Explore Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira – 6 Days
This 6-day itinerary perfectly balances culture, adventure and relaxation. It features the highlights of the imperial city of Marrakech, including hiking in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and relaxing in the seaside town of Essaouira. You will roam the exotic souks in the old medina, learn about Moroccan traditional food & cuisine, and share food with a Berber families. Explore the centuries-old coastal fortifications and visit the Argan Tree Cooperative, where you can learn all about oil extraction while watching goats graze on the branches.
See dancers, henna artists and acrobats in the lively Jemaa el-Fna square
Hike the foothills of the High Atlas in the majestic beauty of the Amizmiz Valley
Eat bread with a Berber family and experience local traditions and hospitality
Climb up the city walls to overlook the Atlantic Ocean and taste fresh seafood in the leisurely Essaouira
Visit the Argan Tree Cooperative to learn about the oil extraction process
|Day 1 Arrive in Marrakech – Explore Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 2 Marrakech – Amizmiz||Amizmiz|
Day 3 Hike from Amizmiz to Imi N’Tala – Traditional Cooking
|Day 4 Morning Hike – Drive to Essaouira||Essaouira|
|Day 5 Essaouira – Marrakech||Marrakech|
|Day 6 Marrakech; Departure||airport|
Day 1 Arrive in Marrakech – Explore Marrakech
Marrakech is the second largest city in Morocco and is also known as the “Red City” (due to the natural ocher paint on its walls). After setting up your accommodation, prepare to be astounded by vibrant sights, sounds and smells as you explore this bustling city. To best understand the layout, please center on Jemaa el Fna Square. From here, you will find the open-air market to the north, the Koutoubia Mosque and gardens to the west, and the old castle area with the Saadi dynasty tombs, Bahia Palace and Badi Palace to the south.
For many people, the main attraction in Marrakech is Jemaa el Fna Square, which begins to be crowded with musicians, storytellers, acrobats, dancers, henna artists and snake charmers in the late afternoon. When it gets dark, rows of food stalls will appear, serving everything from dinner to fruit drinks, dried dates and small snacks. For a more relaxing experience, look for one of the many cafes located above the square and enjoy a meal or tea while watching the show below.
Before the square is restored to life later in the day, you can choose from a variety of attractions to explore Marrakech:
- Koutoubia Mosque and Gardens: To the west of Jemaa el Fna, you will see the eye-catching minarets of the Koutoubia Mosque. Although non-Muslims are not allowed to enter, you can admire the minaret, which is the oldest tower built during the Almohad dynasty. On the north side of the mosque, you will see the foundation of the original mosque, which must be rebuilt in order to be consistent with Mecca. Walk around the back of the mosque to the beautiful Koutoubia Garden, where there are fountains, pools, palm trees and flowers. When the sun shines on the minaret in the evening, it is an ideal place for an afternoon stroll.
- Medina, Souks and Fondouks: The Medina has enough alleys and markets for you to stay for a few days. As you stroll, enjoy various sights, sounds and smells. Some open-air markets (markets) worth exploring include Souk el Attarin, which sells spices, Souk Haddadine, which sells blacksmith supplies, and Souk Smata, which sells slippers, carpets, and leather goods. Keep an eye out for Souk des Teinturiers, the open-air market of dyers, where you can see people dyeing fabrics and yarns in the afternoon and hanging them on the street to dry.
- Fondouks: Along the many alleys, you will notice large open spaces and courtyards. These Fondouks were once hotels used by visiting merchants and merchants. They slept upstairs, while their animals lived on the ground floor. Today, some have been converted into residential areas, while others are large shopping areas and workshops that you can explore.
- Medersa Ben Youssef (Quran School): This beautifully renovated medersa was built in the 16th century and was once the residence of students from the nearby Ben Youssef Mosque. Inside, you can admire the cedar carvings, stucco and zellij tiles in the central courtyard, stroll through the old dormitory where 800 students once lived, and visit the prayer hall.
- Saadian Tombs: Hidden for many years, until the 1930s was “discovered” by curious French authorities. The oldest tomb here dates back to 1557. Enter through a very narrow passage and find a small garden, tomb and three main pavilions.
- Bahia Palace: Built in the 19th century, it was the largest and most luxurious palace at that time. Today, you can explore courtyards and gardens and admire the intricate woodwork and painted ceilings.
- Majorelle Gardens (30 minutes walk or fast taxi ride): Not far from the hustle and bustle of the Medina, you can stroll through these lush and expansive gardens filled with subtropical plants, bamboo, lilies and palm trees. This is a great place to relax and resist the afternoon heat.
