Marrakech & The Kasbahs Traill

  • Destination: Ait Benhaddou, Atlas Mountains, Dades Gorge, Draa Valley, Essaouira, Marrakech, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Rose Valley, Tafraout, Tamegrout, Taroudant, Tizi Ntichka pass, Todra Gorge, Zagora
  • Duration: 17 days

Day 1: Arrive Marrakech Upon arriving into the Marrakech Airport, you’ll be picked up and taken to your hotel for the evening. If you arrive into Marrakech early that day, it can be a good idea to visit the famous square JAME EL FNA. Day 2: Marrakesh Guided Visit After breakfast, you can start exploring […]

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Day 1: Arrive Marrakech

Upon arriving into the Marrakech Airport, you’ll be picked up and taken to your hotel for the evening.

If you arrive into Marrakech early that day, it can be a good idea to visit the famous square JAME EL FNA.

Day 2: Marrakesh Guided Visit

After breakfast, you can start exploring Marrakech «the red city of Morocco”.

We will ensure that you see the most important sites of historical and cultural interest, including the Majorelle Gardens, the Koutoubia Tower, the Saadian tombs, the Bahia Palacel.

After Lunch at a restaurant near the square, you will walk through the souks and view hundreds of handicrafts.

On the afternoon, you will have some free time to wonder by yourself the other parts of the city.

Day 3: Marrakech – Atlas Mountains – Ouarzazate

After your breakfast , we will depart for Ouarzazat through the famous Tizi Ntichka pass (2260m), over the High Atlas Mountains, snow on its peaks most of the year, appreciate the beauty of the landscape on the twisted road through the Berber villages.

The famous Tizi Ntichka pass We’ll get to Ait Ben Haddou village , where stands the famous kasabah , built by the last Berber chieftain El Glaoui Ethami, late 19th century.

The Kasbah is recognised as a UNESCO matrimonial historical site, now a house of many Glaoui family members.

Lunch by the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou and continue to Ouarzazat, “the Hollywood of Africa”, where you have the option to visit and see many props used in movies you may already have seen such as Gladiator, Kondon and Alexander the Great.

Overnight accommodation will be in a hotel in Ouarzazat.

Day 4: Dades Gorge and Rose Valley

After breakfast in the hotel, we will leave to explore the fascinating Dades and Rose Valleys.

Our first stop will be at Skoura to walk within the Birds Valley and visit the beautiful and well preserved Kasbah of Ameridil.

Then we’ll continue to the famous village of Kalaa M’gouna, famous for its roses and rose products.

A rose festival is held here every May, when the roses are harvested.

Kasbar in Dades GorgeSince this is the road of the thousands Kasbahs you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take some beautiful pictures.

Lunch will be in a restaurant overlooking the valley, after which we will drive for another hour to get to our hotel at the heart of the gorge.

Day 5: Dades Gorge -Todra Gorge – Merzouga

After breakfast in the hotel, drive back in the valley to see the amazing rock formation referred to as “the monkey toes”, and the standing 19th century Kasbah of Ait yul.

Leave the Dades valley towards Tinrghir and the Todra valley.

Watch the panoramic views of the old mud berber villages overlooking the valley.

Lunch in a restaurant under 200m high red cliff of the gorge.

Hundreds of rock climbers come to enjoy their preferred sport here.

Continue your trip to Erfoud and Rissani then through the open black desert to the village Merzouga – the home of your guide Said and where your camel will be awaiting you.

You’ll be welcomed with a mint tea before you mount your camel and, guided by an experienced camelman, start your safari to explore within the mysterious sand-sea of the Erg-Chebbi.

Here you will spend your first night under the stars in a traditional Berber nomad tent.

Day 6: Camel trek and the Nomads

Your camelman will wake you up early in the morning to watch what well may be the best sunrise of your life.

After breakfast in the nomad tent, you’ll mount your camel again for another three hours trek until you get to a black stony desert.

Then, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be welcomed by your next night’s hosts: a Bedouin family with whom you will share – even if just for a while – a bit of their simple lifestyle.

Communicate with their kids and learn one or two words from their language, whilst their mother prepares a couscous dinner for you to enjoy with them.

Time spent with the nomads will last in your memory.

Overnight you’ll sleep in a traditional Bedouin tent.

Day 7: Merzouga and its Wonders

After breakfast with the Bedouin family you’ll peacefully camel-trek back to the village of Merzouga.

Enroute you couldn’t fail to appreciate the unique beauty of the spectacular Erg Chebbi dunes – changing with the light as the day progresses.

Arriving late morning back in Merzouga, freshen-up and start an explorative journey of the area.

You’ll visit the Gnawa people, originally slaves brought from Sudan, to experience their music and lifestyle.

Not far away there’s the lake of Merzouga, with its bird populations.

You may also visit the nomad wire house where many Berber handicrafts are priced lower than in the big cities.

That evening you’ll be entertained by Berber and Gnaoua musicians and will be accommodated overnight in a local guesthouse.

Day 8: Merzouga – Zagora

After breakfast in the guest house, leave for Rissani.

