Marrakech – Chigaga – Todra Gorge – Fez

Private Tour – dates to suit you

Depending on time available the trip from Marrakech to Fez via Erg Chigaga (or Fez to Marrakech) can be undertaken in 4 or 5 days. Both tours allow for 2 nights in the desert at our own Erg Chigaga luxury desert camp. The longer trip is perfect for those that have a little more time available as it allows plenty of time to enjoy the unique scenery and sights.

The camp is a 9 hour drive from Marrakech plus stops and is located 60 km off-road from the nearest town, M’Hamid. The ride to the camp requires a 4×4, through sand, dried out lakes and rocks. Its location ensures there are no tour buses or mass tourism. Once there, more often than not, you can climb to the top of the dunes and see no one. It offers perfect solitude and tranquillity. Much of the route, especially north of Todra Gorge, is off the beaten track and showcases some of the best of rural Morocco.

Whilst at the camp all meals, drinks (soft and alcoholic) and guided trips on camels are included. Other activities, including sandboarding, guided walks, lunch, sundowners on the dunes and informal singing and drumming around the fire are also included. Where overnight stops are included then both dinner and breakfast (excluding drinks) are included

The transport for the tour is private in a 4×4 Land Cruiser with a charismatic and responsible English-speaking driver. Because your trip is private you may stop wherever you like en route for sightseeing, photography and refreshments. Whilst your driver will be highly experienced and knows the best places to stop, it’s your trip and he will always adapt it according to your interests.

Sample Desert Itineraries


4 days / 3 nights trip from Marrakech to Fez via Todra Gorge.

(this trip can also be done in reverse)

Day 1:  Desert Camp

Depending on the season, a start from Marrakech at between 6.30 and 8am is required as it’s a 9 hour drive to the camp plus stops. The earlier you start, the more time you have to stop en route. The route is via the High Atlas Mountains and spectacular Tiz n’Tichka pass, the UNESCO heritage Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, the Berber carpet making town of Taznacht and entering the desert at Foum Zguid. From here it is off road to the camp, about 2h45 through dried out lakes, Hamada (rocks) and sand.

The highlights of this day are the wonderful views of the High Atlas and the Berber Villages in the Ounila Valley with their ancient kasbahs dotted around the palm laden oasis. There are endless photo opportunities and you may stop wherever you are inspired. The Glaoui (who was known as Lord of the Atlas) inspired Kasbah of Telouet features some magnificent tile and zeillij work. The adjacent café serves the most marvellous fig tajine. After Telouet and more stunning scenery you reach Ait Ben Haddou, which is one of the best preserved examples of Moroccan earthen clay architecture. Situated on the original caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara, the Kasbah still houses several families and has been utilised regularly for a procession of epic movies. Taznacht is a good location to purchase rugs, although it does help to come with some knowledge about price, because like most emporiums everything is subject to negotiation. Foum Zguid has the feel of a dusty frontier town, although one of its cafes does serve great French fries and kebabs. After Foum Zguid the off road adventure begins, after which you will undoubtedly hold the driving and navigation skills of your driver in high esteem. You will reach the camp well before sunset, in good time to enjoy evening sundowners on the dunes adjacent to the camp followed by dinner beneath the stars.

All day at Erg Chigaga Lxury Desert Camp. There are plenty of activities for those that either want to remain at the camp or venture into the desert. Activities include camel treks, sand-boarding, guided walks, lunch as well as sundowners on the dunes and informal singing and drumming around the fire. Your camel trek can be done at anytime, the sunrise often being the best time, this time of day having an unsurpassed serenity about it.

Day 3: Todra Gorge

Depart after breakfast. Overnight at a unique guest house inside Todra Gorge. The route is via the dusty town of M´hamid (hence exiting the desert in the opposite direction to how you entered), the pottery making town of Tamegoute, which also houses a koranic library with manuscripts from 11C, the lower regions of the Draa Valley, Alnif (famous for its fossils) and skirting the Jbel Sahro before arriving at Todra. There are some wonderful walks from the guest house.

