A desert excursion from Marrakech It is one of the best experiences you can enjoy in the most famous and visited city of Morocco as well as being one of the best tours in the country.
After touring all the points of interest of the old and enigmatic Medina for a couple of days, if you have between 1 and 3 extra days, we recommend you go to the Moroccan Sahara desert, located southeast of the city. There you can tour the desert in a 4 × 4, climb the dunes, see a fantastic sunset and a sunrise over the desert and above all, spend a night in a real Berber haima, enjoying a sky full of stars.
If you want to enjoy this unique experience, you have several areas of the Sahara desert to do so from Marrakech: Merzouga, Zagora and Erg Chigaga.
Based on the times we have traveled to Marrakech, in the last one we wrote this guide from Marrakech in 3 days, we have made this guide to carry out the best desert excursion from Marrakech Depending on the area you choose. We start!
Merzouga Desert Tour
Within the Sahara desert there are two ergs: Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi, which are the most sandy and interesting areas to visit, as large dunes are formed as a result of the force of the wind.
The most popular is Erg Chebbi, located near the town of Merzoga and has a great infrastructure that makes it one of the best places in Morocco to make the desert excursion.
Before starting the visit, keep in mind that the Sahara is the largest warm desert in the world, so it is not advisable to go between July and September when the heat reaches its maximum quotas. In addition to this, whether you go at this time or in others, it is advisable to go dressed in comfortable and light cotton clothes, wear a hat or a Berber scarf, buy bottles of frozen water, wear sunscreen and a thin jacket for the night, since at some times of the year, it usually refreshes.
It should also be taken into account to protect cameras and electronic devices well with a bag to prevent them from entering and damaging the sand.
To reach the Merzouga desert from Marrakech you can choose to rent a car, catch a bus or book a guided tour in Spanish. In all three cases you will have to have three days available when this area of the desert is more than 9 hours away.
The bus is the cheapest and slowest option for go from Marrakech to MerzougaIn addition, upon arrival you will have to negotiate the desert excursion with a local agency.
The same will happen if you prefer to go by car, although with the advantage that during the journey you can stop at places like the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, one of the most impressive places to see in Morocco.
In addition to these, you have another more comfortable option with which you will avoid the typical bargains and the uncertainty of whether it is really a responsible agency, which is to book any of these guided tours in Spanish from Marrakech and located among the best valued by travelers who they visit this desert:
All these excursions include, in addition to the guide in Spanish, the hotel pick-up, the 4 × 4 excursion, the option of a shared or private bathroom (paying a supplement), showers, dinner and breakfast at the jaima.
Zagora desert excursion
A closer option to make the desert excursion from Marrakech It is Zagora, which can be visited in two days at night in a jaima in the middle of the desert and is stony, so the dunes are not as spectacular as Merzouga.
The journey time to the desert, located 360 kilometers away, is about 7 hours by car and two hours more if you do it by bus.
Between these two options we choose to rent a car and make a part of the Kasbahs route, although as it happens in Merzouga, when you arrive in Zagora you will have to negotiate and haggle the price of the desert excursion with a local agency.
Another more convenient way is to book this 2-day excursion to the Zagora desert, which includes hotel pick-up, transportation, 4 × 4 excursion and a guide in Spanish.
Erg Chigaga desert excursion
Other desert excursion from Marrakech which is becoming increasingly fashionable is that of Erg Chigaga, a desert area located about 3 hours south of Zagora, which is less exploited by tourism and where you can see dunes even higher than in Merzouga.
Accessing Erg Chigaga is more complicated than the other two areas of the Sahara desert, since it is more than 30 kilometers from the first inhabited point that is Mhamid, so in this case you will have to go by rental car to Mhamid and there to hire an excursion or book it directly in Zagora.
Keep in mind that a part of the route between Zagora and Mhamid is already a desert of the pedregreso type and it is advisable to do it with a 4 × 4.
Map of the desert excursion from Marrakech
** All photos without a watermark have been provided by Shutterstock.