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An Epic Day Trip To Atlas Mountains From Marrakech

An Epic Day Trip To Atlas Mountains From Marrakech

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Are you wondering if a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is worth it? Read on!

The Atlas Mountains, located south of Marrakech, are the highest mountain range in North Africa.  Separating the Sahara desert from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlas Mountains offer breathtaking views and a chance to experience traditional Berber culture.

During my first trip to Morocco, I spent several days driving through the mountain range exploring the small Berber villages, staying in traditional kasbahs and soaking in the stunning landscapes. The Atlas Mountains are a truly unique travel destination and I knew that I wanted to return.

But during my most recent trip to Morocco, I didn’t have as much time, so my friends and I chose to take a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech instead.

At first, I was hesitant about cramming such an epic experience into just one day, but I’m glad I did because it was absolutely worth it!

If you’re short on time or looking for a convenient day trip from Marrakech, I highly recommend taking a guided tour to the Atlas Mountains.

Not only will you get to see some of the most beautiful views in Morocco, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about Berber culture, sample traditional cuisine, and even hike to a stunning waterfall if you’re feeling adventurous!

In this post, I’m gonna talk about my awesome experience on this one-day tour and why it became my favourite day during my recent trip to Marrakech.

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🗻 Best day trip from Marrakech: Visit waterfalls and Berber villages on this Atlas Mountains day trip

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trip from marrakech to atlas mountains

Hi, I’m JJ!

I’m a travel blogger with a passion for unique travel destinations, discovering hidden gems, and adventurous solo travel.

I’ve visited Morocco several times and spent a bunch of time in the Atlas Mountains, it’s one of my favourite parts of the country!

I hope you enjoy my free guides and travel tips! If so, please consider supporting my work 💕

Table of Contents

My Atlas Mountains Day Trip From Marrakech

Day trips from Marrakech

My friends and I booked this guided day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. 

The tour lasted half the day and we were back in Marrakech late afternoon with time to shop in the souks and relax in our riad before our dinner plans that evening.

Our tour started bright and early, with a comfortable minivan picking us up from  Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable, giving us interesting facts about the landscape and history of the Atlas Mountains throughout the drive.

Free 3 Day Marrakech Itinerary

The drive through the atlas mountains to imlil village.

Day trip to atlas mountains marrakech

The drive itself was an experience, with winding roads and stunning views of the countryside.

I love these roads through the mountains as the views are unreal, with awe-inspiring natural scenery and charming local villages dotting the landscape.

Along the way, our guide made sure to stop at some of the best viewpoints for photos and to stretch our legs.

trip from marrakech to atlas mountains

Visiting A Women’s Co-operative In The Atlas Mountains

Moroccan women making argan oil

Our first stop of the day was at a women’s co-operative in the Atlas Mountains.

Here, we learned about traditional Berber techniques for making argan oil and other products such as soaps, creams, and shampoos.

The women were very welcoming and showed us how they extract the oil from the nuts of the argan trees that grow abundantly in this region. They also showed us how to tell the difference between real argan oil and cheap alternatives.

Fake argan oil is one of the biggest tourist scams in Morocco , so it was great to learn from the experts themselves.

We then had a small breakfast consisting of mint tea, argan oil, olive oil, honey, almonds, and freshly baked bread thoughtfully prepared by these skilled women.

mint tea morocco

After purchasing some souvenirs and supporting the local women, we continued our journey towards Imlil village.

🗻 Click here to check prices and availability of this day trip to Atlas Mountains from Marrakech!

Atlas Mountains Trekking To The Imlil Waterfalls

Atlas mountains waterfall

We stopped for a while in Imlil village and spent some time preparing for the hike. There was a small shop where I bought some water and had an espresso before heading off.

The trek wasn’t long or too strenuous, it took around an hour. However, it was really hot so I was glad  I had bought that extra bottle of water.

The hike was super enjoyable. It took us past local houses and farms, through lush green vegetation and crystal clear streams. We even saw some goats climbing up steep rocks and a friendly cow!

Our guide was very knowledgeable about the area, pointing out different plants and wildlife along the way. He also told us about the history of Imlil village and how it has changed over time.

At one point we had to cross the stream on a sketchy-looking wooden bridge, our guide assured us that it was safe and we all made it across without any problems but it did provide some entertainment as we all hopped over.

Hiking in Atlas mountains Marrakech

Finally, we reached the beautiful Imlil waterfalls. The view was absolutely breathtaking with the cascading water falling into a natural pool below.

We took some time to relax, take some awesome Instagram pics and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The waterfalls aren’t huge and definitely not as impressive as the nearby Ouzoud Falls , but they are much more secluded and the energy here is so much more peaceful.

Imlil Waterfalls. These small falls can easily be visited during a day trip to Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

Some locals had a little stall selling freshly squeezed orange juice next to the waterfall, so we treated ourselves to a refreshing drink before starting our journey back.

I also filled my empty water bottle with fresh water from the falls. The water comes straight from the melting snow on the mountains so it is crystal clear and freezing cold!

Lunch In Imlil Village 

Atlas mountains

After leaving the falls we continued to hike for around another 40 minutes. We hiked through some gorgeous meadows filled with wildflowers, they looked like something from a fairytale! We also had some epic views of Mt. Toubkal , the highest peak in North Africa.

Atlas mountains Morocco

Once we arrived back in Imlil village, our guide took us to a local restaurant for lunch. We enjoyed a delicious traditional Berber meal while chatting with our guide and learning more about the local culture. I had a delicious vegetable tagine and some freshly baked bread.

Vegetable tagine Morocco

The restaurant had a lovely terrace with views over the village and the mountains. We spent some time on the terrace but my friends and I decided to eat our meal inside the restaurant as the heat of the afternoon sun was overbearing.

The terrace of the restaurant where we stopped for lunch during our day trip to Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. The large terrace has several tables and chairs on it and it overlooks the mountains and the village.

After lunch, we headed back to Marrakech. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I highly recommend adding this day trip to your itinerary when visiting Morocco.

The beautiful scenery, the friendly locals, and the delicious food make for an unforgettable experience. It was definitely my favourite day trip during my stay in Marrakech.

How Far Are The Atlas Mountains From Marrakech?

atlas mountains morocco

The Atlas Mountains are located about 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Marrakech, making it a perfect day trip destination.

The journey to the mountains takes around 1.5 hours by car, but it may take longer depending on traffic and weather conditions.

Map showing distance of the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

How To Get To Atlas Mountains From Marrakech?

Main square Marrakech

There are several options for getting to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech.

The most popular option is to book a day trip with a local tour guide or company , which will provide transportation and a knowledgeable guide to take you around the area. This is the most convenient option and is often cheaper than renting a car and driving yourself.

If you prefer to drive yourself, you can rent a car in Marrakech and make your way to the mountains. However, be aware that the roads can be narrow and winding, so it’s important to exercise caution while driving.

You could also take a taxi from Marrakech , but this would be the most expensive option.

🚗 Click here to check car rental prices in Marrakech

The Best Day Trips From Marrakech To Atlas Mountains

Waterfall atlas mountains

Here are some of the best tours to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech that I recommend.

Many tours are available that also include camel rides. However, please don’t be tempted to partake in these activities. Camel riding can be unethical as the camels are not always treated well.

We told our guide ahead of time that we didn’t want to do a camel ride and they were happy to remove this activity from the tour itinerary.

Atlas Mountains & Imlil Waterfalls

✅ Transportation

✅ Guided Hike

Private Tour To The Atlas Mountains

✅ Private tour

✅ Private driver

Atlas Mountains Full Day Hike

✅ Full day hike

✅ Visit Berber villages

Where To Stay In Marrakech 

Relax at riad Marrakech

When choosing where to stay in Marrakech, there are two areas to choose from: the medina and the new town. 

The medina is the historic heart of Marrakech, where you can find traditional riads and bustling markets. It’s perfect for those looking for an authentic Moroccan experience.

On the other hand, the new town offers a more modern atmosphere with luxurious hotels, restaurants and shopping centres. This area is great for those seeking a bit more comfort and convenience during their stay.

I have always stayed in the Medina but I’ve visited the new town and it definitely has its own charm.

The Best Place To Stay In Marrakech Medina

riad rafaele marrakech

Riad Rafaele

✅ Great location

The Best Place To Stay In Marrakech New Town

Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech

Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech

✅ Restaurant

FAQs: Day Trip To Atlas Mountains From Marrakech

Can you do a day trip to the atlas mountains from marrakech.

Yes, you can definitely do a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. There are many tour options available that offer transportation and guided tours to the mountains. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and drive yourself.

Is it safe to drive to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech?

Driving in Morocco can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the roads and driving habits there. It’s best to go on a guided tour or hire a private driver if you are not comfortable driving yourself. However, if you do decide to drive, make sure to take necessary precautions such as having a reliable GPS and knowing the route beforehand.

