Morocco is a land of immense opportunity and diversity. From its towering mountain peaks, and sprawling deserts, to its pristine beaches, there is something for everyone in this North African country.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a relaxing getaway, you’ll find it all here. So pack your bags and get ready to explore all that Morocco has to offer!
Get lost in the labyrinthine Medinas of Marrakech, Fez and Chefchaouen
The enchanting Red City of Marrakesh is a feast for the senses, with its bustling markets, vibrant street life, and exotic aromas. The ancient Medina is a warren of narrow streets leading to Djemaa El Fna – Africa’s most famous square – where you can enjoy performances by storytellers, snake charmers, and musicians.
Fez, Morocco’s oldest imperial city, feels like it has been frozen in time. Dating back to the 8th century, Fes El Bali is the world’s largest living medieval Medina, full of Souks (marketplaces), workshops, and mosques. Getting lost in its 9,000-plus alleyways is all part of the fun!
If you’re searching for somewhere to relax and recharge your batteries after exploring some of Morocco’s busier cities, Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains could be just what you need. This picturesque town gets its blue hue from being painted this color throughout its buildings and walls – it really is quite something to see! Strolling around Chefchaouen’s cobbled streets or enjoying a mint tea in one of its open squares are great ways to spend a lazy afternoon here before heading out into Talassemtane National Park for hikes through lush forest landscapes dotted with luminous waterfalls.
Hike the Atlas Mountains
The High Atlas is the perfect place for hikers, with its 1000km (620 mile) stretch across the country from the Atlantic coast to northern Algeria. Imlil, nestled in the foothills of the High Atlas 90 minutes drive from Marrakech, is where you can start your ascent of Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak at 4167m (13670ft). The two-day hike is an amazing experience.
If you have more time available, consider doing the week-long Toubkal circuit which follows centuries-old trails between remote Amazigh villages. You’ll cross fertile valleys, rugged massifs, and panoramic passes – it’s a truly stunning journey.
For even less crowded trails, head to the region around Tafraoute in Morocco’s Amazigh heartland where tribes and traditions are still going strong. Surrounded by lush green palm groves and hilltop kasbahs, this area of the Anti Atlas mountains makes a great base for hikes – Jebel El Kest summit at 2359m (7740ft) offers incredible views over this beautiful landscape. If you fancy something more gentle though there are also plenty of hiking and cycling routes passed picturesque villages in nearby Ameln Valley.
Feel the power of the wind and waves on the Atlantic coast.
Essaouira, dubbed the “Wind City of Africa” for its coastal breezes, is the perfect place to enjoy the water, no matter your skill level. Explora is a longstanding, family-run business that intimately knows the city’s waters and offers windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing classes, paddle boarding, and gear rentals.
Or, you could head 30 minutes south to the sleepy town of Sidi Kaouki with its year-long waves, wild beaches, and budget-friendly accommodation.
Further down the coast, the quiet town of Mirleft, a bohemian village located 130km (80 miles) south of Agadir resort, is home to some of the wildest surfing beaches in Morocco. Here, Spot-M takes experienced and novice surfers out for group and personalized lessons as well as week-long surf camps that include yoga–all at bargain prices.
And finally, far-flung Dakhla is as south as you can get in Morocco. But with its reliable all year wind and calm lagoon water, it’s being hailed as the country’s kitesurfing capital.
Witness the stunning architecture of Casablanca for yourself!
The Hassan II Mosque is the city’s most iconic landmark and one of the largest mosques in the world. Non-Muslims are welcome to take guided tours of the mosque. The prayer hall can hold 25,000 worshippers, and another 80,000 people can fit in the courtyards outside. The mosque showcases the finest Moroccan crafts, with painted wood, hand-carved stucco, and stunning zellige mosaic tilework.
Downtown Casablanca is an open-air museum of architecture, featuring neo-Moorish tiled facades, art deco colonial buildings, and Place Mohammed V’s ultra-modern Grand Théâtre de Casablanca designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc.
Invigorate yourself with a steam and scrub at a hammam!
