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  • Writer's pictureLena Claeys

Morocco: The Ultimate Travel Guide (Best Places To Visit + Itineraries)

Morocco is located in the northwest corner of Africa. Thanks to its stunning landscapes, colorful cities, year-round pleasant weather, and unique cuisine, Morocco is a popular travel destination. And although the country is rapidly modernizing, it still retains much of its ancient architecture and even more of its traditional customs. In this article, we’ll highlight the most important things to know before going, the 10 best places to visit in Morocco, and some itineraries we recommend.


best places to visit in morocco

 

Check out our video on Morocco to see the best places to visit through our camera!




Table Of Contents


Important Things To Know


Best time to travel to Morocco


The best time to visit Morocco is from April until June and from September until November. In these months, you will have good weather and not too many tourists. Keep in mind that at the beginning of spring and at the end of autumn, rain is not unusual.


Cost and currency


Overall, Morocco is very affordable. Accommodation, food, and tourist attractions are often way cheaper than other popular travel destinations. In Morocco, they use the Moroccan Dirham, so if you plan on going, keep an eye on the exchange rates to save more money.


Safety in Morocco


Morocco is a safe country to travel to as long as you understand its laws and cultural customs, and adhere to the status quo. Its crime rates are relatively low but be aware of scam artists and pickpockets which are common in Morocco, especially in the cities! Also watch out for people trying to sell you drugs, which is more common in northern Morocco.


Morocco Travel Tips


1. First, we only recommend driving a rental car if you’re comfortable with long distances. There are also a large number of police checkpoints and we got multiple fines during our road trip.


2. Second, we recommend spending more time in nature rather than in the chaotic cities, like Marrakech or Fez. Cities have a reputation for people who offer a service you haven’t requested which can be exhausting at times.


3. Finally, the WiFi connection was poor when we were there. So it’s best to get a SIM card upon arrival, which is fairly cheap (around 200 dirham - to be paid in cash - for 20GB). Maroc Telecom or INWI sim cards are the preferred ones with best coverage.



Best Places To Visit In Morocco


We'll now highlight 10 of the best places to visit in Morocco.


If you're traveling to Morocco and want to save time searching for directions to all of the places we mention in this article, then look no further than our custom map. Simply click on a point in the map below to get directions there for yourself!



10. Fez


Located in northern Morocco, Fez is one of the most ancient cities in Morocco. Rich in culture, traditions, and history, Fez is often referred to as the country’s cultural capital. Spend a day or two exploring the chaotic medina that is filled with madrasas, palaces, residences, mosques, and other structures that date back to as early as the 9th century. A good way to do this is by taking a guided tour of the medina. But also make sure to venture outside the old town to see what Fez has developed into today. If you're interested in visiting Fez, make sure to check out our blog with everything you need to know about Fez.


tanneries fez morocco
Tanneries of Fez, Morocco

9. Essaouira & the Atlantic Coast


At number 9 we have Essaouira, a bohemian city situated along the Atlantic Coast. Known as the windy city of North Africa, lots of surfers, kitesurfers, and windsurfers find their way here. But visitors also enjoy strolling through the fortified medina, walking along the beach boulevard, or simply relaxing at the hotel. But if you’re looking for sunbathing and swimming, you might want to look at other beach destinations along the Atlantic Coast, such as Agadir, Oualidia, Asilah, Taghazout.



essaouira morocco
Essaouira waterfront


8. Dades Valley


Another beautiful place to visit in Morocco is Dades Valley. Located in the south, it’s often nicknamed the “Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs” because this valley is dotted with palm trees and mudbrick palaces. But what makes the landscape really unique is its red rock formations and the serpentine road at the end of the gorge. It’s best to take in this incredible scenery by driving through the valley and making a few photo stops. If you have more time, we recommend hiking to the “monkey fingers” trail.


dades valley morocco things to do
Serpentine road in Dades Valley

7. Chefchaouen


At number 7 we have the small town of Chefchaouen, set amidst the Rif Mountains in the northwest of Morocco. It’s also nicknamed the “Blue City” because of picturesque streets filled with houses painted in different shades of blue. And while it’s still a mystery as to why all the houses are painted blue, it’s a fun experience to simply walk around and get lost in the alleyways. Apart from that, there are also some other interesting places worth a visit, including the Spanish Mosque for sunset, the washing stations of Ras el Ma, and the Kasbah Museum. Learn more about this intriguing city in our other blog about the best things to do in Chefchaouen.


chefchaouen morocco
The Blue Streets of Chefchaouen


6. Marrakech


The most popular place to visit in Morocco is undoubtedly the bustling city of Marrakech, located in the center of the country. There’s something for everyone here: whether you like to enjoy the diverse food scene, explore the historic palaces and sights, or stroll around the peaceful gardens. Start your journey at the Jemaa el-Fna square in the heart of the city. Most tourist attractions are within walking distance from here. But if you want to learn more about the local life and city history, we highly recommend going on a guided walking tour of the medina. For more information check out our blog about the best things to do in Marrakech.



Jemaa el-Fna square Marrakech morocco
The Jemaa el-Fna square at night

5. Ouzoud Waterfalls


Located 160 kilometers or 100 miles to the east of Marrakech, the Ouzoud Waterfalls are a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. With a height of 110 meters or 360 feet, these are the tallest and most spectacular waterfalls in Morocco. We visited this beautiful place as a day trip from Marrakech, which allowed us to spend about 4 hours at the falls. This tour included a guided walk down to the base of the falls with plenty of time to take in the beauty. We also encountered some monkeys along the way who inhabit this area! Overall, we really enjoyed this day tour and would definitely recommend it when you're in Marrakech. However, be aware that this place can get very busy during the high season.



