Our selections of the best day trips and activities from Marrakech

If you decide to spend several days in Marrakech, after enjoying its attractions, it’s worth having a day trip (or more days) to visit other exciting highlights of Morocco, easily reachable from the city.

1) Essaouira

Essaouira, Unesco heritage site of Morocco, is a charming coastal town with a bustling Medina enclosed by high ramparts facing the rough water of the Atlantic Ocean. Not to be missed is the lively harbour characterised by its fleet of blue painted fishing boats.

Morocco, the medina of Essaouira
Morocco, the charming Medina of Essaouira

2) Ait Ben Haddou & Ouarzazate

Southern Morocco is dotted by Ksar and Kasbah, fortified villages well known for their charming mud and clay houses. The most famous Ksar of the whole country is Ait Ben Haddou, a real jewel of southern Morocco traditional architecture and UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. Ait Ben Haddou is also mainly popular among movies’ producers as it makes a timeless vision that is difficult to find elsewhere. It has been featured in many films including the Gladiator (in particular the scene in which Russell Crowe is sold into slavery), Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, Prince of Persia and in parts of the serial Tv game of Thrones. Ouarzazate is mostly known for the world’s largest Atlas Film studios and claims to be the Hollywood of Morocco (it’s possible to visit it). Over the years, Ouarzazate has served as a shooting location for Alexander the Great, Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven, Babel, The Mummy, Star Wars, The Living Daylights, Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, and many others, including Gladiator (2000), and Body of Lies. The city also boasts the interesting Kasbah Taourit, a fortified palace made of raw, red-coloured bricks (facing the kasbah, you’ll find the movies museums) and it’s an excellent base to visit the Draa valley.

Morocco, Ait Ben Haddou
Morocco, the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou

3) Ourika Valley

One of the most popular day trips from Marrakech is the exploration of Oukira Valley (usually combined with Imenane and Mizane valleys)  in the middle of high Atlas mountains. This tour takes you on a drive through small Berber villages with traditional houses built out of red clay, all surrounded by beautiful nature.

4) Ouzud Waterfalls

Located near the village of Tanaghmeilt in the Atlas Mountains, Ouzud waterfalls the most famous waterfalls of the whole of Morocco. This fantastically secluded spot plunges an impressive 110 meters down the cliff and in the warmest days, you can swim in the cold water of the valley’s pools. The walk down to the bottom of the falls is enjoyable and scenic as you will see the waterfalls from many different angles surrounded by thousands of olive trees. Here you can also take a short boat ride directly underneath the mouth of the waterfall and enjoy all its beauty close up.

Morocco, Ouzud waterfalls
Morocco, Ouzud waterfalls

5)  Hot Air Ballon Marrakech

Enjoy the silence of the wide-open spaces of the rock desert not far from Marrakech flying over the fantastic view of Berber villages, an oasis of palm trees, deep valleys and front of High Atlas mountains. The flight lasts 1 hour, and a Berber breakfast is included. Some tours combine the balloon flight with a camel ride through the palm oasis of Marrakech. The tour costs around 200 USD.

6) Three days Desert Safari

If you like the desert and you want to try the experience of a camel ride surrounded by high dunes and a night in a Berber tent under millions of stars, you can join a 3 days tour to Merzouga Desert. The trip is exciting because it usually includes the visit of the Unesco heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou, the kasbah Amridil in Skoura, Ouarzazate, the Dades valley and the Todra Gorges.

Morocco, the high dunes in the Erg Chebbi desert
Morocco, the high dunes in the Erg Chebbi desert


Need to know about the day tours from Marrakech

The list above is our selection of the best tour; anyway, Marrakech offers the chance to do other beautiful day trips (or more days trips) to escape the crowd of the city.

You can book your tour through the local agencies in Marrakech or easily using the web platforms as Viator and GetYourGuide, that advertize all the tours and activities offered by the local operators.

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