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The Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert

Imperial cities & the desert

11 days from £5,425pp

The Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert
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Tour highlights

  • Relax in a traditional hammam in Marrakesh.

  • Enjoy a camel ride through the dunes in the Erg Chebbi.

  • Marvel at the ancient Roman ruins and well-preserved mosaics of Volubilis.

  • Visit the historic kasbahs — Telouet and Aït Benhaddou.

  • Perfect your bartering skills in Fez's labyrinthine souqs.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Marrakesh. On arrival in Marrakesh, you're met by a private driver and transferred to your hotel in the city. Once you've settled into your accommodation, spend the rest of the day relaxing or begin your exploration of Marrakesh, perhaps heading out to visit the souq or sampling some of the city's delicious street food.

  • In the morning you have a privately guided tour of the city's main sights, including the intricately decorated 16th-century Saadian Tombs, the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque, which dominates the city's skyline. This afternoon explore the souqs, where you can watch men and women work on their crafts and learn about the techniques used by dyers, tanners and coppersmiths. The afternoon ends at Djemaa el Fna, Marrakesh's main square, where street performers entertain the crowds and you can sample all manner of food.

  • You have today free to spend as you wish. You might like to try your hand at bartering in the souqs, visit a traditional hammam for a spot of relaxation, or take a day trip out to the High Atlas, enjoying lunch at one of the luxurious properties set in the mountains.

  • Leave the city behind and set off over the High Atlas to Skoura. As you wind through spectacular scenery, look out for tiny villages clinging to the mountainsides. Part of your journey is by 4x4, allowing you to visit the more remote areas on your way south. You can stop at the historic kasbahs of Telouet and Aït Benhaddou and learn about their history, before driving along the lush Dades Valley to your accommodation in Skoura.

  • Today you might want to relax at your hotel or explore the nearby kasbahs and palmeraies. The green of the palm trees contrasts with the orange stone of the kasbahs and surrounding landscape, making for some excellent photo opportunities. The most impressive kasbah is the 17th-century Kasbah Amridil, which appears on the 50-dirham note.

  • Continuing along the Dades Valley, visit the Todra Gorge en route to Erfoud, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. From here you can travel into the heart of the desert on a short camel ride, stopping to watch the sunset over the dunes before settling into your desert camp for a night under the stars.

  • A long but interesting journey today as you're driven for around eight hours to the north of the country. You can observe the country's wide range of landscapes as you travel up the Ziz Gorge with its steep canyon walls scattered with green palm trees, across the barren and rocky Middle Atlas plateau and through the Alpine Middle Atlas, where many buildings have a Swiss or Austrian style. You finally arrive in the ancient city of Fez, where you can settle into your accommodation.

  • Explore Fez on a private guided tour of the city and explore its ancient, maze-like medina. Visit the tomb of the city's founder, Moulay Idriss II, admire the architecture and intricate decoration of mosques and madrasas (Islamic colleges) and gaze over the centuries-old tannery, where you can watch men carrying out the complex process of turning animal hides into leather. End the day relaxing on the roof terrace of your riad, listening to the evening call to prayer echo around the city.

  • Spend the day visiting the Roman ruins of Volubilis and the imperial city of Meknes with your private guide. The extensive ruins show how large the Roman city would have been, and there are still many incredibly well-preserved mosaics on the ground. The impressive ruins of the courthouse and the Capitoline Temple suggest this was once a prosperous city. Meknes was once a capital city within the kingdom but has gradually faded into ruin. Your guide will tell you about its turbulent history and you can see remnants of its former glory in the city walls' monumental archways.

  • Your private driver will pick you up this morning for the four- to five-hour journey to Casablanca. You may have time to pay a visit to the Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest mosque in the world after Mecca.

  • Today your driver will pick you up from your accommodation for the short transfer to Casablanca Airport, where you then board your onward flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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When to go

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Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
The Erg Chebbi

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