Whatever time of year you choose to visit, there's something special about Morocco. Yes, it can be super hot in summer, but what about the coastlines you can cruise and the balmy evenings you can enjoy? Yes, winter in the mountains can deliver almost freezing temperatures, but what about cooler experiences in the Sahara, smaller crowds and cheaper tourist rates? There are a number of important factors to take into consideration when planning your adventure to Morocco and, like a good buffet, you'll be able to pick the best bits.
When to visit the see the Sahara
Probably autumn (September–November) or early spring (March–early April). With scorching heat in summer and plummeting night-time temperatures in winter, avoiding these extremes will make your desert stay more comfortable. The seasons in between can provide ideal conditions to head out in the arid landscapes, but keep in mind that unexpected sandstorms happen in the desert, especially during April, and they're not pleasant to get caught in. Whatever time you decide to travel to the Sahara, be sure to pack extra layers to protect your skin and face from the overhead sun and swirling sands. They'll also help to keep you warm at night, when temperatures can drop significantly, even in the warmer months.
When to visit to enjoy the coast
Travellers flock to the coastline between June and September, when soaring temperatures bring perfect beach weather. Consider visiting Tangier, Essaouira and Taghazout during this time, perhaps hanging ten at a surfing lesson or joining in on a morning yoga class. Water temperatures around Tangier often hit an ideal 25°C (77°F) in August – prime conditions for swimming, hanging with the locals and feasting on chargrilled seafood on the waterfront. This might not be the image of Morocco you've got in your head, but it sure is a picturesque one.
When to visit to beat the crowds
Morocco's a popular tourist destination year-round, but some parts of the year see bigger crowds rolling in. Inland tourist hotspots like Marrakech, Fes and Chefchaouen experience their busiest times during autumn and spring, thanks to the warm but pleasant temperatures. The coastal areas of Tangier and Essaouira are most popular during summer, with sea breezes taking the edge off the sweltering temperatures and the option to just jump in the ocean if you've overheated! Mountainous areas and the Sahara are also popular in autumn and spring.
If you can deal with some chilly nights and snow on the mountains, or inland heat that may get super spicy, then travelling in the months of November–January or May–August are the best times to avoid large crowds.
When to visit to experience Islamic tradition
Morocco's population is predominately Islamic, so there are certain religious events during the year that can affect your travel plans no matter where you are in the country. One such time is Ramadan, the dates of which change but usually fall in April or May. During the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is observed by Muslims across the world as a time of spiritual rejuvenation and for this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. The period of Eid marks the end of fasting with three days of feasting and celebration. For the duration of Ramadan, expect a lot of restaurants, shops and other establishments to have altered hours, with the exception of hotels. There may be interruptions to your travel schedule; however, this shouldn't put you off travelling during this time! It's quite a sight to see hundreds or even thousands of worshippers descend on local mosques for evening prayers, and then spill onto the streets and city markets to enjoy their iftar (breaking the fast) meal.
Read more about what it's like to travel in Morocco during Ramadan.
When to visit to beat the heat
It may come as no surprise, but Morocco can get mighty hot. For those not comfortable with high temperatures, avoiding mid-summer madness is obviously a good idea. Summer temperatures can soar above 40°C (104°F) and for some people travelling and seeing the sights, especially inland, in this type of weather is uncomfortable. The best time to visit if you like warm – but not too warm – weather is autumn (September–November) or spring (March–May).
Our tours in Morocco