The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: What are the best excursions from Marrakech? Walking in the Atlas Mountains, admiring the dunes in a hot-air balloon, marvelling at the architecture and prehistoric ruins, or strolling through the lively, colorful souks – there are plenty of impressive Morocco Tours from Marrakech.
The best part? For most of these tours, you can leave Marrakech in the morning and return the same day!
Read on, choose your favorite destination and enjoy a wonderful experience!
1 – Essaouira
Let yourself be carried away by the narrow, fortified streets of Essaouira’s medina, with its slight European influences (but the majority of which are North African in style). This trip to Essaouira also gives you the opportunity to discover the beautiful Moroccan coast.
During your visit, you’ll see how harmoniously the modern world blends with ancient architecture and history. It’s also worth noting that Essaouira is considered a World Heritage Site!
2 – Ouzoud Falls
Explore the bustling streets of Marrakech and immerse yourself in the depths of nature. At Ouzoud Falls, you can marvel at the way the stunning waterfall, nestled between layers of flora, cascades over a massive rock face.
Near the sparkling cascades, you’ll find the Al Abid river, where you can cool off. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for monkeys swinging from tree to tree! Immersing yourself in nature against a backdrop of spectacular images of flora and fauna makes for an unrivalled day trip from Marrakech.
3 – Palmeraie
Located just outside Marrakech, the Palmeraie is the easiest way to leave the noisy, bustling city for a pleasant camel ride.
Local guides are renowned for their hospitality, and will do their best to offer an authentic perspective of Moroccan culture: a tea break is always included!
4 – Merzouga Desert
Let yourself be enveloped by the calm, inexplicable beauty of the Merzouga Desert.
Whether riding a camel across the smooth dunes of Erg Chebbi, watching the sun emerge from the depths of the sand, camping under the hundreds of stars of a Bedouin camp or trekking through the High Atlas Mountains, it’s safe to say that this magical, peaceful and exciting three-day desert excursion from Marrakech will leave a clear image in your mind for years to come.
5 – Agadir
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: Fancy a luxurious yet tranquil getaway? Agadir’s lines of palm trees, sandy white coasts and beach bars beckon. Although Agadir is a seaside resort, it also offers a wide range of activities.
A day trip from Marrakech will introduce you to Agadir‘s collection of great sites, including the fish market, Agadir beach, the medina and many more. Perhaps you’ll be able to choose your destinations based on your visit!
6 – Ouarzazate
This day trip from Marrakech will introduce you to the “Hollywood of Africa“. Ouarzazate may be Morocco’s largest city, but its architecture and breathtaking beauty will distract you from the many tourists wandering around.
On the way to Ouarzazate, you’ll stop off at the UNESCO heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. And this site has been attracting film-makers for many years! Ouarzazate has some interesting destinations, including the Kasbah de Taourirt, which gives you a glimpse into the sumptuous lifestyles of the past.
7 – Mount Toubkal
Escape the desert and the cities and climb to the top of North Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Toubkal. The summit’s snow-capped peaks will give you a different view of Morocco.
En route to the summit of Jebel Toubkal, you’ll discover the village of Imil and hike near the sanctuary of Sidi Chamharouch. On this trek, you’ll discover incredible landscapes and cross varied terrain. Make sure you allow plenty of time, as the whole trip takes three days.
8 – Casablanca
Most of you may know Casablanca from the iconic 1945 film of the same name, but the city also offers a plethora of beautiful historical sites to visit.
The day trip from Marrakech to the Atlantic coast will take you to the Moroccan city’s main sights: eat seafood at the central market, admire the intricate design of the royal palace and patrol the French-built Habous district.
9 – Asni
Travel from the brown and white hues that cover the architecture of Marrakech to a vast green blanket of fairytale Asni. This beautiful region doesn’t attract as many tourists as other destinations, so it offers a more authentic atmosphere.
You can stroll through the various little stores that dot the area, while taking in the daily life and activities of the locals! The best part? Asni isn’t far from Marrakech! It’s about an hour’s drive.
10 – The Atlas Mountains
Escape to the ever-expansive Atlas Mountains for a breath of fresh air and a glimpse of Moroccan culture. This eye-opening excursion takes you to Imlil, where you can sip mint tea, dine with a Berber family and discover a wealth of facts about the region’s history.
In addition to the cultural experience, the terraced fields, lined with walnut and cherry trees, will undoubtedly provide you with many images that will amaze you for years to come.
11 – The Zagora Desert
Got a few days to spare? If so, the Zagora Desert awaits you!