If it is a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday this is an opportunity to explore the souk , once a meeting place for many caravans coming from Timbuctou in Mali.

Rissani – once Sijilmassa – is the foundation of the Alaouite Aynasty, the current ruling family.

With most of the woman veiled, and men hooded, this is a very traditional Moroccan town.

We’ll continue driving towards Zagora , via Alnif and Tazarine, before we get to the fascinating Draa Valley at the edge of the Atlas Mountains, along which lay hundreds of Berber Kasbahs.

Stop by the famous Kasbah Tinzouline and continue to Zagora.

Overnight accommodation will be at a luxurious riad.

Day 9: Tamegrout and the Draa Valley

After breakfast at the riad we’ll head southwards to the well-known Tamegrout.

Visit the Islamic-book shop, the oldest in the area, which served as a school and the source of Islamic education.

Our visit continues to the hand-made pottery works where you will see men baking the clay to make different pots and kitchen dishes, and making fire to heat them in high temperature.

Drive back to the Riad, in the afternoon you have the choice to have a walk in the valley or relax and enjoy the beauty of the building.

Overnight Riad

Day 10: Draa Valley – Ouarzazat

After a luxurious breakfast at the riad , head to Ouarzazat again through the Draa Valley.

Just before Agdez stop to stretch your legs and see the panoramic view of the palm grove and the scenic moon-like landscape with the beautiful contrast of the Berber villages and the Saghro mountains.

Continue towards our hotel near the Kasbah Tifoultout; an area that has been a popular location for Hollywood films, including The Last Temptation of Christ, Jewel of the Nile, and the Mummy.

Day 11: Tifoultout –Taroudant

After breakfast and visiting Tifoultout Kasbah, we’ll head to Taroudant via Taznakht, stopping at Taliouine to visit the Safran co-operative.

If your visit coincides with the Safran harvest, you will have the opportunity to meet the Berber women with their families picking the safran leaves in their fields.

We should arrive at Taroudant in the afternoon, where you’ll be accommodated overnight in a guesthouse.

Day 12: Taroudant

After breakfast we’ll explore Taroudant ” little Marrakech” and its monuments starting with a visit to the Kasbah and the ramparts; the alleys of the medina; the Berber Souk and the Arab Souk and then to the tanneries.

After lunch near the main square, go for a horse-drawn carriage ride around the walls, which were built by the Saadian dynasty in the 16th century before they moved to Marrakech.

Taroudant is referred to as the “little Marrakech” for its red walls and narrow alleys built by the same dynasty who built Marrakech.

Dinner can be at a restaurant outside the walls, and overnight accommodation again at the guest house.

Day 13: Taroudant – Tafraout

After breakfast, we’ll head for Tafraout, a Berber village in the heart of the Anti-Atlas Mountains.

Unlike most old Berber villages in the area, Tafraout remains a small village with a strong Berber culture.

You will see the “Painted Rocks”, a 1980s project by the Belgian artist Jean Verame, who applied tonnes of paint onto them.

You can meet locals in the fertile valley of Ameln, with the opportunity to taste Argan oil and again experience Berber hospitality.

In the afternoon enjoy an extraordinary sunset over the Atlas hills and relax in the tranquility of Tafraout where you’ll stay overnight in a hotel.

Day 14: Tafraout – Essaouira

Breakfast in the hotel, then head for Essaouira, travelling via Agadir, where we’ll stop for lunch.

The coastal route to Essaouira offers beautiful scenery and from time to time herds of goats climbing the Argan trees looking for better food they can’t find on the ground.

There’s an abundant harbour here too, so you can enjoy a delicious sea-food dinner before staying overnight in a local hotel.

Day 15: Essaouira

Breakfast at the hotel in Essaouira, then start our explorative journey of the city.

You’ll visit the Skala Fortress; see Thuya wood carved by artisans; walk through the alleys of the medina and view hundreds of handicrafts.

The “City of the wind” attracts surfers from all over the world.

Essaouira knew many civilisations – including the Portuguese occupation, which affects much of its architecture – however, it remains a small village with much history.

Because of its size and its characteristic blue doors and washed walls, it is also regarded as Morocco’s “Jewel of the Atlantic”.

Our visit includes the Mellah – the Jewish headquarter, and the beach.

There is an annual festival of “Gnawa music”, where many musical groups come from different parts of Africa and the world.

Usually it starts in the second week of June, so if your trip coincides with this, you have the option to extend your stay for an extra day.

Lunch at the main square of Essaouira, then a free afternoon.

Overnight accommodation at the hotel in Essaouira.

Day 16: Essaouira – Marrakech

Breakfast in the hotel, then depart for Marrakech.

On our way – since this is the land of Argan culture – this is an opportunity to visit the women’s co-operative of Argan oil where they extract the oil that is famous for its culinary, cosmetic and medical properties.

Day 17: Depart Marrakech

You’ll be departing Morocco today, we hope you had a magical time with us and thank you for choosing  Medina Tours to assist you during your visit to our beautiful Morocco.