Best Day Trips from Marrakech

Best Day Trips from Marrakech

Best Day Trips from Marrakech

Marrakech, quite literally ‘the Land of God’, stands for close to a thousand years as the epicenter of history and culture. A vastly evocative place on the globe, just the sound of it conjures sandstone buildings, towering minarets and dusty streets against deep blue skies. From Beatles to Sienna Miller, the lands of Marrakech have managed to slap everyone’s senses with its heady sights and dazzling, frazzling and enchanting sounds. Set on the foothills of the snowcapped Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is only a few hours from Sahara Desert.

Gladly, the outskirts and neighboring areas of the city are as authentic as the city itself. From deserts and valleys to coasts and the majestic Atlas Mountains, you can explore a whole world in these best day trips from Marrakech:

1. Telouet and Ait Benhaddou

Visiting Morocco and not getting a glimpse of the deserts and Kasbahs is like visiting Italy and not eating Pizza. As you traverse the Tichka Pass over the High Atlas Mountains, you reach the gateway to Sahara, the greatest desert region of all times! Fortified mud dwellings clustering the steep hillsides, you will witness as much livestock as humans here. Spend your afternoon exploring the Old Glaoui Palace in Telouet, followed by the UNESCO site of Ait Benhaddou. Reach this side of Morocco via bus and train service, taking around 2 hours to reach. You can even drive yourself or even rent a taxi.

2. Cascades Ouzoud

This surprisingly green and moist location is stationed in the front ranges of the High Atlas is a great relief from the chaos of Marrakech city. On a cool or rainy day, Ouzoud is practically heaven! The pool below the cascades offers some really fine hiking opportunities, with excellent vistas up and down the valley. Home to wild apes and countless species of birds, this ‘soon to turn’ Bio Reserve is an intriguing place for wildlife buffs. The gorgeous Berber village, set in the mountains surrounding it, is ideal for a stroll anytime of the year. Grab a lunch at one of the countless terrace restros to have best palate experience ever! Located 150 km north of Marrakech, you can easily reach the place via bus or taxi services, taking less than 2 hours to get there.

3. Essaouira

This vastly low-key and laid back town owes its fame to Jimi Hendrix, who visited the city once and left wanting for more! This gorgeous Atlantic coastal region peppered with Argan trees, Essaouira is most renowned for its fresh seafood, artists’ colony and Thuja Wood Crafts. Watch silver craftsmen and wood carvers displaying their marvel at one of the most charming medina, a setting in the Old Portuguese rampart overlooking the walled city. The city’s expansive beach is perfect for long, introspective walks and swimming to cool off on hot days. In fact, Essaouira has an immensely balanced climate pattern, with winters being warmer than in Marrakech, and summers cool and breezy. Many buses and rental taxis commute from Marrakech to Essaouira, taking somewhere from 2.5 to 3 hours of travel time.

4. Setti Fatma

A soul-searching journey into the High Atlas Mountains takes you to the winding Ourika roads, finally giving you a halt at Setti Fatma. Rappel over the waterfalls, soak your feet in the running streams, lose yourself in the spectacular vistas and finally, retire for a scrumptious Berber omelet and tangines, Setti Fatma is set to let you delve in authentic Moroccan culture. The place is a half an hour drive from Marrakech, and can easily be covered by bus or rental cars.

5. Imlil

The bustling trekking hub of the continent, Imlil is blissfully tucked under Toubkal, the highest mountain range in Northern Africa. Walk up to the Toubkal Kasbah, visit the Asni Saturday Berber Market or simply gawk at the mountain shadows, there is a lot of raw stuff to experience in this road-less town near Marrakech. During Fall the entire village smells of ripened apples, with clear blue skies and pleasant weather making it an ideal place for trekkers and hikers. Avoid planning a day tour in winters; the cold is hardly tolerable. Reach this isolated yet busy town in 1.5 hours by bus. You can even rent a car or self-drive from Marrakech to Imlil.

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