Are the Atlas Mountains worth visiting?

Definitely! The Atlas Mountains offer stunning scenery, amazing hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls and a chance to experience traditional Berber culture. It’s definitely worth adding to your Morocco itinerary.

What is the best month to visit the Atlas Mountains?

The best months to visit the Atlas Mountains are in the spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November) as the weather is mild and perfect for outdoor activities. However, if you are looking to see snow-capped mountains, winter (December-February) is also a good time to visit. 

Which city is closest to Atlas Mountains?

Marrakech is the closest city to the Atlas Mountains. It’s only about an hour’s drive from the mountains and serves as a popular starting point for day trips or longer excursions to the Atlas range.  So, it’s convenient to plan your trip from Marrakech and explore the beautiful mountains nearby.

How to dress for Atlas Mountains?

It’s best to wear comfortable and breathable clothing as the temperatures can vary throughout the day. It’s also recommended to wear sturdy shoes as some hiking may be involved.

Can you go to Atlas Mountains without a guide?

Yes, it is possible to explore the Atlas Mountains without a guide. However, having a knowledgeable guide can add depth and insight to your experience. It’s always recommended to research beforehand and plan your route before embarking on any adventure in the mountains.

Do you get lions in the Atlas Mountains?

No, there are no lions in the Atlas Mountains. The only large carnivores found in the mountains are Barbary macaques, a species of monkey. These animals are considered endangered and can only be found in certain areas of the Atlas range. So don’t worry about running into any lions during your visit! 

How cold is it in the Atlas Mountains?

The temperatures in the Atlas Mountains can vary depending on the time of year and elevation. In general, it is much cooler than the surrounding areas due to its higher altitude. In winter, temperatures can drop below freezing, especially at higher elevations, while in summer it can reach up to 90°F (32°C) during the day.

What is the average temperature in the Atlas Mountains?

The average temperature in the Atlas Mountains can range from 30°F (-1°C) to 90°F (32°C) depending on the season and elevation. It’s always best to check the weather forecast before your visit and pack accordingly. During the day, temperatures might feel warmer due to direct sunlight, but it can get significantly cooler at night, so make sure to bring layers.

Is it safe to hike in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco?

Hiking in the Atlas Mountains can be a safe and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to take necessary precautions. Make sure to always hike with a partner or group, carry enough water and food, and inform someone of your itinerary before heading out. Also, be mindful of weather conditions and stay on marked trails to avoid getting lost.

Can you see the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech?

Yes, on clear days, you can see the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. However, the best way to experience the mountains is by taking a day trip or multi-day tour. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and cultural experiences offered by the local Berber communities.

🗻 Click here to check prices, availability and read reviews of this day trip to Atlas Mountains from Marrakech!

Final Thoughts: Day Trip To Atlas Mountains From Marrakech

Whether you choose to book a guided tour or explore on your own, a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is truly an unforgettable and unique experience .

The stunning landscapes, traditional villages, and warm hospitality of the locals make it a must-see destination for any traveller.

Overall, the trek to the Imlil waterfalls was a perfect combination of adventure, natural beauty and cultural experience. It’s a great way to escape the busy city life and immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the mountains.

Be sure to come prepared with comfortable shoes, layers of clothing, and plenty of water for a successful and enjoyable trip.

For more things to do in Morocco , check out my 4-day Morocco Itinerary and my guide to Marrakech .

And if you are looking for more day trips from Marrakech, then I recommend the Agafay Desert and YSL Gardens .

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Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

Two hikers observing terraced agriculture in the Atlas Mountains on a day trip from Marrakech

Tour Overview:

Embark on an extraordinary day trip from Marrakech to the  Atlas Mountains. This tour is a perfect blend of adventure, cultural immersion, and natural beauty, designed for those who wish to explore the majestic landscapes of the Toubkal National Park and delve into the rich Berber culture that defines this region. From scenic drives and panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains to the authentic Berber villages life and traditional Moroccan cuisine, every aspect of this Atlas Mountain day tour is tailor-made to provide an unforgettable experience.

Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains Day trip Highlights:

  • Discover Imlil Village : The gateway to the Atlas Mountains, offering a glimpse into the traditional Berber way of life amidst stunning natural scenery.
  • Explore Toubkal National Park : Home to North Africa's highest peak, with diverse flora and fauna, and opportunities for scenic hikes.
  • Savor Moroccan Dishes : Enjoy a traditional meal in a Berber house, where the flavors of local cuisine are matched only by the warmth of the hospitality and the spectacular views.
  • Camel Ride through Agafay Desert : Experience the unique landscape on the fringes of the Sahara, offering a stark contrast to the mountainous terrain.
  • Berber Market Visit : Dive into the vibrant atmosphere of a local market, where the art of haggling and the richness of Berber craftsmanship come to life.
  • Comfortable A/C Toyota Land Cruiser transportation.
  • Bilingual driver/guide fluent in English and French.
  • 1 hour camel ride.
  • Authentic experiences including a camel ride, traditional mint tea, and homemade bread tasting.
  • Guided walk in Toubkal National Park and a three-course lunch in Imlil Village.
  • 3 course lunch at a Berber House in Imlil Village.
  • Convenient pick-up and drop-off at Marrakech accommodations.

Marrakech to Atlas Mountains Day Tour Itinerary:

Embark on an enchanting Atlas Mountains Day Trip from Marrakech, starting with a convenient pickup from your hotel. Journey aboard a rugged 4×4 through the picturesque Haouz plains to the Agafay desert’s edge. Enjoy the pristine beauty of this region with a scenic drive to Lake Lalla Takerkoust, a photographer’s paradise. For an extra thrill, opt for a camel ride along the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

Traveling through the mountain roads to the Kik Plateau, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant patchwork of traditional Berber villages against the serene mountain backdrop. Experience the warm Moroccan hospitality at Fadma’s home, a welcoming Berber hostess, who offers freshly baked bread and ceremonial tea steeped in local tradition.

The journey continues to the charming village of Imlil, nestled in the Toubkal National Park. Here, a hike through the valleys offers breathtaking views of Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak, and leads you to a hidden waterfall, a secret spot your guide is eager to show.

Lunch in the village of Aroumd introduces you to the cultural tapestry of Moroccan flavors with a homemade Berber Tagine, a sensory feast. The return trip to Marrakech through Tahannaout offers a peek into the vibrant life of its weekly market, a cornerstone of local culture.

As your day concludes, we’ll whisk you back to your Marrakech hotel, leaving you enriched with unforgettable memories. This day trip is more than a tour; it’s a journey through the heart of Morocco’s majestic landscapes and its soulful Berber culture, designed for adventurers, culture enthusiasts, and photographers alike.

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is not just a journey through the Atlas Mountains but an immersion into the heart of Morocco. It combines the natural splendor of the mountains with cultural insights and personal encounters with the local Berber population. It’s an opportunity to experience Morocco’s famous hospitality, taste its culinary delights, and explore its rich traditions and breathtaking landscapes.

Know Before You Go

  • You'll receive a confirmation upon booking.
  • Sturdy walking shoes are advisable, particularly for the walk to the waterfalls.
  • Feel free to chat with your guide about the duration of your walk.
  • Please note that this tour is not suitable for wheelchairs.
  • The hike in Toubkal National Park is optional and requires to be modeately fit.
  • This is a private tour, exclusively for your group.

Meeting And Pick-up Details

  • Start : 09:00 AM
  • End : 05:00 PM
  • Location : Direct hotel pick-up. For accommodations not accessible by car, a guide will meet you and escort you to the vehicle.

Cancellation Policy

  • You have the flexibility to cancel up to 72 hours before the experience for a complete refund.
  • If the weather is exceptionally poor, you can choose to reschedule the tour for another date.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is the atlas mountains from marrakech.

The distance between Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains is 65 Km (40.38 miles). Imlil is the principal town used as a hiker base to climb the Atlas Mountains.

What is the best time to visit the Atlas Mountains?

The best time to visit the Atlas Mountains is the fall and spring. If you are a ski fan, you can also visit Oukaimeden ski resort during winter. However, Ourika Valley, on the slopes of the High Atlas Mountains is a popular destination for locals escaping Marrakech summer heat on a day excursion from Marrakech.

What do i wear for a day trip in the Atlas Mountains?

Choosing what to wear for the Atlas Mountains depends on the season: Light clothes during early fall and late spring as the temperature in the Atlas Mountains is mild and sunny. However, it would be best to pack warm clothes for winter and early spring.

What are the Atlas Mountains famous for?

Morocco’s Atlas Mountains are famous for trekking and skiing and represent an excellent opportunity for a moderate walk and visit Berber communities. They are also amazing destinations to explore on a day excursion from Marrakech.

