Are you looking for the best day trips from Marrakech? Well this guide has every single day trip that you can do from Marrakech that is actually worth the effort!
The city of Marrakech is already a wonderful destination on its own but it’s also close to other incredible destinations in Morocco. You can visit the impressive waterfalls of Ouzoud or maybe you prefer spending the day exploring the old city of Aït-Ben Haddou in the Atlas Mountains.
It would be a shame of you would only explore the most famous city in Morocco cause this country has so much more to offer. If you’re looking for a more adventurous trip you should take a look at my 10 day road trip itinerary in Morocco! But these day trips from Marrakech all make for a spectacular addition to an already incredible itinerary.
These day trips can vary from places a little over 1 hour of driving to those that stretch to over 3 hours away. Nevertheless, all of them are completely worth the time and effort!
The 7 Best Day Trips From Marrakech You Shouldn’t Miss
A lot of these day trips from Marrakech can be done with the help of a guided tour so if I was able to find a good and reliable one for you it will be included in this article as well.
If you prefer exploring at your own pace I highly recommend you to get a rental car at the Menara International Airport in Marrakech. I highly recommend booking your rental car online and not in person on arrival. This way you’ll avoid higher prices (unless your haggling skills are really, really good!) and you won’t get stuck with a low quality car.
With sites like SunnyCars you’ll be able to compare different companies and prices next to each other. Plus in case of any issue with the rental company or the car, they take as much responsibility as the actual rental company and they only work with the most reliable car rentals in the world.
They are an all-in car rental service without any hidden costs or unpleasant surprises!
Really everything you need is included in their all-inclusive car rental formula. Unlimited mileage and a fair fuel arrangement? Check. Third-party insurance of at least €7.5 million, damage insurance and theft insurance? Also included. They even cover the costs of towing if the rental car breaks down. In case of damage or theft, you pay the own risk on the spot, which they refund when you return home. This also includes damage to glass, tires, the floor or roof of the car!
With SunnyCars you can already rent a high quality car for as little as €32 per day for 1 week in April!
1. Ouzoud Waterfalls
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 2,5 hours
If you’re looking for a more lush scenery then a day trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls is the perfect idea!
This impressive waterfall is located in the Middle Atlas Mountains and is one of the most popular day tours from Marrakech. And with good reason!
The Ouzoud falls have a 110 meter drop across several tiers and consist of multiple layers. You can park your car at one of the assigned parking lot at the top of the waterfalls. When we arrived a local actually guided us to his parking lot behind his restaurant which was fine for us.
You can then proceed to walk around the entire waterfall and also hike down to the bottom. Make sure to bring your bathing suit cause you can actually go swimming in the cool river down below. If swimming is not your thing you can also opt to go for a boat ride!
🎒Optional guided tour – Ouzoud waterfalls day trip and optional boat ride
2. Aït-Ben Haddou & Ouarzazate – My favorite day trip from Marrakech
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 3,5 hours
One of the most beautiful day trips from Marrakech is the twin destination of Aït-Ben Haddou and Ouarzazate. These historical sites are located within the Atlas Mountains and have formed the backdrop for some of the most famous tv-shows and movies.
You can spot them in Game of Thrones, Gladiator and The Mummy!
Aït-Ben Haddou is a fortified village from the 11th century and out of the two of them this one is probably the most recognizable. One of the best things to do is simply wander around its red colored streets and take in the views from the top. Make sure to sit down for some Moroccan tea at the local teahouse which offers a panoramic view over the city!
Another must see on your day trip is the Tifoultoute Kasbah, where you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.
And to top it all off make sure to visit the Fint Oasis. This small village is a real palm tree lined oasis in the middle of the desert and where it looks like time stood still.
🎒Optional guided tour – Aït-Ben Haddou and Ouarzazate day trip from Marrakech
💡 TIP – I would totally understand if all of these activities are a little bit too much to do in one single day, especially considering the total amount of driving that you’ll be doing. I don’t expect everyone to be as bonkers as I am! The area around Ouarzazate is home to some of the most incredible stays in Morocco and I’ve listed my top choices for you below!
Kasbah Titrit & Spa – This stunning kasbah is located only 5km from Aït-Ben Haddou and offers some of the most scenic views in the Atlas Mountains!
L’oasis Du Bonheur – I actually stayed at this place during our road trip through Morocco and while it isn’t the most luxurious it does come with stunning views!
