Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (2023)

AuthorTom Henty

existDo you visitMorocco? no doubtMarrakech has it all!

Whether you're exploring the old medina on a cultural tour or enjoying the hustle and bustle deep in Marrakech's market district, there's a constant sensory assault around every corner. The vibrant capital of Morocco has everything you need to wander through Morocco's fascinating history.

Maybe you want a quiet day out and about?Would you like to visit the Atlas Mountains in Morocco?Home of Mount Toubkal and many Berber villages; visiting the Atlas Mountains is one of themA must on any itinerary to Marrakech.if you want to get away from the chaos of everyday life in Marrakech, look no furtherAtlas Mountains, Three Valleys and Waterfalls Camel Riding Day Trip from Marrakech.

Are you captivated by the breathtaking scenery of the Moroccan countryside? Or the best place to ride a camel in Morocco? Unparalleled views of Mount Tukbal? This popular day trip from Marrakech ticks all the boxes. It even includes the chance to taste traditional Moroccan mint tea and the best tajine in Morocco!

Read on to find all the information you need for the perfect day tripmarrakech.

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (1)

What to expect on a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech

TheDay trip to the Atlas MountainsVery popular with international tourists staying in Marrakech. You are sure to have an active day, all professionally led by knowledgeable guides, all from the Berber villages you will be visiting in this wonderful placeDay trip Morocco.

Here is a brief overview of what to expect:

    • Private transportation to and from hotels in and around Marrakech in an air-conditioned vehicle.

      (Video) Morocco Travel Guide: Marrakech, Atlas Mountains and Essaouira

    • Traditional Moroccan breakfast (mint tea or coffee + argon bread).

    • Demonstration der Argan Women's Cooperative.

    • Ride a camel in traditional Moroccan clothing through the Agafay Desert.

    • Take a guided hike to the Setti Fatma waterfall.

    • Lunch at a local Berber restaurant (extra charge).

We went to Marrakech in March and the weather was a bit bad. It is advisable to book your tickets well in advance, if you book during the high season this is possibleshe.

We booked our day trip the night before and shortly after booking we received our first letter from our tour guide "Ismail" - a WhatsApp message confirming our hotel address and pick up time.

Although the tour was booked at short notice, it went as smoothly as could be. (Although oursRiad Terra BahiaOff the beaten track, on the outskirts of Marrakech, that's no problem).

On the morning of our trip, around 8am, an hour before the agreed pick-up time, we received a WhatsApp message, again a testament to good professionalism. When we entered the air-conditioned van, a motley group of travelers stood in front of us. A family with a small child, a couple and a single traveller.There really is something for everyone on this tour!

After checking with "Ismail" we got in the van and were given a complimentary bottle of water. We introduced ourselves to fellow travelers and then left mystical Marrakech towards the sands of the Agafay Desert -inevitable natural wonderMorocco.

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How long does it take to get from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains?

After leaving Marrakech, the destination of the day trip is “Imlil” – a local Berber village in the Atlas Mountains. Driving to Imlil takes about 90 minutes as shown on the map below.

Before reaching Imlil for the trek, there are a few stops (all explained in the following sections). Our tour guide "Ismail" and our driver "Mohamed" were very professional as they taught the travelers a bit about the ancient cultural history of Morocco and the Berber communities.

We stopped at some famous Moroccan landmarks along the way and the knowledgeable Ismail was there to give us an insight into their importance. While Mohammed stops in various valleys to photograph stunning Moroccan landscapes, Ismail points to Richard Branson'sKasbah Tamadote-An award-winning luxury hotel near the scenic Atlas Mountains. oneThe most famous hotel in Morocco!Guests, including celebrities, have been known to arrive in remote areas by helicopter

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (3)

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (4)

How does traditional Moroccan tea taste?

After a few short photo stops at famous sights, we reached our first destination -Argan women's cooperative.

When we reach a seeminglyA house in a Berber village,There were two more minivans full of tourists. First we had a light breakfast of bread and almond butter, with argon honey and oil (you will be asked to purchase it later).

We also had the opportunity to try someMaghreb mynte te(Also known as Moroccan mint tea). Also great fresh coffee. As we sat in the garden and enjoyed the comforting heat of Morocco, I found the mint tea very sweet and refreshing.


Then local Berber women showed us how they make argan oil and honey. Tourists are allowed to join in and take a group photo (I wasn't there this time). After the demo we were ushered into the co-op which was stocked with creams, potions and the honey/oil we had just tasted. At this point in your journey, you can expect an aggressive sales pitch. This is the only part of the day this happens and I appreciate the locals trying to make money.

