Marrakech Grand Desert Tour Hiking & the Coast – 10 Days

Marrakech Grand Desert Tour Hiking & the Coast – 10 Days

Combining culture, adventure, and relaxation, this 10-day itinerary will take you to explore the imperial city of Marrakech, explore the Sahara Desert and surrounding desert towns, hike the Atlas Mountains, and relax along the coast. Listen to traditional music around a desert campfire, spend the night with a local Berber family, and hike among small villages in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Finish your trip with fresh seafood from the Atlantic coast in charming Essaouira.


  • Stroll through Marrakech’s ancient medina and labyrinthine souks

  •  Explore desert dunes, oases, hidden valleys and ancient castles

  •  Ride a camel into the sunset and listen to traditional music around a desert campfire

  • Hike among wildflowers and mountainside towns in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains
  • Climb the seaside walls and enjoy fresh seafood on the coast of Essaouira

Marrakech Grand Desert Tour Hiking & the Coast – 10 Days program itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech: Explore the “Red City”

Welcome to Marrakech! Nicknamed the “Red City” for its 1,000-year-old red sandstone walls and buildings, Marrakech is a major economic center. Unlike Fez, Marrakech has Berber rather than Arab ancestry and was once an important trading center for tribes in the Atlas Mountains. Orient yourself around Marrakech’s bustling Jemaa el-Fna square: the souks (markets) to the north, the Koutoubia mosque and gardens to the west, and the kasbah (fortress or fortification) with its Saadian tombs, Bahia Palace and El The Badi Palace Fortifications) area in the south. In new city of marrakech you will find the Majorelle Gardens.

For a unique way to see the medina (old city), board a calèche (French for horse-drawn carriage) and start acclimatizing to your surroundings. Note the fondouks – medieval inns that provided accommodation and supplies for merchants and travelers. Today, some of them have been converted into residences or large shopping areas and workshops for you to explore. Find your way to the Koutoubia Mosque, then take a break in the gardens surrounded by fountains and palm trees. While non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque, it’s worth exploring its 12th-century foundations and minarets.

As night falls, Jemaa el-Fna comes alive with musicians and storytellers, acrobats and dancers, and even a snake charmer. Wander the many rows of food stalls offering everything from full meals to fruit drinks, dried dates and small snacks. For a bite to eat, or for a more relaxed experience, find one of the many cafés above the square and enjoy your meal while watching the show below.


8 days desert tour from marrakech

Day 2: Marrakerch sightseeing

Meet your guide for a half-day tour to discover the exquisite details of the Ben Youssef Madrassa and see its 16th-century architecture. Admire traditional Moroccan handicrafts: carved cedar, carved plaster, arabesques, Islamic calligraphy and colorful zellij (mosaic tiles). Wander through the old residence halls that once housed up to 800 students, and visit the prayer hall.

Take time to explore the Dar Di Said Museum (also known as the Museum of Moroccan Art), seeing exhibits of clothing, antiques, jewelry, and beautifully carved Spanish Moorish ornaments. Afterwards, indulge your senses by exploring the intricate maze of souks hidden behind the usual restaurants and shops. Head to Souk el Attarin, Souk Chouari and Souk Smata for a variety of spices, woodwork and babouche (traditional Moroccan slippers). Visit the Souk des Teinturiers (Dyeing Souks) and see for yourself how leather and cloth are dyed.


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Day 3: Over the Atlas mountains to Ouarzazate & Boumalne Dades

Leave the busy city behind and head east into the desert and up the High Atlas Mountains. See if you can see Mount Toubkal, the highest peak at 4,167 meters (13,671 feet). Along the way, you’ll pass many Berber villages made up of traditional mud-brick buildings. Enjoy lunch in Taddart and visit a local argan oil cooperative to learn how local women extract the precious oil from argans to create oils for the health, food and cosmetics industries. Follow the winding road to the Tizi n’Tichka pass, stopping to admire the panoramic views.

Continue east to the heart of the desert and Ouarzazate filming location. Take a movie studio tour and Kasbah taourirte and discover which of your favorite movies were shot in the nearby desert location. Movie buffs might enjoy a visit to the Film Museum. Follow the valley of the thousand castles towards Boumalne Dades, passing through many small towns where you will see traditional farming methods. Watch as herders tend to their animals as you pass through the fragrant “valley of roses” Kelâat M’Gouna. You’ll eventually arrive in Boumalne Dades, the main town that bridges the Dades River.

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Day 4: Desert towns & camel ride in the Sahara

Today, you’ll continue eastward to your final destination: the Erg Chebbi sand sea outside Merzouga. Stop at Tinghir along the way to admire the river oasis that stretches out to either side of the town. The surrounding desert views, mesas and plateaus.. Nearby, you’ll have the chance to explore the Todra Gorge, a 984-foot (300-meter) deep canyon cut by the Todra River. Continue to the desert town of I ford. Famous for its figs and fossils, visit a craft workshop to learn how fossil-rich rocks are subtly transformed into practical and decorative objects.

As you approach the town of Merzouga, the closest town to the Sahara, stop at the market town of Rissani and be sure to visit the livestock auction and the “Donkey Park”. Leaving Rissani, you will begin to see the beginnings of the giant sand dunes of Erg Chebbi looming on the horizon. Once in Merzouga, change gear and your personal camel for your trek across the dunes and Bedouin camps. Hike to the top of the nearby dunes to watch the sun set, then enjoy a warm meal by the fire and listen to traditional music.


