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The Ultimate Southern Morocco Road Trip Itinerary

Morocco is a brilliant country to explore by campervan. It is cheap with great weather all year round. One of the best things about Morocco is discovering the smaller towns which are a little bit off the beaten track. We’ve all heard about Casablanca, fez and Marrakech – try visiting the lesser-known gems. This post will cover the southern Morroco road trip loop, including all the best stop-off points. Starting in the metropolis of Marrakech and circling from the Atlantic Sea to the Sahara desert. This road trip really has it all.

we recommend spending at least 10 days doing this Southern Morocco road trip.

Southern Morocco Road Trip Map

All of the destinations on this road trip are listed below. If you want to skip straight to the information on a specific place click on the destination below.


Marrakech, First stop on Southern Morocco road trip

How Long Should I Spend In Marrakech? : 2 days

Marrakech is the most popular tourist destination in Morocco and for good reason. Exploring the magical city of Marrakech is an experience like no other. This is truly a very vibrant city full of colour and chaos, there is no shortage of amazing sights to see here.

One of the essential things to do in Marrakech is enter the sandstone walls and wander around the medina. These streets are winding and maze-like and will eventually lead you to the bustling souk. A souk is a marketplace with many different shop owners selling unique products. You can find clothing, ceramics, souvenirs and just about everything in between; remember though, you must haggle for a good price.

If you have never visited Morocco before, Marrakech can be a little bit of a culture shock. It is very different to Europe and in general, most people find that they either love it or hate it, there is not much room in between. Honestly, having to haggle for absolutely everything can feel a bit stressful. Getting a taxi? haggle for a fair price. Buying some souvenirs from the souk? Haggle so you are not completely ripped off. Once you get past the stress of haggling, it can actually be very enjoyable.

The Sights

There are so many amazing things to see in Marrakech other than the medina. We recommend visiting visit Bahia Palace. The intricate tile work and fascinating architecture of the palace are quite amazing to witness. Wander through 150 beautiful rooms and snap your fabulous holiday pictures. This 19th-century palace is incredibly eye-catching and has an interesting history to learn about.

Another must-see landmark in Marrakech which should be on your Southern Morocco road trip bucket list is The Jardins Majorelle. This is a beautifully maintained botanical garden which stretches over 2 acres, it is also on the same grounds as the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. These gardens are the perfect place to spend a couple of hours to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.


Distance: 191 km
Driving Time: 2 hr 43 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Essaouira? : 2 days

The Journey

The drive between Marrakech and Essaouira is perhaps one of the most interesting drives of the Southern Morocco road trip. Argan trees line the roads and you will find a ridiculous number of goats within these trees. A single tree can hold more than 20 goats at one time, it truly is bizarre to see. Although it is possible for goats to climb trees in the wild, these ones have been specifically trained to do so to attract attention. Be sure to pull over to get a picture. The owner of the goats will ask for a donation in return for allowing you to photograph his goats, it is important to pay these farmers as the goats could use all the food and water they can get to stay healthy. If you are lucky you will even be allowed to hold a cute little baby goat.

The Destination

Essaouira is a fabulous city on the east coast of Morocco, it is known as the windy city of Africa. Once you get there and feel the refreshing breeze you will truly understand why it has been given this nickname. In contrast to the windier weather, the atmosphere in Essaouira is a lot calmer than in Marrakech. This comes as a welcomed break after the chaos of the big city.


The laid-back atmosphere of Essaouira is carried through to its souk. This souk is 100% less chaotic than other cities in Morocco. Having visited many souks all over Morocco, we can say that Essouira souk was our favourite by a country mile. The shopkeepers were friendly and not pushy at all. Many of the items were labelled and had set prices which of course could be haggled down. This is a very refreshing and enjoyable change from other towns on this southern Morroco road trip.

Other amazing things to do in Essaouira are walking along the boulevard and around the Medina (old town). These are great places to explore.

