Day 1 :Fes – Middle Atlas Mountains – The Sahara Desert
Will pick you up from you hotel or Riad at 7 am for the fabulous journey up into the Middle Atlas mountains. Your first stop will be at the delightful town of Ifrane, built by the French in the 1930’s, and known as Morocco’s Switzerland because of its Alpine chalet-styled architecture and aspect. Next you will travel on through the huge cedar forests around the quaint, peaceful Berber town of Azrou, “The Rock” in the local Berber dialect, where the famous Barbary Apes, actually macaque monkeys, will be eager to share your lunch, in the heart of their natural habitat.
Then, passing through the Atlas Mountains, that are said to hold up the sky, winding your way though forested peaks, twisting mountain streams and gushing springs and spectacular, jagged walls of rock, you will arrive at the important, Sahara’s edge town of Rissani, then, continuing on south, you will be amazed at the startlingly sudden appearance, as if by magic, of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. These dunes are massive, up to 50 metres in height and extend eastwards all the way into the Algerian Sahara. Then enjoy an unforgettable ninety minute camel trek into the breathtaking sunset as you travel through the shifting sands before you arrive at a traditional Berber desert encampment to spend the night in a charming tent, surrounded by the mountainous dunes. Chill out and enjoy a delicious dinner while listening to the sweet strains of traditional Berber music until it is time to sleep underneath the myriad of glittering stars, so many and so bright that you feel you could almost reach out and touch them.
Day 2 : Desert Dawn – Mighty Mountains – Marrakech
An early start, as you are awoken to experience the splendour of the sun rising over the sand dunes, then you will ride your camel gently back to a hotel for breakfast, during which ride, you cannot fail to notice the shifting and changing of the shadows cast by the dunes, lengthening and shrinking as the day progresses. After breakfast, the journey to Marrakech begins with a drive through the 300 metre deep canyon of the Todgha Gorges cut through the easternmost tip of the High Atlas Mountains where you can enjoy some hiking around the pretty village of Tinghir. The Tinghir and Todgha gorges are the highest and narrowest in Morocco and, some would say, the most beautiful. After this you will travel on to the wonderfully preserved walled fortress or Kasbah of Taourirt, a UNESCO world heritage site, very traditionally Morrocan in it’s architecture and which you will be free to explore. Venturing onward though the High Atlas along the twisting, winding and narrow roads of the Tizi n’Tichka pass, 2,260 metres above sea-level. Your tour then ends in Marrakech where you will be dropped off at your riad or hotel.