ERG CHEBBI AND AIT BENHADDOU DESERT TOUR 3 OR 4 DAYS
Erg Chebbi is a remote stretch of dunes about 22 Km from north to south and about 5 Km from east to west at the widest point. The highest dune, 884 m, is in the north. Among the dunes there are several oasis and you can easily get water just by digging a little. The trip to the oasis starts with a long route by road which is an experience itself geographically speaking, and also because of the numerous stops to cool down and get in contact with the local people.
Option 1: 3 Day 2 Night Tour
Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate – Dades Valley
We Depart from Marrakech at 9am in a modern, air-conditioned vehicle. We travel over the Atlas Mountain range, enjoying the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside below and we will visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. This journey takes approximately 3 hours. From there, after our break at the Kasbah, we continue to Ouarzazate (approx 1 hour or so) for a lunch break and sightseeing. Lunch is available in the local cafes, which serve a variety of typical Moroccan affair as well as more familiar dishes for Western travelers. After lunch, we continue along the route of the Dades Valley to reach our guesthouse where we will stay for the night. The guesthouse offers private ensuite rooms and an evening meal and breakfast are included.
Day 2: Dades Valley – Todra Gorge – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi
The next morning we continue along the Dades valley, visiting the Dades Gorge, Todra, Todra Gorge and other interesting sites while making our way to Merzouga. In Merzouga we explore the village and meet our camels who will take us for a unique and enjoyable ride 1 and a half hours into the dunes to reach our desert camp at Erg Chebbi. Each person will ride their own camel. The camel trek is usually just prior to sunset, so that you may enjoy the sun setting over the landscape from the top of the dunes. Once we arrive at the desert camp, we are greeted with a cup of delicious mint tea and we’ll spend the evening under the stars, on the dunes and beside the warmth of a fire. We enjoy a traditionally cooked meal of Tagine or couscous (vegetarians are catered for with vegetable tagine), a drum party and story swapping. The camp has toilet facilities. Those that wish to can sleep directly under the stars, but there are enclosed Bivouacs for everyone. The stars in the desert are a great opportunity to see as there are no artificial lights around and you can fully appreciate the glory of the skies above.
Day 3: Erg Chebbi – Merzouga – Marrakech
Wake up early, just prior to sunrise, where we will have a 1 and a half hour camel ride at sunrise to explore the area further before heading back to Merzouga on our camels. When we reach Merzouga we will have breakfast and have the opportunity to shower and freshen up. We’ll then begin our journey through the stony desert and over the Atlas Mountains, with plenty of stops for photos, exploring and lunch as we return to Marrakech. The usual arrival time in Marrakech is between 17:00hrs and 18:00hrs.
If you prefer to break the distance of the last day then we suggest spending the night in the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou as follows.
Option 2: 4 day 3 Night Trip
Day 1: Marrakech – Telouet – Ait Benhadou – Ouarzazate
Pick up from Marrakech at 8am, 2 hours drive via the Tizi N’Tichka pass, stops along the way for pictures, a visit to Telouet and it’s ancient 17th century Kasbah, lunch at a peaceful oasis with a Berber Folklore show, an hour and a half drive to Ait Benhadou Kasbah (11th century Kasbah, UNESCO World Heritage Site), a visit to the Atlas Studio, hotel overnight in Ouarzazate.
Day 2: Ouarzazat – Draa River – Alnif – Merzouga – Gnoua Village – Erg Chebbi
Breakfast at the hotel, pick up at 9:00am, scenic 2 hour drive along the Drâa River, one of the longest rivers in Morocco, stops at some beautiful adobe Kasbahs and Berber villages en route, enjoy the enchanting Draa Valley, and lunch in Alnif. Two hours drive to Merzouga, Stop along the great sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, a visit to the Gnoua people, two hour camel ride through the dunes, overnight under the stars or in a traditional Berber tent.
Day 3: Erg Chebbi – Todra Valley – Dades Gorge
Breakfast at the camp, pick up at 9:00am, drive to Todra Valley and the Todra Gorge lunch at the spot, stops along the Dades Valley, the Monkey Fingers Valley and the Dades Gorge, hotel overnight.
Day 4: Dades Gorge – Valley of the Roses – Skoura Oasis – Taourirt Kasbah – Ouarzazat – Tizi N’Tichka – Marrakech
Breakfast at the hotel, pick up at 9:00am, drive via the Thousand Kasbah route, the Valley of the Roses, a visit to Skoura Oasis with it’s authentic 17th century Kasbah, a visit to Taourirt Kasbah (the former residence of the Glaoui), lunch in Ouarzazat, 4 hour drive via the Tizi N’Tichka pass with stops for photos and breaks when requested, back to Marrakech by the evening.
4 days/3 night or 3 days/2 night
Group 1 person : On request
Group 2 – 3 people : 340Euro/person
Group 4 – 7 people : 260Euro/person
Group 8 – 12 people : 220Euro/person
Transport from and to Marrakech
Qualified English, French or Spanish speaking guide
1 Night in a hotel at Dades Gorge
1 Overnight camping in the Dunes
Camel ride through the dunes
Breakfast and dinner on the trip
Tips and personal expenses
Entrance fee (Monuments visits)
Prices quoted are per person, based on sharing a twin room/2 person tent (unless otherwise stated)
Payment: can be made in € / $ / £ or MAD