Wandering through the endlessly dunes of the Sahara desert will satisfy almost every adventurous spirit. A place full of mystery, beauty and unbroken silence that stretches over 11 countries. For many travelers who plan to visit Morocco, the Sahara desert is on top of their bucket list.
In this guide you can read the ins and outs on planning a trip to the Sahara Desert.
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What desert tour should you pick?
When you search the internet you will find out that there are many companies organizing desert tours. To make sure it fits in your travel itinerary we would recommend you to book your tour a few weeks in advance. Most tour companies start in Fez or Marrakech.
We planned our desert tour from Marrakech to Merzouga with GetYourGuide and the trip took us three days.
One of the reasons why we would recommend to plan your tour in advance is because a tour to the desert will take you three days of your itinerary. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of driving involved, but the amazing sceneries and dynamic landscapes will make it worth it.
What to wear in the Sahara desert, Morocco
The circumstances in the Sahara can vary a lot. The best way to prepare yourself for a trip to the dunes of Erg Chebbi is to wear layers. Choose comfortable clothes with a loose fitting and don’t forget to bring a scarf and a hat.
TIP: Don’t mind to take an extra sweater or jacket, when the sun sets the temperature drops rapidly. That extra piece of clothing could be just what you needed for the night.
TIP: Take sunglasses to protect your eyes from potential sand stirrin up from a breeze.
The road to the Sahara, Erg Chebbi
As mentioned above most tours will take around three days of traveling. Gladly the road to the dunes of Erg Chebbi will bring you along many fascinating sceneries. See our route for the places where we stopped.
MARRAKECH - Atlas Mountains - Ait Ben Haddou - Ouarzazate - Tinghir Oase - Dades Valley - Todra Gorge - Erg Chebbi - sahara desert
Once you see the road signs change to a camel instead of a car, you know it is almost time to start your desert adventure.
Why should you visit the Sahara desert
We live in a world where we get distracted almost all of the time. A trip to the Sahara can be a little getaway escape and gives you the opportunity to experience calmness you never did before. With a surface of 9.4 million square kilometers and a sea of sand surrounding you, you will feel peace and experience complete silence.
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While experiencing this beautiful landscape you will have a strong connection with nature. Leave your phone in the bedouin camp and spend time with the people around you. It can feel so good walking the dunes while having no sense of time.
TIP: don’t go too far away from your camp.
Chasing the sunset
Once the sun is below the horizon, you will be treated with a broad palette of colors. With the light changing, look for a dune and let the beauty soak in. The scenery will charm you even more when the dunes turn warmer and warmer.
Sleeping in a bedouin camp, Sahara desert
After a day of exploring the magical dunes of the Sahara, it is great to experience staying at a traditional Bedouin camp. Just like with the desert tours, there are endless possibilities. We preferred traditional over luxury to look and feel how the nomads live.
Once the sun went down we got treated with a tasteful tajine while enjoying the local berber drums.
While the drums continued in the tent we walked barefoot among the desert dunes to find a spot to sit down. With sand covering our feet, insignificant in the universe, we were surrounded by the brightest sky we ever experienced. In almost complete silence we witnessed a sea of bright stars in the night sky.
An out of this world experience.
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Sunrise in the desert dunes
Once you see the golden light reflect on the beautiful desert landscape you realize that waking up early isn’t that bad. Heading back to the civilized world by camel while enjoying your last glimpse of Sahara beauty is an experience worth waking up early for.
After experiencing the magical Sahara, you are ready to find out the rest of the beauty Morocco has to offer. And don’t forget to let us know you think in the comments.