Large dsc06781

Luxury Family Desert Holiday

A fantastic family holiday for those looking for an adventure with creature comforts. Ideal for half term, Easter or Christmas holidays, this trip takes you from Marrakech past Unesco World Heritage sites and oases deep into the Saharan desert to get away from it all at a luxurious desert camp. Suitable for children aged 3 +

Tailor-made Luxury 8 days

People love what we do
Tourdust is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars


…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

Missing Matthew McSweeney. See all Reviews

Itinerary

Overview

  • Luxury camping in the Sahara
  • Visit crumbling kasbahs
  • Stay in a traditional riad & explore Marrakech
  • The perfect half term break
A family adventure to remember forever. This holiday has been designed for adventurous families who like their creature comforts. The accommodation has been tried and tested as has the route, which although long at times, is a fascinating journey for both children and adults.

The holiday begins in Marrakech, one of Morocco's finest imperial cities. Staying in a boutique riad in the medina, you will have a chance to visit the Djemma el Fna, Marrakech's main square, brimming with food stalls, snake charmers, acrobats and story tellers. The sights and smells of Marrakech are intoxicating and a wander through the souks and markets, whist chaotic, is a must.

Heading out to the desert, you will drive over the spectacular Tizi n'Tichka pass, with panoramic views of the beautiful mountains before arriving at the Unesco World Heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified kasbah. Children will love exploring the old buildings, with far-reaching views from the top of desert. You the continue down the Draa Valley to stay at one of the palmeries where you can enjoy a swim in the pool and then a late afternoon stroll amongst the date palms.

Driving deeper into the desert, passing lush palmeries and hundreds of old kasbahs, you will finally arrive in M'hamid where you will leave your asphalt road behind and drive off-road through the desert until you reach the Luxury desert camp nestled in the vast sand dunes of Erg Chegaga. Out at the camp, time seems to stand still. The peace of the desert and fantastic night sky are complemented by plush accommodation and seamless service. The children will love running up and down the dunes while you can lie back on one of the sun loungers, or indulge in a spot of sand surfing. Camels are also available, for those wanting to head off on a trek.

You end your holiday where it all began, in Marrakech, where you can revisit the square and indulge in a spot of souvenir shopping before you return home.

Day-by-day

This itinerary has been put together to be able to fit into a half term break If you have more time at your disposal, you might wish to spend more time in Marrakech. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Itinerary in Brief


DAY 1: Arrive & transfer to Marrakech
DAY 2: Marrakech
DAY 3: Marrakech - Kasbah Telouet - Ait Ben Haddou
DAY 4: Ait Ben Haddou - Agdz
DAY 5: Agdz - Erg Chegaga
DAY 6: Erg Chegaga
DAY 7: Erg Chegaga - Marrakech
DAY 8: Depart

