Atlas Mountains
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2-Day Desert Excursion from Marrakech

1. 2-Day Desert Excursion from Marrakech

Imagine yourself passing through overwhelmingly beautiful valleys and past red flat mountains. See yourself going higher and higher into the Atlas Mountains along with a private guide, spending several days getting to know the sights and sounds of this very special place. This two-day tour will bring you from Marrakech through the Draa valley, across to Ouarzazate and back. On the first day of the tour, you'll depart early in the morning and immediately witness some of the beauty that Morocco has to offer. You'll be stunned by the valleys and hills as you travel 7400 feet up in your air-conditioned vehicle. You'll quickly arrive at the ksar (fortified city) of Ait Ben Haddou, located along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. You may get the feeling that you've been here before; Ait Ben Haddou has served as the backdrop for films such as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Time Bandits”, “Kundun”, “The Mummy”, and many more. While many families here now live in modern homes, you’ll get the chance to see why this has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989. You'll stop for lunch at a local restaurant. The day continues with a drive to Ouarzazate, home to film studios and famous scenery. You'll pass through the inspiring Anti Atlas Mountains (Tizi N Tnifift), as well as Agdz and the Draa valley, famous for its palm plantations. There are over 11 million palm trees in this area – truly a sight to behold. The first day comes to a glorious end upon arrival in Zagora, where you'll take a 1.5-hour camel ride to watch the sunset over the desert. You'll sleep like a local in a Berber tent. On Day 2, you'll wake up with the sunrise and enjoy a view of the the dunes as you ride your camel back to Zagora. The adventure continues as you travel back to Ouarzazate by car, stopping for lunch in Taouirt Kabah. By now you'll understand why Ouarzazate means 'door to the desert'. After lunch, you'll travel back to Marrakech, where the tour concludes.

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From Marrakech: Atlas Mountains 45-Minute Horseback Ride

2. From Marrakech: Atlas Mountains 45-Minute Horseback Ride

After morning pickup from your accommodation in Marrakech, set off on a roughly 1-hour long drive into the High Atlas Mountains, bound for the mountain town of Tahnaout. Arriving, you’ll be paired with a horse and provided with all the necessary equipment to set off on a journey through stunning mountain trails. Your guide will lead you through towering juniper forests, steadily through the foothills of the mountain range, up to scenic viewpoints over the Asni Valley and sprawling Al Haouz plains. Ride on to Rha Moulay Brahim, where you’ll drop off your horse. Continue on, via car, to Imlil for a sumptuous local lunch with a view of the highest peaks of the High Atlas Mountains. After lunch, you’ll head back down the mountain to your accommodation in Marrakech.

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Morocco: Private Tour of Aït-Ben-Haddou & Ouarzazate

3. Morocco: Private Tour of Aït-Ben-Haddou & Ouarzazate

Begin your full-day tour of the incredible Moroccan landscape with a drive from Marrakech through the Tizi-N-Tichka Pass. Visit a cooperative run by women in the Atlas Mountains, where the famous argan oil is produced by hand and organic delicacies and beauty products are sold.  Just before Ouarzazate, the gateway to the desert, enjoy the unique chance to visit the Aït-Ben-Haddou Kasbah. This ancient town is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but often a location used in Hollywood films and television series, such as Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia and Game of Thrones. Enjoy a 1-hour tour with a local guide and discover what makes this little town so unique. After lunch in a local restaurant with a panoramic terrace in the newer part of Aït-Ben-Haddou, continue to Ouarzazate and enjoy the choice of visiting either the venerable Kasbah Taourirt and the Old City or the Film Museum on the other side of the street. Stop for a coffee or tea over the High Atlas and return to Marrakech.

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Marrakech: Day-Trip to UNESCO Kasbahs and Ouarzazate Tour

4. Marrakech: Day-Trip to UNESCO Kasbahs and Ouarzazate Tour

Departing early in the morning from your accommodation in Marrakech, you will drive towards Ouarzazate through the High Atlas before reaching the Tizi N'Tichka pass. Sitting 2,260 meters high, this is the highest road crossing in Morocco. It connects the Marrakech Saharan regions, of which Ouarzazate is the crossroad. You will then stop for a visit to the famous fortified city of Ait Ben Haddou. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its Kasbah has been the backdrop for many films including the Diamond of the Nile, Lawrence of Arabia, Sodom and Gomorre, the Jewel of the Nile, Jesus of Nazareth, the Mummy, Gladiator and Babel. After this visit of the fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou, you will continue to the city of Ouarzazate to explore another Kasbah built in the 17th century. Here you will visit the cinema studios, before stopping for lunch in a local restaurant. Following lunch, you can enjoy free time to enjoy a mint tea and enjoy the green valley and beautiful views of the High Atlas peaks. In this area, between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, one can find several Kasbahs, all the color of the sand and forming small Berber villages that take advantage of the abundance of water from the Atlas to its small crops and animals. At the end of the day, you will be returned to your accommodation in Marrakech.

