1st day: Marrakesh – Ouarzazate
Morning departure at 8 o'clock from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh to cross the High Atlas Mountains. After the Tichka pass, you leave the main road and take a side road to the Telouet Kasbah, which belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, the Glaoui family, and which now stands in ruins after the last Pasha fled the country following the departure of the French. From there you continue for lunch at Ait Ben Haddou along the newly asphalted connecting road. This is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which we visit after lunch. Later we continue as far as Ouarzazate to spend the night in a riad there.
2nd day: Ouarzazate – Chagaga
After breakfast the route continues to the Draa Valley with a stop to visit Kasbah Tamnougalt, the oldest Kasbah in the Draa Valley, and still partly inhabited. We continue by taking the ancient caravan road between the river and the mountains. On the way, we pass many villages and gardens so that you can gain a better idea of the way of life along the oases. We drive to M'hamid, the gate to the desert, to the dunes of Erg Lihoudi, where we stop for lunch. Here a two-hour camel ride is scheduled. Later we continue to the Erg Chegaga dunes (300m) with 60 km of off-road driving. This route passes different features of the desert; ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, oases. These dunes are far away from civilization, in the desert proper ……. and the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming. Dinner and a night’s sleep are in a bivouac of nomad tents.
3rd day: Chagaga – Taroudant
After breakfast we drive another 90 km across the Sahara over the stony desert, “reg” and “hammada” and across the now dried-up Lake Iriqui. In the middle of this lake, we can search for fossils. At the edge of the desert at Foum Zguid, we drive north to Taznakht, famous for its Berber gelims and carpets, where we stop for lunch. After crossing the Tizi-n-Ikhsan and Tizi-n-Tighten passes, we reach Taliouine, the heart of the saffron growing region. The road takes us on to Taroudant, where we stop for the night in a riad.
4th day: Taroudant – Essaouira
In the morning there is a visit to the town known as “the little Marrakesh”. It is spectacular for its massive ramparts and beautiful medina. From here you travel along the Souss river valley with all its orange groves as far as Agadir. The road then travels up the coast along the Paradise Valley, driving through Taghazout and through the mountains. On arriving in Essaouira, you can explore the town, the Skala, the medina and all its innumerable shops as well as the sea front with its fresh fish restaurants. The night is spent in Essaouira.
5th day: Essaouira – Marrakech
After breakfast you can continue to wander round Essaouira, getting to know it better, perhaps enjoying more of the fresh fish. Return to Marrakesh, stopping in a forest of argan trees and the co-operative of argan oil producers. We pass many Berber villages on the way.