What to See in Demnate, An Offbeat Destination in Morocco

What to See in Demnate, An Offbeat Destination in Morocco

Make a day trip from Marrakech to explore Demnate, a quiet town which sits at the foot of the high Atlas Mountains.

Located in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, Demnate is a small but historically important Moroccan city that’s well worth a side trip from Marrakech.

The surroundings have several interesting natural features and it’s a fantastic place to combine nature with history and a sense of local life. Life is unhurried and calm in Demnate. Here are six of the best things to see and do: 

Walk through Imi n‘Ifri

Imi n’Ifri is a large natural stone arch that creates a bridge over the Teslet Valley. An open cave sits under the bridge, boasting many interesting rock formations and home to various local creatures. The site is a preservation area for birds. The short walk isn’t particularly challenging, though you should take care of slippery slopes and loose rocks. The scenic gorge sits some six kilometres from the heart of Demnate.

See Glaoui Kasbah

things to do in demnate

Image credit: Heribert Bechen

Glaoui Kasbah is one of the city’s old palaces. Built in the traditional riad style, the historic building was once a place of power and beauty. Fruit trees and plants grow inside an inner courtyard and the remains of Islamic decorative touches show how opulent the palace would have been in its heyday. 

Wander around the Medina

things to do in demnate

While many of the medina walls and old architectural splendours have been left to crumble, you can still get snapshots of how grand the area must have been in times gone by. See how locals live and observe djellaba-wearing men chatting outside small and smoky cafes, and browse goods in the local souks (markets). The old Jewish quarter of the mellah is especially atmospheric.

Explore the countryside

The landscapes around Demnate are both picturesque and agriculturally important. Ancient olive trees surround the city, used to produce some of the finest olive oil in the whole nation. Almonds are also a significant local produce and the area’s red clay is used to make beautiful pottery. There are plentiful hiking opportunities, or you can simply drive on the area’s roads, pausing to admire the views and take pictures.  

Admire Moulay Hicham Palace

Built around nine centuries ago, the grand Moulay Hicham Palace sits on the outskirts of the city. The impressive facades can make you wonder about the secrets that the walls might still hold and ponder the people who lived here in the past.  

Retrace dinosaur steps

things to do in demnate

Outside of the city, the striking red rocks hold something rather unusual—imprints of prehistoric dinosaur footprints. An important site for research and study, the site is now preserved as a valuable geo park. The large footprints are fascinating when you pause to think about the gigantic creatures that left their marks in the landscapes. It’s also kind of fun to stand next to the indentations and snap pictures of your own feet next to the footprints for comparison. 

Demnate may not see a whole bunch of tourists, but it makes for a trip that’s a bit different to the norm. The popular Ouzoud Cascades are just 60 kilometres away and you can easily combine both places to see a different side to Morocco. 

About Author

Sarah W
Sarah W

Sarah W is a travelling cat-lover who enjoys exploring places that are a little bit quirky or away from headline attractions. Favourite things include delicious falafel, snuggling under a thick duvet, (badly) belting out karaoke at the top of her lungs, and, of course, her family, friends, and furry pets.


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