We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Erg Chebbi

Ashburn, Virginia
Level Contributor
78 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Erg Chebbi

My husband and I will be in Marrakech for 4 days in January. We would like to see the desert and want to know our options.

Here are my questions.

1. How many hours drive is Erg Chebbi from Marrakech? Is there any other closerby desert?

2. Can this trip be made in one day (ie. go in morning, come back in evening?)

3. What companies can organize such a trip?

4. What are options for overnight stay? tents in desert? nearby riad or hotel?

5. What is weather like in January in both Marrakech and Erg Chebbi

Any advice or suggestions are welcome.

Sahara Tours International - Day Tours
Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Day Trips, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Deserts
East Gwillimbury...
Level Contributor
2,232 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Erg Chebbi

Hi Blissun.

Most of south Morocco is "desert" by Virginia standards, but yes, Erg Chebbi is the closest real 'nuthin but sand dunes' desert from Marrakech.

1. About 9 hours drive from Marrakech; a long, 1-day drive each way.

2. No sorry. Really, it's best to spend at least 1 night on Erg Chebbi in a Berber tent; via camel, of course.

3. Plenty. Poke around the forum for ideas.

4. Many of the hotels in the area offer overnight trips into the dunes as well as regular rooms.

5. I'll let the local experts advise on weather in January.

If you only have 4 days in Morocco, you may just want to use Marrakech as a home base, and take day trips to the Atlas, Ait Benhaddou, or Essaouira, for example.

There are lots of options avilable.

East Gwillimbury...
Level Contributor
2,232 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Erg Chebbi

Just to add to "how many hours drive?"...

About 9 hours, but you may consider stopping for a night around halfway...in Ouarzazate? Skoura? Agdz?

I would be quite a long drive to Merzouga in 1 shot, if you are driving yourselves.

If you only have 4 days total, you may not be able to do both Marrakech AND the desert.

Bucharest
Level Contributor
332 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Erg Chebbi

add this to spmm's helpful reply..! if you can't afford it then (ride a camel to see the sunset or sunrize) and retrace your steps to Marrakech.

i tested few hotels and have stayed with locals whcih make the nights (coool).

auberge camping sahara.

kasbah Mohayut.

l'oasis auberge.

and chez les habitantes (Dar-salem) that mean 'stay at local hous'.

the weather is just cold and FRZingggg; pack some warm clowth; Jacket-coat...

have a look at Virtualtourist.com 'January trips' to know about (weather....tips..ect)

Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Level Contributor
398 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Erg Chebbi

The weather is similar as Dec/Nov; the sahara is known by it's 2seasons; summer/winter; we never know how the winter will enter ; as it was raining for 3weeks ; last night was very cold; today is just prety suny; (T-shirt day). concidering your question about the weather in January that's simple: it will be just cold with clauds passing by our desert sky. the day durring winter become short and that's make it very cold.

It takes at least 3hs.30minuts/4hs from Dades; lot of companies organize for such desert trips; the largest company for desert trips have seted up camps in diferente spots in the desert; you don't have to look at diferente companies as all of them arrives with groups to Erg chebbi; even travellers doing "solo" arrive here with grand taxis/transit...ect

It's impossible to reach the desert and go for the camel ride plus overnight at the berber tents; this will be just a reazon to be exhauted; 2days is the aprox time for Marrakech-desert trip/tour.

you may rethink about the option that was gaven above (spmm's reply) whichadvise on doing it in 2steps (overnight in Ouarzazate or Dades/Todra gorges; then get ready for the 2sd day; starting the early morning is good advantage too; as there are lot of places that worth a visit and some photographing to do.

Ashburn, Virginia
Level Contributor
78 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Erg Chebbi

Thank you all for the useful information.

With 4 nights total to spend there, what would be a practical itenerary, giving about 1-2 days in Marrakech and 1 night in Erg Chebbi. Can this be booked in advance or only upon arrival? I'd like to reserve a Riad in Marrakech and one night stay in Erg Chebbi along with tour etc.

Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Level Contributor
398 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Erg Chebbi

Am sure; all the companies have the same Itiniraries; but if your trip is in distination of the desert then will be better to deal with a local company;

I think will be better if you book 1night in a Riad 'on your own'; which won't be includ in your (tour company offer); 1day from Marrakech will be good option in case you'll tend to stay 2days in the desert; then 1day (transfer) from Erg chebbi or Erg chegaga to Marrakech;

there are tour to Erg chegaga from/run by diferente companies; they often do this rout to save time and gaz costs; but won't be as visiting Erg chebbi (which is spectaculer).

4days could be a good tour if you plan it well; concidering tours; there are (private tours) that take us to the more you pay more you relax on the back chair; this sort of tours existe specialy for (short itiniries) for example 3days/2days Marrakech-desert. keep in mind that kind of tours are littel bt expensive;

In case you'll try (solo) which is recommended by folks over TA. then use Gand Taxis from Marrakech or CTM bus to Ouarzazate; then conect Erfoud by a hired Grand taxi; and here you get to Erg chebbi via Rissani .

good luck

7. Re: Erg Chebbi

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 9:47 am, October 31, 2008
Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Level Contributor
398 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Erg Chebbi

if i say it's raining now "23:27" then what will be your answer??? well it does; Jan is cold month and sun doesn't show up all the day'

Patrik i think it's better to report about ifran waether. i don't know anything about ifran but i can guess about the snow///

i never heard about around morocco company organizing tours to erg chebbi; who bet?? it's a virtual company??

Toronto
Level Contributor
342 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Erg Chebbi

I have used two tour companies to the desert: Sahara Expeditions (www.saharaexpe.ma), which is a no-frills budget tour (large group) to the desert. The driver was also the guide, he didnt speak english and he didnt explain anything about the sites we visited. We were also 14 people together in a van without air conditioning for 8 hours. I wouldnt entirely recommend them unless you had absolutely no other way to get to the desert. I have also used Berber Adventures (www.berberadventures.c.la) and organized a private tour (not large group) around the south. It was a custom tour, as I had some very specific sites to see and things to do when I was there. They were very professional, responsible, easy to get along with (very fun!), and most importantly, patient and flexible as I made changes to the itinerary along the way. I would advise that you check them out.

10. Re: Erg Chebbi

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:18 am, October 14, 2009