Visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco is like entering another world. Endless rose gold sand dunes and an atmosphere of tranquility greets you upon arrival. Sunrises, sunsets and stargazing here are some of the most magical on earth – and the heat and horizon may lead to a mirage or two.
I had the pleasure of experiencing this incredible desert on an overnight trip and it totally took my breath away. We arrived at the Sahara Desert in the afternoon, did some dromedary rides while the sun was setting, and then had a Moroccan party that night. Sleeping under the stars in the desert was amazing! The next day we headed back to Marrakech.
This trip was epic and I would love to have the opportunity to share my experiences with you and provide tips for your own Sahara Desert journey. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will be adding this experience to your bucket list. Before I do all of that, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Amalia Armendariz. I’m a 23 year old Mexican girl who grew up in a northern city in Mexico. Now, I’m having the time of my life traveling through Europe and Africa on a student exchange program. I have always been amazed and attracted by the wonders that this world offers.
I have always wanted to take adventures to discover new destinations. By following many travelers’ accounts who post their traveling photos, I can take inspiration and plan my own adventures. To be honest, I can’t believe that now I have the privilege of creating my own journeys because I have been wanting to do so for a long time now. It really is a dream come true!
6 Magical Days Exploring Morocco
My inspiration to visit Morocco came from my friends who had gone on their student exchange program and who traveled to Morocco. I told myself that one day I would also go visit. When I arrived in Europe, I started looking for ways to travel to Morocco. In the end, I went there for 6 days and 5 nights and in that time we visited a few different places along the way.
I traveled to Marrakech, visited a few different destinations near the incredible High Atlas Mountains, went to the enchanting Ait Benhaddou in the city of Ouarzazate (this was the setting for the Game of Thrones series and The Gladiator movie), and of course I visited the Sahara Desert too.
In these places we had the chance to explore local markets, try typical Moroccan cuisine and tea, take some amazing photos of the unbelievably unique landscapes, walk through beautiful little villages, ride on dromedaries (they aren’t camels), celebrate a Moroccan party in the Sahara Desert and even go paragliding (not part of the tour but I did it anyway).
Touring with Viaje en Marruecos
I went with a tour company called Viaje en Marruecos and I absolutely recommend them. They are the best in the world. Viaje en Marruecos made us feel welcomed, the service was amazing throughout, they even partied with us and had everything ready. It was the perfect experience.
We were a big group and still they made each of us feel so looked after. They provided us with all of the transport for our trip including to and from the airport, booked all the hotels (including the big tents in the Sahara Desert), sorted out all of our tours, provided breakfast for us everyday, and also two dinners (at the hotel in Ouarzazate and a buffet in the Sahara).
They also offered us free WiFi in the buses that we took to the different places. All in all, my experience with Viaje en Marruecos was just awesome and I highly recommend this company if you are looking for a tour agency.
First Impressions of the Sahara Desert
When I first arrived in the Sahara Desert in Morocco I was so amazed that I couldn’t actually believe what I was experiencing. To see the beautiful colors of the rolling sand dunes, to feel the soft sand on my feet and to ride dromedaries while venturing deeper into the desert felt so extraordinary.
I have seen amazing desert scenes in movies and in TV series. When I would watch them, I would get so amazed by the views that I thought it was all made up for that scene (that it wasn’t real). But when I experienced the desert for myself I felt like I was in a movie and couldn’t believe it!
The smile on my face grew bigger and bigger, and I felt so grateful to be living out that moment. When the night came around, I got even more excited as one of my favorite things to do is to stare at the sky to watch the night stars shine. The sky there was perfect and endlessly beautiful.
I had never seen so many stars in my life, nor had I seen a prettier night sky. It was so humbling and I felt tiny compared to the whole galaxy of stars above me. I did my best to take photos but none of them could truly capture the beauty of the starry night sky that I was appreciating. Everything in the Sahara made me feel happy, amazed and grateful.
Incredible Activities in the Sahara Desert
When we arrived at the Sahara Desert, the first thing we did was ride dromedaries and venture deep into the desert. Then we got off the dromedaries and appreciated the gorgeous sunset in the desert. Others in our group also participated in sandboarding during the epic golden hour.
Once it started to get dark, we headed back with the dromedaries to where our tents were located. We got back to the tents and everyone was waiting for us ready to celebrate a Moroccan party with batucadas and a campfire. They informed us that we would be enjoying a buffet for dinner and so we kept enjoying the party (a DJ even arrived) while eating delicious food.
Of course, I took advantage of this time to go stargazing and then headed back to the party to keep on celebrating. The next day some people had the chance to stay and do more dune-bashing with a 4×4 jeep or with ATV’s (with an extra fee). But I couldn’t stay, so I returned to Marrakech.
The one activity that stood out for me was the dromedary ride. It just feels amazing, like if you are in a movie. While you are on the dromedary you can admire the huge desert landscape surrounding you. It’s a feeling that you can’t perfectly describe in words because it’s just so epic in real life.
Sleeping in Tents in the Sahara Desert
We stayed in some huge tents in the Sahara which had enough space to sleep 7 people. All 7 of us in the tent had access to a bed and they were all equipped with sheets, pillows and blankets (at night it can get cold).
I recommend this type of accommodation for the desert because it was just so comfortable. The travel company Viaje en Marruecos is now building their own hotel named “Sahara Pearl Hotel” which will be even more amazing than the tents where we stayed (also provided by them).
Need to Know Before you Go
- Book your Sahara Desert experience with a travel agency (Viaje en Marruecos is the best). This way you can also learn from the culture and traditions while you admire everything and have fun while doing so. This amazing tour agency makes things easy and comfortable for you.
- If you would like to, buy some traditional Moroccan clothes (turban, pants, dresses, etc.) so you can feel more immersed in the culture. This also makes the photos you take look more amazing and authentic!
- To get the best photo shots, go early and enjoy the desert. Look for places that are high above the ground with not many people around (believe me, the desert is huge and you will find plenty of open spaces).
- For dromedary photography, give your cellphone to the guys in charge of the animals and they will take some cool, creative photos for you.
- While you are in the desert, forget about everything and just enjoy what you are experiencing because it’s so amazing. Take good photos but try not to be on your phone/camera too much. You don’t want to miss out on special moments or not take everything in personally.
- Try to go to the Sahara Desert in the seasons that are not too hot (summer) and not too cold (October and November are still perfect). You want to enjoy the weather while riding the dromedaries.
- Bring a jacket for the night because it can get very cold in the desert.
- If you are in two minds about visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco, stop doubting yourself and just go! You will thank me later for that.