Taking a relaxed pace, this nine-day trip has you exploring lesser-visited regions of Morocco and culturally immersing yourself in the locals' way of life. You'll first take to the winding alleyways of Marrakesh, then head northeast to see the Ouzoud Waterfalls before crossing the Middle Atlas mountains to reach Aït Bouguemez. You'll hike to important shrines, farm with Atlas locals, and break bread with Berber families, ending your trip exploring desert towns like Boumalne Dades, Aït Benhaddou, and Ouarzazate.


  • Discover the bustling souks and frenetic Jemma el-Fna square in Marrakesh
  • See dinosaur footprints in M'Goun UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Drink tea with the locals in Aït Bouguemez Valley
  • Try your hand at traditional carpet weaving in a Berber home

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Marrakesh Marrakesh
Day 2 Guided Private Tour & Majorelle Gardens Self-Guided Visit Marrakesh
Day 3 Transfer to Aït Bouguemez via Ouzoud Waterfalls Aït Bouguemez
Day 4 Guided Happy Valley Excursion & Local Farm Experience Aït Bouguemez
Day 5 Hike & Cultural Immersion in Aït Bouguemez Valley Aït Bouguemez
Day 6 Aït Bouguemez to Dadès Valley, Picnic Lunch in Kelâat M'Gouna Boumalne Dades
Day 7 Dadès Valley Hike & Local Family Lunch, Traditional Carpet Weaving Boumalne Dades
Day 8 Transfer to Marrakesh via Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou Marrakesh
Day 9 Depart Marrakesh  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakesh

Jemaa el Fna Square
Jamaa el Fna Square
Welcome to Morocco! You'll be met by your driver and guide, who will transfer you to your hotel for check-in. Relax and get some rest ahead of your busy week, or head out for a short city tour of Marrakesh to familiarize yourself with the city. 

Day 2: Guided Private Tour & Majorelle Gardens Self-Guided Visit

Sights & Colors of Marrakech: Guided Private Tour
Majorelle Gardens
Plan your trip to Morocco
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Explore Marrakesh's sights, sounds, and smells on a half-day guided tour. Known as the "Red City," you'll discover why as you wander past the historic red sandstone walls and buildings. Your local guide will lead you through the colorful and bustling medina (old town), starting at Jemaa el-Fna. From here, you can stroll to a few of the best souks (markets), including spices at Souk el Attarin, Moroccan slippers at Souk Smata, brass, silver, and other blacksmith goods at Souk Haddadine, and dyed cloth at Souk des Teinturiers

Next, you'll stroll through the intricate woodwork and ornamented ceilings of the Bahia Palace before visiting the city's largest mosque, Koutoubia Mosque. The tour ends with a visit to the 12th-century Menara Gardens, a UNESCO-protected and historic public park. Afterward, you may like to discover the beauty of Majorelle Gardens, a botanical garden offering a reprieve from the unrelenting heat. You'll find its famous bright blue and yellow house in the gardens. Now housing the Berber Museum and Yves Saint Laurent Museum, this building was once the home of the French Orientalist artist Jacques Marojelle.

Follow your nose to the smells that waft from food stalls back in Jemaa el-Fna in the evening. Watch locals prepare authentic delicacies and taste the flavors of Marrakesh as the sun goes down and the street performers come out to entertain. If you prefer a quieter eating experience, choose one of the many cafés above the square and watch the action below.

Day 3: Transfer to Aït Bouguemez via Ouzoud Waterfalls

Marrakech to Ait bouguemez  via Ouzoud Waterfalls
Stop to see the Ouzoud waterfalls

After enjoying your breakfast in Marrakesh, you'll work your way northeast toward the Ouzoud Falls. You'll have a chance to stretch your legs and feel refreshed from an easy hike to see the series of falls. You might even see Barbary apes that often relax by the path down to El-Abid River. From here, you'll carry on to Azilal and stop for lunch.

In the afternoon, you'll continue to Aït Bouguemez, crossing the central High Atlas mountains of the M'Goun UNESCO Global Geopark. There'll be plenty of opportunities to stop the car to snap pics of the stunning scenery before you arrive in the evening at your eco-lodge. Referred to as the "Happy Valley," Aït Bouguemez is considered the most beautiful valley in Morocco.

Day 4: Guided Happy Valley Excursion & Local Farm Experience

Full Day Guided Exploration of the Happy Valley
Explore Morocco's "Happy Valley," aka Aït Bouguemez

After breakfast, meet your guide to explore "Happy Valley." Lace up your boots and begin the hike to the UNESCO-protected Shrine of Sidi Moussa, erected in honor of a local Muslim holy man. This circular earthen building served as a collective granary and has been restored through community effort. Next, you'll continue your trek to uncover panoramic views of the valley and learn more about the culture of its inhabitants. You'll then visit a traditional market—a perfect spot to pick up a souvenir. Carry on to the village of R'bat to see dinosaur footprints, another UNESCO site.