Extended Itinerary


DAY 1: ARRIVAL & TRANSFER TO MARRAKECH
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your riad. If you are arriving on a late flight, you might want to consider pre-booking dinner on this first evening so that you can relax after your flight without having to worry about finding a restaurant.
Meals Included: n/a
Accommodation: Bel Haj / Dar Thania / Dar Vedra / Riad Boussa / Riad W
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 2: DAY AT LEISURE IN MARRAKECH
Today we suggest you set off and explore Marrakech's medina. You can spend all day pounding the souks and taking in the atmosphere or visit some of the main cultural sights of Marrakech, including the Medersa Ben Youssef, Palais el Badi and the Bahia Palace, interspersed with a leisurely lunch watching the storks nesting on the ramparts of the ancient city. In the evening, be sure to head down to the main square here food stalls, acrobats, snake charmers and story tellers congregate creating an unforgettable atmosphere which is compelling for adults and children alike.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Bel Haj / Dar Thania / Dar Vedra / Riad Boussa / Riad W
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 3: MARRAKECH - AIT BEN HADDOU
Leaving the pink city behind, you will head out over the spectacular Tizi n' Tichka mountain pass snaking its way over the High Atlas mountains. Watching the terrain changing shape in the space of a few hours is incredible. Donkeys carrying huge loads, women working in the fields and shops with large meat carcasses being hung out to dry - not to mention the cacti, almond trees and deep mountain valleys.
You will stop for lunch in the small town of Telouet, before visiting the town's main attraction; the Kasbah. Built in the 1800's by the Glaoui family, the Kasbah enjoyed a prosperous strategic position on the trans-Saharan trading route and close proximity to the area's salt mining industry. After Morocco's independence in 1953, the Glaoui family was evicted and the Kasbah was left to ruin. Visitors catch their first glimpse of the Kasbah as they drive into Telouet; an imposing building standing proud on top of a small hill. On closer inspection, the walls are crumbling and close to collapsing. The entrance to the building is no less dilapidated, with incomplete walls and rubble. As you walk through the corridor, it is unclear what makes the building so remarkable, with its bare, neglected walls. It is only when you reach the heart of the building that you can understand the significance and fallen wealth of the Kasbah. Stunning mosaics and intricate wood carvings adorn the walls, reminiscent of the Bahia Palace in Marrakech. The attention to detail is most incredible and the work and money spent on building it is unfathomable. After being astounded by the mosaics on the first floor, more treats await you, with far-reaching views of the valley and mountains beyond from the roof terrace.
After your visit, you will continue on to your accommodation close to Ait Ben Haddou.
Total Driving Time - 4 - 4 1/2 hours
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Kasbah Ellouze
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 4: AIT BEN HADDOU - AGDZ
This morning, after checking out of your hotel, you will visit Ait Ben Haddou. Ait Ben Haddou itself is essentially a small, fortified town. Designated by Unesco as a World Heritage site, it has been well preserved and restored, thanks to the film industry who have used it as the set for several Hollywood films, including Gladiator. You can climb on the crumbling buildings and see up close how they have been constructed out of mud and straw and get a real insight into local architecture. Then, you can climb to the top, for far-reaching views of the wild desert and mountains. There is a small tea house along the way where you can stop for a refreshing mint tea. Leaving Ait Ben Haddou, you will drive over the mountains before descending into the Draa Valley before arriving in Agdz, an oasis in the Draa valley where you can spend the afternoon relaxing around the pool or you might want to take a stroll through the palmery. Walk through the towering date palms, past large cacti and then through lush farmland, with beautifully maintained plots. If you're lucky, a local farmer might invite you to take a look at his land and point out the different vegetables and plant that he's growing.
Total Driving Time- around 2 hours
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Kasbah Azul
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 5: AGDZ - ERG CHEGAGA
This morning you will have an early start. Passing palmeries and hundreds of kasbahs, you will reach Zagora. Famed as the gateway to the Sahara, this town was seen as the start of the trans-Saharan trading route and you can see the famous sign in the town, depicting the length of time taken to reach Timbuctu (52 days.) After leaving Zagora, you head further into the barren desert, leaving the palmeries behind. You will pass some smaller dunes, a teaser as to what lies ahead. In the small town of M'hamid, you will leave the asphalt road behind you and continue your journey off-road. The final leg of the journey takes about 2 hours. Passing nomadic farmers and herds of camels, it is a bumpy ride. Once you arrive at the camp, however, the length of today's drive will fade away. Nestled in the dunes, the camp is a luxurious retreat away from modern day life. On your first evening, you might want to wander up to the high dunes to see the sea of sand around you, then wander down to the camp to enjoy a sundowner and await the emergence of the fantastic stars - a night sky you will never forget.
Total Driving Time- around 4 - 4 1/2 hours
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Luxury Desert Camp
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 6: ERG CHEGAGA (LUXURY DESERT CAMP)
Today is at leisure in the camp. You might want to go camel trekking, sand boarding, visit a nomadic family or just kick back on one of the sun loungers and read a book.
Total Driving Time- n/a
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Luxury Desert Camp
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 7: LUXURY DESERT CAMP
After breakfast, you will begin your journey back to Marrakech. It is a long day's drive, but you will stop along the way for lunch, photo stops and comfort breaks. You will arrive back in Marrakech in the evening.
Total Driving Time- around 10 hours
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Bel Haj / Dar Thania / Dar Vedra / Boussa / Riad Wo
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

DAY 9: DEPARTURE
You will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight home.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: n/a
Transport (where relevant): Private Transfer

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Medina Location
- Small swimming pool
- Lovely roof terrace
- Fantastic family suite

Kasbah Ellouze

Sahara Desert

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Terraces & Pool
- Beautiful location
- Lovely ambience
- Warm hosts

Kasbah Azul

Sahara Desert

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Boutique Palmeraie Retreat
- Beautiful Gardens
- Heated Pool
- Walks in the nearby Palmeraie

Luxury Desert Camp

Sahara Desert

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Stunning remote location
- Romantic desert atmosphere
- Beautiful tents & furnishings
- Superb luxury service

Details

Getting there

Flying from the UK... Marrakech has an international airport (RAK) which is serviced by several airlines flying direct from the UK. The flight time is around 3.5hours. On average it takes around an hour to clear airport security and then around 15 – 20 minutes to drive to the Medina or 1 – 1.5 hours to reach the Atlas Mountains.

