The Best Time to Visit Morocco: A Comprehensive Guide

With these inputs, head on to the bottom of the article to our “What are you looking for?” section to help you decide the best time for you to visit Morocco. Have any doubts after reading the article? Post a comment below and I will do my best to clarify for you. While Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, and the Atlantic coast experience moderate temperatures throughout the year, with an annual average of 17° to 21° C, these are a good bet for the winter with short, mild, and rainy weather. During the rest of the year, spring and summer, the coast tends to be warmed by the Northeast winds with temperatures between 25° and 30° C.

Morocco is one of the most popular African destinations, in no small part due to its fantastic weather. We have compiled all of the information and tips that you need to know before deciding on the best time to visit Morocco, as Morocco is such a diverse country in terms of climate. Whether you are visiting the Sahara or the High Atlas mountains, we have got you covered.

1. Purpose of the Guide

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the best times to visit each region or city in Morocco, as well as what you can expect from your visit during that time. It will blow your mind, the difference in climate, experience, and activities that are available from just a few hours’ drive between each location. Each city has its own unique flavor and is a popular destination for visitors. Tourists can be found in Marrakech or at the Sahara desert all year long. It’s a little overwhelming when you start to plan your trip. Visiting Nador in January promises a very different experience from visiting Rabat in January. The best time to visit Nador is not the best time to visit Rabat, and vice versa. That is why I have created this comprehensive guide. I want to give people the information to make better decisions and have better trips.

2. Geographical and Climate Overview

The Mediterranean climate regime corresponds roughly to the coastal plains in the north of Morocco; consequently, the temperatures are similar to those of the Oceanic climate regime. However, there are differences in the way precipitation occurs: while the former is characterized by a wet winter and a dry summer, the latter is characterized by small amounts of precipitation in the form of rain or drizzle throughout the year, usually concentrated in April or May, with a drier period from June to September. The oceanic climate takes in almost all of the Casablanca region and the northern coast. The month of May is all about good weather and is the perfect time to visit the Northern Coast, especially if you are planning on going on a short break. Additionally, it’s the best time for the last hikes of the season, either in the Middle or High Atlas. That being said, it may be warm by the end of the month, so good early planning is required. With 11 hours of sunshine per day and an average maximum temperature of 27°C, June is the best summer month to visit the northern coast of Morocco.

Morocco’s geographical location, with a coastline that stretches over both sides of the continent, makes the country a unique place in a myriad of aspects. Since water slightly changes a place’s climate by reaching high temperatures in the summer and cooler ones in the winter, the coasts of Morocco are known for their mild and sunny weather all year round. Conversely, the interior is known to be scalding during the summer and usually chilly in the winter. The biggest part of the Moroccan soil is arid or semiarid, thus the country has become quite hot from May to October. There are four main climate categories in the country: Mediterranean, Oceanic, Southeastern Desert, and the Desert.

2.1. Geographical Features of Morocco

The diverse landscapes of Morocco are a series of crossroads. West of the Atlas Mountains is the fertile land of Wadi Sebu, which is crossed by the Oued Beht, sitting on the hillside of the Marrakech plateau. To the south, the seaside city of Essaouira with typical Tudor-style windows and terracotta tiles, and a fortress wall, looks down on the steep waves of the Atlantic Ocean. In front of the blue sea, you can enjoy the best oysters in the country. In contrast, on the north side, the mountain plains are more suitable for taking pictures.

Morocco is situated at the crossroads of two continents, where the southwest of the Mediterranean Sea meets North Africa. The Kingdom of Morocco borders Algeria to the east, Mauritania to the southeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. It also shares a 1,600 km land border with the non-sovereign territories of European Spain. The territory is composed of the two regions of the Rif and the Atlas Mountains, as well as the part of the Sahara Desert that is desertified towards the south. In short, Morocco has a variety of natural landscapes, many of which are Arabian scenes.

2.2. Climate Zones in Morocco

The areas situated to the east, shielded from the Atlantic by the mountain ranges of the Rif and the Middle Atlas, have a more continental climate, meaning that the heat is particularly strong in summer and temperatures can drop below freezing in winter. It is exactly this contrast that makes the subtropical climate of the coastal areas particularly appealing. Without the northern moisture brought by the sea, these areas would, in fact, be completely submerged in desert sand. While the northern parts of the Atlas Mountains still receive a recognizable amount of precipitation, the areas to the south of the Atlas’ western section make up the Sahara region. In general, Morocco has three main climate zones: Mediterranean, alpine, and continental. However, one meteorological feature is common to every zone: eternal sunshine.

