8-Day South Morocco & Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakesh
Explore south Morocco… From the colorful chaotic medinas of Marrakesh, venture on a journey to explore the depths of local civilization, and then enjoy the golden sandy landscape of the Sahara Desert in a wild area — Erg Chegaga.
from US$1,469 p/p
Nov. to May
If you want to submerge yourself in the historical and cultural side of Marrakesh, the medina (old city) is a must-see place. The best way to explore it is by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride inside and outside the city wall.
Admire the splendor of Bahia Palace, and visit Koutoubia Mosque, which is considered to be a true masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
You will cross the magnificent Tizi n'Tichka Pass and the stunning Draa Valley on the way from Marrakesh to Zagora, as well as a succession of oases and impressive kasbahs (citadels).
Visit a local family in their home on the way from Zagora to the Sahara Desert, sit back to enjoy some tea and coffee, and learn more about Moroccan life in the countryside.
Experience a Bedouin tent camp. Enjoy an evening dinner under the starry sky with candle light and music performed by local desert musicians.
Built around 1,000 years ago, the UNESCO-listed Kasbah of Aït Benhaddou is one of Morocco's most famous historic landmarks. Many famous movies and TV series including "A Game of Thrones" were filmed there.
Our trip to Li Jiang and Shaxi Yunnan
We arrived at Lijiang on 9/8. We enjoyed the time in Lijiang a lot with good hotel selection and a well planned program. We went onto Shaxi for the local singing festival of the local minority groups. It was a fantastic experience. What makes the trip most memorable is our guide Alice. She took excellent care of us, anticipating our every need. She was personable, warm and very knowledgeable. We shared many laughters and traded stories. She brought smiles to us during the entire trip. We will specifically ask for her again when we come back to Yunnan. Five star service.More
Consumer, Sep 2023
Great trip around Shanghai
This was our first time ever visiting Shanghai so we wanted to see good places to go to and good food to eat in Shanghai. That's why we booked with China Highlights. They're very responsive and quick to arrange our 3 day trip. Our guide name is Qi and she is a very sweet and helpful person. She knew we wanted to explore many local foods, so she brought us some local breakfast foods when she picked us up from our hotel, just so we can try everything! She was knowledgeable as well about the culture and history of the places we went to. Will definitely recommend this tour and use China Highlights again for our next trip to China!More
Sherry, Sep 2023
Great way to see the city
Private tour with China highlights made seeing Xi'an super easy. We saved a lot of time with a private driver, and our guide Jenny took really good care of us, sending instructions for where to meet once getting off the train and made everything feel really safe and easy. She also accommodated a number of last minute changes to our itinerary without batting an eye. She was very patient, knowledgeable and friendly. It was great having a guide who grew up locally in the area to show us around (which is not always the case, from my previous experiences elsewhere). Would definitely recommend!More
Stephanie N, Sep 2023
One Day Beijing Trip (Great Wall, Summer Palace) With Jennifer
My tour guide Jennifer made this quick one day trip to Beijing great! The day started out a bit overcast and rainy when I landed, but Jennifer’s positive attitude and kind communication (along with her being able to keep up/put up with my jokes) made it fine.Despite this, Jennifer and our driver Chen were able to swing an extra photo shoot stop at the Olympic Stadium. I guess it gives me an excuse to come back to visit again, and when I do - I will use China Highlights and this great fantastic team.More
Alan Landau, Sep 2023
Mervyn is what we call a perfect tour guide!
