9 TIPS TO GO TO THE DESERT IN MOROCCO
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TIPS TO GO TO THE DESERT IN MOROCCO
Morocco, a colorful country with exquisite food, vibrant and picturesque cities and, of course, the incredible natural landscapes: from snowy mountains to burning dunes. According to us, traveling to Morocco without seeing the latest, its immense and impressive deserts is a very bad idea. For this reason, we present you the most outstanding deserts, excursion proposals and different ways to travel through these sandy areas.
Although there are many desert areas in Morocco, there are only two impressive sand dunes that you will have seen in a dozen photos on Instagram: Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga. The word erg means the desert of sand, those of stones and rocks are called hamadas. Both obviously offer an exotic and mystical landscape, but usually people are more interested in the dunes. Therefore, in this article we explain how to make the excursion to Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga from Marrakech.
And now begins our list of 9 tips to go to the desert in Morocco.
MARRAKECH DESERT TOURS - DESERT EXCURSIONS FROM MARRAKECH
Marrakech is the most common starting point for most excursions to the Moroccan dunes. There are two main reasons for this situation: first, the city has a highly developed tourist infrastructure, which allows you to easily rent a car or book an organized excursion; Second, the busiest airport in the country is located there and that is why the majority of tourists start their Morocco travel in Marrakesh.
However, the dunes are not very close to Marrakech, Erg Chigaga is 500 km (or 700 km if you want to visit more sites on the way) and Erg Chebbi is 550 km from Marrakech. So at least two days are needed to make the round trip, in reality the best would be four days to be able to enjoy the trip. Also, to reach the deserts you will need a 4×4 car and a good GPS. Therefore, you have two options: rent a terrain car or book an organized excursion with a travel agency. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, traveling alone you will have more freedom to choose your route and places you want to visit, while with the agency you will be calmer, you will not have to book hotels or other attractions. Choose the alternative that best suits your preferred style of travel.
1. EXCURSION TO THE DESERT OF MERZOUGA
Trips to Merzouga are probably the most popular among tourists, due to the beautiful and intimidating dunes of Erg Chebbi. Merzouga is located 550 km from Marrakech and to get there you will have to cross the High Atlas mountain range. The landscapes and the views from the road are impressive. Plus, you can visit other Moroccan highlights along the way, such as Ouarzazate or Aït Ben Haddou.
Once you arrive in Merzouga, you will need to hire a guide or an excursion to explore the dunes of Merzouga, walk barefoot in the sand and admire the sunset. This tour requires a minimum of three days.
Read also: TOURISM IN GALICIA
2. EXCURSION TO THE ZAGORA DESERT
Closer to Marrakech, there are stone dunes, slightly less impressive than the sand dunes of Merzouga. However, sleeping there under countless stars will be a memorable experience. Traveling to Zagora desert requires only two days, since in Merzouga you can rent a car or hire an organized tour.
3. EXCURSION TO THE DESERT OF ERG CHIGAGA
The Erg Chegaga dunes are located three hours from Zagora and are much less touristy. There you can enjoy the virtually untouched natural landscape. In addition, the dunes are located 30 km from the nearest built-up area (Mhamid village) and are therefore completely isolated from the noise and light of the city. There, you can fully immerse yourself in the desert environment and gaze at the star-studded sky.
4. EXCURSION TO CAMEL THROUGH THE PALM TREES OF MARRAKECH
This last option is perfect if you have little time and budget.The palm grove is very close to Marrakech. This is a half-day tour that will allow you to see the hamada (desert of stones), enjoy the company of a camel, visit a traditional Moroccan village and drink the most typical drink of the region, mint tea.
Read also : WEEKEND IN MARRAKECH
It’s like surfing, but instead of waves you have sand dunes. It is highly recommended, although we assure you that you will fall several times. But don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt 😉
Perhaps you did not imagine that one of our 9 tips to go to the desert in Morocco was going to be the Quad. It is an experience to say the least peculiar to visit the desert on a quad, since the Berbers can take you to visit strategic points of their desert infinitely rich in beauty.
Going to the desert in a 4×4 or Quad is definitely a highly recommended experience.
8. NIGHT UNDER STARS
In the jaïmas, the traditional Moroccan shops. It is an experience like no other. You will be able to contemplate the wait in the desert, observe the stars at night and in the morning see a sunrise like you have never seen before.
9. CAMEL RIDE
It is one of the activities most demanded by tourists and yes, it is true that it is a unique experience, however we do not recommend it. If you care about responsible tourism and animal welfare, try to avoid activities that use wild or semi-wild animals, although camel riding is a recommended experience, not everyone is so kind to them.