sandboarding adventure in Morocco

Sandboarding In Morocco [The Ultimate 2022 Guide]

Are you planning to try sandboarding in Morocco but not sure what to look out for or what to do when you go on your holiday to this gem of a place in Africa soon? 

If you are, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re happy to guide you on your sandboarding adventure in Morocco – where to go, and how to get there, and what to look out for, we’ve got it all covered so be sure to read on!

Sandboarding in Marrakech is a common activity among the locals as well as the tourists.

Normally practiced in steep coastal dunes and scorching hot weather in the desert, sandboarding was never considered an “official sport” but is practiced by many enthusiasts around the globe. 

A blend between surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding, sandboarding involves riding down a dune’s surface as opposed to snow slopes or waves of water. 

Sandboarding is an excellent way to explore the dunes of Morocco -especially if it’s something you’ve never tried before.

It will be a unique experience gliding down dunes, strapped to your board while basking in the vastness and oceans of sand before you. 

Sandboarding In Morocco Highlights

  • Sandboarding in Erg Chebbi
  • Sandboarding in Erg Chigaga
  • Sandboarding at the Taboga Sand Dunes, Agadir

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Related Posts:

All The Best Locations For Sandboarding In Morocco

sandboarding in Morocco

Erg Chebbi

Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco’s famous ergs – big seas of dunes created by wind-blown sand. It covers an area of 28 kilometers from north to south and up to 150 meters rise from the rocky desert and is located close to a town called Merzouga. 

Often admired for its stark contrast of golden orange sands to the bright blue sky and its amazing sunsets and sunrises, Erg Chebbi is one of the best places to try sandboarding in Merzouga. 

If you’re wondering if this is something you should try – we’re here to tell you that you should! Sandboarding is a must when visiting Erg Chebbi mostly because of how much fun it will be for you, especially if it’s your first time! 

Regardless of whether you’ve tried snowboarding or skiing before, or even if you’re a complete beginner, you shouldn’t miss out on this fun activity when you’re in the Sahara desert. 

How To Get There: 

  • Driving – You will need to drive for two days from Marrakech through the Atlas Mountains, and desert before switching to a camel ride to reach your destination. 
  • Public transport – you can take a bus either from Marrakech to Merzouga (12.5 hours), from Fes to Merzouga (11 hours), or from Meknes to Merzouga (9 hours). Check out Supratours for more bus timings and routes. 
  • Guided Tours – Most preferred way to travel as you will be driven in 4WDs to the desert. 
  • You will also have a chance to visit historical sites and local towns on the way as you enjoy your trip. It is also the most budget-friendly and time-saving way to get there. 

It usually won’t cost much to rent a board at the accommodation you’re staying the night at – most rentals start at 20 Dirhams (USD 2) to 50 Dirhams (USD 5.50) per board. However, if you’re on a guided tour, be sure to check if this is included in your package as most usually do. 

When you’re in Erg Chebbi, don’t forget to check out these nearby attractions: 

Erg Chigaga

sandboarding in Morocco

Erg Chigaga is the biggest and still untouched among the major ergs in Morocco besides Erg Chebbi.

Composed of stunning dunes, Erg Chigaga is relatively less visited because of its difficulty to access and therefore is considered to be more romantic and is a fan favorite among artists, painters, landscape photographers, and purists. 

Boasting an approximate area of 35km x 15km and dunes as high as 50m, it is one the largest ergs in Morocco and can be quite hard to access on your own. The closest town is M’Hamid El Ghizlane, located 45 km from the desert and 98 km south of Zagora. 

If you’re looking for a little adventure in the sand, sandboarding at Erg Chigaga is the perfect activity for you. The dunes are a thrill to ride given their height and picturesque views. It truly will be an experience you won’t forget!

