From Casablanca to Marrakech, a different tour of the most eccentric cities in Morocco, passing through the fascinating Route of the Kasbahs and the dunes of Erg Chebbi, the largest set of sands in the Sahara Desert within the country

Anyone who loves discovering new cultures, visiting places that have played a significant part in world history and destinations with great geological diversity will be impressed by the amount of beautiful architectural and natural attractions that Morocco has to offer. The exciting country, inviting to be calmly discovered, has a mysterious and exotic air, and is sure to be in the unconscious of any traveler who appreciates memorable experiences.

This unforgettable and adventure-filled expedition passes through the country's eccentric and traditional cities, each with its own peculiarity. Are they: Casablanca, Erfoud, tinghir, Boumalne, Ouarzazate and marrakech. During the stretch, some of the most impressive and important constructions of Morocco, such as the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the Kasbah of Taourirt in Ouarzazate and the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, a monument consecrated with the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Traveling through this part of the country immerses you in the history of one of the oldest nations in the world, understanding the daily life and beliefs of the late Moroccan people and discovering a unique area of the planet that once housed important empires built in the north of the African continent.

Mosques, markets that display the most varied traditional products of the Morocco, houses and palaces in Moorish style and narrow streets that shelter a chaos that is pleasant to see, share spaces with modern buildings and constructions in art deco and art nouveau styles, totally inspired by the architecture of the city of Marseille in France. Who decides to start a journey of immersion in the exoticisms and mysteries of Morocco via Casablanca – that famous for inspiring the scenarios of the Hollywood movie of the same name, has the opportunity to know a unique piece of the country, and is welcomed with a “small” of the secrets and charms that the destination located in North Africa shelters.

Early in the morning, the first of the five calls that invoke Muslims to practice their daily prayers, attract thousands of people to the fascinating courtyard of the Hassan II Mosque, the main postcard and great symbol of Casablanca. The third largest Muslim temple in the world, it is located right in front of the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and is a great point to start a walk and observe some peculiarities of this cosmopolitan city.

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Visiting the Hassan Mosque takes place in the morning (9 am, 10 am and 11 am) and in the afternoon (2 pm), from Thursday to Saturday, in tours of approximately 1 hour. Photo: Gustavo Albano

To refresh yourself or to taste a typical dish of the country, the option is to walk along the promenade of La Corniche (the edge of Casablanca), and choose one of the countless restaurants and bars spread close to the edge and in exclusive areas of the beach. Another possibility is to take a taxi and visit the Morroco Mall, a luxurious shopping center that is among the 5 largest shopping malls in the world.

The medinas of the big Moroccan cities are always a box of surprises. These older areas of the city usually have narrow streets and charming alleys, which form a veritable labyrinth full of shops and houses with authentic Arabic architecture. Scenario that seduces and makes you get lost easily without realizing it. A fact that is only noticed after the fifth or sixth bargain. Although not as big and impressive as the souks of marrakech and Fez, the souk of Casablanca It has its authenticity and is also worth a visit.

The flight to Errachidia departs from Casablanca at the end of the day in a short stretch of approximately 1h30min. Even arriving at dawn, the headlights of the 4×4 that make the transfers to the hotels for the city of Arfoud, combined with the low but impressive natural lighting of the stars that appear in weight in this little piece of the globe, help travelers to locate and notice that they are already traveling through a desert area of the country, with a more humid and arid climate.

Known as the gateway to the Desert, Erfoud is a typical Arab city built on land reminiscent of an oasis. The destination serves as a starting point for tourists who want to know the Saara's desert through the Merzouga region and has some attractions that are worth a visit, such as the viewpoint of Mount Jbel Erfoud and the Royal Palace.

Hotel Xaluca in Arfoud. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Where to stay in Erfoud:
Hotel Xaluca Erfoud
Book here.

to get to the Saara's desert you have to cross a rocky stretch of volcanic origin framed by rocky walls. During the itinerary, the guides make some stops at viewpoints and open terrain, and explain curiosities about the area that thousands of years ago was covered by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Another interesting part of the tour is to know how the artisanal wells built by the people who live in this inhospitable territory of the country work and observe the daily life of the nomadic peoples who roam the region.

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Stretch to reach the Sahara Desert. Photo: Gustavo Albano

The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly the arrival at the large dunes of Erg Chebbi, the largest set of dunes in the Sahara in Morocco. The attraction, which has giant mounds of sand that reach 22 meters high and 5 kilometers wide, can be traveled on foot or on the traditional dromedary ride. A tip is to walk to the highest point near its base and enjoy the sunset, a phenomenon that is even more impressive thanks to the incredible play of shadows formed by the orange dunes of the Sahara.

To make the day even more unforgettable, the Xaluca group offers accommodation in super luxurious tents installed in the middle of the Sahara dunes. The unique experience of staying overnight in the desert is accompanied by a welcome cocktail with traditional music and a special dinner that features the best of Moroccan cuisine.

