There are few places that evoke the same exotic imagery and sense of adventure as the nation of Morocco. A tantalising blend of Middle Eastern, Spanish and African influences meld together to form a culture as unique as the landscape it inhabits.
Everywhere you go you are greeted by almost fantastical scenes; ancient mud fortresses, towering snow-capped mountains rising from the barren desert, cities painted completely in blue and bustling outdoor markets filled with snake charmers, colourful spices and magical lamps to name just a few.
The hardest part of visiting Morocco is trying to fit in as much as possible with limited time. There is truly so much to see here it would take months to do it all, but if you only have a limited time then consider this 10 day Morocco itinerary which takes in some of the top highlights whilst being easy on the budget!
Table of Contents
The Ultimate 10 Day Morocco Itinerary
This 10 day Morocco itinerary will start by taking you from the ancient city of Fes, up into the verdant northern Rif Mountains to the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen. From here it’s a transit through Tangier to get the fast train on to Marrakech to sample the famous markets and bustling medina.
The highlight for us was then crossing the Atlas Mountains in a rental car to visit the majestic fortress of Ait-Ben-Haddou and onwards into the desert to witness the mind-blowing grandeur of the Todra Gorge.
To end the trip, you can fly out of Ouarzazate or head back to Marrakech. This last part can also be done by taking a multi-day desert tour from Marrakech if you aren’t comfortable driving yourself.
10 Day Morocco Itinerary Overview
- Todra Gorge
➤Arrive in Fes
Nights One & Two – Fes
Day One – Spend the day exploring Fes and seeing all of the highlights
Day Two – Depart Fes + take the bus to Chefchaouen
Nights Three & Four – Chefchaouen
Day Three – Spend the day sightseeing in Chefchaouen – the blue city
Day Four – Depart Chefchaouen + take the bus to Tangier + spend afternoon/evening seeing some of Tangier’s sights
Night Five – Tangier
Day Five – Depart Tangier + take the train to Marrakech
Night Six & Seven – Marrakech
Day Six – Full day of sightseeing in Marrakech
Day Seven – Depart Marrakech + drive to Ait-Ben-Haddou (or opt to take a guided desert tour from Marrakech)
Nights Eight & Nine – Ait-Ben-Haddou
Day Eight – Visit the ancient village of Ait-Ben-Haddou
Day Nine – Depart Ait-Ben-Haddou + drive to Todra Gorge
Night Ten & Eleven – Todra Gorge
Day Ten – Full day of sightseeing in Todra Gorge + relaxing poolside
➤End of 10 Day Morocco Itinerary – Drive to Ourzazate + fly home or extend trip
10 Day Morocco Itinerary Highlights
- Ancient tanneries and winding alleyways of Fes
- A blue city sat amidst steep green valleys
- Exploring exotic markets and taking in the fascinating street scenes
- Crossing the imposing atlas mountains
- A magical desert fortress and rivers of palm trees flowing through the majestic canyons
Best Time to Visit Morocco
Morocco can get scorching hot in summer so it may be best to avoid travel in this season. The bumper seasons are best with Autumn and Spring being most commonly recommended. We decided to travel to Morocco in May, the weather was perfect and comfortable for the duration of our trip.
Autumn is from September to October and has sunny weather and little rain. Spring is from April to May and also sunny with a chance of small amounts of rain. You can also still travel in winter as it is mostly sunny with very little rain however it can get cold in the desert and the mountains.
The Best Travel Insurance for Morocco
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For peace of mind while abroad, Heymondo is one of the most reputable travel insurance companies that will provide you with simple and flexible coverage. Whether you are into adventurous activities or simply looking for trip cancellation and medical insurance, Heymondo has you covered.
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►Get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance◄
How to Plan The Perfect 10 Day Morocco Itinerary
We flew into Fes and spent the first two nights here to get accustomed to Morocco and to ensure we had enough time to have a proper look around the fascinating old city.
Fes was founded in 789 and is now the second largest city in Morocco. The old medina is a UNESCO world heritage site and a massive pedestrian only zone, something you will really appreciate once you experience Marrakech!
