Less than an hour from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech’s souks, past a landscape that flows from urban sprawl to rural farmland, sits the Agafay Desert, one of the closest natural expanses to the city. Unlike the vast, sandy Sahara, the Agafay is more of a flat plateau surrounded by dunes, with rocky outcrops, small river gorges, and—in season—fields of wildflowers all backed by views of the snow-topped Atlas Mountains.
It’s an otherworldly setting, and one that feels far away from the rest of the world. Save for a few shepherds and the some 4x4 tours, the plateau is typically deserted—especially if you know where to go. With the expert team from La Mamounia planning your day trip, the Agafay will come to life through connections to locals, natural adventures, and plenty of comfortable perks.
It’s an otherworldly setting, and one that feels far away from the rest of the world.
Guests booking the private excursion have their choice of desert experience: leaving at 10am and returning by around 5pm will give you plenty of time to explore while the sun’s out, while departing at 4:30pm and returning at 10pm allows you to take in the ethereal beauty of the location at sunset, followed by the star-filled sky.
Either way, the journey begins with a private transfer from the hotel to a handpicked desert spot via a luxury 4x4 Range Rover. Once there, you’ll be greeted by a "glamping" set-up outfitted with cushy outdoor seating, wood-burning fires, and both open-air huts to provide shade. Next, it’s time to explore the lunar-like landscape, either with a camel ride along the plateau or quad biking on the dune and outcrops. Along the way, your guide may take you into some area villages, which offer insight into life in a rural community; there will also be time to enjoy mint tea with a local family in their traditional home.
Back at the camp, it’s time for a multi-course meal prepared on-site and served under a billowing tent. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, the meal will feature several Moroccan specialties’, including an array of cold appetizers (like beet, carrot, or green bean salads), flatbreads, flavorful beef or chicken tagines, and fresh fruit salads. If there’s time afterwards, take an easy stroll along the plateau, taking in the landscape in the changing light. As the sun sets—or the stars come out—you’ll be ferried back to your glamorous home base at La Mamounia, full of unforgettable memories of this special, and still relatively undiscovered, part of Morocco.
To learn more about La Mamounia or the Agafay Desert experience, please contact the concierge upon making a reservation.