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Day Trips from Marrakech

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While there is so much to do in Marrakech, after a few days, many look to escape further afield to see more of Morocco.

Whether you’re looking for a little reprieve from the chaos of the city or don’t have the luxury of travelling further around Morocco, there are plenty of great day trips from Marrakech where you can uncover a different side of Morocco.

Valley in Morocco with snow capped Atlas Mountains and mud brick house.

While not all of Morocco’s big-ticket destinations are readily accessible from Marrakech, the Red City still makes an excellent base for exploring Morocco.

Whether you wish to head to the nearby Atlas Mountains, the desert, or even the coast, there’s plenty to do around Marrakech.

Wondering What to Pack for Morocco?

How Long to Spend in Marrakech? 

As we talk about in our travel tips for visiting Marrakech; if you plan to see the highlights beyond Marrakech, you may want to plan for six to seven nights to allow for some of these fabulous day tours.

Self Guide or Tour

All of these day trips from Marrakech can be made with an organised tour or guide. Based on our experience in Morocco, a guided tour is the recommended option. All of the tours recommended here are based on what we believe to be the best experience and value for money. 

Woman on a day trip from Marrakech to the atlas Mountains choosing a tagine at the markets.

Alternatively, you can rent a car in Marrakech and self-guide. If you choose the self-guided option, consider how many days you will require a rental car in Marrakech and parking in relation to your accommodation.  

Car Rental in Marrakech

It is possible to rent a car from Marrakech for around MAD 480 (~USD $50) for two full days in peak season for a compact – mid-size four-door vehicle with no booking or credit card fees. 

Day Trips From Marrakech

Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Discover the true beauty of Morocco’s magnificent landscapes as you rise from the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in a hot air balloon. While this is a slightly pricey adventure, it is a once in a lifetime experience you will never forget.

Hot air balloon ride across the desert of Morocco from Marrakech

Recommended Hot Air Balloon Tour

Atlas Mountains Hot Air Balloon Ride from Marrakech with Berber Breakfast and Desert Camel Experience

Only an hour from the centre of Marrakech, a 4×4 will transport you to the launch site for a pre-flight breakfast while the crew prepare your magnificent flying machine.

As the sun begins to rise, you will enjoy magnificent views of the Atlas Mountains, and the changing colours over the desert valleys from the spacious balloon basket.

After touchdown, retreat to a tent overlooking the mountains for a traditional Berber breakfast followed by a camel ride around the sandy landscape of the Palmeraie Desert. Return to Marrakech by 4×4.

  • Distance from Marrakech: 1 Hour
  • Tour Length: Approx 5 hrs (A very early start- Expect approx 6.00 am)
  • Inclusions:
    • Hotel transfers by 4×4
    • Hot air balloon ride
    • Pre-flight refreshments
    • Breakfast
    • Camel ride
    • Flight certificate
  • Price: Expect around MAD 2140 (~USD 225)

Stay Safe in Morocco

A few simple precautions can go a long way to ensuring both you and your belongings stay safe when you travel.

Our Safe Travel Guide has loads of tips on how to stay safe when you travel as well as guides to the best anti-theft travel gear. 

Ourika Valley

Mountain villages and vibrant riverside restaurants. Hiking and Siti Fatma, the seven waterfalls.

A favourite retreat for Marrakech locals, Ourika Valley is the perfect escape from the hustle of the city. Only 1 hour from Marrakech, enjoy a scenic drive to the Atlas Mountains through mountain communities where Berber villages cling to the side of hills.

On the way, stop at women’s argan oil co-operative and learn how the highly prized oil is made.

Moroccan ladies in traditional Berber village sorting Argan nuts to make Argan oil.

Enjoy a typical tagine lunch by the Ourika river and discover the seven waterfalls of Setti Fatma. A day trip to the Ourika Valley is not just very accessible; it allows visitors to Marrakech see a whole different side of Morocco.

Recommended Ourika Valley Tour

Ourika Valley

The best way to visit Ourika Valley is with a local driver. On this tour, your driver will take you to the best spots along to route to Setti Fatma including the women’s Argan Co-op, on a Monday or Thursday you will stop at the local souk markets.

Local guides will take you on a tour of the Berber village and the magnificent waterfalls Setti Fatma is famous for.

With lots of free time and a casual schedule, this tour is a very relaxed way to see the best of the Ourika Valley and very reasonably priced.  Make sure you wear you most comfortable and practical travel shoes if you are planning to explore the 7 Waterfalls of Setti Fatma. 