Day 4:  Fez

Depart after breakfast. Immediately after Todra the route follows roads with virtually no traffic, passing through some of the most gorgeous quintessential rural Moroccan scenery, untouched by tourism. Berber villages, oasis, kasbahs, goat herders abound in their natural state on this route. At Er-rich you re-join the main road, passing through attractive countryside and bustling towns. The most noteworthy place to stop is just before Azrou, where you can see Barbary monkeys and also go for a walk in the preserved Cedar Forests. The last town before Fez is Ifrane, a skiing centre, more akin to Switzerland than Morocco. This area is agriculturally rich and depending in the season you can purchase apples, almonds and all sorts of fruits and vegetables, fabulously rich in flavour and colour. You will arrive in Fez at about 6pm.

Enquire now

5 days / 4 nights trip Marrakech to Fez via Ait Ben Haddou and Todra Gorge

(this trip can also be done in reverse)

Day 1:  Ait Ben Haddou

Depart from Marrakech at about 0830 to 0930. Overnight at a gorgeous guest house near Ait Ben Haddou. The route is via the High Atlas Mountains and spectacular Tiz n’Tichka pass, the Ounila Valley and Kasbah of Telouet, ending at the UNESCO heritage Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou.

The highlights of this day are the wonderful views of the High Atlas and the Berber Villages in the Ounila Valley with their ancient kasbahs dotted around the palm laden oasis. There are endless photo opportunities and you may stop wherever you are inspired. The Glaoui (who was known as Lord of the Atlas) inspired Kasbah of Telouet features some magnificent tile and zeillij work. The adjacent café serves a spectacular fig tajine. After Telouet and more stunning scenery you reach Ait Ben Haddou, which is one of the best preserved examples of Moroccan earthen clay architecture. Situated on the original caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara, the Kasbah still houses several families and has been utilised regularly for a procession of epic movies.

Day 2:  Desert Camp

Depart after breakfast. The route to the desert camp is via the Berber carpet making town of Taznacht and entering the desert at Foum Zguid. From here it is off road to the camp, about 2h45 through dried out lakes, Hamada (rocks) and sand.

Taznacht is a good location to purchase rugs, although it does help to come with some knowledge about price, because like most emporiums everything is subject to negotiation. Foum Zguid has the feel of a dusty frontier town, although one of its cafes does serve the most amazing French fries and kebabs. After Foum Zguid the off road adventure begins, after which you will undoubtedly hold the driving and navigation skills of your driver in high esteem. You will reach the camp well before sunset, in good time to enjoy evening sundowners on the dunes adjacent to the camp followed by dinner beneath the stars.

Day 3: Desert Camp

All day at Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp. There are plenty of activities for those that either want to remain at the camp or venture into the desert. Activities include camel treks, sand-boarding, guided walks, lunch as well as sundowners on the dunes and informal singing and drumming around the fire. Your camel trek can be taken at anytime, the sunrise often being the best time, this time of day having an unsurpassed serenity.

Day 4:  Todra Gorge

Depart after breakfast. Overnight at a unique guest house inside Todra Gorge. The route is via the dusty town of M’hamid (hence exiting the desert in the opposite direction to how you entered), the pottery making town of Tamegoute, which also houses a koranic library with manuscripts from 11C, the lower regions of the Draa Valley, Alnif (famous for its fossils) and skirting the Jbel Sahro before arriving at Todra. There are some wonderful walks from the guest house.

Day 5: Fez

Depart after breakfast. Immediately after Todra the route follows roads with virtually no traffic, passing through some of the most gorgeous quintessential rural Moroccan scenery, untouched by tourism. Berber villages, oasis, kasbahs, goat herders abound in their natural state on this route. At Er-rich you rejoin the main road, passing through attractive countryside and bustling towns. The most noteworthy place to stop is just before Azrou, where you can see Barbary monkeys and also go for a walk in the preserved Cedar Forests. The last town before Fez is Ifrane, a skiing centre, more akin to Switzerland than Morocco. This area is agriculturally rich and depending in the season you can purchase apples, almonds and all sorts of fruits and vegetables, fabulously rich in flavour and colour. You will arrive in Fez at about 6pm.

Enquire now