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Where Can You Take a Trip To from Marrakech?

Marrakech is an oasis oasis unlike others, brimming with history and mystery, as well as romance. Far from the typical vacation and a world away from the typical tourist destination, the Red City will introduce your senses to new experiences on every street corner. We’d be content to wander around these streets for days But then we’d be missing the many amazing attractions and experiences surrounding the city. From deserts and mountain ranges to ancient villages and waterfalls There are day trips from Marrakech which will ignite an ember in the soul of any tourist.

You could rise early and return to your home in the evening, but you may prefer to explore within a mere hour of your door. Whatever the case, Marrakech is your ideal home base. In this post we’ve collected our top picks for day trips that are the best away from Marrakech, all is waiting for curious travelers like yours.

1. Essaouira

You won’t see much or even any of the ocean in Marrakech. Yet, just three hours from Essaouira, the city of Essaouira and you can take in the sounds of waves hitting sandy shores and breathe the fresh air and salty scent from the Atlantic. The town is situated close to the ocean, Essaouira is not your typical beach destination. On most days, the wind are too strong for anyone to enjoy a relaxing day on the soft sands. The town is known as the Windy City of Africa’ it is a place that draws huge crowds from windsurfers on its gorgeous beaches.

Instead of relaxing at the sea, it’s best to go to Essaouira to experience the city’s intriguing tradition and distinctive characteristic. More laid-back than busy Marrakech, Essaouira is undeniably Moroccan but there’s nothing else as beautiful in the entire country. Essaouira is famous for its fortified , white and blue medina, lined filled with vibrant boutiques, intriguing art galleries and museums abound.

The town’s size is modest and accessible by the foot. The medina’s roads connect to the principal square at the waterfront, and the stunning views of the harbour and miles of sand beaches create a stunning image. It’s easy to understand how the town was given the name Essaouira meaning “Little Picture” in Arabic. On the ramparts that surround the city, you will still see the old canons which are remaining from earlier times, when Essaouira was an important Portuguese Fortification for the military. Walking along these walls is also the ideal method to take in breathtaking panorama of the city as well as the ocean beyond.

2. Ourika Valley

In the Ourika Valley tends to be an excellent escape from the hot temperatures of the desert in Marrakech. It’s only an hour’s drive to the south of Marrakech It’s among the most accessible excursions from Marrakech. The valley is a lush expanse of more than 68 miles in between the snowcapped High Atlas range and is lined with streams, waterfalls and beautiful Berber villages. Its name is derived from the Ourika, the river Ourika that flows down from the mountain tops it, supplying the valley with abundant wildflowers.

Tourists flock to the village of Setti Fatma, located deep in the valley near an end to the main highway. The village is situated on the lush terraces along the river of the High Atlas foothills and is well-known for the seven waterfalls that grace the hillsides above. The waterfalls of Setti Fatma are all reachable on foot, with different degrees of effort. The higher up in the hills you climb closer to the top, the more spectacular the waterfalls and views get. The final waterfall is quite a trek make sure you have appropriate footwear and plenty of water as you’ll wish to miss the beauty of it.

In addition to Setti Fatma, there are many other locations within the Ourika Valley to explore as well. One of our top picks is the tiny clay village in Tafza where you can find the fascinating museum of artifacts and information on Berber culture. If you want to experience a bit more historical significance, explore the tombs, ruins and mausoleums on the archeological site of Aghmat which was once an important one Moroccos oldest cities that dates to the pre-Islamic era when it was the capital of the country. The valley’s agriculture can be incredibly vibrant as well as beautiful as you travel through all kinds of olive groves and cherries orchards during your tour of the region.

3. The Atlas Mountains & Ouzoud Waterfalls

The Atlas Mountains quite literally draw the line between Sahara Desert and the coast of Morocco. There are three different ranges and the one that is most well-known to travelers who travel from Marrakech are the High Atlas, a mere 90 minutes drive away. The mountains provide breathtaking hiking trails that traverse many of Moroccos most stunning landscapes and views in addition to the stunning Toubkal National Park.

The valleys, and the foothills of mountains you’ll likely to come across ancient Berber villages, with farms and livestock herds. It’s a way of life that continues like it has been for thousands of years, leaving a tiny ecological footprint. Visit some of them to find out the details of their intriguing history before exploring the peaceful mountains.

Nearby to near the High Altas range is its counterpart to that of the Middle Atlas. Here you’ll discover the world-renowned Ouzoud Waterfalls (or Cascades d’Ouzoud) that are considered to be among the most stunning falls in Morocco. They drop in levels from the cataracts at the top to a pool in the valley below 100m. It is recommended that you visit the falls on a bright afternoon to view rainbows appear in the mist. Boatmen will guide visitors to the pool for a view of the natural beauty up close and close enough to you can feel cool mists that fall on your face. The area around the falls is lined with pathways that allow you to take in more of the green surroundings. You’ll think you’re just 90 minutes away from the beautiful dry desert of Marrakech.