To be honest we flew into Fes because the flights were cheap but we ended up really enjoying our time there and could have spent longer. The old tannery is certainly one of the highlights of Morocco and a great place to buy some leather goods!
Highlights of Fes
The Old Medina Quarters (Fes el Bali & Fes Jdid)
Fes is a big city but the old medina is where you will be spending your time. There are 2 medina quarters which are alongside each other and house most of the attractions you will wish to see. One of the highlights of Fes is simply exploring all of the winding streets and alleys, perusing the shops and enjoying the cafes.
Dating back to the 11th century, this is one of the oldest tanneries in the world and a sight you are sure to have seen pictures of. It is in the heart of Fes el Bali and as such it is the busiest of the 3 tanneries of Fes.
The tannery is completely surrounded by leather stores, some of which offer their rooftops as viewing platforms. There is usually no charge for this and the shop attendants were very polite to us, all they ask is that you listen to a short talk on their shop and have a look around.
We bought something cheap each as we felt it fair after spending a lot of time and getting some great photos from their roof but perhaps don’t make any major purchases from these stores as the prices are inflated.
After reading about other travellers’ stories on the internet prior to visiting, one might expect to find aggressive salesmen who won’t let you leave their shops without buying something first. Although we didn’t have this negative experience, it is entirely possible that it happens from time to time, depending on the shop you choose to enter.
As you enter one of the shops, you will be given a sprig of mint to hold onto before you’re taken up to the platform. During the summer months, the smell from the tannery can be quite pungent however when we visited in May, we didn’t find this to be an issue at all.
Bou Inania Madrassa
Founded in the 14th century, this building is a beautiful example of Marinid architecture. If you want to see an example of the impressive architecture and art of a building like the Alhambra with a fraction of the crowds then it’s worth a visit. For a small fee it is open to the public.
Jardin Jnan Sbil
A large and tranquil inner city garden, take a break from the shopping and sightseeing with a stroll through the garden before finishing up at ‘Mezzanine’, a nearby bar where you can take advantage of their rooftop terrace and one of the few opportunities you will have to enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine in Morocco!
Royal Palace of Fes
Located in Fes Jdid, this palace is still frequently used by the King of Morocco meaning it is unfortunately not open to the public. The beautifully designed front entrance and gates are worth a look however and aren’t very busy so can make for some great photos.
Guided Walking Tour of Fes Medina
Don’t feel like navigating through the maze of streets on your own? This 4 hour guided tour will pick you up at your riad and take you through the highlights of the Fes medina.
You will walk through the narrow streets stopping at the Bou Inania Madrassa, Chouara Tannery, Nejjarine Museum and more popular sights. The tour begins first thing in the morning, includes a professional guide and skip the line tickets to attractions.
►Click here to book the Fes Medina Tour◄
Where to Stay in Fes
One of the highlights of Morocco is staying the beautifully decorated traditional riads and guesthouses. You can stay in some great places on a budget in Morocco but it is worth a splurge here and there to experience some of the more impressive riads. The ones we have selected are based on high ratings, a great location and beautiful interiors.
Budget – Dar Mfaddel
Clean and beautifully decorated, the price is right at this guesthouse. Whilst the rooms are a little on the small side, you won’t be spending a lot of time in there. There is so much to do in Fes and back in the guesthouse you will find yourself drinking mint tea in the beautiful common areas most of the time.
Mid-Range – Dar Anne
A super colourful place with great rooms for the price and an outdoor balcony where you can enjoy your tea with a view of the old medina. This place is in a great location and offers breakfast so you can get on the go straight out the door.
I had to squeeze in another option which sits just between the mid and upper range. Beautiful big rooms and bathrooms provide and oasis from the bust market streets. You can also relax with a pool and spa service.
Splurge – Dar Borj
Boasting a balcony with some of the best views of the city and some architecture worthy of a museum, coming back to this guesthouse will feel like the sightseeing is continuing. To be fair it might be a bit early in the trip for a splurge but if you’ve got the money then might as well experience the best!