Mervyn is what we call a perfect tour guide! She is extremely informative all the way through. She knows hers stuff and she is also enthusiastic, knowledgeable, personable and very willing to help. The whole day was perfect. A great amount of walking and a lots of physical activity ( hiking) and she was all smiling, accommodating and keeping us informative. She was absolutely the best tour guide we've ever encountered in China. Her English is perfect! Everything was so well organized. Her knowledge of the local culture and history is impressive. FantasticMore
pdaroundthewrorld, Sep 2023
Best Great Wall experience
Used China Highlights for a private all-day tour of Jinshanling portion of the Great Wall. One of the best days of my life! Tour guide Alan and a driver met me at my hotel and the ride was very comfortable. Alan was extremely knowledgable and friendly, I really enjoyed talking with him. The scenery was astoundingly beautiful; this is a less touristy portion of the Wall. The hiking was fun, Alan brought plenty of water, and showed me things I would not have noticed by myself. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch that Alan had arranged - delicious! Once in a lifetime experience.More
LZviajera, Sep 2023
Our tour guide was Mervyn, and she was amazing! She had great knowledge of Xi'an and the silk road, and we learned so many things we didn't know before. The Muslim quarter is a must-see, with so many streets of food. Terracotta warriors were breathtaking. We did a Hanfu experience and enjoyed walking the city at night in our tang Dynasty outfits. We wish we spent more than 2 days here as there's so much to do. Definitely recommend this tour and will be visiting again!More
Laura A, Sep 2023
Unforgettable trip to Guilin
We enjoyed an incredible two day trip in Guilin, taking a brief half-day boat cruise on the Li River and cycling around Yangshuo in the afternoon with our guide Gary. Gary met us at the airport and made us feel very welcome, providing us with five-star service. He gave us a lot of insight about Guilin and the Guangxi region and even gave us a tai chi lesson on the boat. He provided us excellent dining suggestions for the evening as well as suggestions of things to do. Thank you Gary for making our trip to Guilin so memorable!More
Regis B, Sep 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
We were paired with great guides on every city, very knowleadgeble and hardworking people that made our trip fabulous. Jack in Beijing was brilliant and very resourceful making sure we enjoyed the city even when he wasn't with us. In Xi'An we were paired with Crystal that was incredibly smart and made sure we felt we had not only a guide but a friend to rely on in Xi'An, we loved how she made sure we tried the best food and fruit available and helped us from arrival to departure from Xi'An. Finally, kudos to Gary (Wei Li) that worked with us in Guiling and Yangshuo. Gary is a local to Guiling and truly proud of his city and origins. We learned a lot from him and he trully went above and beyond to ensure we had a great time in Guiling adjusting the itinerary to our liking and taking time to explain everything. On our flight out of Guiling we had a bit of an issue with our tickets (booked by ourselves) and Gary promptly lent a hand to help us sort it out with the airport staff, trully a champion. If you are heading to Guiling with Chinahighlights, make sure to have Gary as your guide.More
Moises, Sep 2023
Our guide, Linda, was by far the best person to have for our tours of The Forbidden City, Tianamen Square, and Mutianyu Great Wall. She was an encyclopedia with great knowledge of Chinese History and was able to explain every detail of what we were seeing. She picked us up with a very nice car and driver from our hotel both days, at the time most convenient to us, and dropped us back off wherever we wanted at the end of our tours. Both the Forbidden City and the Great Wall are marvels of human and Chinese achievements and are a must to see in Beijing. Visiting them both with a tour guide that feels more like a friend was certainly helping enjoying it even more.More
Robin Z, Sep 2023
Stunning Yellow Mountain and beautiful Ancient Villages
We had the most fantastic experience with our tour guide, Jack Fan, who is very knowledgeable about the Yellow Mountain and was able to get us quickly to the most stunning highlights. He was our "photographer" anytime we wanted a photo and that was very often. We made the most of our time having him guiding us. He was truly the mountain man as he is a local there. He is very passionate about what he does. He loves history, nature, and travel, which is a must for a guide. He provided historical facts about the stunning Ancient villages at Hong Cun and Xidi. He answered any questions we had about history, nature, and current things we had. I felt like he was a professor, and we were his students in a very good way. He was NEVER late, and neither was our driver. They never bought us anywhere to "sell" us things. He took us to buy tea only when we asked to buy a specific tea, staying much later than he should have! I wanted to check out lotus and rice fields, which was not on the itinerary, but he squeezed it in for us. We were very well taken care of. I highly recommend Jack for a tour guide who speaks English.More
annemompt, Sep 2023
An Unforgettable Tibetan Adventure - Qinghai Train Ride Y971
