Photo: Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

How to Explore the Sahara's Desert Dunes and Remote Villages

by Matador Creators Jul 5, 2023

The Sahara Desert, with its vast dunes, captivating sunsets, and perhaps little-known cultural experiences, is the perfect destination for travelers seeking both adventure and natural beauty. It’s nine hours from the popular city of Marrakech in Morocco, but the Sahara is certainly worth the journey. Here’s how to spend three epic days in the largest warm-weather desert in the world.

Begin by leaving Marrakech and venturing into the High Atlas Mountains. Traverse the winding roads of the Tizi n’Tichka Pass, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Stop at the UNESCO-listed Ait Benhaddou, a fortified village that has served as a backdrop for numerous Hollywood films, and as the sun sets, stay overnight in Merzouga and see what it’s like to camp like a Bedouin— but with a dose of luxury.

On day two, set off for the Erg Chebbi dunes, the gateway to the Sahara Desert. Along the way, visit the Todra Gorge, a striking canyon with towering limestone cliffs that offer a stunning contrast to the desert landscape. Upon arriving at the dunes, embark on a guided camel trek and traverse the golden sands atop the desert’s most iconic animal.

To cap off the trip, end with something a little more adrenaline pumping than a leisurely camel ride. Set off on a thrilling 4×4 adventure across the dunes, visiting remote desert villages and learning about the nomadic way of life. Witness the stunning contrast between the arid desert and the lush oases that dot the landscape, providing sustenance for both humans and wildlife. Sahara Tours 4×4, for example, offers a variety of different trips departing from cities around Morocco.

Discover Matador