How to Spend the Weekend in the Sahara Desert

Two people walking across the desert
Two people walking across the desert | © 16:9clue / Flickr
Yasmine

When visiting Morocco, you must go on a Sahara Desert trip, as it is the most mind-blowing experience you’ll probably ever have. If you choose to go from Marrakech, you can find many good deals at your hotel/hostel desk, with an all-included weekend from $70.

Friday

Friday is going to be a pretty long day, as the Sahara Desert is actually much farther than you would expect, a whopping 10-hour drive from Marrakech to the Erg Chebbi dunes. Fortunately, your tour includes discovering the Berber culture along the way by stopping at the famous fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou. You might recognize the village from several Hollywood films, including Gladiator or Game of Thrones. After another long car journey filled with oases, palm trees, and camels, you will finally reach your destination, where you will see the hotel and instantly go to sleep for the big day ahead.

Camels at Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate

Saturday

The next day, you have to wake up early to visit the dunes of the Sahara. Since the hotel is located just outside of the desert, you will have time to visit another Berber village to make sure you are not missing out on anything. Finally, you’ll be in the desert, and the first thing you will notice is how orange and big the dunes are; it is truly a magical moment. Next, is the anticipation of getting on the camels! This is a big moment, and you must note that riding a camel is anything but easy, especially in the dunes, where the camel’s feet sink in the sand with every step it takes. It will then be time for the sunset, where you will climb the highest dune in the area to have a perfect view of the sun setting over the Sahara Desert. After it gets dark, you will head over to your camp, where you will spend the night savoring a chicken tagine, listening to Berber music while dancing, and racing up the dunes until you get tired. When it’s time to go to bed, you will definitely want to sleep under the millions of stars that are fully visible from the desert. Note: it does get very cold at night, so make sure to pack a couple of jackets/jumpers.

Sahara Desert

Sunday

On Sunday, you’ll have to wake up at 5 a.m. to climb another high dune and watch the spectacular sunrise. This is truly a magical experience, as watching the sun rise on a landscape, with no buildings or people in sight, is oddly satisfying and feels really natural. Next, it will be time for you to get back on your camel, where you will instantly feel the ache in your muscles from the previous night, and ride back to the nearby village. This is where your trip ends, but it will be the most amazing and unforgettable experience you will ever have!

Saraha Desert
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