14 best places you should visit in Morocco

Nov 20, 2021

Morocco is a gateway to Africa and only step away from Europe. You will find epic mountain ranges, ancient cities, sweeping deserts – and warm hospitality.

1- Sahara Desert

A unique place with majestic landscapes that will appeal to lovers of nature and wide open spaces. Some of these dunes reach up to 150 meters in height, and the colors seen from above are striking, especially at sunrise and sunset. Trekkings and expeditions to explore this natural wonder start from the village of Merzouga. Led by an experienced guide, the first option (and the least degrading for this fragile environment) is to get there on the back of a camel. For day and night wonder, we strongly recommend spending a night in a bivouac. Enjoy your night with the sound of music around the campfire. To know more about what you could do in the Sahara Desert, make sure to read our article dedicated to the Sahara.

Tip : Make sure to spend at least 2 nights in the Sahara Desert, definitely worth it !

Enjoying the sunset in Sahara

2 – Atlas Mountains

Morocco is a country with very varied landscapes. Between dunes and beaches, the relief is also marked by the Atlas mountain range in the northern part of the country. The High Atlas region is the highest peaks in North Africa. It offers incredibly rich landscapes and will satisfy hiking and trekking lovers. Between green forests and arid valleys, snow-capped ridges and vast plateaus, the region is dotted with roads and paths allowing you to discover another side of Morocco, off the beaten track. Among the must-see places, the Ourika Valley, near Marrakech, plunges visitors into the heart of raw nature, meeting the Berber tribes. The Atlas region also has important national parks such as Toukbal and Souss-Massa. The latter is home to the M’Goun massif. Further south in the part called Anti-Atlas, there are still pleasant hiking trails accessible from the city of Taroudant. Here, the High Mountain has given way to oases, agricultural fields, torrents and waterfalls.

 

3 – Marrakech

Both traditional and contemporary, Marrakech seduces with its many facets. Facing the Atlas Mountains, the city and its various neighborhoods are full of treasures. Alternately vibrant and calm, electric and serene, there is something for everyone. Whether you stroll around the picturesque alleys of the Medina, visit the historic city center guarded by the ramparts, get to the lush gardens of Majorelle and Menara, you will get seduced. Further north, the Palm Grove is suitable for bike trips or camel rides.

Located in the center of the Medina, Jemaa El Fna Square, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, is the meeting place for locals and tourists. Always buzzing, day and night, this vast market place is home to merchants and itinerant traders.

Visit the Koutoubia, the iconic minaret of Marrakech that can be seen from miles away. A few steps from the Jemaa El Fna square, the tall silhouette of the minaret is easily recognizable, and served in particular as a model for the famous Giralda in Seville.

Another essential stopover on a first visit to Marrakech is the Majorelle Garden. A bubble of greenery and serenity in the middle of the city bustle. A haven of peace where you stroll through exotic vegetation, between fountains, lily ponds, and flowering shrubs. It is not for nothing that the famous French fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent fell in love with it, and decided to acquire it in 1980 with his companion Pierre Bergé. The garden also houses a memorial dedicated to the artist, and adjoining the garden is the museum dedicated to the work of Yves Saint-Laurent. Since 2011, there is also a museum dedicated to Berber culture, located in the heart of the Majorelle garden.

Away from the busy city of Marrakech, take a ride to La Ménara. A vast olive grove spanning more than 100 hectares, offers Marrakchis and tourists an oasis of freshness in the L’Hivernage district, located outside the ramparts. Much less touristy than Majorelle, the place is ideal for a romantic picnic, or a nature walk with the family. We take the time to stroll along the peaceful central basin, while contemplating the superb panorama of the peaks of the Atlas.

So many things to do in Marrakech and outside of the buzzling city. For more inside experiences, please check out our article dedicated to Marrakech.

Tip : Treat yourselves with a moment of relaxation in a traditional Moroccan hammam. On the program, the ritual of the steam bath and the black soap scrub. You will come out with softer skin than a baby’s.

Majorelle Garden in Marrakech Morocco

4 – Bin El Ouidane

Nestled in the heart of the Atlas, Lake Bin el Ouidane is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and beautiful landscapes in Morocco. In the province of Azilal, is the superb Bin el Ouidane lake. Located 3h drive from Marrakech, it is in fact the reservoir of the dam of the same name. This immense body of water covers nearly 4,000 hectares and is perched at an altitude of over 800 meters – making it the highest lake in Africa. Mixing the blue of the crystal clear water, the ocher of the surrounding land and the green of the olive trees of the region, the landscape of Lake Bin el Ouidane is breathtaking.

