Dune at sunset, Sahara

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Erg Chigaga

Top choice in Draa Valley

The area's star attraction is the misnamed Erg Chigaga, not a single dune (erg) but an incredible stretch of golden sand sea some 56km southwest of M'Hamid. It is the largest sand sea in Morocco, snaking along the horizon for 40km and bordered to the north and south by mountain ridges. The best way to get here is in classic movie style: by camel (from Dh500 to Dh600 per day), which takes between five and seven days round-trip.

To reach the area in just a few hours, a 4WD costs from Dh1000 to Dh1300 per day with insurance, plus another Dh350 to Dh500 for the camp.

This sea of golden crescents, which peak at 300m, hides small, semipermanent camps in its troughs. As a result, the desert experience here is quiet and enveloping, offering spectacular night skies illuminated by the enormous arc of the Milky Way.

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Nearby Draa Valley attractions

1. Erg Esmar

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This collection of small dunes, rising to just 80m, are well off the main radar with no permanent camps. With its mixture of red and white dunes, it's…

2. Iriqui National Park

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Morocco’s largest national park – covering a land mass of 123,000 hectares – and uniquely Saharan, Iriqui was created in 1994 to protect the biodiversity…

3. Erg Ezahar

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This tall 'screaming' dune set amid a sea of smaller dunes wails eerily when the wind kicks up. Located 65km southwest of M'Hamid, it takes three days to…

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Located just 8km northwest of M'Hamid, El Mesouiria is an option for an easy overnight camel trek. Dunes range between 60m and 80m in height and are…