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Merzouga, the desert village

Merzouga, the desert village

Merzouga is the so-called Pearl of the Moroccan Desert, very popular with tourists from all over the world, and the most important tourist destination in the Moroccan Sahara.

This small city, located next to the dune complex called Er Chebbi, is located in the south of Morocco in the Ziz river valley, 50 kilometers from Erfoud and 130 from Errachidia.

Arrive in Merzouga

To get to Merzouga from Marrakech, you must cross the Atlas Mountains towards Ouarzazate. From there towards Erfoud and Rissani. The roads are quite picturesque, passing through desert areas where no life is seen for miles.

From Fez, you have to take direction Erfoud and it takes almost a day.

Once you reach Risanni by any of the routes, you have to head southeast and after about 40 kilometers you will reach Merzouga. This route is paved, but already in the city, you can find roads that are not.

To save time on the road, you can fly from Casablanca to Ouarzazate and then just take the road from there to Merzouga. There are also flights to Errachidia, which is about 2 hours away by car.


The dunes of Merzouga are the most impressive in Morocco at 20 kilometers long and 5 wide. Some dunes are over 100 meters high and have orange sand from the Sahara.

Around the dunes, there is a green palm grove, or a unique and impressive oasis, which stands out among so much orange.

In the rainy season, from February to March, lagoons form, such as the Daya Tamda lagoon, where birds abound, with the exotic pink flamingo standing out.

That is why Merzouga is also a tourist place for wildlife lovers, since, in addition to the birds of the lagoon, in its surroundings, you can enjoy the rich fauna of the desert, with reptiles such as lizards or vipers and mammals such as foxes, mice or gerbils.

The abundance of water in the rainy season also favors crops, which have made the area famous as a producer of early fruits such as watermelons or melons, which are exported to the rest of the country and to Europe.

The best time to visit Merzouga is in spring and autumn since in summer the heat is suffocating and in winter the cold is very intense at night. A travel agency in Morocco always takes into considerations climate changes.

What to see in Merzouga

Merzouga is one of the most visited tourist places in Morocco, especially for adventure tourism, and therefore has a wide range of quality hotels, hostels, and Riads, in the style of the Kasbahs, built in adobe, with the interior decoration of Saharan Moroccan style and equipped with air conditioning.

They are like a beautiful oasis in the midst of so much aridity. They have beautiful gardens with swimming pools and are the perfect place to disconnect from the world and cool off.

These hotels are complemented by fixed camps located in small oases, which offer accommodation in tents to sleep in the middle of the desert. They usually liven up the experience with delicious dinners, dances, and Berber music. Some even have free Wi-Fi.

You usually go to these camps by camel and one of the most interesting activities is to climb the dunes at sunrise or sunset on the dunes to enjoy the views. Also at night, it is a spectacle to see the sky covered with stars.

Merzouga is a very well-organized place where there are many companies that do excursions such as 4X4, camels, horses, quads, etc.

To highlight a large number of fossils in the region, one more attraction to add.

And every year, at the foot of the Erg Chebbi, the Merzouga Festival is held to highlight the natural wealth of the region. Local and international artists attend where a combination of Western culture and the Saharawi ancestral culture is created.

Desert routes

To the east, about 10 kilometers away, are the Mfis mines, of lead and zinc, and 6 kilometers to the south, is the town of Khemliya, inhabited by former slaves from sub-Saharan Africa, who practice the famous Gnawa folklore.

3 dias en Marruecos is the best itinerary trip to visit Merzouga.

You can also visit the Kohl mines and the French labor camps in the Sahara. Kohl’s mines were exploited by the French until they were no longer profitable. They are well known because of the Kohl powder used by Arab women to outline their eyes.

To the south is the oasis and village of Taouz, an area rich in minerals and cave paintings.

On these routes are the last nomadic peoples who live in the middle of the desert looking for the most favorable areas to graze their cattle.