A trip to the magical deserts of Morocco is a bucket list dream for many travellers. There is nothing more exotic than riding a camel across the golden sands of the Sahara as the sun sinks below the horizon. One of the best ways to have this experience is by booking a multi-day desert tour from Marrakech.
Taking a journey through the Moroccan desert will provide you with a rich cultural experience and memories to last a lifetime. It was one of the top highlights of our 10-day trip to Morocco. The good news is there are many stunning deserts surrounding Marrakech and plenty of amazing desert tours to choose from.
Depending on the amount of time you have to spare, there is a desert tour to accommodate everyone’s Morocco itinerary. Whether you’re seeking an overnight trip to the Sahara, a day trip to Ait-Ben-Haddou or a hot air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains, we’ve got you covered. See below for our ultimate guide to selecting the most highly-rated desert tours from Marrakech!
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10 Best Desert Tours from Marrakech
3-Day Desert Tour from Marrakech to Merzouga
Stops: Atlas Mountains, Ait-Ben-Haddou, Ouarzazate, Boumalne Dades, Tinghir, Todra Gorges, Merzouga, Erg Chebbi.
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation with driver/guide, camel trek in Erg Chebbi dunes, 2x overnight stays, breakfast and dinner at both accommodations.
Starting off with the most popular desert tour from Marrakech, this epic 3-day adventure will show you the top highlights of the Moroccan desert. From riding camels across the Erg Chebbi dunes at sunset to exploring the ancient fortress of Ait-Ben-Haddou, this tour has no shortage of incredible stops.
Departing from Marrakech early on the first day, you’ll begin the journey by crossing the Atlas Mountains and enjoying some free time at the UNESCO listed town of Ait-Ben-Haddou. The day continues with a visit to Ouarzazate followed by an overnight stop in Tinghir.
The second day will begin with a wander through the dramatic Todra Gorge, one of the best places to visit in Morocco! Afterwards, travel to Merzouga where you’ll have the magical experience of exploring the dunes on camelback during sunset.
The second night will be spent in a traditional desert camp with an authentic Moroccan dinner. On the final morning, you will begin the journey back to Marrakech with a stop in Ouarzazate for lunch.
3-Day Desert Tour from Marrakech to Fes
Stops: Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate, Road of 1000 Kasbahs, the Dades and Todra Gorges, Merzouga, Erg Chebbi, Midelt, Fes.
Includes: Hotel pick up in Marrakech, 2x nights of accommodation, transportation with driver/guide, camel trek in Erg Chebbi dunes, selected meals throughout the tour, drop off at Fes hotel.
Take an exciting journey through the desert from Marrakech to Fes stopping at a number of highlights and hidden gems along the way. This 3-day tour is the perfect way to experience authentic Moroccan culture as you venture through awe-inspiring landscapes on a journey of a lifetime!
Day 1 starts off with a pick up from your Marrakech hotel and begins the journey through the High Atlas Mountains. The first big stop of this tour will bring you to Ait-Ben-Haddou. Continue onward to Ouarzazate for a lunch stop before travelling further to the Dades Gorge where you’ll spend the first night.
After breakfast on day 2, travel along the road of 1000 Kasbahs to the town of Tinghir. Spend some free time exploring the impressive Todra Gorge and then stop for lunch. In the afternoon, the trip continues to Merzouga where your sunset camel ride awaits. Spend the second night in a traditional Sahara desert camp.
On the final day, enjoy a scenic drive along the palm-lined Ziz River stopping in a small town in the Atlas Mountains for lunch. From there, you’ll make the journey toward Fes passing through a number of villages and beautiful landscapes along the way. In the evening, your guide will drop you off at your Fes hotel.
See the link below for additional information about accommodation at each stop.
2-Day Desert Tour from Marrakech to Zagora
Stops: Atlas Mountains, Ouarzazate, Agdez, Draa Valley, Zagora, Sahara Desert, Ait Ben Haddou.
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation with driver/guide, sunset camel trek in Zagora dunes, dinner and breakfast included in the camp, 1x night in a Berber desert camp.
Immerse yourself in traditional Berber lifestyle on this 2-day desert safari from Marrakech to Zagora. Visit the famous town of Ait-Ben-Haddou, ride across the dunes on a camel’s back and sleep under the stars at a desert camp in the Sahara. If you only have two days to spare during your time in Morocco, you certainly won’t regret booking this bucket list adventure.
After pick up from your accommodation in Marrakech, you’ll begin the scenic drive through the High Atlas Mountains before arriving in Ouarzazate for lunch. Drive past the Agdez oasis and the Draa Valley on the way to Zagora. Enjoy a sunset camel ride and then finish off the day in your private tent at the desert camp.
