With cheap flights, good weather all year round and its atmosphere, Marrakech it is fast becoming a major tourist destination, especially for those looking for a weekend away.
If time constraints do not allow you to stay longer and to be able to travel from up to down all over the country, you do not have to be confined within the red city: in fact, from Marrakech there are fantastic excursions of one or more days that allow you to get a taste of what Morocco is like outside the cities.
If you have already taken the plane tickets you will surely be planning what to visit and in how long, trying to evaluate what is indisputable to see and what you should, reluctantly, leave out.
After planning a tour for experience the teeming emotions of the old city, that is the Medina area, having bargained to buy souvenirs and pieces of local handicrafts in the souks, visited the immense Moroccan architectural works in the city, learned something about local worship in the great Koutubia mosque and stayed in a Riad, the ancient Moroccan houses, you must be wondering what else to see.
Well, as you can imagine there are so many things, incredibly fascinating, diametrically opposed to each other and all absolutely unmissable!
Probably, if you are planning to stay 2 days in Marrakech, you won't have much time to do anything else.
But if you have a few more days available, it is perfect to opt for the many tours of the area where you will find yourself walking in the desert, having tea in a Berber camp, glimpsing snow-capped peaks of towering mountains, relaxing in the shade of a palm grove and tasting local gastronomic specialties.
Here, for you, a rundown of the best excursions from Marrakech to choose from:
- 1 - Ouzoud Falls
- 2 - Port city of Essaouira
- 3 - Merzouga Desert
- 4 – Ouarzazate
- 5 – Ait-Ben-Haddou
- 6 – Palmeraie
- 7 – Deserto in Agafay
- 8 - Atlas Mountains and Four Valleys
- 9 – Valle Ourika
1 - Ouzoud Falls
Di Alberto Loyo /
Leaving the city of Marrakech behind you, in two and a half hours of travel you can admire the fascinating Ouzoud waterfalls. Morocco is truly a land full of authentic beauties of nature and these waterfalls are no exception!
To reach them, you will cross the Atlas Mountains, an immense North African mountain massif, and you will savor unique sceneries: the waterfalls are located at an altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level and consist of three water jumps. The height of the Ouzoud falls is well 110 meters and the scenery is truly breathtaking.
It is the ideal place to immortalize this authentic beauty of nature! You can indulge yourself in photographs worthy of the most demanding social networks and you will have the opportunity to immortalize the wildlife present on site: do not be surprised if you see a monkey trotting around and take the opportunity to photograph it!
In addition, if you feel like cooling off a bit, you can dive into the cool waters of the Al Abid river for a regenerating swim: what more could you ask for for a day outside the walls of the red city?
Personally I have been to the Ouzoud waterfalls with a rental car. If you don't want to lead the tours are a great option.
THE BEST MARRAKESH TOURS AT OUZOUD WATERFALLS
- Ouzoud waterfalls: full-day tour from Marrakech (su Get Your Guide)
- Excursion to the Ouzoud Falls (the BEST, managed by Civitatis)
- Private excursion from Marrakech (in English!)
2 - Port city of Essaouira
Di Ruslan Kalnitsky /
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, let yourself be carried away by the sea breeze and discover the wonderful port city of Essaouira!
It is always fascinating to discover how many beautiful things there are to see around the main destination of a trip: Essaouira, just two and a half hours by road from Marrakech, it will win you over with its port tradition, the processing of argan and its use in the cosmetic-food industry and with the oldest area of the city.
Essaouira, like Marrakech, has an area called Medina, protected by an XNUMXth century fortification, full of craft shops and artifacts that you will hardly resist.
Its atmosphere is steeped in history and tradition and, if you are a sports enthusiast, on its enchanting beaches you can take advantage of the ocean to practice surfing and windsurfing, or you can relax in the warmth of the sun.
Its colors will fascinate you and its vocation as a port city will make you appreciate its commercial attitude and its incredible local history.
