Morocco

Aromatic tajines, palm-spotted, red-earthed landscapes and limitless generosity define the home of the Maghreb. Any visit, whether one week or one month, will give you a glimpse of the friendliness, vibrancy and flavour of this Berber-Arab-Spanish-Portuguese-French melting pot.

Morocco Tours & Travel

Top deals in Morocco

Departing Days Price AUD
2 Nov 2014 Morocco Express 8 $595
9 Nov 2014 Best of Morocco 15 $1365
16 Nov 2014 Best of Morocco 15 $1325
17 Nov 2014 Real Food Adventure - Morocco 11 $1310
23 Nov 2014 Best of Morocco 15 $1330

All our Morocco trips

Best of Morocco

15 days from
USD $1,185
CAD $1,195
AUD $1,250
EUR €940
GBP £735
NZD $1,470
ZAR R11,335
CHF FR1,160

See the best of Morocco from Casablanca to Marrakech. Admire the city of Fes, see the sands of the Sahara Desert and...

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North Morocco Adventure

9 days from
USD $900
CAD $910
AUD $950
EUR €660
GBP £570
NZD $1,100
ZAR R8,435
CHF FR815

From Casablanca beach and the mosaics at Volubilis to the souqs of Marrakech, this northbound tour of Morocco will...

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South Morocco Discovery

10 days from
USD $975
CAD $990
AUD $1,025
EUR €760
GBP £620
NZD $1,220
ZAR R9,340
CHF FR935

Uncover the secrets of mystical Morocco on this southbound discovery tour. See Ait Benhaddou kasbah, travel into the...

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Saharan Sands - Family Holiday

8 days from
USD $725
CAD $770
AUD $805
EUR €540
GBP £480
NZD $950
ZAR R7,315
CHF FR670

Board the ‘ship of the desert’ and enjoy an unforgettable camel trek through the Sahara’s famous dune landscapes,...

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Morocco Family - Kids in the Kasbahs

8 days from
USD $595
CAD $595
AUD $625
EUR €495
GBP £375
NZD $740
ZAR R5,690
CHF FR630

Travel to Morocco and embark on a family adventure. Take a tour of Marrakech, relax on Morocco’s beaches, ride a...

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Mount Toubkal Trek

8 days from
USD $595
CAD $635
AUD $660
EUR €460
GBP £395
NZD $780
ZAR R6,005
CHF FR565

Trek to the summit of Mt Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak, on this Moroccan adventure that will also have you...

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Real Food Adventure - Morocco

11 days from
USD $1,250
CAD $1,265
AUD $1,310
EUR €1,070
GBP £785
NZD $1,555
ZAR R11,920
CHF FR1,320

Travel to Fes, Casablanca and Marrakech on a Moroccan food safari. Master traditional North African recipes of tajine...

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Real Food Adventure - Morocco

10 days from
USD $1,235
CAD $1,275
AUD $1,250
EUR €865
GBP £730
NZD $1,395
ZAR R12,520
CHF FR1,045

Travel to Casablanca, Fes and Marrakech on a Moroccan food adventure. Master traditional North African recipes of...

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Sahara Family Holiday

8 days from
USD $785
CAD $795
AUD $795
EUR €545
GBP £460
NZD $885
ZAR R7,960
CHF FR660

Board the ‘ship of the desert’ and enjoy an unforgettable camel trek through the Sahara’s famous dune landscapes,...

View trip details

Morocco Family Holiday

8 days from
USD $715
CAD $715
AUD $745
EUR €510
GBP £430
NZD $830
ZAR R6,890
CHF FR620

Travel to Morocco and embark on a family adventure. Take a tour of Marrakech, relax on Morocco’s beaches, ride a...

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Winter Toubkal

8 days from
USD $835
CAD $865
AUD $895
EUR €595
GBP £520
NZD $1,040
ZAR R8,155
CHF FR735

An incredible adventure across the stark winter landscapes of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, from Marrakech to Mt Toubkal.

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Morocco Express

8 days from
USD $565
CAD $570
AUD $595
EUR €415
GBP £355
NZD $705
ZAR R5,380
CHF FR510

Short on time but want to experience the major hot spots of Morocco? Jump on this adventure that journeys through...

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Morocco Encompassed

18 days from
USD $1,850
CAD $1,875
AUD $1,950
EUR €1,355
GBP £1,165
NZD $2,295
ZAR R17,745
CHF FR1,670

Visit Morocco and tour from Casablanca to Marrakech. Admire the city of Fes, see the sands of the Sahara Desert and...

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Spain, Portugal & Morocco

24 days from

Visit Spain, Portugal and Morocco on a tour from Madrid to Marrakech. See Lisbon, the Algarve, Fes, Aroumd and camp...