After a short refreshment break and an exciting demonstration of how argan oil is produced on site, the next stop isAgafay desert

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (5)

What is it like to ride a camel in Morocco?

Camel riding has been on my bucket list for a while, so this part of a day trip to the Atlas Mountains was very appealing.

When you come to a random building in the Agafay Desert, you will notice about thirty camels freezing outside. According to Ismail, the large number of camels are each worth around 15,000 Moroccan dirhams (£1,200).

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First, Time to check out that section!

You'll be provided with traditional Moroccan clothing including a poncho and scarf to protect you during your desert adventure. Dressing up also gives people a good image.

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (7)

We were taken one by one to the camels and all lined up. With help you sit on a camel, and when the camel gets up, it trembles a lot -So hurry up!There are a few locals who help with the process and wander around to take photos after the tourists have settled on the camels.

The team then circled the desert for 20 minutes with the scenic Moroccan landscape in the background. It's a surreal experience, but definitely uncomfortable after sitting on a camel for a while.

When we got back to the remote building, the next bus was already getting dressed, something like a tourist conveyor belt. This is a popular event for a reason, so book your spotshe Camel ride -A must on any itinerary to Marrakech

3Did you know that humans have relied on camels for four thousand years?¼

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (8)

What is it like to visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco?

The next part of this amazing Morocco day trip was my highlight. Berber Village Tour!

There was a real country feel as we parked in the middle of lush valleys deep in the Atlas Mountains. Picturesque Moroccan landscapes and clusters of Berber villages dotted in the mountains provide the perfect backdrop for vacation selfies.

We exited the minivan and Ismail took us down a dirt road into the village. As we trek to Imlil we see the daily life of the local Berber community -It felt like real Morocco!

Throughout the tour Ismail gave us some stories, facts and background about the way of life in the Berber villages - some real insights into the reality of the Moroccan people Live in the High Atlas region. Derelict buildings, herds of animals and beautiful vistas filled the scene as we walked the narrow cobbled streets.

For millennia, Berber communities have braved nature and lived in the mountains. Amazigh (the free man) has lived in mud huts and caves and survived many natural disasters for as long as he can remember. The locals we saw had smiles on their faces as they picked fruit and went about their daily chores -Remind us all to be thankful every day!

When we reached the end of the village it was time for a 1 hour hike to the Setti Fatma waterfall.

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (9)

Hiking in the Atlas Mountains.

For the next hour of the journey, the path to the waterfall was filled with peace and tranquility -Very little to do with Morocco!

We continued through the forest along some artificial stone roads, past calm streams and steam, a stark contrast to our stay in the Agafay Desert earlier in the day. Our guide Ismail led the way but always got to know everyone in the group and made sure everyone kept a leisurely pace.

Tip - Wear appropriate footwear as the hike covers varied terrain. Also take a bottle of water with you, especially in the summer heat (there are stalls along the way to buy water).

As we cross the river and approach the Seti Fatma waterfall, we can hearThe peaceful sounds of the forest and a secluded waterfall in the background.

The break at the waterfall gives us the opportunity to cool off in the warm and coolWet spring day. We took some photos in front of the natural wonders of Morocco. There are market stalls where you can buy food or drinks as well as some souvenirs. I grabbed a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and lay down on a traditional Moroccan rug to cool off.

If you bring your swim bag you can venture into the small pool. Perfect for cooling off in the peak summer months.

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (10)

Experience Moroccan culture in the Atlas Mountains.

After a break at the impressive waterfall, it's time to head to our final destination,Another Berber village for dinner.We were taken to a seating area on the outside terrace of a restaurant where we had the opportunity to enjoy a home made tagine lunch for an additional 70MAD (€6).

We opted for the chicken tagine (with a vegetarian option) which turned out to be my favorite tagine of the entire trip to Morocco. I will always remember the view of the Atlas Mountains from the restaurant terrace -Truly exceptional Moroccan landscapes!

(Video) Atlas mountain and the three valleys day trip from #Marrakech #Morocco #travel

After our mains, we had fruit and yoghurt for dessert, and we had half an hour to chat and enjoy the stunning Moroccan views (be sure to take some more photos!).

This was the last notable stop of the day, so afterwards we drove back to Marrakech and were dropped off at our hotel.

If you want to learn more about the fascinating culture of Morocco, check out this beautifulMarrakech tour guide.

Day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech. All the information you need. (11)

Is it worth taking a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech?

