The Sahara desert of Merzouga: here’s how to reach it from Marrakech by car, bus, or tour. Find out what to see, info and costs of tours from Marrakech, what to see and do, and other useful information.
Who hasn’t dreamed of sleeping in the Sahara comfortably hidden among the sand dunes under a starlit sky?
I think the desert fascinates everyone: who has never dreamed of ancient caravans with camels, camping on multi-colored carpets, sipping tea around a bonfire?
Merzouga, in the southern region of Morocco, was one of the places where I was able to experience all of this. The name comes from a small Moroccan town in the Sahara desert, not too far from the Algerian border. It is known as the gateway to Erg Chebbi, a huge stretch of sand dunes south of the city.
I wrote this guide to help you plan your trip to this beautiful desert village starting from Marrakech: 2 days are the minimum, 3 or 4 the ideal. In one day from Marrakech, it is impossible to see the desert. They are located quite far.
I wrote this guide hoping to help you and give you useful information to plan your visit to the Merzouga desert.
1 – When to go to the Merzouga Sahara desert
Merzouga can be visited all year round. Ok in summer it’s really hot and I wouldn’t recommend it, even if with the right precautions you could enjoy it to the fullest.
The best time of the year to visit Merzouga is in the spring between the months of March and May or in the autumn between the months of September and November. During these times, the weather is not too hot and you will be able to enjoy the time in the desert much more.
The temperature in summer even reaches 40 ° C and rarely drops below 26.7 ° C at night. Regardless of the time of year you visit Merzouga, always cover your head to avoid sunstroke. Sunscreen is vital.
And you sweat a lot: to avoid cluttering yourself too much, try to wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and trousers. No short stuff. Aside from being in a predominantly Muslim country and you should respect their culture, you could also get a really bad sunburn.
Also, make sure you always drink plenty of water while visiting the desert. The general rule of thumb is to drink at least one liter a day, and you should double that if you take long walks.
2 – Where is the Merzouga Desert and how to reach it from Marrakech
I told you that it is impossible to visit the Merzouga desert from Marrakech in just one day. I’ll show you below where it is, how to get there and how long it takes.
Where located the Merzouga desert?
The Merzouga Desert is located in the southeast of the country a short distance (20 km) from the border with Algeria and 562 km from Marrakech. This means that by car the fastest way it takes about 10 hours to get there!
In fact, you have to cross a part of the High Atlas Mountains and therefore the road is zigzag.
If you think to go by bus instead of a rental car or a tour with a driver, the time gets longer.
Also keep in mind one thing: going from Marrakech to Merzouga is truly a fantastic journey, with tons of beautiful places to stop along the way that it would be a real shame to miss. Stops along the way in fascinating places like Aït-Ben-Haddou, Ouarzazate, and the Dades gorges should be on anyone’s itinerary to visit Morocco.