►Browse more accommodation options in Fes◄
A photographer’s paradise of blue buildings and winding alleyways with a surprise around every corner, the ‘blue city’ of Chefchaouen is sure to be a highlight of this 10 day Morocco itinerary!
Nestled in the northern Rif mountains, the surrounding landscape is just as beautiful as the town itself, with the verdant green valleys contrasting spectacularly with the blue buildings. The town centre has a laid back vibe and it is so easy to spend a day just slowly wandering the streets and exploring all the alleyways and shops.
You can find many locally made crafts and unique products here if shopping is your thing and if you are a fan of photography then the opportunities are endless.
Getting from Fes to Chefchaouen
The easiest way to get to Chefchaouen from Fes is via the local bus service. The company is called CTM and a ticket will set you back less than $10 USD. Unfortunately unless you have a Moroccan bank card you are not able to purchase tickets in advance however there are many departures per day and tickets can be purchased easily from the station in Fes.
We would recommend doing this as soon as possible, in the busy period the buses fill up quickly and it’s best to try and get a reasonably early bus. Some guesthouses can also arrange tickets for you prior to arrival if you have booked a room with them, often for only a small fee, it could be worth e-mailing in advance to save yourself the hassle.
Highlights of Chefchaouen
Wandering the streets of the medina
One of the best things to do in Chefchaouen is simply to wander all the little streets and alleyways, perusing shops and finding great little photo ops along the way. Don’t forget to stop at some of the cafes offering rooftop dining with beautiful views over the town and valleys.
The Spanish Mosque
At the far end of town you can find the trail head that leads up along the side of a mountain and deposits you on a ridge-line adjacent to town. At the top of this ridge is a small and unused mosque. This however isn’t the attraction, it’s the magnificent views back over the town and countryside that you’re after! This spot shouldn’t be missed.
Talassemtane National Park
If you’re into some hiking then you can find some trails starting from town and heading into this national park. It can be steep in areas but is considered a moderate trail. Bring a picnic and enjoy waterfalls and sweeping mountain views. Check out the maps.me app to find the location of the trails.
Have lunch in front of the Kasbah
In the middle of town you will find the old Kasbah. We didn’t go in as it was quite expensive and supposedly there isn’t much to see. Opposite the Kasbah however are a number of simple restaurants which are great for a cheap lunch or breakfast where you can relax and take in the view of the building with mountains in the background.
Have a beer at Hotel Parador
This was my personal highlight! Just kidding, but after a long day of sightseeing it was great to find this place which has a balcony overlooking beautiful mountain and valley views. They serve ice cold beer and cocktails and you don’t have to be a guest so pull up chair and enjoy the sunset views!
Where to Stay in Chefchaouen
Budget – Usha Guest House
Situated on the more quiet river end of town, the best feature of this guest house is the beautiful balcony. Relax in a hammock while you take in mountain views then retire to room that are more than adequate for the price.
Mid-Range – Casa Sabila
This guesthouse is also situated down the quiet, and arguably prettier, area of town. There is some really interesting design throughout with spacious rooms and a brilliant view from the balcony. A great jumping off point for hikes into the surrounding mountains. If you book here ask the guesthouse to arrange a taxi from the bus station.
Splurge – Dar Elrio
If air-con and bathrobes are your thing then check out this highly rated guest house. An easy walk from the centre of the old town, you won’t have to leave again after coming back and cleaning up in the evening as you can enjoy the great rooftop restaurant on-site. The rooms are also beautifully decorated and have some great views out of the windows.
►Browse more accommodation options in Chefchaouen◄
Located just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, Tangier has a very colourful and busy history. Romanticised by the writers of the beat generation and with a reputation as an expat haunt, Tangier has a number of cafes and other locations of literary interest, if that is your thing.
There isn’t however too much of interest to the average tourist in Tangier and we chose to spend as little time as possible here, using it mainly as a transfer point to catch a train to Marrakech.
