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Morocco is a beautiful, vibrant country – one of the most diverse on the planet. During your holiday in Morocco, you can lie sandy beaches, wander old medinas, enjoy stunning mountain vistas, and visit the breathtaking Sahara desert. Whether you’re more into surfing and soaking up the sun or exploring the winding alleyways of an ancient city, this Morocco Itinerary has something for you.
But if you’re not sure where to begin on planning your Morocco itinerary, don’t worry! Check out our ultimate Morocco travel itineraries to get you started. We’ve created two Morocco itineraries for you to choose from: a shorter, 5-day trip and a 2-week itinerary.
We have a lot of other travel itineraries from the Nazare Portugal waves to Snowdonia National Park. If you’re looking for photography tips then we have a lot at the Cultured Kiwi homepage. For now… on with the show!
Is Morocco Safe To Visit?
Morocco welcomes millions of tourists from all over the world every year. It’s a safe country to travel in for everyone from female solo travellers to families with young children. Just keep your wits about you whether you’re in crowded market areas or quiet streets, as you would anywhere else.
The vast majority of locals are friendly, welcoming, and happy to help. Don’t feel pressured to buy anything you don’t want to in the souks, no matter how persistent some of the vendors may be.
If you’re not interested, just say so and walk away.When dealing with street vendors
2 Weeks in Morocco
This itinerary route is based on two weeks exploring this vibrant country, travelling from the north to the south and seeing the major sights! However, you could adapt this to a shorter trip of a week or 10 days.
One tip: Morocco is a big country and you’ll be covering a lot of ground. Don’t try to fit too much in, or hit the road and see a new place every day. We recommend taking a slower pace, so you can really enjoy yourself, fully experience your surroundings, and get the most out of your Morocco trip!
Day 1: Arrive in Morocco
If you can, fly into Casablanca or Fez to cut down on your journey times. For Casablanca arrivals, visit the striking Hassan II Mosque that juts out into the sea. Then catch the train to Fez – buy first class tickets so you’ll be sure to have an allocated seat for the 4 hour journey.
You’ll spend the first couple of days discovering the city of Fez, one of the oldest and most significant cities in Morocco. Dating back to the eighth century, Fez has long been a gathering place for scholars, students, astronomers, and physicians. In fact, it’s home to the oldest university in the world, the al-Qarawiyine university and mosque.
You’ll spend three nights based in Fes, but on your first night here, head straight to your hotel or riad, Relax and enjoy a traditional, home-cooked meal to get you in the spirit for what is to come. If you have the time, take a stroll outside and get a feel for your surroundings. Otherwise, relax and have an early night to catch up on jet lag.
Day 2: Sightseeing and Shopping in Fes
Devote this day to getting to know the imperial city of Fes. There’s so much to see that it can be hard to fit it into a day, so here are the city’s highlights. If you’re feeling brave, head out on your own, or book a walking tour with a guide so you don’t miss any of the best spots.
Start off by visiting the Chaouwara tanneries – one of the most fascinating sights in Fes. Then, spend some time wandering the alleyways and paths through the elaborate souk market.
One of the most visually stunning streets is the Rue des Mérinides in the mellah or Jewish quarter – look up to see the intricate balconies providing an excellent vantage point to sit and watch the world go by.
While you’re in the area, visit the pretty Ibn Danan synagogue which dates back to the 17th century. The guardian is generally happy to show visitors around and you can see all the original features.
Don’t miss the Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts, located in a restored traditional fondouk or inn. The traditional building, including a pretty central courtyard, houses antiques ranging from jewellery to tools, musical instruments, and more. Climb up to the rooftop café here for some well-earned refreshments and an amazing panoramic view.
Peek into the Qarawiyine mosque – entry is not allowed to tourists but you can see into the ornate courtyard of this 9th century beauty as you pass by.
If you’re after a change of scenery, the Jnan Sbil gardens makes for a tranquil escape from the busy medina. Popular with locals in the early evening, you can get some fresh air while you enjoy the peaceful gardens and the lake here.
Day 3: Choose a Day Trip From Fes
On your third day, take a day trip to get out of the city and explore more of the surrounding country. You could visit the small Berber town of Sefrou for a more authentic peek into Morocco, where you’ll see craftsmen and women weaving blankets or sewing djellabas in the markets.
