Christmas / New Year in Morocco
Christmas / New Year Desert Tour
Do something this New Year which will change your life forever. Discover the greatest desert in the world and celebrate Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve deep in the sand dunes with live music, dancing, and a traditional Moroccan feast.
On your Xmas / New Year Morocco Tour, you’ll travel the ancient route used by sultans & traders, from Marrakech to the Sahara. We’ll drive over the dramatic snow-capped High Atlas Mountain range, visiting fairytale Kasbahs, colourful souks and sunlit canyons, before arriving at the heart of Morocco’s exotic desert region.
Ride your camel under brilliant winter stars to an overnight Sahara camp and contemplate the year gone by in the warmth of the campfire. Local musicians will provide a unique experience while a candlelit three-course North African dinner is served, under the crystal clear winter sky.
Bookings at Xmas / New Year need to be a minimum of 1 week and MUST be booked early as there is no late availability in Peak High Season.
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 1 – Marrakech
We will collect you from your flight today and take you to your hotel, an elegantly restored riad in the medina. Depending on your flight time, we will provide a guided tour of the gardens, palaces and souks. Then later you can relax on the roof terrace overlooking the city or venture out into Jemaa el Fna, to be mesmerised by the storytellers, acrobats and musicians.
Stay in an elegantly restored riad
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 2 – Marrakech – High Atlas – Ait BenHaddou
We will collect you from your riad this morning and head out of the mayhem of Marrakech, into the surrounding snowcapped mountains. Crossing the High Atlas via the Tizi n Tichka which is North Afric’s highest road. This is a spectacular drive and the high, snowy peaks are like a scene straight off a Xmas card. From here we will drive on to Ait Ben Haddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the backdrop for many movies.
Stay in a beldi chic mountain retreat
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 3 – Ait BenHaddou – Skoura Oasis – Dades Valley
Our journey will continue towards the Skoura Oasis, crossed by a network of tracks running between kasbahs, ksours, and farms. We will head towards the Roses Valley and into the Dades Valley on the “Road of a Thousand Kasbahs”, passing the fortresses of M’Goun and the countless traditional Berber adobe houses that perch along the riversides. Dades Valley, also known as the Valley of Figs, is an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Stay in a Berber Palace / Kasbah
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 4 – Dades Valley – Todra Gorge – Erfoud – Merzouga – Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes
This morning you can enjoy a guided trek directly from your hotel before we discover the 300m Todra Gorge which is a small but utterly spectacular version of the Grand Canyon. Then we set off towards the desert, watch the scenery change until the first sand dunes appear. Finally, we arrive at Erg Chebbi, with its beautiful apricot-coloured sand stretching as far as the eye can see. This is where your New Year Party begins. You will be introduced to your camel which you will ride to the oasis where our desert camp is located and on arrival enjoy true Berber hospitality with mint tea, dates and almonds. After the sun sets dramatically over the dunes the campfires and lanterns will be lit and a traditional Moroccan feast will be served to the sound of local Gnaoua musicians – this is an experience to be found nowhere else on earth and when you’ve enjoyed the party and the magic, the stars and the secrets, the laughter and the friendship – you can sleep in your desert tent or under the sacred stars to watch the dawn of a New Year – and start 2019 with hope in your heart.
Stay in a nomad desert camp or upgrade to a luxury camp
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 5 – Merzouga – Rissani – Agdz
Wake in the desert dawn and witness the sunrise over the dunes, starting a new day – a new year. We will return by camel or exhilarating 4wd journey across the dunes. If you upgraded to the luxury desert camp you will be able to use your own en-suite facilities and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before starting our onward journey directly from the luxury camp.
Today we discover Rissani, a small but extremely important and historic, Saharan town. here you can explore the most famous and largest souk in the south. Here you will watch wandering traders and desert dwellers who come to sell their wares and you can see what wild plants people gather and use as medicine plus the sheep and donkey market. Passing through the volcanic Saghro mountains and the desolate Draa Valley, we reach the village of Agdz.
Stay in a welcoming auberge
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 6 – Agdz – Fint Oasis – Ouarzazate – Marrakech
Today we drive to Fint Oasis which consists of four traditional villages which blend Sub-Saharan, Moroccan and Berber culture, the Fint Oasis is a laid-back place where donkeys and other beasts of burden still roam the streets and women still wash clothes in the river. Then on through Ouarzazate, meaning “without noise” and the setting of a number of Hollywood films and into the Ounila Valley. Finally we drive back over the High Atlas Mountains and to your welcoming riad in Marrakech. Relax with a spa treatment or perhaps try a traditional hammam.
Xmas / New Year Desert Tour – Day 7 – Marrakech
Enjoy today at leisure exploring Marrakech, the souks are a shoppers paradise and we bet you’ll do better here than in the January sales back at home. Or perhaps you would prefer us to arrange a traditional cooking lesson for you.
Your New Year Desert Tour can be customised in various ways. Perhaps to allow two days in the desert (1 in the camp and 1 in a hotel with a pool) to allow more time to fully explore this fascinating area. Or maybe you would rather spend more time in Marrakech and be there for New Year’s Eve – contact us to discuss all the options.
Maroc Mama’s Guide to Xmas in Morocco