Merzouga is a small dusty town in Morocco about 450 miles from Marrakech and close to the Algerian border. Ouarzazate is the closest large town. Merzouga is 50 km from the town of Erfoud and Rissani. It is the gateway to the Moroccan desert.
Tag: 4×4 Desert Excursions
Things to do in Ouarzazate. The Top 10 Things to do in Ouarzazate, Morocco is a hot list of activities and experiences that one can do alone, with their spouse or friends and family in the the door to the Sahara Desert. The most popular activities on a Ouarzazate Tour typically included spending time visiting the Oasis of Fint, the many Kasbahs in the region such as Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, Kasbah Tifoultilte, Kasbah Taouirirt, Kasbah Telouet and Kasbah Telouet in the Tizzin’ Tichka Pass. A Sahara Tour from Ouarzazate to the region of Zagora where one can pass through the Draa Valley’s volcanic rock, the old road of Caravans and have lunch with a Berber, Moroccan family is not to be missed. In Zagora or the M’hamid Sahara Desert one can take a 4×4 tour by pise and explore the unique flora and fauna of Morocco’s Sahara region.
“Ouarzazate has one main street, about fifty yards long, and two thousand people, of whom two hundred are French. The temperature can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. ” So says world-renowned journalist John Gunther in 1952, of his visit to Ouarzazate, during the reign of the Pasha Glaoui, whose honored guest he was.
Isolated in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is one of Morocco’s hidden treasures. Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier and Tetouan making it the perfect Rif Mountain holiday adventure. The city was founded in 1471, as a small fortress which still exists to this day, by Moorish exiles from Spain ed by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Radhed El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. Chefchaouen was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times.
For anyone interested in touring Morocco’s kasbahs or ksars, I highly recommend starting with Kasbah Taourirt, the Pasha Glaoui’s former palace in Ouarzazate. Kasbah Taorirt was built by the Pasha Glaoui. Its location was strategic for trading routes and in the 1930’s when the Glaoui ruled the South was then considered one of Morocco’s largest Kasbahs. Kasbah Taourirt was one of the places Glaoui kept his slaves. As a Moroccan traveler you can explore its nooks and crannies to discover its history and often local female painters who sell their art inside as well as the many quality silver shops just steps outside the Kasbah.
Pasha T’hami Glaoui was the most powerful man in Morocco between 1953 and 1956, in addition to being one of the richest men in the world at that time. The title Pasha means Governor. Glaoui was the Pasha of Marrakesh (since 1912), Ouarzazate, and most of the Moroccan south during the time Morocco was under French rule. The most important Kasbahs’ in Morocco that were occupied by the Pacha Glaoui during his reign and are frequented by Moroccan travelers today are Kasbah Taouirt, located in the center of Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou, located 15 kilometers outside Ouarzazate and Kasbah Telouet which sits in the village of Telouet nestled outside the Onilla Valley.
Are you wondering what there is to see and do in Dakhla, Morocco besides kitesurfing? Dakhla also referred to as Ad Dakhla is a fishing and surfing paradise which was once the capital of the Spanish province of Rio de Oro. Dakhla or Ad Dakhla is one of the ultimate places to go where you can witness unspoiled Sahara Desert scenery. Visiting Dakhla is ideal for Moroccan travelers who want to get away from the crowds and visit a place where it is still possible to see the authentic nomad lifestyle nearby. Another place in Morocco where it is possible to see the authentic Nomad lifestyle is in the Bouthgrar region near Mount Mgoun which is often referred to as the Valley of Nomads. The Valley of Nomads can be visited from en route from Ouarzazate when passing the Valley of Roses.
Dakhla or Ad Dakhla, Morocco is located on the southern Sahara desert coast of Morocco, just above the Tropic of Cancer and is one of the best locations in the world for kitesurfing. Both the 2010 World Kitesurfing Championships and the 2009 Dakhla Kiteboard World Cup were held there. Dakhla has a 50-km flat-water shallow sand-basin lagoon, with perfect wind conditions, which is why it is so popular.
Adopt a Moroccan schedule To Beat the Heat in Morocco During Summer & Other Seasons. Take advantage of the cool early morning hours in Morocco in Summer by taking a mid-moring snack and a late lunch about 1:00 PM. Take a nap in your air-conditioned hotel room or traditional Moroccan Riad, or a dip in the pool. Around 4 PM, have a snack, and head out again around 4:30-5:00 PM. You won’t miss much, because Moroccans tend to lie low during this same time. Enjoy yourself until dark, then head off for dinner around 8-9:00 PM. Take advantage of the Moroccan night life during the cool evening hours if you’re staying in Imperial cities such as Marrakech, Essaouira or Casablanca, all which boast varied restaurants with Moroccan and International cuisine along with entertainment.
The Erg Chegaga Dunes of Morocco are the perfect place for a Sahara Adventure allowing Moroccan Travelers to escape the city lights and find themselves literally in the middle of no where. Erg Chegaga is considered by many to be the “real” Sahara Desert with it’s authentic rustic colored sand dunes and unique flora and fauna. Until recently cell phone coverage was not available in Chigaga and a Sahara journey to the Erg Chegaga Dunes was intended for those who wanted to discover the rocky and desolate areas of the Sahara. Historically speaking, the French and the British were primarily interested in visiting Chegaga however in the past several years that has changed. Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and also Moroccans who are interested in an authentic Sahara Desert adventure that takes them deep into the vast Sahara frequent Morocco’s Erg Chigaga Dunes. Centuries ago, the Sahara Desert was covered with water that flowed through and over it. Morocco’s Sahara akin to its rocky piste region of the Onila Valley and Telouet were created by the geologic submergence of water and wind that pressed up against its basalt rock and has today created some of what make up the most magnificent landscape scenery in the Maghreb.