You'll then sit down to a traditional meal with a family renowned for their generous spirit among the villagers before visiting a woman's cooperative and learning more about the local production. You'll transfer to your accommodation for a quick rest before you begin your next experience: farming with the Atlas mountains locals. Your guide will lead you to a nearby village to meet the local farmers and learn about their crops. Spend a couple of hours helping the locals irrigate their fields using ancestral technics and harvest cereals, collect vegetables, and feed the animals (goats, sheep, cows).

Day 5: Hike & Cultural Immersion in Aït Bouguemez Valley

Hiking and cultural immersion in Ait Bougumez valley
Enjoy hiking and immersing yourself in the local culture in Aït Bouguemez Valley

Today you'll explore Aït Bouguemez valley's small towns made up of mud-brick homes with time left over to see dinosaur footprints of the M'Goun UNESCO Global Geopark, meet with the locals, enjoy a traditional meal and tea ceremony with a family, as well as a visit a local women's cooperative that produces rugs and handicrafts. 

You'll overnight at Dar Itrane Ecolodge, a traditional building completely renovated with natural materials. 

Day 6: Transfer to Dadès Valley, Picnic Lunch in Kelâat M'Gouna

Ait Bouguemez to Dades Valley
Ait Bouguemez to Dades Valley

Journey off the beaten path today on an epic off-road adventure deep into the High Atlas mountains to Dadès Valley, stopping for a picnic lunch in Kelâat M'Gouna. Continue to the famous Dadès Gorges, about 16 miles (25 km) long and situated between Boumalne Dadès and Imdiazen. It is also known as the Road of A Thousand Kasbahs, as you'll see kasbahs and dispersed settlements with vegetable gardens along the route, as well as a fortified oasis with a stunning view of palm tree groves, an extreme contrast to the red soil.

Upon arrival, head to your accommodation to relax before setting out to discover the sights of the Dadès Valley.

Day 7: Dadès Valley Hike & Local Family Lunch, Traditional Carpet Weaving

Dades Valley Hike & Lunch with Local Family
Dadès Valley Hike & Lunch with Local Family

Immerse yourself in the region's unique culture with a leisurely walking tour that includes meeting local Berber families. The foothills of the mountains offer a green oasis of vegetation, perfect for authentic Berber villages to thrive, and here the locals provide a wealth of knowledge about the regional culture, traditions, and way of life. Your guide will lead you through the area on an easy four-hour walk. You'll also stop in a few villages to meet with locals. Admire the unique architecture, listen to stories about regional history, observe traditional farming techniques, and enjoy live entertainment.

At lunchtime, you'll join a local family in their traditional home to enjoy Berber and Moroccan cuisine while learning more about the history of this unique culture. End your meal with a tea ceremony, then drive back to your accommodation in Boumalne Dadès.

In the afternoon, check out traditional carpet-weaving practices with a local family and even pitch in.

Day 8: Transfer to Marrakesh via Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou

Transfer to Marrakech via Dades Valley, Ouarzazate & Aït Benhaddou
The winding Tizi n'Tichka Pass

Get back on the road today for the 5.5-hour drive toward Marrakesh. Leaving Boumalne Dades, you'll pass Kelâat M'Gouna once more, where fragrant fields of rose bushes are cultivated for use in the world's cosmetic industry. You can make a quick stop at a women-run rose cooperative to see the process of converting the petals into water and oil and sample some of the products. 

Continue to the growing town of Ouarzazate, a common stopping point along the desert route. The town was made popular by the country's growing movie industry, and you'll have the opportunity to tour a film studio for an up-close look at the props and sets. Then it's on to UNESCO-listed Aït Benhaddou, the most famous kasbah in Morocco. It's believed the old ksar (castle) dates from the 11th century when it held an important position along the trans-Saharan trade route, and more recently, it's provided the backdrop to film and television classics like "Lawrence of Arabia," "Gladiator," and "Game of Thrones."

As you proceed up and over the High Atlas mountains, look for the highest peak, Mount Toubkal, which stands at 13,671 feet (4,167 m). Near the top of the Tizi n'Tichka Pass, you'll be greeted with incredible panoramic views over the mountain range and the winding road ahead. The first town after the descent is Taddert, where you can stop at an oil cooperative to learn how olives are processed for various uses. Taste a few products, then get back on the road—leaving the tranquillity of the mountains and desert to enter the hustle and bustle of vibrant Marrakesh for the evening.

Day 9: Depart Marrakesh

sunset over marrakesh
Rooftops of Marrakesh and the Koutoubia Mosque in the distance

Depending on your flight details, you'll transfer from your accommodation in Marrakesh to the airport. Your driver will ensure that you arrive at the airport in plenty of time for your flight. Have a safe and comfortable journey home or to your next destination!

More Great Morocco Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Morocco? Check out these other Morocco itineraries, explore different ways to spend nine days in Morocco, or discover the best time to visit Morocco.


Map of Unspoiled Morocco: Hike Aït Begoumez & Dadès Valley - 9 Days
Map of Unspoiled Morocco: Hike Aït Begoumez & Dadès Valley - 9 Days