In this article, we’ve summed up to you the TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours. The Moroccan Desert is one of the country’s many attractions. There are various ways to enjoy Morocco’s towering dunes, from sleeping beneath the stars in a bivouac-style desert tent to sunset camel rides! Ride horses, scale sand dunes, explore nomadic villages, or listen to traditional music over a roaring campfire. The Moroccan desert is a genuinely unforgettable experience from sunrise to sunset.
TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours: Most Famous Tours
Merzouga & The Erg Chebbi desert
The Erg Chebbi desert, which borders Merzouga, is a popular location in the Moroccan Sahara. Erg Chebbi is easily accessible. After a 10-minute camel ride or 5 minutes by 4×4, you will be surrounded by meter-high sand dunes. The dunes are fairly high here, which makes for excellent photographs, and there are several desert camps. These tent campgrounds are extremely opulent, offering genuine glamping in the desert!
Because of the city of Merzouga’s closeness, this portion of the desert has a well-organized supply of running water and power. Remember that there will always be other tourists in the Erg Chebbi desert. It is gorgeous, which is why it is a tourist destination and definitely in the TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours.
In Merzouga, you can go:
- Sunset / Sunrise Camel riding
- Sand Boarding
- ATV Quad Adventure
- Night Camp Oasis across the dunes
Ouarzazate is a city in south-central Morocco renowned as the “Door to the Desert” or “Moroccan Hollywood.” Perched on the high plateaus of the Atlas, Ouarzazate overlooks the valleys. Although close to the desert plateaus of the Sahara, the city abounds in palm groves, orchards and gardens. The streets are animated by the souk or the artisanal center where stone cutters and sculptors on copper and silver rub shoulders.
In Ouarzazate stands the Kasbah of Taourirt, a gigantic adobe building, which was once the palace of the basha of Marrakech. Nearby, the Atlas Corporation studios are worth a visit. These splendid sets have allowed the shooting of great films on this open-air stage.
Ouarzazate is a popular tourist destination in Morocco during the holidays, as well as a reference point for expeditions into and across the Draa Valley and the desert making it one of the TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours.
The most notable “Ksar” in the Ounila Valley is Ait-Ben-Haddou, which is located in the foothills on the southern slopes of the High Atlas in the Province of Ouarzazate. Ait Benhaddou castle is a clear illustration of southern Moroccan architecture.
Houses crowd together inside the defensive walls, which are reinforced by angle towers and pierced by a baffle gate – some modest, others resembling small urban castles with their high angle towers and upper sections decorated with clay brick motifs – but there are also buildings and community areas. Although their structure and technology were spread from a very early era in the valleys of southern Morocco, the oldest buildings do not appear to be older than the 17th century.
The region is a well-known filming location, with Morocco’s major studios attracting numerous foreign production companies to operate there. The movie Gladiator and the popular TV series Game of Thrones were filmed there.
The stunning beauty of the Todra Gorges sits deep in the rocky Atlas mountains on one of the highways to the Sahara from Marrakech, a natural oasis produced by the River Todra digging its way through limestone for many generations. With canyon walls reaching over 400 meters in height, the gorge appears nearly ancient.
The finest time to go is early in the morning, when the sun quickly lights the canyon in a golden welcome. In the afternoons, souvenir dealers and tour buses crowd the center, causing it to darken and get very chilly. Tamtetoucht, a Berber community 18 kilometers along the road, is 95 kilometers beyond Imilchil.
Despite its isolated location in Morocco, the gorge is one of the TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours as well as a popular tourist site with hiking trails and a well-maintained dirt road that tourists may stroll down, albeit they must share it with mules and other pack animals.
A trip to the Agafay desert allows you to spend a calm day in the stony desert while seeing the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains. Even better, you may learn about local Berber life in Berber communities.
The Agafay desert features stony sections, hills, and canyons. The desert, which is an hour’s drive from Marrakech, is characterized as having an austere and beautiful atmosphere.
There is an oasis in the desert, a haven of peace and calm where animals and vegetation may thrive. In this paradise, frogs and turtles live calmly in the lake of Lalla Takerkoust, which is surrounded by water and rocks.
In one single tour of Agafay, you can swim in Agafay luxury campers’ swimming pools, jet-ski, waterboard, or kayak at Takerkoust lake, and explore the desert on quad rides, and ride horses or camels into the desert for a peaceful excursion.
TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours: Most Underrated Tours
The Tafilalet Valley, on the outskirts of Morocco’s great south, is traversed by the Ziz and the Gheris, two dry oueds whose subterranean waters replenish the entire region’s gardens and crops. Above ground, the confluence of two rivers is highlighted by a large plain of magnificent acacias! Beautiful walks await between the valley, the desert, and the high mountains…
Tafilalet and Rissani, near the Sahara’s borders, are the cradles of the Alaouite dynasty. Between Erfoud and Merzouga sits Rissani, an ancient trans-Saharan junction. The remains of Sijilmassa, the famed gold and ivory trade station on the way to Timbuktu, may be found here!
When visiting the Tafilalet area, stop at Rissani and revel in the vibrant colors of its souk. Take a stroll through its reed-shaded passageways before heading out to explore the Sijilmassa ruins. From the eighth through the thirteenth century, this city of incredible riches thrived in the midst of a fertile oasis (2 km from the centre in the direction of Erfoud).
On a trip to southern Morocco, discover Erfoud and its palm groves! In the heart of the desert, this charming little village lies at the foot of the High Atlas, on the road of the thousand kasbahs. The site of Erfoud is an ideal starting point to explore the Moroccan desert, where you will discover extraordinary landscapes!
It was the French who first settled in Erfoud, in order to keep an eye on the rebellious tribes of Tafilalet. The city then prospered thanks to the flourishing trade of its marble and dates. It is also famous for its curious marine fossils (rolled goniatites, orthoceras, trilobites, etc.), which are 360 million years old.
When visiting Erfoud, you must visit the marble factories! Numerous in the region, they are specialized in the extraction and polishing of fossilized stones. 15 km to the south-east are the quarries of Goniatite, a very precious black marble studded with fossils.
The Oued (River) Ziz flows from Rich through the magnificent Ziz Gorges, bringing to life the last southern valley of the Ziz and the Tafilalt oasis before ending in the rose gold dunes of Merzouga. The magnificent Ziz Gorges, which begin just south of the Middle Atlas town of Rich and run approximately 30 kilometers north of Errachidia, give a rocky way south through the Tunnel du Légionnaire (built by the French in 1928).
The valley opens to the south, revealing a stunning sight: a dense canopy of palms trapped between Jurassic-era striated rocks. It’s worthwhile to spend some time here to explore the rich, unexplored palmeraies (palm groves).
To discover the lovely Ksours hidden amongst palm trees, ancient ruins, and other tourist attractions, plan a multi-day walk. You will notice beautiful contrasts between the greenery of excellent gardens and the steep cliffs tumbling abruptly down the gorges while walking on foot or on the back of a donkey. Above all, you’ll meet the people, who have lived there for generations and are well-known across the world for their traditional hospitality and cultural richness!
M’hamid El Ghizlane
M’Hamid is located at the south-eastern end of Morocco, at the gateway to the desert. It is the last oasis of the Draa Valley before entering the heart of the arid immensity of the Hamada. Notice to walkers, M’Hamid is an ideal starting point for many hikes! You will be able to discover the desert plateaus of the Sahara, or to take the road of the thousand kasbah which will lead you in the heart of the valleys and the green gorges of Drâa…
M’Hamid is a great caravanning center. Its settlement dates back to the Copper and Iron Ages, a time when the Sahara was not yet a desert. Traveling around M’Hamid you will discover a colorful region, where the grandiose landscapes and the hospitality of the inhabitants will leave you with unforgettable memories…
At the gates of M’Hamid, the tarred road gives way to a sandy carpet lined with palm trees, which will lead you to the central square. This is where the mosque and most of the stores are located. After a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of the city, you can visit the ruins of the ksar, a true legacy of the past grandeur of M’Hamid.
In the heart of the Draa Valley, Zagora is a very pleasant stopover during your trip in southern Morocco. Under an ochre sky, the city of Zagora, swept by the winds of sands, offers to the surroundings many possibilities of excursions in the desert, on foot, on dromedary or in 4X4.
Located a few kilometers from the first Saharan dunes, Zagora experienced a real boom in the eleventh century when the Almoravids built this imposing fortress that protected it for centuries against its attackers, making it one of the TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours.
The shady streets of the city, which stretch on both sides of Mohamed V Avenue, make the walk very pleasant. One enters the center of Zagora through the monumental gate of Ouarzazate. At the southern end of the city is the famous sign announcing the road to Timbuktu, the gate of the desert.
Final Thoughts on the TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours
These remarkable sites can be considered as ideal starting points to explore the deserts in Morocco, a wide variety of excursions will be offered. On foot, by camel, or in a 4*4, everyone will find his way to discover the surroundings, which are our TOP 10 Recommended Morocco Desert Tours!
Further reading: 10 Fascinating facts about the Sahara Desert