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When is the Best Time to Visit Morocco?

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Medina at Night, Fes, Morocco

Medina at Night, Fes

Getty Images/Robert Harding
Question: When is the Best Time to Visit Morocco?
Answer: The best time to visit Morocco depends a little on what you plan to do and see while there. If you want to see a selection of main attractions like Marrakech or Fes, then the best time to go is April to early June, and September through November. The climate is mild and the number of tourists are lower. However, you do then miss some of the excellent cultural festivals that take place during the busy summer months. Information and tips about Morocco's weather, festivals and activities follow below.

Morocco's Weather
It's hot and sunny for most of the year in Morocco. During the peak summer months it gets uncomfortably hot especially in Marrakech, Fes and southwest Morocco, towards the desert. Tangier, Rabat and Essaouira are a bit more comfortable in the peak of summer because they benefit from a cooler ocean breeze. Despite the heat, this is the most popular time to visit Morocco, since it coincides with the European summer vacation. Moroccans also take their vacation during the summer months, and usually head for the cooler coast.

Winters (November to February) are generally mild although temperatures at night can get down to the 40's Fahrenheit (10 C). A dusting of snow is not unusual in Northern Morocco and of course the Atlas Mountains get a lot of snow. You can even ski in Oukaimeden just outside of Marrakech. Winters in the north of the country and along the coast can be quite wet. Winters in the south are drier but colder, especially at night.

Click here for average temperature charts and more climate information.

Best Time to Go Trekking in the Atlas Mountains
The best time to trek is April - May, but you can trek year round. The weather is unpredictable in the Atlas Mountains and obviously it depends on what elevation you're planning to get to. The High Atlas Mountains have a typical mountain climate with very cold winters (November to March) and cool but sunny summers. The Middle Atlas Mountains get a lot of rainfall, especially from November to February. Summer temperatures average around 72-78 Fahrenheit (25 C) and winter temperatures can get as low as -4 Fahrenheit (-20 C). More about trekking the Atlas mountains...

Best Time to Go to the Beach and Surf
Morocco's beaches are best during the summer months when the temperatures are cooler than inland, yet warm enough to warm up the Atlantic ocean. But this is also tourist high season, so make sure you book well in advance, especially if you plan on visiting Essaouira or Agadir.

Morocco has long attracted surfers to its Atlantic breakers. A popular time to surf is during the winter months when swells are consistently good and the water and air temperatures are still quite mild.

Best Time to Visit the Sahara Desert
If you're planning a trip to the Sahara Desert it's best to hop on a camel during the fall or early spring. Temperatures average around 115 Fahrenheit (45 C) during the summer and it's obviously dry as a bone. Nights in the desert do get much colder however and you'll need a good jacket even if you're sweltering during the day. During March and April you have a good chance of dealing with sandstorms as the Sirocco whips up.

Best Time to Enjoy Morocco's Festivals
Many of Morocco's major festivals take place in June and July. These include the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, and the Gnawa World Music Festival held in Essaouira. Ramadan is also a festive time to be in Morocco, although during the day things can be a little quiet. Find out when Ramadan is, and more information about Morocco's festivals.

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