Morocco Desert Tour

One of the most awaited moment of our visit to Morocco was to our tour from Marrakech to the Merzouga Desert. In this tour we crossed the chains of the Atlas and spent a night in the sahara desert near Merzouga, more precisely between the dunes of Erg Chebbi (but most people refer to it as the Merzouga Desert). We had already seen several deserts before, and although the Merzouga Desert is not one of the largest ones we have ever seen, but it has a magical ambience with its high dunes, golden color at sunrise or sunset and the sky full of stars at night. Here we tell you all the details of our day desert tour from Marrakech to Fez.After spending a few days visiting the highlights of Marrakech, the next day early in the morning our driver/guide Youssef came to pick us up in our riad, and we embarked from Marrakech on our day tour to the Merzouga Desert. In the jeep it was just us with Youssef, and from the first moment we had a really great time with him. In the first part of the trip we crossed the chain of the Atlas and we were amazed by the changes in the color of the mountains. We would not have imagined to see so many different colors, and we couldn't stop taking pictures. In this area we saw many berber villages, since berbers are the main inhabitants of this area in Morocco.We crossed through the Tizi N'Tichka Pass, which was the highest point of our trip. The views from above with the curvy roads were really vertiginous. Around lunchtime, we arrived at one of the most spectacular stop of our Morocco desert tour, the magnificent Ait Ben Haddou, an old kasbah (fortified town). Ait Ben Haddou was declared World Heritage site, and it served as shooting location for dozens of world famous movies and series (Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator or Game of Thrones amongst many others). A few families still live in this kasbah, and although it's a very touristic place, it's worth dedicating some time to it.After lunch we continued our tour towards the Merzouga Desert, and we drove on a road where we didn’t meet too many tourists. The route is referred to as the route of 1000 kasbahs, and here we saw tenth of beautiful, but mostly abandoned kasbahs, all built of adobe, memories of a distant past. After a while we arrived at an impressive kasbah, the Kasbah Amridil, which is a marvelous fortification from the 17th century, and you can recognize it on the Moroccan 50 Dirham bill. We crossed the Palmeral Grove in Skoura, which is like an oasis with lots of palm trees and as last stop, we took pictures of the beautiful Rose Valley, which is famous for the flower festival they held there every May. We finished the first day of our 3-day Morocco Desert trip in the Dades Gorges, where we stayed in Tiwafen Dades, a simple but decent hotel with beautiful views.We continued our tour to the Merzouga Desert in the morning and we went deep into the Dades Gorges, where we stopped in several viewpoints to contemplate the fascinating landscape with peculiar rock formations. One of the formations which looks especially spectacular is known as “monkey fingers“, and it reminded us the rock formations of the Montserrat Mountain in Catalonia.