Knowing more about Morocco’s climate, holidays, and festivals can help you decide the best time for your visit.
Rabat – With Morocco’s coastline, mountains, and desert landscapes, the climate can change from one region to another, so determining the best time to travel to Morocco can be very helpful in planning your trip.
Morocco is a diverse country, from its Atlas Mountains, different beaches, and Sahara desert, to its various intriguing cultures, historic cities, languages, and delightful food. The climate in Morocco is different from one region to another and one season to the next.
The seasons are very similar to those in other parts of the northern hemisphere. Generally speaking, the best times to visit can be April and May or September to November. At these times, it is not too hot or too cold, and there are not many tourists in the country or many holidays.
Winters can dip below freezing temperatures with winter storms in the mountains, while summers are harshest in the desert.
When choosing the right time to visit Morocco, keep in mind the weather you feel most comfortable traveling in and the places you want to visit in the country.
For adventurers who enjoy spending time hiking and exploring waterfalls, spring may present the best travel experience in Morocco. Akchour, Morocco. Photo: Perri Huggins / Morocco World News
Spring in Morocco is when the snow and rainy days become rare, besides the peaks of the mountains and the chilly seas. The sun shines and the flowers bloom with the warm and dry weather. The temperature varies between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius but can also rise to 25 degrees Celsius, depending on the region.
March is the start of Morocco’s spring. It can be sunny sometimes and then cold at other times. It is best to pack clothes in anticipation of unpredictable weather. March is perfect for outdoor activities such as sightseeing, hiking, biking, and surfing. Many outdoor adventurers see spring as the best time to travel to Morocco.
During March, the annual International Nomads Festival occurs in M’Hamid El Ghizlane, a desert oasis city in the southern province of Zagora. It brings musicians from all around the world to perform in concerts alongside Moroccan artists.
In April, the temperature rises up to 25 to 27 degrees Celsius and the landscapes are green. April weather is perfect for visiting attractions, museums, palaces, and monuments because it won’t be too hot to walk around the cities. April is also an excellent month to hike the Atlas mountain ranges and explore the Sahara desert because of its moderate temperatures.
In May, the weather starts getting even warmer and sunnier. The first week of May sees the Rose Festival take place in Kelaat M’Gouna. The central Moroccan town is famous for its landscapes of pink roses that locals use to produce soap, perfumes, and beauty products. This month is a good time to visit the imperial cities of Morocco and its medinas and souks, because they take quite a while to explore and visiting them fully in the summer months can cause fatigue.
Moroccan Gnaoua maalem Hamid El Kasri shares the stage with Brooklyn-based jazz fusion collective Snarky Puppy at Gnaoua World Music Festival 2018. Essaouira, Morocco. Photo: Perri Huggins/Morocco World News
Summer months in Morocco are quite hot, especially in the southern regions. The cities are the most crowded, with foreign tourists and Moroccans on their summer vacation.
June is when the weather starts getting hotter and is the perfect opportunity to visit coastal regions. Coastal cities such as Essaouira and Tangier are great June destinations because they are still a bit cooler than other cities in Morocco.
June is perhaps the best time to travel to Morocco for outdoor music festival-goers. Mawazine music festival is held in Rabat, where musicians, both international and local, perform in open concerts for five days on a number of stages throughout the city. The Gnaoua Music Festival takes place in Essaouira to celebrate the Gnaoua heritage.
In July the temperature rises to 45 degrees Celsius in some cities. This makes it the best time to enjoy Morocco’s beaches and relax at the pool. It is a great time of year to go sightseeing in the evening or at night, when the medinas come to life and light shines from lanterns and chandeliers.
The exciting Timitar Music Festival occurs in July in the beach city of Agadir. Artists from around the world celebrate and promote the Amazigh (Berber) culture.
August, like July, is a very hot month when most Moroccans like to relax at the beach and enjoy the rest of their summer vacation. Cities such as Tangier, Essaouira, Fnideq, and Martil are best visited during this month for warm beach waters and a cool atmosphere.