What is the Climate of the High Atlas Mountains?

During summer, the altitude level of the Atlas Mountains offers cooler temperatures. However, exposed valley’s temperatures can reach up to 30 °C. Thunderstorms and heavy showers are occasional during summer seasons in the Atlas Mountains. In winter, the high altitudes are exposed to freezing weather and heavy snow. Toubkal summit ( 4167 m above sea level ) is covered in snow from late November to late May. During the day, the temperature can range from 10°C to 20°C. Although the spring season is wet in the Atlas Mountains, and possible floods are caused by occasional rain and melting snow, there will be many dry and sunny days, representing an excellent occasion for visitors and trekking fans to enjoy the Atlas Mountains. The fall (September / October) is undoubtedly the best time to visit the Atlas Mountains, thanks to its dry weather and mild temperatures.

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Silas Mercer

It was truly a wonderful and fresh adventure that I would enthusiastically suggest to everyone. Our driver, Mohamed, was an outstanding tour guide who ensured we felt right at home and shared all the important details with us. He truly elevated the experience beyond our expectations. We gathered at a designated spot and then embarked on a journey to the Agafay desert, where we not only enjoyed tea but also had the chance to ride camels. After that, we had the incredible opportunity to meet a local family of berbers who graciously taught us the art of making authentic Moroccan tea. Moving forward, we ventured into the stunning Atlas Mountains, treating ourselves to a captivating tour of the mountainous region. And to top it all off, we indulged in a delicious tagine meal with a breathtaking view of the mountains.

Ignacio Rojas

I highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Marrakech! Our guide, Hassan, was absolutely fantastic. He led us to a local Berber friend’s house for an incredible Moroccan breakfast, where we got a firsthand look at their lifestyle and learned about their daily routines. We had numerous chances to take memorable photos. We journeyed through the Agafay desert and continued to the Atlas Mountains, which offered stunning views. Hassan even took us to his family’s home in the Atlas Mountains, treating us to tea with breathtaking vistas. We enjoyed a short walk to witness a beautiful waterfall as well. The day also included a Moroccan lunch in a charming mountain town, with more opportunities for photos. We explored a women’s cooperative and wrapped up the day with a camel ride. This jeep safari is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the Berber way of life, guided by someone knowledgeable and friendly!

Arata Tanaka

We had a fantastic outing with our guide, LAhcen! He skillfully highlighted the key aspects of the excursion and accommodated our preferences throughout the day. His driving was excellent, and he provided valuable assistance. Thanks once more!

Luciano Costa

Our guide was really friendly and did a great job explaining the various villages and places we visited. We had a quick stop at a shop where they produce argan products, and we got to taste tea, oil, and honey. When we reached the Atlas Mountains, we visited a Berber house and even got to prepare a tagine ourselves. In the afternoon, we explored the Agafay desert, taking photos and going on a 4×4 adventure. I highly recommend this! Many thanks to Ali for making this day so wonderful.

Emilian Kova?

The excursion was truly worth it. It offers a fresh perspective on the country and its people compared to the usual city experience. Venturing into the mountains and Agafay desert, we enjoyed breathtaking views. The Berber villages we visited went the extra mile to prepare delicious food, and we were treated to stunning waterfalls. It was fascinating to witness the process of making Argan oil. The camel tour was decent, and overall, it was a very pleasant trip that provided a unique experience. On a personal note, it was a bit disheartening to observe how animals are often used for tourism or other purposes, rather than being cared for. Nevertheless, the excursion itself was cozy and enjoyable. Our guide shared a wealth of information and was extremely friendly. This experience was truly valuable, and we’re thrilled that we went for it. The warm and welcoming attitude of everyone involved added to the overall charm of the trip.

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11 Top-Rated Things to Do in Morocco's High Atlas Region

Written by Jess Lee Updated Dec 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Morocco's rugged High Atlas region is home to the country's most raw and spectacular scenery. Villages snuggle into deep valleys or cling precariously to mountain slopes. Snowcapped peaks shimmer on the horizon, while below a carpet of lush green fields rolls out before you.

Panoramic view of Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco's High Atlas region

This is the best place to visit in Morocco for outdoor activities, with hiking, climbing, and mountain biking the most popular things to do.

If working up a sweat isn't on your agenda, the High Atlas also offers plenty of historic tourist attractions. The mudbrick kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou is the region's most famous sight but there's a wealth of traditional kasbah and ksour architecture to explore throughout the region, along with stunning mountain scenery to soak up.

Check out what not to miss with our list of the top things to do in Morocco's High Atlas region.

1. Visit the Magnificent Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou

2. climb jebel toubkal, 3. hike in the dades valley, 4. admire the ouzoud waterfalls, 5. road trip through the draa valley, 6. rock climb or hike in the todra gorge, 7. trek the toubkal circuit, 8. explore the high atlas base town of ouarzazate, 9. discover the kasbahs & countryside around telouet, 10. explore the villages of ait bouguemez valley, 11. enjoy the mountain scenery of the ourika valley, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to morocco's high atlas region, map of things to do in morocco's high atlas region.

Ait Ben Haddou

The mudbrick ksar (fortified village) of Ait Ben Haddou has to be one of Morocco's most photogenic buildings.

Its bulky adobe fortifications stand amid lush fields and orchards of almond trees, overlooking the barren cliffs of the Ounilla Valley, looking as if it has burst organically from the ground.

Ait Ben Haddou's history stretches back to the 11th century, when it was an important stop on the trans-Saharan caravan routes. Today very few villagers inhabit the actual complex, with most families living in the modern village outside the fortified walls.

As one of the finest mudbrick-constructed buildings in the country, it is UNESCO World Heritage listed , and its beauty has charmed Hollywood for decades. Scenes from Lawrence of Arabia , Jesus of Nazareth , and Gladiator , among many others, have all been filmed here.

For the best photos of the surrounding countryside, climb up into the kasbah turrets.

Ait Ben Haddou is 30 kilometers northwest from Ouarzazate and 170 kilometers southeast from Marrakesh. It's a very popular day trip destination from both towns, as well as a major High Atlas stop-off destination for trips heading to the Sahara dunes, so don't expect to have the place to yourself.

Climber atop Jebel Toubkal's snow covered summit

At 4,167 meters above sea level, Jebel Toubkal is North Africa's highest peak and Morocco's most popular mountain ascent.

At the base of the mountain, the village of Imlil is fully set up for trekkers who want to tackle the two-day guided ascent to Toubkal's summit with abundant accommodation and guide services.

During summer, the mountain trek is non-technical, though scree slopes and altitude make the trek challenging. Nevertheless, this is the High Atlas's most popular trek.

Most trekkers overnight at the Toubkal Refuge at the end of the first day's trek before a very early start the next morning to head to the summit before descending on the same route.

Imlil is only 67 kilometers south from Marrakesh, so the trek is an easy High Atlas add-on to a trip to the city.

Dades Valley

The Dades Valley is one of Morocco's prime walking and hiking destinations due to the weird rock formations, crumbling kasbah buildings, tiny villages, and stunning mountain scenery inside the gorge.

Nature-lovers should keep their eyes peeled for eagle and lammergeyer (bearded vulture) sightings, while trekking fans will simply just love the empty trails here. The switchback road into the valley is an experience in itself.

Several interesting villages are in the nearby vicinity and are worth adding into a trip here.

El Kelaa M'Gouna is the center of Morocco's rose-growing region (used for the famed rose essence), and being here in spring when the flowers bloom is delightful. A souk is held here every Wednesday.

The village of Azlag is renowned for producing the most finely worked daggers in the country, and is home to approximately 120 working blacksmiths. The kasbah is the main sightseeing attraction in the village.

Ouzoud Waterfalls

The Ouzoud Waterfalls (Cascades d'Ouzoud), on the edge of the village of Ouzoud, are one of Morocco's top natural sightseeing attractions, with the water plunging for 110 meters over three waterfall tiers.

The cascades are popular with both local tourists (who come here for weekend picnics) and foreign travelers, and the gorge you hike into to view them from can get busy, particularly when day-trip buses from Marrakesh turn up.

Ouzoud Waterfalls

If you're lucky enough to arrive at the cascades after a lot of rain, the water runs red-brown, creating a highly dramatic and rather otherworldly effect.

Ouzoud is 156 kilometers northeast from Marrakesh and 27 kilometers west of the town of Azilal. Most people come here on a day trip from Marrakesh , but both Ouzoud and Azilal have accommodation options if you want to see the cascades without the crowds.

Draa Valley

The Draa Valley is the gateway to one of Morocco's most famous desert dune fields in the Sahara region beyond, but this High Atlas valley itself is a thoroughly interesting place to visit, with kasbahs (fortified buildings) and ksour (fortified villages; the plural of ksar) architecture and palm grove scenery.