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Night Sky and Caravan Trail

8 days from
USD $1,270
CAD $1,375
AUD $1,255
EUR €930
GBP £750
NZD $1,485
ZAR R13,505
CHF FR1,125

From Marrakech we drive over the Atlas and along the Draa Valley to the Sahara where camels, desert camps and...

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Morocco Explorer - Independent Journey

13 days from
GBP £1,825
NZD $3,520
ZAR R31,630
CHF FR2,632
USD $3,122
CAD $3,222
AUD $3,160
EUR €2,175

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Morocco Explorer

13 days from
USD $1,425
CAD $1,455
AUD $1,515
EUR €1,045
GBP £905
NZD $1,795
ZAR R13,760
CHF FR1,300

From Casablanca to Marrakesh, explore Morocco. See Fes, Midelt and Ait Benhaddou. Ride camels in the Sahara,...

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Morocco trip reviews

Our Morocco trips score an average of 4.8 out of 5 based on 275 reviews in the last year.

South Morocco Discovery, May 2014

Best of Morocco, June 2014

Video

Articles on Morocco

5 places to stay that aren’t your usual hotels

Posted on Mon, 12 May 2014 by Sue Elliot

How can you find out more about local life without imposing on people? Here are 5 of the most wonderful homestays for fantastic real life experiences.

Read more

Kids and kasbahs: a Morocco family adventure

Posted on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 by Jane Marshall

The camel’s lashes drew closer and closer as he slid into sleep; my seven-year-old daughter Julie rubbed his curly-haired head as he drifted into dreams upon the sand. My son [...]

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More than a mouthful in Morocco

Posted on Mon, 11 Nov 2013 by Sue Elliot

On Dyan McKie’s trip to Morocco she couldn’t wait to get her teeth into all the sensational dishes. Learning the art of couscous, finding the perfect tajine recipe and tasting [...]

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On the rooftop of North Africa

Posted on Wed, 2 Oct 2013 by Sue Elliot

The highest peak in North Africa appears to be a well-kept secret amongst trekking enthusiasts, making it all the more enticing for those who are willing to walk through the [...]

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Transport

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Morocco, you may find yourself travelling by:

Accommodation

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in Morocco you may find yourself staying in a:

About Morocco

At a glance

Trips Available: 16
Capital city: Rabat (population 1.2 million)
Population: 32 million
Language: Moroccan Arabic, French, Berber dialects, some Spanish
Currency: MAD
Time zone: (GMT) Casablanca
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)
Dialing code: +212

Best time to visit Morocco

The climate in Morocco varies wildly according to the season and area of travel. In the lowlands, the cooler months from October to April are popular among visitors. This time of year is pleasantly warm to hot (around 30°C) during the day and cool to cold (around 15°C) at night. Winter in the higher regions often brings snow and can therefore get seriously cold, particularly at night. Tourists flock to the coastline from June to September for fun in the sun, with warm mostly rain-free days. Further inland it can get hot and rain is rare, which makes the best times to travel March to June and September to December.
As a Muslim country, Morocco observes Ramadan. If you are planning to travel during Ramadan, it is important to consider that many restaurants and shops will either be closed or operating on reduced hours during this time.

Casablanca weather chart

Culture and customs

Praying in the sahara desert, Morocco.
Morocco's culture has developed over centuries of influence from far and wide. Contemporary Morocco is a fascinating mix of Berber, Mediterranean, Andalucian and African traditions, which are present in the cuisine, clothing, music, language, customs and lifestyle. As an Islamic country, most Moroccans are Muslim; however, there are small populations of people who practice Judaism and Christianity. Classic examples of Islamic architecture can be observed all throughout the country and tenets of the Islamic religion are carried out in the customs and lives of the people. The 'Call to Prayer' can be heard five times a day, women are expected to dress modestly and alcohol isn't drunk by most of the population.

Most of Moroccan society can be considered traditional, with respect for elders, connection to family and giving alms to the poor hallmarks of everyday life for many Moroccans. Hospitality is another important element of society, with warmly welcoming people into your home a time-honored tradition and social responsibility that dates back centuries.

Eating and drinking

Traditional Moroccan Tajine

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Believe the hype - Moroccan food is legendary.

Things to try in Morocco

1. Tajine

These slow-cooked stews are synonymous with Moroccan cooking. Chicken, olive and citrus is a well-known favourite, but there are endless variations using different meats, vegetables and seasonings.

2. Cous Cous

Forget instant cous cous and try the real deal in Morocco. Often served with vegetables and meat, regional varieties sometimes also include everything from sweet raisins to spicy harissa or smoky almonds.

3. Fresh Fruit

Morocco has an amazing array of fruit available in the markets, shops and juice bars. Choose from bananas, mangoes, oranges, avocados or peaches - eat fresh or get them whipped up in a juice.

