How to visit Morocco by motorhome or campervan?
Visiting a country by motorhome caravan or van always offers more freedom than depending on public transport and hotel infrastructure. What if we went to visit Morocco in a motorhome or van to sleep almost under the stars, in a breathtaking natural environment? You will not have to look for the rates and schedules of Moroccan hotels and riads and you will stop wherever you want (provided you park at places authorized or tolerated by the local authorities).
Morocco is one of the most popular tourist destinations for the French. And tourism is the second largest contributor to Morocco's GDP, with 12.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2018.
And for good reason: with its natural capital, its architecture, its historical and cultural heritage, Morocco – between the cities of Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez Agadir, Meknes, the Atlas Mountains, and the Sahara Desert – is full of wonders to see.
Here is our mini-guide to visiting Morocco by motorhome and campervan!
Ideas for itineraries in Morocco by motorhome
Morocco is a large country, covering 446,550 square kilometers, with a diverse culture that allows for multiple visits during a single visit. Whether you're visiting Morocco by motorhome for its cultural monuments, magnificent sandy beaches, or untamed and unspoiled nature, your journey will be unique. its Berber villages tinged with ochre and red in the middle of the desert, its imperial cities, medinas, or souks. Morocco is a bridge between tradition and modernity. There is so much to see and see in Morocco that exploring behind the scenes will take multiple visits.
Between Marrakech, the Atlas, Meknes, Fez, Essaouira, Casablanca, the dunes of Erg Chebbi, Chefchaouen, the gorges of Dades, Tafraout, the Drâa valley, Ouarzazate, Rabat or Agadir, developing an exhaustive itinerary seems complex to visit Morocco by motorhome or campervan.
From Spain or by renting a motorhome (van or campervan) on-site, you will see that there are as many possible routes as there are tastes. Either you travel all over the country accumulating tourist sites from north to south and from east to west — but that will be the race — or you restrict your area. However, you will only be able to discover a true Morocco and meet its locals if you stay for several weeks.
Here are some ideas for routes through Moroccan roads:
- 1 week: Fez (souks, the medina, the madrasas), Sefrou, Meknes and the imperial city, Moulay-Idriss, the Roman ruins of Volubilis, Casablanca,
- 15 days: same itinerary, plus the south with the Ourika Valley, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, hikes in the Atlas, El Jadida, Essaouira, Agadir, Tafraout and Taroudant,
- 1 month: same route, plus the Drâa Valley, the Tizi-n-Tichka road, the Todgha gorges, the Dades gorges, Merzouga, the Ouzoud and Beni Mellal waterfalls, the Aït-Bougmez valley, Chefchaouen, Tangier.
Note: Of course, these ideas of steps are only indicative and you will prune this program according to your desires. Your route will differ depending on whether you want to make a tour itinerary or stay longer in the villages in order to get to know the local population.
How and where to rent a motorhome in Morocco?
To get a motorhome, we recommend that you go through an online motorhome and van rental platform. These sites are now legion on the road trip and wild camping market. The principle is simple: you choose the desired vehicle – according to the daily price, the type of motorhome/van/campervan, and the equipment of the vehicle -, and you send a rental request to the owner.
Driving in Morocco by motorhome: the traffic rules to know
Are you wondering if it is safe or difficult to drive to Morocco to visit it in a motorhome or a campervan? If we say that driving in Morocco is dangerous, it is a prejudice: it is only dangerous in large cities. But the Cherifian Empire is an excellent country to do by motorhome.
Before going into the subject, good news: there are many gas stations in the country and prices are very reasonable (about 1 € per liter). Note that, to drive and visit Morocco by motorhome, the French license is enough. In addition, it is not necessary to apply for a visa for stays of less than 90 days (only a passport is required).
Safety and equipment
The vehicle must be equipped with a reflective vest, a spare wheel, and a warning triangle in the event of an accident. It is also mandatory to fasten your seat belt for all passengers in the vehicle.
Driving is done, on the right lane with overtaking by the left. The state of the road network is constantly improving because the State invests massively in road infrastructure. However, it is necessary to be extra careful because motorists (scooters and bikers) can be dangerous.
When driving at night, keep in mind that obstacles are often undetectable. Also, pay attention to mountain roads. Some, especially those with a large overhang, are without guardrails. Another tip: during crossings, in case of malfunction of the traffic lights, listen to the horns to know what to do.
The blood alcohol level is 0. Since Morocco is a Muslim country, the government does not allow any tolerance of alcohol. It is better not to try to drink even a drink before driving because the penalties can go up to a prison sentence.
