Merzouga Travel Guide

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Merzouga is a small, dusty town on the edge of Morocco's Sahara desert, close to the vast Erg Chebbi dunes (Morocco's largest sand dunes). The actual town of Merzouga itself does not have a lot to offer besides a general store, small hotels, a couple of restaurants and an internet cafe.

Merzouga of Morocco
Merzouga of Morocco

Visitors head to Merzouga because it's the gateway to the gorgeous Sahara desert. You can ride camels into the dunes, spend a few nights in Berber tents and get a taste of Berber food and music (which can extend to Bob Marley in these parts). There are options to go quad bike riding as well if you prefer the thrill of an engine over the "ship of the desert".

Merzouga of Morocco
Merzouga of Morocco

Merzouga is quite remote, located about 450 miles south east from Marrakech, close to the Algerian border. The largest town close to Merzouga is Ouarzazate which can be reached by plane or bus. You can stay overnight in Ouarzazate or head a little further out to the more interesting village of N'Kob.

Merzouga of Morocco
Merzouga of Morocco

There are plenty of tour companies who will offer desert trips with a guide and 4x4 from both Marrakech and Fes. It's an interesting drive but take a 4-5 day tour if you can, so you get to spend more time in the desert. The most popular trip from Marrakech would be a three day tour, but it's rushed. Some tour companies offer a trip that starts in Marrakech and ends in Fes, taking in Merzouga en route.

Merzouga of Morocco
Merzouga of Morocco

The quickest straight shot to get to Merzouga is to fly from Casablanca to Ouarzazate (7-8 hour drive to Merzouga), or Er Rachidia (2 hr drive to Merzouga) on Royal Air Moroc. Flights depart twice weekly.

Merzouga of Morocco
Merzouga of Morocco

The summer months between June and September can be brutally hot during the day, and not a lot of fun. Temperatures average around 115 Fahrenheit (45 C) during the summer and it's obviously dry as a bone. Nights in the desert do get much colder however and you'll need a good jacket even if you're sweltering during the day.

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