4. Mint Tea

While travelling through Morocco you'll probably drink more sweet mint tea than ever before. Offered as a gesture of hospitality when visiting someone's home or shop, it's considered impolite to refuse, so accept graciously.

Geography and environment

Sahara desert in Morocco
Located in North Africa, Morocco has the best of many worlds within its boundaries. From the sun-drenched beaches of the coast to sands of the mighty Sahara and the snowy peaks of the High Atlas and Rif Mountains, Morocco has great variety in its landscapes and terrain. This combination of desert, woodlands, forest, mountain steppe and grasslands ensures a wide diversity of flora and fauna lives within the country.

History and government

Berber and child in Morocco Local in Fez, Morocco

Early History

The land now known as Morocco has been inhabited for centuries, with Moroccan civilisation being known for its richness in history and culture. Centuries of foreign trade, invasion and dynastic rule have given Morocco the many different cultural influences that are evident in today's society. From the Phoenicians who entered Morocco via the Mediterranean in the 6th century BC, to the Roman influence of 40 AD and the formation of Islamic Morocco in the years after, Morocco has evolved with the rise and fall of dynasties, formation and dissolution of empires and birth of new governments, movements and ways of living. Reaching its height under the Berber Dynasties of the 11th and 12th centuries (the Almoravids, Almohads, Marinids and Wattasids), Morocco subsequently fell to Arab tribes in 1559. The current royal family are descendants of the Alaouite Dynasty who have largely ruled since the 1600s, despite enduring a few crises in the 18th and 19th centuries, mainly in relation to European influence in the area and surrounding countries.

Recent History

With the signing of the Treaty of Fez, Morocco was declared a protectorate of France in 1912 with Spain being allocated control of parts of Morocco, mainly in the north and south. European control was generally opposed by Moroccans citizens, with the people of Rif attempting to establish a separatist republic in 1921. Decades of opposition continued, with rioting and protests leading to increased political tension. In 1955, the road to Moroccan independence was paved by Mohammed V who negotiated reforms and restoration of independence. By 1956, France had relinquished its protectorate of Morocco and in 1957, Mohammed V became king. In 1961, Hassan II assumed the title of King of Morocco and continued to rule until his death in 1999. His son, Mohammed VI, took over the mantle of king in 1999, and continues to rule today.

Top Picks

Moroccan local walking in the Sahara desert Bright blue boats crowded in the docks of Essaouira, Morocco Locals working on the Dye pits in Fes, Morocco

Top 10 Must-See Places of Morocco

1. Marrakech

Things just happen in Marrakech. One moment you're sitting down to a camel burger, the next you're chatting to a snake charmer. The labyrinthine markets are the perfect place to lose yourself but find a Moroccan memento or three.

2. Sahara

The endless dunes of the Sahara will call to your inner explorer. Jump on a camel and start riding out over the sandy waves. At sunset the desert glows rich and red and at night the stars turn the sky crystal.

3. Essaouira

The name 'Essaouira' means image, appropriate since its charm is undeniable. Within the stone ramparts you'll find art galleries, wood workshops and whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters. Portuguese, British and Jewish influences all mingle in this artist's town.

4. Fes

Fes is the cultural heart of Morocco and home to some of its most iconic sights. Feel every sense come alive in the medina. Shops, dye pits and mosques all vie for space and you're as likely to see a donkey as a car.

5. High Atlas Mountains

The mountains are best explored at the ground level by foot or bicycle. Travel through Berber villages, up along crop terraces, down through lush valleys and past orchards, goats and Moroccan rural life. The seriously fit can tackle Mount Toubkal for incredible views.

6. Todra Gorge

This is a rock climber's heaven, or the ideal place for beginners to get a taste. It's a tight squeeze in some places but a sparkling river, the odd palmeraie, Berber villages and high cliff walls make it worth breathing in for.

7. Moulay Idriss

The small Medina of ancient Moulay Idriss was once forbidden to non-Muslims. Now it is a pleasure to explore as the faithful gather to pay homage to the founding father of Islam in Morocco at the 8th-century mausoleum.

8. Ait Benhaddou

Perfectly preserved, this is one of Morocco's most picturesque kasbahs. Centuries ago it was a stop for caravans as they carried salt across the Sahara. Today, it is inhabited only by a handful of families and the odd film crew.

9. Casablanca

The very name conjures up images of war-time romance. But the real romance of Casablanca must be its French influences and the beautiful Hassan II mosque, the largest in Morocco.

10. Volubilis

Do some time travel and visit the ancient hilltop city of Volubilis, one of the Roman Empire's most remote bases. The ruins here are beautifully preserved and it's easy to believe you've stepped into the 2nd or 3rd century.