I recently embarked on an unforgettable journey to Tibet, a land steeped in mysticism and rich cultural heritage. My train trip on the famous scenic Qinghai route on train Y971 Lhasa played a significant role in making this trip an extraordinary experience.Upon my arrival in Lhasa via an overnight train, I was warmly welcomed by the guide assigned Tenzin Lhatse. He had waited for more than 3 hours as he was not informed there was a change in the train schedule. Nontheless, it did not dampen his warm attitude and the seamless transferfrom the train station to the hotel set a positive tone for my stay.The highlight of my stay was undoubtedly the visit to the iconic Potala Palace. The sheer grandeur and architectural brilliance of this historic site left me in awe. The guidance of my knowledgeable tour guide, who revealed the stories behind each shrine, enriched my experience. However, the strict visitor limits and rules underscored the importance of preserving this ancient marvel. The Old Barkhor Street Walking Tour was a journey through time. From Jokhang Temple to the bustling local market, each stop offered insights into Tibetan daily life and folk customs. The Pandatsang Compound's history and the cup of Tibetan sweet tea at Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery added unique flavors to the tour.Overall, my journey through Tibet was an incredible odyssey into a world of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty. I'm glad to have taken this step with my wife to challenge the train ride which was totally worthy of this lifetime.More
GOH-family-tours, Sep 2023
Wonderful trip to the Chinese Silk Road
Special shout out to our guide for the Gansu leg, Helen, who was the most caring guide we have come across in all of our travels. Make sure you ask for her!More
ED, Sep 2023
Fantastic first trip in Shanghai
My partner and I were visiting China for the first time. Our tour guide was Martin, who was friendly and very knowledgeable. He adjusted the tour to our needs and gave us an extensive tour of Shanghai as well as many fascinating insights on China. He also went above and beyond and offered us plenty of recommendations on what to do in the evenings, how to get there, and even made bookings for us. Martin, thanks again!More
Regis, Sep 2023
Yangshuo is magical from the misty…
The guide Lily has a great knowledge in hidden gems and the history about the places. Very memorable experience that i have thanks to them.More
Dony Yugo, Sep 2023
Beijing is AMAZING
Linda Wang our amazing tour guide helped us to have an unforgettable trip to all the best of Beijing. From organizing the driver (also excellent) to drop us/pick us up exactly when we were leaving busy tourist sites, excellent food recommendations, fascinating knowledge relevant to us and our children (13yo and 11yo) making The Forbidden City, Tiannamen Square, Great Wall, Beijing Zoo and The Hutongs thoroughly enjoyable. Handling all the entrance/exit passport and ticket requirements, interpreting, answering any questions we had about local culture, we were so comfortable and happy, never rushed, everything you could want and more.More
Michelle A, Sep 2023
Incredible 2 day tour of Jiuzhaiguo
Our tour guide Mary spoke perfect English, was so nice to us and took us to all the best sights in Jiuzhaiguo. It was an unforgettable tour with incredible views!More
Declan O, Sep 2023
Helen is the best Panda tour guide going around!
I had a fantastic Panda tour with Helen in Chengdu City. From the moment she picked me up, my energy was low from a heap of travelling, but Helen quickly brought me up a notch with her breathtaking passion for Pandas. Not only did she provide a fantastic experience accommodating my every need, but she was also a genuinely kind and joyful company to tour the city with. I can't recommend Helen enough - you won't regret it!More
Isaac C, Sep 2023
Two days in Xi’an
What an amazing few days in Xi’an! Our guide Jenny was first class - very knowledgeable and very helpful, she went out of her way to make sure we had the best experience like ordering us coffees & food and booking dinners for us. The highlight was of course visiting the Terracotta Warriors, but we also really enjoyed visiting a local family to make dumplings. Can’t recommend this trip and Jenny enough!More
Marvin K, Sep 2023
Fantastic experiences in Guilin and the beautiful surroundings together with Vincent.
Go44854472794, Sep 2023
The itinerary below is only one of many possibilities that is offered as an inspiration. We can tailor-make your trip based on your needs. Send us details of your preferences, and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.
Once you land at the airport in Marrakech in the morning local time, we will drive directly to your hotel and check in.
Take a stroll through the Medina of Marrakesh. You will get a good introduction to the city there, perfect for your first day in Marrakech, as you take a horse-drawn carriage ride inside and outside of the city walls.
On your journey, you can enjoy the beautiful Majorelle Garden, which until 2008 was maintained by the internationally-renowned stylist and fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
After a long day with an early morning start, we expect you will be ready to return to your hotel in the afternoon, where you can enjoy warm service during a relaxing evening with a special welcome dinner.
To start your day, there is a visit to the famous Koutoubia Mosque. Its majestic silhouette can be seen for miles around.
From there you will be driven to the Saadian Tombs. They were built in the 1700s on top of the remains of former dynasties' burial sites.
Then go on to Bahia Palace, which is considered one of the grandest palaces in the Morocco. You will be mesmerized by the 150-room citadel.
Continue to explore the unique Jemaa el Fna Square with its lively folklore. The place is a true showcase for Moroccan traditions and is on UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. From Jemaa el Fna, venture into the traditional markets which have a colorful array of items from for leatherware to spices.