If you’ve got a passion for history, head for the Roman ruins at Volubilis instead. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you can wander around the ancient Roman forum, hammams, and houses and be transported back into another era.
Another great day trip to do if you’re eager to escape the city is to drive up to Azrou. Here, you’ll find the shady cedar forests, unique to this area of Morocco and home to the Barbary apes.
On Tuesdays, you can visit the weekly souk at Azrou, and there are waterfalls nearby too – just ask the locals for directions.
Day 4: On to Marrakesh!
It’s time to head on to Marrakesh, the famous Red City. You can choose to travel by coach, train, or private transfer.
When you arrive, settle in at your riad or hotel and then venture out to discover Jemaa El Fna – the bustling square at the heart of Marrakesh. Here you’ll see traditional storytellers, henna artists, and musicians, and it’s a great setting-off place to wander the alleyways of the souk.
Aim to be in the square at sunset – climb to one of the rooftop restaurant terraces for a cold drink or more sweet mint tea while you enjoy the panoramic views. As you watch, you’ll see the night-time transformation of the square, as food stalls set up to serve delicious tagines, couscous, kebabs, salads, and more in the square. Take your pick of any of these stalls for a truly atmospheric supper!
Walk down to the Koutoubia Mosque, less than 5 minutes from the square, before calling it a night. It’s the largest mosque in Marrakesh and a spectacular sight when lit up at night.
Day 5: Exploring the Red City: Palaces, Museums, and Gardens
You have a whole day to spend exploring Marrakesh today! Wander through the souk market to see everything from conical towers of spices in every colour, to handmade leather items, delicate jewellery and bright caftans! Spend some time bartering if something really catches your eye.
Make your way to the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a Quranic school dating back to the 14th century and a stunning example of Moroccan architecture – particularly the main courtyard with its intricate mosaic design.
Another place worth visiting is the El Badi Palace, constructed by Sultan Ahmed el Mansur Dhahbi in the 16th century. While much of the majestic palace is in ruins now, you can still walk through the lush gardens, climb to the top of one of the towers, and venture into the underground tunnels which served as the jail.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the bustle, the noise, and the assault on your senses from your day in the medina, finish off the afternoon with a tranquil hour or two at the Jardin Majorelle.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Marrakesh, the Majorelle Gardens still manages to be a calm, beautiful place where you can catch your breath and relax amidst the shady trees and brightly coloured plant pots. The background noise of trickling water and birdsong make this place feel like an oasis in the middle of the city!
Day 6: Visit Essaouira – Town of Arts, Surfers, and Seafood!
If you’re ready for a change, book a day trip to the charming, smaller city of Essaouira. A much more manageable size, it’s perfectly possible to see all Essaouira has to offer in a day, but you’ll be glad you did. With a more laidback vibe than Marrakesh, you can wander the medina and shop without being hassled.
Walk along the ramparts – complete with the original cannons – for gorgeous coastal views and a peak into Essaouira’s past. Next, head down to the harbour late morning and choose some fresh fish or seafood to be grilled up for your lunch.
Spend the afternoon wandering through the charming medina. With a more laidback vibe than Marrakesh, you can shop freely without being hassled.
Day 7: Amazing Moroccan Experiences in Marrakesh
On your last day in Marrakesh, it’s time to experience some truly Moroccan traditions!
If you’re after some pampering and relaxation, you should try visiting the hammam – a combination between a spa and a Turkish bath, locals try to visit at least once every other week. You’ll come out feeling like a brand new person! Les Bain de Marrakesh and Heritage Spa are both popular hammams offering both the traditional scrub-down as well as facials, massages, and other treatments.
Fancy something different? Why not book a cooking tour and lesson to try your hand at some of the best Moroccan dishes? Your guide/chef will take you around the market to buy the fresh ingredients for your meal, and then it’s back to the kitchen to whip up some mouth-watering local delicacies. Marrakech Food Tours (https://marrakechfoodtours.com/tour/) come highly recommended!
Moroccan women celebrate weddings, births, and festivals by adorning their hands and feet with intricate henna tattoos. If you’re interested in getting a henna tattoo yourself, head to the Henna Art Café just a couple of minutes walk from Djemma el Fna.
