Africa

The Best Day Trips and Multi-Day Trips From Marrakech

Are you looking for the best day trips and tours from Marrakech? Then you are not alone!

Marrakech is a vibrant city where the East and the West, the modern and the historic mingle. Walking through the small alleys of the traditional old town of Marrakech, the Medina, will guarantee you a sensory rush of sights, smells as well as sounds.

Traveling to Marrakech needs quite some planning. You will find that not only can you do many amazing things within Marrakech, but there are also plenty of amazing day trips from Marrakech available.

I have been to Marrakech and simply loved exploring more of Morocco – with Marrakech as a base.

To help you plan your day trips from Marrakech, I have created this simple guide with all the important info. Find the best day trips from Marrakech, the best multi-day trips, and things to do in Marrakech in this guide.

Let’s jump right in!

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Best Day Trips from Marrakech

Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains

Marrakesh is an amazing destination but if you have an extra day, a popular excursion is to experience the beauty of the High Atlas Mountains! On this full day, you’ll be able to explore stunning valleys, learn about traditional Berber life, and take in breath-taking views of Morocco’s majestic mountain range.

Your journey begins with a visit to a co-operative where village women make their own Argon oil – and though you might expect touristy souvenirs, instead you’ll hear genuine stories from locals, as well as a delicious breakfast.

You continue onwards, heading ever closer to the mountains as your guide shares stories about his own childhood growing up in this incredible, rugged landscape.

Once you arrive at Imlil Valley it’s time for your hike – lasting around two hours and not overly difficult. There is some elevation and places where you’ll need to watch your step but it’s a great chance to take in stunning views of snow-topped peaks while wandering through traditional villages. As your hike winds down, you’ll stop in a tiny hamlet and enjoy a delicious lunch of tagines and Moroccan salads.

Be sure to dress appropriately for this hike: comfortable shoes.  We walked in December but in warmer weather don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water!

This is a beautiful hike and the Berber stories brought such color to a fabulous day.

city in morocco on the mountain with brown houses
Colleen from Then We Walked

Day trip to Ait Ben Haddou

What you will see on the trip

Located just under 200 km from Marrakech, Ait Ben Haddou is a fortified village located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. This village has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has served as a filming backdrop for The Mummy, Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, and many more!

Ait Ben Haddou is made entirely out of clay and straw, and the Moroccan architecture of the kasbahs (fortified houses) is jaw-dropping. On your day trip here, you will explore the village by foot, and get ready to learn about the Berber culture, see some of the best preserved Moroccan architecture, and drink some incredible Moroccan tea.

Visitors can also expect to be enamored by the incredible views of the stunning Atlas Mountains. 

Useful tips & what to bring

  • Drinking water –  Most of the year it is hot and sunny in the spectacular town so be sure to bring some cool drinking water, especially if you plan to ascend to the top of the village!
  • A little extra change – A tour guide will take you on your exquisite visit through Ait Ben Haddou and will likely bestow so much knowledge onto you. As a courteous gesture, I recommend giving them a tip as a thank you. 
  • Your ready-to-explore attitude – If you show up ready to see and learn about an incredible piece of Moroccan history, you will undoubtedly have an amazing experience on this day trip. 

Check out the best Day Trips to Ait Ben Haddou here.

Day Trip to Essaouira

Essaouira makes a great day trip from Marrakech, though it would be advisable to stay overnight if you want to experience more of what this beautiful city has to offer. Essaouira is located three hours from Marrakech, and you can easily get here by bus. There are several buses a day that connect Marrakech with Essaouira.

There are plenty of things to do in Essaouira, starting with exploring the walled Medina. You will notice that compared to Marrakech, the atmosphere here is so much quieter and haggling in the souks less aggressive. From the souks, you can climb the ramparts of the fortress that used to protect the city from the invaders from the sea. There are 19 cannons that are facing the sea, through gaps in the walls.

Another great thing to do in Essaouira is have lunch in the fish market. You can pick your own fish from one of the sellers, then take it to the grilling stations where other people will cook it for you for a very small fee.

