Visit Morocco in Winter 2024.

Visit Morocco in Winter

Visit Morocco in Winter 2024.

Do you find yourself longing for the warmth of the sun amidst the dreary months from November to March? For those residing in the northern regions of America, Canada, and Western Europe, this period can often feel harsh and unforgiving. If the biting cold is becoming too much to bear this year, perhaps it’s time to consider a journey to Morocco. This captivating North African destination offers a respite filled with bright, radiant sunshine—a perfect remedy to replenish your Vitamin D levels and revitalize your spirits.

It’s worth noting that Morocco doesn’t remain scorching hot all year round—check out our weather guide to gain insight into what to expect each month. Nevertheless, regardless of the season, Morocco enjoys ample sunshine throughout the year. There are numerous advantages to visiting Morocco during the winter months. While the typical image of North Africa, especially Morocco, may conjure thoughts of sweltering temperatures and windswept sand dunes, opting for a trip during the cooler months allows you to enjoy all the country has to offer without the searing heat commonly associated with the region. With abundant sunshine available, you can still revel in that invigorating breath of fresh air while sidestepping the extreme temperatures that characterize the summer months.

Visiting Morocco during the winter months offers a significant advantage: fewer tourists and a quieter atmosphere. However, don’t be misled by the idea of tranquility; there are still plenty of outdoor activities, sights, and attractions to explore, even in the winter months – including snow skiing!

Morocco’s diverse landscape offers something for every traveler. From the bustling streets of Marrakech, where vibrant souks beckon with their colorful wares, to the serene beauty of the Sahara Desert, where endless dunes stretch as far as the eye can see, there’s no shortage of wonders to explore.

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Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Moroccan culture as you wander through ancient medinas, marvel at the intricate tile work of historic mosques, and savor the tantalizing flavors of traditional Moroccan cuisine. Whether you’re haggling for treasures in the labyrinthine alleyways of Fes or sipping sweet mint tea in a tranquil riad courtyard, every moment in Morocco is a feast for the senses.

And let’s not forget the warmth of Moroccan hospitality—a hallmark of this enchanting country. From the moment you set foot on Moroccan soil, you’ll be welcomed with open arms by friendly locals eager to share their customs and traditions with you.

So why wait? Escape the winter chill and embark on a journey to Morocco, where the sun-soaked landscapes and warm hospitality await. It’s the perfect antidote to the winter blues!

The Sahara Desert in Morocco.

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The Sahara Desert in Morocco is a captivating destination that enthralls visitors with its breathtaking landscapes and array of activities. Renowned as one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, it beckons travelers to explore its vast expanse of golden dunes under the endless blue sky.

Beyond its stunning visuals, the Sahara offers a multitude of adventures that defy expectations. Embracing the spirit of exploration unveils boundless opportunities for discovery. Whether you’re capturing the perfect photograph or indulging in adrenaline-pumping activities, the desert promises an unforgettable experience.

While summer brings scorching temperatures, winter offers the chance to enjoy the dunes throughout the day comfortably. For thrill-seekers, sandboarding and sandskiing provide exhilarating alternatives to traditional winter sports, with the Erg Chebbi dunes offering ample space for such activities.

The desert city of Merzouga serves as a gateway to this mesmerizing landscape. Accommodations range from hotels along the dune’s edge to traditional tents, each offering a unique perspective on desert living. Camel trekking allows for an authentic exploration of the dunes, with tented camps offering a secluded retreat amidst the sands.

As the sun sets, casting a warm glow over the horizon, and the night sky unveils its myriad stars, the Sahara transforms into a realm of unparalleled beauty. Bundling up against the chill of the morning and evening allows for moments of quiet contemplation as the desert awakens to a new day.

Intriguing, captivating, and awe-inspiring, the Sahara Desert is an essential stop on any Moroccan itinerary, offering a glimpse into the boundless wonders of nature.

Winter Wonder: Atlas Mountains.

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The Atlas Mountains, stretching across Morocco, offer a plethora of outdoor activities all year round, making them a versatile destination for adventurers. In warmer months, ascending into the range provides relief from the heat, but it’s in winter when the mountains truly shine, adorned with snow that blankets their jagged peaks, transforming them into a captivating winter wonderland.

Adding a night or two to your trip to explore the mountains is a decision you won’t regret. The stunning natural beauty is bound to leave you feeling both awestruck and rejuvenated.

