Destination: Sahara Desert, Morocco
Essence of the Trip: Your Moroccan Epic Weekend away takes you to one of the world’s most culturally rich cities – Marrakech – before setting off into the heart of the Moroccan Sahara desert close to the border with Algeria. For two days you’ll embark on an epic trek through the vast expanse of the Erg Chegaga sand dunes, where these mighty sand structures reach up to 120m in height . You’ll sleep out under the stars in traditional Berber accommodation in the middle of the desert and soar over the Moroccan landscape in a helicopter on your way back to civilisation.
Your epic weekend begins in the cultural hub of Marrakech with a day spent exploring the vibrant city and an overnight stay at Riad Farnatchi – an urban bolthole right in the heart of Marrakech – before your desert adventure begins.
Day two starts with a transfer to the beautiful Draa Valley via Ait Benhaddou an ancient fortified city that’s renowned for its impressive earth coloured kasbahs. Along with your guide you’ll explore the impressive surroundings, or head off on a mountain bike tour where you can explore the oases and learn about the unique geography of the area before heading to your remote Kasbah for the night – Kasbah Azul.
After a good night’s rest, your desert adventure begins; you’ll wake before dawn as you begin your journey further into the vast expanse of the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Today you’ll begin the first part of the trek through the desert from M’hamid, the last settlement before the road runs out and only the Sahara lies ahead. Throughout your half-day trek into the dunes with your guide and support vehicle you’ll spot Berber communities camping out amidst the dunes. Here, you can stop for a break and experience the welcoming nature of the communities over a cup of mint tea and learn about their nomadic existence. As you hike further into the Erg Chigaga area you’ll notice the distinct change in the landscape, where dunes reach up to 120 meters high. Tonight you’ll set up camp under the star-flecked sky where you’ll get a real taste for life in one of the most remote locations in the world.
The following morning you’ll be woken before dawn to the watch the sun rise over the sand dunes. These incredible landmarks look completely different in the morning light, as the shadows are cast over the towering dunes. Today you’ll take on the most challenging part of the dune trek as you embark on a full day’s trek for 25 km through the heart of the Erg Chigaga dunes. After a full day of journeying through the spectacular landscapes you’ll be greeted at the end of the day with a luxury camp setup in a sheltered area of desert, where you can rest your aching muscles around the campfire as your guide lets you in on a few star-gazing secrets of the desert night sky.
After your final night in the desert (and after re-fueling with a hearty breakfast) you’ll be air-lifted out of the desert via helicopter, giving you one last glimpse of the dramatic landscapes on your way back to Marrakech international airport for your flight home.
If you are interested in taking this trip and would like to discuss it in more detail with our team of experts get in touch here or call us on 0207 426 9899 (UK) or 1-888 341 9663 (US) to start planning your trip.