Where do we even start?! Trying to describe the best time to visit Morocco, or why you should visit Morocco has proven to be far more of a difficult task than expected. Not because it lacks in diversity or culture, nor do its landscape and architecture have little to offer. Morocco is in fact known as one of, if not the most, visited African country on the continent. Stay with us while we unpack this beautiful gem and understand why your next trip to Morocco will be a trip never to be forgotten.
“Morocco is the greatest. I should be getting money from the Moroccans because I’m just telling everyone that it’s a wonderful place to go.” – Bill Murray
What weather to expect in Morocco
Morocco’s weather welcomes visitors all year round however, the three regions the coast (Casablanca and Essaouira), the mountains (the Rif Mountains), and the dessert (the Sahara), experience distinct differences in climate throughout the year.
Summer (June – August)
Like most desert countries, summer can be outrageous around the inland areas, with temperatures ranging anywhere between 36°C and 40°C.
You can expect far more temperate climates along the coastline of Casablanca and Essaouira ranging from 20°C to 25°C.
If it’s long, hot, sunny days you’re after, then make your way to the north coast, or Rif Mountains and enjoy temperatures of between 27°C and 33°C.
Winter (November – February)
Being on the Mediterranean coast brings varying climates of wet and cloudy winters with temperatures of between 15°C and 20°C on the Rif Mountains.
It’s not unusual for areas around the High Atlas Mountains to experience exceptionally cold temperatures of below zero. At times you can expect to see snow-capped mountains until late July.
The southern regions see a moderate winter climate with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 23° C, but don’t be surprised if the evenings get extremely cold.
Spring (March – May); Autumn (September – October)
Spring is by far the best time to visit Morocco, and hiking should definitely be in the leading ranks of your list of things to do. The country is green showing off its diverse mountainous landscape.
Autumn is equally as pleasant. It’s not too hot or cold, but be sure to always carry something warm for that chill after dark.
What to Pack
While packing for your exciting trip to Morocco, please remember, that while the country might be far more relaxed than it’s neighbouring countries on the east, it still remains a predominately Muslim country and it is important that you are respectful of this. Now would be a good time to remove the short shorts, miniskirts, and tank tops from your suitcase.
In summer we would advise you to pack the following:
- Loose fitting/flannel pants or a long skirt or dress,
- Loosely fitted t-shirts,
- Comfortable slops,
- Scarf (to wear around your shoulders while visiting mosques),
- Sunscreen (purchase this at home as it will be far cheaper),
- Water bottle,
- Floppy hat,
- Jacket at night
In winter we advise you pack the following:
- Long pants/jeans or a long skirt,
- T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts,
- Comfortable closed shoes and socks,
- Jacket or windbreaker,
- If camping, bring a sleeping bag or extra warm fold-up blanket.
Ladies, we would hate for you to attract any unfavourable attention for merely wearing the inappropriate attire while travelling through Morocco. As we mentioned previously, Morocco still remains predominately a Muslim country and women need to be particularly careful about how they present themselves.
Here are some of our guidelines for an appropriate dress code:
- Keep the shoulders covered up,
- Keep the knees covered, especially in rural areas. Full length is better than just over the knees,
- Wear a scarf while visiting mosques,
- Leave the shorts and short skirts at home for another holiday.
In the more touristy areas like Marrakech, you can get away with shorts and tank tops, but it is really not considered respectful.
Average temperature & rainfall in Morocco
Daylight hours in Morocco
There is about a three to four-hour difference between summer and winter solstice.
In peak summer, the sun rises at around 05:30 and sets at around 20:40 respectively. On average, you can experience between 13 – 14 hours of daylight hours during the summer months.
Please remember that Daylight Saving Time starts in mid-June, so the hours shift because clocks change one hour forward. This is all accounted for in our calculations.
Peak winter sees the sun rising at around 07:30 in February, and setting at around 17:40. You can experience between 10 – 11.5 hours of daylight throughout the winter months.
Morocco’s sea temperatures
The location alone of this beautiful North West African gem might be the deciding factor for the best time to visit Morocco. It’s vast coastline stretching across the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean makes it a sun, swim, and surfing haven for those forever in search of exotic beaches.