There are a number of different climate zones in Morocco, each of which is generally defined by the country’s topography. Coastal areas are influenced particularly by the cool Canary Current and thus offer a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild, damp winters. Much of the northwest area of the country also benefits from this climate. The Rif Mountains create a second, cooler zone, whose climate is characterized by heavy rainfall and snowfall in winter.

3. Seasonal Weather Patterns

Casablanca and Agadir are the only notable areas where the tourism industry continues essentially year-round, with temperatures here hardly dipping below 60 on the coldest days, and the major cities between Rabat and Marrakech are, not surprisingly, the most settled. Morocco’s mountains offer plenty of air at 5,000 feet or more – a good escape from the summer heat and can also get quite cold in the winter. The nearly equally diversified climate of Mount Toubkal, only 47 miles south of Marrakech’s airport, makes it possible to ski there during the winter months, provided there is enough snow, and then return to the warm beaches in the evening. The highs and lows of Marrakech reflect most of the country’s trends, with chilly winter evenings but scalding summer afternoons. High in the Central Atlas mountains, the city will occasionally witness snowfalls during the winter months, while the summer months will be more forgiving. High energy prices and scarce housing supplies have pushed many citizens to move to the suburbs, which are much cooler than the cities and packed with malls, restaurants, dance bars, and other attractions.

Morocco boasts an eclectic blend of climate conditions, which are generally divided into four broad categories: the Mediterranean climate of the Northern Atlantic coastal cities, the arid climate of most of the interior, the more temperate prairie climate of south-central Morocco, and the continental climate of the Eastern interior. As a result, the regions are subtropical semiarid or semi-arid with the Eastern part being semi-arid and arid. Thus, the temperature of Morocco varies greatly by the time of year and the region you plan to visit.

3.1. Spring

The countryside is also at its most beautiful in spring, as the trees and flowers burst into life, and the snow on the peaks of the High Atlas begins to melt and swell the rivers flowing to the Sahara. While spring is the time of luxuriant growth in southern Morocco, for residents of the north, spring is the time to start planning weekend visits to the cooler temperatures of the High Atlas, which come during April and are especially welcome after a winter spent in grey skies, damp air, and cool temperatures.

Spring is another great time to visit Morocco, and especially so if you can coincide your visit with the impressive Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du Monde in Essaouira. During the months of March, April, and May, the temperatures in southern Morocco are very comfortable. Marrakech, in particular, becomes a very pleasant place to visit as the dry desert air warms up after the cold of winter, but summer’s intense heat and humidity have not yet arrived.

Marrakech in spring, when the temperatures are perfect and the parks are in full bloom.

3.2. Summer

Summer in Morocco can be quite an experience. The weather is characteristically dry, with temperatures of up to 35 °C being recorded in the hottest parts of the country. Lasting from June to August, summer in Morocco allows for relaxation on the coasts of the Atlantic. Water activities are best enjoyed at this time. The days are longer, so there is a lot of time to enjoy the beautiful beaches and the great views. Windsurfing is particularly popular in Essaouira, where winds are stronger in the north and mild in the south. Hiking can be enjoyed in the High Atlas, where the valleys are filled with wild flowers. It gets harder as you go up the mountain, but fortunately, it is much cooler as you ascend. Furthermore, the festivals and events such as the Gnaoua Music Festival in June and the Rose Festival in May, and a large number of food and cultural events are all part of what goes down in summer in Morocco. The biggest part of this season is the ‘sand season’ where tourists visit the coast of the Sahara Desert. This is also the best time to visit other sights like the Koutoubia Minaret and the Hassan II mosque.

3.3. Autumn

There’s a time when the first rains arrive – which may or may not be in autumn – that the wadis become swollen. That’s when it’s time to head to Paradise Valley (or to Lore). Be aware that buses are more prone to running on time at this time of year (you’re unlikely to be stranded in the middle of nowhere), and many tour operators have a trip to a Bedouin camp in a desert oasis on their menu. These trips aren’t much fun when it’s raining. Sure, it’s a different experience, but it’s not what you paid for! On the other hand, because not everyone knows that, there can be bargains to be had. They can hardly cancel the trip on you when there’s been no rain.

