Tips and good plans for your holidays in Morocco
What is the weather like in Morocco?
What seasons to go to Morocco?
The Moroccan climate is subject to many influences: oceanic, Mediterranean, continental, and desert... The interior of the land (Marrakech, Fez, Ouarzazate...) and the reliefs experience strong thermal amplitudes with cold wet winters (it snows in the mountains ) and very dry hot summers. In the south of Morocco and the desert, it is hot all year round, but the nights are always cool. The coast (Essaouira, Agadir...) offers more temperate conditions: the weather is nice and mild in all seasons but never too hot, even in summer!
So you can do tourism in Morocco all year round, depending on where you go! Overall, the shoulder seasons (May-June and September-October) are ideal everywhere with pleasant temperatures but not too high (be careful, however, of the rains on the reliefs). Winter is conducive to relaxing seaside stays as well as exploring the desert.
Average temperatures (annual min. and max.)
- Marrakesh: 5/34°
- Agadir: 10/26°
- Essaouira: 13/21°
- Fes: 5/35°
When is it raining? Basically, from November to April and almost not between June and September. The mountains are a little more water in the fall and spring.
When to book and go to Morocco at the best price?
Go outside of school holidays
Especially if you are targeting very tourist destinations like Marrakech or Agadir which are very popular with families in summer, at Easter, and at Christmas-New Year. The prices of flights and stays increase a lot. It is therefore by starting from the opposite of the families that we obtain the lowest prices!
Make a last-minute decision during the off-season…
It is in May-June and September-October that we unearth the best deals for Morocco, especially at the last minute. The "quality-price" ratio is optimal: the climate is good almost everywhere, tourists are much less present, the prices are really reasonable, and the discounts are numerous. It is during these periods that you can find stays in Marrakech on sale at - €400, Riads at discounted prices in private sales...
Remember to book your plane ticket in advance:
The earlier you get there, the lower the prices!.
Avoid high summer...
In Marrakech, Fez, and in central or southern Morocco in general!
It's frankly not a good plan: it's really hot, there are a lot of tourists, you stay cloistered in your hotel for a good part of the day, and the country falls asleep with Ramadan... In short, the best conditions are really not met to best discover this wonderful country!
Our tips and good plans for your holidays in Morocco
Note: Dhs = Moroccan Dirhams (10 Dhs = $0.90 approx.)
- Pay in Dirhams.
It is always more advantageous than paying €, as merchants tend to round up prices in their favor. You can change your € into Dirhams (or withdraw money with your bank card) at the many exchange points in major cities or at airports (pay attention to the rate, which is often less advantageous: do it just to start your trip than wait until you're in town). Find out, before leaving, about the fees applied by your bank. Dirhams do not leave the country, so you have to get them there and re-exchange them before taking the return flight (the best is still to spend it all!)
Also, remember to always have small changes on you: otherwise, it is likely that your interlocutor will not have enough to give you change on your big bill!
- Eat locally.
The taverns abound in the Medinas of the cities. You can have a hearty lunch there for only a few euros. Avoid areas that are too touristy, and favor less busy streets to find really popular local restaurants. Do not hesitate to push the door of establishments that seem frequented only by Moroccans themselves: it is generally there that you eat the best and for the lowest prices.
It's almost a national sport, and you're bound to get a taste for it, it's also fun! To start the negotiation, divide the advertised price by 3 or 4. Be careful, however, to haggle only if you are really interested! The prices of bars, restaurants, or food shops are not negotiable.
- Go through a local guide (or an agency)
Excursions within this framework generally cost half the price of those offered as an option by tour operators or in hotels. Many Moroccan guides or drivers offer their services to tourists for an excursion or a more complete itinerary. Rates are to be negotiated before departure, be careful to agree on the content and remain firm on the itinerary (it is easy to have them taken to a shop or a hotel for a nice commission). Look on the forums to find reliable and serious names.
- Book your car rental in advance
On the internet. Renting a car is a good idea to visit Morocco independently, it is the best solution to discover the Ourika Valley, the Atlas... However, avoid venturing into the city centers and the Medinas where the car is definitely not recommended! Renting a car in Morocco is easy but sometimes complicated in high season: book online to get better rates and availability, also a lot of promotions at key periods (bridges, school holidays, early booking for summer. ..). Also consider brokers, such as Autoescape or Rentalcars, who negotiate wholesale rates. Booking with a major brand guarantees you to have a contract and insurance in good and due form. Budget: $30/day approx.
Avoid driving at night (dangerous!).
- Take the bus.
The intercity transport network is generally efficient. One can move easily from one big city to another in an economical way. Count around €3 for each 100 km.
- Get lost!
Morocco can be visited in the end, especially on foot. You have to wander through the alleys of the Medinas and in the markets, get lost in the small streets, try to find your way, and talk to the shopkeepers (without being bamboozled if possible... Although that's part of the local charm!), s stop here or there... Morocco is a whole atmosphere: you can experience it!