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Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga: which of the two dunes to choose for your trip?

Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga? They are the two main dune fields (that’s the meaning of erg) in Morocco and, therefore, it is normal to wonder which of the two to travel to, if you can’t visit both in the same circuit. In this article we try to help you in this difficult choice that, at least, has a positive aspect: whichever one you choose, you will love it, because both are spectacular.

Depending on the characteristics of the site

If we focus strictly on the characteristics of these dunes, it can be said that those of Erg Chigaga are larger and, perhaps more, pure. Its size, according to some estimates, is 35 km long and 15 km wide. Therefore, from some vantage points located here, its fine golden sand formations are lost in the distance.

But that does not mean that the dunes of Erg Chebbi are small, far from it. Its approximate extension is more than 25 km long and 5 km wide in its widest stretch, with mounds that reach 150 meters in some cases. And it also has natural elevations from which they can be contemplated.

According to the experiences they offer

If what matters in the choice is the possibility of enjoying truly premium services, Erg Chebbi is slightly ahead. Here there are Berber tented camps of real luxury and in Merzouga and other surrounding towns have emerged hotels-kasbah of great exclusivity. In addition, services and activities such as dromedary or quad rides are more widely available.

In Erg Chebbi, on the other hand, the variety is somewhat less, although this can be a plus for those looking for a total disconnection experience. In any case, you can not speak of overcrowding in Merzouga and Erg Chebbi, far from it, and the experience will always be peaceful.

According to the route to reach the erg

Whether we talk about Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga, the interesting thing is not only to visit these destinations, but the route itself to get there. Therefore, the route to be taken to reach the goal is another factor to take into account when choosing, either from your destination or from the reference locality.

Although Merzouga is further away from the main tourist centers of Morocco, the dunes of Erg Chebbi (550 km from Marrakech), the Marrakech ) are closer at hand, as they start practically on the outskirts of this locality. In contrast, the ‘gateway’ to Erg Chigaga is considered to be Zagora, about 350 km from Marrakech, but to reach the dunes requires a long drive over desert tracks of more than 100 km.

Regarding the routes to reach these reference localities, perhaps the route to Merzouga is richer in monuments and natural landscapes. Here, after crossing the Atlas Mountains, you will be able to visit places like the Todra Gorges or picturesque villages like Rissani. This section is known as the ‘Route of the Thousand Kasbahs’, due to the number of ancient castles that mark the route. To reach Zagora, the great natural attraction is the palm grove of the Draa Valley, about 150 km long, the largest in North Africa.

As you can see, choosing between Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga is not an easy decision, but both deserts have enough attractions to convince any traveler. As you can see in our Circuits section, our routes prioritize Erg Chebbi, but we can work to suit each client, so if you want to visit Erg Chigaga, do not hesitate to ask us for information.

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