You will find an insane number of camels on the beach in Essaouira. A camel ride along the beach is a very popular activity in this city. Another bonus activity here is a sunset horse riding experience. The owners of these horses are real pros and will capture beautiful pictures of you and your horse. Check out their amazing pictures here.


Distance: 95 km
Driving Time: 1 hr 37 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Imsouane? : 1 day if you’re not surfing. 1 week if you love to surf.

Imsouane is a cute little fishing village with a hell of a lot of charm. This village is a real hidden gem; it is very small with an olde worlde feel to it.


One of the main attractions of Imsouane is the waves, it is a surfers’ paradise. If you plan on surfing during your Moroccan road trip, Imsouane is the place to do it. You can find some of the longest waves in the country here at Magic Bay, some of which can be up to 800m long.

If you are a complete beginner, not to worry at all. There are waves for all skill levels here. If you fancy dipping your toe into the surfing world on this southern Morocco road trip, this is the place to do it. There is certainly no shortage of surf schools or shops to help you out in Imsouane.

The Town

There is more to this town than surfing, this small village has a lot for you to discover. Admire the hundreds of traditional blue wooden fishing boats which have a very unique shape to them. Seeing them head out into the Atlantic over the waves is an incredible sight. There is a popular fish market selling the freshest produce which is straight off the fishing boats. You will find that fresh grilled fish is served in many of the waterfront restaurants and is a real delicacy here.


Imsouane was one of our favourite places in the whole country. The town has a slow-moving easy-going feel to it. The locals in Imsouane are an absolute delight – some of the friendliest people we have met.

Restaurants in Imsouane are very reasonably priced which is always a nice bonus. Enjoy dining at the many restaurants overlooking the water where you can see the pro surfers doing their thing.

Campervan Living

Imsouane is a very popular destination for van lifers. There is a large, free area with room for around 80 vans very near the waterfront. The number of people choosing to call Imsouane their home for a week in a van gives the town a real sense of community. Great weather, great waves and great views – what’s not to love?

Imsouane is a very popular destination for van lifers. There is a large, free area with room for around 80 vans very near the waterfront. The number of people choosing to call Imsouane their home for a week in a van gives the town a real sense of community. Great weather, great waves and great views – what’s not to love?


Distance: 59 km
Driving Time: 1 hr 2 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Taghazout? : 3 days if you’re not surfing. 1 week if you love to surf.

The next stop on this road trip is another hidden gem. Taghazout is not really known as a tourist destination – this brilliant little town tends to get ignored in favour of the bigger cities. But this road trip shows you the best places; not just the most popular. Similar to Imsouane, Taghazout is an easy-going fishing village with a fantastic atmosphere and friendly locals. This is a fishing village, which is transforming into a surfing village with a lot more hustle and bustle than Imsouane,

Once again, if you want to go surfing during your stay in Morocco, Taghazout is a fantastic place to do it. Plenty of surf schools to learn from or hire equipment from.

many digital nomads choose to call the surf town of Taghazout their home during the winter months and it is easy to see why. Fantastic weather all year round mixed with a great, relaxed lifestyle. The perfect digital nomad destination.


What To See In Taghazout

Once again, there is so much more to this town than only surfing. Taghazout has much to discover including its iconic skatepark. Even if you do not skate, this is a fantastic place where people gather to watch the incredibly talented locals do their thing.

Wander around the sweet little medina and dine at the many incredible restaurants offering ridiculously cheap, delicious food.

there is so much more to discover in Taghazout including discovering the stunning beaches and boardwalk or even going for a traditional Morrocan hammam. Check out all the best things to do in Taghazout in the post below.

10 Things To Do And See In Taghazout, Morocco

Paradise Valley

Distance: 35 km
Driving Time: 50 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Paradise Valley? : 1 day – this is a day trip destination

Palm trees and lush greenery and turquoise water are the three key features which make up the immense beauty of Paradise Valley. This destination is a beautiful hidden oasis in the High Atlas Mountains with abundant palm trees. Natural pools are formed here which are perfect for swimming in. The whole area is a beloved hiking area for both locals and tourists. As the name suggests, this is a valley so mountains surround you. This picturesque area is a brilliant place to immerse yourself in nature and relax.

