Best time to visit Morocco
There is never a bad time to visit Morocco because it is a diversified country that offers something for every kind of traveler. The ideal months to travel are either April and May or the off-season from September through November. There are fewer tourists than during the busiest summer or winter travel seasons during these months, and the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Nonetheless, individuals looking to hike in the Atlas Mountains or surf the Atlantic coast could discover that other seasons are better suited to their requirements.
The weather in Morocco
For many visitors, Morocco’s climate is the most important factor in determining the best time to visit the country. Morocco follows the same basic seasonal pattern as every other country in the northern hemisphere: winter lasts from December to February and summer from June to August.1
During the warmer summer months, the weather can be unpleasant, especially in Marrakech, Fez and southwestern Morocco (remember that the further south you go, the closer you are to the Sahara). Coastal destinations such as Tangier, Rabat and Essaouira are a more comfortable option at this time of year, as they benefit from cool sea breezes. Despite the heat, many people choose to visit Morocco at this time of year because it coincides with the European summer holidays.
Winters are generally mild, although temperatures can drop dramatically at night, with record low temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit recorded in Marrakech.2 It is not uncommon for snow to fall in northern Morocco and, of course, the Atlas Mountains are prone to heavy snowfall in winter. You can even ski in Oukaïmeden, about 80 km south of Marrakech. Winters in the north of the country and along the coast can be quite wet, while winters in the south are drier but colder, especially at night.
The best time for trekking in the Atlas Mountains
Although hiking in the Atlas is possible all year round, spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) usually offer the best weather. Although summers in the Atlas are usually mild and sunny, temperatures in the mountain valleys often exceed 86 degrees Fahrenheit and afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon. In winter, nighttime temperatures can drop to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and above 9,800 feet, snow safety precautions, including crampons and ice skates, are necessary.3 Weather in the Atlas Mountains can be unpredictable at any time of year, and conditions depend largely on the altitude at which you hike.
The best time to visit the coast
Morocco’s beaches are best visited in the summer, when temperatures often hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and provide lots of options for sunbathing and a respite from the stifling heat of the interior of the nation. This time of year sees the highest sea temperatures, with the average water temperature for July being reported at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 4
Booking far in advance is advised, especially if you intend to visit popular destinations like Essaouira or Agadir, as summer is also high tourist season. Instead, think about traveling in the spring or fall when there are less tourists and rates are lower.
Those who are drawn to the Atlantic coast because it is known as one of Africa’s finest surfing locations can disregard the advise given above and visit popular locations like Taghazout and Agadir in the winter. During this time of year, surf breaks are functioning at their peak because to the persistent excellent swell. A light wetsuit is typically sufficient to ward off the cold even in the dead of winter in Taghazout, where the average sea temperature in December is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 5
The best time to visit the Sahara
The most pleasant seasons to visit the Sahara Desert are in the late fall or early spring. By doing this, you’ll be able to stay away from the arid landscapes and sweltering summer temperatures (which hover around 115 degrees Fahrenheit), as well as the chilly winter nights. 6 It’s important to carry a thick jacket no matter when you intend to come because temperatures tend to drop after nightfall at any time of the year. Although it’s normally a good idea to visit the desert in the spring, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the Sirocco wind’s sandstorms, in particular, can occur in April.
Morocco’s festivals & events
Several fascinating yearly events are held in Morocco, some of which are worth scheduling your vacation around. Certain celebrations, like the Erfoud Date Festival and the Kelaa M’Gouna Rose Festival, are tied to the harvest and happen every year in the same month (with these particular festivals taking place in April and October, respectively). Others, like the Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival and the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival, are summer extravaganzas that depend on favorable weather to conduct outside performances and festivities. In addition to taking place at specified periods of the year, Islamic celebrations like Ramadan and Eid al-Adha provide a unique window into Moroccan society.
In Morocco, springtime is warm and dry. Only the mountain’s highest summits have snow left, and while the ocean’s temperature has dropped, it’s nothing a wetsuit can’t remedy. In the spring, there are also less people about.
Events to watch:
In May or June, Fez hosts the Gnaoua Music festivals, which fuse contemporary music with ancient customs.
Usually, Ramadan occurs in the spring or early summer.
The deeper inland you go in Morocco, the hotter it may get. Summer is a popular time for families because of the school breaks, so hotels and resorts (particularly those with pools) will fill up quickly.
Both the towns and the beaches of Morocco are beautiful in the fall. It’s also a perfect time for individuals looking for great trekking weather because of the colder, dry weather.
Events to watch:
Three days in September are dedicated to Eid al-Adha. Muslims around the nation sacrifice animals to remember Abraham’s honor.
Winter travel in Morocco may be fairly enjoyable due to the generally mild weather and low tourist traffic. At higher altitudes, snow will fall, and at night, the desert’s temperature will decrease.
Best time to visit Morocco