Holidays in Morocco – 12 best places
What is a vacation in Morocco? Sun, beaches, spices, sand and sacred architecture – Morocco has everything you need for the perfect vacation. You can relax for a week on the beach or visit a traditional hammam, go broke in an incredible luxury hotel or spend the night in a Berber tent in the desert. It is not surprising at all that the North African country is extremely popular among tourists. What to see in Morocco, sights and interesting places in the country. Here is a list of the best places to vacation in Morocco.
No trip to Morocco would be complete without a visit to Marrakech. The bustling city on the edge of the Atlas mountain range is home to one of the busiest squares in the world. Jemaa el Fnaa and the neighboring bazaars are a souvenir hunter’s dream. Haggle with the local vendors or relax in one of the many rooftop bars and spend an hour or two there watching the madness below. However, it would be unfair to reduce the ancient imperial city to its main square. There are beautiful mosques, madrassas, amazing gardens, and quite a few museums to explore. The Majorelle Garden in Marrakech is one of the many beautiful places to see in Morocco.
The city is known for its traditional and very talented artisans, who have passed on their skills from father to son for hundreds of years. In fact, Fez is one of the best Moroccan cities where locals like to stock up on good quality products such as beautiful leather shoes, great traditional clothing, carpets, spices, oils, perfumes and much more. You will also find many tanneries in Fez, which make leather goods a little more affordable than in other cities. A little warning, though, in case you don’t know, tanneries smell bad.
Fez is also known for many historical and well-preserved monuments. There is, for example, the Carahouin Library, Bou Inania Medersa, Attarine Medersa, and many more. You can see quite a bit there. Oh, and be sure to go to the Merenid Tombs on the top of the hill near Medina for a great panoramic view of Fez.
The Desert Fortress of Ait Benhaddou
The desert fortress of Ait Benhaddou is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the very south of Morocco. It’s not exactly easy to reach, but the strenuous journey through the mountain passes of the High Atlas is worth every minute – at least according to UNESCO, which declared it a World Heritage Site in 1987. The ochre clay walls seem to have been taken straight out of A Thousand and One Nights. So, be sure to head to the desert fortress for your Arabian prince/princess or just for the perfect shot.
As tempting as it is to reduce Morocco to its hammams and mosques, that would be wrong. In fact, the African country has quite a few national parks and natural attractions. One place you must see in Morocco is the Todra Gorge on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The sheer cliffs rise about 150 meters above you, while a slow mountain river winds along a pebbly beach.
Read also: Moroccan cuisine – traditional dishes.
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is the tallest mosque in the world and one of the most famous landmarks in Morocco. But the Hassan II Mosque is really a must-see during your vacation in Morocco. It has the tallest minaret (210 meters!) in the world, and it will stun you with its sheer size. You can go inside (unlike most mosques in Morocco), though you can just enjoy a stroll through the huge park surrounding it.
Meknes is the third imperial city of Morocco and probably the largest of them all-at least in its size. In some ways Meknes, Marrakech and Fez are not so different from each other. There is the ancient Medina, a huge square, souks and a palace. But, Meknes is the most authentic of all the cities. Here the bazaars are still what they should have been: places for locals to shop, and they are not full of souvenir stalls. Naturally, there are also important sights such as the Moulay Ismail Mausoleum and the ancient royal stables.
Holidays in Morocco – Volubilis
The Arch of Caracalla in Volubilis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Morocco. Volubilis should definitely be on your list of things to do in Morroco. It is the ruins of an ancient Roman city (dating back to the 3rd century BC) that is very interesting to explore. You can easily visit Meknes and Meknes on the same day if you just want to see the main attractions in Meknes.
Hiking the High Atlas
Don’t miss the chance to see the high Atlas mountain range on your tour of Morocco. You can visit the charming Berber village of Imlil on a day trip from Marrakech and enjoy the beautiful Toubkal National Park. From here you can see Morocco’s highest mountain at 4167 meters. Of all the beautiful places to visit in Morocco, this is perhaps the most unusual and beautiful area.
Holidays in Morocco – Sahara
The south of Morocco is extremely arid, and there are some stunning ergs you can visit. No matter which location you choose, be sure to consider watching the sunrise or sunset in the sand dunes. It will be a beyond magical experience while vacationing in Morocco!
Moulay Idris Zerhoun
Moulay Idris Zerhoun is a small hilltop town between Meknes and Volubilis, which is actually a very important place for the Moroccans themselves. It was here that Moulay Idris arrived in 780 A.D. and brought with him the now dominant Shiism (and later the beginning of a new dynasty). Take the next road on the route to Volubilis instead of entering on the main access road at the foot of the two hills; from here you have the best panorama of the city.
Essaouira (formerly Mogador)
This is the city where the third season of Game of Thrones was filmed! It’s a very peaceful, historic city, with great ocean views and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. In addition, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and horseback riding can be enjoyed in Essaouira.
The city is also known for its world-famous Gnawa music festival, which usually takes place in June. So if you are interested, be sure to check the dates before you buy tickets.
Holidays in Morocco – Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen or Chauen, known as the blue city, is a small town among the Rif Mountains. Unlike Marrakech, which offers many tourist attractions, hotels, nightclubs, Chefchaouen does not try very hard to attract tourists. Very peaceful, relaxing, with stunning blue floral walls and sleepy adorable cats, a visit to Chefchaouen is an immersion into the daily life of the locals.It is unquestionably among the top tourist destinations in Morocco.
Since it is built on a mountain, the town is quite hilly, so be sure to bring comfortable clothes and shoes. In addition, the countryside offers many activities in the beautiful and wilderness, such as picnicking, hiking or swimming. So head there if you need to unplug, take great photos or just enjoy nature and the fresh air.
What else to see in Morocco
This is just a small list of things you can see on vacation in Morocco. There is so much more to see. The Ouzoud waterfalls in Tanahmeilta are definitely a favorite tourist destination. The capital of Morocco, Rabat (the fourth imperial city), is also worth a visit. It really just depends on how much time you have for your itinerary in Morocco and which activities you like best.
While on vacation in Morocco, you should definitely, take your time to explore the many old medinas and souks (be sure to visit at least once at night – it will be a whole new world!). A handmade leather bag or jacket could be the perfect souvenir. But don’t forget that Morocco also has plenty of outdoor activities. Also, try many typical Moroccan dishes. Of all the things to try in Morocco, couscous as well as tagine should be at the top of your list.
Tips for vacations in Morocco
Morocco can be incredibly hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter (especially in the south). So the best time to visit Morocco is either March to May or September to October. Clear weather, almost no rain, and temperatures around 25-30 ° Celsius are the norm at this time (although often only 10-15 ° at night).
However, these months are also peak visiting times. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Morocco in winter or summer – as long as you don’t want to swim in the ocean (most pools are heated!) or hike the high Atlas Mountains.
Keep in mind that temperatures around 35° Celsius or higher are not unusual in July or August, while in December or January they can dip below 10° Celsius. Winter is also the “rainy season,” although it averages about 4 days of rain per month. Both can be a bit inconvenient, but if you just want to see the sights, nothing you can’t handle. On the other hand, hotel prices will be pretty low, and most tourist attractions-empty.
Additionally, there is a minor temperature variation between the North and the South (you must put Meknes on your schedule). The desert can be very hot in summer, but also quite cold in winter.