All the information to discover the Agafay desert in Morocco

 All the information to discover the Agafay desert in Morocco

Located about 40 km south of Marrakech, the Agafay desert is a true haven of peace with sublime landscapes. This rocky desert reminiscent of the Sahara is not one of them! If you don’t know what to do in Morocco, the Agafay desert is a perfect alternative to do a desert excursion during a short stay, because it is much closer to the city! 

If you want to know more about this fantastic place, follow the guide! Here is all the information you need to organize an outing in the Agafay desert.

How to get to the Agafay desert?

Unlike other desert areas of Morocco such as the Erg Chebbi desert (near the city of Merzouga) and the Erg Chigaga desert (near Zagora), which are part of the Moroccan Sahara, the Agafay desert is found much closer to Marrakech. It is in fact the only desert that can be discovered in a single day from Marrakech 

The Agafay Desert is about a 40-minute drive from Marrakech. Several options are available to reach it from the city:

Car rental is an option that can be financially attractive and offers great freedom. If you decide to take a road trip in Morocco, you will surely be able to stop and discover this desert! However, driving in Morocco is not always easy and pleasant, and it is above all a solution intended for people who are somewhat used to driving abroad, or even for those who already know the region. Having a car may be more interesting for longer journeys, but to go from Marrakech to Agafay, other options are more practical!

Taking a taxi to travel from Marrakech to Agafay can be a good solution, but you will have to be careful to negotiate the price of the fare even before departure, to avoid unpleasant surprises! If you simply take this precaution, you will see that Moroccan drivers know how to be particularly hospitable and warm 

Taking an excursion to the Agafay desert from Marrakech is the easiest and most practical solution, especially since even if you reach the desert on your own, you will also need to hire the services anyway. a guide to practice activities and discover the region. These organized outings do not offer as much freedom, but they are designed to offer travelers the typical experience of discovering Agafay. You can be picked up from your hotel, your riad or a central location in Marrakech. You will then leave for the Agafay desert where several activities await you depending on the chosen outing (camel ride, hot air balloon flight, buggy, quad, dinner in a camp…) 

Excursions in the Agafay desert from Marrakech

The Agafay desert is part of the Marrakech desert but it is not a sand desert, but a stone desert. It is therefore a reg and not an erg, unlike the Saharan areas present in Morocco  This arid setting is enhanced by the presence in the distance of the Atlas mountains, and by an astonishing oasis of seven hectares in its center: a real little paradise on earth in the heart of an arid valley, where olive trees and vines grow 

If you are in town and you do not know what to do in Marrakech, an excursion to this desert is a real must! The most classic way to discover the Agafay desert is to go on an excursion from Marrakech. And if you prefer, you can also reach the city of Agafay on your own and choose your activities directly on site 

A large number of excursions from Marrakech are offered, but many formulas are ultimately quite similar. Here are some examples of excursions in the Agafay desert that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

The excursion in the Atlas and the Agafay desert

This typical outing in the Agafay desert is the perfect activity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day! You can enjoy the calm and breathtaking landscapes of the desert, and immerse yourself in Berber culture 

For this excursion in the Atlas and the Agafay desert, you will be picked up in Marrakech. You will reach the desert in the company of your local guide, who will proudly tell you about its culture and the beauty of its region. You will have the opportunity to visit the Atlas Mountains and discover its bewitching waterfalls and charming villages Welcomed by the inhabitants of the small Berber villages in the area, you can enjoy a mint tea in Imlil. You will also visit a traditional argan oil factory in Tahanaout and enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal in Ait Souka.

As you cross the Kik plateau, the beauty and variety of the landscapes will amaze you, and you will have a nice camel ride (or on horseback if you prefer), which will end up making this day unforgettable! For this superb full-day excursion, count around $55 per person (excluding discounts).