 

5 – Chefchaouen

This city is the postcard from Morocco. Located in the northeast of the country, this mountain village is intriguing with its blue color that covers all the walls of the houses. A stroll in the narrow streets of Chefchaouen will transport you in an imaginary country, between change of scenery and enchantment. In the heart of the medina, the small winding streets are dotted with artisanal fabrics, herbs and spices, woven baskets and other handicrafts. This welcoming village also has several historical monuments that can be visited. The central place Outa El-Hammam planted with trees is the daily meeting place for tourists and locals. Contemplate there from one of the terraces the old Kasbah while sipping your Moroccan tea. For nature lover complete your experience with national park of Akchour. 

Fun fact : Blue reflects the sun’s rays, keeping homes cool. Copper sulphate mixed with lime gives this indigo color which also helps keep insects away. Clever!

 

6 – Draa Valley

Starting from Ouarzazate, the Drâa Valley stretches for 200 km in a long fertile land in the middle of arid land, where Berber villages, historic fortifications, oases and palm groves sprinkled with waterfalls follow one another. Between the towns of Agdz and M’Hamid via Zagora, several routes are possible for trekking to discover the varied landscapes of the valley close by the Wadi Drâa, the longest river in Morocco. But the region is also dotted with Kasbahs and Palaces witnessing its historical past. Make sure to stop by Agdz to visit the Kasbah of Caïd Ali, or in the surrounding villages of Timidert, Tinzoulin.

7 – Fez

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful imperial cities in Morocco that kept its authentic atmosphere and architecture. The old town, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an important cultural heritage, shared between traditional souks, museums and medersas (Koranic schools).

Its fortified Medina, the largest in the Maghreb, housing most of the city’s cultural institutions. In the Bab Jou-Jeloud district, accessible by the superb door of the same name, you will be able to stroll through the medieval alleys, pass in front of the sublime ornaments of the medersa Bou Inania, discover the Karaouyine mosque, the one of the oldest and most prestigious in the Muslim world, or visit the Bar Batah museum, dedicated to the arts and traditions of the city.

For more curious ones, make sure to visit the manufacture of leather which is an ancestral art in Morocco. You will be able to observe the manufacturing process of this fabric. A real show orchestrated in the style of a ballet: drying of skins, tanning, hanging, coloring in the vats, until their final version in the shops of leather goods.

Tip : Make sure to cover your nostrils with fresh mint leaves to avoid the strong smell from the leather fabric.

8 – Meknes

On the road to the imperial cities of Morocco, Meknes is one of the unmissable stops on this circuit. Founded in the 8th century, the city surrounded by ramparts and monumental gates has unique architecture and historical heritage from the greatest Moroccan dynasties. A heritage that has earned it a UNESCO World Heritage List. For wine lovers, make sure to visit the winery of Chateau Roslane. 700 hectares of vineyards, and attractive gardens filled with blossoms and fountains. There are also several indoor-seating areas with traditional-Moroccan designs and décor. Visitors can see how the grapes are processed and turned into wine in addition to, of course, tasting locally-made wines. Besides producing several premium wines, including “Cru” White and Red, the winery creates a fair-trade wine, which benefits the local community.

Fun fact : Morocco is now the second-largest wine-producing country in the Arab world following Algeria.

9 – Essaouira

A pretty seaside resort in the Atlantic, Essaouira enjoys a sunny climate all year round makes it possible to enjoy its superb beaches. Due to the sometimes strong winds that blow regularly on the coastline, swimming is not always quiet, but the city is undoubtedly a paradise for surfers and other water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. In fact, in Essaouira the kitesurfing world cup is organized every year. The city is also known for its bright white Medina, the historic city center surrounded by ramparts and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The imposing ramparts encircling the medina of ancient Mogador were built in the 18th century to protect the city from foreign invasions. Flanked by four large gates, you can walk along this great stone wall, where there are still cannons turned towards the sea. This is the ideal place to contemplate the sunset with the view of the harbor.

Fun fact : The mystic vibe of this Moroccan city was the perfect setting for a pseudo-medieval show Game of Thrones.

