While exploring a city on your own comes with its own thrills and unforgettable moments, sometimes it helps to take a tour to fully immerse yourself in the culture. Marrakech is one of those cities where it’s easy to get lost and hard to break in, so here’s a curated list of some of the most unique tours of the metropolis.
Winding markets, lush gardens, endless desert and epic palaces make up just a few of the incredible sights and sounds of Marrakech. To fully explore this wondrous city, it can be useful to have a guide to lead the way. This hand-selected list of Marrakech tours highlights what’s best about this city. So, hop on that camel, wind through the Medina and soar over the desert as we take you on a wild ride through this majestic North African city.
Probably the best way to see the entire city of Marrakech in one fell swoop is via hot air balloon (especially since you need a special permit just to fly a drone). On this magical five-hour tour through the sky, visitors will be regaled with vistas of local villages, sprouting palm groves and, of course, the hustle and bustle of Marrakech itself. Afterwards, you’ll be treated to tea and bread at a local Berber home to cap off the experience. The tour isn’t cheap (around €950 (£800) for two), but it’s worth it.
If you’re looking for all the ways to cook with a tagine, this is the class for you. For the price of a moderately expensive meal, you’ll start off with a one-of-a-kind tour of the markets gathering ingredients, you’ll get a deep understanding of culture and history through the world of spices, and then you’ll prepare your meal and indulge in Moroccan dishes like harira, pastilla, and a special Moroccan soup.
This is the Marrakech food tour to end all food tours. Wandering through the souks, a guide will take through the winding alleyways to taste and sample everything from dried fruits and olives to nuts, pastries and spices. Touring at night, you’ll experience Marrakech at its finest when all the local merchants who escape the sun during the day peddle their wares in the most flamboyant fashion. Finish off the tour with a decadent dinner in the middle of a World Heritage-listed square.
Navigating Marrakech on your own can often be a confusing and frustrating experience. But on this relatively inexpensive tour, you’ll get a hands-on guide to wind your way through the labyrinthine alleys leading to the grand palaces, tombs and markets of Marrakech. The tour includes tickets to the Bahia Palace and the Maison de la Photographie.
The desert is vast, and there’s no way to see it all, but one incredible (and cheap) tour will give you a taste you’ll never forget. Over the course of four hours, you’ll race through the desert on adrenaline-inducing quad bikes, visit a Berber village and ride a camel to visualise life in the dry expanse. You’ll get a relaxing tea break between activities, but be aware that kids under 16 aren’t permitted.
The desert sunset is one of the most exquisite sights in all of Morocco. And what better way to experience it than on a camel ride through palm trees? This two-hour tour takes you to a local Berber home for tea and a chat about their lives and then ends with a camel ride to watch the sunset over the desert horizon. It’s around €50 (£42) for the tour, but can you really put a price tag on watching daylight turn to dusk in the Saharan desert?
A Marrakech afternoon is tantamount to walking around inside a sauna. Temperatures consistently reach into the high 30s and low 40s Celsius (95-105F), and many businesses close shop because of the oppressive heat. That’s why a night tour is the perfect way to experience the city. Watch as the city comes alive as soon as the sun sets while you tour the Medina, the mosques, and sample local sweets and snacks along the way. The tour ends with rooftop drinks as you watch the chaos of the open markets below.
During this tour, the carriage will pick you up from your hotel at 10am. First, you’ll visit the Menara Gardens, created in the 12th century during the Almohad Dynasty, with majestic views over the Atlas Mountains and over 30,000 olive trees. You will also the Agdal Gardens, a 400-hectare (1000-acre) blissful grove, while riding across the famous city walls from the 12th century.
Try this three-hour cycling tour in Marrakech for a new way of exploring the Red City. The guide will meet you at your hotel, where you’ll begin cycling towards the King’s Palace, the Medina and Jemaa el-Fna. At Jemaa el-Fna, you will have a break of around one hour where you can enjoy a freshly pressed glass of orange juice while watching people walk by. Your tour guide will also show you around the square, and tell you about Moroccan remedies and spices. Finally, you will head back and discover other Marrakech attractions such as the popular Koutoubia Mosque.
Explore the Red City with the comfort of a driver and an experienced tour guide who will take you through Marrakech’s most popular attractions. The tour starts at your hotel, where you will be picked up, and the first stop will be the astonishing Majorelle Gardens, one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city. Next, enter the historic Royal Kasbah to see the Saadian Tombs, then discover the royal architecture at Bahia Palace. After that, it’s time to head out on foot to explore the magical Medina of Marrakech and its souks, where you can buy some unique souvenirs to take back with you. Finally, finish the tour outside of the city at the Palmeraie, a palm grove oasis that is another photo opportunity spot.
Through this special tour, you will discover the important heritage of the Jewish community in the city of Marrakech. You will walk through the small alleyways of the 16th-century Jewish quarter, the Mellah, which has great historical importance in Marrakech, as it is there that the Moroccan Jewish community practiced trades and crafts. Next, your guide will take you to the Lazama Synagogue, the main synagogue in the Mellah, and also the most picturesque with its blue and white colours. After the synagogue, you will visit Bahia Palace, a Moorish-style royal palace from the 19th century.
Shopping in the Medina can be quite the overwhelming experience, which is why shopping with a local guide who knows their way into the most precious hidden spots will make the experience 10 times better. You will be picked up at your hotel, and taken into the Medina by your guide, who will make an itinerary according to what you desire to purchase. Some of the most common objects people ask for are Moroccan rugs, argan oil, spices, lamps, camel leather objects and much more. During this four-hour shopping tour, you will learn a few Moroccan words so you can bargain like a pro and take home the most unique items.
This half-day tour starts with your driver picking you up from your hotel, and driving you towards the High Atlas Mountains where your guide will tell you about the famous landscapes and villages surrounding you. As you approach the mountains, you will enter the lush Ourika Valley, driving past the mud villages and palm trees. After another hour’s drive, you will finally reach a town near the falls, where you can have a walk or grab a glass of mint tea by the riverside; this is also a stop where you can take some impressive photographs. Then, you hop back on the vehicle and visit an argan oil cooperative, where you will watch Berber women extracting the oil using traditional methods.
Yasmine Guermoudi contributed additional reporting to this article.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.