An evening in the desert

If you want to spend an evening in the desert, I recommend a desert excursion and dinner from Marrakech. This will be the perfect opportunity to discover the beauty of the desert by night while enjoying the hospitality and local gastronomy!
From €68 per person, you will be picked up from your hotel in the late afternoon and then transferred to a camp in the desert to admire a magnificent sunset over the dunes from the top of a small cliff , while enjoying tea and pastries. You will then spend an evening full of surprises during which you will be able to enjoy an excellent traditional dinner and attend belly dancing and fire-eater shows 

If you want to live an incredible experience during your stay in Marrakech, I really recommend that you spend a day and a night under the stars in a camp in the middle of the desert.

From $140 per person, you will leave during the afternoon to reach the rocky valley of the Agafay desert, where you will be welcomed in an authentic camp with tea and Moroccan pastries. During the afternoon, you can choose to go on a camel ride, or explore the desert by quad or buggy.

In the evening, you will reach the camp in time to admire the sunset, before going to enjoy a local dinner consisting of salads, tajines and fruits. After spending the night in a luxurious tent that has showers, toilets and all the necessary comforts, you can watch the sunrise and have a good breakfast before returning to Marrakech.

Exploration of the desert by quad

If you want to combine thrills and a moment of relaxation, this quad experience with lunch should please you Discover the desert on a quad that will allow you to cross the high dunes and admire magnificent panoramas while filling up with strong feelings. Picked up from your hotel in Marrakech, you will reach the Agafay desert then, after having received the driving instructions, you can practice handling the machine before setting off to discover this desert environment! All the necessary equipment (helmet and goggles) is of course provided.

Several photo breaks are planned to immortalize this experience which also includes a typical Moroccan lunch in a nomadic camp. Count around $53 per person for this unforgettable experience!

Where to sleep in the Agafay desert?

If you want to spend a night in the Agafay desert, several bivouacs are waiting for you. Some are very authentic camps, and others more luxurious places, but one thing is certain, it is that you can spend an unforgettable night there under a magnificent starry sky.

Inara Camp is a stunning desert camp with luxurious facilities including a bar, restaurant, garden, swimming pool and even a bowling alley. The staff are attentive, the environment is superb, and you can spend the night there in a luxury tent that offers plenty of space and privacy, from around $190 per night.

Canyon Lodge Désert Agafay is a magnificent hotel located in Lalla Tekerkoust and which has a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor swimming pool. This luxury bivouac which offers a magnificent panorama of the Atlas Mountains offers beautiful spacious and comfortable rooms, with pleasant terraces where you can contemplate a breathtaking setting Double rooms are accessible from $185 the night approximately.

Emeraude Camp Agafay also offers to spend the night in the desert in a luxury tent 35 km from Marrakech. In the heart of a dream setting, these large furnished tents have toilets and showers, and they offer all the necessary comfort. Many activities are offered, and the establishment also has a swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant which serves typical Moroccan dishes. You can spend a night there in a tent for two from around $240 per night.

When is the best time to go?

The Agafay desert can be discovered throughout the year, but in the middle of summer the heat is often quite difficult to bear. The best time to visit the Agay desert is from January to May and from September to December.

Even in the middle of winter, the average temperatures are above 20 degrees during the day, the sunshine is excellent and it rains very little From June to mid-September, the thermometer often exceeds 35 degrees, with heat records in July and August, which can make the discovery less pleasant.

If you plan to spend a night in the Agafay desert between November and February, it will be necessary to bring some warm clothes, because the temperatures can be very low in the evening and especially during the night!

As far as tourist numbers are concerned, the high season runs from November to March. During this period, it is important to book your desert excursion a little in advance.

So much for this article on the Agafay desert  I hope you enjoyed it and that it made you want to organize an outing to this magical place! Do not hesitate to leave a comment if you recommend other activities to do in the desert. And if you plan to visit Marrakech during your stay, you can consult our article on the districts of Marrakech to be sure not to miss anything 

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