New Year’s Desert Tour of Morocco
Life is either a daring adventure – or nothing!
Do something this New Year which will change your life for ever. We invite you to discover the greatest desert in the world and celebrate New Years Eve deep in the sand dunes with live music, dancing, and a traditional Moroccan feast.
On your Morocco tour you’ll travel the ancient caravan route from Marrakech to the Sahara, visiting UNESCO World Heritage Kasbahs, dramatic canyons and snow capped mountain ranges before arriving at the heart of Morocco’s exotic desert region. Ride your camel under brilliant winter stars to an overnight Sahara camp and contemplate the year gone by in the warmth of the camp fire. Local musicians will provide a unique experience while a traditional Moroccan feast is served under the crystal clear winter sky.
We recommend a 3 night tour from Marrakech to the Sahara including a New Year’s Eve Party with big fires, live music and aromatic North African cuisine. However, the tour is adaptable and can be for more or less days, finish in Fez and be upgraded to luxury level accommodation if required.
Price from £299 per person (guide price dependent on many factors, please contact for exact quote)
New Year Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Marrakech to Skoura Oasis
We will collect you from your Marrakech accommodation after breakfast and head into the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi n Tichka pass, the highest in North Africa, stopping on the way to visit the Salt Mines and the extraordinary Telouet Kasbah. This is a stunning though incomplete Kasbah with a rich history and much to see inside.
From here we will drive on to Ait Ben Haddou, with its striking Southern Moroccan Ksar architecture. The areas include a Mosque, caravanserai and Muslim and Jewish cemeteries amongst others. We will walk around the site before visiting a local village house where you can enjoy the hospitality and comfort of this family business and the best ever home cooked lunch. If you wish there will also be time for henna hand painting here.
Then we move onto Ouarzazate where there is an optional visit to the Movie Studios, one of the largest in the world. We will make the most of our spectacular journey on The Road of 1000 Kasbahs, by visiting Amridil Kasbah. This iconic and photogenic 17th century Kasbah, features in books and brochures around the world as well as on the fifty dirham note. You can really explore its labyrinth of rooms and ancient contents.
The Skoura Oasis a few miles east of Ouarzazate, is an amazing sight and is our destination for today.
Day 2 Skoura Oasis to Todra Gorge
The oasis is a huge, dense palm tree oasis filled with a confusing network of winding trails. With the help of a guide you can explore it by bicycles this morning before we move on to the Valley of the Roses.
Then we have an amazing opportunity to travel off road for a few km in an effort to find Morocco’s ancient cave dwelling nomad families. Please be aware that Morocco’s nomadic tribes are rare and illusive these days but with our local knowledge and skilled driving we will do our best to find them and if successful in our search, they will hospitably invite us to take tea with them and with the help of your driver / guide translating, you can ask all the questions you like about their hard but fascinating way of life.
The wild Dades Valley (Morocco’s Grand Canyon) is absolutely stunning with rocks in all shades of orange and red and is known as The Country of Figs.
Finally, we arrive at Todra Gorge, rising 300m, the honey-coloured hues of the sheer face change constantly as the sun moves across the sky.
Day 3 Todra Gorge to Sahara
Today we set off towards the desert. We will travel to the city of Erfoud which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Morocco, passing through the ancient city of Rissani where we will see men wearing the indigo blue robes distinctive of the Saharan people. Rissani has one of the most important markets in Morocco.
Then onto Khamlia the home of the Gnaoua People who came from West Africa to Morocco as slaves. Gnaoua music is much loved by Moroccans and Gnaoua ‘Maalems’ are highly respected, and enjoy an aura of musical stardom.
Finally we arrive at Erg Chebbi, with its beautiful apricot-coloured sand stretching as far as the eye can see. This is where your New Year Party begins. You will be introduced to your camel which you will ride to the oasis where our camp is located and on arrival enjoy true Berber hospitality with mint tea, dates and almonds. After the sun sets dramatically over the dunes the camp fires and lanterns will be lit and a traditional Moroccan feast will be served to the sound of local Gnaoua musicians – this is an experience to be found no where else on earth and when you’ve enjoyed the party and the magic, the stars and the secrets, the laughter and the friendship – you can sleep in a traditional nomad tent or under the sacred stars to watch the dawn of a New Year – and start 2016 with hope in your heart.
Day 4 Sahara to Marrakech
Wake in the desert dawn and witness the sunrise over the dunes. We will return by camel to the hotel on the dune line. Here, breakfast will be prepared for you and there will be an opportunity to shower before our departure. If you upgraded to the luxury camp you will be able to use your own en-suite facilities and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before starting our onward journey directly from the camp.
Today we travel back to Marrakech. This time, we will take a different route along the southern volcanic mountains of Sarhro with their unique peak formations and will pass through the Draa Oasis. After reaching Ouarzazate, whose name means “without Confusion”, we cross the High Atlas Mountains stopping to enjoy the dramatic yet tranquil setting before the final journey back to your riad in Marrakech with an expected return at around 7pm.
New Year Desert Tour – Price from £299 pp
- 3 night’s accommodation including breakfast and dinner
- Door to door private transport inc. fuel & tolls
- Experienced English speaking driver / guide
- Camel ride
- New Year’s Eve Party inc. Music & entertainment
- Drinks and snacks
- Entrance fees where applicable
- Discretionary tips and gratuities