South of Morocco

From $1,259 PPDO | 7 days / 6 nights | Contact us for customization.

Itinerary 7 days / 6 nights

Your South of Morocco Tour departs from Casablanca.  You head south towards El Jadida, the former 16th Century Portuguese city of Mazaghan.  Upon arriving in El Jadida, there will be time for strolls on the beach or meandering through the small city.  You may choose to visit the Fortified City of Mazaghan that is registered as an UNESCO World Heritage site.  There you will see evidence of the historical interchange of cultures between Morocco and Europe.  The Portuguese Cistern is open for tours.  Built in 1514, it is the former warehouse for Portuguese armory.   In the 16th century it was converted to a cistern and a thin layer of water covers much of the floor that creates interesting lighting for photographs. Several movies have been filmed in the cistern. Orson Welles’ Othello is perhaps the best known.   The first night will be spent at a delightful riad in El Jadida.

From El Jadida you will travel the scenic coastal road to the nautical town of Essaouira, previously known as Mogador to the Portuguese.   Here you can stroll along the beach and explore the many shops known for local handiworks.  For lunch, you can select from an array of freshly caught fish to be cooked as you sit nearby with a cup of Moroccan mint tea.  Your second night will be spent in a charming riad, in the medina.

After breakfast, you depart Essaouira and head south along the coast toward Agadir.  Along the way the rocky Atlantic coast will be in constant view and you may even glimpse a few lighthouses.  If desired, you can stop at an argan oil women’s cooperative.  Argan oil is indigenous only to Morocco and is reputed for its culinary and cosmetic uses.   After lunching in Agadir, you will leave the coastline and travel east through the Sous Valley to Taroudant, a  town lying in the shadows of the High Atlas Mountains.

Locals know the walled Berber market town of Taroudant as the “Grandmother of Marrakech,” due to the similarity of its ramparts and mud-red walls to those of the famous Red City.   It is well-known for its souks, the majority of which are located inside the city walls.  Upon climbing the walls you will be greeted by a beautiful panoramic view of the city while the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains form a backdrop.  The night will be spent at a nearby riad nestled among groves of almonds, olives, bananas, and oranges.

After breakfast, you will leave Taroudant and proceed east toward the oasis town of Foum Zguid, situated at the edge of the desert.  Along the way, you may see goats climbing the argan trees in search of nuts.  You may stop at the Saffron Cooperative in the town of Taliouine, the heart of Morocco’s Saffron Valley.   The small town produces over 7,000 pounds of saffron each year.   Soon after passing through Taliouine, you will enter the town of Taznakht, the capital of Berber carpets.   In the early evening, you will arrive in Foum Zguid to have dinner and spend the night in a nice hotel with a swimming pool.

There is time in the morning, to relax near the pool.  After lunch, you begin the off-road adventure toward the isolated Chegaga Sand Dunes.  Your experienced driver will safely navigate the 4×4 off road 90 km  (56 miles) through the rocky desert, or hammada.  This route will take you through the now dry Lake Iriqui where you’ll have the opportunity to pause and search for fossils.   You will arrive at the Chegaga Sand Dunes in time for an early evening camel ride to watch the sunset from high on the dunes.  Dinner will be served back at the camp and your night will be spent in a nomad tent.

If you like, you can watch as the sun wakes the day from over the dunes.  After a relaxing breakfast, you will drive off road 60 kilometers (36 miles) to the town of M’Hamid.  It is here that you find the paved road.  After a mid-morning snack in M’Hamid, you will continue the journey to Agdz.  This leg of the journey will bring you into the Draa Valley, an oasis of date palm trees that stretches from M’Hamid to Agdz.  It’s as if a green ribbon has been laid across the desert.   The Draa Valley is the longest valley in Morocco and is notorious for all varieties of dates.   The inhabitants of the valley live in ksours, ancient fortified villages, originally built as protection against rivaling tribes.

You may stop in Tamegurout where potters work to create and design stunning pottery that is shipped across the country and the world.  You will then make your way toward the town of Zagora, known to the ancient caravans, “as 52 days by camel to Timbuktu”.   The night will be spent in the village of Tamnougalte that lies on the outskirts of Agdz.  Tamnougalte served as the 16th century central meeting point for caravans entering and leaving the   desert.  Here you will have the opportunity to visit the     Tamnougalte  Kasbah, that served as the regional government seat as well as the aristocratic residence of the caïd.  Atop the Kasbah, you’ll have an unobstructed view of ruins, date palms, and the river valley.

After breakfast, you leave the Draa Valley behind as you cross over the Tizi n’Tinififft Pass (1,660 m / 5,446 ft).  As you twist and turn around basalt cliffs you will be inundated by a myriad of colors everywhere you look.   After approximately 70 kilometers (45 miles), you’ll enter Ouarzazate, known as the Moroccan Hollywood for the numerous movies filmed in the city.  On the far side of Ouarzazate, you will visit Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, an UNESCO World Heritage site, located on the southern slopes of the High Atlas.

The road from Ait Ben Haddou snakes over the High Atlas Mountains, around hairpin bends, and in and out of canyons.  As you take in the beautiful display of colors and the unmatched panoramas you’ll see why this stretch of road is considered one of the most scenic segments in the entire country.  Just before you start the descent down the other side of the High Atlas, you will cross the famous Tichka Pass (2,260 m / 7,414 ft), the highest paved pass in North Africa.  By the end of the day, you will find yourself back in marrakech.

What’s Included in Tour

Tour Highlights

  • Experienced Local Moroccan Host

    Fluent in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and local dialects

  • Private 4x4 Transport

    Spacious, fully-equipped, driver & fuel

  • Handpicked Accommodations: Standard, Comfort, or Luxury

    Ranked by us, based on guest satisfaction and feedback overtime

  • Meals

    All breakfasts included. Dinners included where indicated.

  • Airport Transfers

  • Camel Trek

  • Sahara Desert Camp - Comfort or Luxury

  • Local Encounters

Village of Tamnougalte; 16th Century Gate through which the caravans passed going to and coming from Timbuktu

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Standard Accommodations

$ High Standard Accommodations Characterized by Stylish and Quality Décor

  • 1 person from $ 2025
  • 2 persons from $1256
  • 3 persons from $ 984
  • 4 persons from $ 800
  • 5 persons from $ 775
  • 6 persons from $ 710
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Customized Private Morocco Tours

TBD Create Your Own Private Morocco Adventure

  • Alter tour origination city
  • Alter tour destination city
  • Mix and match tour locations
  • Large Groups
  • Photography Tours
  • Day Excursions
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All pricing is per person and based on double occupancy

Children 0-2 are free / Children 2-12 are 50% reduction of adult fee

* Drinks and tips are not included

These prices are liable to fluctuation according to current exchange rates and customizations

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Nancy LauerSouth of Morocco