The following Itineraries are sample tour options from Marrakech:

Marrakech City Guide Tour

City Guide Tours include the following key sites, time permitting, based on a half or full day tour:

  • Djemaa El Fna, one of the greatest squares in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wander amongst the tooth-pullers, snake charmers, water-sellers, storytellers and scribes during the afternoon.  At night the square transforms to an open air restaurant with tables and benches illuminated by lamplight and wreathed in the smoke of one hundred Berber Barbeques
  • Colourful Labyrinthine Souks e.g. the metal souk where proud artisans craft objects as their forefathers did centuries before them; the dyers souk where colourful skeins of wool hang drying in the sunlight; the carpet souk where hand-crafted Moroccan rugs hang like exquisite paintings; the jewellery souk where windows glitter with gold
  • Jardins de Majorelle, Bahia Palace, the landmark Koutoubia Mosque, the 15th-century Saadian Tombs (the resting place of Marrakech’s most illustrious dynasty), the Mellah and the Ben Youssef medersa and museum
  • Amizigh Cultural Museum in the Jardins de Majorelle is well worth a visit and, as there is a cafe and toilets in the gardens, why not make the most of your visit and catch a horse-drawn caleche one way
  • Maison de la Photographie is another favourite of mine with a permanent exhibition of old black and white images taken in Morocco.  Well worth a visit if you have an interest in photography
Day Trips from Marrakech (1day)

Marrakech Day Trip to Telouet and Kasbah of el Glaoui.  Transfer across the highest Atlas road pass of Tizi-n-Tichka to the traditional Berber village of Telouet (3hrs drive each way).  Visit the Kasbah of el Glaoui, former war lord and pasha of Marrakech.  On a Thursday visit a traditional Atlas village souk.

Marrakech Day Trip to Essaouira.  Transfer to the coastal fishing port of Essaouira (3hrs drive each way).  There is the option to visit a women’s argan oil co-operative en route – the argan tree only grows on the West coast of Morocco and the oil is extracted for salad oil, amlou (mixed with almonds and honey to make a delicious paste) and skin care.  Option to camel trek along the beach.  In Essaouira, wander at your leisure through this relaxed and friendly small town e.g. ramparts, craft shops in the medina, art galleries and fishing harbour.  For lunch there are many small cafés serving fresh fish.

Marrakech Excursion to Ouzoud and the Waterfalls.  Transfer to the waterfalls at Ouzoud (3hrs drive each way).  These are the highest falls in Morocco and, although it is a climb down to the bottom of the falls, there are steps.  Ouzoud is a popular camping site for Moroccans in Summer.   The falls are at their best in Spring when river levels are high.

Marrakech Excursion to Ourika Valley and Setti Fatima.  Transfer along the Ourika valley to the Berber village of Setti Fatima (1.5hrs drive) with the option of hiring a local guide and walking to the waterfalls (45mins) although it does mean clambering over rocks in some places.  Return in a circular route via Ouirgane (Three Valleys Day Trip).

Marrakech Excursion to Ait Benhaddou and World Heritage Site.  Transfer across Tizi-n-Tichka to visit the World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou (4.5hrs drive each way).  Ait Benhaddou is one of Morocco’s most spectacular ksours (fortified villages) that once stood on the route of the trans-Saharan caravans as they made their way across the Atlas to the fondouks of Marrakech.  Time permitting, visit the Berber village of Telouet and Kasbah el Glaoui on the way back to Marrakech .

Marrakech Excursion to Imlil and Toubkal National Park.  Transfer along Ouirgane Valley before detouring to Imlil, a Berber village that lies on the edge of the Toubkal National Park (1.5hrs drive each way).  Wander around this traditional Berber village, lunch in a Berber café (or Kasbah Toubkal / Kasbah Tamadot).  Include the souk at Tahanoute on a Tuesday and the souk at Asni on a Saturday.

Marrakech Imperial Cities Tour

For all itineraries it is possible to add in extra days i.e. include the High Atlas, a day’s hike, time to relax in the coastal town of Essaouira, a Moroccan Cookery Lesson or Spa Hammam for a steam, scrub and massage, the ‘Blue Town’ of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains.