Paradise valley - oasis in southern morocco

Many companies are offering guided tours of the valley. These guides know Paradise Valley like the back of their hand and can show you all the best swimming spots you wouldn’t otherwise be able to find on your own. It is not essential to hire a guide, it’s just a nice option.

The valley is unbelievably hot, we visited in March and were overwhelmed by the heat. The good news is there are lots of places to eat, drink and cool off in the valley. The restaurants have their seating in the shaded areas of the river so you can dip your feet in the freshwater to cool off.

For more information about Paradise Valley, check out our post below.

Paradise Valley Agadir – is it worth visiting?


Distance: 33 km
Driving Time: 50 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Agadir? : 2 days

Agadir is the most modern city on this southern Morocco road trip. It truly is a lovely contemporary city. Here you will find a long beach lined with lovely resorts, so if you fancy a little bit of luxury, Agadir is the place for you.


This coastal city has stunning beaches as well as a whole lot of other activities that you may not find elsewhere in the country.
For example, there is a zoo, a crocodile park and a luxurious marina. You will find that around the marina at the northern end of the bay, the whole area is bustling, this is a great social area. Dine at the many restaurants surrounded by impressive yachts, this spot is very charismatic.
Explore the cultural centre of Agadir and marvel at the stunning buildings. Agadir comprises a lot of modern buildings. This is a result of the city’s rebuilding after a devastating earthquake in 1960 which demolished many of the city’s historic buildings.

If you want to catch a glimpse of what the old Agadir looked like head to the old Kasbah, a 30-minute walk from the marina. The Kasbah, with roots dating back to the 16th century, is one of the only buildings to survive the earthquake.


Distance: 88 km
Driving Time: 1 hr 27 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Taroudant? : 1 day

Taroudant is an incredibly beautiful yet imposing city in Morocco. The most impressive thing about Taradount is the incredibly long wall which surrounds the medina. You need to enter through one of the gates.

One thing about this city is that it is very into its souks. There are two different souks here, both offering different products. The Berber souk has spices, and other foodstuffs as well as traditional Moroccan clothing. Alternatively, the Arab souk specialises in artisan handicrafts. You will find stunning ceramics and carpets here. The souks are pretty chaotic, if you look like a tourist expect all shopowners to ask you to go into their shops repeatedly.

If you don’t love the chaos of the souk (like us), try to avoid this one. We found this the pushiest souk in Morocco and were even followed around by a strange man for 30 minutes after we left. Keep your wits about you.


One of the main attractions in Taradount is the Palais Musée Claudio Bravo. This former home to the Famed artist Claudio Bravo is open for the public to view. The building is now a hotel with stunning grounds as well as art pieces by himself and his well-known artist friends. This a very photogenic place to visit and genuinely just a nice relaxing break from the pandemonium of the souks.

Taroudant is a historically and politically important city in Morroco, This city is the former capital city and is now the historic centre of Souss Valley. So you could say it is definitely worth a visit.

Aït Benhaddou

Distance: 263 km
Driving Time: 3 hr 55 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Aït Benhaddou? : 1 day, 2 days tops

If you’re looking to explore somewhere quintessentially Moroccan, Aït Benhaddou is the place for you! The Mummy and Gladiator and many other movies have been filmed here. Just looking at this place with amaze you. Aït Benhaddou is a fortified village (ksar) on a hill. The whole place is a maze of interesting clay architecture. The orange clay looks especially beautiful at sunset or sunrise. This iconic destination is a UNESCO world heritage site. Although this village was inhabited in the past, is essentially just a tourist attraction now. Very few locals still live here.

Game of Thrones is another massive project which used Ait Benhaddou as a filming location.

