Atlas Valley Trek & Sahara Desert Tour

Panoramic view from Atlas Valley Trek & Sahara Desert Tour

Atlas Valley Trek & Sahara Desert Tour

Prices

From $775USD

Difficulty

Guided

Mixed

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Highlights

Experience two sensational landscapes in Morocco on this 8-day guided tour

Combine two highlights of Morocco: The Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert.

Trek for two days through the majestic Atlas Mountains, crossing several scenic mountain passes.

Ride a camel through the desert at sunset and spend the night in a traditional Berber camp.

Learn more about Morocco’s rich history and culture as you tour ancient Kasbahs and cities.

The Atlas Valley Trek and Sahara Desert Tour is the perfect way to combine an exciting desert adventure with a beautiful trek through the Atlas Mountains. Your trek takes you over exquisite and scenic mountain passes without climbing to altitudes above 2,000 m. You’ll see beautiful panoramic views and take lovely forested trails past waterfalls.

After your trekking tour, venture out into the Sahara Desert where you can explore the incredible Todra Gorge canyon, ride camels at sunset out to a traditional Berber camp, then spend the night in the camp. You’ll explore ancient fortified Kasbahs and the city of Ait Benhaddou, which is a popular backdrop for filming Hollywood movies. All of this and more awaits you on the Atlas Valley Trek and Sahara Desert Tour, so don’t miss your chance to take this amazing trip!

Atlas Valley Trek + Sahara Desert Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Marrakesh

Welcome to Morocco! Salam Alaikum! Arrive at the Marrakesh Menara International Airport where a transfer is waiting to take you to your hotel. If you arrive early, spend some time exploring Marrakesh, one of the most spectacular cities in all of Africa. But remember to get a good night’s rest to prepare you for your trekking adventure!

Overnight Location
Riad Viewpoint, Marrakesh
Distance
N/A
Meals
None

Day 2 Transfer to Imlil and trek to Tizi Oussem

Leave Marrakesh after breakfast and drive about 65 km to the trailhead town of Imlil (1,740 m/5,709’). Along the way you’ll pass a series of lovely villages as you drive through the valley and into the Atlas Mountains. In Imlil, you’ll meet your guide and muleteer, then begin your trek. Climb to the Tizi Mzik Pass (2,684 m/8,806’) where you’ll find an amazing view of both Imlil and the summit of Mount Toubkal. Descend again and trek to Tamsoulte (2,300 m/7,546’) where you’ll see the Atlas Mountains’ tallest waterfalls, which are about 100 m (328’) high. Continue down through the Azzaden Valley, passing through a lovely juniper forest until you reach the village of Tizi Oussem (1,850 m/6,070’). Spend the night in a local guesthouse.

Overnight Location
Guesthouse in Tizi Oussem
Distance
5 hrs
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Trek to the villages of Id Issa & Matat, then return to Imlil

Leave Tizi Oussem after breakfast and continue your trek. Notice the beauty of the sunlight as it shines in the colorful valley and the local Berber villages. Trek down to the village of Id Issa (1,800 m/5,906’), then climb again to the Tizi Oudid Pass (2,000 m/6,562’). Pass through a wild juniper forest and the village of Matat. Enjoy a relaxing lunch by the river in the shade of the walnut grove before trekking the short distance back to Imlil.

Overnight Location
Dar Adrar Guesthouse, Imlil
Distance
5-6 hrs
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Transfer to Dades Valley via Ouarzazate

Your desert tour begins with a 9:00 AM pick up at your hotel in Imlil. Drive through the Atlas Mountains and cross the incredible Tizi n’Tichka Pass. You’ll drive through a series of local Berber villages, then out into the desert. Notice the striking riverside oases and the fortified Kasbahs (protected dwellings for families and livestock) that dot the barren hillsides. Stop along the way to either go for a hike or to tour the Ouarzazate Film Studios. After this continue your drive to Dades Gorge, where you will have time to take a hike or just relax in your hotel.

Overnight Location
Dar Essayaha, Dades
Distance
7 hrs of driving
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 Sunset Camel Ride and Camp in the Sahara

After breakfast at your hotel, leave Dades and drive to the amazing Todra Gorge. This massive fault divides the High Atlas Mountains with a narrow canyon that rises up 300 m (984 ft). There are Berber villages here, as well as palmeries where date palms are grown. Eat lunch here and take a hike through the palm-filled oasis, then drive farther into the desert. Stop for supplies in Merzouga, then continue on to a nearby Kasbah where you’ll leave the vehicle and begin your sunset camel ride into the desert. After about 90 minutes you’ll arrive at a traditional Berber camp where you’ll enjoy a delicious Moroccan dinner then spend the night.

Overnight Location
Desert camping
Distance
6 hours of driving
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 Camel Trek and then transfer to Ait Benhaddou

Wake up to an inspiring desert sunrise, then ride the camel back to the Kasbah, where you can eat breakfast freshen up. Then leave the desert and drive to the fortified city of Ait Benhaddou. In this ancient city, you’ll see numerous Kasbahs. Many Hollywood movies, including The Mummy, Alexander, Lawrence of Arabia, and Gladiator, have been filmed in this remarkable location. Your guide will help you to explore the city and its buildings, then spend the night in a nearby hotel.

Overnight Location
La Rose du Sable, Ait Benhaddou
Distance
6 hours of driving
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 Explore Telouet on drive to Marrakesh

Finish your tour today with a drive through the Ounilla Valley and a visit to the ruins of the Telouet Kasbah. This intriguing structure was historically an important stop along the trade routes. Take time to explore and have lunch, then return to Marrakesh via the Tizi n’Tichka Pass. Once in Marrakesh explore the central Jema el-Fnaa square at evening, and maybe enjoy one of the open-air restaurants in the square.

