Marrakech desert tours

Marrakech desert

Behind the high Atlas mountains of Marrakech, a mysterious, magical and beautiful landscape is hidden: we are in the Sahara desert, the heart of Morocco.

The Moroccan desert gives us a feeling of going back in time, making us forget about the existence of the rest of the planet. Here you will find a world of forts, small houses, Berber castles or kasbahs and fortresses abandoned by foreign legions……. They were once part of the camel routes between Marrakech and the great commercial metropolis of the Sahara.

Although reference is usually made to the Marrakech desert, the truth is that Marrakech does not have a sandy desert. The desert with large dunes that comes to mind when thinking of the Marrakech desert is the Merzouga or Erg Chebbi desert.

In this article, we tell you everything about the Moroccan desert and also how to get there from Marrakech or Fes.

Desert excursions from Marrakech

Marrakech, known as “the red city” is the imperial city that gives its name to the entire kingdom. This city is the main recipient of national and international tourism with more than 12 million tourists who visit it throughout the year. Marrakech is also one of the most prepared cities for tourism in all of Morocco. It also has an international airport very well connected to the main European destinations. Its cheap and frequent flights make it an excellent option to take this city as a starting point for any trip to Morocco.

This city and in general all of Morocco is a highly sought-after destination by Latin American travelers, who are very attracted to exoticism and Moroccan culture and see Morocco as an excellent opportunity to combine with their trips to Europe and Spain.

Marrakech also has a good tourist and hotel infrastructure that together with its great heritage as an imperial city and the security that this destination provides, makes it perfect to include in the road map of any trip through these latitudes.

As we have previously mentioned, Marrakech does not have a dune desert, but due to its special location, it is ideal for a desert excursion from Marrakech.

To go to the desert from Marrakech we must cross the mountain pass of Tizi n’Tichka, the highest mountain pass in all of Morocco, with more than 2200 meters high. This route offers us some spectacular landscapes of high altitudes. Once we cross the mountains we will be arriving at Ouarzazate, called the Hollywood of Morocco, and door to the desert, which will lead us to one of the most beautiful routes in all of Morocco: The route of the thousand kasbahs.

Desert near Marrakech: The Zagora desert

The Zagora desert is usually the option taken by those who do not have much time on their Morocco Tours but want to live the experience of sleeping in a tent in the desert and riding a camel. It must be taken into account that Zagora is not a desert with large dunes, rather it is an arid landscape with very small dunes.

The excursion to the Zagora desert lasts approximately 8 hours each way, which allows it to be done in 2 days and 1 night. If your time is very limited, this could be a good desert getaway option from Marrakech.

Merzouga desert tour from Marrakech

The Moroccan desert does not always respond to the classic image that many have in their subconscious, that is, the great dunes. In Merzouga, in the Erg Chebbi desert, there are the largest in all of Morocco and you can travel them with camels that we will provide you, but its other arid landscapes also have an evocative beauty and will transform the way of seeing the world of any traveler, and those who travel by car, bus or even on foot or bicycle, something only suitable for great adventurers.

The Merzouga desert is much more than dunes. They are landscapes of extreme beauty, it is the Berber hospitality, it is the absolute silence, it is the rhythm of the drums and the immensity of the Sahara, it is something difficult to explain with words. But without a doubt, the Moroccan desert is the star of the tours we offer and that can only be for a reason…

In the desert of Merzouga, we offer you the possibility of living a unique night under the light of the moon and the stars in a tent camp. These camps can be traditional and simple or an experience of luxury and comfort. You choose!

To make an excursion from Marrakech to the desert of Merzouga, it is necessary that you have at least 3 days and 2 nights. It must be taken into account that a journey of about 10 hours on the road separates us. The entire route is very attractive, as we will cross palm groves, Berber villages and fortifications, and all kinds of arid landscapes of spectacular beauty.

If you want to go to the Moroccan desert from Fes, the closest desert is Merzouga. About 8 hours of road separate Fes from the desert of Merzouga, which allows us to offer you the route in just 2 days 1 night.

The real desert of Marrakech: The Agafay desert

As we told you before, in Marrakech there is no desert. But here we show you an option quite unknown even for mass tourism that also has the advantage of being the “desert” that is closest to Marrakech.

This arid desert is located 40km SW, at the foot of the Atlas, across the Kik Plateau. Some call this place Marrakchi.

We say that it is not a desert since it is really a barren terrain of hills of compacted earth. It can be said that Agafay is an oasis to escape from the bustle of the hectic city of Marrakech. If what you are looking for is to disconnect, feel the absolute silence, and live the experience of sleeping in a haima camp under the stars, this place may interest you.

4×4 trips through the Moroccan desert

Another option is to enter these sand dunes with an all-terrain vehicle and let out the adventurous spirit that you carry. An experience that you will repeat!

The best stretches of desert in which our agency organizes excursions are Zagora, M’Hamid, the Erg Chebbi dunes, and the Tindouf dunes. The latter is located about 5 kilometers south of Tamegroute and is a good choice if you want to have your first contact with the Moroccan desert.

However, we adapt to any request and preference so that you get to know this unique corner of the world to suit you.

Journey along the route of the thousand Kasbahs

No one can be indifferent to the Draa valley, the Todra gorge, or the Merzouga dunes. The possibility of spending the night in magnificent traditional kasbahs overlooking a green palm grove, as in Knob or Agdz, will complete an unforgettable experience.

On both sides of the track, the traveler will be surprised by the succession of colors that stain the Sahara desert, from jet black to brilliant orange, passing through the golden dunes, the green of sudden palm groves, and the white peaks of the Atlas. that frame the landscape.

Herds of sheep and camels are common even though one wonders what grazing they can get on these endless scree.

In Best Morocco Travel we offer you the best trips to the Moroccan desert, with a private driver/guide and fully custom designed.

The climate and temperature in the Moroccan desert

If you have doubts about when is the best date to travel to the Sahara desert in Morocco, we definitely recommend doing it in the two seasons that are the most temperate of the year: Autumn and first

These are contemplated in the months of September and October and from March to the beginning of June. You can also do it in winter, but you should know that the nights are very cold here, with temperatures that can be around 0°C.

In summer, daytime temperatures can be quite high, above 45°C, although our vehicles and accommodation are air-conditioned, this is a good fact to take into account.

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