4-day summer tours from Marrakech
A summer Sahara Desert tours for those wishing to sleep under the stars
It is very hot in the desert from June to August, especially during daylight hours. For the months of June and August, we operate a summer camp only from 1 June to 7 July and from 4 August to 31 August (the camp is closed from 8 July to 3 August).
The summer camp is for one-night stays only. At our summer camp one arrives about two hours before sunset and departs two to three hours after sunrise. It is really far too hot to spend the day in the desert (over 50° Celsius). Such a pastime is only for those who have a particularly masochistic sense of humour.
We have suggested below spending 3 nights for your summer trip. However, if you only have 2 nights available, that is also fine. The 3-night trip includes spending one night at a guesthouse en route to the camp and one night at a guesthouse on the way back to Marrakech. For the 2-night trip you would head back to Marrakech in one day.
The summer camp is a beautifully simple and perfect way to enjoy the desert. The idea is to sleep outside under the stars. We set up your private sleeping quarters with a comfortable bed and fresh linen, surrounded by bamboo for privacy. You can choose to sleep outside or in your en-suite tent. Because it´s so hot we only leave 4 tents from our main camp standing, and also a relaxing area with pouffes, rugs and hammocks. Meals are served outside.
You can do the activities, being camel riding, sandboarding, and hiking in the dunes at sunset and sunrise. The temperature is still quite hot, but it's reasonably comfortable, and the sand has lost its intense heat.
The trip to the desert is in a 4x4 Land Cruiser with an English-speaking driver. Because your trip is private you may stop whereever you like en route for sightseeing, photography and refreshments.
The 3-night/4-day trip is as follows:
- One night at Kasbah Azul en route to the desert. This is a trip of about 5 hours plus stops.
- One night at the summer camp at Erg Chigaga. This is 4h30 from Kasbah Azul.
- One night at either Riad Caravane or Kasbah Ellouze en route back from the desert. This is a trip of 5h30 from the desert.
- Return to Marrakech. This is a trip of 4 hours.
On day 1 the route to the camp is via the Tizi n’Tichka pass (and the High Atlas Mountains), passing through Ouarzazate and the stunning Draa Valley (home to 3 million date palms). This is where Kasbah Azul is located.
On day 2 you continue through the Draa Valley, passing through Zagora and the small town of Tamegroute (where a distinctive green-glazed pottery is made and an ancient Koranic library is to be found). Eventually, you will reach ‘the last outpost of civilisation', the village of M´Hamid El Ghizlane, where the tar road ends. From now on, the route is off-road.
On day 3 you exit the desert in the opposite direction. The drive to riad Caravane is via Foum Zguid (where the tar road begins) and the carpet making town of Taznakht.
On day 4 the return trip to Marrakech takes about 4 hours via the Ounila Valley, the kasbah of Telouet and then over the Tiz n'Tichka pass to Marrakech. (for the 2-night trip this portion of the trip would be completed in one day).
The cost of the 3-night trip is 1240 euro for two people. This includes one night at Kasbah Azul, one night at Riad Caravane, one night at the summer camp and the private transport in a 4x4 with driver. At the camp all meals, all drinks, camel treks and activities including sandboarding and evening sundowners on the dunes are included. At the guest houses breakfast and dinner are included.
The 2-night trip costs 1060 euro for 2 people.
Both guesthouses have excellent swimming pools, which is essential in the summer!