The beach in Essaouira shouldn’t be missed either. This is a very popular place for kids to play football, but also for tourists to take surf lessons. The bay is a perfect place for beginners, as the waves are quite small, perfect for learning how to surf.

There are also plenty of transportation options if you wish to take a private day trip to Essaouira.

Day Trip to Taghazout

Taghazout is Essaouira’s “hippie sibling” – laid-back and peaceful, with a renowned coastline that draws surfers from all over the world. Still off the beaten track and a few steps from the resort town of Agadir, the whitewashed seaside village is more than just a place to ride the waves.

Taghazout can be done as a day trip from Marrakech but might be better appreciated by spending at least a night by its camel-trodden beach. Located southwest of the imperial city, reaching its coasts takes approximately 3.5 hours.

The fastest and most convenient way to get to Taghazout is by shuttle bus. However, the cheapest way is by taking the local bus and doing a transfer to Agadir.

The experienced surfer will find what they are looking for at Killer Point. On the other hand, Banana Point has the perfect gentle wave to learn the way of the water. The town also serves as a retreat, with practicing yoga and hiking being other popular activities.

Wildly authentic, Taghazout is the uncut gem that will make the perfect day trip from Marrakech for those looking for a few days under the sun.

If you need some help with the transfer to Taghazout, I suggest booking the Private Transfer Marrakech Taghazout for a stress-free day.

Picture of white and pastel colored houses on a cliff at sunset with some fisher boats in front of it
Travel Choreography

Day Trip to Agadir

The trip from Marrakech to the coastal city of Agadir is relatively straightforward and well worth the 3-hour drive. This journey covers a distance of approximately 250 kilometers (218 miles) on smooth, paved roads.

The drive itself offers a lot of beauty to see out the window as you pass by the deserts, peaks, and valleys of the High Atlas mountain range. 

Once in Agadir, you will find yourself in a modern with a long sandy beach and a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and nightlife options. A must-see area of the city is Marina Agadir, an upscale neighborhood with a pedestrian promenade along the water.

For the best views of the city and the coast, hike up to Agadir Oufella, the city’s old Kasbah. The historical landmark was one of the few structures still standing after an earthquake struck the city in 1960. 

Agadir is also a great base for exploring some of the best Morocco has to offer nearby. Taghazout, the surfing capital of the country, is a quaint coastal village with a laid-back vibe. The breathtaking landscapes of Souss-Massa National Park are home to a variety of wildlife such as gazelles, flamingos, and wild boar.

If you are not comfortable with organizing the trip by yourself, I suggest booking an Agadir Day Trip from Marrakech.

Picture of the coast from a viewpoint
Credit Bro on the Go

Day Trip to the Ouzoud Waterfalls

If you are staying for a bit longer in Marrakech, I suggest a day trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls (Cascades d’Ouzoud). The Ouzoud Falls are a collection of waterfalls that end in the El-Abid River‘s gorge. They are located in the Middle Atlas, in the province of Azilal!

Ouzoud means “the act of grinding grain” in the local language, Berber.

This is one of the coolest day trips you can take from Marrakech. The trip will take roughly 10 hours and lead you on a hiking or boat tour around the waterfalls. Make sure to wear good shoes!

As with most of the day trips from Marrakech, a trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls is quite cheap. Make sure to book with a reputable provider though, otherwise, you might get scammed. My favorite day trip from Marrakech to the Ouzoud waterfalls you can find here.

Half-day trip to Le Jardin Majorelle and the Yves Saint Laurent House

The Majorelle Garden is a botanical garden that was bought and restored by famous fashion designer YVES SAINT LAURENT. The Majorelle Garden was built in the 1930s and is home to about 300 species.

This is a great thing to do in Marrakech. There is a cute little art-deco villa with famous blue and yellow structures.

Close by the garden, you can find the BERBER Museum as well as the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.

There are more than 600 historical artifacts from the oldest people of North Africa, the Berbers, stored. This is a great historically interesting thing to do in Marrakech.