How To Get There: 

  • Driving – You will need to drive for 9 hours from Marrakech in a 4WD but this can be quite tiring. You will need proper navigation (GPS) and it is important to keep an eye on your fuel consumption as the stops are quite far from each other. 
  • Guided Tours – Most preferred way to travel as you will be driven in 4WDs to the desert in Erg Chigaga. 
  • You will also have a chance to visit historical sites and local towns along the way while you sit back and enjoy your trip. It is also the most budget-friendly and time-saving way to get there. 
  • Helicopter – Yes, you can get on a helicopter to Erg Chigaga if you’re on a tight timeline. However, it can be really expensive but if it’s something you’re up for, why not? A 24-hour return flight costs around MAD 99625 (USD 11 000).

If you don’t have a board, don’t worry! Rental for a sandboarding adventure in Erg Chigaga can cost similar to Erg Chebbi – around 20 Dirhams (USD 2) to 50 Dirhams (USD 5.50) per board. If you’re on a guided tour, however, this can usually be included in your package upon request. 

While you’re in Erg Chigaga, be sure to check out these places as well: 

Taboga Sand Dunes, Agadir

Sandboarding in Agadir

The Taboga dunes are located in Agadir, a major city in Morocco that borders the Atlantic Ocean and sits near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. 

It is also home to Morocco’s largest seaside resort and is known to be a well-known “winter sun” destination for many northern Europeans. 

Sandboarding in Agadir will require you to travel up north to the Moroccan desert, driving along the coastlines and passing by quaint little villages like Taghazout and Tamrakht along the way. 

You will get to explore the soft desert sand that borders the sea, a unique experience even for seasoned paddlers – even more so for beginners! With a view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you will get to experience oceans of water and sand all in one place. 

If you’re a beginner, you will be guided on how to ride down the dunes safely, or if you’re already an expert, grooving down the Taboga Dunes would be a piece of cake! 

How To Get There: 

  • Driving – Getting to the Taboga dunes is an easier option from Marrakech and Casablanca. It’s only a half an hour drive from Agadir and a 4-hour drive from Marrakech. 
  • Guided Tours – This is the preferred way to reach the dunes in Taboga. You will be picked up from your hotel and all your traveling arrangements, as well as your meals, will be provided depending on the package you choose. 

It will also be the most budget-friendly and time-saving way to get there. 

You can rent a board for sandboarding in Taboga which will cost you around 50 Dirhams (USD 5.50) per board. If you’re on a guided tour, however, this can usually be included in your package upon request so it is best to check first before confirming your booking. 

While you’re in Agadir, be sure to check out this interesting places too: 

What Do You Need For Sandboarding In Morocco?

Now that you’re all pumped up for your sandboarding trip in Morocco, it’s time to get a few things for the trip. Some of the things you may need include: 

Traveling to the desert can be tiring especially when traveling in hot weather which can tire you much faster than usual because of dehydration. This is why you should always carry a bottle of water with you at all times. 

Sandboarding in Agadir

We suggest carrying a portable water purifier like the Grayl GeoPress Water Purifier Bottle that comes in handy for filtering water wherever you go to ensure you’re consuming safe, drinkable water at all times. It is also lightweight and easy to carry – perfect for a rugged trip! 

You can usually rent a sandboarding board at the locations you are sandboarding at as it can be quite difficult to carry one with you on your trip. However, you can always carry some extra protection for your knees and elbows as most places won’t have them available for rent. 

The JBM Knee and Elbow Pads are a good choice if you’re looking for something durable and lightweight as you surf down the dunes.

sandboarding in Morocco

A pair of goggles like the SCOTT Recoil Pro WFS Goggles would also be perfect to keep your eyes safe from the sandy winds in the desert. 

sandboarding prices

As we all know, being in the sun for long hours can be detrimental to your skin and your health. Make sure to apply and reapply sunscreen every few hours during your travels to avoid sunburns and protect yourself from harmful UV rays. 

The Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen is great for outdoor activities as it is SPF 70 and is formulated with Helioplex that helps nourish the skin. It is also water-resistant and sweat-resistant and won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. 

sandboarding in Merzouga

List Of Tours That Offer Sandboarding Packages In Morocco

sandboarding in Merzouga

One of the best ways to prepare for your sandboarding adventure in Morocco is to engage with a local tour group that would be able to arrange everything you may need on the trip – from the journey, meals, and even the sandboards and accommodations, should you require them. 