There are bus departures every day (with CTM and Supratours) between Marrakech and Essaouira, with a journey time of approximately 3 hours.
THE BEST TOURS FROM MARRAKECH TO ESSAOUIRA
- Excursion to Essaouira (grant State)
- Essaouira: full-day tour from Marrakech (da Get Your Guide)
3 - Merzouga Desert
Di Dan Baciu /
If you are a lover of adventure and you want to try your hand at a real dream excursion, you cannot miss a tour in the Sahara desert!
This is one of the excursions not to be missed, but you will not be able to do it in one day: the Merzouga desert it is far from Marrakech and therefore, to fully enjoy it, you will need them at least 3 days.
Have you always dreamed of riding a camel, crossing the desert, camping for the night under the suggestive starry sky of Africa, listening to traditional stories and, why not, inventing new ones?
With this excursion you can do all this and live for a whole day at the traditional Berber way. You will have the chance to taste some specialties of Moroccan cuisine and stay overnight in a camp with a private tent in the desert. Isn't it exciting?
The sunset will be a unique and unrepeatable experience, the atmosphere you will remember for all the years to come: the tour in the Merzouga desert is a gem of a thousand and one nights!
THE BEST TOURS FROM MARRAKECH TO THE DESERT OF MERZOUGA
- 3 days excursion to the desert of Merzouga
- Merzouga: 3-day desert safari from Marrakech
- 4 days excursion to the desert of Merzouga
4 – Ouarzazate
By Jose Ignacio Soto /
Ouarzazate it is called the "capital of the desert" and its characteristics make it a fascinating and unforgettable city to visit, a pearl to keep in your memory.
The architecture of its buildings seems to merge with the desert itself, which is also why it has been used as a setting in numerous films: epochal films such as The Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and the first season of Games have been shot here. Of Thrones, to name a few.
Due to its cinematic tradition, you will have the opportunity to also visit a museum dedicated to cinema he local film studios.
The city of Ouarzazate has a splendid historic center, an excellent destination not to be missed after visiting the Moroccan Hollywood, to be visited without reservations.
To reach Ouarzazate from Marrakech you will travel along the High Atlas and see fantastic views at over 2000 meters above sea level!
THE BEST TOURS FROM MARRAKECH TO OUARZAZATE
- Excursion to Ouarzazate with guide in English
- Ouarzazate e Ait-Ben-Haddou: gita da Marrakech
- Morocco: private tour of Aït-Ben-Haddou and Ouarzazate
5 – Ait-Ben-Haddou
In conjunction with Ouarzazate, you cannot fail to visit Ait-Ben-Haddou (they are often included in the same tour) a small fortified city located along the route that the caravans used to make from the Sahara desert to Marrakech.
This fortified city, or ksar, is UNESCO World Heritage Site and, therefore, protected by it for over thirty years.
By now very few people live in this authentic jewel in the desert as the modern population has settled outside the fortified city, but everything is absolutely visitable and worthy of admiration.
Impossible to visit Ait ben Haddou and Ouarzazate alone in one day: the buses are infrequent and take too long. The best options with with a rental car or with a tour.
6 – Palmeraie
At Philip Lange /
Imagine a large area where they were planted over 100.000 examples of palm trees, an immense palm grove that extends over 15.000 hectares not far from the Medina of Marrakech: don't you already feel fully relaxed on holiday?
Imposing and luxurious villas have made this enchanting place the perfect place for those who want to add a little luxury and comfort to their vacation.
The palm grove, a Moroccan heritage as regards the natural sphere, dates back to the XNUMXth century and to the Berber dynasty of the Almoravids who deployed a large amount of forces to create a wooded area of such proportions in hectares of desert nature.
Let's say that the pastimes of this area of Marrakech are golf, sunbathing in the pool, a trip on the back of a camel or riding a quad bike: why not try and relax among traditional, modern comforts surrounded by nature?
