Your Guide To The Best, Cheapest And Coolest Times Of Year To Travel To Morocco
If you’ve just tapped “when is the best time to visit Morocco?” into Google, chances are you’re thinking about travelling there. In that case, we’re going to get along…
Morocco’s a gorgeous place with a heck of a lot going for it – but you’ll enjoy it better at certain times of year more than others (at least you will if you’re not a fan of extreme temperatures).
Over the last couple of years, the Bucket List Company team have visited Morocco lots of times, heading to different areas at different times of year, so we’ve now got a fairly decent idea of the best and, err, less best times to go.
In this guide, we run you through our answer to the perennial question, “when is the best time to visit Morocco?”, letting you know when it’s quietest, when you’re least likely to get burnt to a crisp, and when you can expect to see traditional Moroccan culture in all its glory.
Let’s do it.
When Is It Hottest In Marrakech? Here’s How To Avoid Extreme Temperatures.
[Short answer: avoid July and August!]
Home to a chunk of the great Sahara Desert, you won’t be surprised to hear it can get burnin’ hot in Morocco – but did you know daytime coastal temperatures can often drop to 8°C too? You’re unlikely to experience cool climes like that if you’re heading to the economic centre of Morocco though…
The hottest months in Marrakech are easily July and August, with average temperatures sitting around 29°C and around 11 hours of bright sunshine every day. The mercury can often hit higher than 37°C during the summer, so if you’re not a fan of the heat, best to visit Marrakech at a different time of year.
Try spring and autumn instead, when temperatures are much more friendly and you can avoid sweat patches making an unwelcome appearance in all your photos.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Sahara In Morocco?
[Short answer: early spring and autumn]
First things first, the Sahara’s got its own climate going on, so don’t expect it to play by the rules when it comes to temperatures. The contrast in temperatures during the day and night times are pretty stark, so you’ll always want to make sure you’ve packed plenty of layers, whatever time of year you visit the Sahara.
September to November and March to early April tend to be the most comfortable times of year to trek the Sahara. As you can imagine, summer daytime hours get bloomin’ hot, and those winter nights? Just the thought is enough to make you shiver.
Keep an eye out for surprise sandstorms in the Sahara too, they can hit unexpectedly any time of year, but April seems to be their favourite month to arrive.
It’s another reason why you want to pack loads of layers, so you’ve got something to protect your face and skin from the churning sands and the sun blasting from above. Those layers will come in handy at night too when temperatures can drop down low. Did you know the average night-time temperature in the Sahara is -4°C?!
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Coast In Morocco?
[Short answer: June to September]
The Atlantic coast is much milder in terms of temperature, with fresh winters and warm, sunny summers. It doesn’t tend to rain too much over nearer Agadir, and the downpours usually happen between November and March.
A chilly sea current flows west of north Africa, so don’t expect particularly balmy waters at any time of year. Even in the summer, the sea temperature in Morocco stays cool, sometimes with fogs and mists forming over the water on summer mornings.
The daily average temperature in Agadir ranges from around 14°C in January to a warmer 22°C from July to September. You’ll see the odd hotter day when hot winds blow in from central Morocco, reaching temperatures of 30°C even in winter, and occasionally providing 40°C+ scorchers in summer.
All in all, you’ll get the best beach weather on the coast between June and September. Essaouira and Taghazout are just beautiful during the summer, but the weather is absolutely perfect for surf and yoga in March, with an average around 23°C, and there are fewer tourists too. That’s why we keep going back for more! (Find out more about our surf and yoga trip here).
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Climb Mount Toubkal?
[Short answer: April, May, September and October – unless you’re a pro?]
Like with all trekking, it’s really best to avoid the extreme heat of the summer and likewise the super cold winter temperatures at the top of Mount Toubkal. Go in September and October and the busy tourist season will be over, the temperature will average in the 20°Cs and there won’t be much snow.
Go in April and May and you’ll enjoy seeing flowers blooming and should avoid snow most of your way up.
We actually offer Toubkal trekking trips during several months of the year, so if you’re au fait with crampons and ice axes, why not look at our Toubkal Winter dates? You can also listen to our founder Keith talking about the best times to trek Mount Toubkal here.
Does It Rain In Morocco?
A bit, yes.
Generally speaking, most of Morocco’s rain falls on the mainland from October to May, though you’ll see more rain and snow in the northern mountainous areas from November to April.
The northern half of Morocco is a lot wetter than the arid south, and over on the coast, don’t expect much rain the further south you go. It all tends to fall from late autumn to early spring, and there’s usually less than 10 inches of rainfall there each year.
When Is The Quietest Time To Visit Morocco?
[Short answer: November to January or May to August]
If you’re looking to avoid crowds on your trip to Morocco, it’s best to avoid hotspots like Marrakech, Chefchaouen and Fes during autumn and spring which tends to be their busiest times. (That’s because the weather’s warm without being overbearing).
