Morocco Self Drive 5 - The Hidden Heart

A relaxing mix of city, countryside & open roads

About Morocco Self Drive 5 - The Hidden Heart


A superb new route using recently opened roads across the High Atlas. This holiday includes Marrakech, the High Atlas, Kasbahs and the coast but doesn't stray too far allowing you plenty of time to enjoy the journey and each location fully. This is designed as a circular route based on arrival / departure from Marrakech.

Activity code: MORFD05

Duration: 10 Days

START / FINISH - Marrakech

This itinerary is our recommended self drive holiday exploring the relatively unexplored centre of Morocco, i.e. all four primary compass points from Marrakech but no more than half a day's driving in any direction. The route takes you on new roads across the High Atlas and utilises quiet roads rarely used by tourists. With our many years of experience putting together practical and interesting itineraries for our clients we would like to recommend this journey for you to make the most of your time in this fascinating country. We are, of course, also able to tailor-make a holiday to suit your requirements for any or all of the following - UK departure airport, budget, hotel type/size, duration, activities, etc.

Highlights of the Hidden Centre Fly Drive Holiday:

  • MARRAKECH - Nestled on a large plain at the foot of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, it is the perfect city to begin your visit to Morocco. Surrounded by its original fortified city wall Marrakech entices you into its midst to explore the historic and labyrinthine Medina. Today, Marrakech has become a thriving metropolis with chic night spots, top restaurants and a very modern atmosphere in places. All of which emphasises the immense historical context of the Medina and its focal point, the Djemma el Fna.
  • OUARZAZATE: Ouarzazate is the first town most people see after crossing the High Atlas and is the unofficial capital of the south of Morocco. Formerly a Foreign Legion outpost it has been notably used as a location backdrop by many epic films such as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth. Ouarzazate has an old town with its maze of narrow streets and a new town where most of the hotels are located. The Kasbah Taourirt is within walking distance of most hotels and is well worth a visit.
  • OUZOUD:Half way between Fez and Marrakech are the impressive natural waterfalls of Ouzoud, an exceptional site. A 100m drop cuts through the middle of a luxuriant chasm which then takes the river for 2km to the deep gorges of El Abid wadi.
  • ESSAOUIRA: Essaouira is a fascinating former Portuguese fishing port; its houses and shops in the medina are white-washed with blue doors and shutters. An expansive sandy beach is located next to the harbour and is shallow enough for safe bathing. Thanks to the ocean breeze, Essaouira benefits from cool on-shore breezes and at the end of the morning don't miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port, with their baskets full of fish.
  • RIADS: Many treasures, especially the now-famous riads are hidden away in Marrakech and other cities in Morocco, such as Fez and Essaouira. Riads are houses, built around a central courtyard patio, whose outside walls are entirely closed. They are often converted into guesthouses or restaurants and are a symbol of the Moroccan art of fine living. We recommend riads on our holidays where the local staff are integral to the experience and all food and drink and many other materials involved with your stay and the building itself are all sourced from the local area.

Why book with Rediscover Morocco ?

With our excellent prices for car rental, Morocco has opened up to some quite unique holiday experiences. Roads around the country are improving and are actually pretty good in most places, even in the mountains and desert areas they are now mostly asphalted. We do not recommend driving at night though as headlights can be optional and safety barriers on some mountain roads are non-existent. We have all driven extensively around Morocco and will be happy to share our experiences with you if you are at all unsure about self-drive or your chosen routes.

NB: This itinerary can be taken with the services of one of our English-Speaking drivers (or a National Guide). They will drive any type of vehicle at a flat rate per day per vehicle which includes your driver's food and lodging. Hotels are personal suggestions but there is usually a choice of styles and budget at each location.

Accommodation: the hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in this fascinating country - in the table below we have included suggestions for upgrades to "boutique" properties and deluxe options (please do not hesitate to request alternative hotels).

Transport: to take the stress out of arriving and departing we offer a private airport transfer service; we can deliver and collect your hire car from your hotel (or riad) at no extra cost. All our vehicles have a/c and come with a full tank of fuel, we provide driving directions and parking information for all accommodation (where relevant). The new highways linking Marrakech, Essaouira, Casablanca, Rabat and Fez will cut down journey times when you wish to get from A to B quickly but this also means that the other roads will be quieter and a pleasant alternative for sightseeing and travelling at a gentler pace. (NB. tolls apply on the highways).

Extra Information: all our holidays have a recommended route with suggestions for sightseeing; we will send you our own guidebook with your confirmation and are able, through our local agency, to book activities and specialist sightseeing, particularly in Marrakech - such as cooking, quad bikes, caleche rides, day hikes, etc.

NB. extend this holiday easily by adding nights in any or all of the locations.

What's included in your Fly-Drive holiday?

