how far is sahara desert from marrakech

how far is sahara desert from marrakech

How Far is Sahara Desert From Marrakech

how far is sahara desert from marrakech

Morocco’s Sahara desert of  Zagora desert is about 6 hours away from Marrakech (360km ), as opposed to Merzouga, which is about 10 hours (600km).. Fez is located 470km (290 mi) from Merzouga and 670km (415 mi) from Zagora. The drive from fez or Marrakech takes one full day, the ideal is to break the drive and spend one night on the way to the Sahara desert, in Dades gorges, Skoura or Tinghir. This way you will see many interesting places and historic attractions on the road.

what you need to know before visiting the sahara desert

How to get to the Sahara Desert In Morocco 

There are many ways to get to the Sahara desert In Morocco from the main tourists big cities either by bus, Private helicopter or car, and you can fly to Errachidia then drive an extra two hours to reach the sahara desert. Most travelers choose to go by car with a private driver or organised guided tour from Marrakech or Fez, as it is the most suitable option to see the maximum of what south Morocco has to offer.

Organized tour to the Sahara Desert

During an organised tour to the sahara desert you benefit from the knowledge of local guides who traveled Morocco extensively and know the best places to stop for a walking tour, museum visits, exploring berber villages, and the kasbah roads. a sahara desert tour require minimum 3 days and two nights, Where you spend the first night in a city on the road the to Sahara Desert and reach the sahara desert the next day.

Day 1: Marrakech – Ait Benhaddou – Ouarzazate – Skoura – Dades gorge

This 4 days desert Tour to Merzouga camel trek Sahara desert adventure starts early in the morning you meet your guide at your Hotel/Riad and start driving leaving the red city Marrakech towards Ait Ben Haddou passing by the high atlas mountains and the famous Tizi n’Tichka Pass at an elevation of 2.260m, Tizi n’Tichka means “difficult mountain pasture” in Berber and you’ll see why. We arrive at the UNESCO site Ait Ben Haddou where you will visit the Kasbah on a walking tour and have lunch before driving to Dades gorge through Skoura. Overnight at your hotel.


Day 2 :Dades Gorge – Todra Gorge – Erfoud – Risani- Merzouga

After breakfast, we continue our journey to the Sahara desert adventure, here, both the Todra and Dades Rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 25-mile stretch through the mountains, leaving behind this series of reliefs and etches in the rock. The Todra is the name of the last 600 meters (just under 2,000 feet) of the canyons. We stop for a walk with your guide, lunch is scheduled in Tinghir town and we drive to Erfoud.

Erfoud is the gate of the desert and used to be the base camp for all the expeditions through the Merzouga dunes. Erfoud is well known for its fossils and dating back hundreds of millions of years, The souk of Erfoud sells local dates and fresh products, and in October the town has an increasingly popular date festival, with dancing and music. The last stop before Merzouga dunes will be Rissani, the origin of the Alaouite dynasty, the current royal family that makes It a cultural destination in Morocco with beautiful early Moroccan architecture and noteworthy palaces and temples, such as Ksar Oulad Abdelhalim and Ksar Aber. After Rissani we arrive at Merzouga where you meet your camel to go inside the Desert dunes enjoying the sunset. Overnight and dinner in the desert camp.

Day 3: Merzouga – Ouarzazate-Marrakech 

In the morning it is recommended to wake up early to climb the dunes and watch the most magical sunrise, breakfast, then meet your guide to starting driving to Ouarzazate, We will visit the cinema studios in Ouarzazate, have lunch and drive to Marrakech


the tour statrt early in the morning around 8 am your guide pick you up from your Riad/Hotel and start a long driving day across the high atlas mountains leaving the old city of fes In the way we will pass through the most modern and clean city in the country Ifran. This Berber name of Ifran means caves and it is nicknamed in Morocco as a little Switzerland since it is a very green town and is a ski resort in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco because of its high altitude at 1665 meters. After we will stop in ziz valley To the south, the valley present a spectacular sight: a dense canopy of palms wedged between ancient striated cliffs, which date to the Jurassic period. We will encounter the oued (River) ziz, its source is located in the middle atlas region and continues all the way to the sahara to reach Algeria, alongside the river is surrounded by a stunning 125km belt of green palmeries.

