If you want to go on Morocco desert tours from Marrakech Merzouga or Zagora, you have a lot of alternatives, which may be pretty complicated, to say the least. There is a lot of jargon thrown about – Zagora, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Sahara – and it might be difficult to understand if you are unfamiliar with Moroccan geography.
I spent a lot of time studying the finest desert excursions from Marrakech to Merzouga and Zagora, which is where I landed, while I was planning my vacation to Morocco. I ended up choosing a Sahara desert trip that, in the end, didn’t take me to the Sahara at all (most excursions don’t).
According to Wikipedia, the dunes I visited were part of the “semi-arid Pre-Saharan Steppes and not the Sahara desert, which lies some distance to the south.” Oops.
I spent a lot of time studying the best desert excursions from Marrakech, which is where I arrived, while I was planning my trip to Morocco. I picked a Sahara desert tour that did not take me to the Sahara at all in the end (most excursions do not).
The dunes I saw were part of the “semi-arid Pre-Saharan Steppes, not the Sahara desert Zagora Merzouga, which is some distance to the south,”
What the difference between Merzouga Desert than Zagora?
Here is the answer; you can do a lot of activities in Merzouga including:
- Quad bike
- Camel trekking
It’s not possible to do the majority of these activities in the Zagora desert, because there are no sand dunes there.
Quads in Merzouga
This Merzouga Quad bike experience allows you to drive on a powerful moto quad across the Erg Chebbi sand dunes and the stunning desert vistas that surround Merzouga Sahara. A once-in-a-lifetime trip!
Merzouga ATV Quad biking Adventures is a fantastic sport that combines the excitement of riding a quad bike while exploring the gorgeous Merzouga desert and Morocco’s largest Sahara desert, the Erg Chebbi dunes.
To ensure your ultimate adventure experience, we employ current Moto Quad Bike and equipment to ensure your great Merzouga Quad biking trip runs smoothly and allows you to test your bike talents!
Because your satisfaction is our priority goal at Merzouga Quad bike, with our very experienced staff, our clients should take their time during their Morocco Quad Adventure tours: time to ensure you have the right equipment, time to ensure you are comfortable with your Quad bike, time to create a trip to suit you, and time to enjoy the Merzouga Quad experience.
Here are some of the Merzouga Quad Biking highlights.
- Ride your own Moto Quad
- Discover the Sahara and the Erg Chebbi Dunes
- Experience the rush of racing a quad bike through sand dunes
Camel trekking in Merzouga desert
Merzouga Camel Trekking Trips are the greatest and most ideal camel rides in Morocco, offering the opportunity to sail on the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, Morocco’s tallest and most magnificent dunes. Spend a night or more sleeping beneath the stars in a well-equipped desert camp in the heart of the Sahara Desert.
Despite the fact that it offers a variety of sports such as ATV Quad Biking, buggy driving, and 4×4 excursions… The unmatched Merzouga Camel Trekking Tours given by this location are the most subtle desert experience that will encourage you to visit the area. Merzouga appears to be the ideal place for staying and enjoying the beauty of the great environment because it is located on the outskirts of the Erg Chebbi dunes.
Merzouga desert is characterized by 250-meter-high hills rising from the sand. The Merzouga Sahara Big Dunes are the nearest to town and one of the most magnificent vistas.
Climbing these sand dunes is a thrilling desert adventure. However, if you want to look at the wind and wind-blown sand without being influenced by it, you could arrange a camel trekking trip in Erg Chebbi dunes (Merzouga Desert) and then ride into the desert on the back of a camel. The finest times to visit the dunes are around dusk and sunrise.
The stunning sand dunes and dancing shadows of the sun along the Erg Chebbi Sahara Desert’s sand dunes are simply amazing. Along the back of beauty, these sand dunes will undoubtedly transport you to a movie or tens of years in the past. It is a surreal experience for visitors and adventurers visiting Merzouga.
We give the best Merzouga camel trekking trips and camping in the vicinity without any difficulty, so all you have to do is enjoy your Sahara camel adventure.
Sandboarding in Merzouga not Zagora
You should try sandboarding in Morocco near Merzouga, among the tallest sand dunes on the Erg Chebbi. Sandboarding is a board activity in Merzouga that involves riding through or down dunes while standing with both feet linked to the board. Sandboarding is a fantastic way to explore Merzouga’s sand dunes. All of our Morocco desert experiences involve sandboarding on the Erg-Chebbi dunes.
Sandboarding Merzouga has grown in popularity in recent years. Sandboarding may appear to experienced snowboarders and skiers to be a piece of cake.
Despite the fact that the sand is soft and warm, sandboarding entails ascending high dunes and blasting down at speeds of up to 50 mph! Sandboarding experiences are frequently combined with camel trekking, stargazing, and camping in the Merzouga desert dunes.
Sandboarding in Merzouga is a fantastic way to experience the sand dunes of Merzouga in a unique way. You may enjoy sliding down the desert sand dunes on your board after you arrive at our desert camp near one of the largest sand dunes.