The multitude of traditional mudbrick fortifications along the valley floor is due to the Draa Valley being the route of the trans-Saharan caravans.

Agdz and Tamnougalt are the best places to stop off in the valley. Agdz has two kasbahs that can be explored, while Tamnougalt's labyrinthine ksar is one of the oldest in Morocco.

At the southeastern end of the valley, you'll find Zagora , where the valley ends and Morocco's Sahara region begins.

Zagora has plentiful accommodation options, so it's the Draa Valley's best base. If you're heading into the desert, it's a great place to overnight before driving onwards to the oasis of M'Hamid, which is the base for excursions to the Erg Chigaga dunes.

Todra Gorge

Hemmed in by vast pink- and orange-hued rock walls, the 14-kilometer-long and 300-meter-deep Todra Gorge is Morocco's prime rock-climbing destination and is also popular with trekkers and 4WD tours.

The most popular hike here is the Todra Loop , which takes in some of the best gorge scenery. For climbers, the Pillar du Couchant area in the gorge offers plenty of rock-climbing routes.

Todra Gorge

There are cafés and other services along the gorge basin, as well as some accommodation. And if you've been spending too much time in the cities on your travels, this quiet area makes for an especially peaceful retreat.

High Atlas countryside on the Toubkal Circuit

Morocco's High Atlas has plenty of multi-day trekking routes, but the Toubkal Circuit is among the most popular.

Starting from Imlil and traversing 60 kilometers in a circular route through the hill country surrounding Jebel Toubkal (with an ascent to the mountain's summit on the second to last day), the Toubkal Circuit offers some of the best scenery in the High Atlas, as well as an excellent opportunity to acclimatize properly before tackling Jebel Toubkal.

The trek takes seven days , though some trekkers decide to extend it to break it up into shorter walking days, and/or include a rest day.

Imlil has many trekking operators who can organize Toubkal Circuit trips including guides, mule hire (for carrying packs), and trekking equipment hire.

Ouarzazate

Located on the crossroads between the Draa, Dades, and Ziz Valleys, Ouarzazate is home to the magnificent Taourirt Kasbah.

Surrounded by dramatic landscapes that are beloved by film crews (scenes from Gladiator , Kundun , and Alexander the Great have all been filmed in the surrounding countryside), this town has become a popular base before setting out on excursions farther into the High Atlas region.

The weekly Sunday market is a vibrant affair that sells everything from produce to craftwork. Don't miss it if you're in town at the time.

Taourirt Kasbah is town's only real sightseeing attraction. Built in the 19th century, the kasbah was used extensively by the Glaoui family in the early 20th century, who ruled over much of this region during that time.

The Tifoultoute Kasbah is nine kilometers west of town. It's a wonderfully well-preserved mudbrick fortress, with jaw-dropping views from the tops of its towers, where storks can often be seen nesting. Built in the early 20th century, this Kasbah, like the one at Ouarzazate, was constructed for the Glaoui family, who once ruled over this area.

Telouet's Glaoui Kasbah

Often visited on day trips from Marrakesh, Telouet's kasbah is a mighty fortress built in the 19th century (and extensively extended in the early 20th century) by the ruling El Glaoui family.

Pasha Thami El Glaoui became the ruler of Marrakesh after aligning himself with the French colonizing forces.

Telouet

The kasbah is an atmospheric, though much dilapidated, place, with a warren of rooms inside that still feature some of their original sumptuous decorations.

Telouet is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding countryside, particularly 4WD trips and hikes in the Ounila Valley between isolated traditional villages. In particular, don't miss Anmiter with its crumbling kasbah.

Ait Bouguemez Valley

Ait Bouguemez, in the north of the High Atlas, offers stunning scenery of the valley's lush farmland rimmed by rugged bare foothills backgrounded by snowcapped peaks.

The valley's villages have held onto much of their traditional mudbrick character, and there is plenty of choice of friendly and simple family-run guesthouses speckled throughout the area, particularly around the village of Tabant, making this a popular nature getaway for anyone who enjoys hiking, nature, and exploring local culture.

The large mudbrick circular shrine of Sidi Moussa (a local Muslim holy man) sits on a hill within the valley and is a major landmark, while walks between the valley's villages make for easygoing hikes.

Those here specifically for more adventurous trekking opportunities will either want to tackle the 4,068-meter-high summit of Irhil M'Goun, or head out on the four-day M'Goun Traverse trek, which starts from the village of Agouti.

Access to Ait Bouguemez Valley is usually from the town of Azilal, 70 kilometers to the north. Azilal itself is 165 kilometers east of Marrakech. There isn't much in the way of public transport from Azilal, so many people choose to come here as part of a tour or by self-driving.

Ourika Valley

One of the easiest parts of the High Atlas region to visit from Marrakesh (only 50 kilometers west of the city and within easy reach for weekender tourists and day visitors), the Ourika Valley is one of Morocco's most popular regions for outdoor activities.

Surrounded by lush green fields, this valley is home to stunning waterfalls and some excellent hiking trails .

Most day-trippers head to the village of Setti Fatma , from where there's a hike-scramble up to nearby waterfalls and plenty of panoramic views of mountain peaks in the distance.

The village is also a good base for farther forays, as well as being the start of the Jebel Yagour trek which usually takes three days.

  • Full-Day Sightseeing Tour: The Atlas Mountains Day Tour from Marrakesh is a full day of exploring the High Atlas valleys, giving you a taster of the raw, natural beauty on Marrakesh's doorstep. The itinerary visits Ourika Valley, including a short (90 minute) guided hike to its waterfalls with stunning mountain vistas along the way, then drives through the scenic Oukaimeden Valley to Sidi Faris Valley, where a traditional Berber lunch is included. Afterwards, the tour continues through Asni Valley for more great photography opportunities of snow-capped peaks fronted by fertile countryside. A qualified mountain guide and all transport, with pickup and drop-off from Marrakesh hotels, is included.
  • Hot Air Ballon Ride: The Hot Air Ballooning Ride from Marrakech gives you vistas of the foothills and High Atlas peaks from above; great for photographers who want to capture some panoramic early morning shots. It includes all transport, including pickup and drop-off from Marrakesh hotels, a 40- to 50-minute hot air ballooning flight, a hearty traditional breakfast, and a short camel ride in Marrakesh's Palmeraie area afterwards. All tour guests also receive a flight certificate.

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The Mountains and Onwards: Morocco's countryside is a joy to explore. Head to Tetouan , from where you can delve into the Rif Mountain region with its ample hiking opportunities. After Atlas Mountain adventures head to Marrakesh for its medina and many historic monuments or head onto the coast for some beach time at Agadir .

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Away With Maja

A daytrip to the atlas mountains from marrakech.

The view over the Agafay Desert to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

One of the highlights of my trip to Marrakech over Christmas was a day spent exploring the Atlas Mountains. This part of country is relatively easy to access from Marrakech on a guided tour – there are lots of tour operators that offer daytrips to the area. I traveled with my friend on this trip, and we both agreed that this was one of our favorite experiences! Our guide, Rachid, was awesome, and we both learned so much. Here’s what our day in the Atlas Mountains was actually like! You can book the exact tour we did on Get Your Guide .

A photo stop near a village on the way to the Atlas Mountains.

Getting to the Atlas Mountains

Our tour included a pickup from our accommodation, which was easy to find. They messaged us on WhatsApp with a pin to the exact location on GoogleMaps, and our meeting time – which was 8:35am. Once we picked everyone else up for the trip, we set off for the mountains! Our first stop was an argan oil cooperative, where we had mint tea (this was a common theme for the day!) and a light breakfast/snack of bread and dips.

Imlil, a Berber village, nestled in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

Then we got back on the road and headed to Imlil, a Berber village in the mountains. This village is the starting point for the trek up Mount Toubkal (the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains and the highest in North Africa), so there are lots of outdoor gear shops.

Waterfalls near Imlil in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

Hiking Around Berber Villages

Our group set off for a short hike (about 30 minutes) from Imlil to a pretty waterfall. Then, we hiked around the valley to different Berber villages. One of them was the village where our guide Rachid was from – we actually stopped at his mom’s house for mint tea and walnuts! This was such a unique experience, one we definitely wouldn’t have had without this guide. It was a beautiful day, even in December, and we spent just over an hour walking along the paths, tracks, and roads to get to our restaurant for lunch.

The restaurant and mountain view at Riad Atlas 4 All Seasons in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

Lunch at Riad Atlas 4 Seasons

Lunch was included on our tour, and we ate at Riad Atlas 4 Seasons for our three-course meal. The setting of the restaurant, with a beautiful terrace, was absolutely incredible! I couldn’t believe we got to eat lunch with these kind of views, overlooking the mountains and the Berber villages dotted along the valley around us. Then, it was time for a very short walk back to Imlil, where the van could pick us up.

