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It's an early start today when the transportation and your mountain guide arrives at the Hotel (we have noted that you have their own arrangements here prior) to take you towards the desert. From the flat plain of Haouz, the route climbs southwards and up to the passes of the High Atlas mountains. Along twisty roads with marvellous views and over the high point before descending to the rocky red foothills near Ouarzazate. En route to Ouarzazate we visit Ait Benhaddou, an ancient fortified city, boasting beautiful examples of Kasbahs, some of which remain inhabited today. Granted UNESCO World Heritage Listing, the site has been the setting for many films including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. Night in the Ouarzazate, the film capital of Morocco.
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 an Auberge.
Enjoy a relaxing day at leisure. Perhaps climb up Erg Chebbi before dawn to see the sunrise over the dunes, or enjoy a a lie in and take a camel trek across the rolling sand dunes later in the afternoon.
Take a long but very scenic drive today, 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. We have noted that you have booked your own accomodation in Fes.
Ouarzazate originally was a small trader town enroute to Europe and northern cities in Morocco and was a garrison town ...