Marrakech tour (not including entrance fees); ground transport; driver (days 3-8); drinking water and snacks in car; guided halfday trek in Dades Gorge; desert picnic; 4x4 desert excursion; guided tours of Skoura and Ait Ben Haddou; meals as specified.

Excludes: 

International flights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks; items of a personal nature; tips.

Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Marrakech. International return flights from the UK will cost from around £200 per person, varying according to season, availability and airline. Low cost airlines now fly to Marrakech from the UK.

Departure dates: You can take this holiday at any time you like as it is a private tailor made trip which will be organised especially for you.

places you will see

places you will see

Marrakech
Marrakech
The southern city of Marrakesh, with a backdrop of High Atlas peaks in the distance, will draw you into its charms immediately. Explore the old walled city (medina) where the narrow alleyways of the bustling souks, busy mosques and the main square, the Djemmaa el Fna, will be the focus of your attentions.
Dades Valley
Dades Gorge
Dades Gorge is part of the Dades Valley, and is atmospheric and dramatic. The winding road through the gorge leads past several kasbahs and villages and though stunning rock formations.
Erfoud
Erfoud & Merzouga
Erfound is an oasis town and Merzouga a small village, about 55kms apart in the Sahara Desert. Both have a selection of hotels and are close to the stunning Erg Chebbi Dunes.
map

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WHEN TO VISIT

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facts and information

Time: GMT

Flight time: Marrakech is the main international gateway. British Airways, Easy Jet, Ryan Air and Thomson have frequent direct flights from London to Marrakech. There are also direct flights to Casablanca and Fez, and a more extensive service with Royal Air Maroc to other airports within Morocco.

Language: Moroccan Arabic is the official language. It is significantly different from classical and modern Arabic.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from the embassy

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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