  • Distance from Marrakech: 1 Hour
  • Tour Length: Full Day (Approx 09.30-17.30)
  • Inclusions:
    • Hotel pick-up and drop off
    • Transportation by minibus with driver
    • Local guides
  • Price: Expect around MAD 162 (~USD 16)

Agafay Desert

A good alternative to a Sahara Desert tour| ATV and camel rides and luxury camping. 

Planning a trip to Morocco, many envisage riding a camel into the subset for a night in the Sahara Desert. If you haven’t allowed the time in Morocco, sadly, both Marrakech and a Sahara experience are not always possible.

The Sahara is a good 10 hours drive from Marrakech, but the Agafay Desert is the ideal alternative. 

Luxury traditional Berber camp in the Agafay Desert near Marrakech

Even if you were planning on self-guiding some day trips from Marrakech with a hire car, on this one we would recommend a tour. At only 30 km Southwest of Marrakech, The Agafay Desert offers so many possibilities for day trips or even extend for an overnight stay in a luxury desert camp.

Recommended Agafay Desert Tours

Agafay Desert

  • Distance from Marrakech: 1 Hour

With so many options available in the Agafay Desert, it is hard to narrow just one. These are some of the best tours in the Agafay Desert to suit all interests and time frames. You can see a full range of Agafay Desert tours here

Full-Day Agafay Desert Quad Adventure from Marrakech

  • Tour Length: Full Day (Approx 8 hrs)
  • Inclusions:
    • Powerful Yamaha quad and all necessary equipment
    • Professional guide
    • Traditional lunch
    • Hotel transfers 
  • Price: Expect around MAD 1612 (~USD 165)

Book This Tour Here

Half-Day Marrakech Desert & Palm Grove Quad Bike Tour

  • Tour Length: Three Hours (Various times) 
  • Inclusions:
    • Return hotel transfer
    • Quad bike (1 quad per adult for 1-hour and 45-minutes)
    • Helmet and security goggles
    • Mint tea
  • Price: Expect around MAD 403 (~USD 43)
Book This Tour Here

Full Day Agafay Desert

  • Tour Length: Full Day (Approx 09.30-17.00) 
  • Inclusions:
    • Return transfers
    • 2 hr quad biking in the Agafay desert
    • Lunch (Oasis Garden) Land of Stars
    • 1.5 hr on camel ride in the Agafay desert
  • Price: Expect around MAD 1295 (~USD 135)
Book This Tour Here

A Magical Night in the Agafay Desert

  • Tour Length: Overnight (Departure time 5.00 pm)
  • Inclusions:
    • Return Transfers
    • Dinner
    • Breakfast
    • Accommodation in a luxury nomad tent with shower and toilet
  • Price: Expect around MAD 3745 (~USD 390)
Book This Tour Here

The Ouzoud Falls ( Atlas Mountains)

Waterfalls, Easy Hiking, Natural Encounters

Take a day trip to the Middle Atlas to see one of the biggest waterfalls in Morocco. One of the most popular day trips from Marrakech; the Ouzoud Falls offer the opportunity for some easy hikes with stunning views, lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the falls enjoying typical Moroccan food, and even an up close encounter with some of the local Barbary macaques. It is also possible to take a boat ride to get up close to the falls.

Ouzoud Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in Northern Africa.

Even at 2.5 hours from Marrakech, Ouzoud waterfalls attract a big crowd on weekends so aim for a weekday if possible. If you are planning on self-guiding some day trips, this one is entirely possible to visit without a guide. The drive there will take you through some of Morocco’s most beautiful landscapes.

Recommended Ouzoud Falls Tour

Ouzoud Waterfalls Full-Day Trip with Boat Ride

Take a relaxing day trip starting with a scenic drive past though the Berber countryside of north of Marrakech to North Africa’s longest cascades. On arrival at the falls, enjoy a beautiful hike with your guide. Take a boat ride on the lake along the bottom of the falls, then relax for the afternoon at a local cafe after a delicious Berber lunch.

This tour allows plenty of time to relax and enjoy the Ouzoud Waterfalls at your leisure.

  • Distance from Marrakech: 2.5 Hours
  • Tour Length: Full Day (Approx 10 hrs from 08.00)
  • Inclusions:
    • Return hotel transfers in a modern air-conditioned van
    • English-speaking driver
    • Local guide
    • Boat ride
  • Price: Expect around MAD 215 (~USD 22)

Imlil (Toubkal National Park)

Toubkal National Park. The starting point to climb Mount Toubkal. Berber village & culture.

