What is the best time to visit Morocco?
Morocco is one of the top Top 10 Tourist Destinations in Africa, If you are planning a trip to Morocco and know where to go, but are unsure about the best time to visit, this information will be useful for you. Climate, seasons, major events, and tourist influx – you will find all the information you need to know when to go to Morocco.
Geographical location of Morocco
Morocco is a vast country that stretches for nearly 1,850 km between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in northwest Africa. It is a country that can be visited all year round and has so much to offer its visitors! However, you will quickly realize that it is difficult to make a judgment about its climate, as it tends to vary depending on the regions of the country. And for good reason! Morocco is a country with extremely diverse landscapes, influenced by the geographical features near each part of the country. You will find four major climates: oceanic, Mediterranean, continental, and desert. One thing is certain, you can visit Morocco all year round, and each season has its advantages.
Climate and temperatures by season in Morocco
Morocco generally has a climate characterized by hot summers and pleasantly mild winters. However, different types of climates can be found from one region to another:
- Oceanic climate on the western coast of the country, with generally mild temperatures and more frequent rainfall than in the rest of the country. Morocco extends for a little over 1,300 km along the Atlantic coast, where you will find popular destinations for water activities, although the ocean water can be a bit chilly for swimming, even during the summer.
- Mediterranean climate on the northern coast of the country, with four distinct seasons: hot summers, mild winters, and sunny transitional seasons. The entire northern coast of Morocco benefits from this type of climate. In the northwest of Morocco, rainfall is less frequent than on the Atlantic coast and inland. A little away from the coast, at high altitudes in the Rif Mountains, the weather is much cooler and even truly cold during winter.
- Continental climate inland, with hot summers and very mild and dry winters. The climate is particularly pleasant for the majority of the year.
- Desert climate in the southern Saharan part of the country, with very low rainfall and persistent heat and aridity throughout the year. However, the weather is most bearable during winter, spring, and autumn.
Summer in Morocco
If you are unsure when to visit Morocco, summer can be particularly challenging, especially if you do not tolerate high temperatures!
In the western part of the country, summers are really hot, with temperatures often reaching at least 30 degrees Celsius, and the thermometer tends to rise as you go south.
On the northern coast of the country, you can expect a hot and dry summer, with temperatures close to 30 degrees Celsius and rare precipitation.
Inland, such as in Marrakech, summers are hot, and the intense heat can be difficult to bear for some people, as temperatures can easily exceed 35 degrees Celsius during the summer months. So make sure to stay hydrated during your visit to the Marrakech desert.
In the desert part of the country, in the height of summer, it becomes extremely difficult to plan activities in the middle of the day, except in the part of the Moroccan Sahara near the coast, where oceanic winds make the heat less stifling. Temperatures can reach up to 48 degrees Celsius!
If you want to escape the heat to some extent, I recommend prioritizing the coastal regions of Morocco, such as the north or west of the country, and avoiding the desert regions as much as possible.
Winter in Morocco
Winter is a great season to visit Morocco if you want to explore the country without having to endure extreme heat. With temperatures generally milder than in Northern Europe during this period, you can enjoy a stay to discover Morocco in winter with pleasant temperatures.
In Casablanca, Agadir, Essaouira, and other cities on the Atlantic coast, winters are very mild, with temperatures often around 20 degrees Celsius even in the middle of January, and a rainy season that extends from November to March. By the way, if you are wondering where to stay in Essaouira, feel free to check out my guide.
In the northern part of the country, you can expect a mild winter with temperatures often above 15-16 degrees Celsius during the day.
Inland, winters are very mild and dry. In Marrakech, for example, the average temperature in winter is around 20-21 degrees Celsius.
The unbearably hot temperatures that could be found in the desert part of the country become much more pleasant in winter, with temperatures reaching around 25 degrees Celsius.
Spring and autumn
For the majority of travelers, it is considered that the best times to visit Morocco are during the shoulder seasons. It is during these times of the year that you can enjoy plenty of sunshine, low rainfall, and avoid extreme heat throughout the country.
In the northern part of the country, you can experience pleasant and sunny spring and autumn seasons. In the desert region, the weather is more bearable compared to the stifling heat of summer. May, June, September, and October offer extremely favorable conditions almost everywhere in Morocco.
When to go to Morocco based on tourist crowds?
Morocco is a very popular country to visit and can be easily explored throughout the year, so there are no true low seasons for tourism. However, there are variations in tourist crowds depending on the time of year:
- August is by far the busiest month in terms of tourist crowds.
- April, July, October, and December are part of the high tourist season.
- May, June, September, and November have moderate tourist crowds.
- January, February, and March have the lowest tourist crowds.
In summary, if you want to avoid peak tourist crowds, it is best to visit during the early part of the year or in May, June, September, and November.
When to go to Morocco for major events?
Sometimes, the best time to visit is when you can witness or participate in major events. Here are some important dates in the cultural calendar of Morocco:
- Achoura festival in January, a very popular event in Morocco, equivalent to the Feast of Kings.
- Moussem de Sidi Ben Aïssa festival in February, featuring festivities such as music, dance, and horse shows in Meknès.
- Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, usually held in March or April, an all-women automobile race in the desert of southern Morocco.
- Jardin’art Festival in Marrakech in April, a grand gathering with ephemeral gardens, crafts, and traditional performances.
- Festival of World Sacred Music in Fes in June, attracting artists and spectators from all over the world.
- National Festival of Popular Arts in Marrakech in July, one of the biggest events of the year.