  • Private round trip airport transfers.
  • 9 nts accommodation at a choice of small hotels.
  • 8 days fully-inclusive car hire with a/c
  • Private guided half day city tour in Marrakech.
  • Sightseeing suggestions and driving directions
  • All taxes, full 24hr representative services.

NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.

Our recommended hotel choices for this fly drive:

[Classic Hotel, Classic Riad, Boutique Hotel/Riad, Deluxe Hotel]

  • Marrakech: - Hotel Tichka, Riad Hikaya, Riad Kniza, Les Jardins de la Koutoubia
  • Ouarzazate area: - Hotel Perle du Dades, Kasbah Ellouze, Les Tourmalines, Ksar Ighnda
  • Atlas Mountains: - Riad Cascades d'Ouzoud, Kabsah Demnate
  • Essaouira: - Riad Mimouna, Riad l'Oussia, Madada Mogador, Hotel Mogador Golf & Spa

Click on the location to view our whole selection.

Contact us now to book this self drive holiday for any date.


  • Day 1 - Arrival in Marrakech

    Arrival into Marrakech; private transfer to your hotel/riad.

    • stay at Ksar Anika, Riad Hikaya, Riad el Zohar - 1nt BB

  • Day 2 - Marrakech - Tichka Pass - Ait Ben Haddou

    Deliver hire car to your riad and head south over the High Atlas, detour at the Tichka Pass to visit the Kasbah of Telouet. Continue down the "back road" towards Ait Ben Haddou.

    • stay at Kasbah Ellouze, Ksar Ighnda - 1nt HB.

  • Day 3 - Ait Ben Haddou - Ouarzazate - Skoura

    Visit of Kasbah at Ait Ben Haddou (if not done on day 2); onwards to visit Ouarzazate with its kasbahs and the famous film studios. Continue east along Dades Valley a short distance to Skoura, visit Palmeraie and Amerhidil Kasbah.

    • stay at Les Jardins de Skoura - 1nt HB.

  • Day 4 - Skoura - Tizi n'Outfi - Demnate

    Drive along one of Morocco's new mountain roads via Tizi n'Outfi and the natural rock bridge at Imi n'Ifri en route to Demnate.

    • stay at the fabulous eco hotel - Kasbah Demnate - 2nts HB.

  • Day 5 - Demnate - Cascades d'Ouzoud - Demnate

    Full day to take a walk in the area (guided hiking available) and/or visit the incredible waterfalls at Ouzoud.

  • Day 6 - Demnate - El Kelaa-des-Sraghna - Safi

    Option to visit the Cascades at Ouzoud this morning if you decided to go for day hike option on day 5. Choice of roads to El Kelaa-des-Sraghna (e.g. via Tannant and Bzou) and then head west along quiet roads to the coast at Safi (route is signposted from Ben Guerir).

    • stay at Riad du Pecheur - 1nt BB.

  • Day 7 - Safi - Essaouira

    Relax in safi for the morning and then take quiet and stunning coast road (once you've past the sardine factories) all the way to Essaouira.

    • stay at the excellent Riad Mimouna (recommend sea view rooms) or Madada Mogador or Hotel Atlas & Spa - 2nts BB.

  • Day 8 - Essaouira

    Free day in Essaouira to enjoy the old town, the beach, play golf or take a drive down the coast a little way.

  • Day 9 - Essaouira - Marrakech

    From Essaouira you could visit the Atlas Mountains again by driving off the main route up towards Lalla Takerkoust or Amizmiz or even over the Kik Plateau to Marigha and Ouirgane (ask us for a quote that includes an extra night or two with an optional extra day hike). This particular fly-drive suggestion takes you back to Marrakech for one last night (and maybe some shopping).

    • stay at Ksar Anika, Riad Hikaya, Riad el Zohar - 1nt BB.

  • Day 10 - departure Marrakech

    Private transfer (or drop off hire car) at airport for flight home.

  • Prices & Departure Dates

    Prices shown are 'per person' in UK Pounds and are based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. A single supplement needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required.

    Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen accommodation, room availability as well as time of travel. Please take this into consideration when comparing prices; we always aim to match a high quality experience with exceptional value for money. Please note that discounts will apply if there are 4 or more people in your travelling party as fixed costs such as transportation and guides will be shared equally between the group.

    NB: Flights available to book with us through a range of airlines, from various UK airports.


The Hidden Centre (Fly Drive no. 5)

Prices based on 2 persons travelling and include -

  • Private airport transfers
  • 9 nts accommodation
  • 8 days fully-inclusive car hire (Group B with a/c)
  • all local taxes
  • 24hr representative services

    - available between 01/08/2014 and 31/10/2015

    2 people
    £ 565

    All prices are per person

  • Gallery

    Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998