Can you go into the desert from Marrakech?
Yes, you can travel from Marrakech into the desert. Marrakech is a popular starting point for desert excursions in Morocco, and there are several ways to reach the desert from the city. The three most well-known desert destinations that are accessible from Marrakech are the Sahara Desert, the Zagora Desert, and the Agafay Desert although the latter is not a true desert but rather a rocky desert-like landscape.
- Sahara Desert: To visit the Sahara Desert, you’ll need to take a longer journey, typically by road. Popular destinations within the Sahara Desert accessible from Marrakech include Merzouga and Zagora. The journey to Merzouga, for example, is quite long and can take around 10-12 hours by car or bus, so most travellers choose to break up the journey with overnight stays in places like Ouarzazate, the Dades Valley, or Todra Gorge.
- Agafay Desert: The Agafay Desert is much closer to Marrakech, and you can reach it in about an hour’s drive. It offers a desert-like experience with its rocky terrain and unique landscapes. Many tours and excursions are available from Marrakech to the Agafay Desert, often including activities like camel rides, quad biking, and stargazing.
- Zagora Desert: Zagora is a bit closer to Marrakech, and the drive takes around 6-7 hours. While the dunes in Zagora are smaller compared to those in Merzouga, it’s a good option if you have limited time. Several tours offer desert excursions from Marrakech to Zagora.
When planning a trip from Marrakech to the desert, booking a tour or hiring a reputable guide and travel company is recommended, as they can provide transportation, accommodations, and a better understanding of the desert environment. Whether you choose to visit the Sahara Desert or the Agafay Desert, you can experience the unique beauty and culture of Morocco’s desert regions.
Quick links for the most booked Marrakech desert tours: