The first stage of the Trans-Saharan is an exciting 12-day journey through the marvelous South of Morocco and the Western Sahara Desert, starting from Marrakech and reaching the splendid, sunny Dakhla.
Morocco is a country rich in wonders to explore, and the Southern region offers some of the most unforgettable experiences.
In this journey, we venture from Marrakech to the enchanting destinations of Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, the Draa Valley, and the charming oases of Zagora.
Continuing the journey southward, in the heart of the Moroccan desert, lies an extraordinary adventure that takes us to fascinating and remote places.
From Mhamid to Erg Chegaga, from Lake Iriki to Assa, all the way to the majestic Tutaci Fort through breathtaking landscapes, hidden oases, and historically rich sites full of charm. An experience that allows us to immerse ourselves in the mystical and evocative atmosphere of the desert.
Finally, Western Sahara, a mysterious and fascinating land that guards authentic hidden treasures.
From Tafnidilt to the Dra Estuary, from the saltwater lagoon of Naila to Tarfaya, to Saguia El Hamra, Tiris Zemmour, and the spectacular Rio de Oro and Dakhla, discovering extraordinary and lesser-known places.
Explore the details of this journey: the Trans-Saharan travels between Morocco and Western Sahara:
- Discovering the treasures of Southern Morocco
- In the enchantment of the Moroccan desert: an adventure from Mhamid to the Tutaci Fort
- Exploring the hidden treasures of Western Sahara: a journey from Tafnidilt to Dakhla
Discovering the Treasures of Southern Morocco
From Marrakech to the majestic Kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate, through the stunning Draa Valley to the charming oases of Zagora in the Sahara Desert, we’ll be surrounded by spectacular landscapes and Morocco’s rich cultural heritage.
Marrakech, the Red City
Our journey begins in vibrant Marrakech, with its winding alleys, bustling markets, and vivid colors.
Explore the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square, with its street performers, snake charmers, and food stalls.
Relax in the gardens of Jardin Majorelle, an oasis of tranquility amidst the city, and, of course, visit the magnificent Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its labyrinth of alleys, historic palaces, and ancient mosques.
Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate, Unique Treasures
From Marrakech, we head to Ait Benhaddou, an ancient fortified ksar that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale.
This UNESCO World Heritage site has been the backdrop for numerous Hollywood films, thanks to its timeless beauty.
Continue to Ouarzazate, known as the gateway to the desert and a significant film center. Finally, visit the Kasbah of Taourirt, an imposing fortress dating back to the 18th century.
Draa Valley and Its Natural Wonders
Our next stop takes us to the picturesque Draa Valley, one of Morocco’s longest valleys.
Along the way, admire breathtaking landscapes, with lush palm groves, tranquil oases, and ancient Berber villages.
Explore the town of Agdz and its Kasbahs, and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Draa River, appreciating the natural beauty surrounding the valley.
Charming Oases of Zagora
Finally, we reach the enchanting oases of Zagora, a true gem in the heart of the Sahara Desert.
Here, stroll among ancient palm trees, discover old Kasbahs, and immerse yourself in Berber culture.
Experience an unforgettable camel adventure through the sand dunes, witnessing the spectacular desert sunset and soaking in the magical atmosphere of the Moroccan desert.
In the Enchantment of the Moroccan Desert: An Adventure from Mhamid to Tutaci Fort
This segment of our adventure takes us to places far from traditional tourist routes, offering an authentic and unique experience in the Moroccan desert. The wild beauty of the landscapes, Berber culture, and the historical legacy of this fascinating region are unparalleled. Get ready to be captivated by the desert and create indelible memories along the journey into the heart of Moroccan enchantment.
Mhamid, the Gateway to the Desert
Mhamid is the last accessible town before venturing into the vast sandy expanses. This ancient village, situated at the end of the road, serves as the starting point for desert adventures. Here, you’ll connect with local culture, explore the weekly market, and enjoy the hospitality of Berber nomads who call this region home.
