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departure from Fes

Description

Day 1: Fez

We will meet you at your Fez riad or hotel at 8:00a.m., depart and transport (8 hours) over the Middle Atlas mountains through the cedar forests of Ifrane, Midelt and the Ziz gorges towards Sahara, until the Erg Chebbi dunes appear on the horizon. Our destination is the auberge (small inn) near Merzouga, where you meet your camel guide and ride into the dunes to the bivouac (camp). Upon arrival you will have a traditional tagine dinner prepared (vegetarians welcome) under the evening stars shining brilliantly in the clear night sky. Climb the dunes and watch the moon rise before retiring to your bed in the nomad wool tent.

Day 2

Bivouac trekkers return by camel at sunrise to the auberge for breakfast and shower. Take your time before going to Tinehir. Along the way we pass through folded exposed rock slabs of fossils and we can stop and visit a fossil workshop for a closer look at Sahara’s wonderful varieties of ancient life. After lunch you can wander with a guide through palmeries, villages, gardens, and kasbahs for a close look at traditional Berber ways of life. Visit the market in Tinehir and old kasbah quarter. We will stay in an old kasbah, with evening Moroccan dinner.

Day 3

Today we rise early and visit Todra Gorges, a deep rift in the High Atlas mountains, with sheer cliffs of 300 metres. We\'ll leave the main road to cross over the High Atlas desert mountains through Tazzarine, then follow the winding road down to Dades Valley. Stay in Dades valley upper gorge auberge (small country inn) with Moroccan dinner on the terrace, overlooking the valley gorge and gardens.

Day 4

We will again off-road, leaving the tourist route behind for the Saghro massif, one of the most remote regions in Morocco, populated by the Ait Atta nomad tribes. We’ll visit their camps and perhaps be invited in for tea. The traverse climbs a rugged trail off-road, crossing high plateaus, volcanic cones, ridges, and we\'ll take time to enjoy spectacular views over this area. Stop for a picnic lunch near Bab n’Ali, two ancient weathered volcanic cores. Stay in NKob hotel.

Day 5

After breakfast we drive east of the stark Saghro Massif towards Zagora. This route is peppered with isolated villages, rocky mesas and acacia trees. We\'ll off-road taking an isolated route through the desert where only Nomads follow the herds, and emerge in the bustling town of Zagora. Stay in Zagora hotel this night.

Day 6

Our return to Marrakech will follow the old Timboctu caravan route up the Valley Draa. We\'ll drive through the oasis of 1 million date palms, and head to Ouarzazate for lunch. After lunch, the World Heritage Site, Ait Benhaddou is our next stop. This village of clustered Berber Kasbahs has been used as a backdrop for more than 20 films and was one of the most important fortress strongholds on the old Salt Road where caravans brought slaves, gold, ivory and salt from Saharan Africa to Marrakech and beyond. Stay in Ait Benhaddou.

Day 7

We\'ll leave Ait Benhaddou and continue along the old caravan route off-road to Telouet, where we\'ll visit the old Glaoui Kasbah, once the fading palace of one of the greatest and most fierce Lords of the Atlas. Descending the High Atlas mountains Tizi nTichka pass to Marrakech, we will have time to stop and enjoy impressive landscapes, with coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice breaks. You will need to book a hotel this night in Marrakech, or we can book (with extra cost) for you.

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