If you want to escape the maze of the medina for a day. Crowds, noise and snake charmers, and a sensory rush around every corner, then this day trip is for you.

It's only a few hours drive but far from Marrakech in terms of vibes. On a high-energy day, there's a rustic feel in the air. Beautiful landscapes and historical sights complete the day trip, which also includes surreal camel rides, unique traditional Moroccan mint tea and the best tagine in Morocco.

TheAtlas Mountains, Three Valleys and Waterfalls Camel Riding Day Trip from Marrakech Great value for money and suitable for all types of travelers - solo, families and couples.

Knowledgeable guides take care of you from pickup to evening drop-off - with information, insight and their perspective from the original Berber community.

Ending the excursion with a delicious chicken tagine overlooking the snow-capped Atlas Mountains perfectly sums up a day trip from Marrakech -A must on every trip to Morocco

A big thank you to our guide Ismail, a very kind and humble guy (and a great photographer too) who is now our lifelong friend!

I would highly recommend this day trip to anyone and would book again myself!

Immerse yourself in Moroccan culture and learn about the rich history of the Berber community!

Disclosure: I sometimes use affiliate marketing. It won't cost you a penny, but it helps me cover my travel expenses. I only recommend companies that I use myself.

MoroccomarrakechmarrakechAgafay desertAtlas Mountainslandmark of the cityThe most accurateride a camelBerberdorfMoroccan mint tea

Tom Henty

(Video) Atlas Mountains - Marrakesh Day Trip


Can you do a day trip to the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech? ›

Discover the Berber villages of the Atlas Mountains on a full-day trip from Marrakech that explores broad valleys and lush orchards with views of Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa.

Can you do a day trip to Atlas Mountains? ›

Absolutely! The hike in the Atlas Mountains was a great activity and whole day trip was relaxing, fun and easy – a perfect getaway from the hustle of Marrakesh. There are two other great day trips you can take from Marrakesh: Agafay Desert & Ait Ben Haddou.

How far are the High Atlas Mountains from Marrakech? ›

Reaching the High Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is a simple journey, totaling 55 miles (90 km) and taking roughly 2 to 3 hours, depending on stops. The best choice for this trip is a by car, either a rental or transfer service.

Is Atlas Mountains worth it? ›

For nature lovers and hikers, the High Atlas offers a total shift of scenery. With mountains, forests, cliffs, sheltering, and traditional villages, the High Atlas is one of Morocco's must-see destinations.

How to dress for Atlas Mountains? ›

What should you wear to the Atlas Mountains? For anything more than a half-day hike with a guide, you can prepare as you would for an alpine hiking trip. You will want to wear warm clothing, a weather-proof jacket, hiking boots, and a hat. Bring a pair of sneakers to give your boots a break following your day's hike.

What time of year is best for Atlas Mountains? ›

The best time to visit the Atlas Mountains is usually considered to be from March to November, although the Anti-Atlas, which don't see snowfall, can be explored right through the sunny winter. Summers are hot here - but still pleasant compared to lowland Morocco.

Does it get cold in the Atlas Mountains? ›

Starting from the months of November until March, the Atlas Mountains have a typical mountain climate, with cold weather. Although the day time temperature can range from around 10°C up to 20°C. Indeed, winter can usher in plenty of wonderfully crisp, dry and sunny days ideal for trekking.

Which city is closest to Atlas Mountains? ›

The main hub for tours exploring the Atlas Mountains is Marrakech (with its international airport) in the north. Although bit by bit Ouarzazate, in the south, is also starting to offer a range of trips.

What do people eat in the Atlas Mountains? ›

As a general rule, the food you eat during your treks will be dominated by fresh salads, vegetables and either couscous or pasta, followed by fresh seasonal fruits and accompanied by small breads, and sweet mint tea. The food is all freshly prepared and is very healthy and nutritious.

How far is ouzoud waterfalls from Marrakech? ›

The Ouzoud waterfalls are located 157 km from Marrakesh and it takes about two hours and a half to get there by car. If you have your own car or if you are renting one, you will totally enjoy the drive there.

What is special about Atlas Mountains? ›

The Atlas Mountains are renowned for their imposing size, especially at their pinnacle in the High Atlas. Morocco's seven highest peaks are all located in the High Atlas. Jebel Toubkal (Jebel means mountain) is the highest peak in the the whole of the Atlas Mountains, never mind Morocco, at 4,167m.

Where do the Atlas Mountains start and end? ›

The High Atlas Mountains extend in a northeasterly direction from Morocco's Atlantic coast (near Agadir) for hundreds of miles inland toward the Algerian border. The western portion of the range is home to its tallest mountains, with peaks that stand above 4,000 meters (13,000 feet).