From the South East:
Gatwick: Easy Jet, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc &Thomson
Luton: Ryanair
Stansted: Ryanair & Easy Jet

From the South West:
Bristol: Easy Jet

From the Midlands:
Birmingham: Thomson

From the North:
Manchester: Easy Jet and Thomson

From Ireland:
Dublin: Ryanair

Price includes

All airport transfers,a driver and vehicle to take you to and from the desert, all inclusive accommodation in the desert, half board accommodation in Ait Ben Haddou and Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Marrakech & Agdz.

When is best?

This itinerary is unavailable during the summer months, due to the heat of the desert. We have tailored the itinerary to fit into a half term break, but you can go at any time!

Is it for me?

It goes without saying that this is not a standard family holiday - it is an adventure holiday that children are welcome on. Accommodation, attractions and camel trekking are all undertaken at your own risk with parents taking full responsibility for children.

This holiday has been tried and tested with a child as young as three years old, but the age of your children comes down to their nature and tolerance for long car journeys - which only a parent can be a judge of. Young children will ride on camels with their parents.

There is a fair amount of driving involved in this trip and the distances are large. However, there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way .

The desert camp has good bathroom facilities, with chemical toilets and bucket showers. Suitable for children aged 3 + only.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 612 reviews

(4.94/5)

  • Service rating : Tourdust put together a wonderful itinerary for our visit to Morocco that allowed us to thoroughly enjoy the country with two small children. We had quite a fun adventure hiking, camping in the Sahara and seeing many sights. Logistics was perfect and the quality of the Riads and other accommodations was excellent. The guides and drivers were wonderful people that went out of their way to make our vacation memorable.
    Product : We are very happy with all that we got to do and explore in Morocco. From the hiking in the High Atlas mountains to our days in the Sahara and along the Draa valley - we have many family memories. I would highly recommend Tourdust and will likely use them again for future vacations.

    Ben feefo reviewer verified review for Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 21 April 2015

  • Service rating : Great at communicating via email...efficient and detailed. Worked with our feedback in terms of interests and budget. Would us Tourdust again.
    Product : Morocco was a great experience for our family of 4. The kids loved sandboarding in the desert, wondering the souks in Marrakech and the trip to get to the desert. Our driver and hosts were kind hearted, hospitable people.

    Ben feefo reviewer verified review for Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 27 March 2015

  • The trip was fantastic and we felt like we had been away for a month rather than a week!

    Dar Vedra was outstanding and perfect for the souks and the main square. The service was very attentive and the apartment was wonderful with big, fluffy towels and great breakfasts, with brilliant coffee. The only issue there was the call to prayer which seems to be right above you at 5 in the morning, being so close to the mosque. You get used to it but it is very loud.

    The driver (Said) was very good but the journeys took significantly longer than expected. It took us 12 hours to get to the desert rather than 10 and he did seem to take his time often when it was safe to pick up the pace. On the way to Kasbah Azul from the desert it took 7 hours rather than 5. This was partly due to there being a sand storm but it seemed to be a theme. We ended up mentally adding a few hours to the proposed times.

    He also seemed to stop for lunch at the regular tourist haunts where all the other drivers congregated and there was an expensive set menu for substandard fare. It's tricky to avoid when you don't know the area but maybe it would be useful to offer info on the best places to stop for food en route.

    The desert camp was brilliant and I can't praise it enough. The service was excellent and the atmosphere was wonderful and we felt very much at home. It is the perfect size. Nick was there when we visited and he says hello.

    Kasbah Azul was so-so. I was not impressed with the service or the atmosphere to be honest, although it has a nice pool. I was glad it was only an overnight stop.

    Riad Caravane was beautiful and the decor, service, views and location were all wonderful. There was a mosque next door but thankfully they were quiet at night!

    Overall it was fantastic. Thanks for all your help in making this happen.

    Missingalex clelland reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 10 April 2014

+
See more reviews

Speak to a specialist

Our customers agree - a conversation with an expert makes for a better trip. Call us now or request a call back out of hours.

Call 855 686 7694 9am and 6pm GMT Monday to Friday

Or weekday evenings or Saturdays

Enquire

Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

A family adventure of a life time. Explore bustling Marrakech & then venture out into the Sahara for camel trekking and wild camping.

Tailor-made Classic 8 - 10 days

Families from $991 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $255 per person economy class from London

Decisions...

Stop searching and speak to someone who knows.

Enquire Now