About Sahara Region
If you have come this far south in Morocco then you should definitely venture into the fringes of the true Sahara. The best places to do this, to gain access into the huge dunes are from the southeast of the country at Erfoud (visiting Erg Chebbi) and in the south at Zagora (visiting Erg Ch'Gagga and Erg Lihoudi). Both of these places offer you the opportunity to stay overnight in a deluxe Bedouin camp and to explore the desert on a camel and from within a safe, comfortable 4WD vehicle, it is even possible to do some sand-boarding.
Here are some of the towns of the south where it is possible to stay as part of a tailor-made self-drive or private journey holiday in Morocco.
Er Rachidia is the first town you will arrive in that is truly "of the south" and after a long drive down from Fez you may wish to consider this as an ideal break in your journey before tackling the desert region. Er Rachidia is located at one end of the stunning Ziz Valley so is an ideal stop-over accommodation for those en route from Fez to the south or vice-versa.
Erfoud is a perfect base for trips to Merzouga and the dunes at Erg Chebbi - the opportunity to explore the desert by camel or 4WD, even quad bikes. It is also an ideal spot to enjoy desert life and experience Morocco's most important oasis, the Tafilalet, as well as venturing to visit the ancient ruins of Sijilmassa near Rissani. The famous date festival is also held here in October.
Merzouga is 25 kms of mostly dirt track from Erfoud and is the location for many visitors' unforgettable Sahara experience. This is partly due to the number of hotels located right at the edge of the dunes of Erg Chebbi but it is also because from here you can take an exhilarating walk up and down the dunes, an easy overnight camel trek and take in simply the most stunning views of sunrise and sunset anywhere in Morocco.
Deep into the south, well beyond Ouarzazate, is the stunning Draa Valley and the main town, on the fringes of the Sahara in this region of Morocco is Zagora. This is the place you should head to if you are looking to visit the oasis of M'Hamid and the dunes at Erg Lihoudi and Erg Ch'Gagga. After leaving Ouarzazate you will experience an incredible drive up and over the lunar landscape of the Tinififft Pass and then head down along the Draa Valley into Zagora. The desert outpost town of Zagora as well as being a great place to stay is also famous for its road sign at the edge of town indicating that Timbuktou to be a mere 52 days journey across the desert (by camel caravan of course).
Hotels to visit
A very welcoming little hotel on edge of the Sahara dunes of Erg Chebbi; a fabulous spot to watch the sunrises and sunsets and a convenient place to relax either side of your desert adventure.
The Kasbah Hotel Tombouctou can be found in the Erg Chebbi desert. Its architecture and privileged location make the Kasbah Hotel Tomboctou a good option for any traveller in the south of Morocc ...
Le Riad Hotel is a modern hotel built in traditional architecture amidst a large garden with a swimming pool.
A charming hotel on the edge of town; traditional pise construction and decoration.