Many hours away from the bustling city of Marrakech, lies one of the best treasures in Morocco: the Sahara Desert.
It’s an incredible adventure and one that takes a large commitment of time to get to. There are many “desert” adventures offered from cities like Marrakech but only a few that go to the actual Sahara Desert. Some go to the smaller dunes just outside of Marrakech, and others head to the Erg Chebbi dunes near Merzouga, which are the ones inside the Sahara Desert.
Many tours are offered with different options ranging from extra nights in the desert, or additional stops along the way. When I was in Morocco, I went with Desert Luxury Camp for a three night luxury glamping adventure, which included two nights in their famed luxury tents and one night in the Skoura Oasis. The trek was long, and much longer than I expected. In the end, it was completely worth it and a complete bucket list experience.
Here’s the scoop on a luxury glamping adventure in the Sahara Desert, Morocco:
Day 1: The adventure starts very early, with a departure from Marrakech at 7:30 in the morning. Hiring a private driver and choosing the private camp, our driver met us with a 4WD car and we began our journey. It started through the Atlas Mountains with a stop to take in the views. We descended into the valley, through winding roads and open views. We stopped for lunch halfway through the day around 1:30pm at a local spot that our driver took us to. The day continued on and we passed through the “gates of the Sahara” around 4:30pm. We continued on for another hour, passing through town and then eventually turned off on a dirt road. Within minutes dirt turned into sand, the car was switched to 4WD and it felt like a scene out of Indiana Jones! We arrived to our tents at around 6:30pm. We settled in, enjoyed a lovely dinner, and headed straight to bed.
Tips: Bring toilet paper, medication if you get carsick, plenty of snacks and any additional beverages.
Day 2: Waking up before the sun, we set out with a guide to hike the highest dune to watch the sunrise. It was truly magical — a moment that suddenly made countless hours in the car worth it. We sat there for an hour, snapping photos and taking in the vast desert. We went back to camp, changed up, and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast. We had opted for a camel ride before the heat of the day, and set out for an hour and half ride. I had ridden camels before, so I was quite comfortable and loved the experience. Returning to camp, we spent the rest of the day hanging at camp, reading books, and relaxing. Late in the afternoon we gave “sand-boarding” a try which was fun! The evening arrived to live Berber music, a great meal, and a star-filled sky. This was our second night in the desert in the comfortable tents, that have great bathrooms attached. A warm shower never felt better as the desert does get incredible cold!
Tips: Wear appropriate clothes for the camel ride and be prepared for when the camel sits up and down!
Day 3: Waking up to our last breakfast in the desert, it was time to make our journey home. Leaving at 8 am, we drove through the valley, and this time headed towards the Skoura Oasis. Afterwards, we stopped for lunch before heading to the Todra Gorge to see running water. Afterwards, we made it to our hotel in the Skoura Oasis, filled with hundreds of palm trees. You can choose the hotel you stay at, and at different price points. We stayed at L’Ma Lodge and adored it. Somewhere I would go back just for the stay!
Day 4: Our final morning, our drive and guide met us at the hotel at 8am and we made the journey all the way to Essaouira. On the way, we stopped at the incredible Ksar of Ait Benhouddou for a quick tour with a local guide that was informative. With a few bathroom stops, a lunch stop, we eventually arrived to the coast at 5:30pm.
Bon Traveler’s Tips For Staying at the Desert Luxury Camp
- Be prepared for a wide range of weather, the nights are incredibly cold.
- A few items to pack: sunscreen, wipes, rubber flip flops, closed-toe shoes, a good jacket, pants for a camel ride, a hat to protect from the sun, and any medicine you may need for the trip.
- The team at Desert Luxury Camp is incredibly professional and helpful — they can tailor your trip to what you’re looking for.
- Have cash to tip your driver and guides.
- The food is incredible at the camp, so do not worry, each meal is delicious and plentiful!
- The beds are very comfortable, I recommend earplugs to ensure a good night’s sleep. Each tent is equipped with outlets, a full bathroom, robes, and plenty of blankets.
Book this experience
Head to http://www.desertluxurycamp.com/ to see many options for your time in the Sahara. I’d recommend a minimum 2 nights in the desert.
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*Bon Traveler was welcomed as guest of Desert Luxury Camp. As always, all opinions are own.