14-Day Sahara Tour From Tangier

Explore The Moroccan Sahara in 2 Weeks

Immerse yourself in a captivating 14-day journey across Morocco’s diverse landscapes, starting and concluding in the vibrant coastal city of Tangier.

This two-week grand tour is meticulously designed to take you from the breezy Mediterranean shores through the mystical blue alleys of Chefchaouen, the timeless medinas of Fes and Midelt’s mountainous embrace, to the heart of the Sahara Desert in Merzouga. Experience the cinematic allure of Ouarzazate, the grandeur of Todgha Gorge, and the ancient walls of Taroudant.

Destinations on our 2-Week Morocco & Sahara Itinerary

Day 1: Tangier – Gateway to Africa

Tangiers, Morocco

The moment you step off the plane, the refreshing coastal air of Tangier will greet you, signifying the commencement of your two-week grand Moroccan journey. 

Historical Tangier City Tour

Tangier has been Europe’s gateway to Africa since Phoenician times, and its medina, a labyrinth of winding alleys interspersed with serene plazas, speaks volumes of its rich history. 

Walk past the Grand Socco, where old meets new, then delve into the Petit Socco, once a notorious den of vice but now teeming with cafes and vitality. 

The historical threads of Phoenician traders, Roman settlers, Portuguese conquerors, and Berber heritage all intertwine to form the fabric of this city.

Coastal Tangier Delights

As evening descends, take a tranquil stroll along the Corniche. Tangier’s beachfront promenade is lined with cafes, and the salt-tinged air is a reminder of the Mediterranean’s embrace.

Day 2: Tangier to Chefchaouen (2.5-hour drive)

Chefchaouen in Morocco

On day 2 of our itinerary, you will join your private driver in the morning to make your way towards Chefchaouen. 

As Tangier’s urban sprawl gives way, the scenery transitions from coastal plains to the undulating forms of the Rif Mountains.

Exploring Chefchaouen: Enchanting Blue Streets

Upon arrival, Chefchaouen, or the ‘Blue Pearl of Morocco,’ will captivate you with its blue-washed buildings, a tradition said to have been introduced to keep mosquitoes away, but now serves as a tranquil and cooling visual delight. 

Walking through the narrow streets with your private guide, you’ll find yourself beneath cascading bougainvillea and beside ancient doors, each telling tales from the past. The city, set against a backdrop of rugged mountain peaks, is not just a visual delight but also a cultural immersion. Given the Spanish history of the region, the Andalusian influence resonates in the architecture, food, and even the dialect.

As the day draws to a close, ascend to one of the terraced cafes overlooking the town. Under the warm hues of the setting sun, sip on traditional Moroccan mint tea. The aroma of the tea, combined with the panoramic views of the blue city transitioning into twilight, creates an ambiance of peace. The distant call to prayer, the soft conversations of locals, and the distant hum of life below add to the symphony of the evening.

Day 3: Chefchaouen to Fes (3-hour drive)

Fes, Morocco

Bidding farewell to the blue enclave of Chefchaouen, you’ll set forth on a journey that weaves through the Rif Mountains with your private chauffeur. Tackling the winding mountain roads with ease and comfort in our air-conditioned vehicle, the route offers panoramic vistas at every curve. 

The Rif Mountains, a serene and less-trodden part of Morocco, present an undulating tapestry of green terraced fields, distant Berber villages, and occasional herds of sheep. As you descend, the peaks give way to fertile plains, hinting at the ancient city of Fes in the distance.

Dive into Fes: Ancient Medina

Upon arrival, the city of Fes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and often considered the cultural heart of Morocco, awaits exploration. 

The medina of Fes, one of the world’s largest walled cities, is a maze of narrow alleys, vibrant bazaars, and ancient mosques. Stepping into it is akin to walking through a living museum of a bygone era. You’ll encounter artisans practicing age-old techniques, children darting through shadowed alleys, and the scent of spices wafting from stalls. The blend of sounds — from distant prayers to the clink of artisans at work — narrates a tale of a city steeped in history.

Day 4: Fes – Chronicles of the Past

Tanneries in Fez, Morocco

The morning sun shines brilliantly on the golden doors of the Royal Palace of Fes, an architectural marvel boasting intricate mosaics and sprawling gardens. 