I liked the gardens, however, they were quite crowded so it was hard to take it all in. If you are staying in the Medina of Marrakech, I recommend booking your ticket including a transfer, since the gardens are far out of the city.

Day Trip to Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is a city south of the Atlas Mountains and is known to be the door to the desert. On your day trip there you will also visit the famous city of Ait Ben Haddou, which is being featured in many movies. This is a perfect day trip from Marrakech, especially for those who can’t spend more than one day exploring southern Morocco.

Enjoy an adventure across the Tizi n’Tichka mountain, which is 2,260 meters (7,410 feet) above sea level, and hike up to the fortified city of Ait Ben Haddou, the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The drive through the Atlas mountains can be quite exhilarating, and the view is amazing. This is a day trip that you must do with a guided tour since the area around the Atlas mountains is dangerous. I can highly recommend the tour, this is something you should do when you are in Marrakech.

Multi-Day Trips from Marrakech

Multi Day Trip to Essaouira – Taghazout – Agadir

This multiple-day trip starting and ending in Marrakech is for those who want to experience some of Morocco’s best beaches and is particularly good for surfers. Whilst you could do this trip in 4 days, we recommend allowing a good week or more to cover the ground comfortably.

It’s just a 3-hour drive from Marrakech to Essaouira (either by bus or self-drive) where you can wander the beautiful medina and port, and try your hand at quad-biking or perhaps brush up your surfing skills for the trip ahead at one of the Essaouira surf schools.

If you want a more sedate start to this trip, then book in for a traditional Hamman and enjoy a stroll along the main beach to ‘Beach and Friends’ for a sundowner.

Following the road south, passing through Diabat and Sidi Kaouki, the understated surf town of Imsouane is your next stop. This is a tiny fishing town with only a few facilities but offers great surfing for both beginners and experts due to its two distinct surf locations.

A bit further along the coast is Taghazout, another surfing town, but with much more facilities; there’s a fantastic string of restaurants perched along the beach. From Taghazout, it’s worthwhile detouring to Paradise Valley in the mountains for a fantastic trek to swimming holes.

Then finally it’s on to Agadir, which is heavily geared towards package holidays and in all honesty, due to how the city was rebuilt after the 1960 earthquake, is not the best representation of Morocco. However, it’s worth stopping to visit Souq El Had, one of the largest undercover souqs in Morocco, and the superb Crocoparc.

From Agadir, it’s a 3-hour drive back to Marrakech. 

Camels on a beach with a person riding them
Explore Essaouira

Multi-Day Trip to Merzouga

One of the most impressive excursion destinations from Marrakech is definitely Merzouga in Morocco. Located in the southeast of the country, this small desert town is famous for its giant Erg Chebbi dunes.

If you are planning to visit Morocco, then this famous area is a must-see. There are several guided tours available from Marrakech. However, a multi-day tour is highly recommended as there are many interesting stops along the way.

Breathtaking and absolutely unique, in Merzouga you will find one of the most beautiful parts of the Sahara. Here you will experience a spectacular scenario of a dunes landscape that is as magnificent and unique as a picture book. The dunes of Erg Chebbi can reach heights of 150 – 200 meters. They are a popular photo motif and create an almost surreal landscape.

During your multiple-day tour, it is worthwhile to spend a night or two in a Berber desert camp. You will have the opportunity to sleep under the open sky in the middle of the Erg Chebbi. This is an experience you will never forget. You will sing, drink tea, and listen to Berber stories around the campfire.

You can also choose to ride a camel to explore the dunes. A quad ride is available for the more adventurous. An absolute highlight is the spectacular sunsets, which are best enjoyed from the summit of the dune.

Picture of the desert with lots of brown sand and blue sky
PlacesofJuma

Multi-Day Trip to Rabat

Marrakech is well-connected to other cities by train, so it’s easy to take a day or weekend trip to Rabat.

Rabat is Morocco’s capital and one of four imperial cities. It is known as the university city, so it is not very touristy. This means that lodging and food will be substantially cheaper than in Marrakesh and you can get some great student lunch deals.

