Much of the experience in Morocco, including camel trekking at a Berber camp in the Sahara, trekking in the Atlas Mountains and visiting authentic Marrakech and Chefchaouen, is possible all year round thanks to the constant freezing temperatures. But the best time for Travelling In Morocco depends on your goals and planned activities.
Morocco: when the high season
The high season is from April to October. At this time, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea are warm, the sun is shining actively, and the air temperature warms up to 29 ℃. During the Christmas and New Years periods, you should also expect an abundance of travelers, especially in Marrakech and the south of the country, where a festive atmosphere soars with entertainment and fireworks.
The low season in Morocco begins in November and ends in March, and during this period the locals do not think about tourists and lead a normal life, which means that you can see the real Morocco.
We are often asked when is the best time to go for a honeymoon in Morocco. The answer primarily depends on what exactly you want to do (desert, mountains, cities), your desire to avoid crowds and your desire to save money on housing and flights. A quick general recommendation for most people is April, May , as well as the fall months – September, October, November. Next, we will explain why and give recommendations on the best time for different travel formats.
The advantage of spring and autumn is a comfortable temperature at which there is no sultry summer heat (especially in the Sahara Desert) and it is not cold. In April, nature wakes up after hibernation, the grass in the Atlas Mountains acquires splendor and green colors, and trees and flowers bloom their buds, filling the air with a pleasant aroma. In autumn, you can expect a riot of yellow and orange colors on the trees, and the weather is still sunny, dry and warm. The only drawback is that many tourists come at this time, and if this is the main criterion for you, then consider the period from November to February.
When is the beach season in Morocco
If you choose Morocco for the beach & Sun and swimming in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea, then pay attention first of all to the summer, when, moreover, there are school vacations. At this time, in the popular resorts of Essaouira and Agadir, the water temperature reaches a comfortable + 20-22 ℃.
But, if you want to see fewer crowds of vacationers in front of you, come in May or September, when the beaches are half empty and the temperature is still comfortable for a beach holiday. So, at the beginning of autumn in Agadir, you can soak up the sun at +26 ℃ and swim in the water warmed up to + 22 ℃. In Essaouira at this time the ocean temperature is +19 ℃, which is great after the heat. In May, the water cools down to +17 degrees. But if you like coolness and want to cheer up – this is the very thing.
When is the best time to visit the Sahara
The Sahara Desert is the main reason why travelers from all over the world come to Morocco and it is often included in the author’s tours in Morocco. Here you can make a one and a half hour caravan-hike from Merzouga to a beach camp among the dunes in the desert, cut the sand in jeeps, ATVs or buggies, and also go on a multi-day retreat track with camels.
The most comfortable time to visit the desert will be in the spring or autumn, but keep in mind that sandstorms are more frequent in April due to the Sirocco winds. For short hikes of a couple of hours, the risk is minimal, and for multi-day hikes, consult the travel organizer for safety precautions.
The beauty of winter is that there are fewer tourists here, and prices are lower. The temperature is excellent during the day and you will even feel hot if you do not take off your jacket. It gets cold quickly after sunset, but by the fire you will warm up perfectly, enjoying hot Moroccan tea and the starry sky above your head. In tents, as a rule, beds with very thick blankets, so although it is cold at night, you will not freeze.
In summer, the temperature in the desert in some places rises to + 40 ° C, and if your trip is during this period and you still want to see the Sahara, then we recommend refraining from multi-day treks and limiting yourself to a short one and a half hour hike, which are organized from Merzouga. Don’t worry, Kemel-men (the man who leads the camel caravan) will help you wrap your head and face in a special headdress worn by the Berbers.
When to surf
Morocco beckons surfers from all over the world and surfers can perfectly complement your trip. The season, like for kitesurfing, is from October to March. At this time, in the region of Agadir, Essaouira and Takhgazut, the average air temperature is +22 ℃, but what waves! In some places they reach 3 meters in height! But don’t worry, there are great spots for beginners as well. If you don’t want a full-fledged surf camp, but just want to try surfing another day while traveling in Morocco, pay attention to the author’s road trips that include surfing .
Best time to visit cities
Summer is the perfect time for a beach holiday, but Morocco’s imperial cities will be a little too hot for exploring. After all, you probably won’t want to wander through the medina and ancient labyrinthine streets, exhausted from the 30-degree heat.
If your goal is to wander around the cities, then we advise you to go during a cooler time – October-November or March-May. It will be just the right thing for walking along the sky-blue streets of Chefchaouen, wandering through the noisy labyrinths with merchants in Marrakech, visiting the Shaur dye shops in Fez, visiting oriental markets and other popular cities, which are often included in the author’s tours to Morocco posted on Escapewithpro.