Although the palace interiors remain a royal prerogative, the majestic gates and surrounding fortresses like Borj Nord and Borj Sud offer fascinating insights into Morocco’s regal past and provide panoramic views of the medina.

Vibrant Fes Tanneries

One of Fes’ most iconic sights is its tanneries, where traditional methods dye leather in a burst of colors. 

From terraced balconies, observe the symphony of labor and artistry: craftsmen moving between vats of dyes, transforming raw hides into vibrant leather. 

The spectacle is a dance of colors – from earthen browns to bright turquoise. Although the smell can be pungent, the view from above is mesmerizing, a testament to Fes’s living traditions.

Traditional Moroccan Evening: Music & Tales

As twilight blankets Fes, it’s time to immerse yourself in the soulful sounds and stories of Morocco. 

In an intimate setting, local musicians, with their lutes and drums, weave melodies that echo the pulse of the Desert and the rhythm of the mountains. As the music swells and recedes, storytellers narrate tales of yore: of sultans and commoners, of love and heroism, of djinns and oases.

Day 5: Fes to Midelt (3-hour drive)

As the sun casts its early morning glow upon Fes, you’ll embark on a 4×4 journey to Midelt, the ‘Gateway to the Mountains.’ 

Refreshing Midelt Orchard Stroll

Upon reaching Midelt, you’ll be greeted by the town’s sprawling orchards, nestling against a backdrop of the snow-capped High Atlas. 

As you meander through these orchards, the crisp air filled with the scent of apple blossoms refreshes both body and spirit. The orchards, ripe with apples, walnuts, and other fruits, paint a picture of fertility amidst rugged terrains.

Midelt thrives not just on its orchards, but its warm-hearted inhabitants. The town’s local market is a hub of activity, with stalls selling fresh produce, traditional crafts, and Berber jewelry. An evening here promises authentic interactions — perhaps sharing a cup of mint tea with a local artisan or listening to tales of mountain life.

Day 6: Midelt to Erfoud via Ziz Valley (3-hour drive)

Ziz Valley, Morocco

Daybreak sees the journey resume as your private driver navigates the winding paths of the High Atlas Mountains. This majestic mountain range, with its stark peaks and deep valleys, stands as a natural barrier between the northern plains and the Sahara. 

Ziz Valley Panorama

As you descend the High Atlas, the verdant Ziz Valley unfolds below. This oasis, with its palm groves and ancient kasbahs, is a ribbon of greenery snaking through the arid landscape. 

The Ziz River has carved spectacular gorges through the cliffs, creating a panorama that is a harmonious blend of nature’s elements. Stopping at one of the viewpoints, the sheer expanse of the valley is a sight to behold — a testament to nature’s prowess and persistence.

Erfoud Arrival: Gateway to the Desert

Nearing evening, the journey culminates in Erfoud, often dubbed the ‘Gateway to the Sahara.’ 

This oasis town, with its date palm groves and bustling markets, serves as a starting point for many desert expeditions. The golden hues of the setting sun reflect on Erfoud’s mud-brick buildings, giving the town an ethereal glow. As the stars begin their nightly dance, the anticipation builds for the desert adventures that await, marking a perfect end to the day’s voyage.

Day 7: Erfoud Exploration

Erfoud Town, Morocco

Erfoud’s ancient seabeds are home to a rich trove of fossils, with remnants ranging from trilobites to ammonites that trace back to the Paleozoic Era. 

Begin your day by stepping into one of the town’s fossil workshops. Here, artisans meticulously chisel and polish, turning these ancient relics into art pieces. Beyond just viewing, delve into the intricate processes of extraction and polishing. It’s a mesmerizing experience, connecting you to the Earth’s deep past, making you realize the transience of time and the permanence of nature.

Oasis Serenity: Walking Amidst Date Palms

Erfoud’s lifeblood is its oasis. Strolling amidst the rustling date palms, you’re enveloped in a serenity that’s hard to describe. 

The verdant canopy, interspersed with the play of sunlight, provides a cool respite from the desert sun. Here, life thrives in synchronization with seasons; the annual date harvest festivity is a testament to its significance. The tranquil ambiance, punctuated by birdsong and the distant hum of life, is a soothing balm for the spirit.

