Explore the vast horizon surrounded by sand, marvel at dawn and sunset colors, enjoy the blanket of stars at night, and find calm in profound stillness. Would you want to have your own Arabian Nights story? All of this is attainable by visiting the Merzouga Desert, namely the Erg Chebbi dunes – “erg” in Arabic translates to a sea of wind-swept sand.

The Merzouga Desert, located 20 kilometers from the Algerian border and part of Morocco’s Sahara area, is one of the best locations to visit in Morocco. Come explore it!

What is there to do in the Merzouga Desert?

If you have a few days to spare after seeing Fez or Marrakesh, don’t pass up the opportunity to discover Merzouga firsthand.

Discover the town of Merzouga.

From a distance, the adobe dwellings in Merzouga seem to melt into the sand. Despite its tiny size, the hamlet is well-equipped with hotels, riads, and restaurants providing traditional Moroccan cuisine to ensure a pleasant visit. We propose visiting the settlement during the day and departing after nightfall, leaving your comfortable accommodations behind to spend the night in a tent at one of the desert campgrounds. It’s the most effective method to ensure a really memorable encounter!

Trips to Erg Chebbi by camel or Merzouga 4×4.
There are numerous methods to go over the Merzouga dunes, and your decision depends depend on the sort of experience you want.

Exploring the desert on the back of a dromedary is one of the most popular excursions in Merzouga from February to November. It’s better to leave as the sun sets so you may sleep in a tent beneath the stars, which is ideal if you’re traveling as a couple seeking for romantic activities in Morocco. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, the camps and tents provide all of the amenities you might need, including a traditional meal to the backdrop of Moroccan music and a shower to wash away any dust. Don’t forget to bring a big handkerchief (necessary in case of a sandstorm) and a jacket to keep you warm during two of the most crucial times of your trip: sunset and dawn, when the desert exposes its full variety of lights, colors, and shadows.

Individuals with a penchant for exhilarating experiences and a preference for fast-paced 4×4 activities may find it noteworthy that this particular region of the Moroccan Sahara Desert serves as the setting for the Merzouga Rally, a renowned Moroccan rally, and a former section of the illustrious Dakar Rally. What are some nearby attractions to Merzouga?

You might consider exploring the villages and regions surrounding Merzouga if you have the time:

The Khamlia

Khamlia is a thirty-minute drive from Merzouga by vehicle. With fewer than 400 residents, this tranquil village possesses a strong sense of community. Khamlia is inhabited in a harmonious manner by Berbers who reside in the desert and a black minority who are descended from African slaves transported to other continents. As a result, gnawa, the indigenous music, was composed as a lament, a supplication to be chanted in the face of an unforeseeable future devoid of liberty. When in Khamlia, be enchanted by the ethereal qualities of these ancestral rituals and noises, which continue to hold immense significance for the local populace.

Srij Dayet Lake

Lake Dayet Srij is in close proximity to Merzouga (it is even possible to reach on foot, although there are no trees to provide shelter), and it is only visible from June to September, during the wet season. Throughout this time, Lake Dayet Srij is at its most magnificent. The stark contrast between the hues of the arid dunes and the water, as well as the vast quantity of migratory birds that pause here to enhance this one-of-a-kind landscape, will astound you.

Golden Spiral, Stairway to Heaven, and City of Orion

In the Martha massif, three architectural structures rise in the midst of the desert and are representative of the Land Art movement. Unexpected, photogenic, and evocative, it is highly recommended that you visit an instance of this artistic style, which incorporates natural elements into its creative process, if you happen to be in the vicinity.

Kohl M’Fis deposits

These antiquated, French-operated lead and baryte mines continue to function and serve as an additional point of interest in the area. They are referred to as the Kohl mines because lead is used to produce this valuable substance used in cosmetics. The mines, situated 7 kilometers from Merzouga, are accessible on foot or by mule along a path that passes through desolate terrain, barren vegetation, and dunes that are emblematic of the region.

The Taouz

Twenty minutes by vehicle separate Merzouga and Taouz, a hamada situated atop a promontory in the desert’s stony region. Its adobe structures distinguish it from the horizon, but its immense geological wealth—minerals, fossils, archaeological remains, prehistoric murals, and even a pre-Islamic necropolis—is what truly sets this region apart.

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