- Tanjazz Festival in Tangier in September, one of the largest jazz festivals in the Maghreb.
- Date Festival in Erfoud in October, during the harvest season, one of the most beloved traditional events in Morocco.
If you still crave new experiences after attending these major events, why not try some unique activities in Morocco? Additionally, Fes, the cultural capital of Morocco, is full of splendid and must-visit places. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Fes, check it out 😉
Activities to do in Morocco by season
Morocco is a country where you can always find a particularly pleasant place to travel, regardless of the time of year. If you’re still unsure about what to do in Morocco, there is a wide range of places to visit and experiences to have. During the shoulder seasons, you can enjoy almost all the activities offered, thanks to the climate being halfway between summer and winter. One thing is certain, no matter when you go, you will definitely not be bored and will create unforgettable memories from your trip!
- For a beach vacation on the Mediterranean coast, the period from June to October is ideal.
- For hiking, especially in the Atlas region, the best time is also between June and October when all the conditions are met.
- For a desert excursion in Morocco, autumn is the best time, when the days are still long enough and temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees.
Activities to do in summer in Morocco
- When it comes to summer, it’s all about enjoying the beaches! Given the unbearable temperatures in Morocco during the summer, I recommend opting for the northern or western coasts of the country. Morocco has beautiful beaches to offer, such as Essaouira, Taghazout near Agadir, or Legzira Beach on the southern coast of the country. Whether they are for fishing, water sports, or characterized by their ocher cliffs, you will definitely have a great time on Moroccan beaches!
- Why not escape the heat by heading to the mountains? In that case, I suggest going on a hike in the Atlas Mountains. During your day trip, you will have the opportunity to see magnificent landscapes and discover Berber villages. You can even enjoy a traditional lunch and local mint tea. For this excursion, expect to pay around €31 per person.
- If you absolutely want to leave Morocco knowing all about its cuisine, then I can only recommend taking a special street food night tour. During this tour, you will explore the city of Marrakech, its markets, and souks, while tasting all kinds of local specialties, from tagines to pastries and even almond drinks. You will even receive a local recipe to cook at home! For this activity, expect to pay €43 per person.
Activities to do in winter
- Why not take advantage of the cooler weather to visit the major cities of Morocco? You could choose to visit Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier, Essaouira, Agadir, and many more! These cities are full of must-see places, so it’s the perfect time to do cultural visits and learn more about the history of the country and its cities. If you’re wondering what to do in Tangier, don’t hesitate to read the guide.
- Since it’s much cooler in winter, you can easily engage in activities that take place in the desert! I particularly recommend the must-do 3-day desert safari in Merzouga with meals. During this activity, you will have the opportunity to see the Dades Valley and the Kasbah of Ouarzazate in the Merzouga desert, all while riding a camel. You will discover breathtaking landscapes and charming Berber villages. You will also have the chance to sleep under the stars and taste local dishes. Expect to pay €108 per person for this activity.
- If you’re a thrill-seeker, this activity might be perfect for you! How about going on a one-day paragliding excursion in the Atlas Mountains? During this activity, you can paraglide for 15 minutes above the Kik Plateau, accompanied by an instructor and filmed by a GoPro! In addition to that, you will have the opportunity to visit an argan oil extraction workshop and explore Berber villages. Expect to pay around €92 for this activity.
Budget to consider according to the season
If you want to travel cheaply in Morocco or have a peaceful stay, the best times to go are outside the peak tourist season, so this can greatly influence your choice of when to go to Morocco.
The first three months of the year are the best in terms of prices for traveling to Morocco and saving on plane tickets, hotel rooms, and other expenses. However, prices remain generally similar during other periods, and it is only in July, August, and December that travel prices in Morocco are significantly higher.
Finally, the shoulder seasons are great alternatives. During months like March, May, September, and November, the crowds are reasonable, prices are quite low, and the weather is generally favorable throughout the country. If you’re wondering what to do in Marrakech at the best prices during the shoulder seasons, I have some tips for you 😉
As mentioned earlier, tourist influx can have varying degrees of impact on the prices of available accommodations in Morocco. During the low tourist season, especially in the first few months of the year, you can easily find accommodations starting from €17 per night! On the other hand, during the peak tourist season, prices for certain accommodations can quickly rise to almost €300 per night! If you decide to visit Marrakech during your stay, you might be wondering where to stay in Marrakech according to the season. Don’t worry, I have some suggestions for you 🙂
To find accommodation at the best price for your next trip to Morocco, I highly recommend checking a website like Booking.com, which offers a wide range of accommodations.
The price of car rentals
The rates for car rentals are also influenced by periods of high or low demand. During periods of low tourist demand, such as in February, you can easily find a rental car starting from €18 per day. However, during periods of high demand, expect much higher rates! For example, in August, you will have to spend at least €40 per day to rent a car in Morocco.
The price of flights Paris – Marrakech
Just like everything else, flight prices tend to increase significantly as the peak tourist season approaches. If you’re still wondering when to go to Morocco, for example, during the low season in February, you can find Paris – Marrakech flights for around €150, while you can easily expect to pay double that in August!
As you may already know, booking your flight tickets requires some planning, so I strongly recommend booking well in advance! To find flight deals at the best price, I highly recommend checking a flight comparison website like Skyscanner.
That’s all for this article, I hope it has been helpful in organizing your trip and that you now know when to go to Morocco! Now that you know everything about the best time to visit Morocco, you might be interested in staying in riads in Marrakech or visiting Essaouira from Marrakech. I have other articles that can help you with that 🙂