10 to 12-night Marrakech, South Morocco, Desert and Coast trip
This 10 to 12-day trip combines the craziness of Marrakech, spectacular rural and desert scenery and the serenity (and sometimes wildness) of the Atlantic coast
The cost of the trip is approximately 1530 euro per person (assuming 2 people) for a 10-day trip, 1780 euro per person for an 11-day trip and 1960 euro per person for a 12-day trip. The final cost will depend upon room availability.
- 3 nights at a riad in Marrakech
- 1 night at Kasbah Azul in the Draa Valley
- 2 nights at the Desert Camp
- 1 night at El Malara in Tafraout
- 3 nights at Rebali Riads on the coast at Sidi Kaouki, or
3 nights at a riad in Essaouira (Villa Maroc, Heure Bleue, or Villa De L'O)
- 7 days of transport in a 4WD with driver
The 11-day trip includes 3 nights in the desert and the 12-day trip an extra night between the desert and the coast. BUT, the number of nights in each location is flexible and can be arranged according to your wishes.
This trip showcases the wonderful variety that Morocco offers. It starts in the souks and chaos of Marrakech. From there you travel over the awe-inspiring High Atlas Mountains and the kasbahs of Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou to your guest house, Kasbah Azul in the Draa valley. From here, there are some wonderful serene walks in the palm oasis. The following day you travel through the Draa Valley and its hundreds of decaying kasbahs, onto the vastness of the desert. After the desert, the scenery alternates between stark mountain and lush oasis. The landscape around Tafraout is some of the most beautiful in Morocco.
Sidi Kaouki is about 20 minutes south of Essaouira. It is how beach places used to be—laid back and undeveloped. The beach is long and wide and you can walk for miles and miles. It's sometimes windy, sometimes not. It's not just a great place to unwind and have long walks but there is also plenty to do: swim, surf, horse ride and quad bike. You can also go on a day trip to Essaouira. Alternatively, you can opt to stay in the medina of Essaouira. I like Essaouira. It is chilled, and has a developing and diverse restaurant scene.
In Sidi Kaouki I recommend staying at Rebali. It consists of five delightful villas, built in a riad style, two of which can be rented on an exclusive basis (there is a small premium for this). There is a private pool. Breakfast is provided, and also lunches and dinner on demand.
We provide transport in a 4WD from Marrakech to Sidi Kaouki. From there, taxis are available to Essaouira, and they will also arrange transportation to Marrakech for your flight home (this costs about 120 euro).
10 days is the minimum recommended time in order to relax and enjoy. However, it can be lengthened and amdended, in accordance with your preferences.
Depart at about 0800 to 0900. The trip to Kasbah Azul is about 5h30 plus stops. The route is via the Tizi n'Tichka pass, the spectacular Ounila Valley, the Glaoui Kasbah of Telouet and the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, an UNESCO heritage site. You then pass through the administrative town of Ouarzazate (there are a couple of film studios here for film buffs). Overnight at Kasbah Azul, which has a beautiful location adjacent to the verdant palm oasis.
Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp. The trip to the camp is about 4h30 plus stops. The route follows the Draa river and its palm oasis to Zagora. 15 minutes after Zagora you reach Tamegroute, famed for its green glazed pottery, ancient koranic library and zaouia (Islamic religious school). You enter the desert at the frontier town of M'Hamid el Ghizlane, and from here it is 1h45 bumping through the desert to the camp.
El Malara in Tafroute. There are several different routes from the camp to the coast. The one via Tafraout is the most spectacular. It takes 7 hours plus stops. Tafraout is located in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, which provide a gorgeous backdrop in the evening sunlight. The drive via Tata and Igherm features stunning geological topography, verdant oasis and also some ancient rock art. The guest house of El Malara has a terrace that looks onto the mountain range. It's tranquil, beautiful and serene.
Rebali Riads at Sidi Kaouki. Exiting Tafraout via a beautiful valley, the route goes via Tiznit, Agadir and the surfing capital of Morocco, Taghazout. From here you follow the road north, from where there are some fabulous views of the coast. The route then goes slightly inland, where there are thousands of argan trees. You might, by chance, encounter the famed goats that graze in the trees. The trip is 7 hours plus stops.