If you’re wondering where to watch the stars in Morocco, this post can help you. We provide general directions and show you specific places where you can engage in this activity, as spectacular for the beauty of what is observed as for the atmosphere of disconnection that comes with it. Take good note and enjoy one of the best skies in the world.
In any case, you should know that Morocco is a great place for astronomical tourism, as it has vast areas where light pollution is almost non-existent. Additionally, its climate is characterized by a lack of cloudiness, so it is most likely that you will enjoy a clear sky during your trip.
The Sahara Desert, ‘astronomical paradise’
There’s no doubt that the best place to watch the stars in Morocco is the Sahara Desert: due to the very low population density and the almost non-existent chance of rain. Moreover, large areas of this desert lack natural terrain elevations, except for some dunes, facilitating the view of the entire celestial dome.
The only element that could work against you is the possibility of an unexpected sandstorm or some uncomfortable haze in the air. However, this is a rare phenomenon.
Of the countless corners that the Sahara has in Morocco, the most famous is Merzouga. This town has experience, professionals, and infrastructures to receive visitors, and in its vicinity, there are several ‘desert camps’ where you can enjoy a full astronomical experience.
But you might be interested in visiting other less touristy corners. For example, the dunes of Ouzina, where the only place certified by Starlight is located: the riad Ouzina. Let’s remember that these certifications recognize the optimal natural conditions for star gazing.
And although it does not have that certification, another place highly visited by stargazing lovers is M’Hamid, much further south, in the Draa Valley, where the quietness adds an extra charm to star observation.
Agafay, a more accessible desert well-equipped
All the desert locations mentioned above are south of the Atlas. However, there’s another interesting option for those with less time and looking for a quality astronomical experience from Marrakech: the Agafay Desert. This desert, with its rocky and lunar appearance, is a common excursion from this city, as indicated in another post.
Here you’ll find Berber camps or ecolodges that serve not only for accommodation but also for activities such as stargazing. Additionally, the proximity to Marrakech enhances the availability of expert astronomy monitors, capable of organizing these types of activities with telescopes and other equipment.
Giant telescopes and astronomical societies
While astronomical observation in the desert is a unique experience, those interested in this activity can also enjoy other proposals in the city or other natural environments.
For example, another good place to watch the stars in Morocco is the Oukaimeden Observatory, located in this town of the Middle Atlas mountains. There you will find TRAPPIST-NORTH, a spectacular robotic reflector telescope in facilities that, while used for research, are also open to dissemination and, therefore, to external visits. For this, it is necessary to contact the observatory itself.
Lastly, a more convenient option for city dwellers is the Atlas Golf Marrakech. Although this name refers to its main activity, that of a golf course, it is a sports and leisure complex where there is also a cultural center with a small but interesting astronomical observatory available to users, which has the 600 mm T600 – Valmeca telescope.