Day 1 – Arrive Marrakech.  Greet on arrival into Marrakech and transfer to the medina (old walled city).  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 2 – Marrakech Tour with a City Guide.  Marrakech City Guide Tour to explore the medina on foot and visit Majorelle Gardens in the new town.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 3 – Marrakech to Rabat.  Transfer along the motorway to Rabat with optional detour to visit Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.  Overnight in a riad in Rabat medina

Day 4 – Rabat to Fes.  City Guide Tour to see the highlights of Rabat and transfer to Fes via Meknes (with a City Guide Tour) and the Roman ruins of Volubilis (free time to walk around or there are Site Guides).  Overnight in a riad in Fes medina

Day 5 – Fes.  City Guide Tour of Fes to explore the medina (old walled city).  Overnight in a riad in Fes medina

Day 6 – Fes to Marrakech Direct.  Return overland back to Marrakech via Ifrane, Azrou and Beni Mellal.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 7 – Marrakech.  Free day in Marrakech to relax with option of a Moroccan Cookery Lesson or spa hammam.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 8 – Depart Marrakech.  Transfer to Marrakech Airport and depart

Marrakech Imperial Cities Desert Tour

For all itineraries it is possible to add in extra days i.e. include the High Atlas, a day’s hike, time to relax in the coastal town of Essaouira, a Moroccan Cookery Lesson or Spa Hammam for a steam, scrub and massage, the ‘Blue Town’ of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains.

Day 1 – Arrive Marrakech.  Greet on arrival into Marrakech and transfer to the medina (old walled city).  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 2 – Marrakech Tour with a City Guide.  Marrakech City Guide Tour to explore the medina on foot and visit Majorelle Gardens in the new town.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 3 – Marrakech to Skoura Palm Grove.  Transfer across the highest Atlas road pass of Tizi-n-Tichka to Skoura.  Along the route visit the Kasbah of el Glaoui in the Berber village of Telouet, the World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, drive along Ounila Valley and pass through the modern administration town of Ouarzazate.  Overnight in a hotel with pool in Skoura Palm Grove

Day 4 – Skoura to Erg Chebbi Dunes.  Transfer to the dunes of Erg Chebb.  Along the route pass through Kelaa Mgouna (Rose Valley where the roses blossom in April and May), Berber villages and towns including  Boumalne Dades, Tinerhir, Tinjdadd, Erfoud and Rissani with a detour to see Todra Gorge.  Sunset camel trek in the dunes with a desert guide.  Overnight under the stars in desert camp of choice

Day 5 – Erg Chebbi to Fes.  Sunrise in the desert and return camel trek if you decide to sleep in the deep desert camp.  After breakfast transfer to Fes.  Along the route pass through Rissani, Erfoud, Ziz Valley, Midelt, cedar forests of the Middle Atlas where Barbary Macaques can often be seen, Azrou and Ifrane.  Overnight in a riad in Fes medina

Day 6 – Fes.  Walking City Guide Tour of Fes medina to visit all of the key sites including the tanneries of Fes.  Overnight in a riad in Fes medina

Day 7 – Fes to Rabat.  Transfer to Rabat (capital of Morocco) and visit the key sites with a City Guide including Kasbah Oudayas, Tour Hassan and the Chellah.  Overnight in a riad in Rabat medina

Day 8 – Rabat to Marrakech.  Transfer along the motorway to Marrakech with the option of a detour to visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 9 – Marrakech.  Free day in Marrakech to relax with option of a Moroccan Cookery Lesson or spa hammam.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 10 – Depart Marrakech.  Transfer to Marrakech Airport and depart

Marrakech to Tangier Imperial Cities Tour

For all itineraries it is possible to add in extra days i.e. include the High Atlas, a day’s hike, time to relax in the coastal town of Essaouira, a Moroccan Cookery Lesson or Spa Hammam for a steam, scrub and massage, camel trekking in the desert and sleeping under the stars in a desert camp.

