Morocco is an attractive mix of quiet conventional life and frenetic vacationer haunts; a spot the place atmospheric souks and elegant surroundings converge to create enthralling journey experiences. Listed here are our favorite locations in Morocco.
Morocco holds a permanent fascination that few different areas can compete with. Whereas only some hours from Europe, it stays firmly rooted in its medieval previous.
Bustling night time markets and vibrant souks give the cities an unmistakable vitality. Sleepy mountain villages nestled into burnt landscapes of rocky canyons, hum to the ebb and circulation of day by day life. Alongside rivers fringed by swathes of fertile inexperienced, crumbling kasbahs betray an historical highly effective Morocco, strategically positioned alongside once-prosperous caravan routes.
Regardless of the various in style tourist-driven issues to do in Morocco, the nation nonetheless holds a couple of surprises. Mountain climbing in distant villages within the Atlas Mountains; exploring rose-filled valleys; day journeys to hidden desert oases.
There are few locations on the planet that seize the unique extra poignantly than on a street journey by means of Morocco. It’s a culturally various area with a number of fantastic issues to do. Listed here are a few of our favourites.
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IN THIS GUIDE
THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN MOROCCO
PLACES TO VISIT IN MOROCCO
MEDINAS & CITIES
The noisy, cramped, bustling medinas of Morocco are a sensory overload. Tranquil mosques with beautiful particulars compete with the clamour of busy souks within the labyrinth of tight laneways. They’re essentially the most intoxicating locations to go to in Morocco.
1 – ESSAOUIRA
The medina of Essaouira oozes allure and buzzes with vitality. Native markets favour a conventional lifestyle and the Recreation of Thrones-famous port sings to the hubbub of fishermen hauling within the morning’s catch.
And but beneath the vitality, a calming vibe spreads all through the small city. Artwork galleries conceal down slender aspect streets and cafes line shaded pavements.
After the craziness of Fez, strolling across the streets of Essaouira, stopping for sundowner drinks by the port and discovering recent regional meals, planted this seaside resort firmly in our checklist of high Morocco locations to go to.
READ NEXT / OUR QUICK GUIDE TO ESSAOUIRA
2 – FEZ
The Fez medina is a maze of alleyways bursting in sensory overload. An unique labyrinth the place historical traditions captivate fashionable vacationers. The decision to prayer floats over the clatter of metalworkers bashing pots, tanners beating leather-based, and donkeys trotting down cobbled lanes. Intricately carved mosques and medersas gleam in opposition to the mud and grit of a well-used metropolis.
The medina is a novel expertise. On our self-guided strolling tour of Fez we explored essentially the most atmospheric souks, enthralling historic sights and hidden gems within the tightly packed labyrinth.
Fez is an unmissable Morocco journey expertise in an intoxicating vacation spot.
3 – MARRAKECH MEDINA
Life in Marrakech is lived on the road. Slim alleyways are lined with countless rows of stallholders promoting handmade lanterns, vibrant embroidered material and cheesy vacationer souvenirs.
Simply strolling across the central souks within the coronary heart of the medina is an expertise price savouring. Our highlights had been the edgy jewelry in Souk des Bijoutiers, craftsmen hammering out steel pots in Souk Haddadine, wool dying in Souk des Teinturiers and leather-based in Souk Cherratine. Examine all of them in our favorite issues to do in Marrakech.
In a city whose structure radiated internationally within the type of Moorish influences, the Marrakech medina is a wealthy tapestry of design and inventive affect. See all of it with our Marrakech itinerary.
PLACES TO VISIT IN MOROCCO
IN & AROUND OUARZAZATE
Ouarzazate is a well-liked cease on the best way from Marrakech to the sand dunes of the Sahara. With intriguing kasbahs, a hidden oasis and mountain villages preferrred for getting off the crushed monitor, it’s an space effectively price exploring.
4 – AÏT BEN HADDOU
Aït Benhaddou is a fortified city on the banks of the Ounila River. Constructed from native mud bricks, it’s top-of-the-line locations in Morocco for a completely charming sundown.
Having been partially rebuilt as a set for iconic movies equivalent to Gladiator, Jewel within the Nile and Jesus of Nazareth, it’s not an genuine have a look at rural Morocco life. However exploring within the late afternoon is an expertise price grabbing.