A line of camels in the Agafay Desert, with mountains in the background.

A Camel Ride in the Agafay Desert

Our final stop of the day was in the Agafay Desert, which was about an hour’s drive from our last stop in the Atlas Mountains. I can’t say I enjoyed the camel ride very much – it was nerve-wracking being so high up, and I was a bit worried about falling off! But I’m glad I did it and had the experience at least once. Then it was time for another mint tea before one last photo stop in the desert. This was one of my favorite spots of the whole day – the desert scenery is just stunning!

Back to Marrakech

It only took about 1 hour to get from the desert back to Marrakech. We got dropped off in the same spot, right outside the medina gate, which was very convenient for us. We arrived about 5:00pm, so it was a complete day out of the city – but not overly exhausting!

Book this exact tour on Get Your Guide below!

Maja in the Agafay Desert in Morocco.

I absolutely loved this day exploring the Atlas Mountains, hiking between Berber villages, sipping mint tea, and learning about Berber culture. It was a fantastic way to see more of Morocco, and one of my favorite things that I did on my trip to Marrakech. Whether you do this exact tour or another one, I hope this post inspires you to visit the mountains, even if it’s just for a day!

Have you visited the Atlas Mountains, either on a daytrip or a longer adventure? What was your experience like?

You might also like my posts:

What to See and Do in Marrakech, Morocco

How Much Does it Cost to Spend 1 Week in Marrakech?

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Grand Morocco

DAY TRIP FROM MARRAKECH TO ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Marrakech Day Trips

This day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains includes a camel trek, ATV quad bikes, mule trek, private lunch with a Berber family and many surprises.

TRIP OVERVIEW

• Capture the grandeur of the high Atlas Mountains landscapes and the stunning Ourika Valley during this day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains .

• Discover the culture of traditional Berber life and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with a local Berber family.

• Discover the wonders of a Camel ride, while enjoying the wondrous landscapes during your day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains.

• Experience a unique visit to an Argan oil cooperative and mule ride through fascinating villages.

•  Be delighted by a leisurely hike around Imlil water falls and visit Asni local Market (Saturday only).

• Indulge in a marvelous typical lunch in traditional Berber guest house and be delighted at the picturesque fields of Almond, Peach and Walnut groves in Imlil valley.

• Fuel your adventurous spirit with 1 hour off road quad biking.

Day Trip From Marrakech To Atlas Mountains

TRIP ITINERARY

This exciting day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains, full day of surprises, will start by picking you up at 08.00 Am from your accommodation in Marrakech. Then drive to The Atlas mountains through the first stunning Ourika Valley, to experience one of the best preserved valley landscapes in Morocco. Enjoy panoramic views of the lush landscape, fed by the Ourika river, as the water flows from the High Atlas Mountains and runs towards the Imperial city of Marrakech.

After an hour from Marrakech, the first stop along the valley will be in Ourika village,  where you will visit a local Berber family house, to learn how those rural Berber families live, their lifestyle and learn how Moroccan mint tea is made. It is a chance to share a local traditional Berber breakfast, made by the family and learn a bit about them. Then you will stop to experience a short camel ride while you enjoy amazing landscapes and spectacular views of the Atlas mountains.

You will continue your way to foot hills, passing through several authentic, traditional Berber villages built from Adobe clay and stones, at an elevation of 2400 metres. You will enjoy the dramatic and breathtaking views of The Atlas Mountains, mostly covered in snow all the year. Next you will go onto the second valley, which is Sidi Fares. Moving on, you will reach the third valley, which is Asni valley , famous for its fruit and nut trees, apples, walnuts, almonds and peaches.

Asni is a small village which has a beautiful valley crossing it. In Asni, every Saturday, there is a big traditional market where Berber families and all mountain folk come, to make their purchases. People coming from a distance, use their mules as a main form of transport and use them for carrying what they buy. Don’t forget to have your cameras ready to photograph the highest peak in North Africa and 2nd highest in the African Continent, The Toubkal mountain at elevation of 4167 metres (13,665) feet.

You continue via the spectacular Asni Valley until you get to Imlil  village. The film Seven Years in Tibet was part filmed in the village. From here, you will meet with our local expert mountain guide with the mule team which will take you to explore Imlil impressive waterfalls through narrow mountain trails.

After a short stop for photo opportunities, you will return-hike via the same route, to meet your mule team. You will ride through small Berber villages. On arrival at a typical Berber house, you will be welcomed with mint tea and discover the authentic life of the Berber people and their culture.

During this day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains, we will arrange an included and delicious lunch Moroccan salad or soup, Berber Tagine, Moroccan couscous, dessert and drinks, situated in a charming panoramic landscape with views towards the High Atlas Mountains and Imlil Berber villages. After lunch, you continue your journey into the Moroccan countryside via Lalla Takerkoust Lake, a serene sapphire-blue artificial lake, where you will enjoy a 1 hour off-road Quad biking, full of fun, amusement and adrenaline !

Return to Marrakech and conclude your thrilling day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains with drop-off at your accommodation at approx 18h PM.

TRIP GALLERY

day trip from marrakech to atlas mountains

What is included

in this day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains

  • Travel in an air-conditioned 4WD, with a professional, licenced English speaking driver/guide
  • Pick up / drop off from and to your accommodation in Marrakech.
  • WiFi  hotspot in the car + 2 bottles of water per each during this day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains.
  • Breakfast in a traditional Berber house.
  • Camel ride in the Atlas mountains.
  • Traditional lunch in a Berber house.
  • Guided hiking.
  • Guided mule team ride & Quad bike riding for 1 hour.

What is not included

  • Travel insurance.
  • Flight ticket.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Snacks, incidentals and drinks not mentioned during this day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains.

Please note:

  • This day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains can be cancelled because of bad weather.
  • Vegetarian food is available for lunch.
  • We advise you bring closed shoes for hiking.
  • For families with children, during the quad bike excursion, children under 15 years of age will ride as passengers, either with their parents or our guides.

Book this tour

Book This Trip

Day trip from marrakech to atlas mountains.

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Direct email :

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+212 698 088 171

Please Note : This Day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains is customised by Grand Morocco Travel agency. “ If this excursion do not match what you are looking for, please Contact us and we will tailor-make an excursion to suite your require ments ” .

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Pommie Travels

Day Trip to The Atlas Mountains From Marrakech

The splendor of the Atlas Mountains has been attracting travelers from across the globe for years. Just a few hours away from Marrakech , the breathtaking beauty of the Atlas Mountains provides an unforgettable experience, whether you admire it from afar or venture towards its peaks.

After you’ve spent a day or two exploring the heady and beguiling city of Marrakech, a visit to this beautiful mountain region provides a peaceful and serene escape, away from all the hustle and bustle. You’ll see a whole different side to Morocco that you may not have realized existed.

In this article, we will guide you through taking a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, ensuring you enjoy every moment of this magnificent adventure.

How to Get to The Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

There are a few different options for getting to the Atlas Mountains. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from the following:

Organized Tour

Several companies offer guided day trips to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. This option is perfect for first-time visitors, or for those who prefer not to concern themselves with transportation details. Tours typically include transportation, a local guide, lunch, and sometimes entrance fees. You can book a tour online using GetYourGuide or Viator.

If you prefer a more independent journey, consider renting a car. This grants you the freedom to explore at your leisure, without being tied to a group itinerary. Ensure you have a valid driver’s license and proper insurance in Morocco.

Taxi or Private Driver

Marrakech offers services for hiring taxis or private drivers for the day. While this choice may be more expensive, it is an excellent way to enjoy the experience without the stress of navigating unfamiliar roads. When I visited Morocco with some friends, we chose to hire a driver to take us to the Atlas Mountains, which gave us some flexibility to do whatever we wanted.

Best Places to Visit in the Atlas Mountains

During your day trip to the Atlas Mountains, you’ll have numerous picturesque destinations to choose from:

Nestled within the cradle of the High Atlas Mountains, the welcoming village of Imlil is a destination worth a stop. Noted for its scenic beauty, Imlil is more than a traditional Berber village; it’s the trailhead for ascending to Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.

Beginning in Imlil, the trek to scale Mount Toubkal is a popular activity with tourists. The journey offers not just an exhilarating hiking experience but also panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the Sahara Desert. The trek usually takes two (more relaxed) up to three days (more challenging) so you won’t have time to do it if you’re planning just a day trip.

If you do plan to stay longer, guides are generally recommended for this trek, particularly for those with lesser mountain experience. There are various levels for guides, from basic to certified mountain guides, to help ensure a safe and exciting journey. You can arrange these in Imlil.

On our day trip to the Atlas Mountains, we chose to visit Imlil and the Kasbah du Toubkal .

