The Luxury Desert Stay Close to the Heart of Marrakech

Caravan Agafay
Caravan Agafay | Courtesy of Our Habitas/Kleinjan Groenewald

Editorial Manager

Marrakech is the thriving hub of tourism in Morocco. It’s an outstanding destination full of ancient culture, stunning riads and authentic cuisine that highlight some of the best things associated with the country. You can also enjoy the full desert experience less than 45 minutes from the city centre at a luxurious property that offers the complete off-the-beaten-track escape.

Marrakech is easily accessible thanks to international flights to the modern airport that sits only a few minutes from the centre of the city. The Old Town, within the walled Medina, is full of wanderlust experiences that you’ll want to see for yourself, from craftsmen working on elaborate jewellery and leatherwear, to local cooks preparing fresh street food. The tightly packed alleyways are lined with unassuming doors that often open up into cosy riad style properties with cooling central gardens. These tiny homes are a practical option when choosing a place to stay in the city, but you’ll want to pair this with a few nights under the desert skies for the complete Moroccan adventure.

Here’s where a trip to the Agafay Desert comes in, and why a stay at Caravan Agafay by Our Habitas serves as the perfect addition to any visit to Marrakech.

The luxury homes at Caravan by Agafay still feel very Moroccan

Where to stay in the Agafay Desert

Caravan Agafay by Our Habitas, located just 45 minutes from downtown Marrakech, is the ideal base for desert activities and offers authentic experiences like horseback riding, camel trekking, desert survival skills, yoga & mindfulness, and stargazing.

Embracing nomadic Bedouin culture and traditions around communal living to create an immersive glamping experience for travellers seeking adventure, the 20 stylish Moroccan canvas wall tents are spread over five hectares of private land. As someone not that familiar with ‘roughing it’, I’m pleased to report that this is definitely a premium residence. The staff will take care of everything and put you at ease right away.

The myriad of options can be overwhelming when looking through the list of daily activities, but there’s no pressure to plan too far in advance so the best approach is to go with the flow. The individual tents are set a little away from the communal hubs, so you’ll have plenty of privacy when you want it. The central dining space is a sumptuous highlight with the chef eager to please any requirement.

Two large pools are available if you want to cool off in the daytime, and you might want to in the summer as this part of Morocco can get very hot at peak times. The clientele are an interesting mix of foreign visitors seemingly from all around the world. Couples and families will particularly find plenty to entertain themselves, although larger groups also appear to be drawn here to fully relax away from the intense atmosphere of the city.

Rates start from £285 per night.

Things to do in the Agafay Desert

Most people will be able to do a day trip to the desert, and these are a great option if you aren’t able to stay here. You will miss out on the thrill of spending a night under the stars, however, so it certainly is worth extending your time in Marrakech to stay here for at least one evening.

Horse riding is arguably the best way to explore the Berber villages dotted around the area, at least if you want to travel slowly. Quad bikes, 4×4 vehicles and touristy camel rides are also available, but if you want a smart alternative then pick up an E-bike and go for a guided tour. Berber culture is all about hospitality and welcomes guests like family, something that feels instantly different to the more abrupt approach you can encounter in the city.

You can book sunset experiences to ease into the tranquil nights but also head to more party-focussed camps where local food and entertainment will be provided. The desert itself is an interesting mix of pristine sands and more rocky terrain which gives the region a unique character.

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