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From Agadir: Marrakech Excursion Full-Day Trip

5. From Agadir: Marrakech Excursion Full-Day Trip

Depart Agadir early in the morning taking the highway Agadir to Marrakech. After a 3-hour drive with some rest stops on the way while crossing the High Atlas mountains, you'll arrive in Marrakech. Once you arrive in Marrakech, you will meet your local tour guide and begin a walking tour of the Medina (old city of Marrakech). You will start by visiting the historical monuments of Marrakech including the famous Bahia Palace, a walk through the gardens of the Koutoubia Mosque and finally the Jamaa El Fana famous Square. At the end of your local tour, you will have free time to walk through the streets of the souks (local market), haggle with the shop vendors and find a good place to enjoy some local street food. After lunch, you’ll meet up with your driver, and begin the drive back to your hotel in Agadir with an expected arrival time of roughly 9:00 PM. 

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Ait Ben Haddou & Ouarzazate: Private Day Trip from Marrakech

6. Ait Ben Haddou & Ouarzazate: Private Day Trip from Marrakech

Cross the High Atlas Mountains by the Tizi n'Tichka Pass, 2,260 meters above sea level. See Berber villages perched on the side of the mountains, hardly distinguishable from the mountains themselves. On the far side of the mountains the landscape becomes desert-like. Admire the kasbah architecture featuring turrets, grilled windows, and peach-colored adobe walls. Continue to the ancient kasbah of Aït Ben Haddou, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop in Ouarzazate, known as Morocco's Hollywood. Movies filmed there including Diamond of the Nile, Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, The Mommy, Gladiator, Seven Days in Tibet, Alexander the Great, Babel, and others.

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Private Day Trip to Telouet & Ait Ben Haddou

7. Private Day Trip to Telouet & Ait Ben Haddou

You’ll be picked up in Marrakech from where you'll head out in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle on a drive across the largest mountains in North Africa. En route you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the High Atlas Mountains and fertile valleys. This 10-hour trip is priced for a group of up to 4 persons. See the salt mines in the Ounila Valley, the Pacha Glaoui Kasbah, and Telouet. Visit the Ksar (Castle) of Ait-Ben-Haddou, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The village of Ait-Ben-Haddou is situated on a hill in the Souss Massa Draa region, along the Ouarzazate River. It was an important stop for traders carrying gold, salt, and slaves along the main caravan route through the Sahara. Both Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth were filmed here. The entire lower part of the village was rebuilt, and in recent years, more controlled restoration was carried out under the watchful eye of UNESCO. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in Ait-Ben-Haddou, where you’ll enjoy your meal with panoramic views of the Kasbah. You'll then return to Marrakech via the Tizi n’Tichka pass.

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Atlas Mountains & Sahara Desert Private 4-Day Tour

8. Atlas Mountains & Sahara Desert Private 4-Day Tour

This 4-day tour of the High Atlas Mountains and the Moroccan Desert is like a trip back in time. Escape the hurly-burly of the city streets and the pressure of modern life as you head into the mountains and continue to what is often called the “real” Sahara desert with its iconic sand dunes, teased by the play of the desert light and sun. Day 1: Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Rose Valley – Dades Gorges. The tour begins with a 8:00 AM pickup from your hotel or Riad in Marrakech. Drive over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi N’Tichka Pass. On the way you will visit the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, before continuing to Ouarzazate. Carry on via the road of a 1000 Kasbahs to Skoura, where you will stop to see a beautiful Kasbah named Amredhyle. Continue to Kalaat M'Gouna, known as the “Capital of Roses” for the abundance of rose growers. In the evening you will arrive at Dades Gorges where you will spend the night at either the Babylon Hotel, Dar Ahlam, or a similar accommodation. Day 2: Dades Gorges – Todra Gorges – Merzouga. After breakfast, continue through the Dades Valley, heading towards Todra Gorges. Stop for lunch at a nice spot before continuing to Merzouga across the Jorf palm grove, and the town of Erfoud. Known as the “Gateway to the Sahara” Erfoud is known for the precious fossils found in the desert. You will visit one of the fossil filled marble workshops. Arrive at the impressive dunes of Merzouga late in the afternoon and take a camel ride, crossing the sea of sand in order to spend the night in the heart of the dunes in a standard desert camp (with a shared bathroom). Enjoy a magical dinner and overnight stay under a canopy of stars. Day 3: Merzouga – Rissani-Alnif-Tazarine – Draa Valley – Agdez – Ouarzazate. Wake early for a camel ride to watch the impressive sunrise. Then head back to the hotel to freshen up and have breakfast. Depart towards the Palmerie of Tafilalet and the town of Rissani, where the Alaouite Dynasty originated. Explore the ancient capital of the Alaouite Sultans before continuing to the village of Alnif, where you will take the road that crosses the Jbel Saghro Anti-Atlas chain. Notice the greyish-black mountains of different and remarkable shapes as you continue to the main Berber village of Tazarine and N’kob and then drive in to the Draa Valley with its rows of stately palms. In the late afternoon, drive to Ouarzazate via the Anti-Atlas Mountain, through Tizi N’Tniffift. You will spend the night at either Riad Bouchedor, Les Jardins de Ouarzazate, or a similar accommodation in Ouarzazate. Day 4: Ouarzazate – Marrakech. After breakfast, visit the Taourirt Kasbah and Film Studios, then depart for Marrakech crossing the High Atlas Mountains to arrive in the city at approximately 5:00 PM.