Overnight Location
Riad Viewpoint, Marrakesh
Distance
4 hrs of driving
Meals
Breakfast

Day 8 Departure

Sadly, your adventure in Marrakesh just came to an end. After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport for your flight.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

Atlas Valley Trek & Sahara Desert Tour Dates and Prices

This guided tour of the Atlas Valley and Sahara Desert is always run as a private tour for your group only and the pricing always depend on the size of your group.
Prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room:

  • Guided Groups of 4: $775USD per person

Please note that the pricing might change depending on the size of your group

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Accommodation on the Atlas Valley Trek + Sahara Desert Tour

Accommodation along your trek will be in simple Berber gites and guesthouses for an authentic experience of Moroccan life and culture. Camping is an option during the summer months. On the desert tour, stay in hotels and guesthouses for 3 nights and spend 1 night camping in Nomadic tents.

Before and after your trek, stay in a 3-star Riad (bed and breakfast) in Marrakesh. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement to have a private room as a solo traveler. In some cases, there may be other solo travelers, and we can match you with participants of the same sex.

Riad Viewpoint, Marrakesh

Lovely Moroccan-style rooms await you, as well as a beautiful rooftop terrace with a great view. For an extra treat, request a room near the terrace!

Night 2

Gite in Tizi Oussem

Stay in an authentic gite in Tizi Oussem. The amenities here are basic but sufficient.

Hotel Dar Adrar, Imlil (Guesthouse)

A small, clean, and comfortable guesthouse in central Imlil with en suite facilities and cozy fireplaces in each room.

Dar Essayaha, Dades

This beautiful hotel, surrounded by beautiful views from all around, is a true gem. The service here is great and the building itself is full of atmosphere and historic touches.

Night 5

Desert camping, Merzouga

Camp in nomadic tent under the starry sky for the most authentic Saharan experience!

Rose Du Sable, Ait Benhaddou (Bed and Breakfast)

This guesthouse is basic, but the rooms are big and clean. The location is great – right next to the Kasbah!

Riad Viewpoint, Marrakesh

Lovely Moroccan-style rooms await you, as well as a beautiful rooftop terrace with a great view. For an extra treat, request a room near the terrace!

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s included in the Atlas Valley Trek + Sahara Desert Tour?

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 5 dinners are included. All meals, as well as mineral water on the trek, are included. Lunches are not included during the Sahara Desert tour.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 7 nights are included as described.

Transportation during the Tour

All transportation as described in the itinerary is included. Transfers to and from the airport are also included.

Also Included

  • Mountain guide and cook on the trek
  • Mules for luggage transport on the trek
  • 4x4 or mini-bus tour in the desert
  • Camel ride on the dunes
  • Airport Transfers to and from the Marrakesh airport

Not included

  • Flights to and from Marrakesh
  • Lunches during the desert tour
  • Soft drinks or alcoholic beverages
  • Entrance fee for monument visits
  • Personal gear
  • Travel insurance

Optional Extras

  • Gear rentals (€2-5 EUR/day per item)
  • Extra nights in Marrakesh

Frequenty Asked Questions about Atlas Valley Trek & Sahara Desert Tour

How hard is the Atlas Valley Trek + Sahara Desert Tour?

We rate this tour as a 2 / 5. The trek is not strenuous but involves 5-6 hours of walking per day.

Can I catch an evening flight and miss the last night in Marrakech?

If you do not want the last night in Marrakesh, your tour will be discounted to reflect the fewer number of nights of accommodation required. Please note that the tours arrive late in the afternoon into Marrakesh and we can't guarantee arrival at a specific time.

Do I need a Visa to travel to Morocco?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Atlas Valley trek?

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 5 dinners are included. All meals as well as mineral water on the trek are included. Lunches are not included during the Sahara Desert tour. Meals on your arrival day in Marrakesh are not included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have Health and Medical insurance to join this trip. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Marrakesh to start this tour?

Fly to Marrakesh Menara International Airport.

Is the Atlas Valley Trek + Sahara Desert Tour in English?

Yes, the tour guide is English speaking.

Where does the Atlas Valley Trek + Sahara Desert Tour end?

The tour ends where it began, in Marrakesh. Airport transfer is included.

What about my luggage during the trek?

All personal luggage, as well as food and cooking equipment for the group, are carried by mules during the trek. Pack a daypack with water and any essentials needed along the trail. During the desert tour, your luggage will travel with you in the vehicle.

What kind of gear is needed for this Moroccan Adventure Tour?

  • Sturdy hiking boots and socks
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Sleeping bag
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • Water bottle or bladder system
  • Soft-sided bag (50-80 liters)
  • Lightweight daypack
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Towel and personal toiletry items

What clothing is appropriate?

Please respect the conservative religious culture of Morocco when choosing your clothing. Knees and shoulders should be covered, as well as the “private“ areas in between.

Can I combine the Atlas Valley Trek and Sahara Desert Tour with other treks in Morocco?

Yes! This tour can easily be combined with other adventure tours in Morocco!

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Morocco?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Morocco?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Morocco for this tour?

This tour is available year-round, but the best time to travel to Morocco for this trek is during the warmer months from May - November.

Reviews

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Prices

From $775USD

Difficulty

Guided

Mixed

Start Your Booking

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 2 / 5. The trek is not strenuous but involves 5-6 hours of walking per day.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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