Top 10 Luxury Morocco Desert Tours in 2023 – Erg Chebbi, Merzouga, Ait Benhaddou & More
Morocco is home to some of the world’s most stunning desert landscapes, from the rolling sand dunes of the Sahara to remote oasis towns dotted along ancient caravan routes. A luxury desert tour allows you to experience the magic of Morocco’s deserts in style and comfort. Whether you opt for a private camp in the Erg Chebbi dunes, a lavish room in a kasbah hotel, or a scenic flight over sand seas, a high-end desert adventure promises exceptional service, top-notch accommodations, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Choosing the Right Luxury Tour Operator
Booking with a reputable local tour operator is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable luxury desert tour. When researching companies, inquire about:
- Years of experience organizing high-end and private Morocco tours – look for 10+ years specifically handling luxury trips
- Traveler reviews and satisfaction ratings for their luxury desert tours – aim for scores of 4.5+ stars
- Customization options – ability to personalize your itinerary based on interests, budget etc.
- Multilingual guides with expert knowledge of destinations and activities – English and French fluency is ideal
- Responsible tourism practices – ensuring environmental sustainability and benefits to local communities
- 24/7 support before and during your private tour
Top recommended luxury tour operators for Morocco desert tours:
- Morocco Immersions – bespoke and private tours with high-end amenities like luxury camps
- Uncharted Horizons – luxurious experiences plus sustainable practices benefiting Berbers
- Discover Ltd – luxury 4X4 desert tours with expert multilingual guides
- Desert Majesty – private air-conditioned vehicles and personalized itineraries
- Elite Desert Adventures – all-inclusive luxury packages with 5-star hotels
Be sure to have a consultation call with your chosen tour operator early on to discuss activities and destinations you’re most excited for. This allows time to customize the perfect high-end desert adventure tailored just for you.
Erg Chebbi & Merzouga Luxury Tours
The impressive Erg Chebbi sand dunes near Merzouga village are the iconic image of Morocco’s Sahara desert. Soaring up to 150 meters high, the burnt orange dunes contrast beautifully with the vast Sahara and snow-capped Atlas Mountains on the horizon for truly Instagrammable landscapes. Luxury tours here may include:
- Glamping in a luxury tented eco camp with plush Berber rugs, ensuite bathrooms, wifi, and electricity
- Overnighting in a private suite at a boutique kasbah style auberge resort
- Checking into a 4-5 star hotel in Merzouga or Erfoud towns
- Camel trekking into the depths of Erg Chebbi to watch sunrise or sunset over the sand sea
- Quad biking over the high dunes – opt for sunset rides for epic views
- Sandboarding down the towering sandy slopes – great for adventure seekers
- Stargazing at crystal clear night skies for astrophotography – the Sahara has some of the world’s least light polluted skies
Popular high-end desert camps and hotels in the Merzouga/Erg Chebbi area include:
- Scarabeo Camp – luxury eco camp with 15 lavish Berber tents and ensuite bathrooms
- Auberge La Belle Etoile – boutique kasbah resort with just 12 rooms for exclusivity
- Sahara Anzal Camp – all-inclusive luxury tented camp with superb food and amenities
- Berber Palace Hotel – newly opened 5-star property perfect for a glamorous stay
Many luxury tour operators in Merzouga also offer private air charter flights over Erg Chebbi for dramatic aerial sightseeing. Nothing beats soaring over the vast Sahara sands in a Cessna.
Ait Benhaddou Luxury Oasis Tours
The fortified old mudbrick city of Ait Benhaddou is a famous kasbah that has starred in many films from Lawrence of Arabia to Game of Thrones. Granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987, Ait Benhaddou makes for a highly photogenic stop on any luxury Morocco tour with its grand kasbah towers and winding alleyways dotted with pop-up souvenir stalls.
Luxury tours here may feature:
Kasbah Hotel Stays
- A stay at a restored ancient riad boutique hotel nestled inside the historic kasbah itself
- Overnighting in a luxury suite at a five-star resort just minutes from the famous site
- Experiencing Moroccan hospitality at a family-run auberge guesthouse
Film Location Tours
- Visiting the many studios and filming locations dotting the site – guided tours are available
- Posing at the Game of Thrones filming spot where Daenerys marched her army through the city
- Snapping photos at spots featured in Gladiator, The Mummy, and other blockbusters
- Camel rides through palm oases and desert landscapes outside town
- Booking overnight camping trips to the nearby Sahara sand dunes
- Quad biking through the expansive dusty plains
Top luxury kasbahs, riads, and resorts in Ait Benhaddou include:
- Ksar Ighnda – lavishly decorated suites inside an ancient fortified kasbah tower
- Le Temple Des Arts – chic 5 room riad with panoramic views from the roof terrace
- Dar Mouna – restored traditional riad boutique hotel at the base of the Atlas Mountains
- Tigmi Resort – 5-star hotel with Berber-inspired rooms and an outdoor pool only 6 km away
Many travelers also choose to pair a stay in Ait Benhaddou with excursions to nearby Ouarzazate – under an hour’s drive away. Here you’ll find Morocco’s famous Atlas movie studios along with plenty of upscale dining options.
