To Morocco Travel

how to visit the Sahara desert Morocco

HOW TO VISIT THE SAHARA DESERT MOROCCO

Getting to know how to visit the Sahara desert Morocco is essenial thing you need to know before traveling to Morocco. So in this article, I’ll tell you all about your alternatives for visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco, so you can make the most of your vacation!

BEST TIME TO VISIT THE SAHARA DESERT IN MOROCCO

The greatest time to visit the Sahara Desert is between May and October. Daytime temperatures are milder throughout this timeframe. During the Saharan winter (particularly in December and January), nighttime temperatures fall below freezing. Sandstorms occur most frequently between January and May. The summer months (late June to early September) may be quite hot, with daytime highs in July and August frequently exceeding 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit).

VISITING THE SAHARA DESERT WITH TOUR OR BY YOURSELF

After you’ve decided on your travel dates, you should evaluate whether you want to explore the Sahara Desert on your own or as part of a tour package. A tour would be the best option for you!

Take a desert tour.

  • If you have a tight schedule. There are 3- or 4-day trip to the Sahara Desert that start and end in Marrakech or Fez. Here are best tours:

3 days tour from Fes to Merzouga desert.

4 days tour from Fes to Merzouga desert.

3 days tour from Marrakech to Merzouga Desert.

4 days tour from Marrakech to Merzouga Desert.

  • If you are not interested in driving in a foreign country. In Morocco, cars drive on the right side of the road, and the route will take you through the highlands.
  • If you do not want to organize everything yourself.
  • If you want to make certain that there are others on your vacation.
 

Go on your own.

  • If you want to pick how much time you spend in Merzouga or the Sahara Desert.
  • If you want to make many stops along the road, anywhere you want
  • If you want to save money, especially if you share your automobile with 2-4 people.
  • If you’re up for an adventure
  • If you prefer to arrange everything yourself.

SHOULD I SPEND ONE OR TWO NIGHTS IN THE SAHARA DESERT?

Spending the night under the stars in the Sahara Desert is a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t find anyplace else. That is why, if you have the time, we recommend staying longer than one night in the desert. With two nights, you may explore the desert at a slower pace and thoroughly immerse yourself in the traditional customs of the indigenous tribes. Spend the day sandboarding and camel trekking, and the night singing, dancing, and stargazing! It’s recommended to spend one night in the tents out in the sand dunes and the next at a neighboring desert town.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS: DESERT CAMP OR HOTELS.

Spending the night under the stars in the Sahara Desert is a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t find anyplace else. That is why, if you have the time, we recommend staying longer than one night in the desert. With two nights, you may explore the desert at a slower pace and thoroughly immerse yourself in the traditional customs of the indigenous tribes. Spend the day sandboarding and camel trekking, and the night singing, dancing, and stargazing! It’s recommended to spend one night in the tents out in the sand dunes and the next at a neighboring desert town.

SHOULD I BOOK A SHARED TOUR OR PRIVATE TRIP TO SAHARA DESERT?

The decision to travel solo or on an organized tour is frequently based on personal preference and travel style. It is possible to travel freely in Morocco provided you have prior experience doing so and speak French or Arabic. Travel books can teach you the essentials, and public transportation will take you almost anyplace in the country. It is important to note that you should never venture into the sand dunes or other distant areas of the desert alone.

On a private tour, you will have the opportunity to delve further into Moroccan culture, engage with people on a daily basis, and learn about some of the country’s best hidden jewels from professional guides.

WHAT TO WEAR AND PACK FOR YOUR VISIT TO SAHARA DESERT IN MOROCCO?

What to Wear on a you visit for Morocco Sahara Desert?
When packing for your Sahara desert tour, make sure you pack adequately to ensure comfort and safety in the desert environment. Here are some key items to include on your packing list.

  • To keep cool during the day, wear lightweight, breathable clothing.
  • For chilly desert evenings, dress warmly and have a decent sleeping bag.
  • Sun protection items include hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes or sandals when exploring the desert.
  • Use a headlamp or flashlight to navigate in the dark.
  • A scarf or shawl to cover your face during sandstorms.
  • Basic toiletries and a tiny first-aid kit.
  • A camera or smartphone to capture breathtaking views and memories.

ACTIVITIES TO DO DURING YOUR VISIT FOR THE SAHARA DESERT MOROCCO

A Morocco desert tour offers a variety of activities and experiences to make your trip memorable. Some popular activities are:

  • Camel Trekking: Take a classic camel ride and explore the breathtaking sand dunes.
  • Sandboarding is an adrenaline-pumping activity that involves sliding down sandy hills on board.
  • Quad biking is an amazing way to explore the desert at high speeds.
  • Stargazing: Take in the gorgeous night sky and learn about constellations from qualified guides.
  • Traditional Moroccan Music and Dance: Experience Berber culture through live music and dance performances around the campfire.

Discover our top things to do in Morocco Desert for more information on the various cultural and adventure activities we provide on our excursions.

how to visit Sahara desert Morocco

HOW TO GET TO THE SAHARA DESERT OF MOROCCO?

The trek from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert is often regarded as one of Morocco’s most stunning. You’ll travel through the Atlas Mountains, across the country’s highest mountain pass, the Tizi n’Tichka, and passing kasbahs and gorges of legend, such as Ait Benhaddou, the Todra Gorge, and the Dades Valley. Learn more about Morocco’s four desert areas, which you will pass through along the trip.

