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Marrakech Off the Beaten Path

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Merrakech is a city that spoils visitors for choice. While the souks and hammams, palaces and museums of this mighty destination are a wonderful draw, some of its less-frequented treasures may fall by the wayside. No less valuable to an all-round experience, this guide provides a mix of day trips and some things you might not think to do while in the city (and just outside of it), from desert expeditions, to waterfall hikes, to traditional cooking classes.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

3 City Tips

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10 Places

Erg Chebbi

Geologic Formations

Erg Chigaga

Deserts, Geologic Formations

Agadir Beach

Beaches

Amizmiz Trekking - Day Tours

Hiking & Camping Tours

Setti Fatma et les 7 Cascades

Waterfalls

Oukaimeden

Ski & Snowboard Areas

Ourika Valley

Neighbourhoods, Valleys, Flea & Street Markets

Toubkal Guide Day Tours

Sightseeing Tours

L'atelier Faim d'Epices

Lessons & Workshops

Maison de la Photographie

Speciality Museums

Maddie S's City Tips

  • Be aware of temperatures and altitudes while you travel. Hike the Atlas Mountains only as high as you comfortably can, and note that the Sahara becomes very cold by nightfall.
  • Agree on prices of everything beforehand, and pay only after receiving goods or service. It's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Dress appropriately for what you plan to do, and be sure to bring a sturdy pair of sneakers or hiking shoes with you. Carrying an extra jacket and canteen of water is also wise.
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    Erg Chebbi
    Geologic Formations
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    One of the best day trips from Marrakech is a visit to the Sahara Desert. While most of the desert is flatland, the craggy landscape at the dunes of Erg Chebbi come to life in vivid shades of peach, orange, and gold. Take a camel ride, watch the sun rise or set, have a bonfire dinner by nightfall, or stay overnight under a blanket of stars in a Berber tent. It does not get much further off the beaten path than a land without paths, and with multiple sightseeing tours and accommodation options available to visitors, you can have your pick of whether you want to experience a few hours of culture, food, exploration, or stargazing out on Erg Chebbi.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Be aware that the desert is very cold at nightfall and daybreak. Dress warmly for expeditions, and take an extra layer if you are feeling uncertain.
    • Various tour options can be arranged, including camel rides, dinners, drum sessions, and overnight stays. Ask at your hotel for a reputable agency, or visit one in the city center.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Rissani
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Trip of a lifetime! 22/07/2015
    • Unusual but great fun 17/07/2015
    • Erg Chebbi
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    Erg Chigaga
    Deserts, Geologic Formations
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Visiting the Erg Chigaga region of the Sahara offers you an entirely different type of day trip. Traveling through Essaouira to reach it (where Argan oil is made), a visit to the township for coffee and culture is a great way to precede a trek into the dessert, either by camel or RV. The camps for visitors around Erg Chigaga are quite luxurious, and accommodate everything from day trips to overnight stays. See the desert and engage in traditional music, dance, food, and entertainment, depending on your time, tour, and interests. Guides in the Erg Chigaga region can also enlighten you on the history and customs of the area, offering an all-around experience if you venture outside of Marrakech to visit the sandy dunes.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are many trusted tour companies that allow you to customize your travel around Essaouira. Contact them with any queries before your trip.
    • To save time in getting to the dunes of Erg Chigaga, driving out is the best method. Many tours and guides will pick you up in a 4x4, which you can arrange ahead of time.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in M'Hamid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Go there for sunset watching! 27/07/2015
    • pit stop for drunken bikers 03/07/2015
    • Erg Chigaga
    Address:
    M'hamid
    Elghozlane
    M'Hamid 47402
    Morocco
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    Agadir Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Another short day trip from Marrakech, Agadir is a port city situated along the Atlantic, where the sand, wind, and surf can cool you down after a few days of browsing the souks or soaking up the desert heat. With cooler temperatures and more breeze than Marrakech's city center, the two-hour trip to the long swathes of clean beaches here are recommended for those who enjoy swimming, surfing, marina bars, clubs, and nightlife. With the Kasbah mountains as your backdrop and a promenade filled with restaurants and boutiques, a visit to Agadir Beach is perfect for those who want a relaxing break from trekking and touring while still enjoying the natural beauty close to Marrakech.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Be aware that some parts of the beachfront are roped off for hotel patron's use only. Still, there are plenty of beautiful areas open to those staying in Marrakech.
    • At Blvd. du 20 Aout in the city center (just in front of McDonalds), there is the Petit Train — a small selection of cars which give a picturesque, inexpensive 50-minute city tour.
    • Just as in Marrakech, street vendors will try to sell to you on the beach and especially on the promenade. Be sure not to take anything (even photos) before agreeing on a price.
    • Agadir Beach also has a nearby Aviary and Zoo, which has free entry. Ask at any of the hotels for directions.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 61 things to do in Agadir
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Don't go in August 03/08/2015
    • A Beach for walking and safe swimming 03/08/2015
    • Agadir Beach
    Address:
    Agadir Maroc
    80090
    Morocco
  • Save
    Amizmiz Trekking - Day Tours
    Hiking & Camping Tours
    Maddie S Says:

