This relaxed itinerary takes you on an off-the-beaten-path exploration of Morocco's culture and landscapes. Explore the bustle and history of Marrakech, then travel through the Atlas Mountains. You'll go on an off-road adventure and will discover breathtaking scenery at Morocco's tallest waterfalls. Climb aboard a camel to trek out into the desert, where you'll camp for the night. Then discover Taroudant, a fortified town with great shopping and souks that are easier to navigate than those in bigger cities. You'll end your trip in Essaouira, a gorgeous seaside escape where you can relax and tuck into fresh local seafood. 

Highlights

  • Explore Marrakech's history, architecture and food
  • Visit Morocco's tallest waterfall
  • Trek through the desert on a camel, then camp for the night
  • Visit Essaouira, a quaint seaside town

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Marrakech Marrakech
Day 2 Marrakech Immersion! Marrakech
Day 3 Marrakech to Demnate via Ouzoud Demnate
Day 4 Demnate to Dades via Bouguemez Boumalne Dades
Day 5 Dades to Zagora (Desert Camp) Zagora
Day 6 Zagora to Taroudant Taroudant
Day 7 Taroudant to Essaouira Essaouira
Day 8 Essaouira Essaouira
Day 9 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Marrakech

Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakech
Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakech

Welcome to Morocco! Your specialist will be awaiting your arrival in Marrakech and will transfer you to your cozy riad, where you'll spend the night.  

After you check-in, your tour manager will make help you get settled; you can unwind at your riad or hit the streets of Marrakech to explore at your leisure. If you'd like some ideas of what to see today, would like dinner recommendations or help with reservations, just let your specialist know!

Day 2: Marrakech Immersion!

The towering minaret of Koutoubia Mosque
The towering minaret of Koutoubia Mosque

After breakfast, your local city guide will meet you at your riad and show you all around Marrakech. Your tour will include visits to Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and the Koutoubia Mosque.

After, your guide will escort you through the souks of Marrakech, where you'll have a chance to visit various artisans and to learn about their crafts. Your tour will end by mid-afternoon and you’ll have the rest of the day to explore on your own. Do some retail therapy here in the souks, sit down to a delicious traditional meal in one of Marrakech's fantastic restaurants, or wander the stalls of Jemaa el Fna Square, where you can feast on incredible street food as you watch musicians and snake charmers perform for the crowds. 

Day 3: Marrakech to Demnate via Ouzoud

The waterfalls in Ouzoud
The waterfalls in Ouzoud

This morning after breakfast you'll depart from Marrakech and make your way into the High Atlas Mountains to Ouzoud, the home one of Morocco's highest waterfalls.  This spectacular multi-step waterfall towers at 330 feet tall and its banks are home to the Atlas Monkeys (aka Barbary apes), who never cease to entertain.

Climb to the top of the falls for a spectacular view, then make your way down to the bottom of the cascade, where you can go for a swim (weather permitting), take a boat ride under the falls, or just enjoy the view from one of the many terraces.  

Wander around the beautiful enclave and enjoy lunch, then hit the road to reach today's final destination: Demnate. You'll check into your riad and then head out for a walk around Imi n'Ifri, a natural bridge, before returning to your accommodations for the night.

Day 4: Demnate to Dades via Bouguemez

Boumalne Dades in the High Atlas Mountains
Boumalne Dades in the High Atlas Mountains

Enjoy breakfast, then get ready to use your hands! This morning you'll head to a nearby eco-lodge for a workshop on traditional Moroccan crafts; you'll either learn carpet weaving or olive pressing.  

After, you'll journey off-the-beaten-path on an epic off-road adventure deep into the High Atlas Mountains to Dades Valley, where you'll enjoy a scenic picnic lunch, perhaps with a local nomad family.  You'll also have a chance to stretch your legs with some light hiking in this beautiful area of Morocco. You'll arrive at your accommodations in the evening in time for dinner.

Day 5: Dades to Zagora (Desert Camp)

Learn about weaving in today's hands-on workshop
Kasbah Tamnougalt

After breakfast, you’ll say goodbye to Dades and head over the Saghro Mountains to the Draa Valley, using a road less traveled. On the way, you can stop to visit Kasbah Tamnougalt, a kasbah that dates back to at least the 17th century. Take a tour of the grounds and walk through then continue on to Zagora, where you'll meet your next form of transportation: a camel.

Climb aboard and trek to your desert camp for the night. You'll enjoy dinner under the stars before settling in for the night in a cozy tent. 

Day 6: Zagora to Taroudant

Taroudant
Taroudant

Get up early this morning to watch the extraordinary sunrise from your camp in the desert. Soak up the serenity, then enjoy breakfast before leaving your camp. Today you'll make your way through saffron country in the Small Atlas Mountains. If you're visiting in October, you can stop at a local cooperative to learn about the painstaking collection process during the harvest season of this expensive spice.  

You'll continue to the bustling market town of Taroudant. You'll arrive by early afternoon; check into your riad, then meet your local guide for a tour of this friendly city, known as "Marrakech's little sister." Taroudant is also a great place to shop without the "big city" pressure of Marrakech!

Day 7: Taroudant to Essaouira

The coastal town of Essaouira
The coastal town of Essaouira

After breakfast, you'll head to the coast to the charming beachside city of Essaouira. Archeological evidence shows that this area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the city as it is now was designed in the 18th century by the French engineer, Thédore Cornut.

On the way to Essaouira, you will see groves of Argan trees from which Morocco’s liquid gold (argan oil) is produced — with the unique help of local goats. You will arrive around lunch, just in time to make your way to the shore for an incredible meal of freshly caught local seafood. After, you will have the afternoon to discover this beautiful city and its adjacent beach.

Day 8: Essaouira

A fortified wall in Essaouira
A fortified wall in Essaouira

Today, you'll have the day free to explore this charming little town. You may wish to head to the wharf to pick out your lunch from the fresh catch of the day and then take it to a local restaurant to have it grilled Moroccan-style, or you may just wish to sit at a cafe and watch the world go by.

Be sure to head to the ramparts in the evening to catch the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. Your specialist will be available to you should you need transportation, guidance, or suggestions.

Day 9: Transfer to Marrakech Airport

Rampart walls of Essaouira
Rampart walls of Essaouira

This morning after breakfast, depending on your flight schedule, you may be able to enjoy one last stroll by the sea and explore more of Essaouira before transferring to the Marrakech Airport in time for your departing flight.