Day 8: Travel to Ouarzazate and Explore the Surrounding Areas
Hit the road to Ouarzazate, but don’t waste time in the city itself. Instead, visit the CLA film studios and walk the sets where major TV series and blockbuster movies like Game of Thrones and Gladiator were filmed.
Enjoy lunch of tagine or coucous served with salads, delicious dips, and warm, freshly baked bread. The old kasbahs-turned-restaurants provide the perfect setting, overlooking the date palm oases you find in the area.
Next, drive out to the stunning Ait Ben Haddou kasbah. If you can, time your visit to this impressive kasbah to coincide with sunset, as it makes a spectacular backdrop. Although no longer home to anyone, you’ll easily be able to imagine what living in this historical kasbah would have been like.
Day 9: Spend the Night in the Sahara Desert
Next, it’s time to drive down to M’hamid. Stop on the way at the Berber village of Amazrou and exploring the gardens and Jewish kasbah, or enjoying a spot of birdwatching at the El Mansour Eddahbi dam.
You’ll set out from M’hamid in 4x4s, switching to travel the last lag on majestic camels to your luxury camp in the desert. Settle down and relax – enjoy some traditional mint tea and Moroccan sweets whilst drinking in the calm.
As the day draws to an end, you’ll be met with magnificent views of the stunning sunset. Later on, you’ll see the stars as you’ve never seen them before – in such breath-taking clarity, no wonder they call this an experience of a lifetime.
Make sure you take an extra warm layer, as even (or especially) in the desert, the temperature drops rapidly at night.
Day 10: Watch the Sunrise Over the Sands – Travel to Taghazout
It’s worth waking up early so you don’t miss the unforgettable sight of the sun rising over the rolling dunes. After an indulgent breakfast, it’s time for some more camel riding and desert exploration – or maybe you fancy trying your hand at sand surfing?
After lunch, it’s time to wave goodbye to the Sahara desert and head to your next destination: Taghazout.
Day 12: Beach Day in Taghazout
By now, you’re probably ready for a short break from travelling (and rest your aching muscles after those camel rides!). Enjoy a laidback, relaxing day in the surfer paradise that is Taghazout. The cute little restaurants on the bay serve delicious meals, offering Moroccan and international cuisine.
Sign up for some surf lessons, or just spend the day soaking in the sun while you bask in the amazing memories you’ve been making.
Day 12: Day Trip to Taroudant and Tioute
Today, split the day between the historic, pretty town of Taroudant and the Berber oasis village, Tioute.
Taroudant is a small but impressive walled city, often referred to as Little Marrakesh. Set against the stunning Atlas mountains and ringed by sturdy ramparts all around the city, visiting Taroudant is like opening a window into the real Morocco.
Taroudant is small enough to walk around, but if you’re feeling weary, hire a ‘caleche’ or horse and carriage to ride through the city in style. Enjoy a fresh orange juice in the square as you take in the general hustle and bustle.
You can enjoy wandering the souks and the medina without being hassled, and see the highly skilled artisans at work, creating high-quality products such as leather slippers, detailed handmade and embroidered clothes, and intricate silver jewellery.
Spend the afternoon in Tioute, an authentic Berber village in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas mountains. Climb to the 16th century kasbah-turned-restaurant at the top of the hill overlooking Tioute, enjoying a spectacular meal of lemon and chicken tagine, followed by lamb and vegetable couscous. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views while you eat.
Hire donkeys or just stroll through the green oasis, resplendent with cultivated gardens and date palms, before heading back to your hotel.
Day 13: Back to Marrakesh
Travel back to Marrakesh, seeing the landscape of argan and olive trees slip by as you return to the Red City. Spend this day however you like – maybe some more sightseeing and shopping, or just a quiet afternoon on the sunny terrace of your riad with a good book.
Day 14: Your Last Morning in Morocco
Enjoy a leisurely, long breakfast in the sunshine on the roof terrace if you can – this is especially worth doing if you have a panoramic view out over the rooftops of Marrakesh. Indulge yourself in the aromatic Moroccan coffee, the fresh mint tea, the rich pastries.
Reminisce on all the amazing places you’ve traveled to over the past two weeks – the delicious foods, the bustle of the cities, and the contrasting calm of the Moroccan countryside, whether it be the mountains, the coastal areas, or the desert.
5 Days in Morocco
If you only have 5 days to spend in Morocco, you can still have an amazing experience and get the most out of this beautiful country.