Located just a short distance from Imlil, the Kasbah du Toubkal is a restored mountain refuge that offers breathtaking panoramic vistas of the Atlas Mountains. Now transformed into a luxurious eco-lodge, this former fortress provides guests with a fantastic blend of tradition and comfort.

With its authentic Berber design and furnishings, peace-filled atmosphere, and warm hospitality, a visit to the Kasbah du Toubkal makes for a unique and memorable encounter with Moroccan mountain culture.

It’s a bit of a climb to get to the Kasbah du Toubkal, so we we were transported there by mule. The scenery from the Kasbah is breathtaking, and you can spend a couple of hours here just soaking it all in and enjoying some refreshing mint tea.

The region surrounding Imlil is a hiker’s haven, with numerous trails meandering through valleys, traditional Berber settlements, and across rugged mountain landscapes. Walnut groves and apple orchards surround the area, adding to the overall allure.

The village of Imlil itself offers visitors a glimpse of authentic Berber life. Venturing through the village, you’ll notice the rustic stone homes that exemplify traditional Berber architecture and lifestyle. The inhabitants are primarily involved in farming or tourism-related activities, often welcoming guests into their homes offering bread, honey, and traditional mint tea – a symbol of hospitality within Berber culture.

The village’s local market is a bustling hub of activity, offering a variety of fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, and Berber rugs, which make great souvenirs from your trip . Trips to the Atlas Mountains would not be complete without indulging in some local cuisine, such as tajine (a slow-cooked stew) or couscous, often accompanied by local honey and freshly baked bread.

Remember, taking a trip to Imlil is not only about reaching new heights on Mount Toubkal. It’s also about immersing yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of the Berber way of life. So, take time to breathe in the views, converse with the local inhabitants, and appreciate the serene beauty that Imlil presents.

Ourika Valley

Ourika Valley, an idyllic retreat from Marrakech’s bustling city life, is a frequently visited oasis beautifully tucked away in the Atlas Mountains’ foothills. This fertile valley is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, cascading waterfalls, traditional Berber villages, and enchanting mountainscape. A trip to the Ourika Valley promises to be an unforgettable journey into the heart of Morocco’s natural beauty.

One of the Valley’s most magnificent attractions is its ‘seven waterfalls,’ a series of waterfalls cascading through the region. Set amongst stunning, verdant landscapes, these waterfalls offer an undeniable charm. Visitors can experience guided treks to the falls, with locals waiting to help people navigate the more challenging rocky paths. Be prepared for a bit of an adventurous climb and make sure to wear robust footwear. Once you reach the top, take a moment to soak in the breathtaking panorama over the valley.

Ourika Valley is dotted with small Berber villages clinging to hillsides and hidden in beautiful greenery. Efficiently spread along the riverbanks, these villages embody the traditional architectural style and provide tourists with an opportunity to gain insights into the Berber way of life. Many residents of these quaint hamlets still follow customary pastoral practices and are more than delighted to share their culture with interested visitors.

Ourika Valley is often celebrated for its extraordinary landscapes that create a serene environment for outdoor lovers. The towering mountains, lush terraced fields, and verdant orchards create a picture-perfect setting. Whether you choose to hike up the mountainside, explore the riverside, or simply relax amidst the beautiful backdrop, the landscape is sure to amaze you with its vastness and beauty.

If your visit falls on a Monday, do not miss the chance to explore the local souk (market) held in the village of Tnine de l’Ourika. Explore a myriad of colorful stalls selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to crafts, spices, and traditional Berber jewelry. The souk presents an excellent chance to practice your bargaining skills and walk away with a fine Moroccan gem.

While the Ourika Valley makes a comfortable day trip from Marrakech, its serene charm and attractiveness may tempt you to linger a little longer.

In the serene expanse of the High Atlas region lies the tranquil village of Ouirgane. Well removed from the rush of Morocco’s bustling urban centers, the scenic rural landscape of Ouirgane presents the perfect backdrop for a peaceful mountain retreat. The area is increasingly becoming known for its charming eco-lodges and excellent cycling opportunities.

Arresting in its natural beauty, Ouirgane is nestled amidst a landscape of rolling hills, verdant mountains, and picturesque olive, almond, and citrus groves. It’s an undisputed haven for nature aficionados, promising uninterrupted hours of bird watching, wildflower spotting, and exploring the mesmerising variety of the local flora and fauna.

Ouirgane has seen a surge in ecological tourism, supported largely by a variety of eco-lodges and accommodations that have sprung up in the area. Sustainability measures taken by these lodges include water preservation, use of local materials in construction, and generating employment for locals. These eco-lodges provide an authentic experience of living amidst nature while ensuring minimal harm to the environment. Most of these accommodations offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, providing the ultimate experience of staying in the heart of the High Atlas Mountains.

The varied topography and sublime beauty of Ouirgane makes it a favored destination for cyclists and trekking enthusiasts. The village serves as both a start and end point for numerous cycling routes and trails leading through the High Atlas. These routes wind through captivating paths flanked by olive groves and Berber villages, offering a fascinating insight into the Moroccan countryside. Irrespective of your fitness level, the local tour guides can suggest a variety of trails to suit your comfort and desire for adventure.

Steeped in tradition and daily Moroccan life, the village of Ouirgane is an ode to simplicity. Residents live much as they have for centuries, and many are welcoming to visitors showing curiosity about their way of life. The warmth and hospitality of its people enhances the charm of Ouirgane, rendering it a place that invites you to slow down and appreciate life’s simpler pleasures.

When one thinks of visiting Morocco, skiing is usually not on the list of anticipated activities. Yet, in the shadow of the magnificent High Atlas Mountains, Oukaimeden eagerly defies such expectations. Known for being one of the highest ski resorts in Africa and a hub for snow sports enthusiasts, Oukaimeden transforms into a delightful winter wonderland during the cold months.

Situated at 2,600m above sea level with slopes reaching up to 3,200m, Oukaimeden boasts decent vertical drops and a variety of runs to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The ski season typically runs from December to March, depending on the snow conditions. The resort offers a variety of gear for rent, and local mountain guides are available for lessons.

The resort is equipped with modern cable cars and chair lifts to transport skiers up to the higher slopes. The chairlift ride promises mesmerizing panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains covered in fresh white snow, making it a memorable experience for both skiers and non-skiers.

Beyond the thrill of winter sports, Oukaimeden presents a fantastic base for further exploration of the High Atlas region. During the off-season or in non-snow hours, consider embarking on a scenic hike or arranging a guided tour to the surrounding Berber villages.

What sets Oukaimeden apart from many other ski resorts around the globe is its deeply local feel, reflective of the broader Berber culture in the region. The area is encircled by several Berber villages, presenting visitors with an opportunity to explore the unique customs, traditions, and way of life of the indigenous inhabitants of the region.

Apart from the day visitors from Marrakech, there are a few hotels and rentals available for travelers who wish to extend their stay. To refuel after a day of adventure, enjoy delicious Moroccan cuisine in local restaurants giving you the chance to warm up with some traditional mint tea and a hearty tajine.

In essence, Oukaimeden offers an immersive experience that combines the thrill of winter sports with an intimate exploration of Berber culture, all set against the stunning backdrop of the High Atlas Mountains. Its unique blend of attractions makes it a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts alike.

Weather and Climate in the Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains have a Mediterranean climate, offering pleasant temperatures in the spring and fall. During the summer months, temperatures can be scorching, so it is essential to stay hydrated and protected from the sun. Winters can be cold and snowy – be sure to pack accordingly if you plan to visit during these months.

What to Bring on Your Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains

To ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey, consider packing the following items:

  • Comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes
  • Layers (temperatures may vary throughout the day)
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses)
  • Insect repellent
  • Small backpack
  • Snacks and water
  • Local currency (Moroccan Dirham) for shopping at local markets and tipping guides

A Final Word…

Embarking on a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is an opportunity to experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes the world has to offer. Exploring the mountainous terrain, visiting authentic Berber villages, and relishing in the beauty of this region makes for an unforgettable adventure.

So, grab your camera, lace up your hiking shoes, and get ready for a memorable day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech!

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Creative Travel Guide

Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech in 2024

By Author Katie

Posted on Last updated: March 21, 2024

Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech in 2024

A day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is a must-visit for many. We share the best way to travel to this stunning landmark.

Nestled amidst the vibrant chaos of Marrakech, where the air buzzes with the meld of spices, the chatter of merchants, and the vivid colors of the souks, lies the gateway to an entirely different experience. This is truly one of the best things to do in Marrakech , making an Atlas Mountains day trip a must.

Just a stone’s throw from the city’s heat, the cool, crisp air of the mountains offers not just a breath of fresh air but a glimpse into the soul of Morocco.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a curious traveler looking to explore beyond the well-trodden paths, this journey from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains is one that beckons with the promise of discovery and enchantment; a must-see destination in Morocco .