4. Casablanca

In all the talk about old-fashioned villages and the traditional culture It’s easy to overlook the fact that Morocco is an advanced, flourishing nation. Casablanca will swiftly bring that to mind. The stunning city is bustling, fast-paced, and full of thriving young, vibrant business. The first impression you have of the city is sure to be the mix of styles. Its long history has provided for Moorish French-colonial, traditional, and Moroccan buildings to sit together in the bustling downtown. However, massive modernizations are in the process of being built while the area is constantly growing and evolving.

However, don’t forget to admire the places in Casablanca that have survived the tests of time like the Hassan II Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the country , and it is the culmination of more than thousands of talented artisans. If you are looking for a more modern style of art, check out any (or five) of the numerous art galleries in the city’s historic art-deco homes. Casablanca is a center of culture and art , where you will find all kinds of art, from sculpture and paintings to music and dance.

In terms of culture Don’t forget the food scene in Casablanca. Our most popular suggestion is to head down for a meal at one of the numerous waterfront restaurants along La Corniche for dinner with the sea view. The coastline is the center of Moroccan surfing and there are great schools to consider getting involved with the locals by trying it out. Because Casablanca is not a major tourist city It’s not awash with tourist traps. You can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the streets in a French style knowing you’re enjoying the same experience as other people who live in the city. This is true for all kinds of restaurants and cafes to the galleries and boutiques.

5. Ait-Ben-Haddou

Ait-Ben-Haddou is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site right at the edge of Sahara Desert, where this city of ruins is protected by palm trees and olive groves. The trip here is three and a half hour long from Marrakech in the mountains that make up Ouarzazate through twisting roads. Unsurprisingly, its rough remains were used to depict the slave-like city of Yunkai on Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones television series However, it’s not the only reason the majority of people visit it.

In the 17th century, Ait-Ben-Haddou was one of the most well-known fortified towns and a major trading point on the way from Marrakech across the Sahara. It was constructed to last, and was situated on an elevated hill, with strong wall that was simple to defend and a fortress on the highest point. The city, however, failed to hold up against the shrinking of the once-popular trade route that was the city’s principal source of income as it vanished. Since then, harsh weather has had a devastating effect on the architecture of clay, making the town a mess. In the 1940s, around 90 families still lived there. There are now only five.

The streets of the old are narrow and filled with high steps and the once sturdy walls are now crumbling however, the old city is a draw for people who want to walk through those labyrinths, and think about the lifestyles that previously lived in that city. In addition, it’s an outstanding model of pise architecture from the past and 17th-century urban planning filled with individually fortified castles and citadels. There are plans to completely rebuild Ait-Ben-Haddou back to the former glory and splendor and there is hope that the town could be rebuilt in the time to come.

6. Agafay Desert

Not more than 40 km south of Marrakech and along the Route d’Amizmiz, the Agafay Desert is an ideal day trip from the bustle of the city. It’s a lot easier to access than the famous Sahara and is a great place to get in a car or buses to reach it within less then an hour. The Agafay is a favorite among tourists and locals alike, and is a great place to do anything from horse riding to camel trekking, to quad biking, and even plain old hiking.

What draws people, naturally to travelers is the seemingly endless dunes and hills that cover this portion of the region during the dry summer months. With an ever present snowy High Atlas, the landscape appears like the lunar landscape. The desert is dry to support any kind of growth, the region’s “wet season,” or spring, is a time when a wealth of nature-based life sprouting from the drained soil. As the wildflowers begin to bloom the landscape is transformed and is stunning for a short time.

If you’ve been longing for some beach time during your stay in the hot Moroccan hot, make sure to visit the man-made Lake Takerkoust, right at the desert’s edge for a dip and sunbathing on the shores. The lake has been designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, and is a major factor in improving the beauty of the Agafay. In case you’ve forgotten to pack a picnic There are many restaurants located around the lake, which are ideal stop from exploring. Or , if you prefer to stay in, there’s an abundance of Berber villages located in the mountain’s foothills and where you can set up for a meal cooked by the family.

7. Oukaimeden

Skiing is most likely among the last things you think of when you think of holidays to Morocco (unless you’re particularly interested to off-the-beaten-track destinations for snow sports). In fact, only 45 minute drive from Marrakech and 3000 m high within Oukaimeden, in Atlas Mountains, is Africa’s most awe-inspiring ski resort, Oukaimeden. With only a handful of slopes starting from the summit at Jebel Attar as well as more than 20 in total it is possible to enjoy the stunning scenery that is Oukaimeden and the Atlas Mountains from a whole new view.

There’s no reason for you to take ski gear to spend a vacation in the desert. In Oukaimeden you can hire skis and boots at less than you’ll find at any European ski resort, and lift-passes are also less expensive (but in the event that lifts aren’t for you, there’s always an possibility of riding a donkey up to the highest point). If anyone who is new to the slopes and would like to learn, there are instruction too.

Beware, the slopes in Oukaimeden aren’t as groomed as you would be familiar with in the Nordics or the European Alps, and it may take some time getting comfortable with skiing on ‘virgin snow’. However, in time it’ll be easy sailing and we guarantee it’s fun and secure. We suggest visiting during the winter season to enjoy the greatest snowfall. After you’ve completed your wintery adventure to the end of your day there’s plenty of eateries offering hearty meals that will keep you full before your journey back to home.