Are you looking for the best day trip tours from Marrakech? Here are 10 unforgettable options!
Marrakech is an amazing city to visit in Morocco, not just because the Red City is full of interesting, unique, and exotic things to do, but also because it makes for a fantastic home base for a host of interesting day trips.
In this article, I’m rounding up the best day trips from Marrakech. While some of these can be done as longer, multi-day overnight trips, sometimes you just don’t have the time for that! In these cases, you can still see and appreciate the city in a day, and have a great experience.
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10 Best Day Trip Tours from Marrakech, Morocco
I’m breaking this list down into best nature day trips, and then best city day trips from Marrakech. At the end of the post I have some helpful information for any day trip you might be planning, so read to the end for all the tips!
Nature Day Trip Tours from Marrakech
These day trips in Morocco offer a wide range of landscapes and experiences to have on your day excursion – from waterfalls, to valleys, to old cities, and experiences like riding camels or quads, and hot air ballooning.
1. Ouzoud Falls
This waterfall is the biggest falls in Morocco and a popular destination for a Marrakech day trip, as it makes a refreshing and beautiful trip that’s just under 3 hours from the city.
Multiple streams cascade over the red rocks of the 300 foot tall Ouzoud Waterfall, creating a stunning visual display. Note that there is a bit of a walk from the parking lot at the top to the waterfall, and then a hike down to the bottom. There are spots in the stream where you can swim, several cafes near the falls where you can get some lunch, and boat tours in the stream below.
>>Recommended Tour: The Waterfalls of Ouzoud Tour This tour includes transportation and a driver to and from Marrakech, but no guide when you reach the falls. However, a guide is totally not necessary (there’s just one path to follow), and you can use your time at the falls as you please.
Average review rating: 4.5 stars …. Read all reviews here
2. Ait Ben Haddou
Ait Ben Haddou is an epic stop on any Morocco itinerary, and it does work well as a day trip from Marrakech, Morocco.
Ait Ben Haddou is an excellent example of a ksar, a fortified city or village. There are also several kasbahs (large, fortress-like houses with four towers at each corner) in the fortified city.
This old, UNESCO World Heritage site used to be a stop on the silk road, and caravans would pass by on their journey . The city needed to be fortified so it couldn’t be attacked by robbers and bandits.
At it’s height in the 11th century, around 150 families used to live in the city, but today only 5 remain. While many people live in the more modern city across the river, today the actual fortified city of Ait Ben Haddou is mainly an attraction.
The city has also been using as a filming location for many shows and movies, including Gladiator, Game of Thrones, Prince of Persia, and The Mummy.
>>Recommended Tour: Day Trip from Marrakech to Ait Ben Haddou
This tour picks you up from your riad in Marrakech first thing in the morning to drive you in an air-conditioned car out to Ait Ben Haddou, where you then explore the ksar with your guide, have time to grab lunch, and then head back to Marrakech. It’s an easy and enjoyable day trip!
Ouarzazate is a pretty major city in the middle of the Atlas Mountains, not too far from Ait Ben Haddou. This large yet calm Moroccan city is home to several kasbahs, and has a major film studio where many movies and TV shows have filmed! You can tour this studio and museum and is a great stop on a Marrakech day tour.
>>Recommended Tour: I’ve looked through just about all the guided tours available for this day trip, and I think this tour is by far the best option. This excursion from Marrakech is private and in an air-conditioned car.
It takes you through the Tizi n Tichka pass to several spots in the region: Ait Ben Haddou, Telouet Kasbah, and the Musée du Cinema in Ouarzazate, all for a very similar price to a group tour.
4. Agafay Desert
If you don’t have time to go all the way out to the Sahara desert, then taking going out to the Agafay Desert is really a must-do day trip from Marrakech. You can’t leave Morocco without spending some quality time in the desert and riding a camel!
The Agafay desert is only about 45 minutes from Marrakech, making it an easy and convenient one day activity and one of the best places to visit near Marrakech.
My Recommendation: Camel, Quad and Dinner Show Experience
Most excursions to the Agafay include either quad biking, or camel riding, or dinner, but this tour includes both activities, dinner, and a night show – an incredible value and a great day trip experience during your trip to Marrakech!
Additionally, this tour starts in the late afternoon, giving you plenty of time for sightseeing during the daytime hours before heading out to the desert.
This tour has an average of 4.5 stars with 84 reviews – read all the reviews here
5. Hot Air Ballooning in the Desert
Want to check a bucket list item off your list while in Morocco? You can actually do a hot air balloon ride in the desert just outside of Marrakech, and within sight of the Atlas Mountains. This is both an exhilarating and peaceful experience to have in Africa.
Recommended tour: Sunrise hot air balloon flight with breakfast
Get picked up from your riad early, then taken out to the desert, where a friendly and professional crew take you up in a hot air balloon for gorgeous views over the desert and mountains. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast spread before heading back into the city.
This experience has almost 700 5-star reviews – read all the reviews here!
>>Read More: 5 Best Areas to Stay in Marrakech (Plus 1 to Avoid!)
6. Marrakech Palmerie
This is definitely the quickest and easiest day trip from Marrakech, as the Marrakech Palm Grove (or Palmerie) is located just a 15 minute drive from the medina. The Palmerie is an oasis over 50 square miles big, and has thousands of palm trees, plus olive trees and fruit trees. It’s a gorgeous spot!
Similar to the Agafay, most trips to the Palm Grove involve quad biking or camel riding.
