Morocco Desert, Magical Natural Treasure

The landscapes in the Morocco desert are beautiful and varied, but do you know the surrounding cities? Each one is interesting and has a lot to offer. So, before you ride a dromedary through the dunes, take the time to learn about these places’ charms.

What deserts are there in Morocco?

Morocco is home to several deserts, including the Sahara Desert, which covers a large part of the country, as well as other smaller deserts such as the Zagora Desert, the Chegaga Desert, and the Merzouga Desert. The Sahara is the most famous and largest desert in Morocco and in the world, covering around 30% of the country’s total land area.

The Agafay Desert

Located about 30 kilometers south of Marrakech, also called the “Marrakchi Desert,” the Agafay Desert offers, over several hundred hectares, a set of white dunes that strongly resemble sand dunes.

This Reg, desert of stones and rocks, offers an immense, arid, and lunar landscape; however, illuminated by an oasis that appears as if from nowhere, it is called the enchanted Oasis. Landscape with a succession of whitish undulations, the Desert of Agafay remains a great site to discover at the gates of the ocher city of Morocco, the beautiful Marrakech.

The Agafay desert, where silence reigns supreme and where nestled in the hollow of this arid valley, is the enchanted Oasis populated by eucalyptus, olive, and vines, which, thanks to a nearby wadi, ideal habitat for frogs and turtles, thrive easily.

With surprising visions and magnificent panoramas, it is possible to sleep in a Amazightent or in a guest room, it is possible to explore this universe according to your wishes, by Buggy, on horseback, according to your desires, and even fly over this desert, the Agafay Desert which is worth the detour.


A small village at the gates of the desert, Merzouga owes its fame to the high dunes of Erg Chebbi, which extends to its edge. A lofty place of adventure tourism in Morocco, the dunes of Merzouga are a popular destination for travelers looking for a complete immersion in the heart of a desert environment as impressive as it is breathtaking.

Located in the southeast of Morocco, 50 km from Erfoud, the arrival in the village of Merzouga has a nice surprise for you. After crossing superb varied landscapes, you are faced with an unforgettable panorama: the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Depending on your arrival time, they will be draped in a yellow or ocher color, which will change throughout the day.

As soon as you arrive in Merzouga, you will immediately be immersed in another universe. The Saharouis, the famous blue men with the indigo blue cheich, welcome you. The camel drivers and their dromedaries too!

Here you are immersed in the inert atmosphere of a Saharan village focused on desert tourism.

A Tourist Site in Perpetual Expansion

Merzouga’s dunes have many places to stay, and the number of tourist attractions constantly expands. Traditional bivouacs beneath Amazightents or luxurious campgrounds constructed up in the desert are available at luxury hotels, beautiful hotels, hostels, and various travel firms., with starry nights and a nomadic atmosphere. Merzouga can’t let you down!

The activities are diverse and varied, from the traditional camel ride, or camel trek over several days, one or more nights in the heart of the desert, to more sporty hiking, Buggy or 4X4, motorcycle or quad, to raise the adrenaline, down the dunes on skis or even paragliding, surfing, sledding, everything is possible!

The Legend of Merzouga

Since time immemorial, the region’s elders have told the legend of Merzouga and the formation of Erg Chebbi. There she is :

Long ago, wealthy families in the village of Merzouga lived in luxury and behaved amorally. They washed their hands with milk and played with food. One day during a party organized in the town, they refused to offer hospitality to a poor woman and her son.

Enraged by a behavior, God unleashed his wrath on these depraved families by releasing violent sandstorms. This divine punishment was of such force and ferocity that the village of Merzouga disappeared under high sand dunes. This is how the set of dunes of Erg Chebbi was born.

M’Hamid – Zagora

From Zagora, the Draa River plunges into the Sahara Desert. Its palm grove is gradually sparse while regs and hamadas follow one another before the sand takes hold of a landscape increasingly devoid of vegetation. Once you reach M’Hamid el Ghizlane, the palm grove disappears to give way to the desert. In this region, rich in contrasting landscapes, you can live some of the most beautiful experiences of the Moroccan desert.

A true hub of the desert, the city of Zagora marks the transition between the relative abundance of the palm grove and the drought of the desert. If the city is of no interest, its surroundings testify to the richness of the pre-Saharan culture of the region. Many travel agencies there will offer you hikes, treks, or nights in the desert.

