Booking day trips from Marrakech is an amazing way to see Morocco beyond the tourist hotspots. They allow you to encounter the cultures and traditions of Morocco, giving you truly authentic experiences. Here are the 7 great day trips to consider adding to your Marrakech itinerary:
1. The Atlas Mountains and Berber Villages
Perhaps one of the best day trips from Marrakech, exploring the Atlas Mountains and Berber villages is a must do. If you crave authentic experiences when you travel, look no further. This day trip will provide you with an insight into how the Berber people live, educate you on how argan oil is made and see you hike a waterfall. Not only that, but you will eat an amazing meal at the home of a local family. What more do you want?
2. Ourika Valley
Easily reachable from Marrakech in just an hour by car, Ourika Valley is popular with both tourists and locals. Head to the valley to hike waterfalls, admire nature and shop at the markets. If you are low on time, combine a trip to Ourika Valley with the Atlas Mountains on this fantastically put together day trip.
The coastal city of Essaouira is a great choice of a day trip from Marrakech. Head to the city to surf, relax on a beach or shop with less hassle. Compared to larger cities such as Marrakech and Fez, Essaouira is a lot more relaxed. Even females travelling alone will feel a lot more comfortable here.
The largest city in Morocco, Casablanca is a hotspot for tourists hoping to visit the Hassan II Mosque. The mosque is not only the second biggest on the globe, but it is also one of the few that is open to non-muslims.
Done admiring the mosque? You can also explore the old medina, shop at the Morocco mall or wander around Parc de la Ligue Arabe. Furthermore, you can visit the king’s palace, check out Villa des Arts or discover the Museum of Moroccan Judaism.
Casablanca can be reached in approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes from Marrakech by train. The best options for tourists heading on a day trip would be to get the 08:20 service out to Casablanca. This service arrives at noon, allowing you enough time to visit the mosque and a few other points of interest before getting the 18:55 service back to Marrakech.
Note: There are several more services between Casablanca and Marrakech each day. However, I have chosen to mention the times I deem most appropriate for tourists heading on a day trip. The 18:55 service arrives back into Marrakech close to 11pm at night. Ensure that you consider how you will safely get back to your accommodation, especially if you are travelling solo.
5. Ouzoud Waterfalls
Located a 2.5 hour drive from Marrakech, Ouzoud waterfall is apparently one of Morocco’s most beautiful spots to discover. Tours leave daily from Marrakech, offering tourists the chance to hike, admire views and explore the area of Ouzoud waterfall.
Tip: I did not get the chance to visit Ouzoud waterfalls during my first trip to Morocco. This means I can not recommend a specific tour. However, this Viator excursion is highly rated amongst others with an average 5-star rating from 60 reviews.
6. Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou
Fans of Game of Thrones will not want to miss Ait Benhaddou on a trip to Morocco. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, Ait Benhaddou is a traditional mud brick city located on the edge of the High Atlas. In earlier times, the city was more populated. Nowadays, there are only four families that still live within the village as the rest have moved to the other side of the river.
Film buffs will be interested to know that Ait Benhaddou has also been a filming location for several TV series and movies. These include Game of Thrones, Gladiator and Prince of Persia.
Book onto this day trip to explore Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou before heading back to Marrakech. Although worth the journey, the trip is approximately 4 hours by car each way. Pack a book or something to do in your bag!
Tip: It is worth noting that Ait Benhaddou is en route to the Sahara. If you plan on visiting the desert, you may want to skip the day trip and make a detour.
7. A spa day at La Mamounia
Okay so technically, this should not be included because it requires you to actually stay in Marrakech. However, heading to La Mamounia to relax and treat yourself to spa treatments is a great way to spend a day. Especially if you have been travelling around Morocco following a super packed itinerary for two weeks.
Tips for booking day trips from Marrakech
Now you know which are the best day trips from Marrakech, you need to consider a few things…
Riding a camel through the Sahara and wandering the blue streets of Chefchaouen should 100% be on your Morocco bucket list. However, you need to be realistic. As amazing as these experiences are, they are not possible on day trips from Marrakech.
If these are things that you wish to experience, make sure you book a longer trip to Morocco. Either that or save them for another trip. That way you have more time to explore at a slower pace, allowing you to truly appreciate your surroundings.
Question your personal preferences
The sheer amount of day trips from Marrakech on offer means you will need to consider several things. Depending on how long you are in the city, you may not have time to do everything. Consider which day trips you will find the most exciting and which can be saved for another trip.
Furthermore, you will need to decide if you would prefer to explore alone or if you wish to join a group tour. Being a solo traveller, I often booked group tours which allowed me to meet other travellers. However, I also booked onto some day trips that allowed me to explore alone once arriving at the destination. It was a perfect balance.
Private tours are also available, which I chose not to book as I was a female travelling solo. Nevertheless, these tours could be a great option for couples or a group of friends travelling together.
Getting around in Morocco
If you wish to organise a day trip without going through a tour company, this is also an option. Just research the options you have from getting from point A to point B. From Marrakech, it is possible to use public transport such as buses or trains to spend the day visiting nearby cities and towns. Once you arrive in your chosen city, you are then free to explore at your own pace.
Do your research
One of the most important things to consider when booking day trips from Marrakech is who to book through. Many hotels, hostels and riads will offer day trips from Marrakech. Why not ask around? Ask for opinions from others staying at your accommodation who will give you honest feedback.
If your accommodation does not offer excursions, ask them what trips they recommend and who you should book with. They should be more than happy to help. Failing that, check with any family or friends back home that may have previously booked day trips from Marrakech.
Top tip: If booking day trips and excursions online, ALWAYS check reviews. Websites such as Trip Advisor and Viator allow you to check out potential tour companies before spending your hard earned cash. Make sure you take advantage of that!
Consider your budget
Lastly, your budget will also play a big part. Many day trips from Marrakech can be booked cheaply. These are great options for budget travellers but some may not include much more than transport between cities. On the flip side, you can also book more expensive day trips that offer more.
Some tours and day trips in Morocco include tour guides, lunch and refreshments at low prices. Others literally take you from one city to another. You will need to do some research, consider the differences in price and research what is included. That way, you can be sure which tours and day trips are the best value for money and offer what you want.
I hope this post is helpful for anybody who is planning to book some day trips from Marrakech. If you have been on any of these excursions, share your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!
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