Morocco is a diverse country with so much to see and do, but one of the biggest highlights is taking a trip out to the Sahara Desert! One of the most important things to know is that it takes a full day to drive out to the Sahara from Marrakech, so taking a day trip isn’t very feasible. Most people choose to camp out in the desert for a few nights, but the idea of roughing it just isn’t appealing to most people. Good news: luxury desert tours are a thing!
An important thing to know about choosing luxury desert tours, is that actually very few companies operate both the tour and the camp. Most companies offer a package that includes transportation, meals and camp accommodation, but there’s no guarantee of which camp you’ll be staying in and what quality it offers. These tour companies will call around to different camps while on their way out to see which ones have space for their group.
For this reason alone, it’s worth putting in some research and planning effort instead of just booking with any guide that approaches you in the city. To help you out, here is a list of reputable operators that offer luxury desert tours!
1. Top Desert
Top Desert is a local Berber and nomad family business who have been living in the desert for generations. All of their tours are private and can be completely customized to your wishes. This means that you can decide your location for pick up, drop off, and what kind of activities you want to do. They also own and operate their own luxury camp in the desert, so you know the standard of quality and service are right up there!
The luxury tents are, well, luxurious. They are designed for maximum comfort without losing the best aspects of the Berber culture. The tents come with king size beds or single beds. Some can sleep up to four people, making it perfect for a family vacation. There is also an ensuite bathroom with shower, hot water and western toilet!
By supporting Top Desert, you are not only learning about a unique side of traditional Morocco that other tour guides will not be able to provide. You are also helping to preserve the nomadic heritage, and supporting dozens of local families that the business provides with a stable income!
2. Desert Luxury Camp
Desert Luxury Camp offers visitors to stay in earth’s most spectacular natural landscapes in the Sahara. They offer luxury desert tours from Marakkech and Fes to whisk you away from crowds of the cities. Their campsite is well away from other tourist camps. So apart from your guide and travel companions, the only other people you may encounter are the native Berber nomads that call the environment home.
There are three different luxury camp experiences here. The first being the main camp, where each of the 16 tents are designed to offer comfort and luxury. All tents have either double or twin beds with a seating area and ensuite Western-style bathrooms with running cold and hot water. If you desire more privacy, the private desert camp comes with the same facilities, but it is set away from the main area so you and your companion(s) will be the only ones around.
For the ultimate luxury glamping experience, Desert Luxury Camp also has a royal camp! The tents are perched on top of the desert dunes to showcase the Sahara landscape below. Apart from being the largest in size with solid wood king beds and premium rugs, the ensuite bathroom also comes with a bathtub!
3. Atta Desert Camp
Run by the Ait Atta tribe who are from Southern Morocco, the people here have a deep understanding of the desert, all its moods, weather and history. No matter where you want to go – anywhere or nowhere, Atta Desert Camp knows exactly how to take you there.
Atta Desert Camp operates not just one, but four different types of camps. The main camp can host up to 40 people, with a separate shower and toilet block that comes with Western style facilities. For a romantic getaway, they can also set up private camps away from the main camp area, but still within easy reach of all its activities and facilities.
Depending on the time of the year, Atta Desert Camp can also take you on a journey or even join up with passing nomads to spend a few days living out of a mobile camp. To get an adequate experience of the nomadic lifestyle, it is recommended to do the trek for at least three to four days. The camp is more modest as it’s a mobile camp, and it is set up in a different location each night. But there will be a guide and cook to ensure your safety and wellbeing, as well as camels to do the heavy lifting!
The highlight is of course, their luxury desert camp. It is exclusive and secluded, and tents come with big comfy beds and an ensuite toilet and shower. Outside, you have your own “terrace” with rugs, loungers, hammocks and low tables. You will be spoilt everyday with specially prepared meals served to you, and at night you can lay outside and see the glimmering stars in all its glory.