Ait BenHaddou

An imposing defensive wall surrounds the village so you enter through arches and bridges. it feels like you are entering a different time period to some fantasy location going into Aït Benhaddou. This destination wouldn’t look out of place in Game of Thrones, in fact, it was even used as one of the filming locations.

Aït Benhaddou is truly a sight to behold. The village is like nothing we have seen before. It is no wonder this is a popular filming location.
This fortified village should be on any Morocco bucket list or itinerary. If you are in southern Morocco and don’t pop in to visit Aït Benhaddou, your road trip is not complete!


Distance: 30 km
Driving Time: 32 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Ouarzazate? : 2 days

Keeping with the Hollywood filming location theme, Ouarzazate is home to the largest film studio in the world, Atlas Film Studios. This town is the Moroccan Hollywood – thus, rocks the name Ouarzawood.

These studios, located just before you enter the city, are a great tourist attraction. You get to see set pieces which were used in popular films such as ‘Prince of Peria’ and ‘The Jewel Of The Nile’. Many set pieces are preserved and look exactly like they do in the films. Other sets are destroyed right after they are used to make way for new sets for the next upcoming project. It costs 80 dh to enter atlas studios and discover everything on display inside.


Our favourite thing to do in Ouarzazate was visit the Kasbah. This massive fortification is like a crazy maze with hundreds of rooms of all shapes and sizes to discover. Navigate the tiny alleyways and mini staircases. It is remarkable how cool it feels inside the Kasbah with no air conditioning whatsoever, a welcomed break from the hot Moroccan sun.


Distance: 160 km
Driving Time: 2 hr 30 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Zagora? : 1 day

Zagora is a popular stop-off point on the long journey to the Sahara desert. This is in fact the last major city you will see before reaching the desert so is a great place to stock up. The first thing you will notice about Zagora is the palm trees, there appears to be an endless amount of palm trees here. Wander through the lovely little paths that maze through the grove.

There are many different types of dates that grow in the palm groves in Zagora. These dates are known to be the tastiest in the country. The incredibly hot and dry climate lends itself well to the production of dates. Be sure to taste this local delicacy when you are in the area.


Another landmark in Zagora is the famous ‘Journey to Timbuktu’ painting. It is located right outside of a hotel on the main road – you can’t miss it. The painting states that Timbuktu is a mere 52-day journey by camel. This is a fun little pit stop for a photo of a painting you will only find in rural Morocco.


Distance: 280 km
Driving Time: 3 hr 51 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Merzouga? : 2 days, more if you plan on trekking into the dunes overnight.

Merzouga is your gateway to exploring the iconic Sahara Desert. This town is located in the far east of Morocco, close to the Algerian border, the countries are separated by the rolling sand dunes. Merzouga is home to Erg Chebbi which is the name of the epic picturesque sand dunes making up this section of the Sahara desert.

Desert Activities

You will find that Merzouga is the hub of all Sahara Desert activities in Morocco. Sandboarding, Camel trekking, and buggy riding are a few options on the never-ending activity menu here. If you fancy any of the activities be sure to haggle your way to a good price. There is always wiggle room on prices in Morocco. If you don’t fancy spending much money on the activities here, simply climbing the dunes is a fantastic experience. We won’t lie, climbing the sand dunes is absolutely exhausting, especially with the sun beating down on you! Reaching the peak of a sand dune rewards you with stunning views of the desert. We couldn’t believe how beautiful it was, it was so picture-perfect, and our photos look like a desktop screensaver.

Merzouga - Sahara Desert


There is no shortage of campsites in Merzsouga, most of which are not too expensive. It is also totally possible to wild camp near the dunes. A word of warning though, the sand is very easy to get stuck in. One minute the sand is firm and easy to drive on, The next minute your tyres are all 6 inches deep and you can’t move. Be sure to deflate your tyres a bit when driving on the sand to prevent getting stuck in the sand. Luckily there are lots of helpful people in Merzouga, such as the buggy driver that towed our van out of the soft sand.