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Day 5: Date palms, Draa Valley & Aït Benhaddou Kasbah

Wake up early to watch the Sahara sunrise, then explore more of the desert: rent a sandboard, take an Erg Chebbi tour (circling the dunes) or a quad tour. Head south to Khemliya and explore this traditional Saharan village. You’ll have a second chance to stop in Rissani to visit Maison Tuareg, a warehouse selling traditional rugs, jewelry and leather goods. From there walk through the umbrella trees of the acacia forest before reaching Alnif for lunch. Continue on through the Draa Valley, densely covered with date palms, and have the opportunity to pick a box of dates for the drive.

Continue west to medieval Aït Benhaddou. A UNESCO-protected site, Aït Benhaddou is Morocco’s most famous citadel and once upon a time was important on the trans-Saharan trade route between Marrakech, Ouarzazate and the southern desert. After the daytime crowds have left, spend the night in the old town, wandering the empty alleys. Pay a nominal fee to enter several châteaux and climb to the rooftops for great views of the surrounding ksours (personal châteaux) and the Ouarzazate valley


Day 6: Ait Benhaddou to Marrakech

Explore the narrow passages and alleys to really get a feel for this 11th-century fortified city before the crowds pour into the old castle. Leaving Aït Benhaddou behind, return to Marrakech, crossing the High Atlas Mountains again and crossing the Tizi n’Tichka pass. As you descend the north-facing slopes of the High Atlas, you’ll notice a change in climate and views. After all the tranquility of the hight atlas mountains and sahara desert, you’ll be back in lively Marrakech in no time.

See the only surviving Almoravid monument, the 12th-century Almoravid Koubba, before visiting the Marrakech Museum. Housed in the 19th-century Dar Mnebbi Palace, the museum is a large gallery of modern and traditional art, including artifacts from Berber and Moroccan Jewish and Islamic cultures. Return to Jemaa el-Fna and grab a bite at one of the many food stalls.



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Day 7: Amizmiz and the High Atlas mountains

Not far south of Marrakech is the small town of Amizmiz at the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Explore the humble markets of the old town, then meet your mountain guide and start hiking along quiet narrow roads and mule paths. Due to the remoteness of the area, you are unlikely to encounter other tourists. So you will be trekking between traditional Berber villages that hug the hillsides where local farmers and shepherds are going about their daily lives. Explore terraced farmland built by local farmers to turn mountainsides into arable land,

Visit a local family to learn about their lives and enjoy a traditional lunch with them before continuing on your hike, and enjoying a warm meal and their company.


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Day 8: Return from the Atlas mountains to Marrakech

Have breakfast with your hosts before saying goodbye and embarking on your journey. Continue exploring the local landscape and other nearby towns before returning to Marrakech.

Upon arrival in Marrakech, explore the Kasbah area south of Jemaa el-Fna, visit the Saadian tombs and discover the 500-year-old craftsmanship that went into their construction. Visit the sunken gardens of the 17th-century El Badi Palace as you pass through the Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and the 19th-century Bahia Palace. Return to the medina for an evening walk, a short walk admiring the floodlit Koutoubia Mosque before heading back to your accommodation.

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Day 9: Marrakech to Essaouira

After breakfast, head west to the Atlantic coast to the charming seaside town of Essaouira. The route along the way takes you through vast rolling plains and endemic argan forests. If you’re lucky, you might spot goats eating argan fruit in the trees, a sight to see when pastures are limited or unavailable. Along the way, make an optional stop at an argan oil cooperative to see how the precious and expensive oil is extracted from the nut.

Arrive in the laid-back port city of Essaouira, a stark contrast to the frenetic Marrakech, and spend the rest of the day as you choose. Stroll along the coast to the Skala de la Kasbah (18th-century seaside walls). Designed by European engineers, ancient brass cannons line the walls, providing access overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Explore the UNESCO-protected medina, then head to windswept beaches. Jimi Hendrix fans might want to take a taxi to Diabate, at the end of Essaouira beach, where he reportedly spent some time. Walk back to Essaouira for a meal of freshly caught seafood.



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Day 10: Return to Marrakech, Depart

Essaouira, known as the “Wind City” for the strong Alizée trade winds that blow over its crescent-shaped beach, is a popular crescent beach, destination. Spend the morning watching the windsurfers and crescent beach,, or the more adventurous, take a lesson before saying goodbye and heading back to Marrakech.

Once you arrive in Marrakech, do all your last minute gift and souvenir shopping. Or depending on your departure details, you may wish to visit the Majorelle Gardens. Not far from the buzzing medina, a visit to these lush, sprawling gardens is the perfect place to escape the heat and bustle of the afternoon. Leave a quiet behind on the way home and take your memories with you.


More great 10-day Morocco itineraries

Looking for more type for your tours to Morocco? Check out these other 10-day Morocco itineraries, including outdoor adventures, cultural tours, and curated tours.



  •  include Private tour
  • Daily breakfast Hotel accommodation and all transportation in Marrakech
  • Airport Full transportation with air-conditioning,
  • gas and driver English speaking guide and driver Overnight in Amzmiz, Sahara Desert, Dades Valley, Merzouga, Ouarzazate and Marrakech ,
  • Tour Guide in Marrakech
  • including breakfast 
  • Daily including breakfast, free time to explore scenic spots, take photos, etc.
  • Customized and flexible stops


  • Lunch
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance tickets to monuments
  • Tips

NOTE : At Traveling Morocco Agency we offer Luxury & Standard accommodations Tour from Marrakech to Marrakech via Sahara Desert, Amizmiz, essaouira Ouarzazte,Merzouga & Dades valley & Marrakech
So please feel free to contact-us

Book Your Marrakech, Grand Desert Tour, Hiking & the Coast – 10 Days with Traveling Morocco Agency , We have Luxury & Standart options for our guests .