Fes, with its labyrinthine streets and vibrant souks, is a city that pulses with life. The call to prayer echoes through the air, mingling with the sounds of merchants selling their wares. But as the first rays of sunlight hit the city, we set off on our adventure. There’s a sense of anticipation, a thrill of the unknown as we drive towards the desert.

Our journey begins early, with the sun just peeking over the horizon. The road from Fes to the desert is long but filled with scenic beauty. As we drive, the landscape begins to change. The green fields and olive groves slowly give way to rocky terrains and arid expanses.

The Middle Atlas Mountains

Our first major landmark is the Middle Atlas Mountains. These mountains are a stark contrast to the cityscape of Fes. Covered in cedar forests and home to Berber villages, the Middle Atlas offers a glimpse into a different side of Morocco. We stop in Ifrane, often referred to as “Little Switzerland” due to its alpine-style architecture and clean streets. It’s a perfect place to stretch our legs and grab a cup of mint tea.

As we continue our journey, we pass through Azrou, a town known for its cedar forest and the Barbary macaques that inhabit it. These playful monkeys are a delightful sight, adding a touch of wildness to our trip.

Ziz Valley: The Gateway to the Sahara

After crossing the mountains, we enter the Ziz Valley. This lush valley, with its date palm groves and deep gorges, feels like an oasis. The Ziz River carves its way through the landscape, providing life to the flora and fauna. We take a moment to explore the area, marveling at the stark contrast between the green valley and the surrounding arid land.

The valley gradually opens up to the vast expanse of the desert. As we drive, the scenery becomes more and more surreal. The sky takes on a deeper shade of blue, and the horizon seems endless.

Arrival in Merzouga

Finally, after visit to Rissani souk, we reach Merzouga, the gateway to the Erg Chebbi dunes. The sight of these towering sand dunes is breathtaking. They rise majestically from the desert floor, their golden hues shifting with the light of the setting sun.

Merzouga is a small village, but it bustles with activity. It’s a hub for desert adventures, and the excitement in the air is palpable. We meet our guide, a friendly Berber who will lead us into the heart of the desert.

Camel Trekking into the Dunes

No trip to the Sahara is complete without a camel trek. As we mount our camels and start our journey into the dunes, the experience feels almost surreal. The rhythmic sway of the camels, the soft crunch of sand underfoot, and the vast silence of the desert create a meditative atmosphere.

As the sun sets, the sky transforms into a canvas of brilliant colors—reds, pinks, and purples. The dunes glow in the twilight, and we make our way to our camp, where a traditional Berber feast awaits.

Desert Camp: A Night Under the Stars

Our desert camp is a cozy enclave of tents, equipped with all the comforts one could need. After a hearty dinner of tagine and couscous, we gather around the campfire. The stars begin to emerge, one by one, until the sky is filled with a glittering array of constellations. It’s a humbling sight, a reminder of the vastness of the universe.

The Berbers share stories and play traditional music, their voices blending with the sound of the desert wind. It’s a magical evening, one that lingers in the memory long after we’ve left the desert.

Sunrise Over the Dunes

We wake early to witness the sunrise. The first light of day paints the dunes in soft, golden hues. Climbing to the top of a dune, we watch as the sun rises, casting long shadows and illuminating the landscape. It’s a moment of pure serenity, a perfect end to our desert adventure.

Suggested Trips for Desert Morocco Adventure

Merzouga to Erg Chebbi: Spend a few days exploring the Erg Chebbi dunes. Enjoy camel treks, quad biking, and sandboarding. Stay in a traditional Berber camp and immerse yourself in the culture.

Visit the Gnawa village Khamlia: Near Merzouga, there is a village known for its Gnawa music called Khamlia. In Khamlia, there are houses where you can visit Gnawa musicians and dancers, such as Dar Gnaoua Bambara Khamlia. Next to the Gnawa music house, there is an amazing restaurant that specializes in Berber pizza and warm salad.

Zagora to Erg Chigaga: For a less crowded experience, head to Erg Chigaga near Zagora. The dunes here are less frequented by tourists, offering a more secluded adventure. Enjoy 4×4 tours and visit nearby oases.

Dades and Todra Gorges: Combine your desert trip with a visit to these stunning gorges. Hike through the dramatic landscapes and enjoy the unique rock formations.

Ait Benhaddou and the Draa Valley: On your way to the desert, explore the historic kasbah of Ait Benhaddou and the picturesque Draa Valley, with its palm groves and ancient settlements.


A journey from Fes to the Sahara is more than just a trip—it’s an adventure that stays with you. From the vibrant streets of Fes to the tranquil beauty of the desert, each moment is a testament to Morocco’s diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage. Whether you choose to explore the towering dunes of Erg Chebbi or the remote beauty of Erg Chigaga, a desert adventure in Morocco promises unforgettable memories and a deep connection with nature.

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