Each morning and each evening will start and end with a moment of
reflection and thankfulness
Day 1: Casablanca – Essaouira
Airport arrival and greeting:
Your journey begins with a drive to the city of Essaouira, also known as “Wind City of Africa”, excellent for wind surfing and sailing. You will visit many fascinating sites, including the sea port where the seamen uncover the catch of the day. Stroll the sandy beach that stretches way to the south. The laid-back atmosphere of this town, the dramatic ramparts and the sandy beach have together created an attraction for artisans and hippies for years. Essaouira has a bohemian feel quite different from the rest of the country. Back in the 1950’s Orson Wells stayed at the Hotel des lles during the filming of “Othello”. This picturesque town of Essaouira was the home of many other film productions. Jimmy Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand” was written two years prior to his visit to Essaouira.
Day 2 & 3: Essaouira – Taghazout
Good morning Friends, today you will make your way along the coast to the small fishing village of Taghazout. The village rests on the southwestern Atlantic coast. Taghazout is a surfing, fishing, tourism and argon manufacturing town, that generates a free and easy tempo. We will spend two night here so that we can visit Paradise Valley and an argon cooperative or just a little beach time.
Day 4: Taghazout – Sidi Ifni – Taroudant
After breakfast you say goodbye to the lovely little village of Taghazout and head to Taroudant, with a couple of stops along the route. One stop we will make is in Sidi Ifini, get those cameras ready, the site is something to behold. We will walk the along this beach, take fabulous pictures, take time for a short meditation, share stories of your survival and goals for the future if you care to share. Following your stroll, you will have time for a bite to eat while watching the waves roll in and out along the coast. Following lunch, you will drive to Taroudant for the evening. Taroudant is east of Agadir and known as “Grandmother Marrakech”. The name comes from the similarity of Marrakech in the mini version. Taroudant is a caravan route to the desert. Many artisans sell handmade crafts in the market in the village. Jewelry and carpets are a couple of the amazing arts found in Taroudant.
Day 5: Taroudant – Ouarzazate
Following breakfast, you will journey to Ouarzazate, “Door of the Desert”, in south-central Morocco. This town is the Moroccan Hollywood so to speak. It’s a tourist destination with many noted film-making locations. Many films such as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Mummy”, “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Game of Thrones” were filmed here, as were many others. Ouarzazate was a hub for African traders until the French expanded the village for administrative and customs outlets. Many attractions to visit in Ouarzazate, Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, Atlas Film Studios, and Skoura Oasis are a couple of my favorites. After touring you will relax for the night in your Riad/Hotel.
Day 6: Ouarzazate – Merzouga
Oh, what a day you have in front of you. Following breakfast, you will make your way to the Sahara Desert. The route to the desert has many interesting sites, one stop we will make will be The Valley of Roses. The first or second weekend in May this village celebrates with a festival of roses. The streets are alive in festivities and flowers adorn every nook-n-cranny. Fruits, nuts, dates and figs are all in arms reach at every turn. Most importantly the Rose Queen will be inducted for the next exciting year. The celebration roars with the beat of Berber music late into the evening. Throughout the year the streets are lined in shops with an abundance of rose infused items, cremes, oils, perfumes, sachets, rose water, rose infused tea and the list goes on. After a rose extravaganza we will move forward to the desert. When reaching your Riad/Hotel you will relax for the evening. If you would like a massage before dinner, we can schedule that and what a wonderful way to end the day.
Day 7: Merzouga
Good morning Friends! After breakfast you will hop in the 4x4 to explore villages around Erg Chebbi’s dunes, such as Hassi Labied, Merdani, Khamlia, M’fis. In Khamlia, you will be greeted with a warm cup of tea (aka: Berber Whiskey) while enjoying live, spiritual Gnawa music. Leaving Khamlia our next stop is a panoramic view of the golden dunes near the Algerian border. Time permitting, we may stop for a picnic lunch in the desert or sample a Berber pizza in one of my favorite spots in Khamlia, before visiting a nomad family. You will be introduced to family members and learn about their way of life, and most likely enjoying another cup of tea and nuts. The next adventure will begin in the afternoon. It all begins from your hotel near the dunes. Your camel will slowly carry you through the dunes in the heart of the Erg Chebbi. While riding through the peaceful, breathtaking and mysterious dunes of the Sahara, you will have the opportunity to take some spectacular pictures. Photos for the professional and amateur photographer alike. The dunes stand tall with the highest elevation of 150M. After we arrive at the desert camp, we will grab the sand boards and walk to the highest dunes for a bit of fun. From the dunes you will get to watch the sunset over the picturesque backdrop of the seemingly painted dunes. After the sun settles in for the evening you will have dinner at the desert camp and enjoy Cultural Berber Music around the fire. When the evening closes you will spend the night in your tent.
Day 8: Merzouga – Midelt
Today’s adventure will begin with a drive to Midelt. We will stop in Rissani for a bit of souk shopping, if you are here on souk day, you can find many vendors lining the streets selling their goods. Check out the donkey parking lot while strolling the souk. After a shopping expedition in Rissani we will head towards Mildet, where you will spend the evening in your Hotel/Riad for a little R & R.
Day 9: Midelt – Casablanca
Following breakfast, you will journey through the Middle Atlas Mountains to the Cedar forest in the city of Azrou, which is 3940 feet in elevation. Here you will have the opportunity to feed the endangered Barbary (Macaque) Monkeys. You will pass through the city of Ifrane, which is considered the coldest place in Morocco. Ifrane is also known as the Switzerland of Morocco because of the housing architecture and snowfall. In the winter it’s a skier’s delight. From here you will drive to Casablanca to your Hotel for the evening.
Day 10: Transport to the airport. Farewell my new friends. Until we meet again………………