In Morocco, the speed limits are as follows:
· 40 km/h in city centers,
· 60 km/h in built-up areas,
· 100 km/h outside built-up areas,
Be sure to scrupulously respect the speed limits, because the police equipped with radars and binoculars are numerous, even in isolated places: fines rain down in Morocco!.
Motorway tolls in Morocco: what is the price for your motorhome category?
The Moroccan system is inspired by the French "model", there are toll highways in Morocco, especially on highways connecting the country's major cities. Coming to visit Morocco by motorhome, you will pay in class 2 if the 2-axle vehicle is more than 130 cm high.
The Moroccan motorway network is 1,839 kilometers long, with 1,093 kilometers of open expressways, making it one of the densest networks on the African continent.
The highways, materialized by blue signs, are as follows:
· A2: Rabat-Meknes-Fez-Taza-Oujda,
· A3: Casablanca Urban Highway,
· A4: Tangier Med-Tangier,
· A5: Rabat bypass,
· A6: Fnideq-Tetouan,
· A7: Casablanca-Marrakech-Agadir,
Here is an extent of the fares for the busiest sections of highways, in class 2:
· Casablanca-Rabat: 34 DH (3,18 €),
· Rabat-Tangier: 120 DH (11,24 €),
· Casablanca-Marrakech: 120 DH (11,24 €),
· Rabat-Fez : 76 DH (7,12 €)
· Marrakech-Agadir: 152 DH (14,23 €).
The rates are actually much lower than in Europe!
Motorhome areas in Morocco: where to park?
In Morocco, wild camping is prohibited. But it is worth nuanced because visiting Morocco in a motorhome and campervan and stopping at a parking space (for example) is less like wild camping than a free bivouac. Provided, however, that you do not install tables, chairs, gas stoves, and deckchairs on public roads. There are more and more campgrounds in Morocco anyway, even if the pitches can be very rudimentary, consisting of dry and rocky terrain, with simple access to sanitary facilities.
You will be able to park in all regular parking spaces, but avoid parking to sleep in urban areas, city centers, and isolated places, especially near the borders of Mauritania and Algeria.
Know that you can always try to draw our favorite application in terms of road-trip: Park4night. This mobile application is simply a Bible of the itinerant trip to visit Morocco by motorhome, van, or van (and for all other countries in Europe). It is a tool for sharing places where travelers in vans and campervans have bivouacked. You no longer spend long hours wandering to find THE "spot" to spend a night, sometimes with the stress of being dislodged by the police or a night shortened by a late arrival.
The application thus references a multitude of places: campsites, areas for motorhomes, paid or free parking spaces, and outdoor places. You compare comments and reviews (rated 5 stars) and you can guide yourself through GPS coordinates to the place indicated on an interactive map, provided you have a mobile data network. And that, outside the Moroccan agglomerations, it is not guaranteed!.
How to get to Morocco by motorhome?
Morocco and its wide open spaces can be easily discovered by motorhome. Getting to Morocco by motorhome is possible in two ways: one with a lot of ferries, the other with the little ferry.
The best option if you come from Europe (north and west) is from Spain, you can go to Ceuta or Tangier Med. Ceuta is one of the two Spanish enclaves located in Morocco. The crossing between Algeciras and Ceuta has the advantage of being fast but the disadvantage of presenting more complex passage formalities. It is therefore advisable to go to Tangier Med, always from Algeciras or from Tarifa, further south. Count about 200 € per crossing, all-inclusive.
When is the best time to visit Morocco by motorhome?
When should you visit Morocco by motorhome or campervan? Morocco experiences several climates due to its great geographical diversity. Summer can be scorching, especially in the case of sirocco, and the thermal amplitude can be significant in the desert (cold nights, scorching days). Rain can be abundant in the mountains in the Rif and Middle Atlas, except in summer.
Although the Moroccan climate is generally the Mediterranean, the country is influenced by Atlantic currents, with a dry and hot season combined with a cold and wet season. In the south of Morocco and in the Saharan regions, the climate is desert and dry. Depending on the regions visited, there is a climate counterbalanced by oceanic, Mediterranean, mountain, continental, and Saharan influences.
The best time to visit Morocco by motorhome and/or campervan is spring (April and May) and early autumn (October). It is dry and the temperatures are neither suffocating nor freezing.
However, even in winter, you can visit Morocco by motorhome. But without climbing on the snowy heights of the Atlas. The days can be pleasant (25°C) in the plain and the weather is mild all year round along the Atlantic coast. In December, for example, the average temperature is 21°C, 20°C in January, and 21.5°C in February in Agadir. Be careful, it will logically be much cooler in the north.