See the best of the Sahara Desert and High Atlas mountains in style with this 10-day Moroccan itinerary that starts and ends in Marrakesh. On the journey from the "Red City" to the vast sand dunes and back, you'll meet the local Berber people and local artisans, ride bikes and camels, and sandboard or quad bike at Erg Chebbi. After each day, you'll return to a luxurious sanctuary at top-rated riads, hotels, and kasbahs.


  • Experience the best of Marrakesh, the High Atlas, and the Sahara with luxury stays
  • Savor elevated Moroccan cuisine at fine restaurants in Marrakesh
  • Sleep among desert dunes at a luxury glamping site
  • Experience desert culture and thrills with a private tour of Erg Chebbi
  • Ride bikes through the Draa Valley and discover Tamegroute pottery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Marrakesh, Dinner at La Mamounia's Le Marocain Marrakesh
Day 2 Tour Marrakesh & Le Jardin Secret, Dining at Dar Yacout Marrakesh
Day 3 Transfer to Skoura via Aït Benhaddou & Ouarzazate Skoura
Day 4 Transfer to the Sahara Desert, Camel Ride & Luxury Desert Camp Merzouga
Day 5 Desert Adventure in Erg Chebbi Merzouga
Day 6 Transfer to Zagora Zagora
Day 7 Meet Locals by Bike, Tamegroute Pottery & Desert Wonders Zagora
Day 8 Transfer to Ourika, Beldi Spa Ourika
Day 9 Nectarome Gardens, Ourika Souk, Transfer to Marrakesh Marrakesh
Day 10 Depart Marrakesh  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakesh, Dinner at La Mamounia's Le Marocain

Check into a historic Marrakesh institution at La Mamounia

Welcome to Morocco! Your luxury vacation begins with a seamless arrival and immigration journey through Marrakesh airport. A personal chauffeur will greet you for your private transfer to one of Marrakesh's most prestigious palace hotels, La Mamounia. Discover the Moroccan art of living when you check into this authentic yet modern historic 5-star stay. Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill have stayed here, and now it's your turn to make memories. If you're hungry, stop by one of four restaurants, or relax at the rooftop lounge or by the pool.

Your introduction to the complex and comforting flavors of Moroccan cuisine begins at Le Marocain, a warm, traditional restaurant within the hotel that's been welcoming diners for more than 30 years. The menu is a true reflection of Morocco's varied cuisine, with everything from aromatic tajines to fragrant couscous dishes. You'll savor each bite while listing to a rhythmic trio of Andalusian musicians at this local institution.

Day 2: Tour Marrakesh & Le Jardin Secret, Dining at Dar Yacout

See iconic Marrakesh landmarks like the Koutoubia Mosque

Immerse yourself in a whirlwind of sights, sounds, and scents as you discover Marrakesh with a local guide. Your private half-day tour begins at the illustrious Bahia Palace, a masterpiece of intricately carved wooden ceilings, tiled courtyards, and serene gardens. Venture by the Koutoubia Mosque, the symbol of Marrakesh, then follow your guide into the colorful medina—a maze of alleyways lined with riads, souks, and workshops. Explore vibrant textiles, aromatic spices, ornate jewelry, and leather goods before stopping for lunch.

Later, step into a world of tranquility at the Le Jardin Secret (The Secret Garden). Tucked away in the medina, this peaceful oasis brims with lush greenery. Appreciate the traditional Moroccan design with water features, verdant flora, and colorful tiles and mosaics, and linger at the café. This evening you'll dine at Dar Yacout, an esteemed establishment that has served Marrakesh for over two decades. Ascend to the terrace to take in panoramic views of the medina, then sit down to savor dishes crafted to show off the best of traditional Moroccan cuisine. 

Day 3: Transfer to Skoura via Aït Benhaddou & Ouarzazate

A Journey Through Time: To Skoura Oasis via Ait Benhaddou & Ouarzazate
Appreciate the ancient kasbahs and mud-brick architecture on today's journey

Swap Marrakesh for the mountains today when you journey into the mighty High Atlas. Catch glimpses of Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in the country, as you venture through Berber villages of traditional mud-brick homes. Your private driver will pause in Taddert to visit a local argan oil cooperative, where you can witness the process and sample the oil before crossing over the Tizi n'Tichka pass, the highest in Morocco at 7,414 feet (2,260 m). 