Erg Chegaga, the Infinite Dunes
Continuing the journey, we head to Erg Chegaga, one of the largest and most spectacular sand dune areas in the Sahara Desert. Here, we’ll be immersed in a surreal panorama of rolling dunes that seem to fade into the horizon. The towering sand dunes evoke strong emotions, and the sunset will paint the desert in warm and enveloping hues.
Lake Iriki, an Oasis in the Desert
Our journey continues to Lake Iriki, an oasis of tranquility in the heart of the desert. This ancient salt lake, now almost dry, offers a unique and fascinating landscape. An ideal place to admire the vastness of the desert reflected in its waters and seize the opportunity to observe local fauna, such as wild camels and migratory birds.
Assa, a Crossroads of Cultures
Assa is a city located at the crossroads between the desert and the Anti-Atlas Mountains. This charming location gives us a glimpse into the daily life of the Berbers and allows us to immerse ourselves in local traditions and culture. Exploring local markets, discovering local craftsmanship, and savoring the authentic flavors of Moroccan cuisine are unforgettable experiences.
Tutaci Fort, a Historical Fortress
Tutaci Fort is an ancient fortress that stands majestically on the surrounding hills. This ancient site, a testament to the history and culture of the region, offers a breathtaking panorama of the vast desert below. You can explore the ancient walls, admire the traditional architecture, and be transported back in time.
Discovering the Hidden Treasures of Western Sahara: A Journey from Tafnidilt to Dakhla
This segment of our journey from Tafnidilt to Dakhla in Western Sahara offers us the opportunity to explore remote and fascinating places, immersing ourselves in local culture and experiencing breathtaking landscapes.
From secluded oases to saltwater lagoons, golden beaches to historically rich cities, Western Sahara surprises at every stop; it’s impossible not to be captivated by this unique region.
Tafnidilt, an Oasis of Tranquility
Tafnidilt is a secluded oasis surrounded by golden sand dunes; the tranquility of the desert and the beauty of the surrounding landscape are indescribable. Interacting with local nomads, discovering their age-old traditions, and savoring typical Sahara cuisine are privileges of visiting this city.
Dra Estuary, a Natural Paradise
We continue the journey towards the Dra Estuary, where the Dra River meets the Atlantic Ocean.
This unique location is a true paradise for nature lovers, boasting rich fauna and flora.
You have the opportunity to spot migratory birds and explore the majestic sandy dunes along the coast.
Naila Salt Lagoon, a Natural Masterpiece
We proceed to the Naila Salt Lagoon, a true gem of the Western Sahara. This vast expanse of saltwater, surrounded by dunes and palm groves, offers a unique spectacle at sunset. The golden reflections paint the sky and waters with magical hues.
Tarfaya, a City of History and Culture
Heading towards Tarfaya, a city rich in history and culture; this charming coastal town is known for being the residence of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of “The Little Prince.” Here, you’ll find the museum dedicated to the writer, visit the old lighthouse, and enjoy the enchanting beaches that characterize the area.
Saguia El Hamra and Tiris Zemmour, Unexplored Lands
We continue towards Saguia El Hamra and Tiris Zemmour, two lesser-known regions of Western Sahara. These unexplored lands offer spectacular landscapes, with vast sandy expanses, mountains, and canyons. Navigate dirt roads and immerse yourself in a wild and authentic atmosphere.
Rio de Oro, a Natural Wonder
Arriving at the spectacular Rio de Oro, a vast coastal area with long stretches of golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Here, you can relax on the beach, take a stroll along the shore, or venture into the interior to discover the natural wonders of this region.
Dakhla, a Paradise for Surf Enthusiasts
The first leg of the Trans-Saharan journey concludes in Dakhla, renowned for its perfect waves and constant winds, making it a true paradise for surf and kitesurf enthusiasts. Founded by the Spanish in 1844, this unique city is set in a spectacular natural setting, extending 40 km from the main coast, creating a picturesque lagoon, and boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in Morocco.