The desert near Marrakech is in fact the Sahara Desert. It is considered the largest arid area in the world. Besides Morocco, this desert is also present in the following countries: Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, Chad, Egypt and Sudan.
The Sahara is a strong tourist attraction. Each year, millions of visitors come to explore this unique place. Marrakech is the main starting point for traveling to the Sahara Desert in Morocco.The two most important areas are the Zagora desert tours and the Merzouga desert tours.
The Zagora Desert:
The Zagora Desert is the driest and has fewer dunes than that of Merzouga. The main advantage of Marrakech to Zagora desert tour is theproximity between the two cities.It is therefore the most suitable place for short excursions of two days and one night.
The Marrakech to Zagora tours take around 7 hours, simply because 360 kilometers separate these two cities. Since there are many stops made during the trip, the journey is interesting and not as heavy as one would imagine.
The Merzouga Desert:
The Merzouga Desertis the most impressive part of the Moroccan desert. It is the typical image we have of the desert in our imagination. Even if the dunes of other countries such as Algeria and Libya are more popular, the dunes of Erg Chebbi south of Merzouga are 150 meters high and unparalleled.
It takes 550 kilometers to go onMarrakech toMerzouga tours.That is just a 10 hours journey.It is normal to stay overnight both on the outward and return journeys.
Which desert to visit?
If time and budget are not a problem for you, the best choice would be to take a 4 to 5 days excursion from Marrakech to Merzouga desert tour.The place is much more beautiful and the journey, although it is longer, seems less heavy thanks to the many marked breaks. The landscapes covered during the days of the excursion are so beautiful that the journey is worth it. Places such as Aït Ben Haddu, the Valley of the Roses, the Dades Gorges,the Drâa Valley and the Todra Gorges are surprising and very little known.
If on the contrary you prefer to devote fewer days to this excursion, the best option is to take the Marrakech desert tours. It is the only way to be able to sleep one night in a tent in the desert. Since the trip to Ouarzazate is the same as going to Merzouga, you will also visit important places such as Aït Ben Haddou during this excursion.Indeed, the trip will be just as interesting.
How does the excursions go?
The desert should not be the only goal of the trip, since as we have commented previously, one of the advantages of these excursions is that we cross very different landscapes and visit many places.
Once arrived in the desert, you will most certainly go by camel to the camp to spend the night in a khaima (Berber tent). At nightfall a typical dinner is usually served, sometimes accompanied by musicians who liven up the evening. Waking up between the dunes is most certainly the highlight of the excursion.After breakfast, you can take advantage of a full day in the desert to head back home.
How to visit the desert?
The desert requires a 4×4 and deep knowledge of the roads and the itinerary. Indeed, the probability of getting lost in the desert is very high for a novice visitor. Thus, it is strongly recommended to book an excursion from Marrakech or Ouarzazate.