Because the crowds begin to skinny and the stallholders disband, it’s not unusual to have the place utterly to your self. At the moment of day, Aït Ben Haddou shimmers in delicate golden gentle. From the highest of one of many surrounding hills, stunning desolate mountain surroundings stretches on for miles.
READ NEXT / EXPLORE AÏT BEN HADDOU
5 – OUNILA VALLEY
The remnants of Moroccan energy can nonetheless be found on a street journey by means of the Ounila Valley. The decaying properties of Telouet Kasbah and Tamdaght Kasbah present simply how affluent the caravan route was to this a part of the nation.
Carving its approach from the excessive Atlas Mountains to the barren plains simply north of the Sahara Desert, the Ounila river has remodeled the panorama. A wealthy number of inexperienced crops line the valley ground, contrasting with the rusty crimson rock of the canyon-like partitions.
It’s a completely stunning a part of South Morocco. On route from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, cease and stroll round among the fantastically set villages together with Tajeguite, Assaka and Taïfaste.
6 – OUARZAZATE
Atlas Studios, primarily based simply exterior Ouarzazate, has been churning out Hollywood films since 1983, making the small desert city the centre of the film trade within the area. Over 200 films from biblical scenes to historical Egyptian fables have been filmed right here. However the spotlight is the whole set of Kingdom of Heaven rising out of the barren panorama.
Along with a tour of Atlas Studios, the Cinema Museum on the town has a unusual assortment of outdated movie units. Discover the cell Russel Crowe emerged from in Gladiator, a really convincing-looking Egyptian palace, and remnants from the Star Wars films.
Being central to the caravan routes, Ouarzazate additionally has spectacular kasbahs. Stroll by means of the 300 room Kasbah Taourirt and get misplaced within the maze of passageways.
READ NEXT / BEST THINGS TO DO IN OUARZAZATE
7 – FINT OASIS
A group of 150 individuals dwell within the 4 villages that line the palm-fringed river on the Fint Oasis. It’s an idyllic spot the place little appears to have modified for hundreds of years. Ladies work small fields; males herd goats and kids pull faces from the backs of donkeys carrying them and their produce between the villages.
Extensive crimson rock canyon partitions swirl overhead with the small valley ablaze with lush inexperienced crops and brilliant pink flowers. There’s one café within the oasis to get pleasure from a scenic cup of mint tea, nonetheless, apart from that, there’s little or no to do. Simply stroll round and discover life because it as soon as was on this hidden nook of the world.
Though comparatively extraordinary, Fint Oasis is among the most stunning locations to go to in Morocco and a chilled shady location in the course of the desert.
8 – SKOURA PALMERY
The 15-mile palm grove that makes up the Skoura Palmeraie is 1 hour from Ouarzazate. Even from the street, the dense assortment of palms is a powerful view, framed fantastically between the crimson rock of the valley. Deep inside, a complicated community of roads leads by means of small hidden fields and over an ingenious historical watering system.
There are a number of kasbahs to go to, essentially the most spectacular being Kasbah Ameridil which seems on journey brochures worldwide because of its extravagant decorations. A couple of wonderful lodges are primarily based within the palmeraie, so the true attraction is spending an evening in enjoyable oasis consolation. We suggest Le Jardin de Skoura for a slice of heaven in what appears like a secret place to go to in Morocco.
PLACES TO VISIT IN MOROCCO
The Excessive Atlas Mountains are dotted with Berber villages the place small crops are tended by livestock and girls working lengthy, tiring days. It’s a privilege to witness this conventional lifestyle, Berber hospitality and spectacular surroundings.
9 – OUIRGANE
The Berber villages alongside the Ouirgane Valley are nonetheless comparatively untouched by tourism, however the space is wealthy in meals which have grow to be staples for its inhabitants.
On our journey, we organised a information to hike by means of a number of of the villages within the valley, essentially the most memorable being the hilltop city of Tikhfist. Right here we sat in a small mud hut with unbelievable views over the valley and met 105-year-old Mohammed. His daughter made us a scrumptious tagine whereas we cracked recent walnuts and mentioned Berber life – because of the assistance of our translator and information – one other Mohammed.
Appreciating the straightforward life in Ouirgane was a completely rewarding option to expertise Moroccan hospitality.
10 – AÏT BOUGUEMEZ VALLEY
Within the northern reaches of the Atlas Mountains, Aït Bouguemez is taken into account by many to be essentially the most stunning valley in Morocco. And it’s simple to imagine. Shepherds and goatherders usher their flocks from one inexperienced patch to the subsequent. Ladies hurry throughout fields, scything crops and carrying the day’s work on their backs. Within the villages, the scent of Berber tagines – a recipe unchanged for hundreds of years – wafts from clay ovens.
