It is the pearl of the Moroccan desert, a true jewel very popular with tourists from all over the world. Merzouga, a small village in southeastern Morocco, about 35 kilometers southeast of Rissani, about 45 kilometers from Erfoud, and about 20 kilometers from the Algerian border, is known worldwide for its beautiful landscapes and the immensity of its dunes where You lose your sight. That is why Merzouga is one of the ideal places to admire its sunset, as well as to contemplate a magnificent starry sky.
Near Merzouga is Erg Chebbi which means "The little dune" despite its name are curiously the largest dunes in the country, with 250 meters in height. Legend has it that these impressive dunes are the result of a divine punishment inflicted on the inhabitants of the ancient village of Merzouga, who, while celebrating a feast, refused to welcome a woman and her children who arrived exhausted and died when they did not receive help and A furious storm of sand rose completely covering the town and its inhabitants. Since then they say that they hear screams at noon leaving the immense dunes. The truth is that these dunes captivate visitors because of its immensity and the orange color of its sand. Some of these beautiful formations reach over 200 meters in height and change color depending on the time of day. It is an unforgettable experience to contemplate the beautiful sunrise or sunset over its dunes, as well as the incredible mantle of stars that closes on their nights, thanks to which in Merzouga, located in the heart of the Sahara desert, is far from urban pollution And light to which we are accustomed most of us. The dunes can be traversed on foot or on the backs of dromedaries or in 4x4 vehicles. In addition, the road leading from Erfoud to Merzouga Rissani and is dotted with hotels, inns and Kasbah.
Merzouga in recent years is positioning itself as the star of the tourist destinations of the Moroccan desert. But in addition to its famous dunes, Merzouga is also known for the variety of birds that can be observed there, among which are avutardas, chotacabras and flocks of pink flamingos. These birds usually concentrate near the lake that forms during the winter floods on the way to Rissani.
Desert fox Morocco Sahara
There is also a rich fauna in the environs of Merzouga worth mentioning as they can be reptiles like: (spiny tail lizard, monitor lizard and horned viper or sand viper), mammals such as gerbils, desert urchins, field mice and Foxes of the desert. In the morning, you can often see their footprints in the sand.
This, without forgetting the magnificent palm grove that surrounds Merzouga, creating a beautiful contrast between the green of the palm grove and its golden dunes.
Another type of tourism that is gaining more and more followers, is the one of health and well-being, more and more travelers come to Merzouga to realize cures of Sand Baths during the months of July and August. Since in these months the temperature is higher. The treatment consists in burying the patients in the burning sand in periods of 5 to 10 minutes and others of rest, in which it must hydrate itself drinking tea with spearmint. This type of treatment should only be done by professionals and with a previous consultation with our doctor, since there have been cases of severe burns and even heart failure. These sand baths are an ancient Berber treatment to combat rheumatic and arthritic diseases.
From Fes there is an overnight bus that takes you to Rissani and then you should take a petit taxi to Merzouga. It is recommendable however to make the trip during the day because there are many landscapes to see, among them, a lake and one of the largest palm groves in Morocco. You can also arrive in Grand Taxi from Rissani and Erfoud or even from Er Rachidia.
From Marrakech there are more bus connections, the journey is approximately 9 hours to Rissani.
To get to most of the accommodations you will have to access unpaved runways, although most of them are not a big inconvenience.