Day 1 – Arrive Marrakech.  Greet on arrival into Marrakech and transfer to the medina (old walled city).  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 2 – Marrakech Tour with a City Guide.  Marrakech City Guide Tour to explore the medina on foot and visit Majorelle Gardens in the new town.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 3 – Marrakech Day Trip to High Atlas.  Leave the bustle of the city behind and head into the High Atlas mountains for the day.  Drive along Ourika Valley and across the mountains to the Berber village of Imlil to lunch in Kasbah du Toubkal; return along Ouirgane Valley at the end of the day.  Overnight in a riad in Marrakech medina

Day 4 – Marrakech to Rabat.  Transfer along the motorway to Rabat with optional detour to visit Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.  Afternoon City Tuide Tour to see the highlights of Morocco’s capital city of Rabat.  Overnight in a riad in Rabat medina

Day 5 – Rabat to Fes.  Transfer to Fes via Meknes (with a City Guide Tour) and the Roman ruins of Volubilis (free time to walk around or there are Site Guides).  Overnight in a riad in Fes medina

Day 6 – Fes.  City Guide Tour of Fes to explore the medina (old walled city).  Overnight in a riad in Fes medina

Day 7 – Fes to Chefchaouen.  Transfer to the ‘Blue Town’ or Chefchaouen with a free afternoon to explore this relaxed and friendly town that is painted in hues of blue.  Overnight in a riad in Chefchaouen medina

Day 8 – Chefchaouen to Tangier.  Transfer back to Tangies and drop off at the ferry or airport

Marrakech Desert Tours to Erg Chebbi Merzouga
Marrakech to Erg Chebbi Desert Tour (4days)

A desert tour from Marrakech to Erg Chebbi is possible in 3 days however it means a 9-10hrs drive on one of the days.  We recommend a minimum of four full days for this itinerary.  Extra day options:

  • a day to relax i.e. Skoura Palm Grove
  • a day’s hike i.e. High Atlas, Skoura, Rose Valley or one of the gorges
  • a day to explore with your driver i.e. Erg Chebbi dunes
  • a day to Get Off the Beaten Track and  beyond the usual tourist routes

Day 1 – Marrakech to Skoura Palm Grove.  9am transfer across the highest Atlas road pass of the Tizi-n-Tichka to Skoura Palm Grove.  Along the route pass through Berber villages and the modern administration town of Ouarzazate with stops for comfort, views, photography and lunch.  Overnight in small hotel with pool

Day 2 – Skoura to Erg Chebbi Sand Sea.  9am transfer to the dunes of the Erg Chebbi sand sea passing through Kelaa Mgouna (Rose Valley) where highly perfumed roses blossom in the hedgerows during April and May when you can stop to buy a rose garland.  Arrive at the edge of the Erg Chebbi dunes in time for a sunset camel trek with a Desert Guide.  Overnight in Desert Camp of choice

Day 3 – Erg Chebbi to Ait Benhaddou via Todra Gorge.  Wake early to climb a dune and wait for the sunrise.  Camel trek back to the dune line if you decide to overnight in the deep desert camp.  9am transfer to Ait Benhaddou and, along the route, detour at Tinerhir to see Todra Gorge that is said to be the highest oasis valley gorge in Morocco.  Overnight in small hotel

Day 4 – Ait Benhaddou to Marrakech.  Visit the World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, one of Morocco’s most spectacular ksours (fortified villages).  Follow the route along Ounila Valley, and over the Tizi-n-Telouet, to the Berber village of Telouet and visit the Kasbah of el Glaoui.  Travel back across the Tizi-n-Tichka to reach Marrakech in the late afternoon/early evening and drop off.

Marrakech Desert Tours to Erg Chegaga Mhamid
Marrakech to Erg Chegaga Luxury Desert Tour (4 days)

For desert trips starting and ending in Marrakech we recommend going to Erg Chigaga; it is still wild and largely uninhabited. A 4wd is required at Chigaga, with much of the trip being off road through dunes, rocks and dried out lakes. It is an adventure, and whilst the trips are with an experienced English speaking drivers with an intimate knowledge of the desert, the unexpected must always be expected!

The itinerary for the 4-day trip is described below. It includes spending one night at a lovely guest house en route to the desert, two nights at the luxury desert camp and returning to Marrakech in one day.

The trip to the desert is about 9 hours plus stops. Although long, the scenery is stunning. The trip is private so you may stop as often as you like en route. The 4 or 5 day trips allow you to take your time and enjoy the wonderful sights and scenery.