Sunset Experience: Overlooking the Sahara

As evening approaches, head to one of the vantage points around Erfoud. The vast expanse of the Sahara stretches out, a sea of golden sand, ever-changing, ever-stunning. As the sun dips, painting the sky in hues of orange, pink, and purple, the Desert too responds. 

The golden dunes darken, casting long shadows, creating a tableau that’s both dramatic and serene. This celestial performance, with the horizon ablaze, remains etched in memory, a moment where time stands still.

Day 8: Erfoud to Merzouga (2-hour drive)

Merzouga in Morocco

Departing from Erfoud, you plunge deeper into the Desert. 

The landscape is stark, yet captivating, with each dune telling its tale. This drive isn’t just a journey between two points; it’s an embrace of the Desert’s raw, untamed beauty.

Merzouga: Desert’s Jewel

Upon arriving in Merzouga, the gateway to the Erg Chebbi dunes, you’re greeted by a panorama that seems almost surreal. The town, a blend of traditional mud-brick houses and modern establishments, stands as a sentinel beside the vast sea of dunes. 

Merzouga, with its unique blend of tradition and tourism, offers insights into the resilience and adaptability of desert communities.

Sahara Magic: Nightfall Amidst the Dunes

This experience at the Erg Chebbi dunes at night is ethereal. The sands, having absorbed the day’s heat, radiate a comforting warmth. Above, the sky transforms into a canvas, dotted with a million stars, with the Milky Way clearly streaking across. 

The silence is profound, broken only by the whispering winds. This is the Sahara’s purest form – vast, enigmatic, and utterly mesmerizing. As you settle down for the night, lulled by the gentle rhythms of the Desert, you realize this is an experience, a connection with the universe that’s both humbling and elevating.

Day 9: Merzouga – Heart of the Sahara

Merzouga, Morocco

Embarking on a camel trek across the Erg Chebbi dunes, you’ll soon realize why these majestic creatures are called the ‘ships of the desert’. With each gentle sway, the Desert unveils itself, a world where every dune has a story, every ripple in the sand is a testament to the winds of time. 

The dunes of Erg Chebbi, rising dramatically from the flat desert floor, offer mesmerizing vistas. With the sun casting long shadows, the play of light and dark on the sands is a visual treat, a photographer’s dream.

Desert Oasis

Post the desert adventure, the oases of Merzouga await. These verdant patches, with their dense palm groves, stand in stark contrast to the surrounding arid landscape. 

The cool shade of the date palms, the sound of water trickling in hidden streams, and the chirping of birds create an ambiance of tranquility. Relaxing by the oasis, perhaps with a book or just your thoughts, you feel rejuvenated, the fatigue of the camel trek melting away.

Berber Evening – Traditions & Tales

As night falls in the Desert, the Berber communities of Merzouga gather around crackling fires. These are moments of bonding, of revisiting traditions, and of storytelling.

Immersing yourself in this setting, you’ll be introduced to the rich tapestry of Berber culture. Songs that recount tales of old, dances that have been passed down generations, and stories that speak of the Desert’s many moods. Sharing a traditional meal with them, you not only taste the flavors of the Desert but also experience the warmth of its people.

Day 10: Merzouga to Todgha Gorge (2.5-hour drive)

Todgha Gorge, Morocco

Before the journey to Todgha Gorge commences, the Desert has one more spectacle to offer – a Saharan sunrise. 

The horizon, initially a muted shade of blue, slowly turns orange, then a fiery red, as the first rays of the sun pierce the desert night. The dunes, bathed in this golden glow, are a sight to behold. This is nature’s theater, a daily spectacle, yet unique every single time.

Drive to Todgha

Leaving the dunes behind, the drive to Todgha Gorge takes you through changing landscapes. The vast Desert gives way to rocky terrains, hinting at the canyons that lie ahead.

Evening Canyon Walk

Todgha Gorge, with its massive canyon walls, is nature’s masterpiece. Walking along the canyon floor, with the river flowing by and the sheer cliffs rising hundreds of feet on either side, you feel enveloped by nature. 

The gorge, with its unique ecosystem, is also a haven for birdwatchers. As the sun sets, the gorge takes on a mystical hue, the silence broken only by the river’s song. This is nature at its raw, unspoiled best, a fitting end to a day of transitions.