The isolated location of the largest hot desert in the world, provides a clear sky that during the night presents a show where the stars are protagonists and seem to explode at any time, such intensity of brightness. With a little luck and Moroccan wine it is possible to observe some shooting stars.

Entrance to the Sahara Desert. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Ride through the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Where to stay in the Sahara Desert – Merzouga:
Hotel Xaluca Bivouacs
book here

On the way to Boumalne we came across modest villages practically abandoned and scattered on the edges of the desert. The small population that lives in this inhospitable area survive on donations and by selling handicrafts made from cloth and polished fossils found on the desert floor. It is in this part of the stretch that we come across the fantastic Estrada das thousand Kasbahs (spacious houses and palaces with Berber-style architecture, built in an ingenious way with mud, wood and straw), one of the scripts most famous and sought after Morocco, where, as the name suggests, it brings together an infinity of Berber buildings that can be visited.

The tip on this stretch is to get to know the incredible city of Rissani, which for years had its heyday due to its fundamental location on Estrada do Sal. the souk of Rissani, or free fair, takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and is one of the largest in the region!

Cozy and rustic, the city of tinghir attract tourists who want to experience and observe the way of life of a traditional community in this region of Morocco, with adobe houses and narrow streets that cross an immense rocky valley towards an oasis of intense green. tinghir it is also the gateway to the famous gorges of Todra and Dadès. Region located on the border of the Sahara with an important historical value for the country as it was a trade route for salt, precious stones and slaves.

From the city to the gorge of Todra it is approximately 17 km that passes through an impressive oasis with ancient kasbahs, forming a unique cinematographic setting. tall. The road follows a narrow path bordering the Todra River which is very dry for most of the year.

The sunset can be enjoyed on the charming road that leads to the municipality of Boumalne. The tip is to check out all the viewpoints leaning on the track and admire the unique look of the place.

Rissani's popular market. photo: Gustavo

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Rissani. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Tinghir Scenarios. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Where to stay in Boumalne:
Hotel Xaluca Boumalne Dades
Book here.

Ouarzazate is without a doubt one of the most interesting and beautiful destinations in this itinerary, the destination is also known as the Moroccan Hollywood, thanks to its beautiful scenery that caught the attention of several renowned directors who turned the place into the background of films and series such as A Mummy, Indiana Jones, Asterix and Obelix, The Crusade and Game Of Thrones.

Be sure to check out the Cinema Museum and the Kasbahs of Taourirt, the second best preserved in the country. A grandiose example of the genius of Berber construction, always formed with geometric designs built with clay, manure and straw.

Another must-see attraction near the destination is the Ksar de Ait Ben Haddou, just 25km from the city centre. The fortified city built on an immense rocky mountain that has forts, houses, squares, terraces, cobbled streets and mosques.

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Ait Ben Haddou. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Ouarzazate. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Where to stay in Ouarzazate:
Hotel Le Berbere Palace
Book here.

the way to marrakech it is made through the Atlas mountain range on winding roads, built on the edge of precipices and canyons. Despite the butterflies in the stomach, the path goes through different breathtaking landscapes formed by valleys and mountains that extend in approximately 4 hours of travel.

Impossible not to mention the vibrancy, the explosion of colors and details that marrakech carries. The destination is one of the most visited in the country and has a huge range of must-see attractions. It is possible to get to know the city in 2 or 3 days, but it is recommended to stay a little longer to understand and experience the delicious madness of the city.

Very remarkable for its food, spices, culture, religion, architecture and the people who live there. marrakech it is the result of the mixture of the different peoples who passed through the country and influenced the Moroccan culture, such as the Berbers, Moors, Spaniards and French.

Be sure to check out the Jemaa El-Fna Square, a gigantic space in the middle of the city of Marrakech, which concentrates musicians, dancers, theater artists, henna tattooists, snake charmers and restaurants, the attraction is known as the open square. most fascinating book in the world.

Other must-see tours to discover in marrakech, are the Madrasa Ben Youssef school and the impressive souk of the city, a kind of street markets located inside the Medina with thousands of stalls selling products and spices from the country.

Itinerary in southern Morocco

Souk de Marrakech, the best place to find souvenirs and typical products of the country. Photo: Pixabay

Koutubia Mosque. Photo: Pixabay

Set aside an afternoon to discover two other popular attractions in marrakech: the Majorelle Garden, a space that brings together different species of cactus, plants and exotic trees created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, dedicated to one of the greatest fashion geniuses who lived for years in marrakech.

Itinerary in southern Morocco

In the Majorelle Gardens, visitors will find a great botanical variety with cacti, exotic plants and diverse trees. Photo: Disclosure

Several pieces by the stylist are on display at this museum in Marrakech. Photo: Disclosure

Where to stay in Marrakech:
Four Seasons Resort Marrakech
Book here.

* This trip was made at the invitation of the Official Delegation of Tourism of Morocco in collaboration with the airline Royal Air Maroc Brasil.

» Morocco: tips on how to plan a trip around the country
» Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the largest temple in Morocco
» Chefchaouen, the blue city in Morocco
» Travel to Marrakech and have a magical day in the desert

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