Day trips and excursions from Marrakech

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.

daytrip marrakech

On the road (photo: Travelguide Marrakech)

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.

  1. Ourika Valley
  2. Imlil and Toubkal National Park
  3. Ouzoud Falls and the Imi-n-Ifri Formation
  4. Trip to Essaouira
  5. Ouarzazate and Aït Benhaddou
  6. Desert tours and excursions to the Sahara

1. Ourika Valley

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.

ourika valley morocco

The Ourika Valley (photo: Travelguide Marrakech)

You can organise your trip to the Ourika Valley easily on your own: A Grand Taxi takes you there in about 1.5 hours. Taxis leave from Bab Robb in the south of the medina.

Ourika ValleyOurika Valley Trek4 Valleys Day trip
Duration 1 day 1 day 8 hours
General information Ourika Valley & Atlas Mountain Full-Day Tour Ourika Valley Trek (6h), traditional lunch at a local berber house Atlas Mountains & 4 Valleys Day Trip, traditional lunch at a local berber house
Price 1 person $63 $286 $79
Price 2 persons $66 $286 $158
Price 4 persons $132 $436 $316
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2. Imlil and the Toubkal National Park

Imlil is the base for hiking and trekking tours in the Toubkal National Park. The village, surrounded by fruit and walnut trees, is located more than 1400m above sea level on the mountain side of a fertile valley. From here, you can start short hikes in the area and to the foot of Jebel Toubkal. As Imlil is the centre of Morocco’s mountain tourism, you can also get equipped here for attempting to summit Morocco’s highest mountain.

aroumd toubkal morocco

The village of Aroumd near Imlil (photo: Trekking in Marokko)

If you prefer a full-day hike to a short walk, you should stay overnight. There are hotels of all price ranges in the village. Grand Taxis to Imlil leave from Bab Robb in Marrakech.

Imlil & Jebel ToubkalPrivate Imlil TourDay trip with camel ride
Duration 1 day 1 day 8 hours
General information Toubkal day trip from Marrakech Hiking around Imlil (3h), traditional lunch at a local berber house, max. 3 persons Hiking, Suq, Moulay Brahim Gorges
Price 1 person $74 - -
Price 2 persons $148 $182 $160
Price 4 persons $296 - $296
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3. Ouzoud Falls and the Imi-n-Ifri formation

The waterfalls of Ouzoud are located about 200 km northeast of Marrakech. From a total height of more than 100m, the water runs down into the deep in three steps. At the foot of the falls, barbary apes found their home and complete this perfect scenery which is popular with both Moroccan and international tourists. It can be quite busy here from noon, so that if you want to get away from the trouble, go for a walk downstream and after a couple of minutes, you will be on your own. Not far from Ouzoud, there is the natural bridge of Imi-n-Ifri, created by nature millions of years ago. Take your time for a walk here to explore its gigantic size.

excursion ouzoud Imi-n-Ifri morocco

Ouzoud and Imi-n-Ifri (photo: Travelguide Marrakech)

The most convenient way to get to Ouzoud and Imi-n-Ifri is by renting a car. If you want to go by bus and taxi, you need to get up early to see both places in one day. It will be easier to spend the night in Ouzoud where you will find several small hotels above the falls. To reach both destinations by public transport, take a bus or Grand Taxi from Marrakech in the direction of Demnate/Azilal/Beni Mellal. Without a hired car, estimated journey time is about 4 hours.

Ando TravelSabor ServicesMarrakesh Travel Services
Duration 9 hours 1 day 1 day
General information transfer only, group tour transfer only, group tour transfer only, group tour
Price 1 person $40 $41 -
Price 2 persons $80 $82 $160
Price 4 persons $160 $164 $296
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4. Trip to Essaouira

The coastal town of Essaouira is characterised by Portuguese influence and is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco. It is located north of Agadir on the Atlantic coast and is also called “Pearl of the Atlantic” – definitely for a reason. This seaport with its beautiful medina painted in blue and white has been listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 2001.

excursion Essaouira Morocco

Port in Essaouira (photo: Travelguide Marrakech)

A journey to  Essaouira can easily be done without a guide or an organised tour. Also, it is definitely recommended to stay for at least one night there. However, if you do not have the time, go for a day trip. Buses and Grand Taxis leave from / to Marrakech and Essaouira several times a day.

Read more about Essaouira in this article.

Morocco Attractive ToursClick ExcursionsMarrakesh Travel Services
Duration 1 day 1 day 1 day
General information transfer and guided tour, max. 6 persons transfer only transfer only, group tour
Price 1 person min. 2 persons $119 $27
Price 2 persons $141 $106 $54
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5. Ouarzazate and Aït Benhaddou

The former garrison town of Ouarzazate, the “Door of the Desert” is located southeast of Marrakech, beyond the mountain pass of Tizi n’ Tichka which leads through the High Atlas. It is an important centre of the global film industry: You will not only find the Atlas Studios here, but also UNESCO World Heritage ksar Aït Benhaddou which has been used as scenery for a lot of film productions. The list is rather long and includes, amongst others, Star Wars (1977), Gladiator (2000), Babel (2006) and parts of Game of Thrones (2010).

ait ben haddou morocco

(photo: Travelguide Marrakech)

Crossing the Atlas via the mountain pass of  Tizi n’ Tichka is one of the most spectacular routes in Morocco. There are several buses daily from Marrakech, leaving from the central bus station at Bab Doukkala to Ouarzazate.

Gray Line MoroccoClick Excursions
Duration 1 day 1 day
General information Ait Benhaddou, Kasbahs Taourirt and Tifoultoute, guided grouptour Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, guided grouptour
Price 1 person $78 $137
Price 2 persons $156 $148
Price 4 persons $312 $296
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6. Desert tours and excursions to the Sahara

In Morocco, there are two main desert areas with impressive sand dunes, more than 100m high: Erg Chegaga und Erg Chebbi. Most organised tours take you to the edge of the desert by minibus or off-road vehicles and then provide camels for you to reach your desert bivouac in traditional Berber tents. Tours to the desert are an incomparable experience, but from Marrakech, you should at least plan 2, or, if possible, 3 to 4 days for it.

Erg ChebbiErg ChegagaErg Chegaga Offroad
Duration 3 days 2 days 3 days
Places of Interest Ait Benhaddou, Dades- and Todra valley, Erg Chebbi Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, Zagora Ait Benhaddou, Kasbah Tamnougalte, M'Hamid, Erg Chegaga, Taznakht
General information desert camp, camel trekking desert camp, cameltrekking, guided group tour desert camp (2x), camel trekking, offroad tour
Price 1 person $126 $97 -
Price 2 persons $252 $194 $684
Price 4 persons $504 $388 $980
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