Is it safe in Atlas Mountains? ›

Respect the mountain culture of safety at all times.

Most vacations in the Atlas Mountains are fully guided, so you won't need to worry. But if you are going out alone, do always tell someone which route you are planning to take and when you are expected back.

How safe is Morocco for tourists? ›

Crime in Morocco is mostly petty crime such as scams and pickpockets. It's very unlikely that you'll be assaulted or hurt as a tourist. That being said, there are still a few things I wouldn't recommend doing and some areas of Morocco that should be avoided.

Are there lions in the Atlas Mountains? ›

The Barbary lion is also called the Atlas or Nubian lion and is native to the Atlas and Rif mountains and the forests of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Can females wear shorts in Morocco? ›

Can you wear shorts in Morocco? Yes, there is no problem with wearing shorts in Morocco. You will see this just about everywhere. However, in rural Morocco, you might want to stick with longer shorts, capri length or full length pants.

What should female tourists wear in Marrakech? ›

Wardrobe must-haves for women travelling to Marrakech

In terms of clothes, capri pants and a light cotton shirt are ideal for walking around the Medina, while long linen trousers and floaty shirts, maxi dresses, midi-length skirts (covering the knee), and kaftans are all perfect for other sightseeing.

Do I need bug spray in Morocco? ›

Mosquito repellent and bug spray

Super important – carry a mosquito and/or bug spray and use it in Morocco. Spring time in Marrakech brings in a lot of mosquitoes. If you are camping or hiking in the Rif or Atlas mountains, you will need mosquito repellent. Use insect repellents that contain DEET like the one below.

What is the average temperature in the Atlas Mountains? ›

Weather in the High Atlas Mountains
March to May26°C/79°F13°C/55°F
June to August36°C/96°F20°C/68°F
September to November28°C/82°F14°C/58°F
December to February20°C/68°F7°C/45°F

How hot are the Atlas Mountains in September? ›

In the Atlas Mountains, it's slightly warmer, with a daily average of 77°F, but the highs can hit 90°F. In the north, Tangier's high averages 81°, and Casablanca is even more pleasant, with a typical high of 78°.

What is the coldest month in Morocco? ›

On average, July and August are the warmest months. Marrakech has a dry season in June, July and August. January is the coldest month of the year.

What is the hottest month in Morocco? ›

For the highest temperatures the best time to visit Morocco is between June and August although the sub tropical climate offers sunshine throughout the year and winter months are equally popular with visitors. The hottest month of the year is August with an average daily maximum of 31 C and an average low of 20 C.

What is the best month to go to Morocco? ›

Temperatures can soar over 45 degrees Celsius and there is no tent provided with A/C ( as of 2023, there is). Max says: 'Southern Morocco and the desert is ideal from September to June (10 months of the year) and should not be missed.

Where do you fly into for the Atlas Mountains? ›

Marrakech Menara Airport is situated just outside the city of Marrakech, with an approximate 1 hour 40 minute drive to Kasbah Tamadot (75km/47 miles).

Why is Morocco called Atlas? ›

Why are Morocco called Atlas Lions? Morocco's team nickname is a reference to an animal that was once found in the country. The Atlas Lion, otherwise known as the barbary lion, was native to North Africa and prowled the Atlas Mountains which are found in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

What two countries do the Atlas Mountains go through? ›

Atlas Mountains, series of mountain ranges in northwestern Africa, running generally southwest to northeast to form the geologic backbone of the countries of the Maghrib (the western region of the Arab world)—Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

What is a Berber breakfast? ›

A traditional Moroccan Berber breakfast , which consists of bread, olive oil, jam, and honey. (

What is the Berber diet? ›

In fact, the Berbers inhabited the region over 2,000 years ago. Their food staples consisted of local ingredients including olives, figs, and dates to prepare lamb and poultry stews – ingredients that are still heavily used today. Of course, the Berbers would soon be accompanied by other groups of people.

What is typical Berber food? ›

Popular authentic Berber preparations of Tunisian, Moroccan, Algerian, and Libyan, Mauritanian cuisine include tajine, couscous, shakshouka, pastilla, msemen, merguez, asida, lablabi, harissa, makroudh, harira, sfenj, and ahriche.

What is the famous waterfall near Marrakech? ›

Escape the hustle and bustle of Marrakech for a full-day tour to the dramatic Ouzoud Falls, located near the Grand Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt in the province of Azilal. Following a pick-up from your hotel or riad, transfer to the Ouzoud Falls by air-conditioned minibus.

