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Is the dune real?

Tinfou, Morocco

Tinfou's claim to fame is being the very first place along the Draa Valley route where stone desert cracks open to sand desert. It's appearance is quite wild and feels unrealistic:
Out of the barren ground suddenly a few hundred metres of warm, yellow sand waves pops up. They lie over the stone desert, and many tourists coming out here ask whether somebody dumped the sand here in order to create the tourist trap that Tinfou definately has become. In small scale of course.
The truth is of course that is real — nobody would drive thousands of cubic metres of sand around in the Sahara desert. Many other places on the edge of humanity in the desert, the first sand dunes pops up out of nowhere. Merzouga further east is a good example of that.

Hotels and alternatives
Prepare for a great little surprise — tiny Tinfou has two hotels. One is very basic, the other less basic and a clearly more expensive. The most basic has most charm, and many authentic elements from the times before the road came down this way.

Restaurants and alternatives
The most expensive hotel has an overpriced restaurant — if you feel that it is correct to use standard Moroccan prices for comparison.


Change Money
Nothing. Do this in Zagora.

Getting out here is best done with either a rented taxi or with plenty of time waiting for a free seat in the daily bus.
There are local camel owners who arrange for trips into the wilderness and perhaps more sand dunes. But note, camel renting is rather expensive, so bring 300-500 dirhams per person per day to be on the safe side.

Guess what? Bring what is necessary to protect your skin and health against the sun.

By Tore Kjeilen