Other sites in the area include:
- Almoravid Koubba, the only Almoravid building intact
- The Marrakech Museum is located in the Dar Mnebbi Palace in the 19th century and houses a collection of sculptures and various other Moroccan art
- The Moroccan Arts and Crafts Museum displays wooden products, including traditional wedding sedan chairs
Day 2 Marrakech – Amizmiz
This morning, you will travel to the small town of Amizmiz and the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains one hour south of the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Here, you can explore the small market in the old town, and then go for an amazing hike on the off-travel paths.
You will be guided by a local mountain expert who will take you through the trails and mule paths in the surrounding mountains. You can choose the route according to the distance, length or difficulty you want, but please note that the farther you go, the better the scenery.
No matter which route you take, when you hike through the beautiful mountainside between Berber villages, you are unlikely to see other tourists. Along the way, pay attention to the local farmers, shepherds, mules, goats, and dogs who share the scenery with you. Note how the community here adapts to the terrain: you will see terraced farmland and small irrigation canals dug along the mountainside, all of which were built by farmers to make the area suitable for agricultural development
You will have lunch with the local family and they will show you how they bake delicious bread in a small traditional oven. Afterwards, if you wish, you can continue hiking and then head to the local Berber home, where you can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. Then have dinner with your host and a fun community night. After drinking mint tea and chatting, I went back to the guest room here for the night.
Day 3 Hike from Amizmiz to Imi N’Tala – Traditional Cooking
Enjoy breakfast with your host before returning to the trail. As you hike through the mule trails of the Amnougal Valley, you will pass through charming villages. Once you have a certain understanding of this area, you will be immersed in the splendor of rural mountain life that alternates in the four seasons. Along the way, you will see beautiful rural scenery, herds of sheep and goats on pastures, terraces, examples of traditional irrigation and lovely fruit trees. You will stop for a picnic in an idyllic setting, and then continue to Imi N’Tala Village.
Here, your host Fatima will welcome you with a smile, drink a cup of fresh mint tea at her home, and visit her village to teach you about Imi N’Tala’s daily life. In the late afternoon, you will return to Fatima’s home to participate in a hands-on cooking seminar. You will learn how to make traditional bread and Tagine. After dinner, the local family will greet you and they will entertain you overnight in their hotel.
Day 4 Morning Hike – Drive to Essaouira
Enjoy breakfast at your country hotel, then bid farewell to your host family before embarking on the journey. You will explore more villages while hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the area.
After the morning hike, you will set off to the seaside town of Essaouira, which will take you across the vast rolling plains and through a unique forest full of argan trees. The oil in argan is highly regarded for many uses, especially in the fields of cooking and cosmetics. You may have the opportunity to stop at the Argan Cooperative to learn more about the product and its applications, and even see the actual oil extraction process. However, if you visit the trees, you may not be alone! On the tall branches, you might see local goats eating argan. What a scene!
After arriving in Essaouira, relax and enjoy some free time. You can stroll through the impressive seawall, explore the beauty of the old Medina area, or enjoy the very active fishing port. If you are hungry, you can have lunch at a first-class seafood restaurant in the harbour. You will have the rest of the time to relax and explore this charming town; your expert will be happy to recommend good places for dinner here.
Day 5 Essaouira – Marrakech
Take some time to enjoy a delicious breakfast in Essaouira, wander around the quaint city center, and relax on the coast. The bustling medina here is more laid back and easier to navigate than the medina in Marrakech, so consider shopping before you leave. Later in the morning, you will return to Marrakech. When you return to the rolling plains, look out for the goats in the nearby argan trees! When you arrive in Marrakech, you will be able to enjoy the rest of the day and night.
If you are interested in exploring the local museums, head to Dar Menebhi Palace, which houses the wonderful Marrakech Museum. Here, you will see a collection of contemporary art as well as traditional crafts and weapons. Marrakech also has a thriving artistic atmosphere, with some galleries exhibiting works by local artists. After preparing dinner, enjoy a delicious meal before enjoying the hustle and bustle of city nightlife
Day 6 Marrakech; Departure
It’s time to say goodbye to Morocco! Enjoy the last delicious breakfast and feel the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city. Depending on your travel arrangements, you may have time to go sightseeing or shopping at the last minute before heading to Marrakech Menara Airport for a flight home.
- include Private tour
- Daily breakfast Hotel accommodation and all transportation in Marrakech
- Airport Full transportation with air-conditioning,
- crossing the Hight Atlas Mountains of Morocco
- gas and driver English speaking guide and driver Overnight in Amizmiz, Essaouira & Marrakech
- Tour Guide in & Marrakech
- including breakfast
- Daily including breakfast, free time to explore scenic spots, take photos, etc.
- Customized and flexible stops
- Travel insurance
- Entrance tickets to monuments
NOTE : At Traveling Morocco Agency we offer Luxury & Standard accommodations Tour from Marrakech to Marrakech via Amizmiz & Essaouira .
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