Beginnings of an 11-Day Moroccan Adventure: The first 4 Days
Updated: May 2
As I stepped off the plane in Marrakech, I was filled with excitement and anticipation for the journey ahead. Returning after just 4 months to lead a new group of travelers through Morocco was a dream come true for me, and I couldn't wait to show them all the incredible experiences this beautiful country has to offer.
After meeting the group at the airport, we settled into our Riad in Marrakech and took it easy for the day to recover from our long flights. That evening, we all gathered for dinner and got to know each other better. It was clear that we were all eager to explore and make the most of our time in Morocco!
The next morning, we set off for Ouarzazate, Rose Valley, and Dades valley. The journey was long, but filled with stunning views and exciting stops. Our first stop was the Berber village of Ait BenHaddou, established in the 11th century. The village's position as a stopping point between Marrakech and the Sahara made it an ideal stop for traders taking salt across the desert and returning with goods like gold and ivory. We even had the chance to have lunch at a woman-owned restaurant, which was a great way to support the local community. The decadent lentils I had there will forever live in my mind.
After lunch, we continued to the Dades Valley through the Rose Valley, where we spent the night at the beautiful Riad Dades Paradise. The annual Rose Festival was happening in the town we drove through, and thousands of people with their families were gathering to celebrate. The next day, we set out for the Todgha Gorge and the Sahara Desert. We explored the magnificent limestone gorge, with giant wall faces that jutt straight out from the desert floor, and visited a weaving cooperative that supports women here. After lunch, we continued to the dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Sahara Desert. The experience of trekking by camelback as the sun sets to our desert camp was truly magical. I enjoyed a dip in the pool to cool off after a long ride, and that night we enjoyed a Moroccan dinner, listened to Berber music, and even joined in on a drumming circle. The luxury tent accommodations were comfortable and cozy, with a private bathroom inside each one!
On the fourth day of our journey, we visited the Merzouga oasis and the Khamlia village to listen to Gnaoua musicians. The oasis is full of plots of land where local berber families grow different types of food for themselves and their animals. We then took a short drive to Rissani to experience the authentic local market and enjoyed lunch there. The market was bustling with hundreds of people, animals, vendors and cars! It was an incredible way to immerse ourselves in the local culture and try new things. We spent the night at a luxury Riad at the edge of the sand dunes, feeling grateful for all the amazing experiences we had had so far on this trip.
As I reflect on these first four days of our journey through Morocco, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to lead this group of travelers and show them all the beauty and wonder that this country has to offer. From the stunning natural landscapes to the vibrant culture and friendly people, Morocco truly has something for everyone. I can't wait to see what the rest of this journey has in store for us.
Interested in joining on a group trip with Damesly? Visit this section of my website to see what trips I'm leading in the rest of 2023, and coming this summer we will be announcing our 2024 adventures! https://www.havecurveswilltravel.com/join-me