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Day Trips from Marrakech

By Viator, May 2014

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If you’ve explored the Marrakech medina and haggled for bargains in the sprawling souk, heard storytellers weave their magic in the Djemaa el Fna square, and dined al fresco on Moroccan cuisine, it’s time to travel further afield to discover more of the magic of Morocco.

Marrakech sits in the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, North Africa’s chain of mountains linking Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Here, the High Atlas range is cut by the Draa River and Ourika Valley, 30km (19 miles) from Marrakech.

The oasis-like Ourika Valley is a popular day trip destination from Marrakech, offering glimpses of waterfalls, unspoilt landscapes and encounters with Morocco’s traditional Berber people.

The ancient Berber trails winding across the Atlas Mountains cover some pretty rough terrain, so it is best traveled by off-road 4WD on a longer day trip excursion. Drop into the Berber village of Tahanaout for a traditional meal and glass of mint tea, and discover the valley and mountain countryside lying outside Marrakech.

Away from the mountains on the Atlantic coast, Essaouira is a legendary port dating back to the Roman era. Today, the harbor market and winding medina are Essaouira’s highlights, with a jewelers’ quarter and handicrafts complex selling carpets and enameled faience ware.

The citadel fishing port of Essaouira is around 114km (70 miles) from Marrakech, and is a popular windsurfing and kite-surfing destination. Camel excursions wind their way across the long protected beach for a day trip experience with a difference.

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