We have compiled a list of tours, sandboarding prices, and details you can check out for your plans to go sandboarding in amazing Morocco so that you don’t have to.

1. Morocco Luxury Desert Tour From Marrakech to Merzouga 

Price: MAD 9940 (USD 1097) – For a private group of 2

Duration: 4 days

What’s included: 

  • Private transportation with a comfortable and air-conditioned 4WD vehicle
  • Pick up from Hotel/Riad in Agadir (or from the airport)
  • Drop off at the Hotel/Riad in Marrakech (or at the airport)
  • English speaking driver and guide
  • Fuel for the entire Erg Chigaga luxury desert package
  • Luxurious accommodations
  • Camel trekking in Erg Chigaga dunes
  • Sandboarding in Erg Chigaga dunes (boards included)
  • Berber music at night around the fire under stars 
  • Free stops whenever you want
  • Soft drinks throughout your stay in Erg Chigaga luxury desert camp

2. Morocco Luxury Desert Tour From Marrakech to Erg Chebbi

Price: MAD 8974 (USD 990) – For a private group of 2 

Duration: 4 days

What’s included: 

  • Private transportation with a comfortable and air-conditioned 4WD vehicle
  • Pick up from Hotel/Riad in Marrakech (or the airport)
  • Drop off at the Hotel/Riad in Marrakech (or the airport)
  • English speaking driver and guide
  • Fuel for the entire Erg Chebbi desert package
  • Luxurious accommodations
  • Camel trekking in Erg Chebbi dunes
  • Sandboarding in Erg Chebbi dunes (boards included)
  • Berber music at night around the fire under stars 
  • Free stops whenever you want
  • Soft drinks throughout your stay in Erg Chebbi luxury desert camp

3. Overnight Excursion From Merzouga to Erg Chebbi Dunes 

Price: Starting from MAD 489 (USD 54)

Duration: 2 days 1 night

What’s included: 

  • Private transportation with a comfortable and air-conditioned 4WD vehicle
  • Pick up from Merzouga 
  • Drop off at the Merzouga 
  • English speaking driver and guide
  • All taxes, handling charges, and fees 
  • Local camel guide 
  • Private tour 
  • Private tents/rooms
  • Sandboarding in Erg Chebbi (boards included) 

4. Sandboarding in Taboga Dunes, Agadir 

Price: Starting from MAD 679 (USD 75)

Duration: 1 day (Day-trip)

What’s included: 

  • Private transportation with a comfortable and air-conditioned 4WD vehicle
  • Pick up from Agadir
  • Drop off at the Agadir
  • Sandboarding (boards included)
  • English speaking driver and guide
  • Lunch in local Berber house 
  • Wi-Fi onboard 

5. 1 Night Desert Camp And Sahara Desert Tour

Price: Starting from MAD 571 (USD 63)

Duration: 2 days 

What’s included: 

  • Private transportation with comfortable vehicles
  • Pick up from Merzouga
  • Drop off at the Merzouga
  • English speaking driver and guide
  • Lunch in local Berber house 
  • Sandboarding (boards included)
  • Dinner and breakfast 
  • Camel trekking

When Is The Best Time To Go Sandboarding In Morocco?

Generally, you can practice sandboarding any time of the year in Morocco as it doesn’t require any specific conditions. 

However, certain conditions would be better suited for sandboarding depending on certain times and weather. For example, it would be better to try sandboarding after a rainy day as the sand would be more compact and solid- making for an easier slide going downwards. 

It is also suggested that you try sandboarding early in the day or the evenings as the weather would be more preferable and not too hot, especially in the summer where temperatures can hit up to 122 °F (50 °C) during the day and up to 104 °F (40 °C) at night. 

What Are Some Other Attractions You Should Check Out In Morocco?

