3-day Marrakech Tour to Erg Chigaga Sahara Desert

Daily Tour 3 day Available From: 2019-01-22
Marrakesh, Marokko Marrakech Tours

An alternative Sahara Desert experience: Marrakech to Erg Chigaga Desert in a 3- day tour

Want to experience the real remote, rugged desert then a trip to the younger, less visited Erthree-dayg Chigaga dunes must be in your itinerary while in Morocco. This vaste and wild desert in the southeast of Morocco is closer to the Algerian border and 60 km from the nearest town of Mhamid. You’ll have the opportunity to ride a camel, climb the dunes, sandboard, 4×4, and sleep under the star-filled sky. The scenery alone is enough reason to undertake this tour as we’ll drive by mountain passes, lush valleys, Berber villages clinging to the mountain side, dilapidated kasbahs, palm groves and awe inspiring rock formations. This three day tour departs from the red city of Marrakech through the palm lined and rocky Draa Valley, stopping to see the famous kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, and spending a night in Zagora. The next day we will undertake our Sahara Desert experience culminating in a night at a traditional bedouin camp in the desert where you will be well cared for by the locals. The last day we venture back to Marrakech along an alternative route.

What to Expect
Typical tourists visit the easier to access Erg Chebbi dunes in Morocco, however those that put in the effort to visit the younger Erg Chigaga dunes are well rewarded. Situated southeast of Marrakech towards the border with Algeria, and the closest town of Mhamid, 60 km away, you’ll be amazed by the tranquility and vast wildness of these untouched dunes. During this Sahara Desert trip you’ll have the opportunity to ride a camel, climb the dunes, run the sand through your fingers, sandboard, gaze upon glorious sunrises and sunsets as well as fall asleep watching the star-filled night sky. Unlike the more popular Erg Chebbi dunes in Merzouga, that are lined with hotels, Erg Chigaga is remote and unspoilt. The trip from the red city of Marrakech to the desert takes about nine hours. The desert, however, is timeless, nothing is rushed and we will stop often to admire the picturesque scenery along the way. We’ll enjoy mountain passes, lush valleys, Berber villages clinging to the mountain side, dilapidated kasbahs, palm groves and fascinating rock formations. During the tour we will visit women making famous Berber carpets, a beautiful old library in the village of Tamgerout, a pottery factory and an underground kasbah. For movie and history enthusiasts we will explore the ancient ksar (ancient fortified kasbahs) of Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Ouarzazate. The first night will be spend at a hotel or in a tent in Zagora in the Draa Valley. Next we will head onto Mhamid before embarking on our camels for a 40 minute trek into the Erg Chigaga dunes. We’ll spend the night in traditional Berber style, enjoying tagine, sharing stories around the fire and getting into the local music. The third day we will return to Marrakech, dropping you off at your accommodation.


DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION
Marrakech (Please send us the name of your accommodation for pickup).

DEPARTURE TIME
07:30

INCLUDED
  • Driver/Guide
  • Vehicle
  • Fuel
  • Accommodation with half-board
  • Desert Camp
  • Camel Trek

NOT INCLUDED
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

What You’ll Do

  • Enjoy a beautiful view over the high Atlas Mountains
  • We will visit the Berber village of Ait Ben Haddou, which is famous for providing background scenes for movies and series such as Game of Thrones.
  • Experience a camel ride in the Sahara desert and witness the glorious sunset.
  • We spend one night in a Berber bivouac in the middle of the desert and enjoy a tasty meal while listening to Berber music played by nomad hosts.
  • Towards the end of the excursion, we’ll visit Atlas film studios before heading to Marrakech.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this tour available in May?
Yes, it is available all year round and you can book it at any time.

Can I join a group?
We are sorry, we do not organize shared tours. We organize currently only private tours.

Can you customize this trip?
Yes, this trip can be adapted to your needs.
Day 1 : Marrakech – Zagora

The tour will depart from your accommodation in Marrakech at 08:00 AM. The first interesting stop will be the gorgeous High Atlas Mountains with its amazing scenery dotted with Berber villages. We’ll drive through the hair-rising Tizi-n-Tichka Pass to reach the World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, Morocco’s most famous ksar (ksar = old village of kasbahs). After exploring this fasicnating site, made famous as a set for a number of movies including Gladiator and more recently the Game of Thrones series, we will have lunch in Ouarzazate. Next we will venture through the Draa Valley with its palm trees and old kasbahs to overnight at a hotel in Zagora.

Day 2: Zagora – Mhamid – Sacred Oasis – Erg Chigaga Dunes

After breakfast, our desert adventure continues through the palm groves of the Draa valley . Following a short break to enjoy the panoramic view of Draa palmeraie, we will stop in the village of Tamgroute to visit the famous Coranic library (Closed on national and religious holidays), that has an impressive collection of academic books. We will also visit a pottery factory and an interesting underground kasbah in Tamgroute. Venturing further we will arrive in the small village of Mhamid, the gateway to Erg Chigaga, before adventuring into the impressive 300 m tall dunes. Hop on your friendly camel to travel the desert like the original nomadic people. View the sunset atop one of the dunes, before retiring to the fire to enjoy traditional food and music. Overnight in a traditional bivouac.
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Day 3: Erg Chigaga Dunes – Foum Zguid – Taznakht – Marrakech

After breakfast we’ll depart via the old Paris – Dakar race road to Foum Zguid crossing the naturally dry Iriqui lake. Enjoy lunch in the Berber village of Taznakht, where you will have the chance to visit an association of women making the famous Berber carpets. Learn the intensive process of weaving, knotting and embroidering these colorful and durable carpets, a great souvenir from your time in Morocco. We will arrive in Marrakech around 06:00 PM and you’ll be dropped off at your accommodation, ending this epic adventure.

1 Review

  1. Rachid
    9:57 pm - 30/01/2019 / Reply

    Great tour!

    5

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