Reasons to Visit
The Berbers are the indigenous people of Morocco. During the Arab conquest they retreated into their mountain strongholds and took refuge in the inhospitable deserts of the south. This is where their culture persists, based around fortified dwellings; a strong sense of community and an ability to cope with almost any hardship.
The Sahara washes into Morocco at its western extremities, and the Erg Chebbi sand sea is the best place to see this. Passing first through dramatic ridges of blackened rock, the going becomes sandier and sandier, until you're eventually confronted with towering dunes and the best sunsets in Morocco.
A kasbah is a fortified village, made from traditional pisé, or mud brick. Their distinctive towers, with ornate windows, are a dominant feature of the Moroccan landscape, none more so than along the Dades and Draa Valleys in the south: some have been converted into hotels, so you can even spend the night in your very own kasbah.
At the heart of any old Moroccan city will be the medina, the vital core encircled by walls punctuated by ornamental gates. It's in the medina that you'll nearly always find the souqs, and there will probably be a number of old palaces too: some of these are now hotels, some are museums, while others are abandoned and decaying gracefully.
The High Atlas are home to Jebel Toubkal, at over 4,100m the highest mountain in north Africa and a challenging climb. But the Atlas mountains also offer gentler hikes, perfect just to appreciate the scenery, the cool, clean air, and to enjoy Berber hospitality in remote villages.
The souqs of Marrakesh are the most famous in the country, but almost every town has its souq. Those of Fez seem endless and labyrinthine, whilst those in Taroudant are much more compact and sell the simple goods that the local, rural population need. It's unlikely you'll escape from Morocco without doing a bit of shopping at some point!
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North Africa & the Middle East
The Erg Chebbi are the most accessible dunes of the Sahara in Morocco and the best time to see them is at sunrise and sunset when the changing light subtly alters their colour.
The first colossal dunes of the Sahara rise at Morocco’s eastern edge.
The best time to see the dunes is at sunrise and sunset when the changing light subtly alters their colour with each passing second, from butter yellow to gold, ochre and honey.
These are the most accessible dunes of the Sahara in Morocco, but are not easily incorporated into a short trip, being about 10 hours’ driving time from Fez and at least as much from Marrakesh, so realistically you need at least three-day round trip to fit them in.
They are best incorporated as part of a circuit itinerary between Marrakesh and Fez, or as a loop through the southern oases from Marrakesh.
8 days from £1,665pp
11 days from £1,835pp
15 days from £2,840pp
124 miles away
152 miles away
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Include a visit to the Erg Chebbi on your tailor-made trip around Morocco by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in MoroccoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout MoroccoCountry Guides
Other countries in North Africa & the Middle East:EgyptIranJordanLebanonLibyaOmanSyriaTunisia
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