Ouarzazate Luxury Film Studio Tours
As the Hollywood of Morocco, Ouarzazate is home to famous Atlas film studios where scenes from movies like Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven, and Gladiator were filmed. The studios continue to attract major productions like Game of Thrones and offer a fascinating look behind-the-scenes for cinephiles and pop culture lovers.
Luxury tours here may feature:
Atlas Studios Tours
- A private VIP tour of the Atlas studios led by an expert guide
- Seeing filming locations and props up close like Egyptian monuments and entire ancient cities recreated
- Fun photo-ops in costumes and with sets from some of your favorite on-screen worlds
- Visits to the massive $200 million Noor Ouarzazate solar power complex – one of the world’s largest
- Day trips to iconic filming sites like the UNESCO site of Ait Benhaddou just 30 mins away
- Adventuring into desert landscapes like Agdz canyon less than an hour’s drive from town
- Staying in Ouarzazate’s top luxury hotels like the Le Berbere Palace or Berbere Suites
- Checking into a lavish kasbah Conversion like the Ksar Ighnda with direct views of the Atlas Mountains
- Booking a room at the modern Dar Chamaa offering gastronomic dining and a spa
Film buffs, pop culture enthusiasts, and anyone who loves behind-the-scenes access will enjoy Ouarzazate’s blend of luxury comforts and exclusive glimpses of world famous studios offered by top tour operators.
Erfoud & Rissani Luxury Fossil Tours
The Tafilalt oasis region around Erfoud and Rissani offers striking desert scenery ripe for off-roading adventures, with plenty of geological wonders. As the world’s largest fossil concentration, Erfoud’s desert landscape hides over 500 million years of natural history just waiting to be uncovered. Luxury tour highlights include:
Fossil Hunting Expeditions
- Traveling to remote fossil beds like Hamada du Draa with expert geologists to uncover your own artifacts
- Visiting the century-old stone mammoth fossil workshop in Erfoud town
- Learning about meteorite impacts and rare minerals unique to the eastern Sahara region
- Exploring the lively donkey market square in medieval Rissani – a meeting point for desert trade caravans since the 8th century
- Visiting traditional underground irrigation systems called khetarras that have supplied oases for centuries
- Experiencing Berber music, food, and crafts from local artisan communities
- Overnight glamping in a luxury desert camp like Xaluca Arfoud after adventures in the Sahara
- Checking into Erfoud’s 5-star Belere Hotel and Spa with sweeping sand dune views
- Staying at a boutique kasbah guest house like El Atiya for personalized service
With private fossil experts, comfortable high-end lodging, and experienced guides to navigate its desert wilds, the Tafilalt makes for a top-shelf luxury tour pairing adventure and amenities in an ancient crossroad of the great Sahara trade routes.
When to Go in 2023
Morocco enjoys a comfortable year-round Mediterranean climate but certain periods are better than others for desert tours:
Spring (Mid-March to May) – Moderate temperatures perfect for sightseeing and desert camping. Can see some crowds and higher rates around Easter week.
Fall (September to November) – Another ideal season with cooler weather. October sees energy around the famous Marathon Des Sables race.
Summer (Mid-June to August) – Quite hot with temperatures exceeding 100°F/40°C. Better for indoor activities or higher altitude areas like the Atlas Mountains.
When planning your luxury tour, also check what annual festivals or events interest you – as these can also impact availability, pricing and crowds. These include:
- Fes Festival of World Sacred Music (May/June) – Over a week filled with spiritual concerts and performances based in Fes
- Marrakech Biennale Art Festival (February/March) – Modern and contemporary art shows and installations held every 2 years
- Marrakech International Film Festival (November/December) – Glitzy 5-day event attracting stars like Robert Redford and Marion Cotillard
- Marathon des Sables (April) – a 6-day ultramarathon through the Sahara drawing over 1000 international runners
Booking your luxury Morocco desert tour strategically allows you to combine comfort, adventure and incredible events for memories that will last a lifetime.
Start Planning Your Luxury Desert Tour
With its mix of rugged desert adventure and luxury comforts, Morocco is one of the world’s top destinations for unforgettable high-end tours. Whether you seek sand dune glamping, vibrant culture and history in ancient kasbahs, or behind-the-scenes access to a world-famous film industry, traveling in Morocco with an expert local tour company promises five-star treatment across every step of your journey.
Based on your personal interests and priorities, your consultant can recommend the best regions, hotels, camps, and activities to include for a trip as unique as you. Reach out today to start crafting your tailored luxury private tour full of indulgence, insider access, comfort, and wonder amid Morocco’s majestic desert wilds and settlements.