It’s no secret that Morocco is one of the most amazing countries in the world, with mesmerizing landscapes, mystifying cities, salt-of-the-Earth locals and food that will make your head spin. Whether you should visit Morocco is not the issue—if you’re a traveler, you will eventually need to come here.
The difficulty in planning a trip to Morocco, particularly if it’s your first time, is hammering down an itinerary that fits as many of the country’s amazing destinations and experiences into the amount of time you have, without forcing you to move at a breakneck pace.
Ask yourself the following four questions to plan the Morocco itinerary that’s just right for you.
How Much Time Will You Spend in Morocco?
Not surprisingly, the longer you spend in Morocco, the less important it is to hammer out an itinerary. On the other hand, if you have a short time (let’s say 10 days) in Morocco, you’ll want to be more selective.
For example, while you’ll certainly be able to fit in a few nights in exotic Marrakech and a camping excursion in the Sahara Desert, you might have to choose between coastal Essaouira and the bohemian, blue mountain town of Chefchaouen. With two weeks in Morocco you’ll be able to add Tangier, which sits just over the sea from Spain, or the former imperial city of Fes, but probably not both.
What Do You Want to See in Morocco?
Most every destination in Morocco is wort visiting, irrespective of your travel interests, but if you hate camels and sand, the money and time it takes to reach the dunes of Merzouga might be better spent on other pursuits.
Likewise, if surfing is more a priority for you than shopping in a lively souk or walking along a historical seawall, you might head south along the Atlantic to Agadir, which is legendary for its waves, instead of staying in Essaouira, which is a more appropriate choice for cultural travelers.
When Do You Plan to Go to Morocco?
The word “Morocco” evokes images of bright sun and scorching temperatures, but the climate in much of the country is more seasonal and temperate that you might expect. If you visit in winter, for instance, you might want to think twice about visiting the Atlas Mountains, which will be freezing cold on account of their high altitude.
On the same token, excursions to the deserts are more pleasant during the fall and winter months, even if the nights can be quite cold, and you might need to wear a wetsuit to surf in Agadir at this time.
Wondering what the weather is like in Morocco? Check my month by month guides!
Do You Think You’ll Be Able to Return?
Morocco is a country you need to visit more than once (certainly, you’ll want to) but not everyone can be sure they’ll have the opportunity. If you have a feeling your trip to Morocco will be your only one, it might be worth it to squeeze in a visit to Hassan II Mosque en route from Casablanca Airport to Marrakech, or to visit Morocco’s capital city Rabat on the way back from Chefchaouen or Tangier.
On the other hand, if you know you’ll come back to Morocco (for example, you live in Europe, to which Morocco is well connected by air), you might focus on one or two specific places—spending five days in Marrakech instead of three, for instance, and spending some time in its Nouvelle Ville (“New City”) and not just the historical center.
The Bottom Line
Morocco is a fascinating country no matter where in the country you go, how much time you spend there, which month of the year you visit and whether or not you plan to come back. On the other hand, asking yourself a few simple questions can help you optimize your Morocco itinerary so you can take the trip that’s right for you. Are you ready to book your flight?
Thanks for this great guest post contribution! Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer and world traveler who is deeply in love with Morocco—and with helping others plan their trips there! Click here to see some of Robert’s favorite Morocco travel photos, or visit his travel blog Leave Your Daily Hell for travel insights of a more global nature. You can also follow Leave Your Daily Hell on Facebook and Instagram.
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