FROM MARRAKECH: 4 days trip No. 403: Luxury Desert Trip: Atlas Mountains – Erg Chegaga Desert Camp

Experience the desert in a luxurious way. Spend two nights in a beautifully equipped luxury camp with all meals, drinks, camel treks and acitivities included.

The trip starts in Marrakech and we take you over the highest pass in the Atlas Mountains. We visit Kasbah Ait Benhaddou which is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco. We pass berber villages, Morocco’s Hollywood city Ouarzazate, green date valleys with kasbahs and oases and we visit a ceramic village where colorful, ceramics is made by hand. One night is spent in a hotel in Agdz, before we head to the luxury camp in the Erg Chegaga desert.

In the desert you can let your shoulders down and enjoy this magical place.

The camp offers activities like camel riding, trekking, sandboarding, guided walks, visit to the oasis, doze in the hammock and enjoy the evening’s informal music and drumming around the camp fire.

On the last day we drive for about 2 – 3 hours off-road on the old route of Rally Paris – Dakar. We also visit Morocco’s capitol carpet village.

  • From Marrakech
  • Start/stop: At your hotel or riad
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Transport: Landcruiser 4x4 car with aircondition
  • Language: Driver/guide speaks English and French

DAY-BY-DAY PROGRAM

Day 1: Marrakech - Atlas Mountains - Kasbab Ait Benhaddou - Ouarzazate - Agdz

The trip starts at 9 am, when the driver picks you up at your hotel or riad.

We head to the spectacular High Atlas Mountains, crossing via the twisting pass of Tizi n Tichka. We drive further until we reach the famous Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. The kasbah is a well-preserved fortified city which is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage site. From here we visit the city, or ksar, on foot. Lunch in Kasbah Ait Benhaddou.

After lunch we continue south, through the city of Ouarzazate, also known as Morocco’s Hollywood and nicknamed the «door to Sahara». We continue until we reach Agdz, which is located at the feet of the predominant mountain Jbel Kissane. Agdz means resting place and lies along the old caravan route from Marrakech to Timbuktu. Dinner and sleep in a hotel in Agdz.

Day 2: Draa Valley - Zagora - M'hamid - Erg Chigaga luxury desert camp

After breakfast we head through the green Draa Valley where Berbers grow dates and other agricultural products. The valley is also famous for its many kasbahs and oases. We continue further and stop to visit a pottery in Tamegrout, where you see how pottery is made with traditional methods. You can also visit the koranic library and medersa (school) next to the pottery.

Then we continue for about 2 hours until we reach M’hamid where you have your lunch. There is also time for a swim and relaxation by the hotel pool.

We then head off-road into the desert and after about 1,5 to 2 hours we reach the luxury camp in the sand dunes of Erg Chegaga. You can go on a camel trip around the sand dunes, if you wish and you can also try the sandboarding.

Back in the camp a delicious dinner is served. After dinner we sit around the camp fire and listen to traditional music performed by the nomads.

Day 3: Erg Chigaga luxury desert camp

Wake up in a beautiful tent in the middle of the sand dunes. Enjoy delicious meals prepared by the camp chef. All meals and drinks are included in the price, There are plenty of activities to do. You can go on camel riding, trekking, sand boarding, guided walks, visit the oasis, doze in the hammock and enjoy the evening’s informal music and drumming around the camp fire.

The camp is a mix of traditional Berber design, coupled with modern comfort. In the centre of the camp is the Berber lounge. It’s a place to relax and is filled with traditional mattresses and pouffes. Ice-cooled drinks, soft and alcoholic, are always available here. Meals are served outside under the stars, or under cover in a Berber tent. There is also a separate open-sided tent with sun loungers, another with sofa and chairs, and another with hammocks.

The tents are spacious (over 25 sq m) and luxurious. Each tent has a king-size bed (which can be made into 2 singles). There are also ‘wall-to-wall’ plush rugs, a full-length mirror, bedside tables, solar-powered lighting, an armchair and ottoman and space to hang your clothes. Each item has been handmade in Morocco. The beds also have high quality individual sprung mattresses, percale cotton sheets, duck down duvets and you have a choice of synthetic or duck down pillows.

Each bathroom has its own toilet, dressing room and wash area. High quality soap, shampoo, towels and ‘other goodies’ are provided.

Due to the chronic shortage of water in the desert, instead of a shower the camp provide two 20-litre silver pewter buckets with hot and cold water. The bucket wash is incredibly invigorating and uses a fraction.

Day 4: Erg Chigaga - Iriki - Rally Paris-Dakar route - Foum Zguid - Taznakht carpet village - Marrakech

Departure after breakfast, around 8 am. We head off-road across the desert onto Lake Iriki, a dried out lake. We follow the old route of rally Paris-Dakar. After about 3 hours off-road, we reach the paved roads and the town Foum Zguid where we stop for refreshments.  On the way, we also stop in Taznakht village which is famous for its berber carpets. Lunch is served here.

We arrive in Marrakech late afternoon.

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marrakech

ait benhaddou

ouarzazate

Agdez

zagora

tamegroute

m'hamid

foum zguid

taznakht