Recommended tour: Sunset camel ride in the Palmerie This quick jaunt out from Marrakech gives you a much-needed taste of the desert without taking too much of your time, and has over 200 5-star reviews.
7. The Ourika Valley + Waterfalls
Want to get off the beaten path a bit, but also not go too far from Marrakech? The Ourika Valley might be a great day trip destination for you!
About 45 minutes south of Marrakech, in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, sit several valleys. These relatively green secluded valleys feature little villages, hikes, and rivers throughout. Discover little Berber villages and markets, drive past the olive and palm groves, and then hike to the most beautiful falls in the area, the 7 Waterfalls of Setti Fatma.
Recommended Tour: The Ourika Valley for a Day Trip On this day trip tour, you’ll visit a few villages, enjoy gorgeous views of the valley, and visit the 7 waterfalls of Setti Fatma.
>>82 of 89 reviews give this tour 5 stars – read all reviews here
Best City Day Trip Tours from Marrakech
Casablanca works very well as a day trip to Marrakech, as its only about 2.5 hours from Marrakech and you can see most of the main sites with one day.
The biggest reason to come to Casablanca, and for sure the #1, must-do attraction here, is the Hassan II Mosque. This mosque is the 7th biggest in the world, the biggest in Morocco, and also the only mosque that non-Muslims can visit. Entrance is with a guided tour, which occur several times a day.
Beyond that, you can stroll along the oceanside promenade or visit the La Corniche neighborhood. Wander through the medina and browse the souks, which are less hectic than the ones in Marrakech (and the shopowners tend to be less pushy than in Marrakech).
My Recommendation: A Casablanca Luxury Day Tour. This is a really great way to see the city of Casablanca, as you’ll enjoy private transportation in an AC car, and see the city with a local who knows all the good spots, and can share interesting history and tidbits about what the spots you’re seeing. This tour is just your group, and you can customize how long you stay in different places.
>>This tour has only 5 star reviews – read all reviews here
Essaouira is a beautiful coastal city about 3 hours from Marrakech. It features a cute medina that is a lot more laidback than Marrakech, with ramparts you can walk along, white walls and blue doors throughout the city, and striking blue boats along the waterfront and port. There are also beaches nearby if you fancy a more relaxing day in the sun.
Many people choose to do a few days in Essaouira, but if your time in Morocco is limited, a day trip is the next best thing!
Here are a few ways to take this day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira:
My Recommendation: This tour to Essaouira will pick you up from your riad and drive you to Essaouira in an air-conditioned vehicle. Once there, you’ll have the better part of the day to explore the city on your own, and then get transportation back to Marrakech.
Read reviews for this tour here!
➡️ Alternate Option: Private Driver – You could also book a private car to pick you up at your riad and take you to and from Essaouira. Check rates for a private driver here (Note that this is only one way, so you’d need to make 2 reservations for a round trip).
Depending on your method and time of transport, a drive from Marrakech to Agadir will take between 2hr 45 minutes and 3.5 hours.
Agadir is a charming coastal city known for it’s surfing and charming medina. Wander the streets, admire the many mosques in the city, and pop into a museum or two. But mostly, hit the beach to relax or to hit the waves.
Why should you choose Agadir over Essaouira? Agadir definitely sees less international tourists than Essaouira, and has some really good surfing conditions. It also has more of a “beach town” vibe than Essaouira does.
Recommended tour: Full Day Trip to Agadir
This tour provides pick up, drop off, a friendly driver in an air-conditioned vehicle, and around 5 hours of free time in Agadir to explore the city or the beaches, and is a great day tour from Marrakech.
It’s rated 4.5 stars (with 18 reviews) – read all reviews here
Helpful Tips for a Marrakech Day Trip
Know that whatever your day trip destination is in Morocco, you will almost certainly be going through curvy, winding roads to get there. (The trip to Casablanca was fairly straight, but going into the Atlas mountains is basically non-stop curves).
When we went, I didn’t bring any motion sickness medicine with me and got super nauseous as we drove through the mountains. I ended up puking out the window of our car as we went through tight switchbacks, which sounds awful but was also very funny. (And is one of my favorite crazy travel stories now – you can read my full list of funny travel stories here!)
Point being, if you ever get motion sickness, bring something for nausea. I actually recently started using the Relief Band for motion sickness and it’s been a really incredible product. It looks like a watch that you wear around your wrist, and sends out little buzzes of electricity every few minutes. It’s actually pretty unobstrusive – you really barely notice it – and works incredibly well.
Case in point: I gave it to my dad to wear on his recent trip to Playa del Carmen in Mexico, because he has a very, very fragile stomach when it comes to seasickness. He wore it throughout the week, and even when they were on a ferry on super choppy seas, he never felt even a twinge of nausea – huge for my dad.
We’ve had great results with the Relief Band, and I highly recommend it! Click here to read reviews and learn more about the Relief Band.
Final Thoughts on the Best Day Trip Tours from Marrakech
Visiting Marrakech was an absolutely amazing experience, and one you should have. But, Morocco has so much to offer, and taking day trips from Marrakech will really round out your trip and add so much variety.
Whether you want beaches, mountains, desert, or culture, there is a perfect Morocco daytrip for you!
Check Out My Other Morocco Articles:
- An Epic 10 Day Morocco Itinerary
- 12 Amazing Things to Do in Fes, Morocco
- How to Do the Monkey Fingers Hike in the Dades Valley of Morocco
- 24 Traditional Moroccan Foods to Eat in Morocco
- 17 Scams to Avoid in Morocco
- How Much Does a Trip to Morocco Cost: Our Morocco Travel Budget