Best time to visit Morocco

Updated: 06th February 2019

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Seasons and Weather

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.

Thinking of visiting Morocco? Download a copy of our Middle East and North Africa brochure for inspiration.

Climate | Marrakech


JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C4691114171920171496
Temp Max °C182023262933383833282319
Rainfall (mm)252833311583310233131

Climate | Essaouira

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp Min °C121314141617181818171513
Temp Max °C181920192021222222212119
Rainfall (mm)4426312040001294657

Upcoming events

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

2019:

September - Migration of the Berbers (Atlas Mountains)
September 19th-22nd - TANJazz Festival (Tangier)
December - Geminids Meteor Shower (Sahara Desert)

2020:

April 4th-7th - International Nomad's Festival (M'hamid)
May - Migration of the Berbers (Atlas Mountains)
May first/second week - Rose Festival (Dades Valley)
April 23rd-May 22nd - Ramadan (countrywide)
June TBC - Gnaoua World Music Festival (Essaouira)

There's also a number of national holidays in Morocco and on these dates many businesses and some tourist sites will close for the day so plan your visit accordingly.

Essaouira Gnaoua Music Festival

Festivals and Events

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

What is the 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.

What is the Gnaoua World Music Festival?

The increasingly popular Gnaoua 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.

What is the TANJazz festival?

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

What is the 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.

What is the 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.

What is the Migration of the Berbers?

The Migration of the Berbers takes place twice a year, with Morocco's native Berber tribes undertaking an arduous journey from the edge of the Sahara Desert to sacred pastures in the Atlas mountains. This path has been trodden by their ancestors for thousands of years, with hundreds of cattle moved in the months of May and September each year.

What happens during Ramadan?

During Ramadan, 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.

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 (27th May to 25th June 2017) 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.

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
Morocco Video Lounge - a mesmerising view of Morocco from behind the lens
Morocco's Unesco-listed Sites - learn about all nine of Morocco's World Heritage-listed sites