Village to village mountaineering within the Aït Bouguemez valley is a improbable option to expertise rural Moroccan life; a far cry from the bustling cities frequented by most vacationers. Out right here, the relaxed, sluggish tempo of life entices guests with elegant surroundings, encounters with cheeky children and a few wonderful mountaineering trails.
11 – IMLIL
It’s laborious to think about too many good issues to say about Imlil; little greater than a roadside settlement excessive within the Atlas Mountains with guesthouses lining a busy thoroughfare. The aim of being right here is to make use of it as a base for mountaineering the best level within the Atlas Mountains, Mount Toubkal.
From Imlil to basecamp, it’s a comparatively simple 5-7 hour stroll to the summit. In a single day is spent at basecamp earlier than tackling the summit the next day. Guides might be organised at Imlil for Toubkal and different walks within the space.
12 – TIZI N’TICHKA PASS
The drive up the Tizi n’Tichka go within the Atlas Mountains is among the most scenic within the nation and a preferred place to go to in South Morocco. A collection of hairpin turns carves its approach up the valley rising to the two,260-metre summit, with spectacular views over the rugged, rocky mountains beneath.
To proceed on from Tizi n’Tichka, take the P1506 by means of the valley. This was as soon as the primary caravan route from Marrakech to Timbuktu and the drive is breathtaking. Cease on the Telouet Kasbah, probably the most exceptional within the space.
Though a preferred vacationer route, Tizi n’Tichka stays one of many high locations to go to in Morocco.
13 – TELOUET KASBAH
For hundreds of years, the Ounila Valley was the primary passageway between Marrakech and the caravan routes of the Sahara. The remnants of their energy can nonetheless be found within the magnificent decaying house of Telouet Kasbah.
Because the fortified house of the Glaoui household – who ran the commerce routes to South Morocco – the kasbah was as soon as an expression of the acute wealth of the household. It’s thought that the decorations on the ceiling took 300 employees 3 years to finish. Wanting up on the exceptional stucco plasterwork and inlaid cedar ceilings, it’s simple to imagine.
As a result of Glaoui household’s connections with the French occupation of Morocco, Telouet Kasbah has been left to decay and is nearly deserted. See it earlier than it’s too late.
PLACES TO VISIT IN MOROCCO
CANYONS & DESERTS
Morocco is a land of canyons and deserts. Skinny stretches of lush inexperienced valleys are wedged between imposing partitions of crimson rock. It’s a mesmerising panorama that finishes on the sands of the Sahara Desert.
14 – DADÈS VALLEY
What most individuals are searching for within the Dadès Valley are a set of tight zig-zags that rise dramatically from the valley ground to Aït Oufi. Head just a little previous Café Timzillite the place you’ll get the very best view of the valley disappearing in entrance of you with the street twisting its approach down.
However for us, the spotlight of the Dadès Valley is the exceptional function of Monkey Fingers, the place streams of water have minimize rivulets and slot canyons within the rock. There’s a good view from Isabel Guesthouse café, instantly in entrance of the unusual bulbous rock formations. Nevertheless, the easiest way to see Monkey Fingers is on a 3-hour guided stroll – all the main points are in our Morocco Itinerary.
15 – TODRA GORGE
At virtually 200 metres excessive and solely 10 metres huge at its narrowest level, the Todra Gorge is a spectacle. The large wall of rock that magically modifications color because the solar fades is among the most mesmerising issues to do in Morocco. Though barely tarnished by the vacationer distributors on the backside of the gorge, there’s nonetheless loads of good causes to return to Todra.
The very best being the superb half-day mountaineering across the gorge. The route takes you alongside the again of the canyon partitions and previous nomad camps. It takes about 4 hours and the views are ever-changing and wonderful. All the main points might be discovered on our Todra Gorge hike article.
16 – ERG CHEBBI DUNES
The Erg Chebbi dunes at Merzouga come mesmerizingly near fulfilling most individuals’s expectations of what a desert surroundings ought to appear to be. Massive, symmetrical curves of sand that catch the sunshine and glow with reddish-golden wonderment. The dunes are a tiny 7 kilometres huge, so the camel experience out to remain in a single day in a tented camp is extra theatre than real journey expertise, nevertheless it maintains the phantasm in all the precise methods.
