Ouarzazate originally was a small trader town enroute to Europe and northern cities in Morocco and was a garrison town ...
If you like the itinerary below please quote REF MOROCCO 456 when enquiring for further details.
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Arrival in Marrakech airport where you will be met by the On the Go guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel or riad. The remainder of the day and evening are free to explore the vibrant Djemaa el Fna square. Full of colour, spicy aromas and traders, it is best seen in the evening when overflowing with people, acrobats, fortune tellers, snake charmers and much more!
This morning enjoy a guided city tour, taking in all the highlights of Marrakech including the Koutoubia mosque and Bahia palace. Spend the afternoon at leisure, perhaps visit to the beautiful Jardins de Majorelle or wander around the souks.
This morning journey Essaouira, about 2.5 hrs away from Marrakech. Essaouira is a quiet seaside town with a long beach, an interesting little medina with souks and a grand harbour and fortifications. It's the perfect place to relax either on the beach or in a cafe on the square, or just watching the fishing boats coming in and out of the harbour. Essaouira has avoided becoming a tourist trap and maintains the original charm which made it a firm favourite with many legendary stars, including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and Orson Welles who filmed Othello in Essaouira.
This morning enjoy relaxing in Essaouira, before heading back towards Marrakech and then from there, we take the roads over the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi N Tichka pass and down into Ait Ben Haddou.
This morning explore the famous UNESCO Listed kasbah of Ait benhaddou, which is situated in Souss-Massa-Draa on a hill along the Ouarzazate River. Films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth and more recently, Gladiator were all filmed at Ait Benhaddou, which was once a significant stop for traders carrying gold, salt and slaves along the famous Southern Caravan route moving through the Sahara. After exploring this wonderful site, journey to Ouarzazate.
The journey continues along the valley of the Roses and the Skoura oasis, passing Amerdhil Kasbah. Stop for lunch in the scenic gorge du Dades before continuing towards the Sarhro mountains and the first signs of the Sahara. Along the route there are Khettara , the ancient wells dug by the nomads to find water, now dry. Finally we reach Merzouga at the foot of the great sand dune Erg Chebbi. Time to watch the sun set and the sand change colour as night falls. Spend the night in Xasbah Xaluca standard Khaima tents (*note – will be very hot)
Enjoy the day in the desert to relax or visit the dunes. Please note that although you have asked for this and the quote includes a day here, we do not recommend staying here because of the extreme heat during the day. It could be over 50C! (We suggest that you leave the desert and travel up to Midelt and stay in Midelt in between the High Atlas and Middle Atlas Mountains)
After a chance to see the sunrise over the dunes, take breakfast and then take a long but very scenic drive. Heading north from the desert and up into the High Atlas past the Ziz Gorge. Past Midelt, the route crosses a grassy plain (in winter) where Nomads of the tribe Ait Atta Tafoukht can be seen pitching their tents and finding grazing for their camels and goats. The road carries on over the next set of mountains – the Middle Atlas and another facet of morocco is seen, the Cedar forests. Ancient forests that cloak the hills and are inhabited by monkeys, wild boar and deer. Finally we descend into Ifrane (a swiss style town and ski resort)and continue onward to Fes.
Fes is the oldest and largest medieval city in the world and a bustling hive of activity. This morning take a guided tour around the incredible, old medina - a heady mix of aromas, sounds and sights from the tanneries, spice tubs, pottery and donkeys! Enjoy free time in the afternoon to explore independently.
Today we leave Fes to see the ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis, past the fields of lentils and chickpeas, into the hills around this well preserved city where its possible to explore the mosaics and forum. We then set off for Casablanca, but not before a visit to Meknes.
Say farewell to 'Land of the Berbers' We will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.