10 – Casablanca

Considered the economic capital of Morocco, Casablanca offers different interesting attractions that you can visit. Dynamic and cosmopolitan, the city mixes Arab and European influences. On the one hand, the Moorish architecture, on the other, the Art Deco style. On the shopping side, there are two schools: the traditional central market, or the Morocco Mall, considered as the largest ultra-modern shopping center in Africa. In addition to its historic city center, the city also has a major business center. Night life in Casablanca is very busy and you can choose between the trendy bars, restaurants, and clubs where to party until the early hours of the morning. The Hassan II mosque is the must-see monument in Casablanca. Built partially on the sea, the impressive edifice seems to float on the water. Large religious and cultural complex of 9 hectares, the mosque can boast of holding more than one record. It is indeed one of the largest mosques on the planet, and its minaret with a height of 210 meters, and meanwhile the highest Africa. Its traditional-looking architecture is actually a gem of technology designed with a sunroof.

Tip : This is one of the only mosque open for non muslims. Make sure to check opening hours before you go then make sure to visit the Museum and the library.

11 – Ouarzazate

At the gateway to the desert, where the Drâa and Dades valleys meet, Ouarzazate is located on a vast rocky plateau, dotted with small oases and flamboyant red villages. Bathed in light all year round, the city with golden reflections is regularly used as a backdrop for film productions. Several cult films such as Gladiator, Laurence of Arabia, Babel, or even Asterix, Mission Cleopatra have been filmed here, transforming the city into a true Moroccan Hollywood. But beyond the film studios, Ouarzazate is home to important historical sites, including its many Kasbahs. Four centuries old, the Taourirt Kasbah is the emblem of the city. One of the very first large-scale Berber constructions, the Kasbah looks like a sand castle with its high walls and crenellated towers, except that its foundations seem indestructible. Overlooking the medina of Ouarzazate, it is possible to visit the richly decorated interior once inhabited by a high dignitary of Morocco. The cultural interest of the Taourirt Kasbah is such that the monument has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fun fact : The Kasbah of Taourirt is the monument that we see represented on the 50 dirham banknotes.

 

12 – Rabat

Built on the Atlantic coast and on the banks of the Bouregreg river, the capital of Morocco has everything to please: kilometers of coastline alternating between sandy beaches and rocky coves, unspoiled nature suitable for hiking, and a cultural heritage marked by the influences of the different civilizations that participated in the construction and development of the city. Protected by an impressive fortified wall, the medina of Rabat is home to several must-see historical sites classified as UNESCO World Heritage as cultural goods. But the city also aims to be modern with the construction of a new European-style district.

13 – Agadir

Located on the Atlantic coast in the south of Morocco, Agadir is acclaimed for its beautiful bay and its large sandy. Sunny most of the year, it is the must-see seaside resort that has attracted more and more visitors for a few years now, as evidenced by the many hotels that grow near the coast. But Agadir is not just limited to lazing on the beaches. Ravaged by an earthquake in 1960, the city was completely rebuilt and now displays a resolutely modern face. Looking to the future, Agadir lives not only on tourism, but also on commerce thanks to its port, the most important in the country. Make sure to visit the Kasbah, built during the reign of King Mohammed Ech-Sheikh in the 16th century, was once used to protect the city from invasions, a city that was then located inside the ramparts. Today, more houses, one can only admire the surrounding walls, and the doors rebuilt identically. The site culminating at 236 meters also allows to appreciate a beautiful point of view on the port and the bay of Agadir. There are so many activities and natural parks to visit around Agadir, you will be impressed. Have a look into our article dedicated to Agadir.

14- Dakhla

At the edge of the Atlantic, the city of Dakhla is located on a 40 km long peninsula. A true haven of peace between lagoon and ocean, Dakhla has the most beautiful landscapes of the southern Moroccan coast. You can enjoy swimming and fishing, walks and sports activities. Small port with simple charm, it was built during the colonial period on the mouth of Oued Eddahab, the river of gold. A major cultural meeting place, the city of Dakhla has definitively affirmed its vocation as a fishing port and a world surfing spot. You can also take a little sea trip to meet dolphins and sea turtles.

Morocco is a quiet diverse country, it’s hardly possible to put everything in one blog article. Contact us today to help build an itinerary that meets your needs and goes beyond your expectations.

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