For this itinerary, we recommend that you fly into and out of Marrakesh, to reduce your travel time once you’ve arrived. Marrakesh will be your base, but you’ll also get to explore the Atlas mountains and the coast during your trip.
Day 1: Get to Know Marrakesh
There’s so much to see in Marrakesh, especially in the old medina where you’ll spend most of your time. Explore the winding alleyways of the souk – allow yourself to get a little bit lost, it’s all part of the experience. The locals will be friendly enough to direct you to where you need to go. Barter for gifts or souvenirs – never pay the first price you’re quoted!
Some other amazing sights to see include the Bahia Palace, the Ben Youssef Medersa, and the Saadian tombs. Finish off the day at Djemma el Fna – eat at one of the market stalls or climb to a restaurant terrace to watch the sun set.
The Koutoubia Mosque and gardens are just a few hundred metres away and worth a visit; they look particularly impressive when lit up against the night sky.
Day 2: Hike the Atlas Mountains
It’s time to get out of the city! Book a guided hike in the Atlas mountains, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over the mountain peaks the surrounding countryside. Enjoy a hearty meal prepared in the traditional way by local Berbers and experience their generous hospitality.
You can choose to either spend the night in the mountains, perhaps with a Berber homestay or in one of the local auberges, or return to Marrakesh in the late afternoon/evening.
Day 3: True Moroccan Experiences
To heighten your stay in Morocco, why not try a traditional experience or two as a window into the culture? Visit a local hammam and indulge in a scrub and massage, or take a cooking class and prepare some tasty dishes. Check out our Marrakesh section above for more details!
Day 4: Escape to the coastal Town of Essaouira
Essaouira is a small but charming, artsy town on the coast, just an hour’s drive from Marrakesh. It traditionally draws surfers and hippies but it’s become a popular tourist spot.
Enjoy the chilled-out vibe as you wander the medina, walk the ramparts, and visit the harbour. The restaurants along the beach front are the perfect spot to watch the sun set. You can spend the night here or head back to Marrakesh late in the day.
Day 5: Marrakesh: Palaces, Gardens, and Camel Rides
While you can visit the Sahara in just 5 days, most of your time would be spent in a car on long journeys. If you’re set on it, check out our recommendations above.
However, you can recreate the experience (almost) right here in Marrakesh. Head out to La Palmeraie on the outskirts of the city for a camel ride. For thrill-seekers, you can opt to go quad biking instead! The dusty landscape and the palm trees are convincingly similar to the desert, but with the advantage of being able to retreat to your boutique hotel at the end of the day.
After your busy morning, spend the afternoon in the tranquil Majorelle Gardens – the perfect way to round off your trip to Morocco.
Adaptations to the Short Morocco Route
If you’re not interested in hiking the Atlas mountains of visiting Essaouira, you could start your trip in Fes, visit Chefchaouen, and then finish up in Marrakesh. This tour would give you an interesting insight to major Moroccan cities, the historical Arab city of Fes compared to Marrakesh with its strong Berber roots.
Alternatively, start in Marrakesh for a day or two, and then head down to the desert for a night spent in the dunes. Watch the sunrise and then return to Marrakesh via Taroudant, Taghazout, or Essaouira. This trip includes several long journeys and is really only do-able if you have a private guide and car – but you will go home with wonderful memories.
The Wrap Up
If you’re planning your next trip to Morocco, you’re sure to get the most out of your trip with our ultimate Morocco itineraries. From exploring the fascinating cities of Fes and Marrakesh, to hiking the Atlas mountains and visiting the incredible Sahara desert, Morocco has so much to offer. Whether you’ll be staying for 5 days or 2 weeks or anywhere in between, your holiday in Morocco should be a trip to remember for a lifetime!
I hope you’ve found our ultimate guide to travelling Morocco helpful! Leave us your comments or questions below – we love to hear from you. If you’ve been to Morocco before, what was your favourite place to visit? Or if it’s still on your bucket list, where would you most like to go?
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New Zealand travel photographer based in London, UK. He was taking photos from a very young age in the backcountry of New Zealand before moving abroad. Since doing so he has taken workshops and tried to help get as many people into this art as possible. Featured in NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz and many photography publications it’s safe to say he loves his photography!