11-Day Morocco Itinerary

Marrakech to Atlas Mountains

Most people associate Morocco with mountain ranges and desert rather than its 1,300 miles of magnificent Atlantic coastline. Within the past few years, however, sleepy Essaouira has started to attract growing numbers of travelers looking for a breath of salt air, some excellent seafood and good shopping. 

This 11-day Moroccan itinerary covers all of the top places to visit in the area. From Marrakech, take an astonishing drive over the Atlas Mountains via the dizzying Tizi n’Test pass to the old walled market town of Taroudant at the edge of the Sahara.

Itinerary Highlights

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  • Experience a hammam ritual
  • View the Almoravid Koubba
  • Explore the famed souks
  • Learn the secrets of Moroccan cooking
  • Take a day trip to seaside Essaouira
  • Unwind in the Atlas Mountains and city of Taroudant

Trip Overview

Day 1 - 4 : Arrive in Morocco
Relax in the city
Day 5 - 8 : Escaping the City
Escape to a resort
Day 8 - 11 : Exploring Taroudant
Natural splendors and markets

Day 1 - 4 : Arrive in Morocco

Fly into Marrakech and check in at La Mamounia or the evocative Riad l’Orangeraie, set in the heart of the medina. Before dinner, experience a hammam ritual — a combination of steam, exfoliation and massage that is the perfect antidote to jet lag.

Atlas Mountains in Morocco
Bedroom at La Mamounia
La Mamounia and its pool
Le Marocain salads
Chef walking through the gardens at La Mamounia
Morocco La Mamounia Spa

Day 2

Take a full day to explore Marrakech with a guide. View the Almoravid Koubba, the inspiration for much of Morocco’s architecture, and the richly decorated Ben Youssef madrassa. Dive into the famed souks, a labyrinth of markets offering an incredible profusion of local crafts. Shop for ornate lanterns, leather slippers, inlaid boxes of rare thuya wood and Berber kilims — this is craft-shopping at its best. Finish in the exotic Djemaa el-Fna, a central square where snake charmers, acrobats, musicians and storytellers entertain a largely local crowd.

Ben Youssef madrassa
Ben Youssef madrassa - © NeilCordell/iStock/Thinkstock
Staff Travel Tips from Morocco

Day 3

Tour El Badi Palace, the ornate Saadian Tombs and the former Jewish Quarter. After lunch, take horse and carriage to the lush Majorelle Garden, owned by the estate of Yves Saint Laurent.

The Majorelle Garden
The Majorelle Garden - © fotofantasticka/iStock/Thinkstock

Day 4

Head out to the poolside teaching kitchen of La Maison Arabe to learn the secrets of Moroccan cooking. After dining on your creations, take the afternoon to explore the souks on your own.

The pool at La Maison Arabe
Patio at La Maison Arabe
La Maison Arabe

Near the Djemaa el-Fna marketplace, this mansion hotel within the medina comprises 26 air-conditioned guest rooms and suites.

Day 5 - 8 : Escaping the City

Enjoy the morning in Marrakech, then check in at either Amanjena or Ksar Char-Bagh. Both resorts are a few miles outside the city, and offer an oasis of tranquility and luxury.

Tent at Ksar Char-Bagh
Pool at Ksar Char-Bagh

This opulent resort is four miles outside Marrakech.

Day 6

Make a day trip into the Ourika Valley, where Berber villages line the river beneath green hillsides.

Ourika Valley
Ourika Valley - © MadrugadaVerde/iStock/Thinkstock

Day 7

Hike or bike in the countryside, play a round of golf, indulge in a treatment at the hotel’s spa, shop for more treasures in the souks or make a day trip to seaside Essaouira.

L'Heure Bleue Palais, Essaouira, Morocco
Seaside at Essaouira
Seaside at Essaouira - © iStock.com/FilipMakowski

Day 8 - 11 : Exploring Taroudant

Transfer with a driver through the sensationally scenic Atlas Mountains, crossing over the spectacular Tizi n'Test pass. Half-forgotten kasbahs, mountain villages and snowcapped peaks line the unforgettable route. Continue to the unspoiled market town of Taroudant and check in at the serene La Gazelle d’Or.

Overlooking the Atlas Mountains
Interior of the lobby at La Gazelle d'Or

Day 9

Explore the city walls and souks of Taroudant with a guide and have lunch in a 19th-century palace.

Day 10

Enjoy a day to unwind at sumptuous La Gazelle d’Or. Go for a horseback ride, wander the alleys of roses, lounge by the pool, play a round of croquet or continue exploring the city.

Outdoor dining at La Gazelle d'Or
Outdoor dining at La Gazelle d'Or - © La Gazelle d'Or

Day 11

Transfer 45 minutes to the Agadir airport and depart.


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