Sandboarding Erg Chebbi Morocco
Do you want to try something new in one of the world’s most beautiful places? At Merzouga, try your hand at sandboarding, a favorite pastime for visitors eager to get their adrenaline pumping.
Sandboarding, also known as sand surfing in Merzouga, is a popular Merzouga activity. Going on a desert adventure tour is one of the most exciting things to do in Merzouga.
Sandboarding is included in many Erg-Chebbi desert itineraries. As you glide along with it, feel the softness of the golden sand between your hands. Merzouga sandboarding should be at the top of your Erg-Chebbi bucket list!
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MERZOUGA DUNES SANDBOARDING IN MOROCCO
- Erg-dunes Chebbi’s are beautiful.
- Guaranteed lowest pricing.
- Seeing the sunset or dawn while sandboarding.
- Sliding down a desert dune’s slopes.
- It is optional to ride camels to the tallest dune.
- A distinct desert adventure sport.
Morocco Desert Tour: Merzouga vs. Zagora
These magnificent Moroccan sand dunes with camels and luxurious tents may have caught your eye on Instagram. They have the ability to appear dreamy. However, don’t be fooled: not every desert tour operator will take you there, as each desert camp has its own distinct appearance.
You’ll discover hundreds of tour companies offering desert trips ranging from one to three nights anywhere you go in Marrakech or search online, and the variety of possibilities might be bewildering.
Morocco Desert Tours Merzouga or Zagora
One thing to keep in mind with Moroccan desert excursions is that there are two separate desert areas: Merzouga and Zagora.
Because the majority of journeys begin in Marrakesh, bear in mind that going to any desert location in Morocco will take a lengthy time. And when I say a long period, I mean a very long time.
Different Types of Desert Trips
1 Day Tour
The one-day tour is for visitors who only have a limited amount of time and wish to see some sand dunes in the desert. You shouldn’t expect to see any massive sand dunes. You’ll be escorted to a desert area near the city and given the opportunity to ride a camel. I would normally advise avoiding doing this tour, but it is entirely up to you!
Consider a morning hot-air balloon trip if you merely want to ride camels and see the Atlas Mountains from above. This is a great opportunity that is far superior to a one-day desert trip.
Tour of 2 Days and 1 Night
The 6.5-hour drive will take you to the Zagora desert on the 2 days tour from Marrakech to Zagora desert. You’ll stop at Ouarzazate to view the town of Ait Benhaddou and Atlas Film Studios on the way back. While you will sleep in the desert and ride camels, you will not see any golden sand dunes.
Tour of 3 Days and 2 Nights
Typically, a 3 days desert tour from Marrakech to Merzouga will place you in a hotel for the first night to break up a 10-hour journey before continuing on to the Erg Chebbi dunes (Merzouga). You’ll see the same sights as on a shorter vacation, but you’ll have more time to spend at each attraction. Merzouga offers various campgrounds of varying grades, although, unlike Zagora, glamping tents with private functional showers and toilets are available.
How to Plan a Desert tours in Morocco with a local travel agency
If you wish to plan ahead of time, you can simply book a tour with Unique Desert Tour. This way, you can be confident that you’ll be able to accomplish it on specific days.
Morocco Desert Tour Cost Merzouga or Zagora
The cost of a desert itinerary in Morocco is determined by the tour you choose and the quality of your camp. Some 3-day excursions may be as low as $270, however, they normally do not include lunch. If you want to clamp, I’d suggest $300 to $400 per person, including transportation, which is a decent price.
Morocco Zagora Desert
Zagora is a desert in Morocco’s southernmost region. While it is a desert, it is a dry stone desert, so don’t expect to see any spectacular sand dunes. Because Zagora camps are often low-cost, comparable to those in Oman, bathroom facilities will be shared.
To be honest, I haven’t come across a camp with a functional shower, although this may have changed recently since new sites sprout up like mushrooms after rain.
We had to bring all of our belongings with us and attach them to our fluffy vehicle after arriving at a camel camp. Because I was unaware of this, I ended up putting all of my belongings in plastic bags, giving the impression that I had gone shopping on a camel. It’s rather ludicrous.
We arrived at our night’s camp after another hour of camel riding. Apart from chit-chat chats with locals, there wasn’t much going on, but I was delighted to get the opportunity to play with 3-week-old kittens.
An evening was spent eating chicken tagine, listening to our guides perform Berber music, and playing with desert kittens I found in the main tent.
The tents were quite basic and cold at night. I ended up sleeping in my clothes, covered by a blanket, but the sand crept inside. I tried to see the stars at night, but because the camp isn’t too far away from towns, I didn’t see any.
Morocco Merzouga Desert
The Erg Chebbi dunes at Merzouga, which stretch for 22 kilometers and are 5 kilometers wide, are a remarkable anomaly in the generally flat and rocky desert that defines the Moroccan side of the Sahara Desert. If you’re seeking a sandy desert, Merzouga is the place to go.
Even the more budget-friendly choices in Merzouga are more focused on offering a customized experience than a mass encounter. As a result, no huge camel collecting sites or large groups of people riding camels together exist. Other places are close by, but due to the dunes’ size, we only saw people from afar.