THE BEST TOURS TO THE PALMETO OF MARRAKECH
- Camel ride in the palm grove of Marrakech
- Quad tour in the palm grove of Marrakech
- Palm grove and desert of Marrakech: camel tour with tea
- Offer: Quad tour + Camel ride
7 – Deserto in Agafay
Di Steven Kenworthy /
Il Agafay desert it is only 40 minutes from the red city, therefore it is also called the desert of Marrakech. It is an unspoiled environment despite its proximity to the big city and full of opportunities for live unforgettable adventures.
This desert is made up of immense rocky layers, with light and soft colors, which very frequently resemble the surface of the moon: it is amazing how the landscape changes in a few kilometers from the city of Marrakech!
Vegetation, oases and canyons are part of this enchanting place in which to organize splendid excursions: you can experience the breezes of walking on the back of a camel or, if you don't feel ready for an adventure so in contact with animals, get on board a comfortable quad, definitely suitable for the type of territory.
During this excursion, it will not be difficult to find Berber camps where they can offer you tea and specialties of the area, just to refresh yourself while discovering this city desert.
As much as I love independent travel, for this particular destination I think it is absolutely best to take a tour.
BEST TOURS TO THE AGAFAY DESERT
- Quad tour in the Agafay desert
- Camel ride in the desert with dinner and show
- Complete Agafay Desert Tour: Quad Ride, Camel Ride and Dinner
- Atlas Mountains and Agafay Desert Safari
8 - Atlas Mountains and Four Valleys
Di Ryzhkov Oleksandr /
Another recommended excursion starting from the beautiful Marrakech is the one that will take you to Atlas Mountains and the Four Valleys.
The Atlas mountain range extends over four North African states, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, including peaks that reach and exceed 4000 meters in height.
Starting from Marrakech, you will be able to visit not only the Moroccan part of this incredible mountain range but also the valleys of Ourika - with its waterfalls, of Oukaimeden - with its Berber traditions, of Sidi Fares and Asni - with the famous orchards.
Along the way of your hike, you may even see snow-capped peaks of the highest mountains, waterfalls and traditional villages to savor and learn about local culture.
Here with the tours there is really to indulge yourself! There are many and all are worth a look: there is no one better than another, it all depends on your personal tastes.
BEST TOURS FROM MARRAKECH TO THE HIGH ATLAS
- Excursion to the High Atlas
- Quad bike ride to the High Atlas
- Excursion to Imlil and Plateau du Kik
- Atlas Mountains and 4 Valleys: excursion from Marrakech
- Atlas Mountains: excursion with camel ride (the best seller)
- Berber villages, 3 valleys and Atlas: full day tour (for me the one with the best quality / price ratio)
9 – Valle Ourika
Not studied /
The river originates from the High Atlas Ourika whose valley is a real spectacle of nature. There are numerous plant species present in this part of Moroccan territory, numerous natural wonders: the Valle Ourika represents one of the most popular tours starting from the city of Marrakech for a total immersion in nature.
The village of Setti-Fatma it is a must to visit the Ourika river waterfalls, which are the main attraction of the whole tour: by visiting this authentic wonder of nature, you will have the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the decidedly… icy waters of the river!
During this tour, you may have the opportunity to visit some typical Berber houses and be told something about the customs and traditions of the tradition, while sipping a nice cup of tea offered by the owners of the house!
And not to forget to take home some nice souvenirs, in this valley you will find gods almost every day of the week craft markets very nice: do not forget, however, to make a good price negotiation, in Morocco it is always good practice!
Rent a car in Marrakech and drive to Siti Fatima, or take one of the collectives from the square Jemaa el-Fnaa.
THE BEST TOURS TO THE OURIKA VALLEY
- Excursion to the Ourika Valley (the best)
- Ourika Valley: 1 day tour with camel ride
- From Marrakech: Ourika Valley and Atlas Mountains