4 “star” places to enjoy astronomical tourism in Morocco
Visiting monuments is no longer the only reason to travel nowadays. Tourism has changed considerably and in our free time we are beginning to value other types of leisure activities. When we travel, we go in search of other activities. We want to relax, get to know, experience… but above all, we want to live unique and different experiences.
This personalised trip far from the ordinary is guaranteed in Morocco. This is the case of astronomical tourism in the country. The study of space and the sky is becoming more and more developed. Many people today are encouraged to look up to decode the universe. This landscape, full of unknowns, which is a source of excitement for many, is becoming more and more popular, and Morocco has become the preferred destination for astronomical tourism.
Places with quality certification
The Starlight Foundation, which certifies those places around the world where the stars can be seen best, awarded the Riad Ouzina in the Sahara desert with the quality award in 2021.
This spot on the Moroccan map stands out for its unique geographical location, which allows you to enjoy stargazing like nowhere else. Riad Ouzina is located in the heart of the Sahara desert, where darkness and silence reign.
Merzouga and Erg Chebbi
A few kilometres from Ouzina, we find Merzouga, where the famous dunes of Erg Chebbi are located. All you need to enjoy a beautiful view is a clear sky and as little light pollution as possible. Both factors make Morocco the ideal destination.
Seeing the Milky Way has never been so easy until you get to know the facilities that Morocco offers for astronomy: a true spectacle of nature.
Morocco Oukaimeden Sky Survey (MOSS)
South of the Atlas Mountains, at 2750 metres above sea level, possibly close to the highest point in Morocco, is the Oukaïmeden Astronomical Observatory. It studies the sky from this point on the Moroccan map with the aim of discovering and observing elements of the Solar System.
Between 2011 and 2017, the team behind MOSS discovered more than 1000 asteroids, the latest being the discovery of binary asteroids as potentially dangerous asteroids, according to NASA.
MOSS organises activities for those interested in astronomy and the sky to learn more about this subject from real science professionals.
This oasis village in southern Morocco is known in the country as the main gateway to the Sahara Desert. As well as having the most impressive dunes in this part of the desert, with its sand becoming a spectacle during the day, M’hamid is also a real show at night.
In this star-gazing adventure, M’hamid is an ideal corner of Morocco for astronomical tourism and to take advantage of the possibilities offered by this time of year. It’s not unbearably cold in winter, but it’s not unbearably cold in summer either.
Choose the proposal that best suits your interests and start your adventure in Morocco, enjoying astronomical tourism in a way you had never imagined before.