Like we said, the coastal surf spots tend to be busiest in the summer, which is part of the reason we run our trips a little earlier in the year, when the weather’s still great. Morocco’s a busy, buzzing place and tourism is a big part of the culture, so you’re unlikely to travel there without bumping into a few other visitors.
But if you can cope with the colder nights in the mountainous regions or a bit of hot hot heat further inland, you’ll get a quieter experience if you visit in November to January or May to August.
What Time Of Year Will I See Moroccan Culture At Its Finest?
[Short answer: April or May]
Morocco’s predominantly a Muslim country and Ramadan is a hugely significant time in the Islam calendar, with shops and restaurants working on altered hours throughout. The dates of Ramadan change every year though it usually happens in April or May.
Watching huge numbers of worshippers moving towards a mosque for prayers is quite something to behold and there’s something magical about seeing them enjoy their first meal after sundown. The celebratory three-day period of Eid at the end of Ramadan is just fantastic too.
Morocco Weather Month By Month
Weather in Morocco in January
Best For: Late-night desert camping, traditional Amazigh celebrations, city expeditions.
January’s cooler weather makes it perfect for adventure seekers to comfortably explore the vibrant cities, savour the tranquil beauty of the Sahara at night, and participate in Yennayer, a unique cultural experience among traditional Berber communities.
Weather in Morocco in February
Best For: Adventurous treks, camel rides, cultural festivals
February sees little rain and slightly warmer temperatures. This makes an ideal setting for hiking, experiencing the desert on camel back, and enjoying the culturally-rich Almond Blossom Festival amidst the picturesque vistas of Tafraout.
Weather in Morocco in March
Best For: Outdoor adventuring, city explorations, cultural festivals.
March brims with spring blooms; the lovely weather and buoyant landscapes are conducive for outdoor adventures. This is an excellent time for exploring the winding alleys of Marrakesh, Fes, and Chefchaouen, and for taking part in the International Nomad Festival.
Weather in Morocco in April
Best For: Mountain hikes, city sightseeing, art gatherings.
April’s welcoming spring climate and blooming flora in the High Atlas make it a heavenly period for hiking and spring gazing. Urban explorations are equally rewarding during this month, while the Sufi Festival offers a unique spiritual immersion.
Weather in Morocco in May
Best For: Mountain treks, historical site explorations, flower festivals.
May’s captivating weather is well-suited for extensive hiking endeavours and Sahara visits. The breathtaking Festival of the Roses in M’Goun Valley is a must-attend experience in early May.
Weather in Morocco in June
Best For: Coastal relaxation, city excursions, music festivals.
June marks the onset of summer heat in Morocco. Seaside relish in Casablanca and beach lounging in Essaouira provide a brilliant remedy to the heat. The vibrant Gnaoua Music Festival and Cherry Festival paint an artistic tapestry you wouldn’t want to miss.
Weather in Morocco in July
Best For: Coastal getaways, city explorations, music festivals.
July typically experiences soaring temperatures, urging you to seek pleasance along Morocco’s coasts. The cool breezes of Essaouira, Rabat, and Tangier offer a refreshing retreat, while the Casablanca Jazzablanca festival hits all the right notes for music lovers.
Weather in Morocco in August
Best For: Adventure stints in the canyons, city explorations, coastal lounging.
August sees hot weather, but the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines offer an ideal haven. Adventure opportunities await in the limestone river canyons of Todra Gorge and Dades River, providing refreshing relief from the heat.
Weather in Morocco in September
Best For: Adventure treks, historical site visits, cultural festivals.
One of the best months to explore Morocco, September offers prime conditions for trekking, swimming and exploring historical sites. The Imilchil Marriage Festival is an intriguing cultural engagement, unveiling a side of Morocco that most travellers rarely sight.
Weather in Morocco in October
Best For: Trekking, city expeditions, harvest season festivals.
October continues with pleasant weather ideal for hiking and city exploration. The traditional harvest festivals and the date season in particular promise an unforgettable experience.
Weather in Morocco in November
Best For: Desert trips, city tours, foodie adventures.
As the days turn cold, November offers a great window for Sahara explorations and relaxed city tours in Morocco. The chill in the air provides the perfect excuse to warm up in cafes savouring Moroccan pastries while sipping mint tea.
Weather in Morocco in December
Best For: Snow treks, desert excursions, festive city fun.
December brings the best of bright sunny days in the Sahara and snow trekking in High Atlas. Make the most of these diverse climates and enjoy Morocco’s year-end festivities as locals and fellow holidaymakers flock to the cities for end-of-year celebrations.
Summary: when is the best time to visit Morocco?
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong visiting Morocco, whatever time of year you arrive. All year round, there’s somewhere to be and something delicious to do (but if you’re not too keen on sweating like a pig, best avoid July and August).
We love visiting Morocco in May, and if you fancy seeing the very best this beautiful country has to offer and at the best time, why not join us on one of our “Best of Morocco” trips? They usually run in May, so you’ll guarantee great weather, without it being swelteringly hot, and you’ll see SO much while you’re there. Click here to find out more.
As always, feel free to ask us questions about the itinerary – and don’t let life pass you by.