Saharan Heli-Safari

As desert-lovers ourselves, we've been scouring our Big Short Break destinations to come up with the ultimate short break desert experience. Now, dear reader, we think we've cracked it with our Sahara helicopter safari.

Louise Fitzgerald and Fee are here to help give you the inside track.

Key Stats

Best Time To Visit

Aug - Jul

Flight from London London

3:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT

ntroducing our new Sahara helicopter safari, combined with a stay in possibly the finest luxury hotel Morocco has to offer. A word of warning, this trip is not for the faint of budget, but for anyone time-pressed and wanting an incredible 'trip-of-a-lifetime' desert experience, this is as good as it gets.

While everything is - as always - completely tailor-made, we recommend the following. On arrival into Marrakech Airport, you are met and taken across to the onsite helipad from where a private helicopter whisks you over the beautiful Atlas Mountains to the hugely romantic Dar Ahlam Desert Camp. Don't let the word 'camp' put you off, though - this is the dictionary definition of glamping, and as far removed from sleeping in a Millet's tent as it's possible to get without being in an actual building.

The camp is deep into the nearest dune sea (rather than scrub desert) to the UK, the vast Sahara that stretches out southwards from the town of Ouarzazate, and is so remote that to drive there from Marrakech would take the small matter of eight hours - hence the heli-recommendation.

There are just ten beautifully designed and decorated tents, kitted out in the same style as the luxurious rooms at Dar Ahlam, the desert camp's sister property near Ouarzazate. We probably only recommend one night at the camp, but that should be magical enough thanks to the location and onsite staff, who can arrange for a romantic candle-lit private dinner in the dunes (ideal for anyone planning a proposal), massages in your tent, or a dawn walking tour to understand more about desert life.

After a day and night to remember, we recommend driving (or helicoptering again if you're really pushing the boat out) back to Dar Ahlam proper to experience a night or two of serious kasbah luxury, before heading back (again, by 4x4 or heli) to Marrakech where you can extend your stay with another night or more in one of the many slick riads in the medina before flying home. Few trips will score higher on the 'what did you do at the weekend?' boastability scale.

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Where to stay

Amanjena

Amanjena

Part of the exclusive Aman Group of hotels, the Amanjena is situated three miles from Marrakech on the edge of the Palmeraie - an extensive oasis of palms and olive trees.

Amanjena
Angsana Riads

Angsana Riads

The Angsana Riads collection is comprised of six riads - Bab Firdaus, Blanc, Lydines, Si Said, Tiwaline and Dar Zaouia, the latest addition to the Angsana family – each as exceptional as the next.

Angsana Riads
Dar Zemora

Dar Zemora

Dar Zemora is a boutique country house-style hotel set in the leafy surroundings of the Palmeraie, just outside Marrakech.

Dar Zemora
Maison MK

Maison MK

This hotel is the creation of two professional photographers, and fuses cutting-edge design with a historic Moroccan framework.

Maison MK
El Fenn

El Fenn

El Fenn is a stylish boutique hotel located next to the Bab el Ksour – one of the gateways to the bustling medina of Marrakech and only five minutes’ walk from the main square, Djemaa el-Fna.

El Fenn
Riad Capaldi

Riad Capaldi

Located in the heart of the medina, next to the Musée de Marrakech, the Riad Capaldi is perfectly placed for guests wishing to immerse themselves in the Moroccan lifestyle, shopping and sights.

Riad Capaldi
Riad Farnatchi

Riad Farnatchi

Originally designed as a private home by an award winning British hotelier, Riad Farnatchi is a charming boutique hotel in the central Medina district that retains the intimacy and character of a private home, while having all of the facilities, style and service of a five star boutique hotel.

Riad Farnatchi
Riad 41

Riad 41

There are now so many riads in Marrakech that it’s become our stated aim to sift through them all to find and offer only the very best – the most stylish, the most luxurious riads in the whole city. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

Riad 41
Riad Kniza

Riad Kniza

Dating back to the 18th Century, Riad Kniza is a charming boutique riad.

Riad Kniza
Riad L'Orangeraie

Riad L'Orangeraie

Located on the edge of the Souk in Marrakech’s labyrinth of alleys, Riad L’Orangeraie is one of the city’s most charming and well located riads.

