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3 Days Marrakech To Erg Chegaga Desert Tour

  • 3D/2N

Tour Description

This 3 Days Marrakech To Erg Chegaga Desert Tour is the most exciting tour for travelers with just three days available and who wish to have a unique, full desert experience. On this trip, you are far out in the dunes, away from any impression of civilization.

It starts with your being fetched from your hotel or Riad in Marrakech at 08.30 to head south over the magnificent High Atlas Mountains. You cross the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, (2660m) the highest in North Africa. You will be astounded by the panoramas and will wish to take memorable photos; just let your driver know where you would like to stop.

On the way you make a visit to the former presidential palace, Kasbah Telouet, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. These are the two most famous Kasbahs in Morocco, forming an essential part of any desert tour. Before reaching Ouarzazate, you can visit the Atlas Film Studios which sets up many Hollywood movies.

That night you will spend the night in a traditional rural riad or an authentic guest house in Agdez, a small town right at the head of the Dra’a Valley. All the way to the desert, you will have the distinct impression of being on your way to a different world – new, exciting, and oriental. With a local guide to explain the history, you have the opportunity of visiting the largest of the valley’s hundreds of Kasbahs, namely Kasbah Tamnougalt. The thrill of the Orient increases as you go off-road through the Dra’a Valley, passing ancient kasbahs and green oases. This is all part of the ancient road of the caravans which played goods up from Mali and Niger after having crossed the Sahara for days on end.

After reaching the largest town before the Sahara, Zagora, you will have an opportunity to visit the co-operatives of the nationwide famous green pottery and the Koranic Library with its magnificent manuscripts. Later the trip’s peak experience of riding camels is awaiting you in the Erg Chegaga Dunes. At night under the amazing panoply of stars, you will sleep in a comfortable luxury desert camp at the foot of the most expansive Sahara dunes in Morocco. The next day the wonder continues as you drive off-road in the Sahara Desert, hunt for fossils in the dry lake of Iriqui and get to know Berber carpet-making skills in Taznakht.

Experience the majesty and wonder of our completely unique range of Marrakech Desert tours. Discover the tour itinerary below. Your journey starts here!


Price Includes

  • Transport in a private air-conditioned 4×4; Toyota Prado Tx or deluxe van and fuel
  • Pick-up from and drop-off at your riad or hotel in Marrakech
  • Experienced local English/French/Spanish/Italian-speaking Berber and nomad driver/guide
  • The night in a luxury camp in Erg Chegaga with private toilet and shower, lamps, traditional Moroccan handmade furnishings and plenty of space
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner – with vegetarian and vegan options available
  • A camel ride of about an hour – an hour & a half with a guide, and free sandboarding – just speak to the camp staff
  • Luggage service to the camp and all accommodation
  • Free time to explore the sites such as Ait Ben Haddou, the Ounila Valley, the Dra’a Valley, Kasbah Tamnougalte, for walks, photos, and tea/coffee breaks
  • Entrance fees and local guide
  • Tea, coffee and mineral water in the desert

Itineraries : 3 Days Marrakech To Erg Chegaga Desert Tour


1st day : Marrakech – Agdez

Your morning departure for the Marrakech to Erg Chegaga desert trip is at 8.30 from your hotel or riad in Marrakech to cross the High Atlas Mountains. After the Tichka pass, you take a side road to the Telouet Kasbah, which belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, the Glaoui family. Each addition to the building now stands in ruins exposed to the wind and the rain, having been abandoned and plundered after the last Pasha fled the country following the departure of the French in 1956. Wait to be pleasantly surprised by the traditional interior decoration as you reach the farthest end of the Kasbah.

From here you drive along the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ounila Valley, full of bends in the roads, surprises at the hues of the rock and soil, Berber villages and gardens, as well as smaller Kasbahs. Almost at the end of the road, you reach Aït Ben Haddou, where you stop for a tasty lunch.

This is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco, one of Morocco’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. The architectural style is well preserved and the earthen constructions are perfectly adapted to the climatic conditions, in harmony with the natural and social environment. Probably originating in the 17th century, it is also famous as the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbuster films.

Having driven through Ouarzazate, we continue south over the Tizi-n-Tinfifte pass to Agdez. Descending from the pass you will be amazed at the view of the extensive oasis and the number of palm trees. This indicates the beginning of the Dra’a Valley with its thousands of date palms, producing an amazing 44 varieties of dates. The date harvest starts in September and lasts a couple of months; the best time to stop in Agdez for the freshest ones. We spend the night in a guest house.


2nd day : Agdez – Chegaga Dunes

After breakfast, there is time to visit Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest kasbah in the Dra’a Valley. Some of it is still inhabited but the Jewish area has been crumbling since the departure of its inhabitants to Israel – the last woman having left in 1963.

From here, we take the ancient caravan road between the river and the mountains for a short while. which was used to ply goods from sub-Saharan Africa and Morocco. The road passes between the mountains and the river, through many villages and gardens. This road allows you to gain a better idea of the Berber way of life in the life-giving oases.

Just before the police checkpoint in Tansikht, the driver can stop and show you the dinosaur footprints right at the side of the road. We then arrive in the village of Tinsouline, from where you can drive just a kilometer or so off-road to the fascinating rock carvings of animals long extinct in Morocco at Foum Chenna, some 4000 years old.

Zagora is the largest town in the whole area and here we shall stop for lunch. Later we reach Tamgroute, with a stop at the potteries famous for the green glaze. You can also visit the ancient Quranic library with exquisite hand-written Arabic texts.

In the afternoon we drive further south still, to M’hamid, the very gate to the desert and the end of the paved road. In the Erg Lihoudi dunes, we stop for lunch or alternatively, in Kasbah Touareq in Ksar Bounou.

You continue to the Erg Chegaga dunes (300m) with 60km of off-road driving. This route passes different features of the desert; ‘erg’ (dunes), ‘hammada’ (stony desert), and oases. These dunes are far away from civilization, in the desert proper ……. and the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming. Once there you can take a camel ride of about an hour and a half.

You have dinner and spend the night at a luxury camp with a private bathroom, king-sized beds, beautiful Moroccan furnishings, and lamps tastefully arranged to enhance your enjoyment of the silence and beauty of the dunes.


3rd day : Chegaga – Marrakech

After breakfast, our 3-day desert trip to Erg Chegaga from Marrakech takes us west through another 90km of the desert with varying scenery: Lake Iriqui, where you are likely to experience a wide mirage in the heat, the mountains, and have an opportunity of searching for small fossils.

Lunch will be in Foum Zguid, the first village after the desert. “Foum” means “mouth” so the name is the “mouth/source” of the Zguid River. From here the drive goes north along paved roads and past amazing rock formations to the small town of Taznakht, famous for its Berber carpets and rugs. If you are interested you can visit a display room with looms and women at work.

From there, we cross the High Atlas again on a different road from the journey south. You reach Marrakech at the end of the afternoon, having had the best possible Saharan desert trip in Morocco. Your driver will escort you to your riad bringing your Marrakech to Erg Chegaga desert tour 3 days to an end.