A Dreamy Week in Morocco: Marrakech & the Atlas Mountains
Food & Wine
Morocco is an amazing country with so much beauty and culture to offer! Spend your week getting lost exploring the vibrant and unique city of Marrakech, venturing out to the Agafay desert and recharging in the Atlas mountains. Morocco has something to offer every type of traveler. It's a great place to visit for the food, culture, architecture, shopping or even natural landscapes and excursions. While one week in Morocco is not enough to see it all, it will give you a great flavor and leave you wanting more. Next on my personal Morocco bucket list: Fez, Essaouira and Dar Ahlam!
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Where to stay
The palatial Amanjena offers a sanctuary in true Aman style, just outside of the fabled Red City in Morocco.
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Hotel Villa des Orangers Relais & Châteaux
In the heart of Marrakech, a charming riad with just 27 rooms done up in a rich, colorful style, with rooftop and courtyard pools and a traditional hammam.
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El Fenn Hotel, Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
Unique boutique accommodation in Marrakech featuring 3 swimming pools, a roof terrace, spa, two cocktail bars — and a family of resident tortoises.
A bottle of wine for one/two nights.
A pair of Babouche slippers each, fruit, flowers, a bottle of wine and macarons for three nights or more.
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Day 1: Arrive in Morocco
Land in Casablanca and embark on the 2.5-hour drive to Marrakech. Check into the first Marrakech hotel, El Fenn, just before lunch.
Get settled into your room and head up to the rooftop restaurant on top of the riad for a delicious lunch with amazing views. Make sure to check out the boutique at El Fenn for some great shopping finds too!
Spend a few hours relaxing, recharging and getting settled before heading to drinks. End your first day in Marrakech with pre-dinner drinks and a tour of Royal Mansour, a magnificent hotel with the most beautiful architecture and property.
We chose to have drinks by the pool, but you can also choose to enjoy yours by the bar or in the atrium, dinner at La Maison Arabe a fun and beautiful restaurant offering an upscale Moroccan dining experience and a nightcap at the El Fenn rooftop bar.
Day 2: Explore Marrakech
Eat breakfast, check into Hotel Villa des Orangers Relais & Chateaux and get ready for a day of touring and discovering the beauty of Marrakech with our amazing guide. Highly recommend using a guide and driver to help cover as much ground as possible. He was especially helpful when it came to navigating the souks.
Spend the morning visiting Koutubia Minaret, Dar el Bacha Palace with a quick stop at Mustapha Blaoui for home goods and antiques, and Le Jardin Secret Medina - the botanical gardens in the Medina before stopping for lunch at Le Jardin. Le Jardin is a hidden oasis in the heart of the Medina known for its green mosaic tiles and greenery providing shade and a calming escape from the hectic souks.
Post lunch, head to Les Nomades de Marrakech for some Moroccan carpet shopping and a visit to Ancient Ben Youssef Medersa followed by souk shopping in the Old Medina. Don't miss: Souk Cherifia, Souk el Attarine, Souk Cheratin and Herboriste du Pardis for spices, soaps, lotions and herbs. Max & Jan is another cute store worth visiting!
Walk through Jamaa el Fna Square on the way to dinner on the rooftop terrace at Nomad which overlooks the streets of the souk, Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas Mountains.
Nomad also makes for a great lunch spot if it's not too hot of a day, and there is a cute ceramics and soaps shop underneath the restaurant called Chabi Chic.
We ended night number two with after-dinner drinks at Terrasse de Epices which is located on the rooftop of Souk Cherifa. Terrasse de Epices is also a good lunch or afternoon drink spot in the souk if you are looking for a shopping break. If you go for lunch or before 7pm, it is worth checking out Patisserie des Epices downstairs for a delicious pastry or dessert.
Other restaurants we were deciding between this night and are worth a try: Le Foundouk and Al Fassia.
Day 3: More Marrakech highlights
Another full day of taking in everything Marrakech has to offer to start the day in Gueliz
with the colorful Jardin Majorelle, the Berber Museum, the YSL Museum and a little pre-lunch shopping at 33 Rue Majorelle, Hadaya, Lalla.
Enjoy a delicious lunch on the lovely outdoor terrace at Cafe de la Poste, followed by post-lunch pastries at Al Jawda.
On our third and last night in Marrakech, we went to La Mamounia which is located inside the walls of the Medina and is probably the most famous hotel in the city with a beautiful garden and grounds, for pre-dinner drinks. Followed by dinner at Dar Yacout, a landmark of Marrakech as one of the first restaurants in the Medina with traditional Moroccan cuisine and music.
Day 4: Desert Day
Before leaving Marrakech to head to the Agafay Desert, we quickly stopped at Bahia Palace and the Jewish Quarter.
We treated this as a day trip on our way to the Atlas Mountains, but you could also spend a night or two at Agafay Luxury Camp, Caravan Agafay or La Pause.
We chose to spend the day at La Pause which was an amazing desert oasis with a pool and activities and is just a quick 40-minute drive from Marrakech. We had lunch and tea by the pool, went on a camel ride and then went quad biking which made for a fun and adventure-packed day before continuing onto the Atlas Mountains.
After a great day in the Agafay Desert, we drove 1.5 hours and checked into Kasbah Tamadot, Richard Branson's beautiful resort in the high Atlas Mountains just in time for an evening dip before fireside drinks and dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Day 5: Atlas Mountains
Spend the day enjoying the beauty of the Atlas Mountains. Kasbah Tamadot offers a wide variety of activities for you to choose between. Examples include: relaxing by the pool, playing tennis, visiting a Berber village, mule trekking through a Berber village, hiking, taking a cooking class, visiting the Craft Center of the Eve Branson Foundation, enjoying a free cinema night under the stars and enjoying a spa treatment such as a traditional Moroccan Hammam massage.
We opted for a hike to a Berber village where we stopped to have tea in one of the homes. We got to explore and enjoy the property which included a lot of relaxing by the pool and a visit to the spa (which I would highly recommend). We ended our last night at Kasbah Tamadot with sunset drinks, dinner and a move night under the stars!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out A Colorful Guide to Hotels & Food Cartagena, Colombia.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Morocco.