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Old Salt Caravan Tour

Follow the Route of the Old Salt Caravan from Marrakech to Merzouga

Telouet, Salt Caravan, Morocco

Inside Kasbah Telouet

Trip at a Glance:

Starting from

$1249 USD

per person (based on 2 people)


Premium 3 star accommodations in traditional riads and kasbahs

Daily Itinerary


Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech

Day 2: Marrakech – Telouet – Ait Ben Haddou

Day 3: Ait Ben Haddou – Ouarzazate – Agdz

Day 4: Agdz – Rissani – Merzouga (Camel Trek)

Day 5: Merzouga – Tinghir – Dades

Day 6: Dades – Rose Valley – Marrakech

Day 7: Departure from Marrakech

Includes:
  • Private 4×4 Transportation
  • English Speaking Driver/Guide
  • Guided Tour of Telouet
  • Guided Tour of Tinghir Palmeraie
  • All Entrance Fees
  • 6 Nights of Accommodation
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners
  • Camel Trek
  • Overnight in Berber Tents
Excludes:
    • Meals not specified
    • Alcohol
    • Airfare
    • Gratuities

 

Optional guided tour of Marrakech available upon request.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Morocco as you follow the trail of the Old Salt Caravan from Marrakech through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs to the great sand seas of the Sahara Desert.  We won’t take you all the way to Timbuctu, but we will take you off the beaten tourist path in this tour.

NOTE: The itinerary below is a sample.  As with all of our tours, this one is fully customizable based on your interests and arrival/departure city and extra days to explore can be added to the tour.

Day 1: Marrakech

Upon your arrival at the airport, your personal driver will greet you and transfer you to your riad in Marrakech for the night where you will have an opportunity to rest and recuperate from your travels.  Depending on your time of arrival, you may wish to explore a little and your driver will be at your disposal should you need him.  A local city guide can also be arranged.

Ait Ben Haddou, Salt Caravan, Morocco

Ait Ben Haddou

Day 2: Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou
(Approximate Travel Time: 5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

You and your driver will depart from your riad in Marrakech after breakfast to travel over the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n’Tichka path, reaching an altitude of nearly 7500 feet above sea level.   There will be plenty of stops for tea and photographs as you take in the breathtaking vistas before turning off the main road onto the Old Salt Caravan Road to the salt mines and the former palace of the Glaoui family that owned them: Kasbah Telouet.  After a guided tour of the area, you will continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou.  If this impressive ksar looks familiar, it is because it has starred (or at least made an appearance) in many movies and TV shows including Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia,  and Game of Thrones.  But before it was discovered by Hollywood, this was one of the stops for the Caravan.  You’ll have plenty of time to explore and climb to the “bank” at the top, since this is also your resting stop for the night.

Agdz, Salt Caravan, Morocco

Palmeraie in Agdz

Day 3: Ait Ben Haddou to  Agdz
(Approximate travel time: 2 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you will head towards Ouarzazate, a quiet city called the Door to the Desert and known for its film studios, before once again turning off the main tourist drag.  Be on the lookout for a strange American looking gas station as you travel in the hills and see if you can guess in which horror movie you may have laid eyes on it (The words “Eyes” and “Hills” are a hint).  You’ll continue on to the lush Draa Valley, also known as the valley of a million palm trees, and to the town of Agdz.  Here, you can explore the local palmeraie and have a guided tour of of the ancient local Kasbah.  The name Agdz means “resting place” and, as the name implies, this oasis was an important stopping point of the old salt caravans.  Relax and enjoy a delicious dinner at your kasbah for the night.

Salt Caravan, Merzouga, Morocco

Morning in the Dunes

Day 4: Agdz to Merzouga
(Approximate travel time: 6 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you will follow the route again, making your way alongside the Draa Valley towards the sand sea of the Sahara.  It may seem like a long day of driving, but it would be even longer if you were on a camel!  Don’t worry, there will be plenty of stops along the way to stretch your legs and take photographs.  In Rissani, the last town of significant size before you reach the dunes of Merzouga, you will have a chance to search for fossils.  Long before the salt caravans, the Sahara was under the ocean and this is evident from the abundance of squid and snail fossils that really aren’t too hard to find.  Afterwards, you will continue on the final stretch of today’s journey to Merzouga on the edge of Erg Chebbi, where you will get a real taste of what it was like on the Old Salt Caravan by transferring to your next mode of transportation — a camel.  You will trek into the dunes to your Berber camp for the night. While on your camel, contemplate the fact that the caravans traveled just like that… for 52 more days!    Once at your camp, climb a dune to watch the sunset and relax as the stars come out.  Dinner will be served and traditional music will be played, before retiring to your tent for the night.

Day 5: Merzouga to Dades
(Approximate travel time: 4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Dades Valley, Salt Caravan, Morocco

Vies in Dades Valley

Today your camel guide will wake you early so that you can watch the sunrise over the dunes.  Afterwards, you will once again take to your ship of the desert (i.e.  your camel) and trek back to the kasbah on the edge of the sand sea where breakfast will be served and you will have an opportunity to shower and prepare for the day.  After breakfast and showers, you will travel to the oasis of Tinghir where you will go on a guided walk through the palmeraie and the old Mellah (Jewish neighborhood).  After you’ve explored Tinghir, you will continue to Dades gorge where you will stop for the night.

Day 6: Dades to Marrakech
(Approximate travel time: 4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast

Following breakfast you will depart from your hotel you will continue on through the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs, each of which served as stops for the salt caravans, as you make your way back to Marrakech.  You’ll take a slightly different route this tim and visit the city of Ouarzazate. Here you will visit another former Glaoui palace — although this one was used by the Glaoui dynasty’s second tier of command — Kasbah Taourirt.   After exploring this Kasbah,  you will travel once again over the breathtaking High Atlas Mountains and back to your riad in Marrakech.

Day 7: Marrakech
Meals included: Breakfast

Departure day.  If you didn’t have an opportunity to explore Marrakech on your arrival day and depending on your departure time, a local city guide can be arranged.  Otherwise, your driver will take you to the airport and see you off wishing you bon voyage and au revoir until you next visit!

 

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