Aside from serving as Morocco's cultural hub, Marrakech also makes an excellent base for venturing into the nearby dunes, palm groves, beaches, and Atlas Mountain foothills. Here are your options for thrilling outdoor adventures from Marrakech.
When you think Morocco you probably also think desert, and rightfully so. Many of the country's most singular experiences for travelers happen among the dunes and palms of the desert. Camels still serve as a primary mode of transportation here, and a camel trek through the Palmeraie just outside the city is one of the best ways to experience this striking landscape. To contrast old and new, combine camel trekking or horseback riding with some 4WD quad biking as well.
The Atlas Mountains' proximity to Marrakech makes them a perfect day trip destination for adrenaline-seeking travelers. From Imlil, a village in the foothills, head out on a short trek—or even a multi-day trip—through the stunning landscape. Travelers can also opt to head to the Todra Gorges for a day (or days) of rock-climbing; the cliffs here are quite varied, making them perfect for climbers of all levels—beginners included. In winter, hit the snow-covered slopes of Oukaimden for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in all of Africa.
The Atlantic Coast of Morocco is also within day-trip-distance of Marrakech, unlocking the beach as another stage for outdoor adventure. The small coastal town of Essaouira is all about surfing, and whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned pro, you'll probably find the perfect wave. Lessons are an excellent option for beginners.
While the diverse landscapes surrounding Marrakech are primed for adventure, you don't even need to leave the city to enjoy the great outdoors. Bicycle and Segway tours are fun, easy and eco-friendly ways to explore the city's main attractions, while walking tours rank among the best ways to explore the busy souks of the Medina.