Agadir Desert Tour Chegaga

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6 Days
Agadir
Erg Chegaga
Min Age : 5
6-days tour from Agadir to Chegaga  Desert 

Agadir desert tour to Erg Chegaga Dunes allows you to make a glorious extension to your beach holiday. Erg Chegaga is the largest and most remote of the Saharan dunes; a world full of wonder and magic.  In this less touristy spot, a sunset camel ride to the top of Erg Chegaga Dunes fulfills many dreams of adventure and the unknown.  At your luxury desert camp, you can enjoy an evening of Berber and nomad music around a campfire under the stars.  Your stay in your exotic tent near the big dunes will fill you with impressions of partaking in a 1001 nights. (300 m).

You will travel to the desert via Taroudant, called the little Marrakech, Talouine, with its government-run saffron museum explains saffron cultivation, and Taznakht, full of co-operatives displaying the ancient craftf Berber rug-making.

After the desert, driving up the Dra’a Valley with all its palm trees in the oases, ancient kasbahs and Berber villages gives you an incomparable insight into rural Berber life. In the Dades Valley, you will undoubtedly marvel at the rock formations. Skoura oasis and Kasbah Amredhil are more examples of Berber life.  Local history can be explored at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah.

On the way north to Marrakech you drive up the Ounila Valley to Telouet; the famous now-ruined Kasbah of the last full Pasha of Marrakech, Thami Glaoui.  Once in Marrakech, you have the opportunity to visit all the main sights of this most famous city in Morocco.

 
 Highlights 
  • Photographing Taroudant’s famous intact city walls, visiting Talouine’s government-run saffron museum
  • Searching for fossils in Iriqui Lake and walking barefoot in the dunes
  • Enjoying a sunset camel ride in the Erg Chegaga Dunes
  • Sharing an evening of Berber music and drumming around a fire camp
  • Spending a beautiful night in a luxury desert camp
  • SDriving off-road through the largest Sahara Desert
  • Driving up the Dra’a Valley and visit the Dades Gorges
  • Exploring Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, the backdrop to many Hollywood blockbusters
  • Spending a night in a gorgeous riad or an authentic guest-house.

Key information

Desert Tour 6 days Departure from Agadir

What's included

  • 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 Agadir
  • Experienced local English/ French/Spanish/Italian-speaking Berber and nomad driver/guide
  • Accommodation in air-conditioned rooms/suiteswith private bathroom
  • All meals: breakfast, dinner – with vegetarian and vegan options available
  • Overnight in a luxury desert camp in Erg Chegaga with private toilet and shower, beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets, carpets, lamps and traditional handcrafted furnishings.
  • A camel ride of about an hour – an hour & a half with a guide, and free sandboarding, if desired – just ask the camp staff

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • Lunchs
  • Tips
  • Extras
Itinerary

1 st day:Agadir – Taroudant – Tilouine – Foum Zguid

Departure from Agadir at 8 o’clock by 4WD to Taroudant, known as “the little Marrakech”. It is spectacular for its massive ramparts and beautiful medina.

We continue to Tilouine, the heart of the saffron growing area of Morocco, where there is an interesting deliciously saffron-scented museum about growing this “golden” plant.

We cross the two passes of Tizi-n-Tighatine and Tizi-n-Ikhsane before reaching Kourkouda and Taznakht famous for its Berber gelims and carpets and where we stop for lunch.

From here we continue south driving past fascinating rock formations and wider flatter fields as we approach the edge of the Sahara and reach Foum Zguid for the night.

2 nd day:Foum Zguid – Chegaga dunes

After breakfast, we drive into the Sahara across the now dried-up Lake Iriqui, which used to be fed by the Dra’a river and be full of fish and water birds. In the middle of this lake, we can search for fossils. The off-road piste takes us past the various features of the desert; the /rocky stony desert, “reg” and the “hammada”.

Lunch will be in Chegaga, far away from villages and ‘civilisation’ and where we are surrounded by dunes stretching as far as the eye can see.  Here you can clamber up to the top of the high dunes to watch the sunset.

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

3 rd day:Chegaga Dunes – Agdez

After breakfast in the bivouac, the itinerary crosses another 60 km of the desert road via the Sacred Oasis to arrive in M’hamid. The old village on the opposite side of the Dra’a River is typical of desert dwellings with adobe buildings and covered streets to keep out the searing heat of the height of summer. A wonderful example of these houses is Abdelhadi’s ancestral home which you can visit.

Later you continue to drive up the Dra’a Valley, the longest valley in Morocco. You travel through Zagora, the largest oasis in the Dra’a Valley, particularly famous for its dates. We follow the ancient caravan route used by the caravans that crossed the Sahara for days and weeks bringing treasures from Mali or Mauretania.

The road passes between the river and the mountains past all the Kasbahs and the local gardens, giving you a clearer impression of life here in this area of Morocco. In Agdez, we stop for the night at a traditional guest house.

4 th day:Agdez – Dades Gorges

After breakfast, we visit Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest and most famous Kasbah in the Dra’a Valley. Part of the Kasbah is still occupied by a few families, living much as they have done for centuries. Other parts, especially the “Mellah”, the Jewish area, are slowly crumbling after the last people left for Israel at the end of the 60’s. We return about 20 kilometres south to reach the bridge crossing the Dra’a at Tansikht.

We have lunch in a small Berber town, N’qob. Further on we turn north to cross the Saghro mountains via the Tizi-n-Tazzazert pass (2283m), with some strange peaks in the mountains and the “twin towers” of Bab-n-Ali. We spend the night in the Dades Valley.

5th day: Dades Gorges – Ouarzazate

After breakfast, we continue up the valley as far as the gorges, where it is possible to walk awhile. Before reaching the main road again at Boulmane Dades, we turn right to go off-road past Boutaghar. All along this side road, there are Berber nomads living in caves and you can stop to partake tea with them.

The road continues to the Rose Valley, where there is a Rose Festival each year at the beginning of May. The blossoms are distilled to make wonderful oils, soap and lotions, which are sold throughout the country. The next town on the road is the Skoura Oasis, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees. Here there is time to visit the very interesting Kasbah Amredhil, which used to be depicted on the old 50 dirham note. Finally reaching Ouarzazate, you spend the night in a riad or guest house.

6th day: Ouarzazate – Agadir

The first visit of the day is about 30 kilometres away at Aït ben Haddou, the most famous Kasbah in Morocco and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Back on the main road we turn left passing the still intact film set for “the Hills have Eyes” and the new 130-kilometre long reservoir, Tiouine. We reach Taznakht again, and cross the two passes.

We stop to have lunch in Taliouine and continue to Taroudant again following the often dry Souss River and innumerous argane trees on all the slopes of the hill-sides back to Agadir, which we reach by the end of the afternoon. Your delightful Agadir desert tour to Erg Chegaga Dunes comes to an end around 18:00.

Map