Fly to Marrakesh and drive to our hotel.
Drive through the Anti-Atlas mountains to the UNESCO World Heritage riverside village of Ait Ben Haddou, famous for its architecture of tapering towers and decorated walls made out of clay bricks. It lies on an important ancient trade-route from the Sahara to the east to Marrakesh. Continue to Ouarzazate.
Drive south along the winding Draa Valley, including an off-road excursion (10 km each way) to see the rock engravings at Foum Chenna. The rock art is spread over a distance of approximately 1 km along the northernmost edge of the Oued Tasminaret valley, where the fractured sandstone strata provide a suitable canvas for the carvings. These all belong to the Libyco-Berber style, and are small, predominantly pecked and mostly figurative. On to Agdz for overnight.
The oasis town of Zagora, including 3-5km offroad to explore Ait Ouazik. This site was only discovered 11 years ago, and the carvings are mostly deeply incised, with polished lines. Mostly date back at least 5000 years. Optional visit to the village of Tamegroute, famous for its green-glazed ceramic, and an ancient centre of Islamic learning whose library contains thousands of calligraphic manuscripts from all over the Greek and Muslim world. Overnight in Zagora.
Long journey along desert track to Foum Zguid; lunch at Bab Rimal. Exploratory visit to a couple of new rock art sites nearby. Alternatively take the opportunity of relaxing by a nice pool at the Bab Rimal.
Explore the rock art sites at Oum La Leg and Tiggane, both situated fairly close together in the Oued Tata Valley. Picnic lunch, then drive towards Akka, visiting Adrar n’Metgourine, a Neolithic site which has produced many artefacts. We continue to Tata.
Large site at Imaoun, located at a natural break in a low ridge jutting up from the alluvial plain. Carvings are found on outcrops on either side of the break, and there is a large tumulus nearby. After lunch at a traditional restaurant continue to Taroudant, a bustling provincial town surrounded by old city walls.
Morning to explore the markets and history of Taroudant. Drive through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains via the spectacular Tizi n’Test road, 2100 m above sea level. There are splendid views to the Tinmal mosque, which we visit briefly before continuing to Ouirgane.
Drive to the site of Oukaimeden in the high Atlas, with carvings dominated by images of weapons, particularly daggers but also of spearor lance-heads and axes similar to those found in early Bronze Age burials in southern Europe. The identification of these weapons means that this is the only site where relatively close dating is possible. Continue to the vibrant and colourful city of Marrakesh - those wishing to explore the mosques, markets and palaces (or just relax and soak up the ambience) could extend their holiday independently
N.B. This is a physically demanding, but exhilarating tour. Long hours of off-road driving will be compensated for by reaching some of the most astonishing rock art and by the raw beauty of the landscapes we traverse. Come prepared for an absolutely unforgettable experience, but don't expect it to be easy going.
Fly home from Marrakesh.
- Flights - Scheduled flights from London to Marrakesh
- Local Travel - 4x4s off road and across tracks - rough and bumpy travel
- Guide Lecturers - Farès Moussa and Dr Tertia Barnett. Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations but otherwise the guides are just that. They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 29 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them
- Tour Mananger - Guide Lecturers will share this role and there will be a local guide
- Meals - All meals included (dinners with wine & water)
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Local Guide
- Field Notes
1 + 1 nights in a hotel in Marrakesh;
1 night in a hotel in Ouarzazate;
1 night in a hotel in Agdz;
1 night in a hotel in Zagora;
1 nights in a hotel in Foum Zguid;
1 nights in a hotel in Tata;
1 night in a hotel in Taroudant;
1 night in a hotel in Ouirgane
Some hotels are plain, but have all the features expected by modern travellers, including en suite facilities
This is a physically demanding, but exhilarating tour. Long hours of off-road driving will be compensated for by reaching some of the most astonishing rock art and by the raw beauty of the landscapes we traverse. Come prepared for an absolutely unforgettable experience, but don't expect it all to be easy going.
|Sun 27th Oct - Tue 5th Nov 2013 with Dr Tertia Barnett and Farès Moussa
||Twin/Doubles: Last two
|Sun 26th Oct - Tue 4th Nov 2014 with Dr Tertia Barnett and Farès Moussa