Excursions from Marrakech
With Marrakech as your base there are many excursions to explore the wider area on your Morocco holiday
Marrakech sits in the ideal location for exploring the diversity of the region; the often snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the Atlantic coast, or if you can spare 3 nights away from the city during your holiday you could experience a camel trek and camping on the sand dunes at Erg Chebbi.
Below is a selection of places you can experience whilst based in Marrakech;
|Jebel Toubkal (2.5 days/2 nights minimum required to climb to summit)|
Jebel Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco and North Africa, with a summit of 4,167m.
The starting point for this hike is the village of Imlil and you will need to spend one night in Imlil before beginning your ascent. This will allow you to acclimatise and reduce the chance of altitude sickness. Imlil is around 40 miles south of Marrakech. There are many places to stay in Imlil, together with guides and hiking shops.
Early the next day you will set off and spend 3-5 hours hiking up to your overnight stay at one of the refuges below the summit. These refuges are at a height of 3000m and will allow you to again acclimatise before setting off the following day at sunrise for the 3-4 hour scramble to the summit. You can either spend a further night at a refuge or head back down to Imlil and on to Marrakech.
Please do ask us for further information.
|Essaouira (Day trip or an overnight stay)|
Essaouira, known as the 'windy city' is a small town on the Atlantic coast, a 2-3 hour drive from Marrakech.
The easy-going nature of the town and bohemian atmosphere have been attracting artists and hippies for years.
Wander the small relaxed medina, sit and watch the fisherman return to port with their catch or stroll along the sandy beaches.
The Essaouira surf is perfect for kite surfers and windsurfers looking for some of Africa's most wind-battered spots.
|Ourika Valley (Day trip)|
Located an hour's drive south of Marrakech in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the Ourika Valley is an oasis fed by the Ourika river.
Explore Berber villages, riverside cafés and restaurants, and visit beautiful waterfalls.
The Ourika Valley makes an ideal day out from Marrakech or can be combined with the Atlas Mountains for a longer side tour from Marrakech.
|Atlas Mountain villages (Day trip)|
Discover the valleys and Berber villages of the Atlas Mountains.
Visit riverside villages in the low valleys or head up the winding roads to explore villages perched on the mountain side.
|Ouzoud Falls (Day Trip)|
A 2-3 hour drive east of Marrakech takes you to the Ouzoud waterfalls which drop 110m (360ft). There you will find paths that wind their way up the waterfall. You can also view the waterfalls from below via a boat trip.
Take photos from various viewpoints, and, if you wish, visit the caves that house watermills powered by the falls.
Watch for local Barbary apes, or look out for spectacular rainbows above the cascades, and savour lunch at a restaurant along the shaded waterfall path.
|Erg Chegaga Dunes (4 day/3 night)|
Erg Chegaga (or Chagaga) is a large area of sand dunes close to the village of M'Hamid. Explore the sand dunes on the back of a camel and spend the night under the stars in a desert camp.
This is usually a 4 day/3 night excursion from Marrakech.
Day 1: 7
hour drive from Marrakech to Zagora, with a lunch stop
at Ouarzazate. You will overnight in Zagora.
Day 2: 4 hour drive via M'Hamid to the edge of Erg Chebbi, where you will mount your camel and trek across the dunes to your desert camp set around a camp fire listening to traditional music.
Day 3: 6 hour drive back to Ouarzazate via village of Foum Zguid, overnight stay in Ouarzazate
Day 4: 4 hour drive back to Marrakech with a lunch stop.
|Erg Chebbi Dunes (4 days)|
Erg Chebbi is the more visited sand dune in Morocco and the easiest to get to owing to the good roads all the way to the nearby town of Mergouza.
The drive between Marrakech and Mergouza is around 10 hours and is best done over 4 day/3 night side excursion, and it follows a similar itinerary to Erg Chegaga above.
You will reach your desert camp in the dunes after a 1 hour camel trek from Mergouza and will spend the evening under the stars, eating traditional food, drinking Moroccan tea and listening to traditional music and stories.
Erg Chebbi does not feel as remote as Erg Chegaga, but you will still enjoy an authentic desert experience.
|Agafay Desert (3-6 hours)|
A 30 minute drive south of Marrakech brings you to the Agafay Desert, unlike the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga, this desert is a rocky barren land.
The Agafay is the playground for those visiting Marrakech and offers camel trekking, horse riding, quad biking and off-road karts.
At Lake Takerkoust (reservoir) you can sail, canoe or jet ski, or you could try wake boarding or fly boarding.
After a fun packed day, how about a meal under the stars in a Berber tent or a night in a luxury Agafay Desert camp.
|La Palmeraie (2-4 hours)|
A 5 mile long Palm Grove just north or Marrakech, here you will find many luxury hotels and resorts.
Set amongst the date palm trees you can relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city or undertake one of the many activities available including camel trekking, quad biking or horse riding.
|Ouarzazate & Ait-Ben-Haddou (1 Day)|
Travel the Tizi-n-Tichka pass across the Atlas Mountains through Berber villages until you eventually drop down to the desert area south of the mountains. Visit the UNESCO world heritage site of the Ait Benhaddou kasr, a historic ksar (fortified village) along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech, considered a great example of Moroccan earth clay architecture.
Visit the nearby town of Ouarzazate, sometimes referred to as 'Ouarzywood', owing to the success of two movies studios located there and the filming of Hollywood blockbusters such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator & The Mummy. Both studios offer daily tours and the chance to see some of the sets used in these and other movies.