To make things clear, autumn means fall. For much of the Northern Hemisphere, autumn starts officially with the autumnal equinox in late September. By the time October arrives, fall is in full swing. This is a beautiful time to be in Morocco. In the morning, it might feel chilly, even in Marrakech, but by lunchtime, it’s hot. There are still lots of blue skies and warm days. The further into autumn you go, the more chance of cooler evenings. The benefits of fall are tempered by the fact that everywhere outside of Marrakech and the other larger cities can become pretty rainy. After the first rain, the landscape changes from a beigey, dusty color to a rich, ploughed-field brown. Fields become lush and green and, if you’re in the right place, there will be a stunning colorful cascade of flowers. Don’t let Redeyef (Sijilmassa, Rissani) be your only trip point though unless you fancy a swimming holiday!

3.4. Winter

The long periods of sunny weather and extreme temperature variations between day and night are the strongest reasons why winter is the best time to visit Morocco. The days are warm and pleasant, with average temperatures smoothly ranging within 15-20°C (59-68°F) or touching 25°C (77°F) during holidays on a good year. Six hours of sunshine a day shouldn’t be too much time to wander around and give some deserved tan marks to your body, while most of the time saved during the day can be turned into a wonderful dinner in a clammy and cozy restaurant. For reference, Christmas in Morocco is a nice way to escape the winter cold of the northern hemisphere. It’s extra special in small town markets, where seasonal food, music, and traditions are always of the heart.

Winter in Morocco is very mild along the coasts and a bit more bitter in the mountains. However, the season offers the possibility of practicing winter sports in the Middle and High Atlas and chilling in the desert of southern provinces. The hassles of summer traveling are as good as gone, and tourists are more local than foreign, which often means overall cheaper accommodation and a better feel for local life. Casablanca’s cold winds, however, are the gateway to off-season discounts and their healthy shopping opportunities from Rabat to Marrakesh. If the idea of swimming in the lower temperature sea doesn’t scare you at all, head to the windsurfers’ paradise called Essaouira.

4. Best Time to Visit Based on Activities

Each activity calls for the best time of visit for that activity. To appreciate Morocco throughout the year for all activities, a suggestion is included on the time frame of the year to focus on an activity best adapted for that period. This advice will need to be considered whenever planning a journey to the country. The better recommendation will depend on the number of activities which fill up the days of a traveler’s program. For each selected type of activity, for example, for a trip dedicated to a maximum of three activities if you are a business traveler being in a limited location, then that traveler will select from the suggested time frame the one that overlaps their journey.

In Morocco, there are more things to enjoy and experience than can be accomplished in a single visit to a single destination. Depending on the traveler’s taste, style, or personality, more or fewer options are paired to reach the destination and to maximize the local Moroccan experience in the time they are here, whether short or long. This has an effect of requiring a best time to visit recommendation. In short, this guide’s content shall contribute to a reference approach to such advice. Regardless of any personal description, requirements, and interests, any traveler will enjoy our amazing country as long as the best time to visit guidance is followed.

4.1. Sightseeing and Cultural Exploration

Effect: People who are serious about seeing the cultural sights of Morocco know that the winter months give the most pleasant, comfortable conditions. Although not usually packed, most other tourists find you will be sharing a crowded experience at popular sightseeing locales during winter. That’s also the only time villagers you meet will offer hot mint tea to warm you up, and you will quickly learn that their eyes communicate more than any guidebook on the traditions of this country’s people, regardless of the ethnic group. It’s the wrong time to combine culture with a beach trip, however. Beach masses have disappeared at this time of the year, and a lot of hotels and other services obviously shut down. Warm summer season temperatures only make sightseeing expeditions worth scheduling in the morning or the afternoon. Remember to plan your day so you avoid midday desert sightseeing!

Due to the moderate daytime temperatures in the winter months and long hours of daylight, the winter season is often considered a great time for sightseeing and exploring Morocco’s amazing architecture, whether in the medina of a city or individual historical sites elsewhere. During the summer months, your sightseeing should be concentrated in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid strong midday sun exposure.

4.2. Desert Adventures

No matter how committed you are to having “authentic” experiences, do not even consider going further than the edge of the erg unless you are adequately outfitted in tough boots, appropriately layered clothing, a good hat and sunscreen, and sturdy gloves to protect your hands when making unexpected landings in the sand. The number of travelers who believe that high temperatures in the cities are good indicators of the daily or nightly conditions to expect in the desert is astonishing. They come ill prepared, suffer the consequences, and loudly proclaim their irritation and/or their illness upon return, and then blame that miserable experience on the country. The only implementation which I have been involved with concerning sand dune tourism is the lifting of the very injured or very ill from various locations in the Inner Desert. If you wish to falcon at a Sahara oasis, timing is also crucial. The villages and the cultivated patches of the oases, where most of the human inhabitants of the area live, are primarily in the Western Oases. This area can be visited year-round.