There are a few interesting sites scattered about the old town. You can see most of them in a couple hours walk and to be honest we found the town to be a bit run down and not particularly appealing. However, if you do have some time to spare, below are some of the best things to do in Tangier.
Highlights of Tangier
Located inside the building that was once the sultan’s palace, this museum showcases the history of this region of Morocco. Inside, you’ll see plenty fascinating displays, a number of courtyards and beautiful gardens. The Kasbah Museum is definitely worth a visit.
Explore the infinite maze of narrow alleys around the old town and enjoy the fact that you can wander peacefully through the streets without being bothered by shop keepers (as opposed to other cities in Morocco ie. Marrakech)
Make sure to stop at this gem of a restaurant for a meal while you’re visiting Tangier. Not only is does it hold #1 status on TripAdvisor, it is probably the best food we had in Morocco. You can expect delicious traditional Moroccan cuisine, large portions, and friendly service.
Getting to Marrakech from Chefchaouen via Tangier
You will use the same bus service to get to Tangier and thankfully it’s a shorter and less mountainous trip! There is a small CTM ticket window just outside of the old town in Chefchaouen.
Alternatively if you are an expert planner and know exactly when you want to leave you could buy your ticket to Tangier in advance when you get your Chefchaouen ticket in Fes.
The train company in Morocco is called ONCF, you are supposedly able to buy tickets online but we struggled with this. The station however is close to where the bus drops you off so you can either walk or get a taxi to buy your tickets.
We were not able to leave the same day and so spent a night in Tangier but if you are able to get tickets and leave earlier you may choose to spend the extra night elsewhere on the trip.
Where to Stay in Tangier
You’re really just looking for somewhere to rest your head, ideally close to the train and bus station. We stayed in the old city so we could have a quick look around but there is no vehicle access so it was actually a bit of a pain getting to and from our hotel.
If you just want a cheap place to spend the night in the old town then have a look at Hotel Maram. We stayed here and found it to be perfectly fine and actually pretty good value. There are a lot of restaurants nearby and it’s a short walk to the few sites of interest around town.
Hilton Garden Inn Tanger City Centre
If you just want to stay near the train station and don’t mind forking out a bit more, then why not enjoy some western style comfort for a night and book the Hilton Garden Inn. Use the time to refresh and unwind before the train journey and crazy streets of Marrakech.
►Browse more accommodation options in Tangier◄
The bustling, hectic and unique capital of Morocco; if you have been imagining the scene of snake charmers surrounded by colourful markets full of exotic goods, smells and foods then this is the place.
The ancient medina is a huge walled area of winding little alleyways full of traditional souks selling all manner of goods and foods. It is a car free area but unfortunately still allows scooters and motorcycles, which you will find yourself repeatedly dodging.
There is plenty to see and do in Marrakech and tourist numbers are high. We spent two nights here, accepting that we wouldn’t see everything but allowing ourselves more time to enjoy the road trip to follow. If you enjoy cities or have longer to spend on your trip then you could certainly consider an extra night here.
Highlights of Marrakech
Jemaâ El Fna Market
The biggest souk in Morocco and a truly interesting and exotic experience. Set up every evening in a massive square at the heart of the ancient medina, this is the place to be to witness the snake charmers in action and grab yourself some souvenirs.
Just watch your back as there are men who try to place animals (snakes and monkeys etc) on your shoulders and then ask for money. As we were walking through the market, a man came up behind us with a snake in his hand, looking like he was about to throw it at us. Luckily we managed to quickly escape but some people are not so lucky.
Make sure to grab dinner or even just a mint tea at one of the rooftop restaurants overlooking the market, try to book ahead as the best ones get very busy. It’s a great way to take in the atmosphere of the busy square without having to immerse yourself in the madness.
Explore the Medina
The medina is full of amazing little shops and some seriously good restaurants. Spend some time wandering the streets and alleys sampling everything the city has to offer. Be aware of the shop keepers around the medina, some of them can be very pushy, rude and very talented scam artists!