This two-day excursion will take you from the colorful, bustling city of Marrakech to the calm, sublime desert of Zagora, where you’ll ride a camel to watch the sunrise and sunset.
And traditional Berber tents will welcome you for the night! Berber tents, traditionally made from goat and sheep hair, are the ideal shelter for a stay in the desert.
12 – Ourika Valley
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: Even the hilly landscapes – with their varied flora and fascinating rock formations – will enchant you on the way to the Ourika Valley.
Excursions to the Ourika Valley perfectly integrate a number of must-do activities, such as a visit to a Berber village, where Moroccan tradition is showcased, and discovering the handicrafts of Moroccan women who produce argan oil. Followed by a rewarding trip to Setti Fatma Falls!
13 – Imlil
Imlil will delight anyone hoping to discover Morocco’s rich and fascinating culture.
From houses stacked perpendicularly, lining terraced fields with a backdrop of rock faces, to exploring the countryside that reveals the inner details of Moroccan heritage and tradition, there’s something for everyone.
Even the drive from Marrakech to Imlil will have you taking photo after photo. A trip to Imlil from Marrakech will take a full day.
14 – Ait Benhaddou
The ancient architecture of the Ait Benhaddou kasbah has earned it the prestigious title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. And the powerful, irrefutable beauty that surrounds Ait Benhaddou has drawn filmmakers to the assemblage of historic buildings.
As you explore Ait Benhaddou, you’ll have the chance to discover where scenes from Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, and some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed. You’ll be enchanted by this desert journey.
15 – Oukaïmeden
Looking for a different landscape, terrain, and view? All of your snowboarding, skiing, and wintertime demands will be satiated by the lovely ski resort of Oukameden, located in the High Atlas.
Who would have thought that Morocco, a land of rolling dunes, would have a beautiful ski resort? It’s undoubtedly a must for ski and snowboard fanatics.
If you don’t fancy skiing or snowboarding, you can also discover the beautiful scenery and the daily life of the locals on a unique mule ride.
16 – Atlas Mountains by hot-air balloon
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: Observe the Atlas Mountains from above and take in their expansive panorama.! Take to the skies in a hot-air balloon, alongside the rising sun.
As you sit amidst purple clouds, cotton candy skies, and golden hues, you’ll watch the still-deserted landscape below grow ever more distant.
To top it all off, some tours also include a camel ride and an authentic Berber breakfast after the flight.
17 – Agafay Desert
Just 30 kilometers separate the Agafay Desert from Marrakech, making it the perfect destination for a day excursion.
If you’re short on time but want to immerse yourself in Moroccan culture for a few hours, you might consider heading to the Agafay Desert.
What’s in it for you? This trip gives you the chance to quad bike through the surrounding countryside! Start at Lake Lalla Takerkoust, pass through various villages, enjoy mint tea and discover the Moroccan desert. On this trip, you’ll spend the day admiring breathtaking views.
18 – Rabat
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: Some people may think that most capital cities are dense places with little to see. But Morocco’s capital, Rabat, is steeped in history, offering old buildings and interesting sights with a hint of French influence.
Just outside the city, you’ll find the ruins of Chellah, which date back to the time when the Romans and Phoenicians stayed in Morocco. The Hassan Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also emblematic of Morocco’s fascinating history.
The relaxed atmosphere, magnificent sites, stories and ancient tales make Rabat a destination worthy of the importance it deserves!
19 – Taroudant
The journey from Marrakech can take around three hours each way, but it’s possible to drift through this picturesque town in five or six hours!
Taroudant, nicknamed the “Grandmother of Marrakech”, offers visitors a pleasant landscape. In Taroudant, lush green palm trees contrast with red mud, and the peaks of the High Atlas rise in the background.
It’s all very picturesque! A visit here will also introduce you to the ins and outs of a traditional market; it’s well worth a stroll through the two souks.
20 – El Jadida
Want to discover Morocco’s history while enjoying a plate of fresh seafood along the coast? The walled city, once owned by the Portuguese, contains a panoply of archaic buildings that survived enemy attacks many years ago.
And you can’t visit El Jadida without seeing the cistern. In 1514, someone built the underground building, but the site remained unknown to the public until 1916. It’s definitely an attraction not to be missed!
21 – The Jbilets Desert
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: From dunes to gravel roads, the Jbilets Desert offers the ideal terrain for fun with quads and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
You’ll have the chance to see some wonderful scenery while enjoying an exciting outdoor adventure.
