The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert: Located in the Souss-Massa region, southeast of Agadir, the Anti-Atlas is the last mountain range before the Sahara. It’s a wild and authentic land, one of the least-visited parts of Morocco.
Home to the Chleuh tribe, the Anti-Atlas abounds in surprising landscapes. Desert plateaus, mountain cirques, hilltop villages, canyons and palm groves… the scenery never ceases to amaze with its sheer diversity.
A visit to Taliouine and the surrounding area of Tafraout is a great way to immerse yourself in this unspoilt region.
The Taliouine region is renowned throughout the country for its saffron cultivation. Over 90% of Moroccan saffron is produced here, providing a livelihood for many families.
In the small village of Taliouine, you can visit the Souktana Saffron Cooperative, the oldest in the region, which will reveal all the secrets behind the production of this spice. The village is surrounded by folded desert mountains, where the ochre of the earth blends with that of the village’s traditional houses.
The Tislit Gorge, some 30 km from Taliouine, is one of the natural treasures of the Anti-Atlas. They feature an impressive conglomerate of unusually shaped volcanic rocks, coiled in a mineral setting. A grandiose setting that takes on its full splendor when the wadi is gorged with water, offering a sumptuous play of mirrors.
The Ait Baha road, the most beautiful road in the Anti-Atlas.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the Anti-Atlas landscape, take the R105 road from Inezgane to Tafraout. A majestic road where the scenery is constantly changing, guaranteeing many stops along the way. The road, all curves and mountainsides, offers a remarkable landscape with mountains dotted with argan trees, another richness of the Anti-Atlas.
On the way, stop off at Imchguiguilne to visit its magnificent “agadir”, a fortified dry-stone granary that is the forerunner of the Moroccan bank. Inhabitants kept their grain reserves here, as well as all their precious possessions. A witness to life in days gone by, and one that the janitor will be delighted to show you around.
The Tizourgane kasbah, a magnificent fortified village built on a rocky outcrop, is another of the wonders to be discovered on the way to Aït Baha. With the peaks of the Anti-Atlas as a backdrop, the setting is simply enchanting. Today, the kasbah is a charming guest house.
Tafraout, the pearl of the Anti-Atlas
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert Tafraout is a must-see on any trip to the Anti-Atlas. Situated at an altitude of 1,000 meters, the town is nestled in a mountainous cirque of pink and red granite, offering a singular, lunar landscape.
Tafraoute’s surroundings are easily explored on foot or by bike. In particular, you can visit the village of Adaï, with its superb red mosque, a few kilometers from Tafraout on the road to Tiznit. The rocky chaos that surrounds it makes for great walks for those who like to climb.
The village of Aguerd-Oudad, 3 kilometers south of Tafraout, is a must-see to admire the rocky pyramid that overlooks the village, called Chapeau de Napoléon by the villagers. Sunrise here is nothing short of magical. A few kilometers from the village, a trail leads to the Rochers Peints, a Land Art site created by Belgian artist Jean Vérame in the 1980s. It’s an unusual place, to say the least, where the artist has painted enormous rounded boulders with color.
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert: Aït Mansour Gorge
The Aït Mansour gorges are one of the natural wonders of the Anti-Atlas. Located some 30km south of Tafraoute, they can be discovered after taking a steep road that winds spectacularly down to the bottom of a canyon. At the bend in the road, a magnificent palm grove suddenly appears, where the green of the palm trees blends perfectly with the intense red of the canyon’s rocky walls.
The gorge can be explored on foot, by bike or by car, but it’s still 8 kilometers long, with authentic villages along the way and a number of small cafés a place where you can pause to grab a bite to eat or a cup of tea.
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert The Ammeln Valley
The green Ammeln Valley, dominated by the majestic peak of Djebel Lekst (2374 meters), is a veritable oasis stretching for over 40 kilometers. It comprises 26 villages, most of them on mountainsides, with lush green vegetation of argan, almond and olive trees.
To discover the way of life of the valley’s inhabitants, don’t hesitate to visit the traditional Maison d’Oumesnate. This 400-year-old house has become a museum, where the owner will be delighted to explain the traditional way of life of the inhabitants, punctuated by numerous family anecdotes.
The Ammeln valley offers a wide range of hiking opportunities, with multi-day itineraries passing through the villages. For a magnificent trek in the Anti-Atlas, take the narrow track leading to the village of Tagdicht, where you’ll find the starting point for your ascent of Djebel Lekst.
