Marrakech - Erg Chigaga - Marrakech

Private Tour – dates to suit you

Depending on time available the return trip to Erg Chigaga from Marrakech can be undertaken in 3, 4 or 5 days. All the tours allow for 2 nights in the desert at our own Erg Chigaga luxury desert camp. The longer trips are of course more relaxed, with less driving time each day and hence more time to enjoy the sites and scenery en route.

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 dune and see no one. It offers perfect solitude and tranquillity.

Whilst at the camp all meals, drinks (soft and alcoholic) and guided trips on camels are included. Other activities, including sand-boarding, guided walks, lunch, sundowners on the dunes and informal singing and drumming around the fire are also included.

The transport 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


3 days / 2 nights return trip to Erg Chigaga from Marrakech

Day 1:  Desert Camp

Depending on the season, a start from Marrakech at between 0630 and 0800 is required. 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, Ouarzazate and the Draa valley, with its 3 million date palms and hundreds of kasbahs in various states of dilapidation.  About 15 minutes after the administrative town of Zagora you reach Tamegoute, famous for its green glazed pottery and kornanic library, housing scripts from the 11th century. On reaching the frontier desert town of M’hamid the paved road ends and the 4×4 adventure through the Sahara begins.

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 2:  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 done at anytime, the sunrise often being the best time when there is a unique calmness about the desert.

Day 3: Marrakech

Return to Marrakech. The return trip is 8 hours (you may depart from the camp at anytime) and is more direct and more remote than the route to the desert. You exit the desert via Foum Zguid (in the opposite direction to how you entered), a town noted for an incongruous combination of a large Qatari funded mosque and a café that serves arguably the best French Fries and kebabs in Morocco. You also pass through Taznacht, famous for its rug cooperatives and then back over the Tiz n’Tichka pass.

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4 days / 3 nights return trip to Marrakech - Agdz – Erg Chigaga - Marrakech

Day 1:  Agdz

Depart from Marrakech at about 0830. Overnight at a superb guesthouse in the Draa valley in Agdz, en route to the desert half way between Marrakech and the desert. The a drive is about 5h30 plus stops via the High Atlas Mountains and over the Tiz n’Tichka pass, the stunning Ounila Valley and Kasbah of Telouet, the UNESCO heritage Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou and via the administrative town of Ouarzazate, which houses a couple of film studios.

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 (woodwork) craftsmanship. A perfect lunch spot, the adjacent café serves a very tasty 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 an endless procession of epic movies. After a short trip over a rugged mountain range you will reach Agdz, where your accommodation is located in a serene oasis (from where you can take some gorgeous walks through the date palms to the Draa River). The guest house serves excellent food, has a large swimming pool and is a delightful place to spend the night.

Day 2:  Desert Camp

From Agdz it’s a 4h30 drive through the Draa Valley (home to 3 million date palms and hundreds of kasbahs), Zagora, Tamegroute (famous for its green-glazed pottery and ancient Koranic library) and M’Hamid where the paved road ends and the Sahara begins.

There are also countless kasbahs en route to stop at. The most worthy ones to visit are:

  • Tamnagoulte– 10 minutes after Agdz.
  • Kasbah Oulad Othmane– halfway between Agdz and Zagora, serves a great coffee and has great views of the Draa Valley from its roof terrace.
  • Kasbah Ouled Driss– just before M´hamid and before you enter the desert.

You will reach the camp well before sunset, in good time to enjoy the evening sundowners on the dunes adjacent to the camp, followed by dinner and drumming around the camp fire beneath the crystal clear Saharan sky.

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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 done at anytime, the sunrise often being the best time when there is a unique calmness about the desert.

Day 4:  Marrakech

Return to Marrakech. The return trip is 8 hours (you may depart from the camp at anytime) and is more direct and more remote than the route to the desert. You exit the desert via Foum Zguid (in the opposite direction to how you entered), a town noted for an incongruous combination of a large Qatari funded mosque and a café that serves arguably the best French Fries and kebabs in Morocco. You also pass through Taznacht, famous for its rug cooperatives and then back over the Tiz n’Tichka pass.

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5 days / 4 nights return trip to Marrakech – Agdz – Erg Chigaga – Ait Ben Haddou - Marrakech

Day 1:  Agdz

Depart from Marrakech at about 0830. Overnight at a guesthouse en route to the desert half way between Marrakech and the desert. The drive is about 5h30 plus stops via the High Atlas Mountains and over the Tiz n’Tichka pass and via the administrative town of Ouarzazate, which houses a couple of film studios.

The highlights of this day are the wonderful views of the High Atlas and the Berber Villages clinging precariously to the mountain edge and the ancient kasbahs dotted around palm laden oasis. There are endless photo opportunities and you may stop wherever you are inspired. You will arrive at your guest house in the afternoon. Your accommodation in Agdz is located adjacent to a serene oasis (from where you can take a gorgeous walks through the date palms and beautifully manicured fields to the Draa River). The guest house serves excellent food, has a large swimming pool and is a delightful place to spend the night.

Day 2:  Desert Camp

From Agdz it’s a 4h30 drive through the Draa Valley (home to 3 million date palms and hundreds of kasbahs), Zagora, Tamegroute (famous for its green-glazed pottery and ancient Koranic library) and M’Hamid (where the paved road ends and the Sahara begins).

There are also countless kasbahs en route to stop at. The most worthy ones to visit are:

  • Tamnagoulte– 10 minutes after Agdz.
  • Kasbah Oulad Othmane– halfway between Agdz and Zagora, serves a great coffee and has great views of the Draa Valley from its roof terrace.
  • Kasbah Ouled Driss– just before M´hamid and before you enter the desert.

You will reach the camp well before sunset, in good time to enjoy the evening sundowners on the dunes adjacent to the camp, followed by dinner and drumming around the camp fire,  beneath the crystal clear Saharan sky

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 done at anytime, the sunrise often being the best time when there is a unique calmness about the desert.

Day 4:  Ait Ben Haddou

You may depart the camp at anytime. Overnight at a lovely guest house near Ait Ben Haddou. The drive is about 5 hours. You exit the desert via Foum Zguid (in the opposite direction to how you entered), noted for an incongruous combination of a large Qatari funded mosque and a café that serves arguably the best French Fries and kebabs in Morocco. You also pass through Taznacht, famous for its rug cooperatives. The Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou is best visited in the evening, with the Kasbah draped in the evening sunlight.

Day 5: Marrakech

You may depart from your guest house at anytime. The scenery via the Ounila Valley is stunning and features some of the most photogenic Berber Villages in an idyllic setting. After about 1 hour you reach the Glaoui (who was known as Lord of the Atlas) inspired Kasbah of Telouet, featuring some magnificent tile and zeillij (woodwork) craftsmanship. The adjacent café serves a very tasty fig tajine. After more magnificent scenery you join the main riad to Marrakech via the Tiz n’Tichka pass over the High Atlas. Driving time is about 4 hours.

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