Head to the High Atlas Mountains to the village of Imlil in the Toubkal National Park. Imlil is popular with adventure hikers as it is the starting point for the Mount Toubkal climb, the highest peak in North Africa. 

However, Imlil also holds plenty of appeal for the day visitor. If you’re not a serious hiker, the small village is brimming with Berber culture and a spectacular view of Morocco’s most striking landscapes. 

Mountain village clinging to the hillside, Atlas Mountains.

A very achievable day trip if you are self-driving although a tour will provide valuable insight into the culture of the charming Berber village and guide you on an easy hike through the local countryside. 

Recommended Imlil Tour

Atlas Mountains (Imlil) Day Trip with Camel Ride

Take a fascinating trip into the Atlas Mountains to Imlil where your guide will take you on a tour of the local area to the largest and highest village in Imlil Valley. Choose the length of your trip between 1 & 3 hours passing waterfalls and the hamlets of Ait Mizan, Targa and Imoula stopping in Tamater. In the village of Ait Souka, enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal in a Berber family guest house before heading to the other side of the valley to meet your vehicle in Taourirt.
On the return trip, stop in the Moulay Brahim Gorges to experience riding a camel.

  • Distance from Marrakech: 2.5 Hours
  • Tour Length: Full Day (Approx 9 hrs from 09.00)
  • Inclusions:
    • Return hotel transfers in a modern air-conditioned van
    • Lunch and mint tea/coffee
    • Local guide
    • Camel ride
  • Price: Expect around MAD 392 (~USD 40)


Coastal Beach City, Laid back Charm and Game of Thrones Locations.

The bohemian seaside village of Essaouira is a favourite for all who visit. With a laid back vibe that is such a contrast to the constant hustle of Marrakech, Essaouira oozes charm and beauty.

Typical blue fishing boats of Essaouira, a bohemian coastal town in Morocco

An excellent opportunity to cool off from the heat in the summer. Also for Game of Thrones fans to indulge in location spotting.

While at 3 hrs from Marrakech, it is a long day trip, it is very achievable if done independently with a hire car, although a tour or driver makes it a much more relaxed day.

Recommended Essaouira Tour

Full-Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech

There are several tours from Marrakech to Essaouira that included guided tours and additional stops along the way. We believe the best value day trip is a simple transfer style tour which allows ample time in the coastal city.

Stroll the UNESCO seaside medina, see the “Door of the Port”, explore the old Jewish district and visit the Scala Kasbah at your leisure. There may even be time to enjoy some time on the beach depending on the season. 

  • Distance from Marrakech: 3 Hours
  • Tour Length: Full Day (from 08.30)
  • Inclusions:
    • Return hotel transfers in a modern air-conditioned vehicle
    • English speaking driver
    • Free time to explore at your leisure
  • Price: Expect around MAD 344 (~USD 35)

Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou

The Atlas Mountains across the Tizi n’ Tichka mountain pass. Gladiator and Game of Thrones locations.

At a little over 3 hrs, Ouarzazate is another big but worthwhile day trip from Marrakech. Over the High Atlas Mountains crossing the Tizi n’ Tichka mountain pass, the drive to Ouarzazate offers spectacular views that alone make the trip worthwhile.

However, it is the Ait Benhaddou fortified village which has set the scene for many movies and TV shows such as Gladiator and Game of Thrones that makes this day trip so popular. 

A day trip is possible to do independently. However, a tour or driver makes the drive there so much more enjoyable, especially when crossing the High Atlas. 

UNESCO listed Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. The red clay village has been the set of many films and TV series.

Recommended Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou Tour

Day Trip to Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou

Again, with this day trip, we recommend a simple transfer style tour. With around three hours of travel time each way, your driver will stop at the top of Tizi n’Tichka before arriving at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kasbah Ait Benhaddou where you can explore at your leisure. The final stop will be at Ouarzazate (The Hollywood of Africa) before returning to Marrakech.

  • Distance from Marrakech: 3 Hours
  • Tour Length: Full Day ( 13 hrs from 08.00)
  • Inclusions:
    • Return hotel transfers in a modern air-conditioned vehicle
    • English speaking driver
    • Free time to explore at your leisure
  • Price: Expect around MAD 371 (~USD 40)

Plan Your Trip to Marrakech

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