While you’re in Morocco, you should also check out some of the other attractions Morocco is known for, if you have the time of course. These unique places are sure to give you a memorable experience, one of which we’re sure you can’t see or find anywhere else. 

1. Ait Benhaddou

Sandboarding in Marrakech

Located close to Ouarzazate, Ait Benhaddou is a historic citadel that has lived through history for many, many years. It used to be a part of a caravan route between the Sahara and Morocco and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. 

Location: Google Maps 

2. Volubilis, Meknes

Another UNESCO-listed site, Volubilis is a large site built by the ancient Romans that is close to Meknes. The ruins include sturdy foundations, well-preserved mosaics, and tall archways – all a part of the old capital of Mauritania. 

Location: Google Maps

Legzira Beach, Sidi Ifni 

sandboarding in Morocco

Famous for its beautiful sunsets that are punctuated by the rocks sticking out from the cliffs formed for thousands of years, Legzira beach is one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. 

This rugged coastline with unique red cliffs and natural stone arch will be sure to take your breath away. 

Location: Google Maps

3. Djemaa El-Fna, Marrakech 

If you’re looking to get a taste of local culture and festivities, this is the place for you. Known for its carnival-like atmosphere, you will find musicians, fortune tellers, magicians, dancers, and so many others in this main square. 

You will also get a chance to try the local Moroccan street food and explore the markets during the day for unique souvenirs and an array of fascinating entertainment. 

Location: Google Maps

4. Chefchaouen

Sandboarding Tips

Known as Morocco’s Blue City, the city of Chefchaouen is a magical little town that you must visit if you have the time. The city was only painted blue in the 1900s which was when an influx of jews entered Morocco during the Second World War. 

Symbolically, blue represents the sky for the Jews – reminding them of heaven and God. This picturesque city is as magical as it looks, and life around it is as vibrant as can be. 

Location: Google Maps

Sandboarding In Morocco Tips 

  1. It would be best to ensure that your physical fitness is in optimal condition before a sandboarding adventure in Morocco. The hike up the dunes can be quite tiring and the journey can be strenuous especially if you have any back or knee conditions. 
  1. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated at all times to avoid getting dehydrated in the sun.
  1. Pack lightly – bring only your essentials as it you won’t want to be lugging around your luggage in the sand where you arrive at the desert. 
  1. The best time to go sandboarding in Morocco is during spring and autumn where the temperatures are not too hot nor too cold. 
  1. Wear appropriate and comfortable clothing when heading to the dunes for your sandboarding experience. It can be quite hot in the day so be sure to bring light and breathable clothing whereas at night, be sure to carry a jacket as it can get quite chilly. 
  1. Do not litter or waste water. Water is a scarce commodity in the desert and therefore should not be wasted by pouring it on yourself for a quick rinse, for example. 
  1. It is better to sandboard without socks or shoes because sand can pool in your shoes or socks pretty quickly and can sometimes be hard to get rid of. 

What Is The Difference Between Sandboarding And Snowboarding? 

While it may look similar, snowboarding and sandboarding are carried out in two different settings – one in snow and one on the sand. 

In terms of the boards, a sandboard is very much like a snowboard but smaller and more lightweight. This is important because dunes don’t have lifts to take you back up and being lightweight helps when you have to walk back up the dunes for the next trip down. 

Both involve riding downwards either while strapped to a board or without bindings. However, you can also sandboard in other positions like sitting or lying down and it can be practiced anytime as it does not need a specific season or condition like winter for snowboarding.

Conclusion

There you go, everything you need to know about sandboarding in Erg Chebbi, Erg Chigaga, and Agadir. We hope this guide helps you find the best sandboarding experience for your exciting trip to Morocco. 

Be sure to check out the Sahara, and explore all the historical wonders that this mystical country has to offer as you go on this amazing adventure while you enjoy sandboarding in Morocco. 

Remember to be safe, stay hydrated and most of all, have lots of fun in the sun! 

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