The Kasbah of the Oudayas is an old fortress and museum located on a hill.  It’s worth climbing up and exploring to see some great sea views. Then take time for a relaxing lunch or dinner by the Quai de Bou Regreg and people-watch. Nearby is the free Mausoleum of Mohammed V that has a changing of the guard outside of it.  

Art lovers can visit the National Museum of Photography or the Mohammad VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.  

There are public beaches right in the city, and most of the year you’ll want to jump right in for a surf or a swim to cool off. 

Beat the heat and read ideas for what to wear in Morocco as you start planning your trip.

Picture of beautiful white building and some steps in Rabat
Credit Growing Global Citizens

Multi-day Trip From Marrakech to Fez

Fez is a beautiful city in northern Morocco and is considered one of the country’s most important cultural and spiritual centers. It is the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Rabat.

Fez is known for its well-preserved old town, Fes el Bali. It was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fes el Bali is home to numerous historic landmarks, including the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University.

It is considered the oldest university in the world still in operation. Of course, the Dar Batha Museum is worth a visit. It houses a collection of traditional Moroccan arts and crafts.

The city is also famous for its tanneries, which have been in operation for centuries and produce leather goods that are sold throughout Morocco and around the world. You can take guided tours of the tanneries and see the traditional methods of leather production that have been used for generations.

Fez is also known for its food, which features a mix of Arab, Berber, and Andalusian influences. They are especially famous for their Tangine.

Fez is quite far away from Marrakech, so a day trip is basically out of the question. If you wish to travel for a couple of days to Fez, here are your options:

  • By train: The train is a comfortable and convenient way to travel between the two cities. Trains depart from Marrakech’s main train station, and the journey takes around 7 hours
  • By bus: Buses are a more budget-friendly option, with several companies offering daily services between Marrakech and Fez. The journey takes around 8-9 hours, depending on the traffic
  • By private transfer: For a more comfortable and hassle-free journey, you can arrange for a private transfer from Marrakech to Fez. This option allows you to travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and you do not need to arrange anything. This is by far my favorite option.
  • By car: If you prefer to drive yourself, you can rent a car in Marrakech and make the 530 km journey to Fez. However, it’s important to note that driving in Morocco can be challenging, and the roads can be busy and poorly maintained. Judging by the traffic in Morocco, I do not recommend this.

If you do not want to organize your trip from Marrakech to Fez yourself, I suggest booking a Multi-Day Tour.

Here are my favorite excursions from Marrakech to Fez:

Private Sahara Discovery Tour from Marrakech to Fez in 4 Days

3 Day Trip from Marrakech To Fez

Private Transfer From Marrakech To Fez

4 Day Desert Tour from Marrakech to Fez

6 Days from Marrakech To Tangier via Desert & Fez

Multi-Day Trip from Marrakech to Casablanca

Casablanca is located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, while Marrakech is located inland, in the western part of the country. The distance between the two cities is approximately 235 kilometers (146 miles). It is especially famous because of a well-known movie.

Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. It is a major economic and cultural center, with a population of over 3 million people.

Casablanca is known for its stunning Hassan II Mosque, as well as its bustling souks, modern shopping centers, and lively nightlife. For this reason, people love visiting Casablanca.

Both Casablanca and Marrakech are popular tourist destinations in Morocco, so there are several transportation options available to travel between the two cities, including trains, buses, and private cars. The journey takes around 3-4 hours depending on the mode of transportation you choose.

I suggest staying at least one night in Casablanca because there is a lot to do in the beautiful city.

If you are shot on time, then a Guided Casablanca Day Tour From Marrakech is just what you need.

Picture of Mosque in Casablanca at sunset with stunning pink and purple colors

What you need to know before going to Marrakech

Currency

The official currency of Morocco is the Dirham. For 1 Euro or Dollar, you will roughly get 11 Dirhams. Make sure to bring some cash or get some at the Airport, since most of the shopping is done on traditional markets that do not take credit cards.

How to get to Marrakech

The official and only airport of the city of Marrakech is Marrakech Menara Airport (airport code RAK). The Marrakech airport (RAK) is servicing the city of Marrakech as well as the Marrakech-Safi region. The airport receives several European flights per day, as well as flights from Casablanca.

