Go on an epic adventure into the Sahara Desert and through the Atlas Mountains during your time abroad! Ride a camel at sunset, sleep in a nomadic tent in the Sahara, hike over 2 mountain passes in the High Atlas, and explore remote Berber villages with your local English-speaking guide.
|ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE CITY||Marrakech (RAK)|
This tour is ideal for:
- The active traveler who enjoys spending quality time in the outdoors and loves the reward of a hearty meal after a long day in the mountains.
- The culturally curious traveler who wants to develop a deeper understanding of Moroccan culture by getting to know local people, eating local food, visiting remote Berber villages, and traversing the country's diverse landscape.
- The ethically minded traveler who wants to see firsthand the positive impact that responsible tourism can have on poor, rural communities.
Day 0: Self-guided tour of Marrakech
Day 1: Scenic drive along old caravan route, sunset camel ride in the Sahara, and overnight in nomadic tent
The tour officially starts bright and early on Thursday morning. Your local guide will pick you up promptly at 8am from your hostel in Marrakech. You will then begin your journey into the Sahara on a former caravan route, driving through Haouz plain and over Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2260m), the highest road pass in Morocco.
After lunch, visit the mud-brick city of Ait Benhhadou — a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has appeared in several films and TV shows, including Game of Thrones, Gladiator, The Mummy, and many others.
Continue the drive through Ouarzazate before finally arriving in Zagora. From here, you will meet your camel (be sure to ask his name!) and begin the 1.5 hour ride to the Nkhila dunes at sunset.
Spend the evening enjoying traditional Berber music and food around a bonfire. Choose to sleep in a traditional nomadic tent or under the stars.
Day 2: Drive to Imlil Valley and overnight in family-run guesthouse
Wake up early to see the sunrise and have breakfast at the camp before riding back to Zagora. As you drive through the Draa Valley, Ouarzazate, and Ourika Valley, be sure to ask your guide what crops are in season as you will pass several date, almond, watermelon, and orange orchards along the way!
End the day in Imlil Valley, the heart of the Atlas Mountains. Overnight at a beautiful family-run guest house at the foothills of Mount Toubkal. If you fancy a midnight snack, just pluck a few fresh cherries from the trees outside your window before hitting the hay.
Day 3: Hike over Tizi Mzik Pass and through Berber villages
After breakfast at the guest house, your guide will lead you to a nearby waterfall before continuing the trek over Tizi Mzik Pass (2684m). Tuck into a home cooked lunch made by your private cook as you sit in the shade and enjoy the spectacular views over Imlil Valley and Toubkal Summit.
Continue down the Azzaden Valley through a juniper forest to get to Tizi Oussem, the quaint mountain village where you will spend the night.
Day 4: Finish hike through the Atlas Mountains and then transfer back to Marrakech
When does the tour begin? When do I need to arrive?
The tour begins promptly at 8am on Thursday morning, so you must arrive the day/night before.
When does the tour end on Sunday? When should I book my return flight?
You will be back in Marrakech no later than 1pm on Sunday. Your guide can either drop you off at the airport or in the city center. If you opt for the latter, you will be responsible for organizing your own transportation to the airport later on. It is recommended that you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight, so be sure that your flight is scheduled no earlier than 3pm on Sunday evening.
If I need to book an earlier flight, can I arrange my own transport to the airport for Saturday night / Sunday morning?
Unfortunately, no. The hike into the Atlas Mountains takes you to remote Berber villages that are not accessible by car, making it impossible to get back to Marrakech any earlier than the time stated above.
Can I arrive earlier / stay later than the days you recommend?
Absolutely! While it’s difficult to shorten this tour, it is very easy to extend. If you’d like help organizing activities for any extra days that you’re in Morocco, just give us a shout and we’ll see what we can do.
Are there any age restrictions?
You must be 18 or over.
I’m worried about my fitness level. How physically challenging is this tour?
Some level of fitness is required for the hikes and camel ride. However, the pace for both is slow and we take many breaks for photos and food. Plus, you will have a mule to carry all your belongings during the hike, so you don’t have to worry about your heavy backpack!
Do you offer refunds under any circumstances?
We offer full refunds for cancellations made 90 days before the tour. Any cancellation made after 90 days cannot be refunded. This is because we work with local companies who arrange bookings several months in advance. However, if you are able to find someone to attend in your place, we can arrange a name switch.
What guest houses are we staying at?
We will be staying at 2 fantastic guesthouses in the Atlas Mountains. The first is a much more traditional guest house located in a Berber village and the second is a stunning, family-run guest house nestled in the Imlil Valley. Transportation to and from these guest houses are included.
Do you have to be a student to attend the tour?
Not necessarily! If you’re keen to join one of these tours but you’re not a student, just send us an email and we’ll work something out.
What if these dates don’t work for me? Is it possible to do the tour at a different time?
If your schedule doesn’t jive with ours, let us know! We can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to accommodate different dates/times, but we’ll definitely try our best.