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7+ Best Things to See on a Sahara Desert tour in Morocco

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One of my favourite experiences by far when visiting Morocco was a Sahara Desert Adventure.

Riding through the many sand dunes by camel was certainly a childhood dream come true.

My trip included an overnight stay in a Berber camp which provided great insight into their culture; we drank Berber whiskey (mint tea), ate traditional cuisine and played music through the night and then slept under the stars.

There were many highlights to the desert tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is spending a few days in Marrakesh.

Plus, it’s really cheap. My tour cost around £30 which is peanuts for what you get at that price.  I’ll provide a break down what’s in store for you below;

1. The Atlas Mountains

As you zig-zag through the desert track and wind up the mountain you are greeted by the most incredible views!

The High Atlas Mountains were an incredible sight that is a must-see when visiting Morocco. They seem to go on forever.

You’ll most likely visit in the morning and if it’s going to be a sunny day you can quite literally see the sun burning away the clouds to reveal their beauty.

Your bus should stop off for some picture opportunities and I would definitely jump off and take full advantage.

Warning: if you do suffer from travel sickness I would take precaution as the ride up the mountains is pretty wild!

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2. Aït Benhaddou

Recently featured in Game of Thrones (Khaleesi’s kingdom), Aït Benhaddou has always been a popular choice for Hollywood. 

Most famously, Gladiator was filmed here and when you’re being shown around your tour guide will make sure you know it! As you tour around the complex, you’ll find little alley ways and shops to explore.

Make sure if you’re offered the opportunity to climb all the way to the top for the best views! Bring plenty of water – It’s a sun trap!

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3. Ride a Camel through the Sahara Desert

Personally, Camels are one of my all-time favourite animals. I love their arrogant nature! So, I was more than excited to get on and ride through the dunes.

However, I understand that this isn’t for everyone. If you are anxious about riding the camel, ask your tour operator to keep an eye and help you out with getting on the saddle.

It is important to sit right on the saddle as sitting wrong could be extremely painful.

Before you arrive to meet your camels your tour guide will give you the opportunity to buy a scarf to protect you from sand storms. I would advise to take them up on it – they know what they’re doing!

It will save your mouth and hair from collecting sand and it’s a nifty souvenir to take home. Ask your guide to give you a hand in making it authentic!

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4. Sleep in a Berber Camp

When you arrive at the camp, you will be invited to eat Berber Tagine, sip mint tea, tell stories and play music well into the night.

You will be allocated a tent to sleep in with all the bedding provided or you can choose to sleep under the stars. One of the things that surprised me most was that they had porcelain toilets with running water!

I was a little disappointed with this as it made for a less authentic experience but for some this may be a dream come true I’m sure.

When you arrive at the camp, it will be almost sunset and so you won’t be able to see much of where you are and your surroundings.

But, when you wake up in the morning for your Berber brekkie it will take your breath away when you realise where you are. Surrounded by desert with nothing for miles around. Paradise.

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5. Find an Oasis

There are many Oasis’ on your way back through the desert and each tour guide will stop at different ones depending on the route their taking.

But, whichever one that they will take to, make sure you get out the bus for a photo opportunity and snap it – they are beautiful to look at.

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6. Crazy Canyons

When you make you’re way back to Marrakesh you will see some of the many canyons including this one near Ouarzazate.

It has such beautiful colours running through the layers of rock and stretches as far as the eye can see.

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7. The Weird and the Wonderful

All the way through the desert tour there were weird and wonderful sights which made for an interesting journey. 

Around every corner, there were moments to capture and I wouldn’t miss a single one of them.

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Final Words…

The Sahara Desert was probably one of my favourite tours to date and comes highly recommended.

Personally, I didn’t book in advance and booked through one of the many tour operators which are located in and around the Djemaa el Fna and/or the souks.

Alternatively, your hotel will be able to book you on a tour but it may come with a commission fee so it all depends on your budget.

If you have 3 days I would try and get a tour which goes deeper into the Sahara Desert but if you have just 2 days an overnight stay in Zagora is perfect and you won’t regret it.

Bring bug spray and make sure you wash your clothes thoroughly on return. Trust me, desert mites can attack at any point!

Heading to Morocco? Read more of my articles!

The ultimate 2 weeks in Morocco itinerary

The top things I wish I knew before travelling to Morocco

What to wear in Morocco as a woman

Solo female travel tips for Morocco

Top things to do in Essaouira

A complete guide for Fes

Trying a Camel Burger in Morocco

Visiting the Golden Doors of Fez Royal Palace

How to avoid scams at Fez Tannery

The best Riad in Fes

Is Riad Fes worth the price tag?

Top places to visit in Chefchaouen

Mustapha

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Wow a Great Desert Experience, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed your Trip in Morocco. We hope to have a chance to host you in Erg Chebbi Merzouga desert and try Camel ride in the biggest dunes of Morocco;

Sophie Pearce

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Thank you, Sophie x

Tom

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Great visite to our Sahara desert, IM happy to hear that you like our place. hope to have the chance to host you in desert next time all best for you

Sophie Pearce

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Hi Tom, thanks so much for your feedback! Yes, it was the best! Sophie x

mark

Saturday 9th of May 2020

Amazing travel experience and notes , did visit Essaouira and Blue Kaouki Beach ?

Sophie Pearce

Saturday 9th of May 2020

Thank you for your kind words, yes I did visit Essaouira! But Not Blue Kaouki Beach, I'll have to save that one for next time. Thanks, Sophie x

Rafaela Olivares

Monday 23rd of March 2020

I really liked reading your article. I found your blog from a friend. Keep writing, you are doing a great job.

Sophie Pearce

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Hi Rafaela, thanks for getting in touch! I'm so happy your friend brought you here! I'm glad you liked the post. Sophie x

Isabela

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

Hi! Do you have a guide or a company, you would recomend to do the desert trip with?

Sophie Pearce

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Hi Isabela, I would recommend Marrakesh Desert Trips https://www.marrakech-desert-trips.com ! Sophie x

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