Stop at the Aït Benhaddou ksar, a medieval marvel and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the alleys and passageways of this ancient fortress, or climb up to the old granary for breathtaking views of the kasbah and historic camel caravan routes. Continue the descent toward Ouarzazate, a town known as "Morocco's Hollywood," where you can tour a movie studio or visit the Musée du Cinema.

Finally, after four hours on the road, you'll reach the tranquil Skoura oasis, where your beautiful hotel awaits. Tucked away between palm groves and almond trees at the edge of the desert, Les Jardins de Skoura is a traditional-style 3.5-star kasbah hotel with sprawling gardens, a massive terrace, and modern comforts. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool, then enjoy dinner at the estate.

Day 4: Transfer to the Sahara Desert, Camel Ride & Luxury Desert Camp

Journey of Elegance: A Scenic Drive from Skoura to Merzouga
Venture into the Sahara Desert and ride a camel today

Today you'll venture into the wilds of the Sahara Desert. Set off from Skoura in the Draa Valley, admiring verdant palm groves and picturesque kasbahs as your private transfer winds past traditional mud-brick villages and ancient fortified settlements on the five-hour drive. Gradually, you'll enter the desert, watching the colors of the shifting sands change from golden hues to fiery reds. Stop at Erg Chebbi, where towering dunes form a surreal landscape. Here shifting sands, sculpted by the wind, create a mesmerizing play of light and shadow.

As you approach Merzouga, the gateway to the Sahara, embark on a relaxed camel journey across rolling dunes. Your camel caravan will lead to your luxury desert campsite at The White Camel just in time to witness the sunset. Once settled into your exquisitely adorned tent, complete with air-conditioning, en suite bathroom, and top-tier amenities, venture up to the nearest dune to witness the desert landscape change colors as the sun descends. As twilight sets in, return to the camp for dinner accompanied by traditional Berber music, and settle in for a night beneath the stars.

Plan your trip to Morocco
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Desert Adventure in Erg Chebbi

Harmonies of the Dunes: An Experiential Desert Odyssey in Erg Chebbi
Spend today surrounded by sand, sunshine, and the Sahara

Unearth the well-guarded secrets of Erg Chebbi today as you delve into the heart of this sand sea with a private 4WD expedition. As you dip into valleys and conquer hills, you'll learn about the erg, which stretches over 17 miles (28 km) from north to south, with some peaks reaching nearly 500 feet (150 m). Visit Khemliya village to meet a Gnawa family and listen to their spiritual healing Gnaoua music. This repetitive yet lively soul-stirring genre is deeply rooted in Moroccan traditions but originates from the sub-Saharan region.

After connecting with culture, it's time to chase an adrenaline rush. Seize the chance to rent a sandboard and glide down the towering dunes, carving a path on the golden waves, or join a quad bike tour and kick up sand at speed. As the sun begins its descent, climb the nearest dune to witness nature paint a vibrant sunset across the dunes. Finally, return to your luxury camp for an indulgent evening around the warm glow of the campfire. Listen to the melodies of traditional Berber music while you enjoy a sumptuous local dinner beneath open skies.

Day 6: Transfer to Zagora

Wind past oases and ancient kasbahs on today's drive to Zagora

Sit back and relax on a comfortable private transfer to Zagora. Along the 6.5-hour journey through the scenic Anti-Atlas range, you'll pass through the homeland of the Aït Atta Berbers, the oldest nomadic tribe in the Atlas. In spring, these remarkable communities bravely traverse the scorching heat of southern Morocco, making their way to the alpine pastures of the High Atlas mountains. With the arrival of the first snowfall, they descend southward, spending the winter in Saghro. You'll trace a similar route, passing through Saghro and the mountain town of N'kob.

As you continue, you'll reach the verdant Draa Valley, known for its "million palm trees." Arrive in Zagora and check in to your luxurious accommodation, Dar Hnini Kasbah. This elegant retreat fuses traditional Moroccan architecture with modern comforts. Take a moment to unwind in the lush gardens amid fragrant flowers and the gentle rustle of palm trees. Take a dip in the swimming pool, book a rejuvenating spa treatment, or simply lounge in the comfort of your well-appointed room ahead of a farm-to-table dining experience at the tranquil estate.