    The Atlas Mountains are a must-see destination for nature lovers when visiting Morocco. With Amizmiz Trekking, you will be taken far from the more touristy trails and locales, on a day of eco-tourism, where customizable visits allow you to match your tour to your skill level, needs, and available time. You will visit a Berber village, have tea, a meal, sit for the application of henna and kohl, explore a rural souk, or meet local families — all within the gorgeous altitudes of the Altas, and with an informative guide who can tell you about the history, customs, and culture of the area.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Treks with Amizmiz can vary in length from 3 hours to 2 days. Decide how immersive you would like your local experience to be, and what you want it to include. Options are online.
    • Make sure to wear comfortable, dexterous shoes on this excursion!
    • If you visit on a Tuesday, plan to visit the Berber souk in the High Atlas Mountains. (Open on Tuesdays only.)
    • The guides accept payment in US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds, but for the best deal plan to pay in Moroccan Dirham.
    • Be aware that hiking can involve different levels of fitness and skill. Be sure to speak with staff ahead of time on whether you'd like a more relaxing or more challenging route.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 2 things to do in Amizmiz
    • The Highlight of our Trip to Morocco. Thanks Latifa! 21/05/2015
    • "My most memorable day spent in Morocco" 12/04/2015
    • Amizmiz Trekking - Day Tours
    Phone:
    0615923142
    Other:
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    Setti Fatma et les 7 Cascades
    Waterfalls
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Also in the Atlas Mountains, Setti Fatma is known for its breathtaking waterfalls. Three hours from Marrakech city center, a visit to Setti Fatma will take an entire day, but is worth it for serious climbers, adventurers, and nature lovers. The village itself, in rural Ourika Valley, is welcoming to visitors, with shops, cafes, and restaurants each with welcoming locals and many with riverfront views. You can either explore the waterfall at the lowest altitude yourself, or hire a guide to take you up to see the full channel of seven, where there are steeper and rougher climbs to be had — and more rewarding views.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you are traveling up to the highest parts of Setti Fatma, be aware that it is a rigorous (though very rewarding) climb. Take gloves to help with rope bridges and steep slopes.
    • Remember to wear very sturdy shoes, as anything less than sneakers will make this a very difficult day out.
    • A guide is strongly recommended to take you to see the waterfalls, as the climbs can be very tricky, and guides provide the best routes and will ensure your safety.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #90 of 188 things to do in Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region
    • Beautiful scenery, well worth the day trip 14/05/2015
    • Day Trip From Marrakech 28/03/2015
    • Setti Fatma et les 7 Cascades
    Address:
    Route d'Ourika
    Setti Fatma
    Morocco
  • Save
    Oukaimeden
    Ski & Snowboard Areas
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Oukaimeden is Marrakech's ski resort town. Located extremely high up in the Atlas Mountains, Oukaimeden remains naturally snowy throughout the year, summer included. This allows visitors to be at the beach or in the desert one day, and hit the slopes the next! If you want a surreal experience, from out of the sun and into the chilly tundra, Oukaimeden is for you. Equipment rentals are provided in the town, and the slopes welcome everyone - from beginners to masters - to come and enjoy a day surrounded by expansive natural beauty.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can reach Oukaimeden via a shared taxi, or by renting a car. Either method may become expensive, so check which company is offering the best rate at your hotel.
    • Remember to bargain while in Oukaimeden.
    • The higher slopes are for advanced skiers, and trails are not particularly well marked. Beginners can ski at the shorter hills close to base camp.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Oukaimeden
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Astonishing 06/07/2015
    • Moroccan skiing 29/06/2015
    Phone:
    00212652591798
  • Save
    Ourika Valley
    Neighbourhoods, Valleys, Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    For a shorter and more cultural visit to the Atlas Mountains, visit Ourika Valley. Only an hour away from Marrakech by car, here you can enjoy the shops and restaurants in Ourika, dine out on the river, and see the base of a fabulous circuit of waterfalls. The mix of wet rocks, misty mountain breezes, and Berber culture make this destination feel easy-going, local, and peaceful, while offering a lot to explore for a wide range of interests.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • As ever, if you plan to trek or climb the terrain (including mountains, trails, and rivers) bring suitable shoes and a bottle of water along with you.
