Morocco Self Drive 2 - Marrakech & Desert

Sahara Circuit & Marrakech

About Morocco Self Drive 2 - Marrakech & Desert


An extended journey of southern Morocco - desert towns, stunning scenery of the High Atlas and valleys full of kasbahs such as the Draa & Dades, plus Todra Gorge & Sahara.

Activity code: MORFD02

Duration: 10 Days

START / FINISH - Marrakech

This particular itinerary is our recommended self drive holiday for a week in the south of Morocco with a few days also in Marrakech. It includes a circuit travelling between Marrakech, Ouarzazate and the Sahara and is a beautiful journey 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 customers we would like to recommend this journey for you to make the most of your time in this fascinating country. We are, of course, also able to tailor-make a holiday to suit your requirements for any or all of the following - UK departure airport, budget, hotel type/size, duration, activities, etc.

Highlights of the Marrakech & Circut of the South Fly-Drive Holiday

  • MARRAKECH - Nestled on a large plain at the foot of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, it is the perfect city to begin your visit to Morocco. Surrounded by its original fortified city wall Marrakech entices you into its midst to explore the historic and labyrinthine Medina, its palaces, gardens and souks. Today, Marrakech has become a thriving metropolis with chic night spots, top restaurants and a very modern atmosphere in places. All of which emphasises the immense historical context of the Medina and its focal point, the Djemma el Fna.
  • 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.
  • RIADS: Many treasures, especially the now-famous riads are hidden away in Marrakech and other cities in Morocco, such as Fez and Essaouira. Riads are houses, built around a central courtyard patio, whose outside walls are entirely closed. They are often converted into guesthouses or restaurants and are a symbol of the Moroccan art of fine living. We recommend riads in our programme where the local staff are integral to the experience and all food and drink and many other materials involved with your stay and the building itself are all sourced from the local area.

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 their 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).

Transport: to take the stress out of arriving and departing we offer a private airport transfer service; we can deliver and collect your hire car from your hotel (or riad) at no extra cost. All our vehicles have a/c and come with a full tank of fuel, we provide driving directions and parking information for all accommodation (where relevant). The new highways linking Marrakech, Agadir and Essaouira will cut down journey times when you wish to get from A to B quickly but this also means that the other roads will be quieter and a pleasant alternative for sightseeing and travelling at a gentler pace. (NB. tolls apply on the highways).

Extra Information: all our holidays have a recommended route with suggestions for sightseeing; we are able, through our local agency, to book activities and specialist sightseeing, particularly in Marrakech - such as cooking, quad bikes, caleche rides, day hikes, etc.

NB. extend this holiday easily by adding nights in any or all of the locations.

What's included in your Fly-Drive holiday?

  • Private round trip airport transfers.
  • 8 nights accommodation at a choice of small hotels.
  • 6 days fully-inclusive car hire with a/c
  • Fully-inclusive two day desert adventure to Erg Chebbi by 4WD and camel meharee.
  • Private guided half day city tour in Marrakech.
  • Sightseeing suggestions and driving directions
  • All taxes, full 24 hour 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 Kech, Riad Mur Akush, 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: - Dar Daif, 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 - Arrival in Marrakech

    Arrival into Marrakech and private transfer to your chosen riad or hotel.

    • stay 1 night B&B at e.g. Riad el Zohar, Riad Hikaya or Ksar Anika.

  • Day 2 - Tichka Pass - Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate

    Take delivery of hire car (e.g. Group B with a/c); head south across High Atlas Mountains via Tizi nTichka with possible detours to visit to the Kasbahs of Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou (UNESCO).

    • stay 1 night Half Board at a choice of small hotels in either Ait Ben Haddou or Ouarzazate (e.g. Kasbah Ellouze, Ksar Ighnda or Les Tourmalines).

  • Days 3 & 4 - DESERT CIRCUIT (pt.1)

    DESERT CIRCUIT (pt.1) - drive down stunning Draa Valley to Agdz (recommend an overnight stay at Kasbah Azul) then next day drive along the southern "highway" to N'Kob and the onwards via Al Nif and Rissani to Erfoud or continue to Merzouga. Your choice to stay at a small hotel facing the dunes or head off into the Sahara on a desert adventure to a Bedouin camp deep into the great sand sea.

    • stay at Auberge du Sud or Kasbah Tomboctou in Merzouga OR...
    • overnight excursion into the Sahara at Erg Chebbi (camel meharee and stay at Bedouin camp).

  • Days 5 & 6 - DESERT CIRCUIT (pt.2)

    Return from your night in the desert and freshen up at Auberge du Sud at the edge of the dunes; onward drive back to Marrakech via a combination of places - see below...

    • Tineghir (Todra Gorge) - e.g. Hotel Tomboctou
    • Boumalne (Dades Valley) - e.g. Xaluca Dades
    • Skoura (Oasis of Skoura) - e.g. Les Jardins de Skoura / Les Tourmalines
    • Ouarzazate and area (kasbahs) - Dar Daif / Ksar Ighnda

  • Day 7 to 9 - return to Marrakech

    Onward drive back over Tichka Pass to Marrakech and drop off hire car towards the end of the day.

    Two full days for sightseeing in Marrakech. A half or full day private guided city tour is available to pre-book as are many sightseeing excursions and activities (e.g. cookery class, quad bikes, etc.). If you choose to keep the car then you could visit the coast at Essaouira for a day trip.

    • stay 3 nights BB at your choice of accommodation (e.g. Riad el Zohar, Riad Hikaya or Ksar Anika).

  • Day 10 - Departure

    Private transfer to Marrakech airport for flight home.

  • Prices & Departure Dates

    Prices are on request and depend 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