The best time to visit Morocco to experience the country's magic
By Theo Panagopoulos, Jul 2020
Morocco impresses visitors all year round with its cultural wonders and diverse landscapes. The best time to visit Morocco depends on the activities you're planning, so take a peek at the endless opportunities this marvelous North African country has to offer to decide when to book your trip.
Take a desert tour in late spring
The wild landscape of the Sahara attracts adventurers from all around the globe. Before embarking on a one-day tour or a multi-day trip, though, you should consider each season's weather conditions. From June through September (and especially during July and August), it can get very hot in the daytime. During the winter months, temperatures drop dramatically at night. Most travelers embark on their Sahara desert adventure sometime between April and June.
From the major cities of Marrakech or Fez, expect a full day's drive to the Sahara's most well-known accessible areas: the dunes of Erg Chebbi, close to the town of Merzouga; and Erg Chigaga, near Zagora.
Roam the streets of Casablanca in early summer
Morocco has many renowned cities, but none as gloriously renowned as Casablanca; it's Morocco's largest city, the country's commercial hub and one of Africa's largest financial centers. (There was also a movie named after it that you might have heard of.)
Located on Morocco's western shore, Casablanca experiences rainy but mild winters and warm, sunny springs and summers. April to June is the best time to visit, but travelers who don't mind warmer temperatures will find the weather pleasant through the early summer months. Strolling the streets will give you a sense of both the tradition and modernity that exist here: Visit the Hassan II Mosque (the second-largest mosque in Africa) and the scenic Old Medina, which sit within spitting distance of 100-meter high skyscrapers.
Take a morning walk in Taghazout, a small fishing village on Morocco's Atlantic coast.
Explore the country's coastline in summer
From cosmopolitan Agadir and laid-back Essaouira on the Atlantic to Al Hoceima on the Mediterranean in the northern part of the country, Morocco's coastline is dotted with coastal towns marked by sun-drenched beaches perfect for summertime fun. Head to Oualidia for calm waters and extraordinary seafood, go surfing in Tamri or explore Taghazout's hippie culture.
Hike the Atlas mountains in autumn
Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts shouldn't leave Morocco without trekking the Atlas Mountains. The range, which stretches into Algeria and Tunisia, effectively bisects Morocco, separating its Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara. Because of the high temperatures in the summer months and the snowy days in the wintertime, the ideal time to hike the Atlas Mountains is in September or October.
There are many excursions to choose from depending on your experience level and how long you're willing to spend trekking across rough mountaintops and through endless valleys. The most popular hiking trails head toward the summit of Toubkal, in southwest Morocco; they take about two or three days to complete.
Explore the famous blue alleys of Chefchaouen, an ancient city in Morocco's Rif Mountains.
Wander around Chefchaouen's blue alleys in the winter
Nestled in the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen, Morocco's Blue City, preserves its authentic and unspoiled atmosphere. The medina, walled old part of town, is dotted with souvenir shops and artisans' stores, most of them painted blue; it's a great place for a relaxed walk. The wonderful twin Cascades d'Akchour waterfalls, a 45-minute drive from the city center, make for an enchanting nature excursion. The average winter temperature in Chefchaouen is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great weather for casual strolls.
Attend the best festivals in Morocco year-round
For culture buffs, the best time to visit Morocco is when the most interesting festivals are happening, and Morocco's cultural agenda is full year-round with traditional ceremonies and modern music and art festivals. For the traditionally inclined, there's the annual Imilchil Marriage Festival, which takes place in late August and early September in the lake plateau town in the Middle Atlas Mountains. At the festival, young Berber people meet potential spouses as their tribes trade livestock and agricultural products.
If you prefer to mingle in the country's major cities, plan your trip to Morocco for the spring or winter. In May or June, artists from all over the world descend upon Fez for the Festival of World Sacred Music. Marrakech is in the spotlight in November and December, when the Marrakech International Film Festival takes place.
The best time to travel to Morocco will depend on your travel agenda. Whether it's hiking the Atlas Mountains or touring the Sahara, Morocco has something exciting for every traveler at any time of year.
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