Cultural Route 4: Agadir – Merzouga

AgadirEssaouiraMarrakechOuarzazateTazzarineMerzouga – Boumalne Dades – Taroudant

From Essaouira to Erg Chebbi desert in a minimum of 8 days…

…with a few changes in this circuit

See a bigger map

From the Atlantic coast to the Argelian border, this 14 days circuit in the south is on of our longest proposals, but it is the only way to know this area of Morocco in depth. Lots of travellers cover long distances in search of ancestral cultures that take them to other times, in order to experience new sensations that you can find here, in Morocco, a country where the Atlantic melts with the Mediterranean, and the Sahara melts with the more than 4000 metres high Atlas peaks.

For more information, please, contact us.

Day 1

The adventure begins: Agadir

The journey starts in one of the most modern cities on the Atlantic coast: Agadir. Founded by the Portuguese around 1500, in 1526 it was invaded by the Saadians.

From 1912 until 1956 it belonged to France and its sovereignty passed on to Morocco in 1956. On February 29th 1960 an earthquake destroyed the city, which was later rebuilt 2km south of the epicentre. The tachelhit (tassousite), one of the Berber languages, is spoken in this area. In July the city hosts the Timitar Festival, with amazigh music groups performances.

Days 2 and 3

Discovering the Atlantic coast: Essaouira

We continue up the Atlantic coast until we reach the beautiful Essaouira, a Moroccan seaport north of Sim Cape. UNESCO World Heritage Listed City since 2001, it is a destination for lots of artists that flock there to render the medina, the walls, the harbour and the shore in their works.

The city economy turns around fishing, and wood, textile and food industries. The crafts trade, with many local cooperatives, is remarkable. In June, the International Gnaoua Music Festival draws thousands of visitors into the city.

Days 4 and 5

The red city: Marrakech

We leave the coast and move inland, towards the city of Marrakech, which original Berber name is Tamurt n Akkuc, Land of God. It’s one of the most prominent cities of Morocco, 466 m high at the foot of the Atlas mountain range. The city has many monuments listed as World Heritage, which makes it the most visited city in the country.

Marrakech is also known as the red city, by the colour of its buildings. Founded in 1062 by Youssef Ibn Tachfin, it became one of the most prominent cities of medieval Islam and gave its name to the country of Morocco.

One of the most distinctive places in Marrakech is Jamaa el Fna square. This crowdy square has been listed as Oral World Heritage by UNESCO. Almost every house surrounding the square is a food outlet or a café, and they usually have terraces that provide an overview of the square.

Day 6

A cinema city: Ouarzazate

We leave this wonderful city to start our long way to Ourzazate and cross the dream landscapes of the High Atlas. Ouarzazate own its name to a Berber expression that means “noiselessly” o “without confusion”. The city is known by its proximity to the Atlas Mountains, Jbel Saghrou and the river Draa valley. In the past, Ouarzazate was a small crossing point for African traders on their way to the north. Nowadays, the city hosts one of the largest cinema studios in the world, Atlas Studios, which creates jobs and provides wealth to the city.

Day 7

The kasbahs, architecture amongst palm trees: Tazzarine

We head towards Tazzarine and cross Âit-Saoun Mountain. Passing by the villages of Agdz and Transikht, we discover a landscape of palm groves and Berber villages. We take a well-deserved break in Tazzarine, a kasbahs village flanked by an astonishing narrow valley. If we have the time, we may visit Zagora, where we will admire the Draa Valley and the isolated sand dunes of Tinfou and Erg Chigaga.

Days 8, 9 and 10

The desert, our home: Hassi LabiedMerzouga

We restart our journey and we arrive to Hassi Labied, our home, a village 5 km from Merzouga, in front of Erg-Chebbi, a sea of mobile sand dunes. During our stay in Hassi-Labied, we may visit: Merzouga, Rissani market, the fossil quarry, Erg-Chebbi sand dunes and its nomad settlements, M’fis, Mharch, Taouz, the burial mounds, Khamilia -where we can listen to gnaoua music live-, or Sergi and Yasmina lakes.

Day 11

Thick valleys and sculpted gorges: Todra Gorges – Boumalne Dades

We move forward on the road to Tinghir, to the Todra Gorges. From there, we continue our way until we reach Boumalne Dades, at the foot of the south slope of Central Atlas. The views from the cliffs that overlook the city are outstanding, with the Dades River at the south and the ocher kasbahs changing hues under the sunlight.

Days 12, 13 and 14

The oasis city: Dades Gorges – Dades Valley – Taroudant

Next day we head towards Ouarzazate and we visit Dades Gorges, to admire its wonderful rocky formations and the karst reliefs. Later on, we cross the awesome Dades Valley, passing by M’Gouna and Skoura. We leave Ouarzazate behind and we head towards the charming city of Taroudant, an hour away from Agadir.

Taroudant displays its golden hues and its high pink walls in a combination of oasis and fortress, under the observant watch of the Atlas snowy peaks. The views to the mountain range are one of the main tourist attractions, along with the city souk, which, in spite of its limited size, offers a wide range of local crafts.

Remember, we may customize cultural route 4 to your needs!