Excursions dans le Désert depuis Marrakech
Wondering which of the many camel tours from Marrakech is right for you? On this page you’ll find a complete guide to desert tours from Marrakech, where to go on your tour, how long it takes to get there, how much it costs and how to easily book the tour that suits you best.
Desert tour from Marrakech – Which one to choose?
To start with, there are 3 main parts of the Sahara you can explore. These are all accessible from Marrakech, and you can end your visit in Fez if you decide to see the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
1 – Excursions to Erg Chebbi via Merzouga (3-4 days)
This is the most accessible place on this itinerary. The route to Erg Chebbi via Merzouga may be the best option for witnessing sublime sunrises and sunsets over the golden dunes. It’s the ideal itinerary for a 3- or 4-day desert excursion.
Merzouga is a Berber village on the edge of the Sahara desert. Any visit to the dunes will pass through Merzouga. It’s the starting point for camel excursions to the campsite where you’ll spend the night. You’ll have the opportunity to ride a camel for a few hours at dusk to the camp, where you’ll sleep in comfortable tents. After a Berber dinner with traditional music, you can spend the evening as you wish, climbing the dunes or admiring the stars.
2 – Excursion to Erg Chegaga via Zagora (2 days)
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: Erg Chegaga, south of the village of Zagora, is renowned for its 4×4 itineraries.
The journey from the village of M’hamid to the Chegaga dunes takes around 3 hours. The route is entirely off-road in the rocky desert. Less touristy than Erg Chebbi, its dunes are slightly smaller. However, desert excursions are available from Marrakech with an overnight stay. This is the recommended itinerary if you’re not planning to spend more than 2 days outside Marrakech.
You can also go sandboarding, take a camel ride and observe the stars.
3 – Excursion to Erg Lihoudi via Zagora
Erg Lihoudi is easily accessible from M’hamid, 15 minutes away by 4×4. It’s a much smaller area than the previous ones, but just as pleasant. Little frequented by tourists, Erg Lihoudi is much more peaceful. Here you can enjoy stargazing, camel trekking and sandboarding.
4 – Excursions to the Agafay desert from Marrakech (1 day)
Prefer to experience the desert in just one day? Then the Agafay desert, just outside Marrakech, is your destination of choice. Get away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech for a camel ride, quad biking or horseback riding in the rocky desert.
What places can I visit on my desert tour?
The Atlas Mountains
Morocco’s Atlas is one of North Africa’s largest trekking areas, home to the Berber population. It stretches some 2,500 km across Morocco.
A fortified village between the Sahara and Marrakech. It is recognized as one of the finest examples of Moroccan clay architecture. Today, it is inhabited by four families and a dozen merchants’ houses.
Atlas Film Studios
The world’s largest film studio, located just outside Ouarzazate. Built in 1983, it features some of the world’s best-known film sets. A must-see for cinephiles.
Also known as “the gateway to the desert”, Ouarzazate is the capital of the province of the same name, located south of the Atlas Mountains. Inhabited by Berbers, it has become an important vacation destination in Morocco, renowned for its excursions into the Drâa Valley and the desert.
Skoura palm grove
Located in the province of Ouarzazate, where ruins of terracotta castles remain, this is one of the few palm groves still inhabited and cultivated.
Also known as the Valley of the Roses, this gorge lies on the banks of the Dades River in Morocco. It’s a popular hiking destination. The river rises in the High Atlas Mountains, where the gorge’s colorful walls rise to a height of 500 meters.
A town in Morocco’s Tinghir province, on the edge of the desert. Berber is home to the Ait Atta tribes of Jbel Saghro, Mgouna, Sedrate, Hdiddou, and Marghad.
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: A town south of the High Atlas and north of the Little Atlas in southeastern Morocco. It’s one of the most attractive oases in southern Morocco, but you can also make excursions along its magnificent gorges.
A series of p limestone in the eastern High Atlas mountains of Morocco. Its spectacular walls rise 600 meters above the road. It is a paradise for rock climbers and hikers.
Route des 1000 Kasbahs
The Route des 1000 Kasbahs follows the ancient route taken by the caravans of sultans and traders.
A small village in south-east Morocco, home to the famous Erg Chebbi. Many tourists pass through here as part of their itinerary to the dunes.
The sacred town of Rissani
The 21 Best Excursions from Marrakech: It is located in the province of Errachidia, in eastern Morocco, near Erg Chebbi. The sacred town of Rissani boasts many sites of interest, including its fortified castles, the mausoleum of Moulay Ali Chérif, Ksar El Fida, and Ksar Oulad Abdelhlim, which still retain their ancient essence.