What is the famous waterfall in Marrakech? ›

Ouzoud Waterfalls are one of the several fascinating falls of Morocco, and certainly the most famous. This Marrakech to Ouzoud Falls tour will take you across the majestic Atlas Mountains, to show you the highest waterfall in North Africa, which rises up at 110 metres.

What are the most beautiful palaces in Marrakech? ›

Here are just some of the amazing buildings that can be found within the city that should be at the top of your list when travelling to Marrakech.
  • El Badi Palace. ...
  • Bahia Palace. ...
  • Dar Menebhi Palace. ...
  • Dar Si Said Palace – Museum of Moroccan Arts.
Jul 7, 2021

Can you hold hands in Morocco? ›

Moroccans are very loving – in private. It's very uncommon and frowned upon to show a lot of affection in public. Holding hands in Morocco is fine. A hug here or there, and a stolen kiss are all fine in most situations.

Why should I go to the Atlas Mountains? ›

Hiking. Hiking is the primary reason that most people travel to the Atlas Mountains, and the High Atlas is usually their sub-range of choice. There are several peaks of over 13,000 feet in the High Atlas, including the three highest mountains in North Africa (Jebel Toubkal, Ouanoukrim, and Ighil M'Goun respectively).

What are two facts about the Atlas Mountains? ›

It stretches around 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The range's highest peak is Toubkal, which is in central Morocco, with an elevation of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft). The Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations.

Why is Morocco so rocky? ›

Southern Morocco was flooded by a massive shallow marine shelf, building up significant carbonates, mixed with continental sediments pouring in from inland areas now in the Sahara. In the Late Devonian, western Morocco and the Anti-Atlas split up into fault-bounded basins, which deformed during the Hercynian orogeny.

What is the meaning of Atlas Mountain? ›

Definitions of Atlas Mountains. a mountain range in northern Africa between the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert; extends from southwestern Morocco to northern Tunisia. example of: chain, chain of mountains, mountain chain, mountain range, range, range of mountains. a series of hills or mountains.

What are the 3 peaks Atlas Mountains? ›

Summit 3 Highest Peaks

A spectacular 8-day trek, summiting the 3 highest peaks in North Africa; Mgoun (4068m), Ouanoukrim (4089m), and Toubkal (4167m).

What mountains can you see from Marrakech? ›

1- The High Atlas and Berber Villages

Less than an hour's drive from the Marrakech, discover the magnificence of the High Atlas Mountains: snow-capped mountains (in winter), mountain lakes and Berber villages.

What mountain range is near Marrakech? ›

Jebel Yagour is in the High Atlas mountain range near Marrakech. The high plateau stands at 2,700 metres high and is surrounded by sheer cliffs and steep slopes, making this a real test of endurance for those willing to attempt the trek into the clouds above Morocco.

What is the most spectacular sight in Morocco? ›

10 Most Beautiful Places in Morocco
  • The Sahara Desert. No visit to Morocco is complete without a visit to the great Sahara Desert. ...
  • Koutoubia Mosque. Located in Marrakech, the Koutoubia Mosque is a magnificent sight for all to see. ...
  • Ameln Valley. ...
  • Chefchaouen. ...
  • Rabat. ...
  • Asilah. ...
  • Meknes.
Jan 13, 2020

Is it cold in the Atlas Mountains? ›

Starting from the months of November until March, the Atlas Mountains have a typical mountain climate, with cold weather. Although the day time temperature can range from around 10°C up to 20°C. Indeed, winter can usher in plenty of wonderfully crisp, dry and sunny days ideal for trekking.

Which 3 countries include the Atlas Mountains? ›

Atlas Mountains, series of mountain ranges in northwestern Africa, running generally southwest to northeast to form the geologic backbone of the countries of the Maghrib (the western region of the Arab world)—Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Is Ouzoud Falls worth it? ›

The Ouzoud Falls is one of the most magnificent and impressive waterfalls in Morocco and North Africa. Nestled in the High Atlas Mountains, it is definitely worth the 150 km drive from Marrakech.

Which desert to go to from Marrakech? ›

The Agafay desert is located thirty kilometers in the South of Marrakech and extends over several hundred acres. This rocky desert, can be likened to a sand desert.

Is Casablanca close to Marrakesh? ›

Marrakesh is 580 km (360 mi) southwest of Tangier, 327 km (203 mi) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km (149 mi) south of Casablanca, and 246 km (153 mi) northeast of Agadir.


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