Morocco's environment is varied, ranging from enormous orange dunes to green valley oases to crashing waves along the coast. Still, the country is nearly synonymous with the desert, thanks to the unique experiences offered. The two main deserts are Erg Chebbi and Agafay. Erg Chebbi is a bit more famous, featuring tall orange-tinted sand peaks, whereas rocky Agafay sits close to Marrakech, making it an easy day trip or overnight from the city.
You can enjoy the Moroccan Desert in many ways. One of the most quintessential experiences includes an overnight in a Bedouin-style tent, complete with sunset camel rides, authentic cuisine, traditional music, and stargazing. But you can also explore the desert on an e-bike, horseback, ATV, quad, and more! Because these adventures are best enjoyed with good weather, read more about when to visit Morocco and how to choose the best desert region for your interests.
Adventures on Erg Chebbi Dunes
Erg Chebbi sits in southeastern Morocco in the semi-arid Pre-Saharan Steppes. If you want that quintessential Moroccan desert experience atop rolling hills of orange-hued dunes, then this is the place for you!
ATV/Quad Sand Dune Adventure in Merzouga
Conquer the tall peaks of the Erg Chebbi dunes on a thrilling ATV/Quad tour in Merzouga. You'll zip through the desert, speeding along tracks and enjoying the stunning lunar-like scenery. Stop to listen to the silence and savor the vibrant colors of the desert. Before heading back, enjoy a cup of tea with the local nomad community and listen to their stories about daily life in the desert. Read More
Cultural Adventures in Erg Chebbi
Erg Chebbi is a massive stretch of dunes and desert, home to local families and an excellent setting for some cultural adventures! Start with a Jeep tour of the dunes and make two stops to chat with the locals. Have tea with a family that lives in the desert and stop in the village of Khamleya to visit with the Gnawa community, an ethnic group known for its spiritual healing music. Relax at your camp or continue the adventure with an ATV tour or sand boarding excursion. Watch the sunset, enjoy dinner, listen to music, and stargaze into the night. Read More
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Explore the Agafay Desert
The Agafay Desert sits just southwest of Marrakech, so it's easy to enjoy an overnight or day trip in the area. Although a bit rockier and less colorful than Erg Chebbi, it still offers exciting excursions in the solitude of the desert.
Horseback Riding in the Agafay Desert
Explore the desert at a slower pace on horseback! You'll ride through the rocky and sandy dunes of the Agafay Desert outside of Marrakech, enjoying the everchanging scenery. Savor the quiet solitude as your guide leads you through the scenic terrain, sharing stories of geologic history and cultural significance. Enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal in the desert before heading back. Read More
E-Bike Adventure in Agafay Desert
An e-bike excursion through the desert is the perfect compromise: slower than an ATV but faster than a horse—plus, it gives you an advantage when tackling those challenging hills! Start with a fun quad ride from Marrakech, passing through the surrounding landscape. Then pedal into the Agafay Desert from Terre des Etoiles. You'll head down canyons and up dunes, experiencing all the various colors of Morocco's scenic desert landscape. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Desert Itinerary in Morocco
Many visitors to Morocco incorporate desert experiences into their itineraries, so it's easy to follow suit. If you just need a taste of the unique terrain, consider combining Marrakech with the Agafay Desert and the Atlas Mountains. Add a day trip or overnight in Essaouira on the coast, and you have a well-rounded Moroccan experience!
But if you'd like to make Erg Chebbi the focus of your trip, then add a few extra days to your itinerary and fly in and out of either Marrakech or Fes. Either city will allow you to combine a bustling Medina with a coastal visit, alpine towns, and desert communities. To get the full Moroccan experience and enjoy a day or two in the desert, give yourself at least one week in the country. Read more about how much time to spend in Morocco.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include exciting desert excursions: