The Sahara Desert represents a great part of the Moroccan territory and is an essential step if you want to discover the culture and the inhabitants’ lifestyle.
There are three types of deserts: the reg, which is a stone desert; the hamada, which is a desertic and stony plateau; whereas the erg is a large region occupied this time by sand dunes. These three types of desert are found in Morocco, although most are of the reg or hamada type, such as the Agafay desert.
This reg, with white and ochre tones is located at around thirty kilometers from Marrakech and has in its core a little oasis surrounded by vines or eucalyptus. Several permanent camps were installed over the past years for tourists willing to sleep under the stars without having to trek for several days. You will be able to explore this stony grounded desert by quad-bike, riding a camel or on foot.
But if you are looking for erg type deserts, like many tourists, go to the southeast of the country where the two principal dune oceans of Morocco are located: the Chebbi erg and the Chegaga erg.
Located in the Merzouga region, in the core of the Moroccan Sahara, the Chebbi erg is known for its spectacular dunes: some, like the Merzouga dune culminate at more than 150 meters high. The legend tells that these dunes were formed by God himself when a wealthy family refused to welcome a poor woman and her son. To punish the family, he buried their palace and condemned Merzouga to become a place of extreme heat, with endless sandstorms and no water. This desert is also well known for its magnificent sunrises and sunsets: the dunes illuminate and their colors change under the sunlight.
If you are looking for more authenticity, then go to the Chegaga erg, in the south of the city of Zagora: it is only accessible by 4x4, by camel or on foot, this desert is much wilder and less frequented by tourists.
As the desert fascinates and attracts the vacationers, trekking has become one of the principal touristic activities in the country. During a week, you will have the occasion to discover the nomad life through a total immersion in the Moroccan culture.
However, this experience is not accessible to everybody and is not recommended for young children for instance. This week is a real human experience and will allow you to exchange with new people: both with the locals, in charge of guiding you in the Moroccan desert, and with other vacationers.
Because trekking remains a physical experience: the sometimes-extreme temperatures, the sandstorms and the fatigue accumulated each day are to be taken into account. But the discoveries that you will make and the shows you will attend will quickly make you forget these inconveniences: the sunsets and sunrises coloring the sand dunes, the starry sky and the traditional meals shared around the fire will only be more deserved.
But the desert is not the only place to trek, Morocco is full of mountains to explore, in the summer or in the winter: the Djebel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, the M’Goun uplands or also the Rif chain.
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For the past few years, Morocco has faced an increase of its number of tourists and more and more vacationers looking for heat and change of scene invade the country and its beaches. But move away from beach resorts overrun by tourists; enjoy the numerous wild beaches, you will be surprised by their authenticity their variety of breathtaking landscapes.