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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 27 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Mandy Sinclair

The Agafay Desert, with its gentle rolling hills, the odd palm tree dotting the landscape, and the Atlas Mountains hovering in the background (snow-capped during winter months), is a complete contrast to bustling Marrakech just 45 minutes away. Trekking across the lunar-like landscapes, before dinner beneath the star-scattered desert sky is a memorable and unique experience.

Your evening begins with a 45-minute guided camel trek, transporting guests from the desert outskirts to a luxury camp, where dinner – a selection of Moroccan salads followed by tajine or grilled meats – is served with a view. Dinner is served under the starry sky or inside a traditional Bedouin tent, depending on the season. Evenings often include local musicians who play traditional songs with infectious, vibrant rhythms.

Several luxury camps provide glamping options for travellers looking for an overnight option.

Logistics

Price from: £180
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: 4 hours

Getting there & doing it

You’ll need to book private transfers there and back to the Agafay Desert and your host camp. Alternatively, try a camel trek back to meet your driver after dinner depending on the season.

If having dinner at the camp during colder months, bring warm layers, as the temperature will drop considerably after sunset. Long pants are advised for the camel trek.

As the camps are off-grid, ensure your electronic devices charged in advance to capture the moment.

When to do it

Most camps close during the summer months when temperatures climb above +45°C and little shade is offered.

Winter days are ideal for starting with lunch in the desert and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine, and finishing with a sunset camel trek to meet your driver.

Time your visit to be able to see the sunset over the stony desert and rolling hills, particularly stunning during the winter months when the snow-capped Atlas Mountains are visible.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Marrakech

Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Ornate, tiled doorway with round door

An exotic time capsule of ancient streets and souks, blending Arab culture and French colonial heritage. Soak it all up in the wonderfully evocative atmosphere of the Jemaa el-Fnaa.