We arrive to Erfoud the capital of Fossils in Morocco  It was built by the French in the 1930’s as an administrative center. It is a quiet place characterized by its red buildings and gorgeous scenery. well known for its  wood-fired madfouna (Berber ‘pizza’), during our stop  you will have the chance to visit one of the factories where they make beautiful articles out of marble, right after we will drive to Erg Chebbi, time for a cup of tea and packing for desert camp. Meet up with Camels for camel-ride and head to the dunes to watch the sunset .Overnight in the Berber tent in the middle of the most spectacular dunes of morocco, Highest dunes, spend 1 night the friendly berbers enjoy their music, dance around the fire… dinner in the camp.



your guide will wake you up to witness  the most magical sunrise from the highest golden  dunes, chance to see some wildlife. Time for breakfast and shower, last chance to enjoy the dunes, we set off to Rissani where we will  visit the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Chrif the founder of the actual Alaouite dynasty of Morocco at 17th century. Then we drive to the most spectacular gorge of Morocco, Todra gorge, enjoy a walk with your guide to explore the irrigation system and traditional farming gardens, a visit to a berber family to learn about carpet, recommended, to knock your socks off, after the berber family co-operative, showing their goods and carepets, great place to shop from mohamed’s family ( situated in the other side of the river near the mosque ) great place to buy genuine berber carpets and souvenirs, then you walk to the gorge, drive back to your hotel in the Tinghir.



Aït Benhaddou Kasbah has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987,this Unesco-protected red mudbrick ksar (fortified vilage) built in the 11th centuryand used to be  a strategic stop for caravans of camels, , often numbering hundreds, on the trans-Saharan trade route from the Sudan to Marrakech carrying gold, silver and slaves and returning with salt,Afterword we will  head to Marrakech via the tizin’tichka pass .we’ll stop to visit the town of Telouet and its ancient 17th century Kasbah then we’ll continue exploring the tIzin’tichka road especially its great landscape of Berber’s villages, then we head north to Ouarzazate after crossing the  Anti-Atlas Mountains, continue to Marrakech by Tizi n Tichka pass. Overnight in Marrakech after a long day drive.

Merzouga , Zagora  and Agafay Desert, What is the diffrence 

You must be confused between all the names of  Morocco’s sahara desert  tours  you find on the internet, there are two main Sahara spots where you can see the big desert dunes Erg Chebbi in Merzouga  and Erg Chegaga in Zagora You can Read here more details about the two  Erg Chebbi Vs Erg Chegaga, the Agafay Desert is 45 Minutes driving From Marrakech and it is not a real desert with sand dunes, it is more of a rocky desert where you can enjoy some one-day trips and activities(Camel ride, Quad bike ……)

how far is sahara desert from marrakech

Real Deset Dunes In Erg Chebi in Merzouga  and Erg Chegaga in Zagora

Morocco desert tourwhat you need to know before visiting the sahara desert in Morocco

Agafay Rocky Desert Near Marrakech 

what you need to know before visiting the sahara desert in Moroccowhat you need to know before visiting the sahara desert in Morocco

3-You cannot do a Real Sahara desert tour on a one day trip from Marrakech

The ideal to really enjoy your Sahara desert trip is 2 nights minimum and 3 nights if you have more time, driving from Marrakech you will pass by the Atlas Mountains and the famous difficult Tichka road to arrive at Ouarzazate and kasbah ait Benhaddou, first night you can spend it in a hotel in the Dades valley or rose valley. After more than four hours of driving, you will arrive to Merzouga or Zagora where you can experience a sunset camel trek over the dunes to spend the night under the stars in the desert camp.

Women Best Travel is a female-owned company that specializes in Morocco travel, we Arrange for you to Discover “exclusive and personal” experiences. You’ll see what the regular bus Group tours don’t show and what the tour agents may not know about, taking you beyond the standard tours. we combine Culture, History, Berber Culture, architecture, history, and storytelling in one powerful experience of Morocco that no other tour company can match. 

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