Morocco is right on the doorstep of Europe. In fact, it’s so close that you could hop on an hour-long ferry ride from Spain and you’ll reach the Moroccan shoreline.
Blessed with four different mountain ranges, bustling cities, sprawling deserts, long sun-kissed beaches which border both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco is a magical country that leaves travelers wanting more.
If you’re planning or going on a Morocco tour or holiday – don’t waste your hard earned cash by going at the wrong time. Below, we’ll tell you:
- When is the best time to visit Morocco?
- Weather to expect in Morocco
- Map of Morocco
- Things to see and do in Morocco
- Popular Morocco tours
- Moroccan events and special days
When is the best time to visit Morocco?
Short answer: The Spring months of March to May and the Autumn months of September to October are the best times to visit Morocco.
The best time to visit Morocco is during Spring and Autumn. During the Spring months, which are generally from March to May, Morocco’s landscape is generally green and lush, and hiking through its mountain ranges are a popular activity.
During the Autumn months of September to October, temperatures are much more favourable for exploring Morocco’s wealth of tourist attractions such as the towering Atlas Mountains and Marrakech.
Weather to expect in Morocco
Average temperature in °Centigrade
Average temperature in °Fahrenheit
Map of Morocco
Things to see and do in Morocco
Have supper at the Djemma el Fna
Located in Marrakech’s main square – Djemma el Fna is a hub of activity. As the sun sets, the action here intensifies, with hosts of entertains showing off their skills such as music, snake charming, juggling, acrobats and even comedians.
During the day there are often snack stalls, but at night, they are replaced with a more substantial fare, which includes grilled meat and tajines, couscous and pastilla, merguez sausages, fried fish and for the more adventurous, stewed snails.
Explore the High Atlas Mountains
If you’re going on a Moroccan tour, make sure a visit to the High Atlas Mountains is on your travel itinerary.
It’s North Africa’s highest mountain range, with the highest mountain – Toubkal – towering at 4167 metres high. There’s a route for everyone here, no matter if you’re a casual day hiker or a serious mountaineer.
Be mesmerised by the spectacular rocky gorges at Todra and the Dades Canyon and come and explore the mud-thatched Berber villages that dot the High Atlas valleys. The Berber have resided in the Atlas Mountain range for thousands of years. In fact, they have been traced back to at least 3000 B.C.
Explore the Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest desert. It runs through 10 countries – Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Libya, Niger, Tunisia, Chad, Egypt and Sudan.
There are sections of the Sahara Desert that cannot be accessed by travellers, however, it can be visited in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.
In Morocco, it’s all about camel rides and 4×4 adventures over the orange sands of the Sahara. In fact, you can even spend a night camping here, underneath the starry North African skies. Camping in Morocco is a once in a lifetime experience.
Visit the World Heritage Site of The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou Ait Benhaddhou
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou is situated at the base of the High Atlas Mountains.
It is believed that the town of Ait-Ben-Haddou was established in 757 and its founder, Ben-Haddou, still lies buried in his tomb behind this spectacular city.
The word ‘Ksar’ refers to a large group of kasbas (homes) that are built close together and which are located behind the fortified walls of a city.
The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou has a very strong bond with Hollywood, it has appeared in more than 10 movies, mostly as a replacement for Jerusalem including, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Mummy (1999), Gladiator (2000), and Prince of Persia (2010).
Popular Morocco tours
Small Group Tour
This tour gives a great insight into the incredible history and culture of Morocco as well as its beautiful scenery, taking in the Atlas Mountains, Sahara Desert and Atlantic Coast.
Morocco on a Shoestring
This affordable budget tour provides a fantastic introduction to Morocco’s imperial cities, with busy medinas and amazing historic sites to explore and great opportunities to try local Moroccan cuisine. Starting and finishing in Casablanca, the tour includes the popular city of Marrakech, the old town of Rabat, amazing ruins at Volubilis, and of course time to explore the bustling medina at Fez.
Moroccan events and special days
Yennayer, the Amazigh New Year
Held in the second week of January, Yennayer, the Amazigh New Year, kicks off the start of the crop year. Various events are hosted in towns such as Agadir and Tiznit to highlight this special period – the most significant being the traditional celebrations hosted by the Berber tribes in the middle Atlas, where they sing, dance and prepare couscous in the hope of having a healthy agricultural year.
Tafraoute’s Almond Blossom Festival
Usually held in the second week of February, Tafraoute’s Almond Blossom Festival celebrates the year’s harvest of almonds.
As Morocco’s almond-producing capital, a gathering is held to sell almond products and there are lots of local celebrations thrown into the mix as well. Expect to see and hear traditional Berber music, dance and theater.
International Nomads Festival
This is a free to see open air event which showcases nomadic culture by inviting local, national and international artists to showcase their poetry, music, dance, storytelling and so much more.
The main part of the event takes place at a Nomadic Camp set up around 20 kilometres from M’Hamid. If you do decide to go to the event, pay careful attention to your transport needs as the roads are not in good condition.
Merzouga World Music Festival
The Merzouga World Music Festival is usually held around mid-April, amongst the towering Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The festival is a place of cultural exchange, with artists and performers from all over the globe ready to show off their skills.
Festival of Roses
One of Morocco’s most eye-catching events, the Festival of Roses, held in the town of Ouarzazate (or the Valley of Roses as it’s known) celebrates the season’s rose harvest.
Ouarzazate produces the bulk of Morocco’s Rose Water, which is a common ingredient in many Middle Eastern Dishes. Expect to see lots of food stalls, Berber dancers and musicians.
Gnaoua World Music Festival
If you’d like to get familiar with Morocco’s diverse cultural history, then a visit to the Gnaoua World Music Festival is a must. Held annually in the seaside town of Essaouira, it celebrates the Gnaoua people and their ancestral contribution to the world. It’s estimated that over 500,000 people attend the event each year.
Timitar Music Festival
Known as one of Africa’s top music festivals, the Timitar Music Festival features over 40 artists from all over the globe to promote the Amazigh culture. Usually held in the coastal towns of Morocco, be sure to stay hydrated as it’s held in Morocco’s sweltering summer.
Tafraoute Summer Music Festival
Held in the almond capital of Trafraoute, this free three-day event features local bands, musicians and artists from all corners of Morocco. It aims to show case the best of Moroccan culture.
Morrocan’s sure love their music festivals and the Tanjazz Festival held in early September gives a stage to amateur musicians and household names in Tangier.
Held in Erfoud, the Dates Festival celebrates the season’s date harvest by hosting religious ceremonies, traditional processions, camel racing and you guessed it, music and dance.
On 18 November 1944, Morocco’s King announced its independence from French and Spanish colonial powers. The day is celebrated countrywide with spectacular parades and street vendors selling traditional foods.
Tan Tan Moussem
To get one more view into Morocco’s rich cultural history, the Tan Tan Moussem brings together over 30 tribes from southwestern Morocco and north-west Africa to share stories, dance and challenge each other in camel races.