The ocean temperatures are warmest during the summer months ranging from 18°C to 25°C in August. During the winter months, the temperatures drop only slightly ranging from 15.5°C to 22°C in February.
Be sure not to miss the best beaches in Casablanca, Agadir and Essaouira. Some other exotic beaches to visit in Morocco include:
- Al Hoceima – Mediterranean
- Legzira – Atlantic Ocean
- Sidi Kaouki – Atlantic Ocean
- Asilah – North Morocco
How much are flights to Morocco?
Peak Season (March – May)
Typically, peak season for South Africans to travel to Morocco is around March to May which falls over spring. This is no surprise as spring is in fact the best time to visit Morocco. The country experiences its best weather conditions allowing visitors to explore the great mountainous outdoors. The downside to this is that South Africans can expect to pay around 10% more for their flights. You are likely to experience increased accommodation prices during this period as well.
Low Season (September – November)
The best time to visit Morocco for South Africans would be around September to November. This falls over the autumn period which experiences temperate weather conditions which are in fact very similar to spring with the exception of cooler evenings. The best part is that South Africans can expect to save up to 13% on flight costs when travelling over this period.
The trick to getting the most savings when booking your flights and accommodation is to always plan ahead and book in advance.
See all our current international flight specials and get booking today!
Annual events and festivals in Morocco
With the spread of annual events and festivals Morocco has to offer throughout the year, it makes it decidedly difficult to pin down the best time to visit. From music festivals to folklore appreciation, or simply bringing in the new year, you’ll most certainly be entertained, or taken on a journey exploring the rich history of the inhabitants of Morocco. Here is our list of the most celebrated events and festivals throughout the year:
1. The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music – June
This nine-day open-air concert includes performances by chanters, dancers and mystics from all over the world. Not a minute will go that won’t keep you hanging off the edge of your seat. Sip mint tea, indulge in delicious Moroccan cuisine and enjoy the show. After all, spring is the best time to visit Morocco.
2. Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival – June
Launched in 1997 to celebrate traditional Gnaoua Moroccan, the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival now includes musicians from all over the world. Four days of festivities will see open-air events taking place throughout the beautiful town of Essaouira. Music is food for the soul. Perhaps this is the best time to visit Morocco.
3. Marrakech Popular Arts Festival – July (confirmed dates to be checked online)
European artists and entertainers flock to the 16th-century El Badi Palace and Djemma el Fna, the medina’s (old city) main square to entertain locals and visitors with their artistic charm. Look out for fire swallowers, be mesmerised by snake charmers, find what the future holds for you by a fortune-teller, or simply soak up the good vibes from start to finish.
4. Ramadan and Eid al Fitr – May / June (lunar calendar)
On the 9th month of the Muslim calendar, Muslims will begin Ramadan, which refers to abstaining from food, drink, or any other physical need between the break of dawn and sunset. This is a time for Muslims to cleanse their souls and rebuild their relationship or focus on God. The breaking of the fast is marked with the festival of Eid al Fitr, which is a feast over several days usually spent with family.
Location: Throughout Morocco
5. International Film Festival Marrakesh – November
2018 sees the 16th edition of the International Film Festival Marrakesh. Created by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in his efforts to encourage diversity and build bridges between different cultures and countries, the film festival has become a meeting point where great national and international actors, producers, filmmakers and directors gather every year, coining it an iconic event in the world of cinema.
6. New Year’s Eve and Yennayer – December / January
The Morroccan touristy areas such as hotels, restaurants and clubs in the bigger cities will celebrate the new on the 31st December as does the rest of the world. Spending the night in the desert is a popular tradition for travellers and a great way to bring in the new year. In some parts of Morocco, however, traditional New Year’s Eve is actually celebrated around the middle of January, Yennayer, in accordance with the Julian calendar. Who doesn’t love a bringing in the new year in a different? Maybe this is the best time to visit Morocco.
Location: Throughout Morocco
You may also be interested in this: Magical Marrakech, Free and Fun Things to Do in the Red City
Now we’re pretty sure you can understand why Morocco is the most visited country in Africa. When is the best time to visit Morocco? Well, that’s totally up to you and your preference. Draw up a wish list of things to do in Morocco and take it from there.
If you’ve visited this beautiful country, please share any travel tips we may not have considered in the comments below.