Or explore with a multi-centre tour

South & Sahara Holidays

For many travellers the real Moroccan experience starts in the deep south: an ancient land of fortified villages (ksour), crumbling castles (kasbahs) and sun-baked oases.

...continued from South & Sahara page.

The road south from Marrakech winds up through the oleander and pine forests of the Atlas mountains to the 7,400-foot Col de Tichka. From here you can make side-trips to Telouet, to visit the kasbah of the Glaoui (immortalized in Gavin Maxwell’s Lords of the Atlas) and to the even more picturesque Kasbah Aït Benhaddou, famous from the film Gladiator. Finally the road descends onto the plain of Ouarzazate - the gateway to the south.

The difference in landscape, vegetation and architecture is immediately apparent. To the north, the Dades river follows a ribbon of walnut, silver birch, fig and almond trees, past mud-brick fortresses and eerie rock formations, to the Dades Gorge. Near Tineghir, the even higher Todra Gorge has opportunities for birdwatching, trekking, rock-climbing and wildlife-spotting. The road peters out at Merzouga and the spectacular sand dunes of Erg Chebbi.

South-east of Ouarzazate is the Draa Valley, dotted with watchtowers, forbidding gorges and lush oases. For centuries, the valley was a stopping place for caravans returning with gold, slaves and salt from the great trading capitals of the Sahara. After several miles of scrubby landscape the road takes you to M'hamid and the isolated dunes of Erg Chigaga.

A desert expedition can be the trip of a lifetime. Many people opt for a camel trek: romantic, but guaranteed to result in a sore bottom. An alternative is a 4x4 safari. You don’t have to rough it, either. Sleeping under the desert stars is now available as a 5-star experience, complete with bed-linen and showers.

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Within easy reach of the Todra gorge, the beautiful Dades valley filled with silver birch trees and the Jebel Saghro hills.

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Dar Zemora luxury villa hotel in Marrakech Palmeraie Morocco


Dear Max,

I was so glad that I spotted your advertisement 'Lawrence of Morocco' in the paper.  Not knowing a thing about Morocco your help and advice was immensely helpful.   What I liked was the fact that you had lived in Morocco and knew the country and so many the hotels so well.  And you did not ...

Lady Hilary W

The best dinner spot was at the riad hotel we were staying, Villa Maroc, where they serve huge platters of meat or fish tagine by candlelight.

Novelist Anna Stothard travelled to Essaouira with Lawrence of Morocco in August 2012, writing for the Observer Magazine.

We know Morocco intimately

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