Day 7: Meet Locals by Bike, Tamegroute Pottery & Desert Wonders

traditional green ceramic of Tamegroute
The traditional green ceramics of Tamegroute

On this morning's memorable biking adventure, you'll have the opportunity to meet and interact with local farmers, share laughs with curious children, and meet wise Berber people who carry the rich traditions of the region. This unique cultural exchange offers you a deeper understanding of the Draa Valley's heritage and is a chance to forge meaningful connections with the warmhearted locals.

Later, venture to Tamegroute, a village 9 miles (15 km) south that's known for its pottery. Discover the distinctive pottery techniques that have been passed down through generations, originating from the city of Fes. Witness skilled artisans molding and shaping clay into intricate designs, creating beautiful and functional pieces that reflect the rich artistic traditions of the region. While here, visit the Zaouia Naciria, an ancient Quranic library that houses centuries-old manuscripts and has attracted ulama (scholars) and students seeking knowledge and enlightenment. 

Finally, continue south to the Dunes of Tinfou. These wind-swept dunes, easily accessible and visible from the road, are smaller in size compared to famous destinations like Merzouga or Chebbi but still offer a glimpse into the captivating world of the desert. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet and soak in the serene surroundings before returning to Zagora for the evening.

Day 8: Transfer to Ourika, Beldi Spa

Enjoy sweeping views from the poolside at Kasbah Bab Ourika

Today's mesmerizing 5.5-hour drive to the picturesque Ourika Valley reveals more of Morocco's natural beauty and cultural treasures. Leave behind the lush palm groves and desert vistas as you wind through the rugged peaks, deep valleys, and cascading rivers of the High Atlas. Pass quaint Berber villages and appreciate the verdant terraced fields and fruit orchards. In Ourika, you can admire the craftsmanship of pottery, textiles, and other traditional crafts by local artisans.

Check into the 4-star Kasbah Bab Ourika, an exquisite destination that sits at the apex of the Ourika Valley, overlooking the river, olive groves, and orchards below. This spectacular estate features 360-degree views and receives warm sunlight all day long. Relax on your private terrace or take a dip in the pool before you step into a realm of pure bliss at Beldi Spa. Choose from a curated selection of treatments designed to restore harmony and balance to your mind, body, and spirit.

Day 9: Nectarome Gardens, Ourika Souk, Transfer to Marrakesh

Explore the Healing Power of Plants at Nectarome Gardens
Wander the Nectarome Gardens and learn about the healing power of plants

This morning you'll discover the aromatic wonders of Nectarome Gardens, a hidden gem nestled within the captivating landscapes of the Ourika Valley. In this botanical sanctuary, you'll find around 50 different aromatic plants, medicinal and ornamental, predominantly originating from the region. A knowledgeable guide will share the secrets of Moroccan herbal medicine and the cultural significance of the plants as you stroll through the gardens. After, explore the local souk, a bustling local marketplace where locals trade and barter for everything from carpets to corn.

Wander through the maze of stalls seeking treasure before the one-hour return transfer to Marrakesh. On arrival, settle into your luxury hotel, the prestigious Villa des Orangers. Set at the foot of the Koutoubia Mosque, between the Royal Palace and bustling Jemaa el-Fna square, this 5-star hotel is your sanctuary and garden oasis in the heart of the buzzing city. Take a swim in the long pool, or seek quiet moments of contemplation in the gardens before venturing into the city at dusk. Spend your final evening at Jemaa el-Fna, where snake charmers, storytellers, and street vendors thrive.

Day 10: Depart Marrakesh

Closing the Chapter on Morocco
Savor a final morning in the tranquil grounds of Villa des Orangers
As your Moroccan adventure draws to a close, enjoy a comfortable and convenient 20-minute private transfer to Marrakesh airport, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey. Sit back and relax as you reflect on the past 10 days and savor a final view of the vibrant city. Safe travels home or to your next destination!

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Map of Luxury Adventure in Southern Morocco - 10 Days
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