Riad L'Orangeraie
Jnane Tamsna

Jnane Tamsna

Recently voted amongst the best hideaway hotels in the world, Jnane Tamsna is a collection of five luxurious villas on a peaceful, nine-acre estate in the heart of the Palmeraie, the huge expanse of date palms just outside Marrakech.

Jnane Tamsna
Fellah Hotel

Fellah Hotel

The Fellah Hotel is a welcome addition to the Marrakech hotel scene, managing to be child-friendly yet not adult unfriendly, and trendy without being unwelcoming. Quite some feat.

Fellah Hotel
Villa des Orangers

Villa des Orangers

A five-star luxury riad in Marrakech, Villa des Orangers is a member of Relais & Chateaux and has a prime location in the medina, just a stone’s throw from the bustling Djemaa el Fna square.

Villa des Orangers
La Sultana Marrakech

La Sultana Marrakech

La Sultana, opened back in 1998, was the result of a long partnership with the historical monuments organisation and the vision of an excellent interior designer, and remains one of the best places to stay in Marrakech.

La Sultana Marrakech
Dar Ahlam

Dar Ahlam

This traditional Kasbah, on the edge of the desert in southern Morocco, has been authentically and artistically restored and still manages to feel like a private home.

Dar Ahlam
Riad Maison Bleue

Riad Maison Bleue

Riad Maison Bleue is a stylish boutique riad created from three neighbouring houses and the perfect balance of traditional and contemporary furniture just a few minutes walk from the Bab Bou Jeloud or Blue Gate entrance to the famous medina of Fez.

Riad Maison Bleue
Riad Fes

Riad Fes

Much of the charm in visiting Fez is to experience a city much unchanged since medieval times; but even the most history thirsty traveller would presumably want the whole Middle Ages thing to stop at their door of their hotel. Fortunately, in Riad Fes they can retire to one of the finest riads in Morocco, let alone Fez.

Riad Fes
Kasbah Bab Ourika

Kasbah Bab Ourika

Bab Ourika sits like an eagle's eyrie at the apex of the Ourika Valley, with spectacular views of the mountains, river valley and nearby Berber villages.

Kasbah Bab Ourika
Kasbah du Toubkal

Kasbah du Toubkal

Perched on a rocky outcrop at the foot of Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak, the former fortress of Kasbah du Toubkal is the most atmospheric place to stay in the High Atlas Mountains.

Kasbah du Toubkal
 Kasbah Tamadot

Kasbah Tamadot

Kasbah Tamadot was bought by Sir Richard Branson during preparations for one of his famous ballooning expeditions in the late 1990’s, and opened as a luxury boutique hotel in 2005.

Kasbah Tamadot
The Capaldi

The Capaldi

Located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountain range, the Capaldi is a friendly and comfortable hotel located in nine acres of olive groves just outside Marrakech.

The Capaldi
Rebali Riads

Rebali Riads

A boutique hotel that comprises of just six riad style villas, Rebali Riads has the best of both worlds, and its location in Sidi Kaouk to the south of Essaouira is fantastic.

Rebali Riads
The Palais Heure Bleue

The Palais Heure Bleue

The Palais Heure Bleue is a riad hotel in the coastal town of Essaouira.

The Palais Heure Bleue
Villa de L'Ô

Villa de L'Ô

As with any self-respecting riad, however central or busy the location, once you are through the enormous and ornate doors, Villa de L'Ô is a haven in the heart of Essaouira.

Villa de L'Ô
La Sultana Oualidia

La Sultana Oualidia

La Sultana lies just 112 miles from Marrakech and Casablanca, sitting on the banks of the Oualidia lagoon, famous for its oyster beds and flamingos, and with views of the Atlantic Ocean lapping on the sandbanks, its setting is quite simply spectacular.

La Sultana Oualidia

What has been most impressive with you is your speed of response, the accuracy of your information and the fact that you really make us feel you listen to our wishes and adapt itineraries to suit.

Katie

Start creating your tailored trip today

Louise Fitzgerald and Fee are our Morocco experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0)20 7978 7333

Or enquire online

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