How to take a Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

How to take a Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

Getting from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains

The journey from Marrakech to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains is as thrilling as the destination itself. There are many incredible places to visit in Africa and the Atlas Mountains is a must-see for visitors.

Whether you opt for a rented car, a comfortable private tour, or even public transportation, each mode of travel offers its unique perspectives of Morocco’s changing landscapes, making for the perfect day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech.

The roads wind through plains, valleys, and traditional Berber villages, with the mighty Atlas peaks looming ever closer.

How to travel to the Atlas Mountains

How to travel to the Atlas Mountains

• Private Car : When planning a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, renting and driving is a great option. This is Ideal for those who prefer to travel at their own pace. Renting a car offers flexibility to stop at scenic points, explore lesser-known villages, and fully immerse in the stunning landscapes.

• Guided Tours : Perfect for those seeking insight and knowledge as they explore. Many Marrakech tour operators offer day trips to the Atlas Mountains, including visits to Berber villages, guided treks, and sometimes even a traditional Moroccan lunch.

• Public Transportation : For the adventurous and budget-conscious traveler, buses and shared taxis can provide an authentic experience. This option requires a bit more planning and patience but is a great way to meet locals and fellow travelers.

Best Times to Visit the Atlas Mountains

Best Times to Visit the Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains are a year-round destination, but the best times to visit are spring (April to June) and fall (September to November).

During these months, the weather is mild, making it ideal for trekking and exploring the villages.

Summers can be quite hot, especially in lower elevations, while winters may see snow-capped peaks and chilly temperatures, perfect for those looking for scenic winter landscapes or snow sports in regions like Oukaimeden.

When planning a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, check the seasons and decide what time is best for you and the type of activities you wish to enjoy.

Things to do in Atlas Mountains

Trekking the Atlas Mountains

Trekking and Trails : The Atlas Mountains are a trekker’s paradise, offering routes for all levels.

For a day trip, consider a moderate hike that offers both challenge and stunning views, such as the trek to the Setti Fatma Waterfalls or the trails around Toubkal National Park, home to Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.

Always hire a local guide for the more challenging routes to ensure safety and to gain insights into the natural and cultural significance of the places you explore.

Berber Villages in Morocco

Berber Villages : No visit to the Atlas Mountains is complete without experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the Berber communities.

Imlil is a popular starting point for many treks and a wonderful place to interact with locals, learn about their way of life, and perhaps enjoy a traditional mint tea.

Beyond trekking in the Atlas Mountains, the area is ripe with opportunities for mountain biking, photography, and even skiing in the winter months. Local markets in the villages are perfect for finding handcrafted goods, from woven rugs to handmade jewelry, offering a piece of Berber culture to take home.

Berber Culture

Understanding Berber Culture : The Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa and have a rich cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years. Their traditions, language (Tamazight), and way of life are integral to the Moroccan cultural mosaic.

When visiting Berber villages, take the opportunity to learn about their ancestral skills, such as carpet weaving, agriculture, and the making of Argan oil, a product endemic to Morocco.

Engaging with the Community : Respect and genuine interest are key when engaging with local communities.

Many Berbers speak Tamazight, Arabic, and often French, but even a few words in Tamazight can go a long way in showing respect for their culture. If invited into a home or offered tea, it’s polite to accept as a sign of friendship and respect.

Practical Tips for visiting the Atlas Mountains

visiting the Atlas Mountains

A day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech can be a breathtaking, fun experience but there is some preparation is needed. Morocco is one of the cheapest destinations in the world , so you can plan a trip without spending a fortune too.

Packing Essentials : For a day trip to the Atlas Mountains, pack light but be prepared. Essential items include:

• Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots

• Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for protection against the sun

• Layers of clothing, as temperatures can vary significantly

• Water bottle to stay hydrated

• Camera or smartphone for capturing the stunning landscapes

Weather Considerations : The mountain weather can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to check the forecast before heading out and prepare for sudden changes in weather, especially if you’re trekking.

Dining : While options may be limited in remote areas, many Berber villages offer small restaurants or cafes serving traditional Moroccan dishes. Tagine, a slow-cooked stew, is a must-try, often made with locally sourced ingredients and served with bread.

Things to Know Before You Go to Marrakesh

As the sun dips below the rugged peaks of the Atlas Mountains, casting long shadows over the valleys that have been home to Berber communities for centuries, it’s hard not to feel a profound connection to this land.

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Home Marrakech Excursions Day Trip from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains

Day Trip from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains

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Day Trip to the Atlas Mountains:

Interested in day trips from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains? This type of excursion to Morocco is perhaps one of the best things you can plan for yourself, experience-wise. Group tours to the Ourika valley and the surrounding area are becoming more and more popular these days. It’s high time that you make concrete plans for a tour from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains . Check out this comprehensive guide on what should be included in your day tour to the Atlas Mountains!

Tour Itinerary

Your tour itinerary should at the very least include one full day to explore and see the best of what the Ourika Valley has to offer. This picturesque destination is the nearest tour site from Marrakech, so travel-wise it won’t eat up your time getting here. Your itinerary should begin with a drive to the Atlas Mountains, to take in the lush greenery and sightings of the ancient Berber villages. A hike to the Ourika river is encouraged, so you can start out on foot to really experience being at the heart of this nature sanctuary. An option to ride camelback through the valley is also available to tourists looking for a different experience. A stop at the waterfalls is also a must, both for amazing photo opportunities and a chance to cool off after an exhilarating trek or ride. Cafes and restaurants are widely present in the area, and many offer a breathtaking view of the Atlas Mountains while you discover the best of Moroccan cuisine.

Here is the highlights of a day trip from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains

  • Visit the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech
  • Explore the Valley of Ourika and the seven waterfalls
  • Stay-in with a Berber family. Traditional Berber families are ready to warmly welcome you into their home, where you can spend some time before continuing with the rest of your exploration. With them, you can witness the charm of family and community living in quaint settings, perhaps sharing a meal with them as well.
  • Visit Setti Fatma. This weekend destination favorite is a must-visit because of the seven famed waterfalls, beautiful streams, majestic cliffs, and lush valleys. This region has preserved their medieval agricultural traditions, something that is definitely worth a visit.
  • A visit to a women’s argan oil cooperative. Witness firsthand how the world-famous argan oil is processed, as it is an insider’s peek into a significant part of Moroccan culture that has made an impact all around the world.

With the Ourika valley and the Atlas Mountains a mere one hour travel from Marrakech by car, there is simply no reason why people on day trips from Marrakech should pass up on such a fantastic opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime type of excursion. A tour from Marrakech is never complete without it, simply because it is a kind of cultural experience that takes you straight into the heart of old world Berber lifestyle from which the colorful culture of Morocco evolved. There are many group tours one can join to share the experience with like-minded travelers, or perhaps a solo day tour is the perfect setup for those who relish the idea of solitary discovery and enjoyment. Whichever one you prefer, you are guaranteed to come back from your trip with the highest feeling of satisfaction. Give us a call at + 212 – 649 – 029 – 000 or email [email protected] to start planning your day trip!

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Trips atlas mountains – morocco travel & tours.

Morocco, a captivating country in North Africa, is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes. From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the Sahara Desert’s golden dunes, Morocco offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. In this article, we will explore the wonders of Morocco and discover the best places to visit, cultural highlights, and practical travel tips to make the most of your trip.

Introduction

Morocco, located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, offers a captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern influences. Its diverse landscapes range from the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains to the pristine beaches along the Atlantic coast. Morocco’s unique charm lies in its vibrant souks, historical sites, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or a food lover, Morocco has something for everyone.

Getting to Know Morocco

Geographical overview.

Morocco is situated in the northwest corner of Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It shares borders with Algeria and Western Sahara. The country’s diverse geography encompasses coastal plains, fertile valleys, rugged mountains, and expansive deserts.

Climate and Weather

Morocco experiences a Mediterranean climate along the coast, with hot summers and mild winters. Inland regions have a more continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The Sahara Desert in the south is extremely hot and dry throughout the year.

Cultural Diversity

Morocco is a melting pot of cultures, influenced by Arab, Berber, and European traditions. The local population embraces their unique heritage, and you’ll find a fusion of languages, cuisines, and customs. Arabic is the official language, but Berber languages and French are also widely spoken.

Top Destinations in Morocco

Morocco is dotted with captivating destinations that showcase its beauty and cultural heritage. Here are some must-visit places in Morocco:

Marrakech, the vibrant “Red City,” is a feast for the senses. Its bustling medina (old town) is a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering an enchanting maze of narrow streets, colorful souks, and architectural wonders like the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque. Don’t miss the lively Jemaa el-Fnaa square, where street performers, food stalls, and snake charmers create an electric atmosphere.