However, if you have limited time you can do the trip over 3 days. We still recommend that you spend two nights at the desert camp, because one really needs to spend the full day in the desert to feel its breathtaking glory.

If you have 5 days available, you can spend the extra night either in the desert or at a guest house at Ait Ben Haddou on the return to Marrakech.

The trips are always private. The transport is a 4×4 Land Cruiser with aircon and an English-speaking driver. Whilst the drivers are knowledgeable and know the best places to stop, the itinerary and timings are flexible.

The summary of the 4-day trip is as follows:

Day 1 – Marrakech to Ait Benhaddou or Zagora.  Departure 0800 to 0930 (depending on the season) and overnight at a guesthouse en route to the desert. This is either a 4 hour drive to Ait Ben Haddou and overnighting at Kasbah Ellouze or Riad Caravane, or a 5 hour 30 hour drive to the guesthouse of Kasbah Azul in the Draa Valley. The route is via the High Atlas Mountains and Tizi n’Tichka pass (alt. 2300 m), Ounila Valley, old villages and kasbahs (including the Glaoui ruins at Telouet) and the UNESCO heritage site of Ait Ben Haddou.  Dinner and breakfast are included in the hotel; drinks are extra.

Day 2 – Zagora to Erg Chegaga Sand Sea .  From Ait Ben Haddou, it’s a 6-hour drive through the Draa Valley (home to 3 million date palms and hundreds of kasbahs), Zagora, Tamegroute (famous for its green-glazed pottery and ancient Koranic library) and M’Hamid (where the paved road ends and the Sahara begins).   Head out across the hammada to reach our Luxury Desert Camp.

Day 3 – Erg Chegaga.  All day at Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp. There are plenty of activities for those that either want to remain at the camp or venture into the desert.

2 nights at our luxury camp includes all meals, drinks and a guided trip on camel. Other activities, also included, are sandboarding, sundowners on the dunes and informal singing and drumming around the fire.

Day 4 – Erg Chegaga to Marrakech.  Return to Marrakech. You may depart from the camp at anytime before noon. The return trip is 8 hours, and is more direct and more remote than the route to the desert. The return trip is via Foum Zguid (a 3-hour drive though the desert), Taznakht (known for its rugs) and then back over the Tizi n’Tichka pass.

Marrakech to Fes Desert Tours with Erg Chebbi Merzouga
Marrakech to Fes Desert Tour (3 days)

A desert tour from Marrakech to Fes is possible in 3 days however you may want to consider an extra day to slow down the pace – scroll down for a suggested 4day Marrakech to Fes trip.

Day 1 – Marrakech to Skoura Palm Grove.  9am transfer across the highest Atlas road pass of the Tizi-n-Tichka to Skoura Palm Grove.  Along the route pass through Berber villages, visit the Kasbah of el Glaoui in Teloueet, drive along Ounila Valley, walk through the World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou, drive through the modern administration town of Ouarzazate with stops for comfort, views, photography and lunch.  Overnight in small hotel

Day 2 – Skoura to Erg Chebbi Sand Sea.  9am transfer to the dunes of the Erg Chebbi sand sea passing through Kelaa Mgouna (Rose Valley) where highly perfumed roses blossom in the hedgerows during April and May when you can stop to buy a rose garland.  Arrive at the edge of the dune line and camel trek in the Erg Chebbi dunes to sleep under the stars in the tented accommodation of your choice  – a deep desert or luxury camp.  Overnight in Desert Camp of choice

Day 3 – Erg Chebbi to Fes.  Sunrise in the desert and return camel trek if you decide to sleep in the deep desert camp.  After breakfast transfer to Fes.  Along the route pass through Rissani, Erfoud, Ziz Valley, Midelt, cedar forests of the Middle Atlas where Barbary Macaques can often be seen, Azrou and Ifrane.  Drop off in Fes and End of Tour.

