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Visiting Saltworks in the Moroccan Sahara Desert, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, May 15th, 2010
Standing in a Pile of Salt

Saltworks in Morocco are interesting places to visit.  They can be found along the Atlantic Coast of Morocco, in the Moroccan Sahara Desert.  This one was south of Merlift, between Sidi Ifni and Tarfaya.  Others can be found south of Tan-Tan Plage and Laayoune, all the way to Dakhla.  To reach these locations, one must drive considerably south of Agadir.

Road off the escarpment to the salt flats
Road off the escarpment to the salt flats

It’s highly advisable to have a four-wheel drive vehicle, although the descent/ascent back up can be managed in some cars with an experienced driver.

Standing in a thin layer of dried salt

A number of shallow pan areas such as the one above are bulldozed out, surrounded by by earthen walls up to a meter high.  The ocean water is let in, such as up to 20 cm (10 inches), then closed off so that the ocean water is trapped.  The water is left to evaporate.  Once fully evaporated, it looks just like this.  This salt was about one centimeter thick (one-half inch), waiting to be bulldozed up into a pile the size of the top photo in this post.

Most Moroccan salt comes in square or rectangular plastic bags, tends to be a bit wet, and contains a bit of fine sand.  Moroccan cooks don’t notice this small amount of sand, but if you take a heaping tablespoon of salt and dissolve it in a glass of water, you can see the small grains of sand drop to the bottom.  Seeing how and where the Moroccan salt is collected explains why it is usually a bit damp in the plastic bag, and why it contains small bits of sand.

Moroccan saltworks can be very interesting places to visit during your Moroccan Sahara Desert Tour.

For more information about traveling to Morocco and visiting saltworks as part of a tour to the Agadir region

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

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