3 days to Sahara desert
A trip from Marrakech on 3 days to Sahara desert … or 4?
We planned visiting Marrakech one day and spend 3 on a Sahara excursion. Should we visit the red city and some one-day-excursions around it instead?
In fact, it all depends on you and the occasions you have to return to Morocco. Because if you have never been to the desert, then you must go there! And, although some dunes are a little bit nearer from Marrakech (Erg Chegaga), the most beautiful ones, and perhaps most worthwhile experience, is Erg Chebbi (probably where you are planning to go, via Erfoud) a little be far.
Often tourists do a 3 days excursion from Marrakech go and return to the desert, and many agencies sell it. And we, like other agencies that we want to travel with more quality, have also done so, but we not recommend it, because it is very tired. If done, the first day has to be direct journey from Marrakech to the desert, doing some panoramic stops of course. Returning the following day and spend the night in the middle Dades or Ouarzazate.
The journey in 3 days to Sahara desert
You must take into account also that in winter days are shorter. So your chances to see more things in a long day trip decrease. But the main reason is that, no matter which season of the year you travel, there are 560 km one-way trip, which includes a mountain’s port and not always easy roads. Then in our opinion, 3 days to Sahara desert is a very expensive option: What you see has to be restricted in time and be in a hurry and finish tired. When there are many things to visit, and really to enjoy more time in the desert.
What we recommend
Less is more. Minimum 4 days to go to the desert. If you’re doing half-way an overnight stop, the second day when you reach Erg Chebbi, you will enjoy much more the desert, between that afternoon and next morning. In our opinion, since you’re making the run up there, at least enjoy it any longer. No need to say our recommendation is spend 2 nights in the desert for a really relaxing an embedded experience.
Therefore, if you only have 4 days, we would sacrifice a whole day to Marrakech, and enjoy the wonderful show in Yemaa el Fna square at night the first day and the rest during the last afternoon. We would be soon that last day in the red city so you can go for a walk and visit the souk to buy some handcraft for example. With this, you lose some glamour from the palaces of Marrakech, yes; but you can return.
Options to visit Marrakech
You can always go back to Marrakech to know it on a weekend alone or then add some one-day excursions around, such as Ourika valley, Toubkal mountain, the desert of Agafay (no sand there), or visiting Essaouira at the coast. You can also visit it in an imperial cities tour, and go to Casablanca, Rabat, Fez or visit the north.
The option to visit Marrakech and some excursions around is good if you want to make more city rather than desert, visit museums and palaces, and take advantage of its offer in hotels, restaurants and shops. Tourists go on camel in a palm tree zone in the outskirts of the city. Fot this is enough a couple of days, more the complementary excursions, for the first time. (We went a whole week this year and I did not finish the places we wanted to see calmly).
In the end, this is our opinion. Maybe you do not want or have the chance to go back to Morocco anymore (although if you go to Morocco, you repeat 😉 ). Then, you must choose the best option to spend on the fullest your days here!
If you want to book our Sahara desert tour and get more info click here. We will adapt it to the days you have.