The spotlight is Berber singing beneath starlight because the underground barbeque sizzles with Moroccan delights. Regardless of all our scepticism, it stays an exquisite Morocco reminiscence. To keep away from the Bedouin caravan turning right into a desert circus, attempt to go to low season if potential.
PLACES TO VISIT IN MOROCCO
VALLEYS & WATERFALLS
In a land largely parched with desert and scarred by rippling crimson rock, water appears to spring from nowhere. Creating lush inexperienced valleys and towering waterfalls, they’re among the most stunning, and stunning, locations to go to in Morocco.
17 – DRÂA VALLEY
The skinny ribbon of inexperienced fashioned by the 125-kilometre stretch of date palms within the Drâa Valley is among the most unique locations in South Morocco. The round street journey between Ouarzazate and the city of Zagora is essentially the most picturesque part of the valley with a number of nice highlights.
Tamnougalt is among the oldest standing fortified villages in Morocco. Dramatic and lavish in design, mud brick towers rise over plenty of palms beside crumbling buildings the place historical past oozes from lavish decorations. The Berbers who dwell in Tamnougalt shall be glad to barter a really informative tour of town.
Close by, the village of Tinzouline has a way more lived-in really feel with a thriving souk on Mondays.
18 – VALLEY OF THE ROSES
The Valley of the Roses has been carved by the Assif M’Goun river because it twists and turns its approach all the way down to the city of Kalaat M’Gouna. An exhilarating 30-kilometre paved street runs alongside the river, with wonderful views of the crimson rock that frames the inexperienced of the valley ground.
Every April and Might, the valley is flooded with roses being picked by native girls to be shipped off to factories in close by Kalaat. However even exterior of flower season, we had an exquisite time exploring the Valley of the Roses. The spectacular dramatic surroundings is as mesmerising as the whole absence of vacationers.
19 – TINGHIR OASIS
The sight of the inexperienced ribbon of the Tinghir Oasis because it curves by means of the panorama and snakes round this in any other case barren area is exceptional. There are a number of viewing platforms alongside the favored N10 street, nonetheless, the easiest way to see the oasis is on foot.
Stroll alongside the west aspect to discover a world hidden beneath the cover of palms. Olives, figs, almonds and alfalfa develop within the fertile soil of the valley beneath the shady safety of the palmery. The restored ksar is spectacular nevertheless it’s the various crumbling kasbars that basically maintain the attraction. The Monday souk is a thriving market and the very best place in Morocco for handmade pottery.
20 – OUZOUD FALLS
Set within the dramatic El-Abid River gorge, Ouzoud Falls are fantastically nestled in a jungle paradise that’s a cool enjoyable reduction from the cruel Moroccan solar.
A path zigzags down the valley wall as spray from the falls clings to dense inexperienced foliage and cools the air. It’s a phenomenal a part of Morocco. A tribe of mischievous macaque monkeys roam the bushes beside the falls searching for objects to steal from unsuspecting vacationers.
On the backside, the plush jungle opens as much as an inviting pool with the three cascades of the falls plunging into the water. Regardless of the no swimming indicators dotted across the water, each vacationers and locals alike take the chance to chill off.
READ NEXT / BEST THINGS TO DO IN MARRAKECH
MAP / TOP PLACES IN MOROCCO
Our favorite locations to go to in South Morocco are unfold out over a big space, so having your individual automotive is the easiest way to see them. Luckily, driving in Morocco is comparatively simple and it’s the easiest way to expertise the whole lot this fascinating nation has to supply.
We suggest Auto Europe as our trusted rent automotive accomplice. All our journey sources are on our reserving web page. Alternatively, we now have a lot of street journey suggestions in our diving in Morocco information.
MORE READING FOR MOROCCO
Though solely a brief flight from Europe, Morocco is a special world. Discover medieval medinas, bustling souks, and gorgeous surroundings with extra of our Morocco guides.
Easy methods to expertise the magic of Jemaa el Fna
Our self-guided strolling tour of the Fez Medina
Greatest issues to do in Marrakech
Exploring the excessive Atlas Mountains
Issues to do in Ouarzazate
Visiting the Valley of the Roses
MOROCCO TRAVEL TIPS
Is Marrakech Protected?
Helpful suggestions for driving in Morocco
Our 10-day Morocco Itinerary