Marrakech is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes, towering mountains, and a rugged coastline. There are also rushing waterfalls, idyllic Berber villages, and even ski resorts dotting the area. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore all that this fantastic place has to offer!

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, there are plenty of great options for day trips in the surrounding area. The Atlas Mountains are only an hour away, while the coast is two hours away, and the edge of the desert is five hours away. With so many choices, it can be tough to decide what to do. Here are our top picks for the best day trips from Marrakech.

Day trip to Ourika Valley

When the heat of Marrakech gets too much, locals head for the Ourika Valley. There, temperatures are more relaxed, and lunch by the river awaits. First, climb up to Setti Fatma waterfalls to enjoy some cooler air (young men and boys may try to guide you but insist that you know your way). Once there, find a rock perch to take in views and sounds of rushing waterfalls.


Imlil village is the starting point for trekkers looking to climb Mount Toubkal, located in Toubkal National Park. While there’s not much to do in the village itself—with the exception of some roadside cafés and tourist shops—it’s a great place to start a short walk up to one of the villages.  if you want to explore the region through shorter hikes and learn more about Berber culture, you can hire a local guide in the village center. When you’re finished with your walk, reward yourself with a local meal and an espresso-strength green tea laden with sugar (ask for “atay bla skar” if you’d rather spare your teeth.)


Are you looking for a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech? Look no further than this charming town on the Atlantic Coast. If you’re feeling adventurous, take an early Marrakech to Essaouira day trip and try out a surf or kitesurfing lesson. Then explore the souks for unique Moroccan treasures. You’ll find less haggling and hassle than in the Marrakech Medina. Enjoy a coffee at the famous Place Moulay Hassan or the iconic Patisserie Driss. Stroll along the beach as the sun sets. And don’t miss the fresh seafood sold at the bustling fish market as the numerous fishing boats return to shore. Or let someone else do all the hard work for you and book a tour.

Ouzoud Waterfalls

Come and explore the stunning Ouzoud Waterfalls, nestled in the High Atlas Mountains. First, start your walk at the top of the falls, where you can peer over the edge and see all the different sources that make up these spectacular falls. Then follow the path down for views of the powerful waterfalls until you reach the basin below. The scenery here is both refreshing and breathtaking. You can even get closer to the falls by taking a boat trip around the pool for an extra 20 Dirhams.

Aït Benhaddou

Aït Benhaddou is a fortified kasbah located on the edge of the Sahara Desert. It’s become famous in recent years for being the set of many blockbuster movies, including Gladiator (2000) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). If you visit, be sure to cross the river to wander through the village. The locals are slowly returning to their mud-brick homes, and it’s really interesting to see. You should also make time to stop and enjoy the views of the palm oasis and mud-brick kasbahs as you walk to the top. If you have time, you can hop on to Ouarzazate for more movie-related locations. There’s the Museum of Cinema, as well as the impressive but decaying movie sets at Atlas Studios (featuring replicas of an Egyptian and Buddhist temple) and CLA Studios. Both places offer tours that are definitely worth taking.

Agafay Desert

If you’re looking for an otherworldly experience, the Agafay Desert is a must-see. Just 40 minutes from Marrakech, this geologic stone desert is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Miles of stones give way to valleys, oases, and palm trees, with the High Atlas Mountains in the distance. A day trip to the Agafay Desert is the perfect option for those who don’t have time to head to the Sahara Desert.


It may be hard to believe, but you can have a snowball fight less than a two-hour drive from Marrakech. The ski resort of Oukaimeden, another 43km (27mi) south of Ourika, gets snow between December and April, with reliable powder between January and March. The resort itself is basic, but equipment and ski passes are dirt cheap, and you’ll have the runs mostly to yourself. Oukaimeden becomes an ideal playground for rock climbers the rest of the year.


This Moroccan city is a popular travel destination and can be easily explored with a day trip from Marrakech to Casablanca. Located north of Marrakech, the city is the largest in the country and functions primarily as a commercial and industrial hub. Top sights include the chaotic old town as well as Place Mohammed V, a square in the more modern, French-influenced downtown area. The absolute highlight, however, is the incredibly imposing Hassan II. This mosque is considered the second largest mosque in the Muslim world. Built in 1993, it may be relatively young, but it impresses with its gigantic scale and extraordinary design.

The Palmeraie

Are you Looking for the best way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without actually leaving town? Then head over to the Marrakech Palmeraie, the beautiful palm grove located at the far northern edge of the city. This lush green space provides the perfect setting for all sorts of fun and enjoyable outdoor activities, from camel riding and quad biking to simply taking a leisurely stroll through the plantation. While the nearby resorts and golf courses may make it feel like this place is nothing more than a gimmick to attract tourists, keep in mind that this palm tree oasis dates back to the 12th century.

The Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains take part in many day trips in Marrakech. The highest parts of this long mountain range, the High Atlas Mountains, are located near Marrakech. Through the mountains are small Berber Villages and various valleys with hiking trails. Areas like Ourika and Imlil are the most popular destinations. Still, great alternatives like Asni, Mizane, and Zat valleys exist. With the right Atlas Mountains day trip, it is possible to combine several valleys and villages to experience the diversity of the High Atlas Mountains.