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From Marrakech: Camel Ride & Hiking Tour in Atlas Mountains

9. From Marrakech: Camel Ride & Hiking Tour in Atlas Mountains

Depart Marrakech at 09:00 and travel by private vehicle to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Go to the village of Asni for the start of your adventure. After an approximately 40-minute drive, switch to a camel and ride through apple orchards, juniper forests and local villages. Spend about 2 hours on camel back before a 10-minute walk to lunch. Enjoy a welcome mint tea break at a local home. Get a nice view of the surrounding scenery from the roof terrace. Then, take another 10-minute stroll back to your waiting vehicle. Journey back to Marrakech via a different route for alternative views. Pass through the Kik Plateau, famed for its stunning landscape, beautiful views of the mountains and abundance of flowers in the spring. See the reservoir of Lalla Takerkoust before you arrive back in Marrakech at the end of the day.

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Marrakech City Tour by Carriage

10. Marrakech City Tour by Carriage

Marrakesh Travel Services offers you during this visit a stroll through the "Red Town" on a charming carriage. The tour includes exploration of the peaceful Menara Gardens, the picturesque Botanic Gardens Majorelle and the city center. The tour will start with a hotel pick-up by carriage in Marrakech. You will then head to The Majorelle Garden, a 12-acre botanical garden and artist's landscape garden in Marrakech.  Its museum contains the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech. Thereafter, your carriage driver will take you to The Menara Gardens, which  are botanical gardens located to the west of Marrakech, Morocco, near the Atlas Mountains. They were established in the 12th century by the Almohad Caliphate ruler Abd al-Mu'min. You tour will be ended by a tour in the city center of Marrakech, where you will enjoy watching the Marrakech ramparts, and take pictures from your carriage .

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What people are saying about Atlas Mountains

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 279 reviews

Amazing day trip to Atlas Mountains and Agafay Desert! Driving there was nice as well. We stopped at several view points to take pictures, since the landscape was pretty impressive and diverse. We also visited an argan oil cooperative, where the production of argan products was being explained - I personally did not feel obligated to buy something, everyone was really nice. We had a small breakfast there as well. In Atlas Mountains we took a hike to a waterfall, it was also possible to ride a mule for most of the hike (not included). Later on, we had lunch with salad and tajine. The highlight of the day was riding out in Agafay desert. Such an amazing experience. The horses were well-behaved, it was possible to ride fast when experienced. It was so much fun! I want to thank our tour guide Omar and our driver Aziz for an amazing day trip in Morocco! I definitely made some great memories that I will forever cherish.

The owner Mr Abrahim provided us the best customer service and ensure our outmost satisfaction regarding this tour. I had a wonderful time exploring in Imlil valley knowing the berber locals there, their life, their tradition and culture and amazed with the magnificent surroundings around the mountain eat lunch at a berber house see the beautiful falls and socialize with other locals. We end our day by a 45-minute camel ride with lots of free mint tea, lots of pictures taken by our guide Khale, he is also very kind and he takes us to the suppliers market where everything is so cheap we are so lucky that we able to go there since it's only open every tuesday overall my experience with this tour company is such a great time will come back for more!

HONESTLY: it was súper amazing! Mustapha (Musti) was our 26-year-old guide and he was truly incredible! The trip is long, but the views and all the stops are 100% worth it. We were just a group of 6 in a airconditioned van. Compared to other tours with over 8 people, this was just perfect!! All people from our group were between the age of 22 and 28, which resulted in a great atmosphere. Even though you don’t really have the ‘famous sand dunes’, the views, sunset and sunrise are AMAZING. DEFINITELY WORTH EVERY EURO!

Great experience! The driver was fun and caring, and we saw a lot of things during one day though it wasn't tiring. The lunch was superb!

This is the best value excursion in Marrakech. Driver was very nice and the guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. A big thumbs up!