Zagora and Merzouga serve as the Moroccan Sahara’s gateway towns. Zagora, amid the pre-Saharan Steppes, is approximately a seven-hour trip from Marrakech (223 miles/360 kilometers). The desert here is rough and has significantly smaller dunes, but it is certainly the better option if you have limited time.

Merzouga, on the other side, features the shifting orange sands and undulating dunes typical of the Sahara, but it is 350 miles (560 kilometers) from Marrakech. It takes about 10-13 hours to go from Marrakech to Merzouga, however some visitors choose to make overnight breaks in Ouarzazate and/or Dades/Tinghir along the way.

The simplest way to get from Marrakech to the Sahara is to join a private or group tour, but if you prefer to travel independently, you have several options, including private transfer, rental car, tourist bus, and even a helicopter/chartered flight in a single-engine propeller aircraft such as a Cirrus 22 SR.

By Private Tour

Duration: 2 days or longer.

The majority of people who visit the Sahara from Marrakech choose to take a tour, which includes transportation, stops to view fascinating sights along the way, lodging, a camel ride into the desert, and a night under the stars.

We particularly appreciate the 4-day Moroccan Desert Adventure from Marrakech and the 10-day Imperial Cities & Desert Grand Tour.

By Rental Car

Duration: 6+ hours to Zagora; 10+ hours to Merzouga (excluding pauses).
Recommended travel time: at least two days, including an overnight stay in Ouarzazate, Dades Valley, or Tinghir.

One of the greatest ways to visit Morocco is to rent a car and drive about. Although the traffic in Marrakech can be chaotic, and the drive over the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara can be frightening, it’s a lovely way to see the country, and you can stop for photos as frequently as you like!

You will first drive from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, Morocco’s ‘Hollywood’ and home of Ait Benhaddou. From here, you will travel one route to Zagora and the other to Merzouga.

If you’re headed to Merzouga, you’ll take the Road of 1000 Kasbahs through Draa Valley and Todra Gorge. If you have time, we recommend stopping in Ouarzazate, Dades Gorge, and/or Tinghir.

By Public Bus

Duration: 7+ hours to Zagora; 12.5+ hours to Merzouga (direct).

The alternative way to get from Marrakech to the Sahara is by bus. There are multiple daily departures to Zagora, but there is only one direct bus from Marrakech to Merzouga that takes 12.5 hours and arrives in the evening.

Although it gets you to Merzouga as quickly as possible (by bus, at least!), the tourist bus only stops for lunch and to stretch your legs en route, so you won’t be able to view any of the great sights along the way.

If you have time, you can stop for a night or two along the way and catch the next bus the next day. We recommend staying in Ouarzazate to visit Ait Benhaddou and tour the movie studios, as well as spending the night in Dades Gorge or Tinghir (Todra Gorge) to see the gorges, lush green oases, and abandoned Berber settlements.

The bus to Merzouga arrives late, so most tourists spend the night there before venturing out to the Sahara the next afternoon. If you reserve your stay ahead of time, several hotels and auberges will pick you up from the bus terminal for free.

STAY IN A NOMADIC TENT IN THE SAHARA DESERT IN MOROCCO

Staying in a desert camp in the Sahara is the best way to have a true desert experience. Many of these desert communities are situated in the middle of the desert. The customary style of life in the desert has evolved slightly throughout time. In Morocco’s desert regions, you may expect to encounter many camps, each with its unique design and infrastructure. Camps are often sophisticated, with a central campfire pit and a restaurant tent. Bedouin camps are often continuous tents equipped with beds, power, and facilities. The bathrooms in the simple campgrounds are separated.

DAY TRIPS BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR VISIT TO THE SAHARA DESERT MOROCCO

Grab the chance to enjoy the full of your time in Morocco by going on a great day trip before or after your Visit the Sahara desert Morocco:

OTHER FAQs OF HOW TO VISIT THE SAHARA DESERT MOROCCO

The tour from Marrakech to Merzouga desert will take 3 days.

Yes, you could skip tjhe camel ride, and then you go in 4×4 car acrossing the dunes to the camp without any additional charge.

The distance between Marrakech and Merzouga desert is approximately 560 kilometers (350 miles).

The best time to take the tour is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to December) when the weather is pleasant. Summers can be hot, and winters can be cold in the desert.

Transportation for the tour is provided by a comfortable air-conditioned 4×4 vehicle, or Minibus, depending on the number of travelers.

It is recommended to pack comfortable clothing, including lightweight and breathable clothes for the daytime and warm layers for the cooler evenings in the desert. Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, comfortable shoes. Don’t forget your camera or phone to capture the stunning landscapes.

Yes, camel rides are a popular activity during the 3 days desert tour from Marrakech. You will have the opportunity to ride a camel and experience the traditional mode of transportation in the desert.

Yes, the desert is known for its clear skies and lack of light pollution, making it an excellent place for stargazing. On a clear night, you can witness a stunning display of stars in the desert sky.

Yes, we offer the option to extend the tour or customize the itinerary according to your preferences. You can discuss your requirements with us to make suitable arrangements.

BEST MOROCCO SAHARA DESERT TOURS

Contact Us For Any Inquiries