On the morning of day 2, you’ll have the option to wake up early to experience the magic of a desert sunrise. On the way back to Marrakech, you’ll have some free time to spend exploring the stunning fortress of Ait-Ben-Haddou including some time to have lunch. Get dropped off at your Marrakech accommodation by 6pm.
2-Day Private Tour from Marrakech to Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert
Stops: Ait-Ben-Haddou, Ouarzazate, Zagora, Mhamid, Erg Lihoudi Dunes.
Includes: 1x night of accommodation in desert camp, dinner, private tour guide, transportation, camel ride.
This 2-day private desert tour to the Atlas Mountains is ideal for couples or families seeking a more intimate tour experience. Tick off all of the major highlights of the Moroccan desert on this highly rated tour from Marrakech. Watch the sunrise and sunset from the back of a camel, explore the famous town of Ait-Ben-Haddou, and spend the night in a Sahara desert camp.
After leaving Marrakech early in the morning, the tour starts with a drive through the dramatic Tizi n’Tichka pass in the Atlas Mountains. You’ll then pass through a number of traditional Berber villages on the way to Ait-Ben-Haddou. Travel through the beautiful Draa Valley on the way to Zagora, arriving just in time for a sunset camel trek. Spend the night in a Bedouin desert camp in the Erg Lihoudi dunes.
Begin the second day with a sunrise camel trek before making the journey back to Marrakech with a stop in Ouarzazate along the way. While you’re there, you’ll have the option to take a guided tour of the famous cinema studios.
2-Day Trek to Ait-Ben-Haddou and Ouarzazate from Marrakech
Stops: Atlas Mountains, Telouet Kasbah, Ait-Ben-Haddou, Ouarzazate, Fint Oasis.
Includes: 1x night of accommodation, entry fees to attractions, transportation with tour guide.
The best part about spending the night in Ait-Ben-Haddou is being able to watch the sunset and sunrise over the spectacular desert fortress. This is truly a magical sight that we will never forget from our trip to Morocco. This is something that you won’t get to experience if you take a day trip from Marrakech to Ait-Ben-Haddou.
Travel through the spectacular High Atlas Mountains on the way to Ait-Ben-Haddou. Drive along the Tizi n’Tichka pass and stop at the historic Telouet Kasbah for lunch to break up the journey. Arrive in Ait-Ben-Haddou in time to catch the sunset and enjoy an authentic meal before checking into your local hotel for the evening.
After breakfast on day 2, the tour stops in the nearby town of Ouarzazate for a tour of the film studios were popular movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars and Gladiator have been filmed. Continue to the stunning Fint Oasis to admire the unique landscape and stop for a Moroccan mint tea in a traditional village. The tour returns to Marrakech in the late afternoon.
1-Day Trip to Ait-Ben-Haddou and Ouarzazate from Marrakech
Stops: Tizi n’Tichka pass, Ouarzazate, Ait-Ben-Haddou.
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation with driver/guide, lunch and entrance fees are not included in this tour, see link below for details.
Ait-Ben-Haddou is such a magical and unique place that I feel it deserves more than just a day trip. Taking a day trip from Marrakech means many hours spent driving through the winding mountain roads only to spend a few hours in the town with all of the other tour buses. We even wrote a post on how you can plan to spend longer than a day in Ait-Ben-Haddou.
If time is a factor on your holiday in Morocco then it’s better to take the day trip rather than miss out on this incredible destination! This popular tour departs Marrakech in the morning and takes you to all of the best highlights in and around Ait-Ben-Haddou. The drive in itself is particularly beautiful, crossing through canyons, palm groves and mountain villages.
The trip starts off by crossing the breath taking Tizi n’Tichka pass in the Atlas Mountains followed by a tour of the famous film studios in Ouarzazate. Stop for lunch at a scenic restaurant and spend the rest of the day exploring in Ait-Ben-Haddou. The tour lasts for 13 hours and aims to have you dropped off at your hotel in Marrakech by 8:30pm.
1-Day Desert Quad Bike Tour From Marrakech
Stops: 4 hour tour through the desert stopping at Berber villages, palm groves and ancient desert landscapes.
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation, quad bike tour with professional guide, bottled water, tea and snack.
Travel through the stunning deserts just outside of Marrakech on a thrilling quad bike adventure tour. This day trip provides a more personalized experience, including no more than 5 people per group. It is the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Moroccan desert as you ride through a variety of unique and striking landscapes.
Get picked up at your hotel in Marrakech by minibus and head out to the desert to begin your quad bike safety orientation. Follow your guide through the jaw-dropping dunes and deserts stopping at a number of scenic spots along the way. Pass through Berber villages to meet the locals and enjoy a cup of traditional mint tea.
1-Day Atlas Mountains Hot Air Balloon Ride From Marrakech
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation to/from desert, hot air balloon ride, breakfast, camel ride.