The best experiences in the Moroccan desert
Are you planning a trip to Morocco and absolutely want to discover the fascinating landscapes of the Moroccan deserts? What a wonderful idea! To make your trip even more extraordinary, we’ve put together 4 extraordinary desert tours for you! Sleep under the stars in a bivouac, learn to meditate in the Sahara, celebrate a new year’s eve in the heart of the dunes or take part in sporting and adventure challenges… So which experience will you choose?
Sleeping under the stars in the desert
Now that’s an experience you should have at least once in your life! Sleeping in the desert allows you to observe the stars like nowhere else, without light pollution and in absolute calm. To sleep under the stars in the Moroccan desert, we recommend you visit the Merzouga desert, located in the south of the country on the Algerian border.
This easily accessible desert, with its 100 km² of dunes, is the stuff of dreams. And for good reason: bivouacking in the Merzouga desert means taking in the extraordinary spectacle of the famous Erg Chebbi. The yellow and black sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see, some reaching 150 meters in height. There’s no doubt that you’ll be captivated by these landscapes from sunset to sunrise. During the day, you can also take advantage of your getaway to try out some unusual activities, such as snowboarding on the sand!
Meditation in the Sahara
An expedition to the Moroccan Sahara is an experience in itself. But learning to meditate in the heart of the desert adds a whole new dimension to your trip! Accompanied by Eric Remacle, a graduate in applied psychology and trained therapist, you’ll be introduced to a range of body awareness, beneficial breathing and emotional management techniques to help you regain confidence and serenity in your daily life. The experience takes place in the most soothing of settings: Camp Bedouin and the dunes.
In addition to daytime relaxation sessions and night-time meditation sessions under the stars, you’ll also have the opportunity to discover Morocco’s desert landscapes on a walking tour of the sebkha Oum Dba, a 4×4 excursion around the sebkha Oum Dba or a 4×4 tour of the salt flats and the immense Tah depression.
Christmas in the Moroccan desert
For a change from traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations, how about spending New Year’s Eve in the desert? There are two options. The first is to stay in a camp in a natural sanctuary. The program includes a special New Year’s dinner, an evening of entertainment by local artists and a night under the stars in the heart of the desert. During your stay in Morocco, you can also discover the vast palm groves and oases of the Moroccan desert, learn more about the Berber way of life, learn about desert survival techniques, cross Lake Iriki or stop off at the sublime Tissint waterfalls and gorges.
The second option is to spend New Year’s Eve in a luxury bivouac at the foot of the dunes on the Chegaga erg. In the heart of this dune massif, you can spend the evening in very comfortable en-suite accommodation. In addition to this memorable evening, you’ll also be able to discover the must-see sites of the Moroccan desert (such as Tissnit, the M’douar oasis or Mhamid), while enjoying exceptional accommodations such as private tents or comfortable bungalows and spa-equipped lodgings!
A sporting challenge in the desert
If you’re a fan of thrills, the open air and gentle competition, this is the tour for you! Accompanied by expert desert guides, we offer you a challenging itinerary. Along the way in the Moroccan desert, you’ll take part in a series of activities and challenges on a variety of themes: survival techniques, baking bread in the sand, riddles, 4×4 driving, water crossings, camouflage, combat techniques, endurance, orientation and dexterity challenges…
In addition to the many challenges awaiting you, dear adventurers, this tour will give you the chance to camp under the stars in an improvised bivouac in the Sahara, and to soak up the atmosphere of Moroccan souks, medinas and markets. And to relax after all your exertions, you can also take advantage of traditional Moroccan swimming pools and hammams!
A relaxing break in Morocco: our ideas
Morocco is a destination that appeals to the whole family: with its varied terrain, spectacular landscapes, astonishing culture and constant warmth, this country offers a multitude of activities to do on vacation. It’s the perfect place for an adventure-filled sports vacation, but it’s also the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing wellness break without having to go too far. With its luxurious riads, white beaches, traditional hammams and tranquil deserts, Morocco offers the ideal setting for a relaxing and rejuvenating trip. Here are a few ideas for relaxing vacations in Morocco:
Massages and thalassotherapy
Morocco is a country where wellness treatments and luxury hotels abound. In a traditional riad or a five-star hotel, you can enjoy a thalassotherapy cure: hot baths, wraps, scrubs, massages, essential oils, facials… With its delicious fragrances coating the air and unique flavors delighting the taste buds, Morocco is an ideal destination for relaxing and pampering body and mind.
A visit to a Moroccan hammam is a must during your stay in Morocco. This traditional Moroccan public bath is the perfect place to enjoy essential treatments, let go and wipe away stress with hot water and steam. The hammam is a place where you can completely forget yourself, lulled by the warmth, oils and gentleness. It’s a must for any relaxation holiday, and a great opportunity to discover the local culture!