When you are deciding on the best time to visit Morocco, consider the desert, where you will ride the most famous animal of the Sahara, the Arabian Camel. If you want to travel to the edge of the erg (the sand sea) and spend the night in a tent like the Saharawi Bedouin, then any time which is not too blazingly hot will do. If you want to get off the traditional tourist routes and visit or stay with some interesting encampments of the original people of the Sahara, timing counts. The Inner Desert can be visited between October and May. The best time is between March 15 and April 30. If you are traveling in October, November, February or March, be sure you will be dressed for the freezing nights and for the chilly shadows during the day. In November, April and May, and sometimes in December and in February, it can also be quite hot during the day.

4.3. Mountain Trekking

Early summer, particularly May and June, is an interesting time to visit the High Atlas, Anti Atlas, and Rif. At this time, the weather can be iffy – rain and snow are quite likely in the higher elevations, but lower-lying valleys start to become exuberantly green. In the southern valleys, rose petals are harvested and it’s a festival of aromatic scents, and in the High Atlas, mountain flowers are everywhere. The big draw is the wild plantations of high-altitude tulipa species, mostly red-hued, which form a carpet covering the upland valleys of the High Atlas. Moroccan experts agree that this type of tourism, usually classified as ‘slow’, has potential to become a very important source of income for the local people in southern Morocco. Indeed, most of the Moroccan routes that are most popular with French tourists have embraced trekking of some sort. Since analyzed routes are very close to each other, they usually use the same trek and the same approach, which however is not as widely extended as in Europe and is mainly used in high snowy trek exteriors.

4.4. Beach Relaxation

The 1,200km of pristine coastline, combined with the hospitality and friendliness of the local Moroccan people, make the beaches of this exotic and romantic country a new and increasingly popular destination for anyone wanting to spend time in the sun and enjoy cool Arabic culture at the same time. The clean, wide sandy beaches offer breathtaking panoramas and magnificent sunsets – the stuff that memories are made of. The sheltered coves, perfect for sunbathing and swimming, are fringed by pine forest or lined with traditional fishing villages. A holiday on the beaches of Morocco – be it short or long – is a holiday that will never be forgotten.

For some people, nothing spells a vacation more than basking in the heat on a blank sandy beach, with glorious views of calm seas or the crashing surf, and not a worry in the world. And everyone knows that the beaches of Spain, Portugal, and even France as well as Italy and Greece offer some of the best beach time in the world. What most people do not realize is that the beaches of Morocco provide an excellent alternative. Due to the different climate of Morocco, beach relaxation can be enjoyed more months of the year in Morocco than in many other holiday destinations. Casablanca, Essaouira, Agadir, Mirleft, El Jadida, and a plethora of other coastal towns offer all one requires in beach relaxation. From simply soaking up the sun to a wide array of water sports, all ages will feel right at home. The political stability and safety of Morocco compare favorably to neighboring countries, ensuring a stress-free holiday.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, my best advice for anyone visiting Morocco is to at least visit in the spring or fall. For travelers who enjoy the warmth of the summer, we recommend visiting the coast of Morocco where there is a lower probability of severe heat. Ultimately, we have established that the best time to visit is on the individual. What a person prefers to do, how much a person enjoys or dislikes the heat, a person’s preference for tourists, and how much a person likes or dislikes intense weather. Many people are willing to take a chance on the single piece of advice because they are unsure of how harsh the prices can be throughout the year. We have established that the low value months of the month, December, and January still have spots that are lovely and comfortable. However, don’t forget that these months are the tourist’s low months, which could potentially enhance the attractiveness of the region.

5.1. Summary of Key Points

In answering the question of what is the best time of year to visit Morocco, we have considered various factors including the weather, peak travel season, when Moroccan festivals happen, and the type of experiences at each season. The important events and festivals in Morocco that impact the best times to travel to Morocco are also listed, along with handy tips on how to make each season more enjoyable. After listing down the low travel season, we also show the places that are a must to visit in Morocco year round. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to consult this guide so that you don’t miss out!

Tourists flock to Morocco year-round for its amazing weather, intriguing history, and unique culture. It is truly a unique part of the globe with its blend of Berber, Arabian, and European heritage. However, you might wonder about the best time to visit Morocco. This comprehensive guide will help you make the right choice as you search for your ideal destination and visiting time.

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