The Sahara desert is one of the most tourist attractions in Morocco. People travel specifically
from around the world to Marrakech to visit the desert. The breathtaking landscapes on the
journey to the desert and spending the night beside the dunes are experiences that stay with them
There are several Sahara Tours from Marrakech, but in this article, we have discussed the best
route of the Sahara desert from Marrakech. This discussion will surely be a useful guide for you
on this trip.
How Far is the Sahara Desert from Marrakech ?
There are two gateway cities to the Moroccan Sahara: Zagora and Merzouga. Zagora is in the
sub-Saharan steppes, 223 miles/360 km away from Marrakech, and it takes 7 hours to reach
there. The desert here is rocky and has very small dunes, but this is probably a better option if
you are short on time.
While Merzouga is 350 miles/(560 km) away from Marrakech, and it takes 10-13 hours to get
from Marrakech. As you can expect from Sahara, Merzouga has orange sand and rolling dunes.
Most people prefer this way because this route is full of beautiful views.
How to go Sahara Desert From Marrakech ?
The easiest way to visit Sahara is to join a private tour group. In a group, you will be
accommodated in every way, and you can enjoy the trip without any worries. You can join the
tour group by selecting the best Sahara tours from Marrakech. But if you want to make your way
to the desert, you have several options, such as rental cars, tourist buses, and even helicopters.
You also have a luxury option: a chartered flight in single-engine propeller aircraft such as
Cirrus 22 SR.
As I mentioned, you have several options from Marrakech city to get into the Moroccon Sahara
desert. But we will discuss the most common option: a private car with driver.
Sahara Tours from Marrakech by a Private Car :
You can rent a private car with driver from Marrakech. As you exit Marrakech continue on
Highway 9; soon, you will be surrounded by Atlas Mountains. You can also stop on the way to
enjoy the serenity of Tizi n’Tichka Pass.
After crossing Tizi n’Tichka Pass, you will be near the hill town of Ait Ben Haddou. Then you
will go to riverside town of Ouarzazate. If you have no time constraints, you can take a short trek
to Ouzod Falls, where you can spot the Barbary macaque.
After crossing Ouarzazate, take the N10 highway until you turn to the R113. On the way, you
will see people selling fresh dates from local date plantations. Soon you will turn onto the N12,
which will take you right to the Merzouga.
Most people choose to join a tour group from Marrakech to visit Sahara. The private groups offer
transportation, sightseeing stops along the way, accommodation, a camel ride through the desert,
and a night under the stars.
Alternatively, you can take yourself to the sky in a chartered helicopter or plane. A helicopter
can make the trip in about 5 hours, and a light plane will take about 4 hours to arrive.
Quick links to choose a Sahara Tours from Marrakech :
What is the best time to visit the Moroccio Sahara Desert?
The ideal time to visit any desert is spring or fall. There would be no scorching heat like summer
and not-so-cold nights like December and January in these two seasons.
When should you visit the desert in Morocco?
October and February are the best months to explore Morocco’s deserts. February is the best time
to take advantage of the cooler weather and sunny days to try trekking, camel riding, or an ATV
tour. This is also a great time to take photos because the air is usually clear and dust-free. After
this month, the weather can be unbearably hot in summer. As autumn approaches in October, the
Sahara becomes much more manageable, just like in February.
What is the hottest month in the Sahara desert?
The hottest month in the deserts of the world in August. So, avoid going to dessert in summer,
especially in this month. You will need to choose the ideal period to enjoy the beautiful scenery
of the Moroccan Sahara and avoid getting sunstroke.
Is the Moroccan Sahara desert worth visiting?
Well, it is worth visiting only if you choose an ideal time and a proper plan to visit this desert. If
you plan a trip keeping in mind all the essential aspects, such as the weather, transport, and
hospitality, it can be your best adventure trip ever. This dessert is filled with oases, towns, and
dunes scattered here and there, there are petroglyphs in various places, and above all, its
inhabitants are humble, friendly, and hospitable.
Sahara tours from Marrakech can be one of the most memorable trips of your life. As you travel
from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert, you will pass through cities and gorges of mythology, like
Ait Benhaddou, Todra Gorge, and Dades Valley, as well as the Atlas Mountains Tizi n’Tichka.
Beautiful views of these routes and spending the night around the dunes will give you a feeling
you will remember for the rest of your life.