The Desert de Merzouga - Morocco

Merzouga, at Morocco, is a small village of the Sahara desert known as the Gate of the Erg Chebbi, a huge extent of sand dunes that extends north of the city.

Merzouga, Morocco, is a place where we can experience the extremes - the immensity and hardness of the Sahara desert, the isolation of tiny cities disseminated in the region and the challenges of life in such a Region, but also their rich and unique cultures and warm hospitality.

In this article we will see the following points:

  • The exploration of the desert
  • Where to eat
  • Or stay

Explore the desert

There are many ways to see and explore the desert surrounding Merzouga. The sweetest and most comfortable consists of booking a 4 × 4 ride with one of the excellent tourist guides of Morocco. You can visit the area with a local expert who will tell you all that is interesting, while enjoying the air conditioning and a flexible driving.

If you are looking for a more intense experience, go into the desert aboard a mountain bike or camel, or try going down the dunes in Sand Boarding!

Complete your trip by passing the night in a traditional desert camp.

It is a unique experience, with unparalleled observation of the stars, absolute calm, and a total absence of stress and the constant attention required for everyday life. Many local hotels can organize these outings for you, or you can book with a local tour operator.

Desert de Merzouga

An interesting ecological feature of the region is Dayt Srji, a seasonal salt lake that attracts huge stolen migratory birds.

We often think that the deserts are devoid of life, but in Dayet Srji, you can see it in its most alive aspect. Erfoud's fossil bonds are another incredible natural characteristic of the region.

A broadband of old seabed from Devonian is exposed, making it one of the top places of fossilling in the world. In fact, it is known as the world capital of trilobite! In some areas you can search for your own fossils, and many shops are also selling them.

Check Atlas Geo Tours if you are particularly interested in geology.

The oasis of Tafilalet It is also close, where green palm and fresh streams contrast with red rock formations and undulating dunes. The cities of Erfoud, Arab Sebbah of Ziz, Rissani, Seffalat, Aoufous and Jorf are there. The oasis of igrane is also close.

These natural water sources allow agriculture and therefore sedentarization. They have a story and a culture that goes back thousands of years.

The circuits can include a stop here - or respond to a visit request, or you can drive yourself in the oasis.

Oasis Merzouga


Moroccan cuisine is typically regional - you can try a dish that you love in a city to discover that a few hours later, nobody has heard about it.

Each region has certain ingredients and cooking styles that it is particularly proud of, and it is very fun to taste local specialties in every city you visit.

During your visit to Merzouga, do not miss to taste the local specialty, the Berber pizza.

Berber pizza

Cafe Nora Restaurant

Charming, rustic and authentic, the Cafe Nora restaurant is the ideal place to taste the local specialty: the Berber pizza. More like a calzone with a golden crust on the top and bottom, it is filled with beef, chicken or tasty vegetables.

You can also order simple salads, eggs, fresh fruit and mint tea. The frame is also charming: sheltered from elements by smooth mud walls and a thatched roof, you can contemplate the infinite range of sand while enjoying the comfortable interior decorated with traditional carpets and pottery.

Cafe Restaurant Tenere

Cafe Restaurant Tenere is ideally located in the center of Merzouga and offers a varied menu with many options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start your day with tea or coffee, fresh bread, butter, jam and olive oil, or a hearty Berber omelette.

For lunch and dinner, try a sumptuous tajine of beef, chicken, vegetables, chopped beef or a traditional style of dried meat, Khlia. They also serve couscous, grilled skewers, sandwiches, salads and local specialty, Berber pizza.

Berber omelette

Cafe Fatima Restaurant

On the Cafe Fatima restaurant menu, you will find typical dishes such as breakfast with fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, bread, jam, olive oil and butter, tajines and Moroccan salads. Do not miss their special dishes, grilled chicken skewers with fries and chopped beef sandwich and vegetables.

This café is located about 5 km north of the center of Merzouga on the R702, and can be convenient if you visit the dunes of the Erg Chebbi, or if you stay in the rooms they rent are fun, colorful And simple with a classic desert style, and there is free Wi-Fi and a refreshing pool, and they can lend you sandboards.

Dakar Restaurant

At the Dakar Restaurant, you will always find a warm service from the Youssef owner and tasty and freshly prepared dishes such as tajines, grilled skewers and salads. It is also used for good tea and good coffee, making it the ideal place for a mid-morning or afternoon break.

Cafe Restaurant Saharatime

If you never have enough dunes, you can lunch, dinner or have a tea! The Saharatime Restaurant Café is located about 4 km north of the center of the village of Merzouga, just east of the R702 and is in fact in the sand dunes, with views of the desert all around.

You can sit inside the comfortable land building, or outside on a table or coverage in the sand. The food, tea and coffee are excellent and the staff is friendly and welcoming. The place is also comfortable, with sofas inside and western-style toilets.

Or stay

Inn the rocks

The inn the rocks is perfectly located near the city center of Merzouga and on the edge of the dunes. The Auberge Les Roches has comfortable rooms, decorated in a colorful way, with good bathrooms, a swimming pool and a large patio with views of the dunes.

It offers organized trips, including stays of 1 and 2 nights in tent in the desert and excursions to Marrakech and Fes. Breakfast is included and other meals are available.

Auberge Merzouga

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