When staying overnight in Merzouga be sure to look up at the stars at night. It is remarkable how much you can see. We were astonished at how beautiful the sky was at night, we have never seen so many stars. It’s almost like the air here is clearer and you can see so many stars you couldn’t normally. On this southern Morocco road trip, the stars are the most beautiful here.

Todra Gorge

Distance: 280 km
Driving Time: 3 hr 51 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Todra Gorge? : 1 day

Todra Gorge is undoubtedly one of the most naturally beautiful places in all of Morocco. No road trip around southern Morocco is complete without stopping off at this iconic location. You can find the Todra Gorge hidden in the eastern region of the Rocky Atlas Mountains. The steep limestone cliff faces have been formed by thousands of years of erosion from the cool Todra River, leaving an awe-inspiring deep gorge, known by the locals as Todgha Gorge.

Todra gorge - Southern Morocco

This imposing natural beauty consists of a narrow gorge with 300 metre-high rocks on either side of the river. these rocks for a very well-known rock climbing spot, the height and steepness of the limestone faces make them fantastic to scale. There are lots of established routes up the dramatic gorge walls, some are very simple and others considerably more challenging. Many companies are more than happy to help you scale the gorge for a fair price.

If rock climbing isn’t up your street, simply driving or walking through the gorge is a wonderful experience. You will find lots of stalls selling all the traditional Morrocan souvenirs such as pashminas and slippers, there are also plenty of places to buy refreshments here too. Standing in the centre of the gorge is the best way to appreciate the truly massive size of this landmark.

Dades Gorge

Distance: 70 km
Driving Time: 1 hr 11 mins

How Long Should I Spend In Dadges Gorge? : 1 day

On any road trip there should always be a phenomenal road to drive along, in Southern Morroco this is Dades Gorge. Deep within the high Atlas Mountains, you will find this epic winding road. Hairpin bend after hairpin bend you climb your way up the valley walls. This road is incredibly dramatic with its red rock backdrop and makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. There is a viewing area at the top for you to get out of your vehicle and look at the crazy road almost from a bird’s eye view. The cafe up here is the perfect place for you to relax and enjoy your time in the area.

Dades Gorge - winding road is a must see landmark in Morocco

There is a lot to see when driving along this road. An almost endless number of small kasbahs and tiny traditional Berber villages line the winding road. You can spot the Kasbahs easily by their ornate detail and pinkish colour. Another highlight on this road is visiting the ‘monkey’s fingers’. This stop-off point on the road trip is an incredible rock formation in Southern Morocco. When driving along the R704, following the river you can not miss this gigantic landmark. The formation is known as ‘monkeys fingers’ as that is exactly what it looks like – but a hell of a lot bigger. There are many hiking trails in this area however it is recommended to go with a guide as it is very easy to get lost here.


Distance: 331 km
Driving Time: 5 hr 29 mins

If you wish to complete the southern Morocco loop, head back to the colourful city of Marrakech. Again, there is so much to see here. A couple more suggestions include:

  • Snap some pictures outside of the biggest mosque in Morocco, The Koutoubia.
  • Drink Moroccan tea from a rooftop cafe in Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square.
  • Go for a dip in the pool of one of the many riads in the medina.


Southern Morocco is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to have a road trip. From the boundless sand dunes of the Sahra Desert to the perfect swells of the coastal towns, there truly is something for everyone here. There is nowhere quite like it. The vibrant and lively cities are filled with an immense amount of culture and intensity whereas peace can be found in the rugged Atlas mountains.

Of course, we recommend adjusting the itinerary to fit you. This Itinerary is based on the things we discovered we loved in our two-month trip around the country in Spring 2023. Driving around the country can be pretty chaotic so don’t forget to factor in some time to relax in between exploring all of the sights.

There is honestly so much to see in this Beautiful country. This southern Morocco road trip doesn’t include the other fantastic destinations that are also more than worth a visit. For more information about Morocco and the things to see and do there, be sure to check out our other blog posts about it here.


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