Recommended time for trekking in the Atlas Mountains
An idea of Morocco would be incomplete without the picturesque Atlas Mountains, which offer a variety of short half-day walks in the Todra and Dades gorges, as well as multi-day treks, which are often included in hiking and trekking tours in Morocco.
Saleh Budo, a Moroccan guide who is recommended by Lonely Planet and whose author’s tours are on Escapewithpro, advises exploring the natural world of Morocco from April to June, when the mountain landscape comes alive with green colors, which will also be appreciated by your Instagram followers. Autumn is also good for trekking in the Atlas Mountains due to the comfortable temperatures.
In summer, trekking is also possible, but keep in mind that the air temperature sometimes reaches +30 ℃ and it will be more difficult to walk in such heat for a long time. And thunderstorms are a frequent visitor here in the afternoon.
However, the summer months are good for another activity in the Atlas Mountains – rock climbing. Saleh recommends doing this extreme sport in the summer, since at this time of the year the trails are not so dangerous, and the weather is best suited to conquering the steep cliffs.
When to visit national parks
When planning your trip to Morocco, pay attention to the national parks. Similar to trekking, we recommend visiting these nature reserves between April and June, when the nature is especially picturesque.
At this time, in the Tazekca National Park with its mysterious Friouato Caverns, the mountain slopes are covered with a carpet of lush greenery, and the meadows are covered with blooming poppies.
Ifrane with its funny and unique Berber monkeys during this period most of all resembles Switzerland: alpine meadows acquire bright green colors, waterfalls become fuller and more beautiful, the snow has not completely left the mountain peaks, and the air is permeated with purity and freshness.
In the Parc National de Talassemtane, the blue lakes and the Cascades d’Akchour waterfall become more abundant.
Sous-Massa is buried in daisies and other wildflowers in spring. Walking near the flower meadows, you can also observe the life of seagulls, falcons, antelopes, ostriches and even bald ibises, which are on the verge of extinction.
When are the main festivals in Morocco
In addition to the desert, mountains, picturesque coasts and picturesque cities, Morocco also boasts festivals. They are enchanting here. Therefore, if you want to participate in one of them, plan your trip based on the calendar of events. Festivals are held all year round.
This is the time of the International Film Festival, which is held annually in Marrakech, and the Almond Blossom Festival, held throughout February in Tefraut. At this time, light pink flowers bloom on the bare branches of almonds, which, like sakura in Japan, adorn the alleys.
Along with the awakening of nature, damask roses bloom in the small town of El-Kelaa-Mguna, in the Vallée des Roses. And this is a reason to hold a festival dedicated to the harvest of these flowers – with fairs, folk concerts and traditional rituals. If you want to be sprinkled with fresh rose petals, come here in May.
And for live sounds of African drums, flute and many other instruments, visit Fez. At the same time, the Gnaoua Music Festival is held here , which combines contemporary and folk music.
Musical time. After a beach holiday, dance with the locals to live music and the open air at the Timitar Music Festival held in Agadir in July.
The busiest time in terms of festivals. For a medieval atmosphere, head to Tisza. In September or October, this quiet town comes alive with the Horse Festival, in which Moroccan men don traditional white clothes, saddle fancy horses and demonstrate horseback riding.
Erfoud comes to life in October. At this time, the Date Festival takes place, where you can taste fruits harvested from date palms for free, as well as hear Moroccan music and see folk dances.
How Ramadan Affects Travel
In Morocco, there is the holy month of Ramadan – the most important 30-day period for Moroccans and at the same time unique for travelers. It falls on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, but this calendar does not coincide with the one we are used to, so check the dates of Ramadan. In 2020, it is from April 23 to May 22. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and sex from dusk to dawn.
During these 30 days, life in Morocco is changing – there are fewer tourists and locals on the streets, shops and restaurants start working a little later, establishments for locals may be closed during the day, and the opening hours in the service industry may be changed. However, you will be able to eat, order services and buy goods almost as during the normal period.
At the same time, this is a unique opportunity to see the life of the locals during Ramadan and taste the special dishes they prepare for this occasion. After sunset, the streets of Moroccan cities are filled with people again and everything comes to life.
So, the answer to the question of when is the best time to go to Morocco depends primarily on the purpose of the trip and activities, the desire to avoid the crowd and save money. Spring and fall are ideal for hiking in the Atlas Mountains , city walks, desert caravan hikes and natural national parks. Summer is great for the beach and surfing, and in winter there are fewer tourists, but at the same time it is comfortable and warm for auto trips , the Sahara and cities.