Take in the spectacular views of the Moroccan desert from a completely unique perspective. Get a bird’s eye view of the deserts and mountains as you glide through the skies on a sunrise hot-air balloon ride. This bucket-list worthy experience is certain to be a highlight of your holiday in Morocco!
Following an early departure, enjoy a coffee or tea with pastries before setting off in the hot air balloon. Enjoy the incredible views as you drift over the deserts taking advantage of the endless photo opportunities. The hot air balloon ride lasts for 40 – 50 minutes before returning to the ground for a delicious breakfast.
Finish off the tour with a camel ride through the desert before being returned to your accommodation in Marrakech. The hot air balloon day trip lasts for around 5 hours.
1-Day Agafay Desert and Mountain Tour With Camel Ride
Stops: Atlas Mountains, Berber Villages, Imlil Waterfall, Kik Valley, Agafay Desert.
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation with driver/guide, camel ride, coffee/tea, bottled water.
If you don’t have the time to make it all the way out to the Sahara, you can still experience the beauty of the Moroccan desert just outside of Marrakech! The Agafay Desert is an oasis located not far from the city. Take a magical journey through the desert and the Atlas Mountains stopping in traditional Berber villages and riding camels throughout the day.
This 6 hour tour departs Marrakech in the morning and ventures through a number of ancient villages where you’ll stop for tea with the locals. Take in the spectacular scenery as you wind through the Atlas Mountains stopping for many photo opportunities along the way. One of the highlights of the day will be hiking to the gorgeous Imlil waterfall.
The day finishes up with a camel ride in the Afagay Desert before returning to the city. This tour provides an excellent opportunity for those on a time limit who want to experience true Moroccan culture while escaping the bustle of Marrakech for the day!
1-Day Ouzoud Falls Trip From Marrakech Including Optional Boat Ride
Stops: Ouzoud Falls, Berber Villages, Atlas Mountains, Al Abid River.
Includes: Hotel pick up/drop off in Marrakech, transportation with driver/guide, boat ride (if chosen), lunch not included.
Discover the beauty of the Moroccan countryside on this extremely popular day trip from Marrakech to the famous Ouzoud Falls. Marvel at the dramatic waterfalls and take a swim in the refreshing pools. Keep your eyes peeled for some cheeky local monkeys on the short walk to the falls.
Travel through the scenic Atlas Mountains and Berber Villages as you make your way toward the Ouzoud Falls. Enjoy some free time taking pictures and hopping in for a swim before visiting a Berber Village. In the afternoon, enjoy an scenic boat ride before making your way back to Marrakech for a 6pm arrival. Note that lunch is not included in this tour, find more info at the link below.
Where to Stay in Marrakech
There is no shortage of stunning riads (traditional Moroccan hotels) to choose from in Marrakech. The good thing is that you can easily find an affordable riad in a perfectly central location within the city. See below for our recommendations on where to base yourself to easily access these desert tours from Marrakech.
Riad Syba – For an unbeatable price, this lovely riad provides the ultimate oasis from the bustle of the city. Relax and unwind with a mint tea after a busy day of adventures before retreating to your comfortable room. The best part is that an amazing breakfast spread is included in your stay!
Riad & Spa le Secret de Zoraida – A beautifully designed riad featuring well-decorated rooms, a rooftop terrace with stunning views, and an on-site restaurant. This is ideal if you don’t fancy navigating through the busy streets after a long day of sightseeing! There is also a spa offering massages and traditional treatments. You certainly can’t go wrong with this highly reviewed riad!
Riad Les Jardins d’Henia – With an outdoor pool and lovely garden views, this centrally located riad has everything you could need for a comfortable stay in Marrakech. The staff are friendly, the rooms are comfortable, there’s a restaurant/bar on-site and breakfast is included. Airport transfer is also available to book through the hotel.
Ksar Kasbah & Spa – This popular riad is located near all the major attractions of Marrakech and offers a fantastic spa and wellness centre, indoor swimming pool, restaurant/bar, and rooftop terrace with a view. If you’re seeking the perfect Instagram worthy riad with a picture-perfect pool in the centre of a courtyard, look no further.
Riad Les Nuits de Marrakech – The location of this gem could not be better, it’s only steps from the bustling Jamaâ El Fna Market. This beautiful riad features traditional Moroccan decorations, a pool and hot tub, and a rooftop terrace offering views of the medina. Retreat to a little slice of paradise within the chaotic streets of the medina. With exceptional reviews on Booking.com (10/10), this riad definitely won’t disappoint!
The Best Travel Insurance for Morocco
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When travelling abroad, we always go with Heymondo travel insurance. They are one of the most reputable travel insurance companies that will provide you with simple and flexible coverage. Whether you are into adventurous activities or simply looking for trip cancellation and medical insurance, Heymondo has you covered.
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