Shopping

Moroccan jewellery stall

Morocco has one of the oldest retail cultures in the world. From bargaining in age-old souqs to swiping your credit card at a modern gallery, it's all possible in Morocco. But to experience brilliant bargains, exciting finds and a dose of history, you can't go past the souqs.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Morocco

1. Silver Jewellery

Jewellery-fiends will love Morocco's affinity with silver jewellery. Chunky rings, elaborate necklaces and patterned earrings can all be found for great prices, especially if you're willing to haggle.

2. Tea Sets

Save room in your backpack for an iconic silver tea pot and some delicate tea glasses. Morocco's silversmiths have this ancient art running through their veins, with centuries of craftsmanship being passed from generation to generation.

3. Leather

The quality (and price) of leather in Morocco is pretty phenomenal. Handcrafted hand bags, wallets, belts and purses can be found in almost every souq around the country.

Festivals and Events in Morocco

Ramadan and Eid

The ninth and holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is observed by most in Morocco and is thought to be a time of spiritual rejuvenation. For this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset - refraining from eating and drinking during daylight hours. Eid marks the end of fasting with 3 days of feasting and celebration.

Gnaoua World Music Festival

Seaside Essaouira hosts this world-famous festival that celebrates the mysterious music of the Gnaouas, brought to Morocco centuries ago via the African slave trade. Jazz, rock, blues and pop music add a contemporary flavour, although the drums of the Gnaouas are the true soul of the festival.

Casablanca Festival

Touted as a 'celebration of all things Moroccan', this annual festival includes local and international music performances, dance, art installations, theatre, workshops and street parades. This fusion of history and modernity, innovation and tradition is a shining example of what it means to be a citizen of cosmopolitan Casablanca.

FAQs on Morocco

While tipping isn't mandatory in Morocco, rounding up the bill and leaving spare change at restaurants and cafes is generally standard practice. Taxi drivers and porters will also accept tips, 10 dirham is usually sufficient in this case.
Morocco's cities have internet access available in internet cafes and hotel lobbies. In some cases, free Wi-Fi can be accessed in public places. Less internet access is available in rural areas, so be prepared to 'disconnect' when travelling out of Morocco's big cities.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in Morocco's cities and metropolitan areas, although expect limited coverage in remote or mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone while in Morocco.
Morocco's toilets are a mixture of modern flushable toilets and squat toilets, so be prepared to encounter both. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.
Mint tea = 5-10 MAD
Fresh juice = 10-15 MAD
Basic meal = 50 MAD
Expensive meal = 150 MAD
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Morocco. For environmental reasons, try to avoid bottled water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found as some hotels provide this.
Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops, hotels and restaurants, although smaller vendors and market stalls often only accept cash.
ATMs are easily found in the large cities and airports, although are less common in rural and remote areas. When travelling out of the city, be prepared by having enough cash, as ATMs aren't always an option.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 11 Manifesto of Independence
Jan 24 Milad un Nabi (Prophet's Birthday)
May 1 Labour Day
Jul 30 Feast of the Throne
Aug 8 Aïd al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Aug 14 Fête Oued Eddahab (Oued Eddahab Allegiance Day)
Aug 20 Révolution du Roi et du Peuple (Anniversary of the King and the People's Revolution)
Aug 21 King Mohammed's Birthday
Oct 15 Aïd al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Nov 4 Fatih Muharram (Islamic New Year)
Nov 6 Marche Verte (Anniversary of the Green March)
Nov 18 Fête de l'Indépendance (Independence Day)

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/morocco/public-holidays
MOROCCO:
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance (in general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days)
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required

Those who do not require visas to visit Morocco as a tourist, are stamped in on arrival for 3 months. MAROKKO:
Australien: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Belgien: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Kanada: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Deutschland: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Irland: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Niederlande: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Neuseeland: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Südafrika: Ja - im Voraus
Schweiz: Nein – nicht erforderlich
Großbritannien: Nein – nicht erforderlich
USA: Nein – nicht erforderlich

Diejenigen, für die als Tourist in Marokko kein Visum erforderlich ist, erhalten bei Ankunft einen Stempel mit dreimonatiger Gültigkeit.

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Morocco Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Morocco

1. Be considerate of Morocco’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

11. Ramadan is the fasting month for all Muslims. During this month no food, drink or smoking is permitted during daylight hours. While non-Muslims aren't expected to fast, it's recommended to try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In Morocco, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:

Project Handicapped Horizon

Helping thousands of handicapped Moroccans since 1994, this organisation builds prosthetics and wheelchairs for physically handicapped people in addition to training local artisans in metalwork, pottery and weaving.

Image supplied by Project Handicapped Horizon.

To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Travels with a TangerineTim Makintosh-Smith
A House in FezSuzanna Clarke
The Caliph's HouseTahir Shah
Hope and Other Dangerous PursuitsLaila Lalami
Allah's GardenThomas Hollowell