Day 11: Todgha Gorge to Dades Valley (2-hour drive)

Dades Valley, Morocco

The majesty of the Todgha Gorge continues to reveal itself with the morning light shining upon the intricate patterns of the cliffs. Venturing deeper, you’ll stumble upon caves that have been naturally carved out over millennia. 

These caverns, with their cool interiors, offer a momentary escape from the sun and provide an intimate understanding of the geological wonders at play. With every echoing footstep, the history of these formations whispers its tales, a mix of natural processes and human legends.

Journey through the Dades

As you transition from the Todgha Gorge, the landscape morphs into the Dades Valley. A cradle of human civilization, the valley, with its fertile lands fed by the Dades River, paints a picture of harmony between man and nature. 

Verdant farms set against a backdrop of rugged cliffs, ancient mud-brick homes standing resilient against time, and the distant peaks of the High Atlas looming over the horizon. The drive is a visual feast, a testament to Morocco’s diverse terrains.

By evening, the banks of the Dades River beckon. Under the shade of trees, with the gentle flow of water providing a calming soundtrack, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the journey so far. Perhaps with a local meal, as the setting sun illuminates the valley in hues of gold and amber, the serenity of the Dades offers a perfect respite.

Day 12: Dades Valley to Ouarzazate (2-hour drive)

Kasbah Taourirt in Ouarzazate, Morocco

En route to Ouarzazate, lies the famed Rose Valley. As the name suggests, the valley bursts into a spectacle of pink during the blooming season. Stopping by, the scent of roses fills the air, as local cooperatives showcase their range of rose-derived products, from perfumes to creams. 

Cinema in the Sahara

Upon reaching Ouarzazate, you are greeted by its unique blend of history and modernity. Often termed the ‘Hollywood of the Sahara,’ Ouarzazate has been the shooting location for many iconic films and series. 

A visit to the Atlas Film Studios offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the grand sets and provides insights into the world of cinema. From biblical recreations to desert fortresses, the range of sets mirror the diversity of the landscapes surrounding the town.

Evening at Kasbah Taourirt

Concluding the day is the grand Kasbah Taourirt. Dominating the town’s skyline, this Kasbah, with its maze-like alleys and ornate architecture, stands as a testament to the region’s historic might. 

As the evening shadows play on its mud-brick walls, exploring the Kasbah is like stepping back in time. Its towers offer panoramic views of Ouarzazate, and the intricate carvings and artistry on display speak of a time when this was a vital stronghold. Amidst its halls and courtyards, tales of ancient trade routes, desert caravans, and local legends come alive, rounding off another day of discovery.

Day 13: Ouarzazate to Taroudant (3-hour drive)

Taroudant Walls, Morocco

As you depart Ouarzazate, the road beckons towards the imposing Atlas mountains. 

Every curve and turn of this drive reveals another facet of Morocco’s diverse topography. With the mountains acting as silent sentinels, bearing witness to ages past, you are traversing through not just geographical landscapes but also through pages of history.

Taroudant’s Ancient Walls

On approaching Taroudant, you are immediately greeted by its massive walls, which have stood firm for centuries. Stretching for miles, these walls have stories to tell — of ancient Berber dynasties, Arab traders, and Saharan caravans. 

As the sun casts a golden hue on the walls, their tale of resilience, might, and historic grandeur unfolds. Exploring along the ramparts, the pulse of the city comes alive, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with the rhythms of today.

Moroccan Market Magic: The Souk Experience

Delving deeper into Taroudant’s heart, the lively atmosphere of its souks envelops you. 

The air is filled with the fragrant scent of spices, the soft murmur of bargaining, and the vibrant display of Moroccan handicrafts. 

From hand-woven carpets and traditional lanterns to intricately designed ceramics and jewelry, the market is a testament to the region’s rich artisanal heritage. Each stall is a doorway to Moroccan traditions, and the Souk Experience is like weaving through a colorful tapestry of culture, art, and commerce.

Day 14: Taroudant to Tangier (3-hour flight)

As you board the flight to Tangier, the perspective shifts. Rising above, the vastness of Morocco unravels beneath — from the sandy stretches of the Sahara to the lush orchards of Midelt, and from the blue streets of Chefchaouen to the historic walls of Taroudant. It’s a chance to see, from a bird’s eye view, the vast terrains and cities you’ve intimately engaged with over the past two weeks.

Upon touchdown in Tangier, the journey comes full circle. 

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