The 2 days 1 night tour to Zagora desert is a condensed experience that lets the traveler enjoy a big part of Morocco’s landscapes, geography and lifestyles. The tour takes you from the metropolitan city of Marrakech to the perched Berber villages on the foothills of the mountains along the Atlas chain, where the mountains change their color and form frequently, making each and every corner of the road new to the eye. The road continues through beautiful small oases before arriving to the immense palm grove of the Draa valley. Once in Zagora, the tour includes a camel ride for about 40 minutes during the sahara sunset to reach the nomad tents in the camp behind the hills. On the way back during the second day of Zagora tour, you have the opportunity to visit many attractions on the road, including the beautiful kasbahs in Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou and some cinematographic locations before heading back to Marrakech.
Zagora Rocky desert 2D
Our 2 days desert tour starts at 8:00 AM, our driver will pick you up from your Riad or hotel in Marrakech in a comfortable air-conditioned 4x4 car or minivan. Leave the ocher city behind and driving south-east, crossing many small and dispersed villages on our way. After about 100 kilometers, we start to go up as we reach the chain of the Atlas mountains and the highest pass in the chain Tizi N-Tichka (2160m), the pass is usually covered in snow during winter time. We will stop in one of the terraces there to stretch legs, and maybe grab a cup of coffee to fully wake up. After the pass, we cross several Berber villages again, perched in the mountains and hills. The scenery on the road changes frequently, leaving no room for boredom. Arriving to Ouarzazate (~90 kilometers from Tichka pass), we will stop in front of the beautiful Kasbah of Taourirt (home to former Caid Pacha Glaoui) to take a photo break. After Ouarzazate, we will drive again through the beautiful valleys for another 90 kilometers to reach Agdez and its palm-groves. Then just after a couple of turns, our lunch place awaits, a nice Kasbah in Tamnougalt, to get there, we take a little detour from the main the road and cross a river then drive inside the fields. The Kasbah has a nice terrace looking at the palm grove and sunny enough to warm you up on cold days. After lunch, we continue our desert trip to the city of Zagora, where the camels await us, to take you to the bivouac in the barren desert, just in time to witness the majestic sunset and take memorable photos. Once you arrive at the bivouac of Zagora desert, you are welcomed by the staff, given your tents and gather for a mint tea session to get to know each other and break the ice with other comers. The night in the desert camp has a clear sky, and you can see countless stars and easily distinguish the constellations. After a nice dinner, we gather around the fire to enjoy a session of singing, dancing and laughter.
Where will we spend the night ?
SILVER options :
- Tizi Camp
GOLD options :
- Riad Soufiane
- Riad Lamane
- Azalay Lodge
The second day of our trip starts with an early breakfast, so you don't miss the awesome desert sunrise, another opportunity to take beautiful pictures and enjoy the tranquility of the Sahara. You will then ride the camels back to meet the car at the same spot as the day before. We leave Zagora behind and head straight back to the fortified village of Ait benhaddou, where you will have lunch, before exploring the site, declared by the UNESCO as a world heritage site. The village is known as a backdrop for many cinematographic works, the most famous ones are 'The gladiator', 'Lawrence of Arabia' and even some scenes of the classic 'Game of Thrones' were shot in this village. Seven families still live in the old village of Ait benhaddou, the rest have moved to the other side of the valley, a more modern side. Ksar Ait benhaddou was a pausing station for the caravans traveling along the Ounila valley, the merchants either exchange goods here and go back to the desert, or pause to rest then continue to Marrakech, they used to trade salt, silver and slaves.
After visiting the Ksar of Ait benhaddou, we will take the road back to Marrakech, to arrive there at around 6-7pm, where your driver will drop you at the location of your choice.
- Pick up and drop off at your accommodation
- Comfortable vehicle with A/C
- English-speaking driver
- Camel ride in Zagora ( about 40 min)
- Overnight in Zagora camp
- Diner and breakfast at the camp
- Guided visit of Ait benhaddou village
- Flexible breaks and pauses
- Lunch meals
- Extra drinks on meals
- Gratuities (optional)
Frequently Asked Questions
A frequent and definitely good question, if you are not well-prepared, you might not enjoy your time fully in the desert due to the extreme weather conditions. Deserts get super hot in summer, in Morocco, August is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures reaching 50 °C—122ºF, you can literally cook eggs on the asphalt (great for a TikTok clip). With this said, if you can't take that much heat, please avoid visiting the deserts during July and August. If you are okay with this kind of temperatures; it is still highly recommended to come prepared with good sunscreen, sunglasses, a wide hat, light but covering pieces of clothing and some insect repellent, you can also purchase all these items in Morocco. And let's not forget winter days, starry nights are freezing. The mountainous parts of the roads are usually snowy, but all our vehicles are equipped with A/C for that matter, so make sure to bring warm clothes if you take this tour during December-January.
With the rise in interest in vegan and vegetarian food, all our partners are now accommodating this need and offer completely vegan and vegetarian meals. However, this needs to be communicated in advance, either when booking or when meeting your driver for early preparation purposes.
Yes, you will have your own private hotel rooms and camp tents in all our tours, you can choose between different combinations of twin/triple/quadruple (separate beds) or double (single large bed) rooms and tents depending on your number and preferences but you will never share them with other travelers. All rooms/tents are equipped with private bathrooms and showers with hot water.
Arriving at the edge of the dunes, there is a meeting point where camels from different camps in the area are waiting for us, we will get out of the car, put on a scarf if you have one (the cameleer or your driver can help you properly install it) and then you will be introduced to your camel. Once your caravane is ready and onboard, you can take pictures or stories to memorize the moment, then take off and travel on the golden sands to see the sunset on high dune before continuing to the camp. Next morning, you can take the camels again on your way back to the meeting point or take a 4x4 . If a member doesn't want or cannot take the camel ride, the camp is accessible by 4x4 vehicle and it will get you there.
This once was a hustle indeed but no more, all camps nowadays have dedicated 4x4 vehicles that can transport your luggage from your tour car to the camp directly, so you don't have to carry anything during the camel ride. However, we highly recommend you only pack the things you will need for the desert night and transport it to the camp, while leaving the rest of the luggage with your driver.