If you want to buy something, be prepared to haggle otherwise you will certainly get ripped off as the shop keepers will always try to sell items priced much higher than they are worth. The medina is a maze and you can expect to get lost, but that’s all part of the fun!
A beautiful 12th century mosque surrounded by plazas, gardens and fountains. This is a great spot to get some photos and to take a break from the busy market. The impressive Koutoubia Mosque is the largest one in all of Marrakech and 5 times per day you will hear the muezzin’s prayer calls echoing throughout the streets.
The mosque itself isn’t open to tourists but its gardens offer a peaceful escape from chaos of the streets.
This garden sits just outside the medina area and consists of 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens and pretty buildings. Consisting mostly of a huge variety of cacti, it is an interesting and tranquil break from the bustling city.
Get in early though as it can get very busy here during peak tourist season. If you leave it until later in the day, be prepared to stand in a long queue. The best way to get there is by catching a taxi which will take about 10 minutes and cost only a few dollars.
You will find a concentration of taxis near Jemaâ El Fna. You can try and negotiate the cost but we found this to be difficult and in hindsight, probably not worth the hassle for such a short ride.
A massive and well-preserved palace complex on the outskirts of the medina, well worth a visit to take in the beautiful Moroccan style architecture and large gardens. The design of this palace is very similar to that of the Alhambra in Spain with intricately detailed ceilings, impressive tile-work and large courtyards with fountains.
El Badi Palace
Once a majestic palace of the 16th century, these sprawling ruins are a popular tourist attraction that offer a fascinating insight into the colourful history of Marrakech. In total contrast to the pristine Bahia Palace, the sandstone walls of El Badi are bare and stripped of their once lavish decorations.
El Badi Palace evokes a sense of mystery and as you stroll through the complex, you’re able to imagine the grandeur of its past. Make sure to climb up onto the ramparts from the courtyard to find a spectacular view of Marrakech below.
Experience a Traditional Hammam
Spending a few hours relaxing in a hammam spa is a must when visiting Marrakech and something that you will welcome after a long day of navigating through the hot, busy city streets. This peaceful experience includes a massage with aromatic oils, time to soak in the spa and a eucalyptus scrub.
Booking this activity through Get-Your-Guide includes transportation to and from your riad as well as the entire 3-hour hammam experience, all for a very reasonable price. Click here to find more info and book the traditional spa treatment.
Where to Stay in Marrakech
Budget – Riad Syba
You couldn’t get a nicer riad for this price, with a beautiful rooftop terrace with spa where you can sit and relax with some mint tea. The rooms are big, clean and beautifully decorated with large comfortable beds. It’s situated just outside of the medina but that means more bang for your buck.
Mid-Range – Riad & Spa le Secret de Zoraida
This riad has some super cool decoration and design as well as a rooftop spa with views of the Atlas Mountains. Save yourself another foray into the busy streets with the highly rated onsite restaurant.
Splurge – Riad Les Nuits de Marrakech
Live in your own little Bahia Palace in this beautiful example of a Moroccan riad. Located right near the Jamaâ El Fna Market and featuring a pool to soak in after a long day exploring the medina. If there’s one place on this 10 day Morocco itinerary to splurge on some luxury and comfort then Marrakech is probably it.
►Browse more accommodation options in Marrakech◄
Marrakech to Ait Benhaddou / Driving Across the Atlas Mountains
This is where the fun really begins! No good Morocco itinerary is complete without a trip into the desert and in our opinion the best way to see anything is by driving yourself.
We hired a car in Marrakech and drove across the Atlas Mountains to Ait-Ben-Haddou. It was a really amazing drive with some great scenery and stops along the way, driving yourself gives you the freedom to stop and take pictures as well as dictating the time you leave and arrive.
We rented a car using this search tool and made sure to choose a car rental office that was near a main road offering an easy exit from the city. Marrakech has some busy roads but we found that leaving early and sticking to main roads meant that the driving was actually much easier than we expected.