Ouzoud waterfalls morocco
Ouzoud Waterfalls from below

4. Todra Gorge


Running parallel to Dades valley, Todra Gorge is another beautiful natural sight to see in Morocco. Here, a river carved its way through the orange limestone for centuries. As a result, canyon walls reach over 400 meters or 1300 feet high in some places. There are many ways to enjoy the gorge, whether you are an avid hiker, rock climber, mountain biker, or you prefer to simply enjoy the scenery and soak up the culture. We did a half day hike into the canyon and over its rocky walls, which we really enjoyed. We even spotted some nomadic camps along the trail.


todra gorge morocco places to visit
The canyon as seen from the road

3. Aït Ben Haddou


At number 3, we have the picturesque village of Aït Ben Haddou, located along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. It’s known for its historic clay buildings, which is a great example of Moroccan earthen architecture. And while most of the village has been abandoned in recent years, there is still a lot left for travelers to explore. Some of the main highlights include watching the sunrise and sunset from one of the many viewpoints, walking up to the ancient grain store on top of the village, and visiting one of the “kasbah’s”. If you don't have a lot of time, we recommend doing this as a day trip from Marrakech.



aït ben haddou morocco things to do
View of Aït Ben Haddou from Chez Brahim's Rooftop

If you have more time in the area, we also recommend exploring nearby Ouarzazate. This city has been welcoming Hollywood directors since the ‘60s and is the movie capital. We did a guided tour of the Atlas Studios, where films like Cleopatra, The Mummy, and Gladiator were shot.



atlas studios  ouarzazate morocco things to do
Atlas Studios


2. High Atlas Region


As North Africa’s highest mountain range, the High Atlas is a paradise for trekkers and skiers. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Moroccan-Algerian border in the east, this region covers approximately 740 km or 460 miles. The most impressive part is undoubtedly Toubkal National Park, which is easily accessible from Marrakech by car or bus. And the beautiful village of Imlil is the starting and ending point of most hiking circuits in the park. We joined a three-day trek across three valleys and traditional berber villages. But it’s also possible to go on a day or 2-day hike here from Marrakech. We recommend the 2-day hike if you're in decent shape. The 3-day hike follows the same route and was too slow for us (the hiking time was only 4-5 hours per day for the 3-day trek).



high atlas mountains morocco things to do
Our cook and donkey in the Atlas

1. Sahara Desert


The most beautiful place to visit in Morocco in our opinion is the Sahara Desert, which spans the south of the country mainly along the border with Algeria. Here, you can enjoy orange dunes, blue skies, camel trekking, camping under the stars, and much more. And while there are various desert options in Morocco, we explored the popular Erg Chebbi dunes at the edge of the town of Merzouga. Get a taste of what the nomadic life in the desert is truly like by spending at least 2 to 3 days here. Learn all about our 3-day safari experience in our Merzouga blog.


merzouga desert morocco
Erg Chebbi dunes at sunset


Morocco Itineraries


Here are some rough itineraries we propose:


7 days in Morocco

  • Marrakech (2 days)

  • Aït Ben Haddou + Ouarzazate (1 day)

  • Dades + Todra Gorge (1 day)

  • Merzouga desert (3 days)


10 days in Morocco

  • Marrakech (2 days)

  • Ouzoud waterfalls (1 day trip from Marrakech)

  • Atlas Mountains (2 days)

  • Aït Ben Haddou + Ouarzazate (1 day)

  • Dades + Todra Gorge (1 day)

  • Merzouga desert (3 days)


14 days in Morocco:

  • Marrakech (2 days)

  • Ouzoud waterfalls (1 day trip from Marrakech)

  • Atlas Mountains (2 days)

  • Aït Ben Haddou + Ouarzazate (1 day)

  • Dades + Todra Gorge (1 day)

  • Merzouga desert (3 days)

  • Drive to Fez (2 days - stops in Azrou, the Ziz Gorge, or Ifrane)

  • Fez (1 day)

  • Chefchaouen (1 day trip from Fez)

  • OR spend the last 4 days at one of the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean (instead of Fez & Chefchaouen)


Are you traveling to Morocco but don't have time to plan all aspects of your trip? We created a detailed 10-day itinerary that has all the information and links you need, e.g. accommodations, places to eat and drink, distances, activities, etc. Everything is also pinned on a map so you can easily navigate your way around when you're there. We created this itinerary after traveling around Morocco for 4 weeks. We handpicked the most beautiful places we visited and fun activities we did. This itinerary is for the active traveler who likes hiking and nature, but also learning about the local culture and history. This itinerary saves you 40+ hours of researching and planning.



If you have more time in Morocco or you would like to explore more cities and beaches, it’s worth checking out other beautiful destinations that we didn't mention in our top 10:

  • Tangier

  • Casablanca

  • Rabat

  • Moulay Idriss

  • Mirleft

  • Erg Chigaga desert (M’hamid)

 

Use These Websites To Save Money On Your Trip To Morocco

 

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Other Top Morocco resources:


If you're looking for some other suggestions and tips on Morocco, here are some great articles that will help you:


Need more travel inspiration? Check out our other destinations or other articles about Morocco:


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Hi! We are Ine & Zac. An international travel couple from Belgium and the US. We created World Wild Hearts to inspire new adventures and help you plan your next trip. Use these tips, stories, and guides to inspire your next adventure of a lifetime!

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