How to visit the Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert, a basin of sand as large as the United States, is comprising more than 8 percent of the world's total land area and is growing bigger each day. Mistakingly, many people think the Sahara is the world's largest desert, however the first price still goes to Antartica.

Sahara translates conveniently to 'Desert' in Arabic. This Desert Desert can be found on top of many traveler's carefully curated bucket-lists and for a good reason. A visit to the second largest desert in the world will not only leave you with sand in every ..., but most of all: breathless

When you arrive in Marrakech, be ready to be hassled on every corner of the Medina to join an intense 3 day trip towards Merzouga (short 10hrs drive), the starting point for many desert dreams.  For a mere 1000 Dirham you will be crammed into a small van, most likely including a driver who will disobey every speed limit ever known to men, to see as much from the beautiful road towards the Sahara as possible; it's a backpacker's dream coming true.

Unfortunately, this flash visit doesn't give you merely enough time to fully soak up the magic of one of the most impressive places in the world and it most definitely leaves you with too little time to get to know her wonderful and knowledgable inhabitants.

A better, although pricier, way to experience the insane nature and the beautiful people is to go 'Glamping'. For as long as you desire you can stay in a luxurious nomad camp, often equipped with private bathrooms, king size beds and some of the most delicious food. One of the places providing an extraordinary experience like this is the Desert Luxury Camp. 

Since the way to Merzouga is easy to find, hiring a car and driving yourself is an excellent option if you're daring enough to avoid a flock of mountain goats or a lost camel here and there.

From December to February the temperature in the Sahara plunges to below zero and even snow isn't unheard of. From June to September, you'll find other extremes and the heat will quickly become unbearable. It is advisable to travel between the two seasons. 

ECOtip: Surviving in the harsh conditions in the desert is not a walk in the park. Make sure to support the local communities wherever you can.