After a long day of sightseeing, you deserve to treat yourself to a Hammam. This relaxing experience involves being steamed, soaped, scrubbed, and massaged. You can find a Hammam in every neighborhood, and they come in all sizes, shapes, and levels of luxury. For a simple steam and scrub, you can go to a no-frills public bathhouse. Or, for a more luxurious experience, you can book a private Hammam at a swanky hotel that offers wraps and massages. No matter where you go, you’ll come out feeling squeaky clean with baby-soft skin.
Haggle in Marrakech Souks
No matter how much of a shopaholic you are, Marrakech Souks will have something for you. The souk is a labyrinth of passageways, each one lined with stalls selling everything from shaggy wool rugs to aromatic spices to leather babouches (slippers). Artisans weave, hammer, and carve out their wares as they’ve done for centuries. And now, alongside them are homegrown and expat designers, giving age-old crafts a contemporary twist.
The great thing about Gueliz’s fixed-price boutiques is that you don’t have to haggle. Along rue de la Liberté, Atika sells amazing leather shoes at a fraction of the price of designer brands. And 33 rue Majorelle, opposite the must-see Jardin Majorelle (Yves Saint Laurent’s former home), stocks clothes, accessories, and jewelry from top Moroccan designers.
Gaze upon the stars from a constantly shifting sand dune in the Sahara desert.
Take a sunset camel ride to the top of a towering sand dune and enjoy the silence and stunning views as the desert turns gold, pink, and purple. Camp overnight in Bedouin style, under a blanket of stars. You might even spot the Milky Way! Erg Chigaga is the best place to get away from it all and experience some of Morocco’s natural beauty.
If you’re short on time, you can trade the busy streets of Marrakesh for the Agafay Desert in just an hour. This barren landscape of sculpted sand dunes can be explored by camel or quad-bike.
Step back in time in the oasis of Skoura
A verdant green carpet adorns the red-tinged rocky landscape of Skoura. Its idyllic palmeraie rustles with dates palms, making it the perfect place to linger and enjoy the slow pace of oasis life. With stylish guesthouses and farm-to-fork restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice here!
The labyrinthine ksasr of the region (fortified villages) are a sight to behold, including Ait Ben Haddou – a Unesco World Heritage Site that has starred in many films, such as Gladiator. The imposing mud-brick kasbahs are also worth seeing, like the magical ruins of Kasbah Amridil. In addition, rural weekly markets showcase the oases’ bountiful produce. This is an excellent base from which to explore scenic Dadès Gorge and Todra Gorge northeastward or Draa Valley southeastward.
Follow the lead of literary legends in Tangier.
During the 20th century first half, Tangier was considered one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Mediterranean. An international zone with a bohemian vibe, it was beloved by the Beat Generation in the 1950s.
A plethora of literary figures have found inspiration from this historic port city. William S. Burroughs wrote “Naked Lunch” at the Hotel El-Muniria, where you can still enjoy a cup of mint tea on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. Paul Bowles made Tangier his home for more than 50 years and used it as both a subject and setting for The Sheltering Sky. Visit his exhibition at the Tangier American Legation Museum, then follow in his footsteps to Café Hafa overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar.
Librarie des Colonnes, a historic bookstore that opened its doors in 1949, was frequented by some of the world’s most famous authors, including Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Today, you can find their works and more on the shelves of this iconic store.
Dance to the beat at one of the many music festivals in Morocco
Morocco is a land rich in musical culture, with influences from Amazigh to Andalusian, Arabian to sub-Saharan. It’s fast becoming a top destination for music festivals showcasing eclectic rhythms.
One of the most popular music festivals is the Gnaoua World Music Festival, which draws people from all over to the laid-back coastal city of Essaouira for four days of open-air concerts. This event features the hypnotic rhythms of Gnaoua, a traditional music, and spiritual practice brought north by sub-Saharan slaves in the 16th century. Casablanca plays host to Jazzablanca, another great mix of well-known and up-and-coming artists from Morocco and around the world.
Musicians come from around the world for Fez annual Festival of World Sacred Music. This event showcases a wide range of musical styles and traditions, from Sufi chanters to African-American jazz saxophonists to Colombian harpists. Björk is just one of the many international headliners who have graced the stage at this popular festival.
As Mawazine approaches, people from all over the world begin to flock to Rabat. The city becomes a giant open-air stage, and the atmosphere is electric. 2.75 million people come to experience the best music from across the globe, and they are not disappointed. The festival is truly a spectacle like no other.