The Agafay Desert of Morocco sits on outskirts of Marrakech. The Agafay Desert is just an hour’s drive from the bustling souks, the Majorelle Garden, the Koutoubia Mosque and the heart of Marrakech. The Agafay Desert is an undeveloped area and is the perfect one-day excursion from Marrakech if you don’t have time to visit the Merzouga, M’hamid or Zagora Sahara Desert during your Morocco vacation. On a one-day excursion from Marrakech to the Agafay Desert you can also visit Kasbah Tamadot, owned by British mogul Richard Branson and stop to visit the local souks and co-ops within the Ourigane Valley.

Settled by nomads from the Sahara in the 18th century the Agafay Desert’s landscape is covered with wheat, barley and flowers however in the summer and autumn months it looks similar to the real desert with flowing dunes and the bonus of majestic High Atlas Mountain views nestled just behind it. In spring Agafay offers up wildflowers among other flora and fauna which make it a scenic experience.

During a one-day Agafay Desert excursion you can have tea or dinner with a Saharawi or Berber family in a village for a real taste of desert life or visit Lake Takerkoust. Lake Takerkoust is a manmade lake on the edge of the Agafay Desert that was built under the French Protectorate between 1929- 1935 to provide Marrakech and the surrounding cities with electricity as well as to irrigate the agricultural fields in the plain of Haouz.

In the construction of  Lake Takerkoust, also referred to as Lalla Takerkoust, great care was taken to ensure that the lake would blend in with the beautiful surroundings and enhance the area. Visitors will agree that this objective was achieved and with the majestic Atlas Mountains reflecting in the tranquil waters of the lake. Lalla Takerkoust has contributed in making this beautiful part of Morocco even more appealing.

A number of restaurants in the vicinity of Lalla Takerkoust provide visitors with a variety of food options, from French gourmet food to traditional Moroccan dishes accompanied by mint tea and with a spectacular view of the lake and the Atlas Mountains. Lake Takerkoust is close to the town of Lalla Takerkoust. Many activities are possible in this region that range from sun bathing to fishing, pedal boating, canoeing, wind boarding jet skiing and quad riding.

For those who want to stay overnight in the region a luxury option is Le Pause or Kasbah Agafay. La Pause is a luxury retreat guesthouse nestled in the arid, Agafay hills and an exquisite oasis where riverbeds run among the Moroccan wilderness. Kasbah Agafay is listed among the small, luxury hotels in the world and offers tented suites, a Spa and yoga room.

The Agafay Desert and a visit to Lake Takerkoust is a splendid way to see the varied Moroccan landscape without heading all the way to the Sahara Desert.

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