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Best time to visit Morocco

Seasons

In Morocco's summer months (June to August) the heat is particularly fierce in the Sahara Desert whilst mid-level altitudes and cities along the Atlantic coast - like urban Casablanca and laid back Essaouira are pleasantly hot. The north coast and Rif Mountains enjoy a temperate Mediterranean climate with long, hot, sunny days. Here it is wise to wear loose breathable clothing, that will not only keep you cool but also protect you from the sun's rays.

During the winter months (November to February) daytime temperatures in the south are still mild, although remember to pack a warm jacket as the evenings can get surprisingly cold. The north of Morocco experiences wet and cloudy winters and the High Atlas Mountains can be exceptionally cold, sometimes retaining their snow-capped peaks until as late as July.

The country is at its most beautiful in spring (mid-March to May) when the landscape is green and lush, making for spectacular mountain hiking. Morocco is also lovely in Autumn (September to October) when temperatures are very pleasant.

Climate | Marrakech


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Temp Min °C4691114171920171496
Temp Max °C182023262933383833282319
Rainfall (mm)252833311583310233131
Essaouira Gnaoua Music Festival

Festivals and Events

As a predominantly Muslim country Morocco observes Islamic holidays though Morocco is also home to a number of world-class cultural festivals. To help plan when best to visit here's a guide to festivals and events that take place each year.

Ramadan

Ramadan will start on Monday the 6th of June and will continue for 30 days until Tuesday the 5th of July. Moroccans will visit their local mosque more regularly and read as much of the Koran as possible, fasting during the daylight hours. At night you will find a very festive atmosphere especially in major cities with people heading out after breaking their fast to coffee shops, sporting clubs or big hotels. At this time of year services are affected with reduced opening hours and traffic can choke the streets as people return home in preparation for breaking the fast.

International Nomads Festival

Scheduled each March for four days the International Nomads Festival brings together music, theatre, storytelling and folk art in specially constructed tents out in the desert near M'hamid. A number of performances are held in the open-air also.

Gnaoua and World Music Festival

The increasingly popular Gnaoua and World Music Festival takes place in the attractive coastal town of Essaouira each year with free public concerts of international music and the best of Morocco's Gnaoua music.

TANJazz festival

Held in Tangier this festival showcases world-class jazz performers from around the globe with performances held in a number of hotels across the city.

Rose Festival

Each year in the Dades Valley a festival is held to mark the harvesting of some 700 tonnes of rose petals. A Rose Queen is chosen, delicious food is served and local Berber tribes sing, dance and play traditional music.

Geminids Meteor Shower

This incredible display is caused by falling debris from an object that many believe to be an asteroid, making the Geminids Meteor Shower the only one not to be caused by a comet. The slow-moving shower of meteors can be seen in December with the most intense displays mid-December.

Migration of the Berbers

Twice a year Morocco's native Berber tribes undertake an arduous journey from the edge of the Sahara Desert to sacred pastures in the Atlas mountains, a path that has been trodden by their ancestors for thousands of years. Hundreds of cattle are moved in May and September each year.

2016 Calendar

Here's an overview of the festivals and events being held in Morocco in 2016 so you can plan your visit accordingly:

March 18th-20th - International Nomad's Festival (M'hamid)
May - Migration of the Berbers (Atlas Mountains)
May first/second week - Rose Festival (Dades Valley)
May 12th-15th - Gnaoua and World Music Festival (Essaouira)
June 6th - July 5th - Ramadan (countrywide)
September - Migration of the Berbers (Atlas Mountains)
September 21st-25th - TANJazz Festival (Tangier)
December - Geminids Meteor Shower (Sahara Desert)

Tourist Site Closures

The Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca is closed during the five daily prayer times and also has limited visiting times on Fridays.

Opening times change during Ramadan (approx 7th June- 5th July in 2016) with cafes and restaurants generally closed during daylight hours outside the cities. The museums, Hassan II mosque, gardens and madrassa in general will close early throughout Ramadan, while the souks, cafes and shops will generally stay open longer in the evenings, sometimes all night.

The Conference for International Climate COP22 is being held in Marrakech from the 7-18th November 2016 with some 30,000 delegates and press visiting the city. During this time services will be stretched to their limit.

See Also

Know before you go with our handy Travel Guides to Morocco:

Best Places to Visit - the top sites in Morocco for any visitor
Tourist Visas - the information you need for entering Morocco
Top Travel Tips - useful info on money, health and trekking in Morocco
Traveller Reviews - what our passengers say about our Morocco tours
Visiting the Moroccan Sahara - everything you need to know about seeing the impressive sand dunes and sleeping in a desert camp

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