Marrakech to Fes Desert Tour via Erg Chebbi (4 days)

Extra day options to slow down the pace of a 3day Marrakech to Fes Desert Tour:

  • a day to relax i.e. Skoura Palm Grove
  • a day’s hike i.e. High Atlas, Skoura, Rose Valley or one of the gorges
  • a day to explore with your driver i.e. Erg Chebbi dunes
  • a day to Get Off the Beaten Track and beyond the usual tourist routes
  • a night in Ait Benhaddou and a night in Dades Gorge (see below)

Day 1 – Marrakech to Ait Benhaddou.  9am transfer across the highest Atlas road pass of the Tizi-n-Tichka to the area of Ait Benhaddou.  Along the route pass through Berber villages, visit the Kasbah of el Glaoui in Teloueet and drive along Ounila Valley (the old trade route to Marrakech).  Overnight in small hotel

Day 2 – Ait Benhaddou to Dades Gorge.  Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Benhaddou and walk through the walled town, dated no earlier than 17th Century, for views from the top.  Continue through the modern administration town of Ouarzazate, Skoura Palm Grove, the area of Kelaa Mgouna that is otherwise known as ‘Rose Valley’ although the roses only blossom in April and May to reach the Berber town and garrison of Boumalne Dades.  Detour to drive along the Dades Gorge.  Overnight in small hotel

Day 3 – Dades Gorge to Erg Chebbi Sand Sea.  9am transfer to the dunes of the Erg Chebbi sand sea with a detour along the route to see the Todra Gorge and passing Berber villages and towns including Tinjdadd, Erfoud and Rissani.  Arrive at the edge of the dunes and camel trek in Erg Chebbi to sleep under the stars in the tented accommodation of your choice  – a deep desert or luxury camp.  Overnight in Desert Camp of choice

Day 4 – Erg Chebbi to Fes.  Sunrise in the desert and return camel trek if you decide to sleep in the deep desert camp.  After breakfast transfer to Fes.  Along the route pass through Rissani, Erfoud, Ziz Valley, Midelt, cedar forests of the Middle Atlas where Barbary Macaques can often be seen, Azrou and Ifrane.  Drop off in Fes and End of Tour.

Marrakech to Fes Desert Tour via Erg Chegaga (5 days)

The trip from Marrakech to Fez (or vice versa) via Erg Chigaga is a wonderful insight into the best of rural Morocco. Whilst the empty desert and dunes of Chigaga can only be accessed by 4WD, the trip to the desert often passes through some wonderfully untamed and off the beaten track scenery.

In the ideal world 5-day is required for the trip, although it can be done in 4 days.  The 5-day trip is as follows:

Day 1:  Depart from Marrakech at about 0900 . Overnight at a good quality guest house near Ait Ben Haddou. This is a trip of about 4 hours plus stops via the Tiz n Tchika pass, the Ounila valley and Kasbah of Telouet.

Day 2 and 3:  Luxury Camp at Erg Chigaga. The route from Ait Ben Haddou to the camp is via the Berber carpet making town of Taznacht and Foum Zguid. This is where the paved road ends. The trip takes 5h30 plus stops. The off-road component is about 3 hours.

Day 4:  Depart from the camp after breakfast. Overnight at a guest house in Todra Gorge. The route is via M´hamid, the pottery making town of Tamegroute (there is also an ancient koranic library here), Zagora, the lower reaches of the Draa valley and skirting via Alnif the Jbel Sahro massif. The trip takes about 7 hours plus stops.

Day 5:  To Fez.  North of Todra, the route is magnificent and you counter virtually no other tourists. There is a wonderful gorge on this route, which is not identified on most maps. You re-join the main road at Er-rich. En route to Fez you will pass a National park at Azrou, home to Barbary Macaques monkeys and Cedar Forests. The trip is 8 hours plus stops.

The 5 day trip is private in an air conditioned 4×4 Land Cruiser with an English-speaking driver. You may stop as often as you like en route for sightseeing, photography and refreshments. Whilst your driver is not an official guide, he will be informative and flexible. He will also advise on suitable places to stop – but ultimately the decision regarding stops is yours. Guides can be organized en route, if required.

If you prefer to fly, there are some limited flight options.  It is possible to reach Fez from Chigaga in one day. On Friday there is a flight that departs Zagora (3 hours from Chigaga) at 1840 and arrives at 2325 in Fez (via Casablanca). There is also a flight on Monday that departs at 1125 to Casablanca, and from here it´s 4 hours by car to Fez. From Fez, there are conversely flights to Zagora, departing on Monday at the very early hour of 0525.