Marrakech excursions – Overnight desert tour from Marrakech
Sleeping in a desert is an unforgettable experience. Taking an overnight desert tour from Marrakech tops the list of what most people who visit the area would want to do. While there are many excursions to take in and around Marrakech, this one just seems to be that one people dream of…probably because you can’t do it in many places!
The big, big excursion that requires more time (and patience!) is the multi-day trip into the Sahara desert. You might love that, but the long drive did not entice me. Let’s just say, I hate waiting. Too bad, too, because I had other friends who went and had an absolutely lovely time!
You’re probably like, okay, if you didn’t go to the Sahara, where did you go? Glad you asked!
We went to the Agafay desert which is less sandy and with more rocks. It still gives you all the appeal of being in the middle of nowhere and being part of nature like most have never done before.
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Our overnight desert tour from Marrakech
Thanks to the Trablin International Summit, Sean and I were given the opportunity to visit Terre des Etoiles which is just outside Marrakech. Depending on your driver, it’s about a 35-45 minute drive to get there.
This location is just perfect for a quick getaway without a lot of fuss. It’s so easy to disconnect here and not worry about the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, or, let’s be real, just life.
It’s healthy to just let yourself be without technology and Terre des Etoiles is made for just that kind of getaway.
It’s an eco-lodge and is now self-sufficient! The water is from a well, power from solar and food from the farm. It’s all right there…literally. Off-the-grid living at its finest. It really makes you conscious of how you use resources when you have power for only a few hours a day.
Check out our other posts of our Marrakech adventures.
Camping in the desert
These luxury tents are many steps up from camping. The rooms have a pretty solid structure with tall ceilings and even little windows. My favorite part was the proper bed. It was incredibly comfy! And there is a ton of space to move around and to feel at home. The decor is simple and keeps that feeling of being in the desert but in a comfortable way.
Modern conveniences help. Do you expect a bathroom in a tent? No? Me, either! But it’s there at this camp. I had never used a compost toilet but quickly learned. It’s not hard. Just do your thing, then put some sawdust on top. Easy peasy.
There’s even a shower! Yep. During certain times of the day, when the electricity is powered on, you can use the hot water heater to have a warm shower. I’m still just floored that there’s a bathroom…in a tent! The lamps are nice, too. But, having something to sit on to use the toilet is key for me. I’m not “going” outside kind of person.
- Bring some toiletries with you and try to keep them eco-friendly.
- It gets really dark at night (a perk of being in the middle of nowhere!) so it was a bit difficult to see getting to the tents after dark. You are given a glow lamp to help you find your way but we ended up using our cell phone torch. It rained on our visit (Of course! Because, it’s us and we tend to take the rain everywhere like Barcelona and the desert) so I think some fire and lights weren’t able to be in place to light our way.
- There is no heat in the rooms. This is not a big deal when sleeping because it’s all cozy under the covers, but it can be a bit nippy in the mornings.
The people and service of Terre des Etoiles
All the staff we met were incredible. Everyone really wanted to make our stay as comfortable as possible. Check-in is pretty straight-forward, just make sure you have your passport on you (as you should). Seems that everywhere you stay in Morocco they need the number that immigration officers give you when you enter the country, and that is in your passport.
After a quick tour, you’ll be taken to your tent and pay attention so you know which is yours later! The views are just spectacular and hard to beat. I love the little detail of the chairs outside for you to sit on and admire the vastness in front of you.
What there is to do in the desert
Just because you don’t have electricity during the day does not mean you will be bored! Hang out with the animals, take a camel or horseback ride. Grab a bike or 4-wheeler and follow a path. Is it hot? Hop in the pool.
Check out their website for more of what they offer because they are constantly growing! I saw they even offer massages. What a treat. I’m a big massage fan. 🙂
Speaking of taking a camel ride…I did take one and I was a bit uneasy about it. One of the vloggers said she tried to research the treatment of the animals here. But didn’t discover anything. In my head, it’s an eco-lodge so I assumed they would be treated well and just went with it. The carers were very good with them and that made me feel mostly okay about it all. I spoke with Sean later who had spoken to people in town and he assured me that he was told they are known for their good treatment of animals. So, there you go. Whether you want to ride a horse or camel, that’s completely up to you. I understand both decisions. You do you.
Food at Terre des Etoiles
The food! Oh man. Authentic, tasty, and smelled delicious. You should really check out the vlog from Raya Was Here on how she helped make the dinner the night we were all there. (Dakota was also there and created a wonderful video.)
We all sat family style to eat and it was incredible. Bloggers and vloggers are not all self-absorbed and only talk about themselves. This dinner and the next morning’s breakfast was evidence of that. We talked about work, politics, hygiene, travel, memories, and so much more. We are all just people trying to live our best lives — and what better way to uncover that than to share a delicious tagine dish?
We also got wine. That was super tasty, too! It’s just one of those things that Sean and I like to try no matter where we are. From wines to spirits, it’s all unique for that area and we appreciate the opportunity to give it a try.
We are both so glad we went on this trip. I was super apprehensive about it because, as much as I love nature, I’m also a sucker for green nature. But, between the scenery, people, food, and ethos, this is an awesome place to explore a little part of the desert when you’re in Marrakech.
Would like you like to have a desert experience? I think it would be even better with a group of friends!
Wishing you love and travels 🙂