A day trip to the nearby Atlas is a great addition to a longer stay in Marrakech. On this tour, you will explore four different valleys and experience the landscape diversity of Morocco.
This day trip is designed for small groups of up to seven people. It takes you to the four valleys of Ourika, Oukaïmeden, Asni and Sidi Fares, which are very different from each other despite their geographical proximity. They show the rich and diverse Moroccan nature.
Hiking to the falls in the Atlas Mountains
The trip begins in Marrakech. Driving in a modern minivan, the journey first takes you through the fertile Ourika valley into the High Atlas. After a short stop at an Argan oil cooperative you arrive at Setti Fatma. The small town is mainly known for its waterfalls, which are cascading gradually from the nearby mountain. Read more
Marrakech is a perfect base for day trips beyond the suqs of the medina. Experience the various Moroccan landscapes in the lush and fertile Ourika-Valley, the Portuguese-style coastal town of Essaouira, the Toubkal National Park or at the Ouzoud Waterfalls — Morocco presents itself in many different shapes and breathtaking beauty.
Daytrips and longer excursions can be booked via the many travel agencies and tour operators that you’ll find in Marrakech’s medina. However, if you are not in need of supplies and an off-road vehicle or 4×4 to go to the Sahara, a lot of daytrips can be organised without renting a car by simply using public transport.
Not even an hour from Marrakech, you will find Ourika Valley. This fertile valley is supplied with water by a river fed by springs in the High Atlas. A popular day trip destination is the little village of Setti Fatma, the last settlement that can be reached by car on this side of the mountains. From here, you can start little hikes in the Atlas — the short walk to the waterfalls of Setti Fatma is a classic.
There are many ways to get from Marrakech’s Menara Airport into the city centre. Apart from shuttle bus services and taxis you can by now book convenient airport transfers easily online. Here’s a field report on Getyourguide.
A four-hour-flight (depending on where you start) can be rather strenuous and it may not be to everybody’s taste to either bargain appropriate taxi fares for a ride into town with sometimes rather pushy taxi drivers immediately after landing or to take a public shuttle bus not knowing where to get off exactly. The bus may be the cheapest option, yet if you travel with a group of four or more, this price advantage vanishes. In December 2015 I travelled with four fellow travellers and gave private airport transfer offers a chance.
Private airport transfer in modern minibus including WLAN (photo: Travelguide Marrakech)
Getyourguide: Easy booking process and good service
Different transport companies offer private airport transfers from Menara to Marrakech’s city centre via Getyourguide’s booking platform. Their rates only differ slightly and resemble those of the Grand Taxis. We booked about 20 hours prior to our expected arrival time in a very quick and uncomplicated booking process on Getyourguide. Read more
After having sat in a plane for hours and having passed passport desk and visa control you will find yourself in the entrance hall of spacious Menara Airport. If you have booked an organised trip or planned otherwise in advance, you will enjoy being welcomed and picked up directly at the airport – if you haven’t, you have to see to find your way to your destination in the city centre of Marrakech.
If you do not yet carry Moroccan Dirham with you, you should get at least a small amount of money directly at the airport — either at one of the official exchange offices or at one of the four ATMs inside the terminal building. As these do not always work reliably, it is definitely advisable to have some cash ready to change money.
How to get from the Airport into Town: Grand Taxi, Petit Taxi or private airport transfer?