3. Agafay Desert
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 45 minutes
One of the best and closest day tours from Marrakech is a trip to the beautiful Agafay desert.
Agafay is surrounded by an arid, yet majestic rocky landscape that resembles a moon crater and is located only an hour away from Marrakech. The Agafay Desert is best described as a landscape of many contrasts.
Besides going for a quad or camel ride the desert of Agafay is especially known as one of the best places to go glamping near Marrakech. Over the past years tons of luxury desert camps have popped up and they will guarantee a unique and magical experience in the Moroccan desert.
Glamping in the Agafay desert is especially interesting for those who don’t wish to do the more than 6 hour drive to the well known Sahara desert. It’s the ideal solution for those who wish to stay a little closer to Marrakech.
Some of the most luxurious camp sites in the Agafay desert are:
🎒Optional guided tour – Atlas mountains and Agafay desert day trip
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 2.5 hours
The seaside town of Essaouira is located alongside the Atlantic coast and makes for one of the most interesting day trips from Marrakech.
Just like Aït-Ben Haddou the harbor town of Essaouira was used as a filming location in Game of Thrones. The city has a more bohemian vibe and walk walking through the streets and alongside the harbor you’ll come across one scenic spots after the other.
The vibe here is completely different from the crowded city of Marrakech and I think it’s always fun to see the different aspects of a country.
Typical for Essaouira are its blue fishing boats and the giant city walls that are still lined with canons.
Wander through the streets and sit down at one of the many local restaurants to enjoy some fresh seafood before returning to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.
🎒Optional guided tour – From Marrakech full day Essaouira tour
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 3 hours
The falls of Imouzzer are a true hidden gem in Morocco and can be best seen in action from February to August. It’s one of North Africa’s most stories waterfalls but you do need to be in a bit of luck to actually see them. These days they are only intermittently running depending on rainfall.
The walk down to the waterfall is 4km and you really don’t need a guide to do so. So make to say no to all of the locals offering their “official” guide services.
Below the waterfall you’ll find a beautiful blue plunge pool but I don’t recommend you to go swimming here.
While visiting Imouzzer, be sure to continue on a little to Paradise Valley, a photogenic area boasting natural rock pools fed by more small cascades.
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 2.5 hours
The city of Casablanca is the perfect day trip from Marrakech if you want to soak up some true Moroccan culture. The city on its own isn’t all that special. In all honestly I found it to be a little disappointing.
But the main reason for visiting isn’t to stroll around the busy big city streets. It’s to visit the Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the entire world.
It was built in 1993 but what it lacks in history it sure makes up for in design and grandness. Its minaret is over 200m high and the prayer hall alone is more than 200 hectares.
You can visit the Hassan II Mosque in the morning but be aware that this is a place of worship and meditation so several rules apply. You need to wear clothes that cover your shoulders, torso and that come below the knee. You’ll need to remove your shoes before entering but you can grab a bag at the entrance to bring them with you. Within the mosque you need to remain silent and drinking and smoking is prohibited.
Other places of interest in Casablanca are the Muhammad V Square, the Casablanca cathedral and the Arab League Park.
For lunch either go to Le Cabestan or Le Gatsby.
7. Dades Gorges – The most adventurous day trip from Marrakech
🚗 Driving time from Marrakech – 5 hours
If you’re an adventurous type then a visit to the Dades Gorges should be at the top of your list! The gorge was carved out by the passage of the Dades River and is navigable via a road known locally as the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs.
Those that drive its hairpin bends can expect to discover breathtaking rock formations in colors that range from tan and beige to gold, rust red, and dusky mauve.
The historic villages of the Berbers overlook the gorge and while some of them are still inhabited by the locals they also created some beautiful boutique hotels especially for tourists.
The most popular way to experience the Dadès Gorge is to drive along the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs. It’s not for the faint of heart but it will guarantee you to see some of the most amazing viewpoints in the entire area!
Grab lunch at restaurant Timzzillite from where you can enjoy a panoramic view over this twisty road.
Due to the fact that the Dades Gorges is a bit of a drive from Marrakech it’s not a bad idea to also spend a night in this area. That way you also get the chance to explore one of the many hiking trails that will lead you through the valley.
Some of the best places to stay in the Dades Valley are:
As you can see there are a lot of amazing day trips from Marrakech that can spice up your itinerary! If you have any questions feel free to ask them below in the comment section!
Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.