After breakfast, your day will start with a visit to the small town of Zagora. You will cross the magnificent Atlas Mountains, across Tizi n'Tichka, which with its 2,260 meters (7,420 feet) altitude traverses the highest mountain chain in North Africa. The road over the pass was built in the 1920s by the French colonial empire.
Then drive through the Draa Valley, where you will experience fortified villages, where the people live as if time stood still a hundred years ago. The road south of Ouarzazate leads us across the desert plateau of Jbel Tifernine.
After a short break at the small Berber town of Agdez — angular and pale red, jutting out of the desert, and located at the edge of an idyllic palm-filled oasis, you will continue south towards Zagora.
Along the way, the drive will pass a row of oases and impressive kasbahs, such as the elegant and well-preserved Timed Kasbah. Upon arriving at Zagora, where you will stay, a hearty dinner will be prepared for you.
After breakfast, head out for an adventure in the desert. Here you head south along the road past the fortified little village of Tamegroute, where a group of Islamic scholars founded a school back in the 1800s. This school and its library are still in use, although it's in no way comparable to the greatness of the past.
Later, pay a visit to a local family in their home in another small village called Tagounite. This is a highlight for many clients, as you will have an opportunity to see and experience the life of Moroccans in the countryside.
After the family visitation, you will travel on to the Sahara, where you will experience the amazing sand dunes of M'Hamid.
After lunch (optional), you will travel further into the desert by jeep. Spend the night in a real Bedouin tent camp. There you will experience dinner under the open and starry sky, surrounded by candlelight, where you can sit back, relax, and be entertained by local desert musicians.
This is a real and authentic One-Thousand-and-One-Nights-style adventure!
Rise early in the morning to soak in the awesome sunrise before breakfast. Afterward, you will continue to Ouarzazate, originally founded by the French Foreign Ministry in 1928.
On the way, you will visit Morocco's most impressive kasbah complex at Aït Benhaddou, where scenes for numerous Hollywood productions, from "Laurence of Arabia" to "The Jewel of the Nile" and "Gladiator" were filmed. The Aït Benhaddou kasbah, which is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites, is set on a bright reddish sandstone hill overlooking the Mellah River.
After lunch (optional) at a local restaurant with panoramic views of the Aït Benhaddou Kasbah, you will continue to Ouarzazate, where you will stay the night. Dinner will be served at your hotel.
After some enriching days in Morocco's "Great South" you will return to Marrakech over the beautiful Tizi n'Tichka Pass. There, you could rest at your hotel or explore some more sights or markets. Your tour guide can give you some suggestions on how you can spend your evening.
Day 7 is a free day for you to discover again the colorful markets and do any last-minute souvenir shopping.
In the evening a farewell dinner has been arranged. You will be picked up and taken to an old 19th-century palace, which has been transformed into a traditional Moroccan restaurant. There you will be treated to a sumptuous meal and the lively entertainment of traditional dance and music.
After breakfast at your hotel, your transfer to the airport awaits.
Atlas Medina Hotel & Spa
La Petite Kasbah
Caravane De Sud Desert Luxury Camp
Price from: $1,469 (Tour code: gh-mr-2)
These trip notes give more information about the tour details. Every element of the tour can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.
1) English-Speaking Driver
Your English-speaking driver will meet you with your name sign and see you off at the airport, as well as drive for you between the cities of Morocco. Since some places are too small to have a local guide, your driver will provide enough explanation about them — places like at Zagora, Erg Chegaga, and Ouarzazate.
2) Private City Guides
In Marrakech and Aït Benhaddou, you will have a private English-speaking guide who will guide you to discover the city and share their local knowledge and perspectives with you. Feel free to ask questions as our guides are able to provide you with insights into their local culture, history, and life.
3) Breakfasts and Meals
Breakfasts are included in the tour. Usually, buffet breakfasts are available in hotels. A packed breakfast and set meals for dinner are offered in desert and mountain areas.
4) Transportation between Cities: Views along the Way
A private vehicle is the main transportation tool for getting between cities in Morocco. Some days you may have a 3–5-hour drive to the next destination. Your private driver will make some stops along the way to help ease your journey and to soak in the views.
We've chosen our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels with a taste of local flavor. Please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may differ from Western standards. The comfort of the camp is reasonably high, with separate toilet and bath tents. The sleeping areas consist of 2-person tents with ample space and comfortable foam mattresses.
Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day. Over 50% of our clients complete their bookings within 10 days of submitting their inquiry.
Why Travel with Global Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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