We’re driven to the camp, unlike in Zagora, so I could bring even my small suitcase in and not look like I just returned from a camel shopping trip.
Each individual tent has its own bathroom, complete with a functional shower (in the desert!) and an electric fan. After everyone had unpacked, it was time to board a camel and ‘drive’ about the area before dusk and dinner tagine.
I had time in the morning to do more sandboarding and even ride a camel again on request, simply because we needed more shots. With only 6 other individuals staying at the camp, we were free to do anything we pleased.
Places to See on the Way to the Desert in Morocco
Both destinations Zagora or Merzouga will allow you to stop at several intriguing locations and immerse yourself in Berber culture. The majority of these locations are in the Ouarzazate region.
Ait Benhaddou Village
Because it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ait Benhaddou is generally the first destination on every trip. It’s a mud-brick town in the Atlas Mountains that has appeared in several TV shows and films. Once you see it, you’ll know it from a variety of shows and movies, including Game of Thrones, Queen of the Desert, Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Babel, and many more.
After speaking with the locals, I discovered that the majority of the residents work as extras in movies all the time, and the town changes for each film. In fact, they created a different entrance to the village for Lawrence of Arabia since the original one was unpleasant on the big screen. The phony one has never actually performed the job of an entryway.
You may meet one of the painters who create these stunning traditional paintings with saffron, tea, indigo, water, and an open flame. Alternatively, have some Moroccan mint tea while perched atop the kasbah (small village).
The Valley of Dades
Dades Valley, popularly known as the Valley of Roses, is another stop along the trip. Rose petals are very significant for Morocco’s export because they generate rose oil, which functions similarly to Moroccan argan oil. An argan tree is easily identified since it has goats on it!
The entire valley smells like roses, so remember to lower your windows if you’re driving. I ended up buying a bottle of rose water and spritzing it on Matt. While he first despised it, he later confessed that it helps and smoothes your skin.
Atlas Film Productions
Atlas Film Studios is where all of the film magic takes place. There are several movie sequences featured, including a massive ancient Egypt from Cleopatra and Asterix and Obelix (sidenote: Matt had no idea what it was!). I’m not sure whether it was ever popular in the United States, but these comic books are huge in Europe.)
Visiting Atlas was odd to me because I was expecting something similar to my Warner Bros Studios tour. But the truth is just the reverse. You may wait for a tour at specific times to hear what a guide has to say about each location, however… You may also go around on your own, touching everything, playing on set, and filming everything. Matt and I even made a little film for fun!
The crimson city of Marrakech
Morocco’s “City of Light” or “Red City,” Marrakech, is the country’s most famous tourist attraction. In other words, 99 percent of tourists who visit the country never miss the opportunity to visit Marrakech and explore its streets. The city’s name is taken from the Berber phrase “Amur N Ukosh,” which translates as “God’s Land.” Various petty Berber tribes originally arrived in the city before it became an important place and assumed control of the entire nation as its capital around the year 1147.
Marrakech is a fantastic city where many different cultures and colors meet. On the Marrakech to Fes desert trip, you will see several interesting sights and attractions: A one-week trip from Marrakech to Merzouga. The first stop is Jamaa El Fna Square, which was formerly a meeting spot for people to assemble, create circles, and tell stories. People from all across Morocco now attend the area, whether to display their abilities or to sell various things, as its popularity has spread around the world. Going upstairs to a café and looking down on the plaza from above is the nicest thing to do in this region; the views are beautiful with lights and varied entertainment.
Second, as is generally known, Morocco features some of the world’s greatest mosque towers. The Koutoubia tower in Marrakech, built by the Almoravids in 1147, is one of the finest specimens of Moroccan architecture. In addition, both the Majorelle and Menara gardens are worth seeing since they convey different stories. Jacques Majorelle, for example, owns the Majorelle garden, which he spent 40 years building.
We drive 30 kilometers to the city of Ouarzazate after viewing the lovely Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. To begin understanding the city and its history, the term Ouarzazate must be defined. The word is divided into two parts: “Ouar” and “Zazate.” The first word means “without,” and the second part means “noise,” implying that it is an area or city free of noise. Because it is the only city in the south with an international airport, many travelers have begun their Morocco desert trips from here in recent years. Many refer to it as the “Gateway to the Sahara desert Merzouga and Zagora” since it lies midway between Marrakech and the Sahara desert.
The Atlas Studios, one of the city’s two main attractions, should not be missed when visiting Ouarzazate. The Oscar and CLA Atlas studios are around 7 kilometers (5 to 7 kilometers) from Ouarzazate’s downtown. They are the key venues for filming or renting goods for the crew. The Oscar studios, on the other hand, are more popular with tourists since there are more things to see there, such as automobiles made of wood and massive sculptures that transport you to Egypt.
Many individuals are unsure that the world’s largest and most powerful concentrated solar power plant facility is located in Ouarzazate. This illustrates the significance of solar and nonpolluting energy in Morocco. In addition, Ouarzazate is home to one of the greatest and largest Kasbahs in the world, which is shaped like a maze. Despite the fact that it is seldom visited by visitors, its huge walls, towers, and roughly 300 rooms give stunning vistas.
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