Immerse yourself in the most surprising part of the Moroccan desert, and contemplate the contrasts offered by its different landscapes as you cross motorways, dirt tracks, valleys, ports, mountain gorges and historic towns.
3 Day Sahara Desert Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Marrakech - Aït Benhaddou - Ouarzazate - The Dadès Valley
On the first day we leave Marrakech behind to hit the road towards Ouarzazate. On the way we cross the striking Atlas Mountains, crossing through the stunning Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass, 2,260 metres high.
At the mid point of the journey we will arrive at the Aït Benhaddou Kasbah, a fortified city that has served a filming location for movies such as Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven. You'll have approximately two and a half hours here to explore this spectacular desert city and to have lunch.
The route then continues to Ouarzazate where you will have approximately half an hour to admire and take photos of the impressive Taourirt Kasbah.
Taking “The Road of a Thousand Kasbahs" towards Skoura we will then cross the Valley of the Roses to finally arrive at the Dadès Valley, where we will spend the night. Sometimes, we will stay in Skoura instead.
Day 2: Dadès Valley - Todgha Gorges - Merzouga
Having eaten breakfast we set off towards the Dadès Valley, crossing on the way the incredible Todgha Gorges where we will stay for a bit to enjoy the impressive landscape. Next, we move on in the direction of Merzouga, passing through the Jorf palm grove (which produces the best dates) and we will stop for lunch before arriving at Erfoud, a village famous for its fossil fragments.
Having arrived in Merzouga, we will swap our motor vehicles for camels to immerse ourselves in the desert, and search for the Bedouin camp where we will spend the night.
Here, soundtracked by desert silence, we will enjoy one of the most authentic dinners in all Morocco.
Day 3 Merzouga - Rissani - Alnif -Tizi n'Tichka - Ouarzazate - Marrakesh
If there is one unmissable sight in the desert it is sunrise. Having enjoyed this tranquil moment, the tour returns to its camels, to make for a hotel where we can shower and have breakfast (depending on the type of camp, the breakfast and shower can be before the camel ride).
Passing through the Tafilalet palm grove and Rissani village (from where Morocco’s ruling Alaouite dynasty comes) the tour continues through the acacia-covered plateaus and arrives at Alnif, where we take the road crossing the Anti Atlas mountain range. Through the remarkable mountainous passages of Tizi n'Tichka we will arrive at Tinghir, (an important Berber village), and finally the Dades Valley.
Reaching Kalaat M'Gouna around midday, we'll stop for lunch and a well-earned rest, before we complete our return journey to Marrakesh via Ouarzazate - leaving you at your hotel at around 8:30 pm.
End your tour in Fez
If you'd prefer, you can choose to finish your tour being dropped off in Fez instead of Marrakesh. This option will incur a supplementary charge of 70 euros per person (for a minimum of 2 people). If you choose this option, the itinerary of your last day will be different: on the way to Fez you will pass through Tafilalt, Rissani, Azrou and Ifrane, and visit the monkey forest, where you'll be able to meet the monkeys and even feed them. The journey may take place with a driver who speaks English, French, or Spanish, depending on availability, and you'll arrive in Fez in the late evening.
There are two options: standard (2-3 stars) and luxury (4 stars). With the first option you'll stay in a standard category hotel in Dades and a standard camp in Mergouza. The second option doesn't change the Dades accommodation, but means you will stay in a luxury category camp.
- Standard Hotels: Dar Essyaha, Hotel Babylon, Hotel Le Vieux Chateau, Kasbah Tifawen (guest house) or similar (Dades), The Haimas camp (Merzouga).
- Luxury Camps: Azawad Luxury Desert Camp or similar (Merzouga).
Both the hotels and the desert camps have double rooms, or if you prefer, triple and family rooms.
The standard rooms have shared bathrooms, whilst the luxury accommodation comes with private bathrooms.
If you wish to do a 4 day private day trip with your partner, family or friends, check out our 4 Day Merzouga Desert Private Tour.
|Adults||Children from 2 to 10||Children under 2|
US$ 196.90 US$ 164.10
US$ 98.40 US$ 82
US$ 273.50 US$ 218.80
US$ 136.70 US$ 109.40
AdultsUS$ 196.90 US$ 164.10
Children from 2 to 10US$ 98.40 US$ 82
Children under 2Free
AdultsUS$ 273.50 US$ 218.80
Children from 2 to 10US$ 136.70 US$ 109.40
Children under 2Free
* A reservation for one person will include a supplement.
The tour is exclusively in English.
Transport in a 4x4 or luxury minibus.
English speaking driver.
Two nights accommodation (hotel and Berber tent)
Sunrise and sunset camel rides.
Pick up from hotels outside the historic centre.
17% discount on the official ticket price.
Entrance to the Taourirt Kasbah (approx. €7).
Lunches and drinks.
Guide at Aït Benhaddou (€2 per person, to be paid in cash).
When to book?
Book as soon as possible to guarantee availability, especially during public holidays and festivities.
You can book up until the previous day (8:00 PM local time) if there are still places available.
Once your booking has been confirmed, you will receive an email containing your booking voucher. Please print it out or download on your smartphone/tablet to show on the day of the activity.
Frequently asked questions
Q - Can we do one way by camel and return by quad bike?
A - Yes, it costs 50 EUR (also payable in Dirhams) for drivers and 20 EUR for passengers to hire quad bikes.
Q - Are there towels in the camps?
A - Yes.
Q - Is there WiFi in the camp?
A - No. If you need an internet connection we recommend that you buy a local sim card, to have 3G in the camp.
Q - How many people are in a group?
A - It depends on how many people book this tour, but the groups tend to be between 6 and 16 people.
Q - Is it possible to end the tour in Ouarzazate?
A - Yes, but please indicate so when making your reservation and let your guide know on the day.
Q - In which hotels is free pick up available?
A - We will contact you to specify the exact pick up time and place.
Q - Is it possible to pay by card in the places visited?
A - We recommend that you bring cash, not all of the places will accept card.
Q - Can you bring luggage on the excursion?
A - Yes. The luggage will always be in the vehicle or back at the hotel. When you're travelling by camel you can only bring a backpack.
Q - How long is the camel ride?
A - The camel ride to get to the camp takes about an hour. The next day you'll make the same journey back.
Q - Is it possible to do a desert quad bike tour during the excursion?
A - Yes, you can contract this, and other, activities in the destination. The guide will take you to the quad rental place so you can enjoy this activity.
Q - What time do the activities begin in the morning?
A - Around 8 am.
Q - How many hours in the car are included in this excursion?
A - On the first and second day there are approximately 8 hours of driving. On the last day approximately 10.
Q - Is there heating in the hotel/haima?
A - The hotel on the first night has heating. In the camp there is no heating, but there are plenty of blankets and duvets, so you won't get cold.
Q - How long will we have in Ourzazate and the Dadès Gorges?
A - Half an hour in each of the two.
Q - Is there an alternative way to do the desert excursion, without riding the camel?
A - Yes, you can do the journey by car instead of by camel. Please advise the chauffer in the moening of the second day of the excursion.
Q - Does the menu include gluten free and vegetarian options?
A - Yes, please indicate this special requirement in the comment section when making the reservation on the first day of the excursion.
Q - Does this excursion visit Erg Chebbi?
A - Yes, Erg Chebbi and the Merzouga desert are two names for the same desert.
Q - How to book?
A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.
Café de France, Jemaa el-Fnaa Square.