August is also when the Moussem of Moulay Abdellah Amghar occurs. It is a religious and folklore festival with art and fantasia performances. Over 500,000 Moroccans and foreign visitors gather each year to witness and enjoy the traditional arts.
Those who enjoy a crisp and beautiful coastal view may find October the best time to visit Morocco. Tangier, Morocco. Photo: Perri Huggins / Morocco World News
Fall in Morocco is always lovely. Its cooler temperatures and dry atmosphere make it an ideal time to visit Moroccan cities, mountains, the desert, as well as the beaches.
In September the days are still warm with temperatures that rise to 33 degrees Celsius. The coastal cities and beaches are not as busy during this period, when summer vacation ends, which makes it even more convenient to travel to them.
The traditional Imilchil Wedding Festival occurs in September in the small village of Imilchil, in the High Atlas Mountains. Neighboring Amazigh tribes celebrate marriages between the tribes with music, dance, and food. Additionally, the Oasis Music Festival is held in September in Marrakech and features electronic music.
In October, the climate starts to gradually change and the temperature starts to drop even more. The weather is nice for hiking and exploring smaller villages in the country. The Guetna festival is held in Erfoud, an oasis village near Ouarzazate. Villagers celebrate the harvest of dates, which are a symbol of the oasis, with dance and music performances.
November is when Morocco starts getting cold, with rainy days and sometimes even snow. Cities such as Tangier, Fez, Tetouan, and Asilah are great destinations for this weather and their beaches are beautiful, though chilly, this time of year. You will also get to explore many historic attractions in these cities, such as the Hercules Cave in Tangier.
Winter months in Morocco are quiet and cold. In the south, the temperature is quite mild in the day and drops at night. The north is windy and rainy, while the Atlas Mountains become extremely cold and covered with snow. When visiting Morocco during winter, it is important to pack warmer clothes.
In December, the weather gets even colder, especially in northern cities and small villages where it snows. It is also the time of the festival of Tan-Tan Moussem. Over 30 tribes from around Morocco come together to celebrate, indulging in activities such as camel races, dancing, and exchanging stories.
December is also the month of the annual Marrakech International Film Festival. Hundreds of films screen for festival-goers, and film artists and creators receive awards.
January is a less busy month, with fewer tourists and Moroccans traveling. Morocco gets only one day as a holiday to celebrate the new year. Moroccans like to celebrate the night either at home with their families and friends or at parties and celebrations organized across the country.
February is cold and snowy in some cities in Morocco but it starts getting a bit warmer in the afternoon. The best destinations during this month are ski resorts, either in the beautiful snow-covered and European-style town Ifrane or at the Oukaimeden resort near Marrakech. Many winter sports lovers may find February the best time to travel to Morocco.
February is when the Almond Blossom Festival is held in Tafraoute, Tiznit province. You can see all kinds of almonds in the place where the best almond-based products are made.
There are many important holidays in Morocco that you should consider before visiting the country. There are holidays where Moroccans only take one or two days off, while others can take up to a week. Depending on whether you intend to participate, a holiday could represent either the best time for you to travel to Morocco, or a time to be wary of heavy traffic and potential closures.
During several of these holidays, institutions, restaurants, and shops are closed. During Ramadan, all restaurants are closed during the day, with a few exceptions. They only open after ftour, the meal where Muslims break their fast after sunset.
Holidays with consistent dates are Labor Day on May 1, Throne Day on July 30, the Anniversary of the Oued ed-Dahab Recovery on August 14, King Mohammed VI’s birthday on August 20, the Green March anniversary on November 6, and Independence Day on November 18.
The dates of Islamic holidays vary, based on the lunar calendar. Eid al Fitr comes at the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Adha is a three-day observance, Fatih Muharram is the first day of the Islamic year, and Al Milad Nabawi celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
Visiting Morocco Can be a gratifying and delightful experience for anyone. However, not everyone enjoys all seasons of the year, so plan to travel to Morocco when you will most enjoy the trip.
You also might want to account for the dates of festivals and celebrations if you are interested in learning about Morocco’s heritage and culture.
Taking notes from this list should help facilitate your decision-making regarding the best time for you to travel to Morocco and where you want to go during your visit.