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.
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.
How Long to Spend in Marrakech?
If you plan to see the highlights beyond Marrakech, you may want to plan for six to seven nights in Marrakech 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.
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.
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.
Recommended Hot Air Balloon Tour
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.
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
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.
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
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, a typical Moroccan lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the falls 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.