1st day: Agadir – Taroudant – Tilouine – Foum Zguid
Departure from Agadir at 8 o’clock by 4WD to Taroudant, known as “the little Marrakesh “. It is spectacular for its massive ramparts and beautiful medina. We continue to Tilouine, the heart of the saffron growing area of Morocco and cross the two passes of Tizi-n-Tighatine and Tizi-n-Ikhsane before reaching Kourkouda and Taznakht. This small town is famous for its Berber gelims and carpets and where we stop for lunch. From here we continue south driving to the edge of the Sahara to Foum Zguid for the night.
2nd day: Foum Zguid – Cheggaga dunes
After breakfast we drive into the Sahara across the now dried-up Lake Iriqui, which used to be fed by the Dra’a river and be full of fish and water birds. In the middle of this lake we can search for fossils. The off-road piste takes us past the various features of the desert; the stony desert, “reg” and the “hammada”. Lunch will be in Cheggaga, far away from villages and ‘civilisation’. Here you can clamber up to the top of the high dunes to watch the sunset. At the foot of the dunes, we have dinner and spend the night in a bivouac of nomad tents.
3rd day: Cheggaga – Mhamid
After breakfast in the bivouac, the itinerary crosses another 60 km of desert road via the Sacred Oasis to arrive in M’hamid. Here you will be taken to visit Abdelhadi’s ancestral house in the old village on the opposite side of the Dra’a River. Later you continue to Erg Lihoudi for a camel ride and to watch the sunset over the top of the dunes. We spend a second night in a bivouac of nomad tents.
4th day: Mhamid – Agdez/Kasbah Tamnougalte
After breakfast we take the road north through Zagora. This small town is the largest oasis in the Dra’a Valley and is particularly famous for its dates. From here we follow the ancient caravan route used by the caravans that had crossed the Sahara for days and weeks bringing treasures from Mali or Mauretania . The road passes between the river and the mountains past all the Kasbahs and the local gardens giving you a clearer impression of life here in this area of Morocco . In Agdez, we stop for the night at Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest Kasbah in the Dra’a Valley.
5th day: Agdez – Tansikht – N’Qob – Tizi-n-Tazzazzert – Tinghir – Toudgha
After breakfast there is time to visit the rest of the Kasbah, some of which is still inhabited and some of which is crumbling. Then we return about 20 kilometres back down the Dra’a Valley to reach the road crossing the river eastwards. In N’Qob we stop for lunch in a small kasbah overlooking the mountains. Lunch is followed by the adventure of travelling north off-road across the Tizi-n-Tazazert pass (2283m) and the spectacular “gateway” of volcanic rock. This is the Saghro mountain range and perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot the black nomadic tents of the Ait Atta, the last tribe to resist the French colonization. Back on the main road we continue to Tinghir and the Toudgha gorges for the night.
6th day: Toudgha – Dades – Valley of the Roses – Skoura – Ouarzazate
After breakfast the itinerary continues west to Dades and the famous gorges there with their spectacular and unusual rock formations, known as “the monkey’s fingers”. From here we go off road again along the Boutarar piste to visit Berber nomads in their caves and partake of a glass of tea with them. We continue through the Valley of the Roses, famous for its Rose Festival in May, and past the kasbahs of Skoura, many of which, sadly, now stand in ruins in the midst of the oasis. In Ouarzazate, you stay in our apartment.
7th day: Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Agadir
After breakfast, which will be brought to you, you visit Kasbah Taourirt, formerly the property of the last Pasha of Marrakesh, Thami Glaoui, who left Morocco at the end of the French colonisation which he still supported. From here a visit to the most famous Kasbah in Morocco Ait Ben Haddou is scheduled. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbusters. Then it is time to leave and take to the road back to Agadir to reach the city at the end of the afternoon