Fes, the spiritual and intellectual capital of Morocco, is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture. The UNESCO-listed medina of Fes is one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas and home to fascinating landmarks such as the University of Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest university in the world. Explore the narrow alleyways and discover traditional tanneries, ornate mosques, and vibrant markets.

Chefchaouen

Nestled in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a picturesque town famous for its blue-washed buildings. The charming streets and alleyways create a tranquil ambiance, making it a haven for photographers and artists. Explore the local markets, visit the 15th-century Grand Mosque, and hike to the Spanish Mosque for panoramic views of the town.

Sahara Desert

A trip to Morocco is incomplete without experiencing the vastness of the Sahara Desert. Embark on a camel trek and venture into the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga. Spend a night in a traditional desert camp, immerse yourself in the silence of the desert, and witness the awe-inspiring sunset and starry night sky.

Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains offer breathtaking landscapes and fantastic outdoor activities. Hike through the scenic valleys, visit Berber villages, and climb to the summit of Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. The Atlas Mountains provide a refreshing escape from the bustling cities and a chance to connect with nature.

Exploring Moroccan Culture

Traditional cuisine.

Moroccan cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by Arab, Berber, and Mediterranean culinary traditions. Indulge in aromatic tagines, couscous dishes, and flavorful Moroccan mint tea. Don’t miss trying local street food and visiting food markets to savor the authentic flavors of Morocco.

Moroccan Tea Culture

Morocco is famous for its tea culture, and sharing a cup of mint tea is an essential part of Moroccan hospitality. Tea is brewed with fresh mint leaves and an abundance of sugar, creating a refreshing and sweet beverage. Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and immerse yourself in the Moroccan tea-drinking rituals.

Arts and Crafts

Morocco has a rich artistic heritage, reflected in its intricate handicrafts and traditional arts. Explore the vibrant souks and discover exquisite carpets, colorful ceramics, intricate metalwork, and beautiful leather goods. Witness local artisans at work and take home unique pieces that showcase Moroccan craftsmanship.

Outdoor Adventures in Morocco

Trekking in the atlas mountains.

The Atlas Mountains offer a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. Embark on a multi-day trek and explore the stunning valleys, high mountain passes, and remote Berber villages. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery, encounter local wildlife, and experience the warm hospitality of the Berber people.

Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert

Embarking on a camel trek in the Sahara Desert is a truly unforgettable experience. Traverse the vast dunes on camelback and witness the ever-changing colors of the desert landscape. Spend the night in a traditional desert camp, enjoying a traditional Berber dinner and immersing yourself in the tranquility of the desert.

Surfing in Essaouira

For water sports enthusiasts, the coastal town of Essaouira offers excellent surfing conditions. Its wide sandy beaches and consistent winds attract surfers of all levels. Take surf lessons, rent a board, and ride the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Essaouira also offers a laid-back atmosphere, charming medina, and fresh seafood to enjoy after a day of surfing.

Practical Tips for Traveling to Morocco

Visa requirements and entry.

Before traveling to Morocco, check the visa requirements for your country of residence. Some nationalities may require a visa, while others may be eligible for visa-free entry or visa on arrival. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.

Currency and Money Exchange

The official currency of Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). Exchange currency at authorized exchange offices or banks upon arrival. Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas, but it’s advisable to carry cash for small purchases and in remote areas.

Transportation within Morocco

Morocco has a well-developed transportation network, including trains, buses, and taxis. The train system connects major cities, while buses are available for both short and long-distance travel. Shared taxis, known as grand taxis, are a popular mode of transportation for intercity travel. Consider hiring a private driver for a more personalized experience.

Language and Communication

The official language of Morocco is Arabic, but French is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. English is also spoken in hotels, restaurants, and other tourist establishments. Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can greatly enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

Cultural Etiquette

Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country with strong cultural traditions. Respect the local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. It’s customary to greet locals with a polite “Salam alaykum” (peace be upon you) and show appreciation for Moroccan hospitality.

Morocco, with its captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, offers a truly enchanting travel experience. From the vibrant markets and architectural wonders of Marrakech to the serene tranquility of the Sahara Desert, Morocco has something to offer every traveler. Immerse yourself in the rich traditions, indulge in the flavors of Moroccan cuisine, and explore the diverse landscapes that make Morocco a destination like no other.

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  1. An Epic Day Trip To Atlas Mountains From Marrakech

    The Atlas Mountains are located about 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Marrakech, making it a perfect day trip destination. The journey to the mountains takes around 1.5 hours by car, but it may take longer depending on traffic and weather conditions.

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    Overview. Experience four of the Atlas Mountains' beautiful valleys and traditional Berber life on this full-day trip from Marrakech. Traveling into the mountains by 4x4 or minivan, discover the Ourika Valley with its waterfalls, the villages of the Oukaimeden. Get away from the hustle-bustle of Marrkech to the stunning Atlas Mountains and ...

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    Marrakech is just 55 miles (90 km) from Imlil, a small town and popular travel hub in the High Atlas Mountains . Imlil sits at the base of Mount Toubkal, which is Morocco's highest peak and the second tallest mountain in Africa. Hiring a private transfer is your best option, as this allows the flexibility to stop along the way at the lakes ...

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    The Atlas Mountains and 5 Valleys Day Trip from Marrakech with Berber Lunch. 80. Trade the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh for a peaceful day in the Atlas Mountains. This small-group excursion is a great way to see some of Morocco's natural beauty and learn about Berber culture.

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    A qualified mountain guide and all transport, with pickup and drop-off from Marrakesh hotels, is included. Hot Air Ballon Ride: The Hot Air Ballooning Ride from Marrakech gives you vistas of the foothills and High Atlas peaks from above; great for photographers who want to capture some panoramic early morning shots. It includes all transport ...

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    July 15, 2023. One of the highlights of my trip to Marrakech over Christmas was a day spent exploring the Atlas Mountains. This part of country is relatively easy to access from Marrakech on a guided tour - there are lots of tour operators that offer daytrips to the area. I traveled with my friend on this trip, and we both agreed that this ...

  8. Best Day trip from Marrakech to Atlas Mountains 2023/2024

    TRIP ITINERARY. This exciting day trip from Marrakech to Atlas mountains, full day of surprises, will start by picking you up at 08.00 Am from your accommodation in Marrakech. Then drive to The Atlas mountains through the first stunning Ourika Valley, to experience one of the best preserved valley landscapes in Morocco.

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    Ourika Valley, an idyllic retreat from Marrakech's bustling city life, is a frequently visited oasis beautifully tucked away in the Atlas Mountains' foothills. This fertile valley is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, cascading waterfalls, traditional Berber villages, and enchanting mountainscape. A trip to the Ourika Valley promises ...

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    Best destination in the Atlas Mountains for a short trip from Marrakech. The Ourika Valley lies in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Its expanse of terraced fields and cascading waterfalls are a dramatic change from the dusty Moroccan plains. Most head to Setti Fattma, the last small town on the paved road that heads up the Ourika Valley ...

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    Here is the highlights of a day trip from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains. Visit the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. Explore the Valley of Ourika and the seven waterfalls. Stay-in with a Berber family. Traditional Berber families are ready to warmly welcome you into their home, where you can spend some time before continuing with the rest of ...

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    Nestled in the rugged beauty of Morocco's Atlas Mountains lies a day trip that promises an escape from the bustling city of Marrakech. Imagine yourself standing amidst the towering peaks, their snow-capped summits glistening in the sunlight. The air is crisp and fresh, carrying with it the scent of pine trees and the faint sound of rushing water.

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    Your driver will then take you back to Marrakech where you'll return around 5:30 PM. Saturday and Tuesday tours also include a visit to a local Berber farmers market. Includes. Meeting point pickup and drop-off. Transportation to Atlas Mountains and return. Driver. Local guide. Traditional lunch. 30-minute camel ride.

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    Phone/ WhatsApp: 00212 673 647 763. Email: [email protected]. Website: https://marrakechwithlocals.com. Adress: 164 Iziki Eljadid Marrakech, Morocco. Book One-day Trip from Marrakech to Atlas Mountains-Ourika Valley and explore gorgeous nature, berber culture, people and villages Spreadts along the Valley.

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    Embark on a captivating day trip from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains, exploring Berber villages, visiting an Argan Oil Co-operative, and enjoying breathtaking views. Immerse yourself in the rich Berber culture and savor a traditional meal in a Berber house. Don't miss the chance to ride a camel on your way back to Marrakech. Book now!

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    Spectacular trip through the Atlas Mountains to the Desert - We went on a 3 day, 2 night trip across the Atlas Mountains to the Dades Gorge and then the desert (overnight glamping) with Rachid. It was a spectacular trip in conjunction with Atlas Mountain Guides & Atlas Mountain Bike. We will definitely do the bike & hike when we have some more ...

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