8 o’clock departure from Marrakesh, crossing the High Atlas Mountains. After the Tichka
pass, the highest in North Africa, plunge deeper into the landscape to the Telouet Kasbah,
once the seat of the powerful Lords of the Atlas.
Drive along the beautiful Ounila Valley, visit the salt mines of pinkish salt rock and arrive at
the most famous Kasbah in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site and back-drop to
innumerable Hollywood blockbusters, Ait ben Haddou.
Visit the Atlas Film Studios, where scores of these films were shot and the sets are still
intact: Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Kundun, Game
of Thrones ….
Spend the night in a traditional guest house in a secluded Berber oasis, where some of the
Game of Thrones was shot!
The road continues through the Skoura Oasis, full of crumbling Kasbahs, and then Kela’a
M’gouna, the Valley of Roses, with a stop to see the cosmetic products of the valley’s
abundant roses. An off-road route leads through geologically fascinating landscape and local
villages. Have tea in the valley with Berber nomads tending their goats and living in caves! In
the fertile Dades Valley, you spend the night with a Berber family, or for the more intrepid,
after climbing for a couple of hours, with other Berber nomads in their mountain caves. Or
else sleep in a traditional guest house by the Dades River, lulling you to sleep as it gurgles
along in the complete silence of the mountain night air.
After breakfast, there is time to walk by the river before continuing to Toudgha to the very
different gorges there. Later near Tinjdad, turn off to see the remains of 4-5 types of no, not
rocks, dinosaurs! Visit Erfoud, the most famous area for its uncountable fossil finds and the
workshops turning them into artefacts. In the afternoon you can take a two-hour camel ride
in the Sahara into the sunset. Dinner and the night back at the bivouac in a traditional nomad
tent with music and a camp fire.
After breakfast, you will go all the way round the dunes via the oasis of MERZOUGA, the
nomadic depository, KHAMLIA village (Blacks’ village 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’ll leave for Rissani. Once called
Sijilmassa, this was the meeting place for the salt caravans, coming from Timbuktu in Mali.
Here you’ll walk through the souk, selling spices, vegetables and cloths. After lunch at Noura
restaurant to try a berber Pizza then we drive to the hotel after you can enjoy a bit walk to
the dunes and the sunset.
If you wake up early enough, you can watch the spectacle of the sunrise, when the colour of
the dunes and the play of shadows are an awesome sight. Return to the bivouac on the
camels before continuing to the Dra’a Valley via the village of Tazzarine (featured in the film
‘Babel’), and on to N’Qob for lunch. In the afternoon you join the Dra’a Valley with its huge
date palm trees and ancient villages. At the end of the afternoon, we stop in Agdez for the
night at the oldest Kasbah in the valley, Tamnougalte, built in the 17th Century.
After breakfast, visit this ancient Kasbah, where time has almost stood still for the some
thirteen resident families. We 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. From here we continue up north and drive into the Taleouin for Safran
comparative. The trip ends across the High Atlas, overlooking the mud-brick Berber villages,
almost indistinguishable from the mountains themselves.arrving to Marrakech at the end of