Marrakech Self Drive 1 - Kasbahs & Sahara

Circuit of South & Sahara

About Marrakech Self Drive 1 - Kasbahs & Sahara


Self-drive or private chauffeur driven journey with kasbah hotels and a 4WD / camel excursion into the dunes of Erg Chebbi [near Merzouga]. Route takes you to the desert via the Draa Valley and great southern highway and returns via the Todra Gorge and Ouarzazate.

Activity code: MRDSD01m

Duration: 4 [or 5] Days

START / FINISH - Marrakech

Whilst we offer some great excursions from Marrakech direct to the Sahara and back in two or three days we would urge you to consider taking a little longer and exploring the south further and enjoying a desert excursion at the spectacular dunes of Erg Chebbi (near Merzouga). This is best done on a mini self-drive itinerary although we can provide the services of an English-speaking driver if you prefer not to drive.

There are many ways you can do this journey, this is our recommendation if you are looking for the minimum (sensible) time to do the circuit and wish to stay in a good standard of accommodation; however, you can add nights along the way or extend the duration at any of the above places to stay if you wished to spend more time in the south.

This itinerary is one of our recommended fly-drive holidays for a few days in southern Morocco from Marrakech. It includes travelling between Marrakech, Ouarzazate and the Sahara and is a beautiful circuit that can include all the "best bits" of the region of gorges, dunes and kasbahs. With our many years of experience putting together practical and interesting itineraries for our clients we would like to recommend this journey for you to make the most of your time in this fascinating country.

All our desert trips are based on starting and finishing in Marrakech; please contact us to arrange accommodation - we are experts for small hotels and riads across Morocco.

Highlights of the Kasbahs & Sahara Circut Fly-Drive

  • OUARZAZATE: Ouarzazate is the first town most people see after crossing the High Atlas and is the unofficial capital of the south of Morocco. Formerly a Foreign Legion outpost it has been notably used as a location backdrop by many epic films such as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth. Ouarzazate has an old town with its maze of narrow streets and a new town where most of the hotels are located. The Kasbah Taourirt is within walking distance of most hotels and is well worth a visit.
  • DRAA VALLEY: The Drâa Valley extends for almost 200km towards the South and irrigates a narrow oasis where dates and henna grow. After leaving the Drâa Valley, a series of oases rapidly succeed each other along the fine desert-like road leading to Zagora. Don't hesitate to stop to experience their unchanged way of life. The environment is exceptionally well preserved.
  • SAHARA ADVENTURE: The Sahara seems such a long way away but on this trip you will have the opportunity to ride through the dunes on the back of a dromedary leaving you with incredible and magical memories of the awesome canopy of the starlit heavens and the peacefulness and tranquility of the desert.
  • MOROCCO's FAMOUS GORGES: Boumalne de Dades and Tineghir are ideal places to stay if you are doing some walking and exploring the famous Dades and Todra Valleys and their stunning gorges. These are truly fascinating places and scenery in their own right and a superb bonus to be enjoyed en route to/from the Sahara.

Why book with Rediscover Morocco ?

With our excellent prices for car rental, Morocco has opened up to some quite unique holiday experiences. Roads around the country are improving and are actually pretty good in most places, even in the mountains and desert areas they are now mostly asphalted. We do not recommend driving at night though as headlights can be optional and safety barriers on some mountain roads are non-existent. We have all driven extensively around Morocco and will be happy to share our experiences with you if you are at all unsure about self-drive or your chosen routes.

NB: This itinerary can be taken with the services of one of our English-Speaking drivers (or a National Guide). They will drive any type of vehicle at a flat rate per day per vehicle which includes your driver's food and lodging. Hotels are personal suggestions but there is usually a choice of styles and budget at each location.

Accommodation: the hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in this fascinating country - in the table below we have included suggestions for upgrades to "boutique" properties and deluxe options (please do not hesitate to request alternative hotels).

What's included in your Fly-Drive ?

  • 2 [or 3] nts accommodation at a choice of small hotels.
  • 4 [or 5] days fully-inclusive car hire with a/c
  • Fully-inclusive two day desert adventure to Erg Chebbi by 4WD and camel meharee.
  • Sightseeing suggestions and driving directions
  • All taxes, full 24hr representative services.

NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.

Our recommended hotel choices for this fly drive:

[Classic Hotel, Classic Riad, Boutique Hotel/Riad, Deluxe Hotel]

    • Marrakech: - Hotel Tichka, Riad Hikaya, Riad Kniza, Les Jardins de la Koutoubia
    • Erfoud: - Hotel Tizimi, Xaluca Maadid Hotel
    • Dades Valley region: - Kasbah Tizzarouine, Kasbah Itran, Xaluca Dades
    • Ouarzazate area: - Hotel Fint, Kasbah Ellouze, Les Tourmalines, Ksar Ighnda

Click on the location to view our whole selection.

Contact us now to book this self drive holiday for any date.


  • Day 1: Marrakech - Tichka Pass - Ouarzazate - Draa Valley - Agdz

    Deliver your hire car to your accommodation in Marrakech (and meet your driver if going for the chauffeur-driven option); depart for the south across the High Atlas Mountains via the Tichka Pass. Optional visits to the dramatic kasbahs of Telouet and/or Ait Ben Haddou en route. Pass Ouarzazate and continue down the dramatic Draa Valley.

    • stay at the excellent Kasbah Azul near Agdz.

  • Day 2: Agdz - Southern Highway - Rissani - Erfoud - Merzouga - Erg Chebbi

    After a peaceful breakfast by the pool at the Kasbah Azul head off the Draa Valley slightly south of Agdz and take the great southern road via N'Kob and Al Nif to the edge of the desert at Erfoud.

    At the friendly Kasbah Tizimi park up and meet your desert guide, swap into a 4WD vehicle for the rough crossing of the semi desert area between Erfoud and Merzouga. Your Desert Adventure includes camel meharee into the dunes.

    • overnight Bedouin camp in an oasis with dinner and breakfast under the stars.

  • Day 3: Erg Chebbi - Erfoud - Todra Gorge - Dades Valley - Kelaat M'Gouna - Skoura

    Return from the desert and freshen up at Auberge du Sud on edge of the dunes before returning to join your car (and driver) in Erfoud. From here you have the opportunity to visit the incredible Todra Gorge and drive along the Dades Valley back towards Ouarzazate.

    • At this stage you can choose to stay one night en route in or near Ouarzazate (e.g. Les Tourmalines overlooking the lake) or perhaps break the journey into two days and stay in Boumalne de Dades (e.g. Xaluca Dades) and then a second night near Ait ben Haddou (e.g. Kasbah Ellouze).

  • Day 4 [or 5]: Ouarzazate - Ait Ben Haddou - High Atlas - Marrakech

    You now have a full day to explore the local area including the Atlas Film Studios and Taourit Kasbah in Ouarzazate and, any of the kasbahs you didn't manage to fit into day one (Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou). Alternatively, you can relax by the pool at Les Tourmalines or go for a walk and still have plenty of time to get back to Marrakech before nightfall.

  • Map of Route

  • Prices & Departure Dates

    Prices shown are 'per person' in UK Pounds and are based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. A single supplement needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required.

    Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen accommodation, room availability as well as time of travel. Please take this into consideration when comparing prices; we always aim to match a high quality experience with exceptional value for money. Please note that discounts will apply if there are 4 or more people in your travelling party as fixed costs such as transportation and guides will be shared equally between the group.

    NB: Flights available to book with us through a range of airlines, from various UK airports.


Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998