From the airport, you can easily take a cab to your accommodation, or book an airport transfer in advance. The ride is pretty short and not expensive. Read more about how to get to your accommodation and how to get around Marrakech further down in this Marrakech travel guide.

You can also reach Marrakech by train from several Moroccan cities. The Marrakech railway station offers daily connections from Marrakech to Fez, from Marrakech to Casablanca, and from Marrakech to Rabat, and vice versa.

Language

People in Morocco speak a mix of Berber, English, and French. We found it useful to speak a bit of French since this was by far the most used language. However, if you plan most of your adventures ahead (as suggested further below in this Marrakech Travel Guide) you can book English tour guides for almost any tour.

Climate

Morocco is considered a year-round warm country. In January, temperatures will climb to 19 degrees C (67 F) on average during the daytime. The weather in Marrakech in December and January is comfortable, although it can get quite cold. The coldest daily temperature in Marrakech in January and December is around 6 degrees C (42 F).

The weather in Marrakech in February, March, April, and May is very comfortable for visitors. The daily average temperature in these months hovers around 18 degrees C (65 F).

In summer Marrakech can get quite uncomfortably hot during the day. The average temperature in Marrakech in the months of June, July, and August is around 28 degrees C (84 F). During my visit in August, many days we had temperatures around 45 degrees C and could not leave the guesthouse around noon.

In the fall months, September, October, and November, the temperatures are slightly colder and less rough than in summer in Marrakech. The daily average is around 21 degrees C (70 F).

Try booking your trip outside the summer months of July and August, since it can get unbearably hot during these times! Some tour buses do not have air conditioning, so day trips will be brutal during these times. I suggest visiting Marrakech either in spring or fall since these are the most comfortable months weather-wise.

Dress code

As this is a Muslim country, it is important to be respectful of your clothing choices. I suggest very loose-fitting pants, long dresses, and cover-ups for the shoulders and the cleavage. However, there is no such thing as a typical Marrakech dress code.

While most parts of the city are quite liberal and you can get away with wearing something shorter, people in the streets will catcall you frequently and it can get quite uncomfortable.

Also with the warm weather, it makes sense to protect yourself from the strong African sun with longer clothing. If you wish to not stick out too much, you can also buy beautiful traditional clothes in the Medina, and create your very own Marrakech dress code.

Cultural Do’s and Don’ts in Marrakech

Many smaller and bigger traditions make up the culture in Marrakech and I wanted to include the most important ones in this Marrakech Travel Guide.

It is important to follow the do’s and don’ts in Marrakech in order not to be inappropriately rude to the locals. They may not call you out, but it is important to always be respectful when traveling.

Try to not use your left hand too often, since it is considered dirty in Morocco. Make sure to not drink alcohol in public outside of the authorized zones.

Do negotiate on the markets of Marrakech, this is considered a social ritual and will make the salespeople feel respected. But try not to low-ball them with completely insane prices, aim for something that will properly compensate them for their goods.

Make sure to be especially respectful during Ramadan and prayer hours. Try to avoid visiting Marrakech during Ramadan, since it can be quite limiting to your experience.

Overall, Marrakech is a great place for tourists despite the cultural strictness. People are kind and forgiving when you do not know all the customs. There is quite some controversy going on about whether or not Morocco is safe for women. I have not felt unsafe.


How to get around Marrakech

Finding out, how to get around Marrakech is a bit more tricky. After arrival at the airport, it is very much recommended to take an (official) taxi to your accommodation, since public transport is not a thing. If you live inside the Media, your cab will have to drop you off somewhere outside the inner city, since it is a pedestrian zone.

Since our Riad arranged for transportation, we were met by a very nice man with his donkey who handled our luggage. Make sure to have these things arranged, otherwise, you might end up roaming the small alleys of the Medina with all your luggage in the heat. It is not all that easy getting around in the Medina of Marrakech if you do not know where to go.

