Things to Do in Morocco Sahara
The N9 road from Marrakech to Ouarzazate crosses the central High Atlas at the Tizi n’Tichka pass (Col du Tichka. Both that airy mountain crossing and the winding stretch of road around it are regulars on lists of the world’s best road trips. At 7,415 feet (2,260 meters above sea level, the high mountain views are spectacular.
On the edge of the Sahara Desert in Ouarzazate, Atlas Film Studios is not only the center of Morocco’s film industry, but the largest film studio in the world. Founded in the early 1980s, the studios boast an impressive pedigree, having hosted iconic film sets such asGladiator andStar Wars, as well as scenes fromGame of Thrones.
Merzouga is the door to Erg Chebbi, a sea of towering dunes about 5 miles (8 kilometers away, on the outer edges of the Sahara. With its sand-colored inns, the small town in southern Morocco looks like it might have sprouted organically from the desert. Most visitors stop by en route to adventures and camping trips in the dunes.
Travelers seeking the typical Kasbah experience will find it at the 17th-century destination known as Amrdil. This well-preserved (and equally well restored) structure offers impressive views of nearby landscapes, including the Skoura palm groves, and showcases an ancient slice of life that’s difficult to find anywhere else.
Visitors can tour the grounds of the main sand-colored structure and visit the popular museum, where handmade tools, historic wells and traditional bread ovens. It’s possible to explore the grounds solo, but travelers will likely find local and informal guides eager to offer up their services at a reasonable price.
The Erg Chebbi is a majestic sand sea in Morocco’s desert that spans about 17 miles (28 kilometers) and boasts dunes that reach heights of about 525 feet (160 meters). Conveniently near the town of Merzouga, this is the Moroccan Sahara’s most popular desert camping destination.
Few places on earth compare to the Sahara Desert, a natural wonder of vast plains and sun-baked dunes that dominates the south and east of Morocco. The world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara stretches a staggering 5.6 million square miles (9 million square kilometers) over several countries. Hemmed in by the Atlas mountain range, the Saharan sands are one of Morocco’s many highlights.
Translating from Arabic as Field of Dunes, the rolling landscapes of Erg Chigaga are some of the Moroccan Sahara’s most beautiful. The camps nestled between the dunes feel particularly secluded, making Erg Chigaga a great place to enjoy the space and silence of the desert.