And what better activity to enjoy in snowy conditions than skiing? While beaches and desert dunes are must-visit attractions in Morocco, skiing or snowboarding can be equally exhilarating. Although Africa isn’t commonly associated with skiing, Morocco’s Atlas Mountains offer excellent slopes for winter sports enthusiasts.

For expert skiers seeking an extraordinary experience, heli-skiing or trekking deeper into the Atlas Mountains provides access to remote and pristine peaks. Opting for the helicopter route allows you to explore the most untouched parts of nature, with long runs exceeding 3,000 feet in length awaiting you.

Alternatively, trekking through the mountains offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Berber culture. Organized trips through Berber villages often include homestays or meals with locals, providing invaluable insights into their way of life. From one-day excursions to comprehensive packages including guides, meals, and accommodations, there are options to suit every adventurer’s preference.

For those preferring a more traditional ski resort experience, Oukaimeden is an ideal choice. Located approximately 80 kilometers from Marrakech, Oukaimeden is Morocco’s sole true ski resort and the continent’s highest, boasting an elevation of 8,530 feet. With six ski lifts, rental facilities, and overnight accommodations, Oukaimeden offers convenience and comfort for skiers of all levels.

Alternatively, Ifrane, affectionately known as the “Switzerland of Morocco,” offers a charming European ambiance amidst its alpine-style buildings and homes. If Oukaimeden seems too intense, Ifrane provides a great option for less experienced skiers or those seeking a more relaxed winter getaway.

Whether skiing in Oukaimeden, exploring Berber culture through trekking, or simply admiring the breathtaking vistas, the Atlas Mountains offer an array of experiences that promise to enchant and captivate visitors throughout the winter season.

Things to Do in Morocco in December

Winter in Morocco offers a unique opportunity to explore the great outdoors, particularly through hiking in the High Atlas Mountains. While many travelers focus on the country’s cultural and culinary offerings, venturing into the mountains unveils breathtaking landscapes and invigorating adventures.

Hiking in the High Atlas Mountains during winter provides a refreshing escape from the scorching summer heat. With milder temperatures and less intense sun, it’s an ideal time to embark on outdoor excursions without feeling overly fatigued.

However, it’s essential to consider the shorter days characteristic of winter. Planning your hiking itinerary carefully and enlisting the expertise of a trekking guide can ensure a safe and fulfilling experience. Here are some notable hikes to consider while visiting Morocco in December:

  1. Mount Toubkal: As the highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal offers a challenging yet rewarding trek. Ascending its rugged slopes rewards hikers with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  2. Jbel Saghro: Known for its striking rock formations and desert-like landscapes, Jbel Saghro presents a captivating hiking destination. Explore winding trails that lead past ancient villages and nomadic settlements, immersing yourself in the region’s rich cultural heritage.
  3. M’Goun Massif: Nestled within the heart of the Atlas Mountains, the M’Goun Massif boasts a diverse array of landscapes, from verdant valleys to towering peaks. Hiking through this pristine wilderness provides opportunities to encounter local flora and fauna while admiring breathtaking vistas.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking a challenging ascent or a nature enthusiast eager to explore Morocco’s natural beauty, winter hiking in the High Atlas Mountains offers a memorable adventure filled with awe-inspiring scenery and cultural immersion.

Festivals in Morocco in winter.

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In Morocco, winter brings forth a vibrant tapestry of festivals and events, offering travelers a chance to immerse themselves in the rich culture of the region. Here are some notable festivals during the winter season:

  1. Tan Tan Moussem: Held in early December in the town of Tan-Tan in southwestern Morocco, this annual festival is a celebration of Berber traditions. Over thirty tribes from southern Morocco and Northwest Africa convene for a cultural extravaganza featuring camel races, horse competitions, folk dances, and delectable traditional cuisine.
  2. Marrakech International Film Festival: Movie aficionados flock to Marrakech in December to partake in the Marrakech International Film Festival. Showcasing short films, video projects, and photography from Moroccan and international artists, this event offers a platform for emerging talents while celebrating the art of cinema.
  3. New Year’s Eve: While Morocco traditionally celebrates the New Year according to the Berber calendar, which falls in early to mid-January, cities across the country light up with festivities on December 31st. From bustling urban centers to serene desert landscapes, revelers can ring in the New Year with lively parties, intimate dinners, or memorable desert experiences beneath the starry night sky.

Winter Escape: Essaouira’s Coastal Charms.

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During the winter months, Essaouira transforms into a serene coastal retreat, offering a more laid-back experience compared to the bustling summer season. Here’s what you can expect when visiting this charming beach resort area during winter:

  1. Relaxed Atmosphere: Essaouira exudes a tranquil vibe during the winter, with fewer tourists crowding its beaches and streets. The medina, adorned with bright blue and white hues, invites visitors to explore at their own pace without feeling rushed.
  2. Leisurely Exploration: Unlike cities like Marrakech or Fez, Essaouira allows for leisurely strolls through its sunny streets and alleyways. Shopkeepers are accommodating, allowing you to browse and negotiate prices without pressure.
  3. Bargaining Opportunities: While exploring the medina’s shops and markets, don’t forget to hone your bargaining skills. Haggling is still a common practice in Essaouira, ensuring you get the best deal on souvenirs and local goods.
  4. Windy City Vibes: Essaouira is affectionately known as Morocco’s windy city, thanks to the brisk coastal breeze. Despite the calmness within the medina walls, venture outside to experience the invigorating wind, which makes it ideal for activities like kitesurfing, windsurfing, and surfing.
  5. Coastal Activities: Whether you’re a novice or an experienced water sports enthusiast, Essaouira’s beaches offer ample opportunities for adventure. Rent equipment or sign up for lessons to enjoy the thrills of kitesurfing or windsurfing against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.
  6. Accommodation Options: When booking your stay, consider accommodations that offer beachfront access or arrange activities such as water sports through your hotel or riad. Travel agencies can also assist in planning your winter getaway in Essaouira, ensuring a memorable coastal experience.
  7. Scenic Beauty: Embrace the natural beauty of Essaouira’s coastline and pristine beaches. Let the refreshing ocean breeze and picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean soothe your senses as you soak in the coastal scenery.

In essence, Essaouira during winter promises a peaceful retreat where you can unwind, explore, and indulge in thrilling water sports amidst the beauty of Morocco’s coastal landscape.

Winter Magic: Marrakech & Casablanca Escapes.

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During the winter months, the imperial cities of Morocco offer a more tranquil atmosphere for exploration, allowing visitors to delve into the rich tapestry of history, culture, cuisine, and shopping without the sweltering heat of summer. Here’s what you can expect from Marrakech and Casablanca during this season:


  • Jemaa el-Fnaa Square: Experience the vibrant energy of Marrakech’s famous square, where you can immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of bustling markets, street performers, and local delicacies.
  • Ben Youssef Madrasa: Explore the exquisite architecture and intricate tilework of this 14th-century Islamic school, offering a glimpse into Marrakech’s historic heritage.
  • Saadian Tombs: Discover the fascinating history of Marrakech through a visit to the ornate Saadian Tombs, which date back to the time of the Saadian dynasty.
  • Menera Gardens, Majorelle Gardens, Agdal Gardens: Enjoy leisurely strolls amidst lush greenery and beautiful landscapes at these picturesque gardens, soaking up the winter sun and marveling at the vibrant flora.
  • Koutoubia Mosque: Admire the stunning architecture of Marrakech’s largest mosque and its surrounding gardens, a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Riads and Spa Treatments: Indulge in the ultimate relaxation at Marrakech’s renowned riads, where you can experience traditional hammam rituals and luxurious spa treatments to rejuvenate after a day of exploration.


  • Modern Metropolis: Experience the cosmopolitan charm of Casablanca, known for its modernity and international flair, offering a contrast to the traditional atmosphere of other Moroccan cities.
  • International Cuisine: Sample a diverse array of international cuisines at Casablanca’s restaurants, providing a refreshing break from traditional Moroccan fare.
  • Kenzi Hotel Spa: Treat yourself to pampering spa treatments at the luxurious Kenzi Hotel, offering a sanctuary of relaxation amid the winter chill.
  • Beachfront Bliss: Enjoy the sunny winter days at popular beaches like Ain Diab or La Corniche, where you can bask in the warmth of the sun and take in stunning ocean views.
  • Hassan II Mosque: Marvel at the grandeur of Morocco’s largest mosque, renowned for its intricate architectural details and opulent design. Visitors can join guided tours to explore this iconic landmark, adhering to the dress code of covered arms and legs, as well as a head covering for women.

Winter provides an ideal opportunity to explore the medinas of Marrakech and Casablanca at a leisurely pace, with fewer crowds allowing for a more intimate and comfortable experience. Whether wandering through narrow alleyways or haggling at traditional souks, visitors can immerse themselves in the cultural richness of these imperial cities.