Inside the Medina, you can walk freely to the Souk and the other attractions. If you wish to visit some of the spots I mentioned outside of Marrakech, I recommend booking a tour via your accommodation. They will make sure that you get to the pickup point (since that can be pretty hard to find in the crowded old town) and do not get ripped off by shady agencies.

If you wish to take a cab, make sure to negotiate the price first and also to only use the official cabs.


Where to stay in Marrakech

Le Meridien Marrakech

When deciding on where to stay in Marrakech it comes down to two different options. Outside the traditional old town of Medina, you can find a big collection of high-class luxury hotels and resorts. I can especially recommend staying at the Le Meridien Marrakech if you are looking for a modern and luxurious resort in Marrakech.

There are many perks of staying in that area of Marrakech. This is a lively and safe neighborhood made for tourists. Alcohol is being sold there and it is easy to get around in the neighborhood. There are many great hotels with swimming pools and fabulous restaurants as well as Hammam spas in that area.

Riad Les Jardins Mandaline

The second, and in my opinion more culturally meaningful option is to stay in a traditional Moroccan guesthouse, a so-called Riad. Many of the activities I included in the Marrakech Travel Guide can be reached easily from this Riad.

The entire old town is filled with these guesthouses, that offer you an authentic and unique experience. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Riad Les Jardins Mandaline, located in the old town of Marrakech.

We have had an unforgettable stay at this gem of a guesthouse. The rooms were beautifully decorated in North African charm and the pool area was designed as a quiet little oasis. Our room was located on the highest floor and had a small rooftop terrace attached to it.

The Riad offered us traditional Moroccan cuisine for dinner and breakfast, organized our day trips, and made sure we got safely from place to place.

Entering the Riad itself from the outside feels like stepping into an oasis. The streets are busy and loud, whereas the Riad is quiet, luxurious, and cozy offering refuge from all the street noise.


What to eat in Marrakech

Most restaurants and guesthouses in Marrakech offer a wide selection of delicious typical Moroccan food, usually for a very good price. The most famous Moroccan dish is couscous. You will encounter it in a lot of different variants. You have to try traditional Moroccan couscous in Marrakech.

Traditionally, couscous is served in a so-called tagine. That’s a ceramic dish with a lid, which people prepare the food in. Typically, you can eat couscous with red meat or chicken and lots of vegetables.

Most Moroccan dishes are very spicy with a lot of different flavors, usually giving them a sweet-savory taste. However, the food is traditionally not hot-spicy. The main meal in Morocco is lunch, usually served with the entire family together between work hours.

If you wanna try many typical Moroccan dishes, I suggest taking a Marrakech food tour. These Marrakech food tours will take you on a trip through the culinary history of the city and end with a beautifully planned dinner.

They also have a surprising amount of Vegan Food in Marrakech.

Tagine typical moroccan dish Marrakech Travel Guide

Conclusion: Best Day Trips from Marrakech

Marrakech has so much to offer, but a visit would not be complete without a couple of trips outside the city. There is not that much to do in Marrakech itself that you could fill up a whole week of the program. So a day trip from Marrakech just might be what you need.

Whether you choose to go to Agadir or spend a night in the Merzouga Desert – you will not be disappointed by how rich in culture Morocco really is.

Go on an adventure to Essaouira or see the beautiful capital city of Rabat – everything is possible and within only a short ride from Marrakech.

FAQ: Best Day Trips from Marrakech

Can you do a Day Trip from Marrakech to the Desert?

Yes, you can take a Day Trip from Marrakech to the Desert. The Afafay Desert is no more than 40 kilometers south of Marrakech. It provides an ideal getaway from the city. If you have multiple days you can take a trip to the Merzouga desert.

Can you do a day trip from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert?

No, you can not take a day trip from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert. The Merzouga Desert is the gateway to the Sahara, which is about 560 kilometers of difficult roads away from Marrakech. You can visit the Merzouga Desert on a Multi-Day Trip from Marrakech.

Can you do a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech?

Yes, you can do a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. Visiting the Atlas Mountains and the Berber villages is one of the most popular day trips from Marrakech.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, originally from Austria. She spends most parts of the year abroad at various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.