Yoga and meditation
Morocco is also a great destination for a positive outlook! With its heavenly beaches and serene deserts, Morocco is the ideal setting for yoga and meditation retreats. We organize an exclusive meditation and well-being stay with a professional therapist and psychologist. In the middle of the desert, far from the outside world and back to basics, you’ll learn to meditate and relax deeply every day. It’s a chance to change your life, find yourself again and regain control of your body and mind.
Berber camps and deserts
Wellness doesn’t just mean luxury. Some people prefer to travel in the wilderness, far from the urban world and the grid, to rediscover the true meaning of life. In Morocco, this is also possible: book a wellness holiday in the desert to alternate between massages, dunes and rest. In particular, you can spend several nights in a Berber camp (bivouac) in the middle of the desert: it’s a guarantee of absolute calm, a perfectly starlit sky and an unusual experience. There’s nothing to disturb your sense of well-being, apart from the sound of a camel. In fact, take advantage of your immersion with the Berbers to take a camel ride and completely forget your routine!
Beaches and water sports
There’s nothing like a relaxing beach holiday! Morocco’s beautiful, sun-drenched coastline makes it the perfect destination for sunbathing and water sports such as surfing, kitesurfing and traditional fishing. You can choose to stay in a large seaside resort perfectly equipped for luxury tourism, such as Agadir or Quemado, or prefer to spend your vacation in peace and quiet on a deserted beach, such as Guelmin. Either way, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Morocco, home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches!
Golfs and gardens
If you prefer green landscapes to recharge your batteries, you won’t be disappointed in Morocco either. This charming country boasts numerous gardens in its cities, as well as superb golf courses. Morocco’s national sport, golf is becoming increasingly popular, with ideal seaside greens attracting players from all over the world. There’s no better way to soak up the fresh sea air, stretch your legs and forget all your worries!
5 must-visit towns in Morocco
A land of contrasts, Morocco offers both the most beautiful desert landscapes and immense white-sand beaches. Whether on a camel or a surfboard, you can enjoy an unforgettable vacation combining adventure and culture. Here is our selection of the most beautiful cities to visit during a stay in Morocco:
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert: Marrakech
Even if you don’t like big cities, Marrakech is a must-see on a trip to Morocco! This fortified red city brings together the best of Morocco: stunning architecture, lively traditions, colorful culture and a festive atmosphere. Marrakech is packed with magnificent historic buildings, as well as modern gardens, such as the Palmerie and the Majorelle Gardens. Above all, don’t miss the opportunity to spend an evening in Jemaa el Fna square: although touristy, it’s the best place in Morocco to discover local culture through souks, dance shows, storytellers and snake charmers…
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert: Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is without doubt one of Morocco’s most beautiful cities, and one of our favorites. Nicknamed the Blue City, it’s easy to see why: in stark contrast to Marrakech, this charming little town boasts shades of blue and white that perfectly reflect the colors of the nearby sky and sea. Small in size, Chefchouen has retained all its authenticity despite its tourist appeal: in the streets, women wash clothes by hand, artisans weave carpets… It’s an ideal place to pick up a few souvenirs and travel into a world of blue, which lends itself very well to photo sessions.
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert: Fès
A city of craftsmen, Fès is a must-see in Morocco. It is one of the country’s most beautiful imperial cities, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its old town, dating back to the 8th century, is home to what is surely the most beautiful medina in Morocco, with fortified dwellings, souks, mosques and medersas. Fès is best known for its hammans, artisan workshops, bread ovens and open-air tanneries. It’s a veritable spectacle of color and art in the heart of an authentic and charming city.
Aït Ben Haddou
History buffs must visit the fortified town of Aït Ben Haddou, near Ouarzazate. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this immense Moroccan Ksar, with its red and ochre hues, offers a setting worthy of fairy tales. In fact, Aït Ben Haddou has been used as a film location for some of the world’s greatest movies, including Gladiator and even the famous Game of Thrones series! Step back in time and project yourself alongside your favorite characters on this unusual tour!
The roads of the Anti-Atlas & Sahara desert: Essaouira
On the seaside, there’s nothing like Essaouira for relaxation, water sports and a charming, unique atmosphere. Essaouira is a favorite resting place for Moroccans, but it’s more than just a famous seaside resort. In fact, its fortified port, where hundreds of boats wait to go fishing, is a Unesco World Heritage site. Essaouira’s medina is famous for its dazzling whiteness, reminiscent of the foam of the raging sea. Essaouira is renowned for its exceptional sunshine, but also for its strong winds, which make it a favorite spot for surfing and kitesurfing. Stroll along its fine sandy beach in the evening to admire one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life!