Once you are out of the main city area the roads are long and straight and easy to drive. As you begin to enter the mountains the road obviously becomes quite windy and steep in parts. There was a lot of construction going on when we were there and a large part of the trip was on gravel.
We cheaped out and hired a really small car with tiny tires, in hindsight this was a bad idea for crossing the mountains! Spend a bit more and get something a little more comfortable, you won’t regret it.
As for most road trips potentially outside of mobile coverage, I pre-downloaded the map area on google maps and loaded the route prior to leaving reliable coverage/WiFi. The route selected by google maps was reliable and easy to follow however it will take at least an hour longer than it says.
If you aren’t confident driving yourself or you wish to finish the trip in Marrakech due to more availability of air-routes then you can consider some of the really reasonably priced tours through Get-Your-Guide. See below for a popular tour option or read our post on the best desert tours from Marrakech.
The Best Morocco Desert Tour From Marrakech
For the people who don’t like the idea of driving, this is by far the most popular desert tour that departs from Marrakech, takes you on an epic 3-day adventure through the highlights of the Moroccan desert and then returns you to back to Marrakech.
The tour starts off by taking you to the desert fortress of Ait-Ben-Haddou on the first day. You will enjoy a guided tour of the old town and have some lunch before continuing to Tinghir for the night. The following day will take you to see the spectacular Todra Gorge.
The tour then continues to the Merzouga desert where you will have the option to ride camels and enjoy having the true Moroccan desert experience by spending the night at the “Auberge Sahara” desert camp, surrounded by beautiful sand dunes.
Taking this tour is definitely the best option for those looking to finish off this 10 day Morocco itinerary by getting to visit desert without having to hire a car and drive. It’s also great because it allows you to fly home from Marrakech, where it’s easy to find flights from.
►Click here to check tour prices and availability◄
This place was, for me, the crown jewel in Morocco’s many amazing sites. An absolutely stunning desert fortress that truly evokes a sense of adventure and wonder. The fortress is framed in a picture perfect setting next to a river and surrounded by palm trees, benefiting from stunning lighting both at sunrise and sunset.
There are very few things that can get me out of bed before sunrise but this place had me jumping out of the sheets to see it at that magical time. We spent 2 nights here so that we could watch at least 2 sunrises and sunsets. This also gave us time to fully explore the fortress town at our leisure.
You may be tempted by the many tour companies offering day trips here from Marrakech, but one thing is certain: Ait-Ben-Haddou certainly deserves more than just a day trip!
We offer some great accommodation options for most places we visit but here it is especially important to choose the right place, there are only certain places where you can wake up with a view of the fortress out of your window and which offer rooftop balconies also overlooking it.
Check out the options below including the amazing place we stayed in and can highly recommend. It was easily the best place we stayed during our 10 days in Morocco.
Highlights of Ait-Ben-Haddou
Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou
The entire UNESCO listed fortified village is like a big open air museum. It is well worth it to spend half a day just walking around and imagining yourself being back in time. There are still locals living inside the walls and they sell some really nice handicrafts. Make it all the way to the top to be rewarded with spectacular views out across the desert and down the river valley.
There is a small museum inside which has purportedly been furnished to look like how people would have lived in the time the fortress was built. I’m not sure of the accuracy but it only cost a pittance and allows you to explore inside one of the towers.
Salon du Thé Panoramique
Within the Kasbah, somewhere in the top third, you will find this little tea house. It’s right at the junction where you start to ascend the final steep set of stairs up the top so it’s not hard to find. They have an amazing balcony where you can sit and sip mint tea whilst you take in the views, not to mention get some great photos!
The river footbridge at sunrise or sunset
Across the small river running in front of the fortress are a couple of little ramshackle bridges. During the hours of sunrise and sunset you can get some absolutely magical photos with the light reflecting off the water and creating an amazing warm glow on the fortress walls.
Quad Bike Tours
Check out The Desert Wanderer to arrange quad bike tours around Ait-Ben-Haddou and out to Fint Oasis. If you’ve never done a quad tour before then I highly recommend it, especially in the open desert you can have so much fun tearing around and can reach some places not otherwise accessible.