    • Argan oil, which is a popular village product, is cheaply sold and included in a number of interesting items.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Morocco
    • Ourika Valley 02/08/2015
    • Very Beautiful but dirty 01/08/2015
    • Ourika Valley
    Address:
    KM 21 Route de Ourika, Marrakesh , Maroc
    40000
    Morocco
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    Toubkal Guide Day Tours
    Sightseeing Tours
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The National Park at the base of the Atlas Mountains can be best explored with Toubkal Guided Day Tours. Day tours can be customized to include other locations mentioned in this guide, or, for a less rigorous day out, simply get picked up by Toubkal at your hotel and driven to the lower altitude villages and valleys, to take in the natural beauty of the parklands, sip mint tea among wild monkeys, enjoy traditional Moroccan cooking, or soak up some of the most scenic, rural views. Toubkal offers the most assiduous climbers the best guides for the job, while also giving visitors who want all of the scenery without any of the hassle a wonderfully simple way to enjoy the Atlas range.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you intend to do a climb with Toubkal, make sure to have the correct equipment: hiking boots, a jacket, and a canteen. Climbs are especially harsh in winter.
    • If you decide to stay overnight, let the company know if you are happy with basic accommodation, or need hot water showers, private rooms, etc.
    • If you decide to venture out of the valleys and do a climb with your guide, be aware that altitude sickness is common. Only climb as high up as you feel comfortable with.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 517 Tours & Activities in Marrakech
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • wonderful place with beautiful scenery 31/07/2015
    • Great trip 10/07/2015
    • Toubkal Guide Day Tours
    Address:
    Douar Taourirte Asni
    Marrakech 42152
    Morocco
    Phone:
    00212-67115 7636
    Other:
  • Save
    L'atelier Faim d'Epices
    Lessons & Workshops
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    At L'atelier Faim d'Epices, experience true Moroccan cooking in Marrakech — from scratch! At the culinary school, you will be treated to a blind tasting of spices before your day begins, where you will be put to the test of making curries, salads, and traditional breads, all under the expert instruction and guidance of the staff. You will get to partake of your feast on the school's terrace, surrounded by olive trees and the lively conversation of your classmates. Of course, you will also be given the recipes to take home, as well as plenty of photo opportunities afforded by the school itself. Bon Appétit!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • The school picks you up at your hotel, along with the rest of the day's class, between about 9:30-9:45am and drives you to the site.
    • At the end of the class, you are given the option to either be driven back to your hotel, or to take advantage of a discounted hammam package at Mythic Oriental Spa.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 24 Classes & Workshops in Marrakech
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Brilliant day 02/08/2015
    • Great day:) 27/07/2015
    • L'atelier Faim d'Epices
    Address:
    Douar Old ali Ben Aich
    Marrakech 40000
    Morocco
    Phone:
    0600048800
    Hours:
    Wed - Mon
    9:30 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Maison de la Photographie
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Maison de la Photographie is a photography museum in the city center with a private collection of over 8,000 photographs that express and explore Morroco's history between 1870-1950. A hidden gem, the museum also includes the first color film reel of the High-Atlas Mountains in full color, helpful staff who are knowledgeable about the collection, and a rooftop cafe with a stunning view of Marrakech. A great place to take a breather from the bustle of the city streets and your busy itinerary.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you want to visit the museum again during your stay, keep your ticket safe — it gives you a second free admission.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 150 things to do in Marrakech
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great dispaly of time and history of Marrakesh growth and cultural change. 03/08/2015
    • Tranquil gallery with good views from roof terrace 01/08/2015
    • Maison de la Photographie
    Address:
    46, rue Ahal Fes
    Marrakech 40000
    Morocco
    Phone:
    +212 5243-85721
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:30 - 19:00
    Other:
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