Morocco Self Drive 1 - Marrakech, Mountains & Coast

Marrakech - Taroudant (via Tizi 'n' Test) - Essaouira - Marrakech

About Morocco Self Drive 1 - Marrakech, Mountains & Coast


A combination of exciting locations & stunning scenery; travelling from Marrakech through the High Atlas via the Tizi n'Test road is truly wonderful, then drive up the rugged Atlantic coast.

Activity code: MORFD01

Duration: 8 days

START / FINISH - Marrakech

This particular itinerary is our recommended self drive holiday for a week of contrasts in southern Morocco; it includes travelling a circuit between the popular destinations of Marrakech, the High Atlas, Taroudant and Essaouira. The roads along this route are stunning and so much part of the overall experience, for example, the Moulay Brahim Gorges heading into the High Atlas from Marrakech, the twisting Tizi n'Test road over to Taroudant and the rugged coast road from Agadir up to Essaouira.

With our many years of experience putting together practical and interesting itineraries for our customers we recommend this journey to make the most of your time in this fascinating country. We are happy also to modify this version or 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.

As this route is a circuit starting and finishing in Marrakech you can travel out via the High Atlas and return via the coast road (or vice versa). It is also possible to start and finish in Agadir and to extend very easily with extra nights in one or more of the locations.

Highlights of the Marrakech, Mountains & Coast 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, its palaces, gardens and souks. 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.
  • OUIRGANE: The High Atlas Mountains are dominated by some of North Africa's highest peaks and their breathtaking size towering above the Berber villages provides a backdrop for Ouirgane. Ouirgane and nearby Marigha are surrounded by almond blossom in early spring and is just an hour's drive south of Marrakech.
  • TAROUDANT: Taroudant's excellent location between the two majestic mountain ranges of the Moroccan south lends itself as an ideal base for exploring the region; particularly the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Situated within the green expanse of the Souss Valley and enclosed by the well-preserved old city walls Taroudannt will satisfy the visitor's desires for cultural and historical experiences without losing too much on the relaxation front.
  • 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 in our programme 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. They will drive any type of vehicle at a flat rate per day which includes their 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" riads 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, Agadir and Essaouira 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 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 three locations.

What's included in your Self Drive holiday?

  • Private [arrival] airport transfer.
  • 7 nights accommodation at a choice of small hotels.
  • 7 days fully-inclusive car hire with a/c
  • Private guided half day city tour in Marrakech.
  • Sightseeing suggestions and driving directions
  • All taxes, full 24 hour 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 Kech, Riad Mur Akush, Riad Hikaya, Riad Kniza, Les Jardins de la Koutoubia
  • Ouirgane: - Kasbah Tatfi, Chez Momo, La Roseraie
  • Taroudant: - Hotel Palais Salam, Dar Zitoun
  • Essaouira: - Hotel Atlas & Spa, Riad Mimouna, 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.


  • Days 1 & 2 - Marrakech

    Arrival into Marrakech and private transfer to your chosen hotel or riad.

    A full day in Marrakech (optional private guided city tour or independent sightseeing); places to visit include the Koutoubia Minaret, Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Medersa, Marjorelle Gardens, Djemma el Fna, souks and much more.

    Plenty of optional activities and sightseeing also available; e.g. cookery class, quad biking, calech ride, visit of museums & gardens, etc.

    • stay 2 nights on B&B at a riad of your choice, e.g. Riad el Zohar, Ksar Anika or Riad Hikaya.

  • Day 3 - Marrakech - High Atlas

    Take delivery of your hire car (e.g. Group B with a/c) at your hotel or riad and drive south to Marigha via a scenic road which passes up through the Moulay Brahim Gorge and the market town of Asni.

    • stay 1 night Half Board at Kasbah Tatfi in Marigha (near Ouirgane); (other options include Chez Momo).

  • Day 4 - Ouirgane - Tizi n'Test - Taroudannt

    Drive to Taroudant via the scenic Tizi'n'Test route across High Atlas the N'Fis valley. This is a stunning road but since the new Marrakech to Agadir highway opened it has not been maintained to the same standard as before so please allow a full day to make the journey - the views and solitude en route are well worth it. Recommend a visit to the fabulous Tinmal Mosque (near Ijoukak) en route.

    • stay 2 nights at Riad Zitoun in Taroudant on BB (other options include Riad Hida in nearby Oulad Berhil).

  • Day 5 - Taroudannt

    Relax in Taroudant and visit the town at leisure. Other options include a drive into the Anti-Atlas Mountains, such as the road to Tafraoute, maybe even a little further afield to Tiznit, Massa National Park or the coast south of Agadir, e.g. Mirleft.

  • Days 6 & 7 - Taroudant - Agadir - Essaouira

    Head towards Agadir and then drive up the stunning Atlantic coast road to Essaouira.

    Relax in Essaouira; an easy town to explore on foot. Why not indulge in a fresh fish BBQ lunch at the harbour and explore the battlements and craft shops afterwards. It is also possible spend time on the massive beach, play golf or enjoy some surfing.

    • stay 2 nights BB at a riad of your choice, e.g. Riad Mimouna, Dar l'Oussia or Madada Mogador

  • Day 8 - Essaouira - Marrakech

    Drive inland back to Marrakech and drop off the car at the airport for your flight home; or return to Marrakech for last night if you have an early flight departure (on day 9).

  • Prices & Departure Dates

    Prices are on request and depend on your chosen accommodation and 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.


Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998