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Best times to visit Morocco.

The best times to visit Morocco are typically during the spring months of March through May and the autumn months of September and October. During these periods, the weather is generally pleasant and warm, making it comfortable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Additionally, there tend to be fewer tourists, allowing for a more enjoyable and relaxed travel experience.

However, it’s worth noting that coastal areas in Morocco maintain tropical weather throughout the year, with fewer temperature fluctuations compared to inland regions.

December can also be a good time to visit Morocco, as temperatures are still pleasant and warm in most areas. However, it’s important to be aware of temperature variations, especially in places like the Sahara Desert, where it can get extremely cold, particularly at night. Proper layering is essential to stay comfortable in such conditions.

Here are a couple of winter tips for visiting Morocco:
  1. Holiday Observances: While most Moroccans don’t celebrate Christmas, you may still notice festive decorations like Santa Clauses and fake snow in some store windows in urban areas. However, New Year’s celebrations are more common, especially in larger cities. Consider enjoying a fancy dinner at your riad as part of the New Year’s festivities.
  2. Layering for Changing Climates: Despite Morocco’s reputation for sunny weather, temperatures can be cool during the winter months. It’s essential to pack plenty of layers to stay warm, especially as you travel around the country. From coastal areas to mountainous regions, you’ll encounter diverse climates, so having different layers allows you to adapt to each setting comfortably.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your winter trip to Morocco and enjoy its unique blend of culture, landscapes, and hospitality.

What is the weather like in Morocco during winter?

During winter in Morocco, particularly from December to February, the weather varies depending on the region. In coastal areas like Casablanca and Rabat, temperatures usually range from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). Inland cities such as Marrakech and Fes can experience colder nights with temperatures dropping to 5°C (41°F) or below. However, daytime temperatures are generally mild, ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).

Is it a good idea to visit Morocco in winter?

Yes, visiting Morocco in winter can be a fantastic idea for several reasons. Firstly, the weather is generally pleasant during the day, making it ideal for exploring cities, markets, and historical sites without the intense heat of summer.

Additionally, winter is the perfect time to experience cultural events and festivals such as the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira or the Almond Blossom Festival in Tafraoute. Moreover, winter is considered the low tourist season, meaning fewer crowds and potentially better deals on accommodations and tours.

Are there any specific winter activities to enjoy in Morocco?

Yes, there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy in Morocco during winter.
You can embark on desert tours, camel rides, and camping in the Sahara Desert, where daytime temperatures are pleasantly warm, and nights are cool but manageable with proper clothing. Skiing and snowboarding are also popular winter activities in the Atlas Mountains, particularly at resorts like Oukaimeden. Additionally, winter is an excellent time for hiking in the Atlas Mountains or exploring the scenic valleys and gorges.

What should I pack for a winter trip to Morocco?

Warm ClothingSweaters, jackets, scarves for chilly mornings/evenings
Comfortable ShoesSuitable for walking and exploring
SunscreenTo protect against strong sun rays
SunglassesShield eyes from bright sunlight
Travel AdapterTo charge electronic devices
MedicationsAny necessary medications you may need

This table should help you stay organized and ensure you have everything you need for your winter trip to Morocco.

What are the cultural considerations when visiting Morocco in winter?

When visiting Morocco in winter, it’s essential to respect the local culture and customs. While the weather may be cooler, modest clothing is still recommended, especially when visiting religious sites such as mosques and mausoleums. Additionally, it’s customary to greet people with “Salaam Alaikum” (Peace be upon you) and respond with “Wa Alaikum Salaam” (And upon you be peace).

Respect local traditions, such as removing shoes before entering someone’s home, and always ask for permission before taking photos, especially of people.

Can I expect to see snow in Morocco during the winter months?

While snow is not common in most parts of Morocco, it is possible to encounter snowfall in the Atlas Mountains, particularly at higher elevations. Places like Ifrane and Oukaimeden are known for their winter snowfall, offering opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. However, snow in other parts of the country, including cities like Marrakech and Fes, is rare but not entirely impossible during particularly cold spells.

What are the visa requirements for visiting Morocco in winter?

Visitors from many countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union member states, do not need a visa to enter Morocco for tourist stays of up to 90 days.

However, it’s essential to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality before traveling to Morocco. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of departure from Morocco to avoid any complications during your visit.

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