Slice of Moroccan Nature – Erg Chebbi and its golden sand

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{:en}Riad Heklek{:}

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Moroccan legend says that the Erg Chebbi sand dunes were sent by God as a punishment for turning away a weary traveler from Morocco’s Sahara desert. Moroccans believe that the dunes piled up outside Merzouga to teach them a lesson so that they would never refuse to help tired travelers ever again. The Erg Chebbi dunes at Merzouga are indisputably one of the greatest sights of Morocco. These giant hills of smooth sand rise dramatically from a plain of blackened hammada, stretch 28km from north to south and are 7km across at their widest point. The highest dunes are those near, or just south of, Merzouga itself, peaking with the aptly named Grande Dune de Merzouga, a golden mountain recognizable – in addition to being the tallest dune around – by the distinctive tamarisk tree at its base. The dunes are spectacular at any time of day, but early morning and late afternoon are the best times to view them.

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