Ouarzazate originally was a small trader town enroute to Europe and northern cities in Morocco and was a garrison town ...
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Welcome to the 'Land of the Kasbahs' Upon arrival at Marrakech airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a welcome meeting to go over your coming days adventure in this amazing country, remainder of the day at leisure to explore.
Leaving Marrakech, we drive over the stunning High Atlas mountains on the way to Ouarzazate, which used to be the crossing point for African traders heading to the northern cities in Morocco, or travelling up into Europe. Ouarzazate is now the film capital of Morocco and we have the opportunity to visit the famous film studios which have been used for films such as Kingdom of Heaven, Alexander the Great, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Living Daylights.
We continue our journey this morning, driving on to the stunning Todra Gorge, a narrow rose red canyon with towering 300m high walls. Discover the charm of Todra today as you witness it’s ever changing colours on a light walk. There is the opportunity to partake in an afternoon session of rock climbing or (in summer) horse riding (book/pay locally). Alternatively, you could choose just to relax by the pool and soak up the atmosphere.
Crossing the Jebel Sarhro, we head down to Erg Chebbi sand dunes this morning, which signify the commencement of the mighty Sahara Desert. Transferring to trusty camels, we trek sedately across the vast rolling sand dunes of the Sahara to our remote Berber camp - an experience that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on travellers young and old! Enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening in the desert; scale the towering dunes and watch a breathtaking sunset, before listening to Berber music and enjoying some tasty local food. Camp out tonight under the glittering Saharan stars.
We leave the Sahara this morning, trekking back on our camels to the frontier point (camel HQ). We stop off at a hotel in Merzouga, to wash away the desert sand with a shower and a chance to cool off in the pool before lunch. Feeling refreshed, we travel to the beautiful Dades Gorge this afternoon, a stunning valley which extends from the High Atlas to the Jebel Sarhro range in the south, with a picturesque river meandering through the middle and kasbahs dotted on the ranges. Admire the views along the serpentine roads, stopping at several scenic spots en route. OVERNIGHT Auberge Ait Oudinar
This morning we head to legendary Ait Benhaddou, a ‘fortified city’, situated along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. Granted UNESCO World Heritage listing, the site had been the setting for many films including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Enjoy a guided tour of this remarkable site, exploring the ancient winding alleys, towers and kasbahs - a handful of which remain inhabited today. Explore the winding alleys and admire the wonderful views overlooking a fertile river valley and the surrounding Atlas mountains.
We enjoy some free time again this morning at the hotel near Ait Benhaddou, before heading on our way for an incredible journey over the Atlas mountains. Arriving late afternoon in Marrakech. This evening consider heading for dinner at one of the restaurants overlooking Djemaa el Fna, the exuberant market place which literally springs to life in the evenings. Filled with spicy aromas, exotic music, market stalls, snake charmers, magicians, storytellers and more, it is undoubtedly the liveliest and most captivating attraction in Morocco!
This morning we take a guided tour around the city, exploring the winding streets and bustling souks, visiting Bahia Palace and the beautiful Koutoubia Mosque - the landmark of Marrakech, which towers over the ancient medina. The afternoon is free for a spot of souvenir shopping in the souks, or a final opportunity to soak up the sunshine by the pool.
This morning we take a public bus to Essaouira (private transfer for larger groups). Arriving here check into your hotel - free time for the remainder of the day.
Enjoy free time to explore Essaouira. There’s a relaxed feel to the place and shopping here is a real delight. Locals and visitors alike enjoy strolling along the ramparts as the sun sets. The port is a hive of activity with fishing boats hauling in their daily catch. Opt for a swim in the Atlantic, a game of football on the beach with the locals, an afternoon at the hammam, wind surfing or kite surfing. The beach is also great for a stroll and since it runs for about 6 miles (10km) there’s plenty of it. By nightfall sit back and relax at any one of the many al fresco cafes, pubs or bars serving cold beer and the freshest seafood.
Say farewell to Morocco today! We will ensure you at the airport in Marrakech in time for your flight home.