Marrakech, it’s the capital of Morocco and a very famous touristic city. The city teems with life and there are many things to do. However, Marrakech itself is not what we’ll be talking about to you today. We can imagine it must be nice to get our of the city some time during your vacation as well, maybe to the beautiful Ourika valley, the Ouzoud waterfalls, or the Atlas Mountains? Today we’ll be showing you some great options around Marrakech and give you all you need to know to take these Marrakech tours to get out of the city, make sure to include days for these great destinations in your travel itinerary!
For any of these tours, remember to take enough water. It can get very warm and dry in the desert areas and it’s important to keep yourself hydrated. There will be a possibility to buy from the locals, but prices for tourists are always inflated and by bringing your own water you can save yourself the trouble.
Let’s start with the most refreshing of the destinations, the famous…
The Ouzoud Waterfalls lie about 2.5 hours by car to the northwest of Marrakech. You can go by yourself or with a guided tour. The tours are most likely cheaper than renting a car and they makes sure you can enjoy the waterfalls without the hassle of finding your own way. A Ouzoud waterfalls day trips with a private guide are offered for anywhere between $40 – $150. This makes it accessible to visit and see the Ouzoud waterfalls in their entire splendor.
Ourika valley is a bit closer to Marrakech than the Ouzoud waterfalls at a 1 hours drive south, and it’s a place that cannot be missed while in the area. There are small Berber villages in the valley you can visit with guided tours. Just like the Ouzoud waterfalls, the Ourika valley can be visited by tours and private guides, these are a bit cheaper generally speaking, ranging from $25 – $100.
Ait Benhaddou is an old fortified village along an old caravan route, it’s quite a ways out, about 3 and a half hours from Marrakech, but well worth the visit. It’s been included in the UNESCO world heritage list, meaning it’s being preserved as much as possible. Only very few people live there. We recommend climbing up to the old granary to really get a feel for how life in the city used to be.
Essaouira is a port town to the west of Marrakech at a 2 and a half hour drive. Being a port town, the port is also one of the main attractions of Essaouira and it’s worth walking around to get a real feel of how life used to be, and to breathe in the fresh sea air. After the port we recommend visiting the Essaouira medina, a beautiful part of the city that has been fortified and features small, narrow streets and lots of little stores where you can barter for their wares. Don’t forget to try out the excellent fresh fish offered there while you’re there!
Essaouira is well worth a day trip and a great chance to see something else besides desert on your trip.
We left the biggest for last…the Atlas Mountains! The Atlas Mountains are a large mountain range (2,500km) stretching out over Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. On your trip to Marrakech it’s possible to do a tour to the mountains and get some great views of the land lying below. For about $50 you can go on a day tour from Marrakech to the mountains, including visiting some Berber villages. This is well worth it, as some villages are built against the side of a mountain in terrace layers, it’s a beautiful sight!
In addition to that, you’ll get the chance to ride a camel and go on a hike to see some of the villages up close. Remember that you’ll be walking in the Atlas Mountains, and therefore it’s important to bring good hiking boots and a fair amount of water to keep yourself hydrated. The effort will be worth it, however, as the views are absolutely amazing and you’ll get some great pictures moments.
When you’re in Marrakech, try out any of these destinations (or all of them) and you won’t be disappointed. Whether you go to the great Atlas Mountains, the quaint Ait Benhaddou, or the impressive Ouzoud Waterfalls, you won’t be disappointed. be sure to only book tours through reputable providers to save yourself from disappointment when the big day comes.