Where to Stay in Ait-Ben-Haddou
I’m going to break with my usual format for recommending accommodation options here because Ait-Ben-Haddou is very small and there are really only a couple of places that you should consider staying in.
The positioning of accommodation options on google maps is incorrect for a lot of them and it is hard to judge from where you will get the best view. Well never fear, if you book either of these two options you’ll get the best views in town as well as a lovely stay.
This is honestly, hand-on-heart, one of the best rooms I have ever stayed in during my years of travelling the world. Make certain to book the ‘double room with view’ as not all the rooms face the fortress. The room itself is very basic but it’s the perfect fortress view that makes it worth it.
I’ll let the photos below do the talking, but on top of the unbeatable view the room was comfortable and they served a 3-course dinner every night for a reasonable price. Breakfast is served on a patio overlooking the village below.
Basically next door to Chez Brahim and while not offering quite the same views it is still amazing. You will benefit from the use of a swimming pool for those hot desert days as well as a free breakfast! You can’t go wrong with either of these options for sure.
Driving Across the Desert to Todra Gorge
The best thing about this desert drive is that it isn’t all just empty boring desert. The road you’ll be driving down between Ouarzazate and Boumalne Dades is called the road of a thousand kasbahs!
You will see these unique “mini-castles” dotting the landscape all the way down the road as well as some beautiful oasis’ which erupt like a river of green amidst the barren red desert landscape.
The driving is easy enough, the road is in good condition and other drivers were few and far between. Make sure to slow down around the towns as children tend to get a little close to the road trying to sell roses and rose products from the nearby valley of roses.
Boumalne Dades makes a good stop for lunch being just over half way to your destination. There are also ATMs here if you have forgotten to bring enough cash, many places in the desert will not accept card or have intermittent service so stock up on enough to get you through.
One of my favourite sites were the valleys filled with palm trees, giving the effect of flowing through like a river. There are some great viewpoints to admire this from as well as the mud constructed towns clinging precariously to the valley walls. You will see these sites as you enter the valley and get closer to your destination.
This little known and fairly lightly visited site is simply phenomenal in scale and a really cool sight to see. Photos do not do justice to the incredible height of the walls and the relatively narrow space between them accentuates the sense of scale.
Walking through the gorge you feel like you are hidden away in some almost magical place, the imposing walls leaning in to cocoon you from the rest of the world. It’s the perfect way to finish off this epic 10 day Morocco itinerary!
There are people selling handicrafts in the gorge during the day and there are some restaurants just outside of it. Grab a snack or a coffee and watch the rock climbers scaling the walls, slowly ascending until they become just small specks of colour.
If you stay nearby you can easily get there for both sunrise and sunset, where you can have the place pretty much to yourself. There are actually some great accommodation options in the area and we really regretted that we couldn’t spend more time out in the desert relaxing by the pool with epic valley views.
Be aware that entering Todra Gorge in Google Maps does not give you the correct location. See the map below for the location of the gorge or alternatively navigate to your guesthouse and get directions from there.
Highlights of Todra Gorge
Walking the gorge at sunrise
Walking through the narrow gorge at sunrise was a big highlight of our trip. The silence and majesty of the place was awesome and we had it completely to ourselves. The morning light reflecting off the giant walls made for some spectacular photos.
Aventures Verticales Maroc
Fancy hiking up to the top of the canyon to check out the view from above? How about scaling the steep walls on a via ferrata adventure? If you’re the adventurous type then check out this company that can arrange all sorts of adventurous tours in and around the gorge.
Walking the green palm filled valleys
There are a number of walking trails through the green valleys around the gorge, and up into the hills. You can stumble onto and follow a number of these yourself however if you want to find the best ones then ask at your guesthouse about organising a local guide.
Hanging out by the pool
If you stay at the same guesthouse we did then you will find a beautiful pool with views overlooking a river valley flanked by palms and a sheer valley wall which beautifully reflects the evening sun. It’s a great place to relax and unwind after the busy road trip and enjoy the quietude and slow pace of desert life.
