When you think of Morocco, there is a high chance that images of palm oases, crumbling kasbahs, and Saharan dunes will come to mind. The emblematic landscapes of the south, bounded by the High Atlas Mountains to the north and the nation’s borders to the south, are home to some of Morocco’s most scenic regions and some of the country’s most interesting experiences. In a land of many highlights, spending the night in a Saharan camp, either at Erg Chebbi or Erg Chegaga, ranks very high on the list of “must see” experiences. The Ait Benhaddou Ksour, the Draa Valley and the Todra and Dades Gorges, serve as interesting places to visit during any desert trip and further emphasise that the south of Morocco is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.


Skoura is an oasis town in the south of Morocco populated with ancient palm trees and abundant ruined kasbahs. It is a great base for the exploring the fragrant Rose Valley where Morocco’s sweet-smelling roses are cultivated and the gardens and winding, picturesque alleyways of the Skoura oasis make a perfect environment to discover on foot, or by bike. The oasis, that sits in the shadow of the High Atlas Mountains, is a maze of mud villages, palm groves, jeep roads and pathways through farmers’ fields, orchards and olive groves. The charm of the area has attracted a number of foreigners to settle in the area, many of whom have set up small, stylish, guest houses with pleasant gardens and characteristic architecture….


The Jebel Zireg is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for an adventure away from the crowds: isolated and starkly beautiful, you can explore and enjoy the golden sand dunes, rest under the shade of acacia trees and marvel at the centuries-old, nomadic way of life. This windswept range of dunes and mountains lies between Zagora and Merzouga and is best explored as part of a wild 4×4 journey through the south of the country. Different in character to Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga, and considerably less frequented by visitors, the dramatic mix of sand and rock of the Zireg gives the place a scenic charm of its own. Options for overnight stays include a private luxury camp and a shared camp facilities.


Unlike the sandy, red dunes found in Saharan deserts further south, the Agafay Desert is a barren, stony wilderness – a stunning location only 40km from Marrakech, overlooked by the jagged peaks of the High Atlas. It’s perfect for outdoor activities such as quad biking or for a peaceful retreat from the red city. Although Agafay can be considered an excellent compromise for those seeking a desert experience without the long miles of travel, the destination is wholly justified in its own right, particularly in winter when the low barren hills of the desert are framed dramatically by the jaw-dropping panorama of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains.


Date palms, centuries-old kasbahs and an ancient way of life – all this and more to discover in the beautiful and fertile Draa Valley set between Ouarzazate and the Sahara. A great area for hiking or biking or simply relaxing in the palmeries as you travel to or from the desert regions. In and around the town of Agdz, a number of charming guest houses provide excellent overnight stay options. Most offer stunning gardens surrounded by a decor of ancient date palms, and encircled by the crumbling ruins of ancient civilisations. When the river is in spate it provides an exceptionally scenic setting, set against a backdrop of anvil-shaped, raw, mountains.


This stunning UNESCO world-heritage site is a must-see location in Morocco. The centuries-old fortified settlement, set on a low hill against the backdrop of the High Atlas mountains, has been the setting of numerous films and it still never fails to impress. An unforgettable destination in the south of Morocco, the kasbah is best seen en route to or from the desert, and is best combined with the Ounila Valley and the impressive Telouet Kasbah to the north. There are a number of excellent places to stay close to the kasbah, or you may consider continuing the relatively short distance to Skoura to stay overnight there.


Experience the Sahara at the Erg Chebbi dunes which offer stunning scenery and glorious isolation in equal measure. Camel riding and hiking are great ways to discover this sandy landscape and, as the sun sets and rises again, witness the fiery sky in all its unforgettable glory. As with all of Morocco’s most spectacular desert locations, we recommend that you spend the night in the dunes, at either a fixed camp with other guests or in a completely privatised, luxury set-up, on the quiet and remote eastern side of the mighty dunes.


As you travel through Morocco don’t miss Erg Chegaga in the south, a dramatic snapshot of the truly awesome Sahara. High golden dunes, remote and tranquil camps, camel trekking and beautiful wide skies all await you here. Less accessible than the dunes of Erg Chebbi, but hence more adventurous in nature, Chegaga combines dunes, oases, table top mountains and the mighty Iriki salt flats. The area is best explored as a 4×4 “traverse” of the region from the frontier town of M’hamid to the bustling settlement of Foum Zgid. From here you can either continue to the remote oases and coastlines of the south-west or arc back up to the High Atlas, by way of the dramatic Anti-Atlas Mountains.


Foum Tizza’s stunning yellow dunes and dark rocks are both remote and wild yet also accessible – perfect for an experience of the Sahara. With fossil fields and barren beauty, this is also a great overnight location and one that not a lot of people know about! The area is home to our favourite acacia tree, one that lives alone, clinging to the windswept peak of one of the sand dunes. Situated close to the town of Tazzarine and within easy reach of the Draa Valley, Foum Tizza’s dunes are the closest to Marrakech, making them a good proposition for those who are more short of time but want to experience the Sahara Desert.

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