Frequently Asked Questions About Merzouga

Merzouga is an oasis of tranquility and beauty located in the southeastern part of Morocco. Situated on the edge of the Sahara Desert, this tranquil town offers visitors a unique blend of culture, history and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re looking to explore bustling markets or take in breathtaking views from sand dunes, Merzouga has something for everyone. With its friendly locals and laid-back atmosphere, it’s no surprise that Merzouga is one of the most popular destinations in Morocco.

Which time of the year is best to visit Merzouga?

The best time to visit Merzouga is from October to April. During this period, the desert temperatures are mild and pleasant, making it perfect for exploring the diverse landscapes of Morocco. The summer months can be quite hot and dry, with temperatures reaching up to 50°C on some days. May through September sees a moderate amount of rainfall, making it more difficult to explore the area. For those looking for an authentic experience in one of Africa’s most stunning deserts, the cooler winter months provide an ideal opportunity to do so.

Which area is good to stay in Merzouga?

The best area to stay in Merzouga depends on what type of experience you’re looking for. For those wanting a more rustic, off-the-beaten-track adventure, staying in a traditional Berber guesthouse or camp is the perfect option. These are usually located near the village of Rissani and provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in Moroccan culture, with cozy accommodations and traditional meals cooked over an open fire. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more luxurious, there are several resorts located around Lake Dayet Srij that offer upscale amenities such as swimming pools, spa facilities and modern rooms with air conditioning.

Popular attractions in Merzouga include:

1. Erg Chebbi – The majestic sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi desert.

2. Camel Riding – Take a camel ride around the fascinating desert landscapes for an unforgettable experience.

3. Oasis Towns – Explore the traditional oasis towns of Rissani, Tazzarine and Erfoud.

4. Archaeology & Fossils – Merzouga is home to some fascinating archaeological sites and fossils.

5. Bivouac Camping – Spend a night under the stars in a traditional Berber tent at one of the bivouac camps set up around Merzouga.

6. Aït Benhaddou – A Unesco World Heritage Site, this hilltop city is a must-see for any visitor to the area.

7. Rose Valley – Marvel at spectacular views of pink and red sandstone cliffs that make up the stunning landscapes of Merzouga's Rose Valley.

8. Royal Palace of Erfoud – Visit this grand palace in Erfoud and admire its beautiful vistas of the desert.

Where can I find the best local food in Merzouga?

The best places to eat food in Merzouga include:

1. Café Maroc – Enjoy a range of traditional Moroccan dishes at this cozy restaurant.

2. Restaurant Terrasse de la Kasbah – Try the delicious tajines and couscous specialties served up with stunning views over Erg Chebbi.

3. Auberge des Dunes – Sample some of the finest cuisine in Merzouga at this romantic eatery set in the dunes.

4. Le Petit Oasis – Stop by this popular spot for tasty omelettes, sandwiches and salads.

5. Restaurant Imtane – Treat yourself to an exquisite dinner in Rissani, featuring a menu of local delicacies.

6. Merzouga Night Market – Explore the bustling night market for a variety of tasty snacks.

7. Chez Gougou – Savour some of the best tagines in town at this traditional restaurant.

8. La Kasbah des Sables – Sample some freshly-caught seafood dishes and sip on delicious cocktails while admiring views over Lake Dayet Srij.

9. Café Oasis Bivouac – Relax with a cup of tea or coffee while enjoying cozy vibes at this popular spot near Erg Chebbi.

The best places to do shopping in Merzouga are:

1. Souks – Explore the bustling markets and souks of Rissani and Erfoud, where you can find an array of items including carpets, leather products, spices, jewellery, clothing and more.

2. Kasbah des Sables – Stop by this delightful shop for a selection of souvenirs such as traditional handicrafts, jewellery and pottery.

3. L'Atelier de la Terre – Pick up some unique gifts at this small boutique selling handmade rugs, bags and other local crafts.

4. Medina Market – Don't miss out on the lively atmosphere of this market located near Erg Chebbi, offering everything from souvenirs to spices and more.

5. Ouarzazate – Take a day trip to this city located just an hour's drive away, where you can find a wide variety of shops selling items ranging from local crafts to modern designer pieces.

6. Erfoud Carpet Centre – Shop for some of the finest carpets in Morocco at this prestigious store located in Erfoud.

7. Rissani Fabric Market – Check out this vibrant market for traditional fabrics and other textile items such as djellabas, scarves and kaftans.

What are the best nightlife options in Merzouga?

The best nightlife options in Merzouga include:

1. Café Maroc – This lively bar and restaurant is the perfect spot to relax with a drink while listening to Moroccan music.

2. Le Petit Oasis – Unwind at this charming rooftop terrace where you can enjoy cocktails and snacks while taking in views over Erg Chebbi.

3. La Kasbah des Sables – Enjoy drinks and cocktails accompanied by live music at this cozy lounge situated near the lake.

4. Auberge des Dunes – Spend an evening beneath the stars at this romantic open air bar, offering traditional drinks such as mint tea, coffee or fresh juices.

5. Restaurant Terrasse de la Kasbah – Stop by this lively rooftop lounge for drinks and snacks with stunning views over the desert.

6. Café Oasis Bivouac – Hang out at this popular spot for beers, spirits and shishas while admiring the night sky.

7. Merzouga Night Market – Discover the bustling night market for a unique atmosphere and great entertainment.

What are some good day trips from Merzouga?

The best day trips near Merzouga include:

1. Ouarzazate – Take a day trip to this city located just an hour's drive away, featuring stunning architecture, impressive fortifications and a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes.

2. Todra Gorge – Explore the dramatic natural landscapes of this canyon located less than two hours from Merzouga, offering stunning views and plenty of hiking opportunities.

3. Erfoud – Visit this charming town known for its fossils and ornate carpets, situated only 30 minutes away by car.

4. Dadès Valley – Go on a scenic drive around the Dadès valley to admire its captivating sights, featuring oasis and Berber villages along the way.

5. Aït Benhaddou – Tour this UNESCO World Heritage listed fortress, located approximately three hours away from Merzouga.

6. Ziz Valley – Take a journey through time with a scenic drive around the stunning Ziz valley, featuring fortresses, Kasbahs and underground irrigation systems.

7. Alnif – Discover the ancient ruins of Alnif, where you can explore its fascinating historical sites as well as its markets and workshops.

8. Rissani – Visit this lively town situated 45 minutes away from Merzouga for an insight into Berber culture, with plenty of markets, museums and monuments to explore.