Where to Stay near Todra Gorge
We spent one night near the gorge as it’s a reasonably long drive and we wanted to visit at sunrise and sunset when it was quiet. In hindsight we actually wish we’d spent longer as we found a great guest house and it was very peaceful out in the desert. So, on this Morocco itinerary, we will recommend spending two nights here.
Budget – A Secret Garden
To be honest it’s only a little cheaper than the next option where we stayed but is also a great option. Situated in a beautiful location surrounded by greenery, the property offers beautiful views from the balcony, where you can enjoy the excellent breakfast offered.
Mid-Range – Auberge Camping Atlas
This is where we stayed and can highly recommend. The pool is a great feature and offers really nice views, the perfect place to relax after a hard mornings hiking. They also offer camp sites for those with the vehicles or equipment to facilitate this. The breakfast and dinner were both of good quality and the rooms were comfortable.
Splurge – Auberge Le Festival Todra Gorge
This place is styled like a castle in the desert with fantastic design and some really cool cave style rooms. Decorated in Berber style and offering loads of activities, this is a great place to stay to really immerse yourself in the location. There’s a hot tub, organic garden and nightly traditional music. Combined with the good food and even better views, you can’t go wrong.
►Browse more accommodation options around Todra Gorge◄
Following our stay in Todra Gorge we returned to Ouarzazate and spent one night before flying out the following morning. This doesn’t have to be the end of your trip, as there are a number of options to extend the trip, both with the car and via trips arranged in Ouarzazate.
Check out the tour options below if you have some extra time and aren’t quite ready to go home! If you fly out from Ouarzazate then make sure you get to the airport with some time to spare, returning the car was actually hassle free but there was only one guy working so it was difficult to find him initially and if there were multiple returns I imagine it could take a while.
Where to Stay in Ouarzazate
If you choose to spend a night or two here, Riad Ouarzazate makes a great choice. Both the interior and exterior are beautifully decorated, the rooms are comfortable, they serve a delicious breakfast and the staff is very friendly. They will also organize transportation to the airport.
We stayed here on the final night of our 10 days in Morocco and found it to be a lovely place! It is quite popular due to it’s high ratings, so if it isn’t available click here to browse more accommodations in Ouarzazate.
Tours from Ouarzazate
Zagora and Draa Valley Day Tour
If you’re planning to base yourself in Ouarzazate for the last couple of days, this day trip could be an excellent choice. This full day tour from Ouarzazate will give you the perfect taste of the Moroccan desert if you are short on time.
Get picked up from your hotel in the morning and enjoy an exciting day trip passing through the spectacular Sahara sand dunes, traditional Berber villages, and the breathtaking landscapes of the Draa Valley.
►Find more info about this day trip from Ouarzazate◄
2-Day Merzouga Desert Tour
This epic 2-day desert adventure departs from Ouarzazate and starts off with a drive along the road of 1000 Kasbahs. Next, you will pass through the village of Tinghir and the Todra Gorge before continuing to the Merzouga desert.
Enjoy a perfect desert sunset and spend the night in a traditional Berber tent followed by a sunrise walk along the sand dunes. You’ll also have the option to ride a camel before returning to Ouarzazate.
►Find more info about booking the 2-day desert tour here◄
Morocco is right up there on the list of our favourite countries! It’s such a diverse nation with so much to offer and travelling here is truly a once in a lifetime adventure. We hope you enjoy this 10 day Morocco itinerary as much as we did and please get in touch with any questions you might have, we’re always happy to help! Safe travels.
Planning your trip to Morocco? Check out more of our detailed Morocco guides below!
- The Best 3 Day Tour from Marrakech to Fes
- Top 10 Desert Tours from Marrakech
- One Week in Morocco – 3 Itineraries To Maximise Your Time
- 18 Best Places to Visit in Morocco
- Why You Shouldn’t Day Trip From Marrakech to Ait-Ben-Haddou
- Top 10 Things to do in Chefchaouen – The Blue Pearl of Morocco
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