Some camel treks start in Zagora, but most start further south in Tagounite, Ouled Driss, or M’hamid el Ghizlane.

The Erg Chiga dune massif is still the best place for desert tourism. Getting it takes work; it takes 50 km of trails. This is unique, and the area is bigger than 600 km2, so it’s a great place to see wild deer.

Erg Chegaga

Located west of M’Hamid El Ghizlane, the last town connected to the paved road after Zagora, Erg Chegaga is accessible after fifty kilometers of tracks between Reg and sand. Suffice it to say that only connoisseurs, like the famous “blue men” of the desert, will guide you perfectly through the desert tracks to reach the highest sand dunes in the region.

These dunes extend over forty kilometers in length and fifteen in width, located between Chegaga and Foum Zguid. Erg Chegaga is made up of several very intertwined ergs; the dunes for some reach up to 40 meters in height (i.e., a 16-story building) for a maximum altitude of 520 meters.

From M’Hamid, two possibilities are available to you to reach the Erg Chegaga, either for a few hours with an actual 4X4 vehicle and experienced guide, or for a circuit of about 4 days, a camel trek, with stops and mandatory bivouacs on the program, before being able to sleep in nomadic tents and/or under the starry sky, at the foot of the high dunes of Erg Chegaga.


It is interesting to visit the village of Tamegroute, located southeast of Zagora. It is a marvelous little village with a pottery craft cooperative made up of several artisans such as “carpenters, tanners, potters.”

This charming village housed the Zaouia Naciria, an old religious brotherhood; it was also a place of theological studies with a vast library that was used as an essential source of knowledge for Morocco and other African countries. There were about 40,000 volumes in Arabic, Persian, and Amazigh.

Over time the founders of the Zaouia Naciria decided to bring together several artisans who came mainly from Fez to launch the creation of the pottery that we know today.

Ksar of Tamnougalt

There is also the Ksar of Tamnougalt, built three centuries ago by the “Engage” family, personalities from the Makhzen, and including many caïds.

The sublime casbah is located on the edge of the fields on the left bank of the Oued Draâ.

This Ksar was also the capital of the Mezguida and the seat of the caid, who represented the whole area and the sutaln.

Sites that will undoubtedly interest lovers of architecture and history.

The Great South

Do you aspire to experience the great thrill in wild lands untouched by civilization? The Great South is made for you! Only small coastal enclaves are inhabited in this immense territory that leads to the Mauritanian border. Everywhere else, the desert is king!

You gradually plunge into the Sahara desert from the last foothills of the Anti-Atlas past. The further south you go, the rarer human settlements will be. Apart from a few coastal villages along National Road 1, once past Guelmim, you are in the middle of territory conducive to adventure raids.

Leave the tarmac and explore the tracks once frequented by Dakar. Go deep into the desert with a guide to discover the hidden wonders of the Moroccan Sahara. Ride on a dry lake. Stop overhanging a Sebkha to admire this spectacular geological formation. Camp a thousand miles from civilization. In the deep south, experience freedom with almost infinite possibilities.

The Oasis of Ouin Medkour

In the hinterland of Tan-Tan is a beautiful landscape still untouched by mass tourism: the Oasis of Ouin Medkour.

The Oasis of Ouin Medkour is 29 km northeast of Tan-Tan. It is in the middle of a pass that is home to the Nomads’ cemetery. It will require 22 kilometers of road and 7 kilometers of track to get there.

Taghjijt Palm Grove

An essential stopover on the road between Guelmim and Tata, the palm grove of Taghjijt is an oasis of greenery at the gates of the Sahara. Located in the heart of a semi-desert landscape fed throughout the year by springs, it is renowned throughout the Kingdom of Morocco for its succulent dates. Twenty square kilometers represents one of the rare arable lands exploited throughout the year in this region with low rainfall.

Khnifiss National Park

Created in 2006, Khnifiss National Park is located 200 km north of Laâyoune between TanTan and Tarfaya. Extending over a total area of ​​185,000 ha, the first Saharan Park in Morocco is a natural and biological place with immense tourist potential.

It is a mythical place where people can get close to Saharan animals and watch birds flying through the area. The Khnifiss National Park is the only place in the world where you can find the ocean, a desert, and a lagoon all in one place. In other words, a beautiful landscape, which is another wonderful thing about southern Morocco.

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