Desert, Sand dunes and camels

Morocco is such a captivating place, with so many beautiful places to visit and explore. With the expert help of our travel community, we have compiled some of the most amazing places you need to add to your trip to Morocco with a personal touch. All of our suggestions are personally visited by those who love to explore Morocco. You will discover the beautiful desserts of Morocco, the charming and bustling cities, the offbeat hidden gems of Morocco and the picturesque towns.

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Visit the Blue Town of Chefchaouen 

Chefchaouen, often referred to as the “Blue Pearl of Morocco” is a picturesque town located in the Rif Mountains and must be on your list for a trip to Morocco

The small village, approximately 110 kilometres southeast of Tangier, is famous for its distinctive blue-washed buildings. Travellers flock to Chefchaouen to explore the winding, narrow streets in the blue medina. Adorned with colourful flower pots, and traditional Moroccan rugs hanging on the walls, the town’s medina is a labyrinth where beauty awaits around every turn. 

In the heart of the media, the souk market is a great place to shop for some unique souvenirs, including handmade textiles, ceramics, spices, and dyes. Be sure to haggle, as prices in Morocco are always negotiable. 

Beyond its mesmerizing aesthetics, there are lots of fun things to do in Chefchaouen. For a cultural experience, visit the historic Kasbah, a fortress dating back to the 15th century, which now houses a museum showcasing local art and artefacts. 

The Kasbah Museum is located in the central Plaza Uta, where you’ll find street performers, musicians, and local vendors selling their goods. Overlooking the plaza, Aladdin is a great restaurant where you can try authentic Moroccan cuisine. 

Be sure to take a sunset hike up to the old Spanish Mosque. The tiny mosque overlooks the town, and from it you get sweeping panoramic views of the blue medina and surrounding Rif Mountains. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes, as the walk up to the mosque can take about 45 minutes from the centre of the small medina. 

For the most authentic Moroccan experience, book your stay in a traditional riad, like Riad Hicham or Dar Dadicilef. 

Finally, just outside the town, the surrounding Rif Mountains offer hiking trails that lead to waterfalls and natural swimming pools, making the Chefchaouen a gateway to outdoor adventures in Morocco.

Melissa from Parenthood and Passports

Don’t know where to stay in Chefchaouen?

Book an accomodation early here and travel with peace of mind.

Agafay Desert

The Agafay desert, just an hour south of the bustling city of Marrakech, stands out as one of the best places to visit in Morocco. This hidden gem offers a fantastic alternative for those in search of a unique desert experience without the lengthy trek to the Sahara. 

Nicknamed the ‘lunar desert,’ Agafay’s pale rocky plateaus and vast, dry plains set it apart from the more well-known sandy desert landscapes.

If you’re visiting Marrakech, reaching the Agafay desert is a breeze, with the easiest way to visit being by booking a tour or hiring a private driver. Tour costs from Marrakech can range between £15 – £240, depending on your group size and any additional activities such as quad biking or a sunset dinner that you may wish to include.

I highly recommend booking an overnight stay at one of the desert camps. During the day, guests can lounge by the pool sipping Moroccan mint tea or go quad-biking over the rocky dunes. Evenings at the camps offer a magical experience, with guests enjoying dinner by a campfire while gazing at the stars.

Desert camps cater to various budgets and there are plenty for you to choose from. Selina provides a more budget-friendly choice, offering private glamping tents or shared ‘dorm’ tents. For a more luxurious experience, Scarabeo stands out, providing tents with a fireplace and a private bathroom. Whichever you decide, you should book somewhere with a pool to help with the desert heat!

While the desert camps offer on-site dining and some tours do include lunch, one of the best places to eat is Olivar, known for its amazing food and stunning views over the desert and Atlas Mountains.

Recommended by Charlie from She Roams The Globe

Tangier

The gorgeous Moroccan town of Tangier is located on Morocco’s north coast, on the Strait of Gibraltar, some 30 km from the south coast of Spain. I visited Tangier for the day from Tarifa in southern Spain recently and absolutely fell in love with the city.

It’s simple to take a day trip to Tangier from Tarifa as there are two ferry companies that make multiple crossings every day. Just be sure to check your passport requirements as this day trip does involve leaving both the EU and the Schengen Region.  

Once in Tangier, Morocco, we walked from the port into the old city. This is an easy walk: just leave the port and walk straight towards the Muraille de Tanger (the Tangier Walls) and the Old Medina (old town of Tangier). Once we arrived here we decided to let ourselves get joyfully lost in the gorgeous narrow and pedestrianised streets of Old Tangier, the Grand Socco and Petit Socco (Large and Small Souks/Markets). As we shopped for souvenirs, we chatted with local vendors about their wares, politics, and life in general. 

Of course, you can’t visit Morocco and not eat Moroccan food. As we explored we bought fresh bread, dates filled with walnuts, fresh fruit and more. And as lunchtime arrived we found ourselves a small, local restaurant to enjoy a tagine.

Another imperative in Morocco is mint tea: we had planned to visit the Phoenician tombs and to drink our mint tea at Cafe Hafa but time got in the way so instead we sat on the Place Petit Socco and watched the world go by with our cups of sugary mint tea before carrying on strolling through the adorable narrow streets of Tangier. 

Another site people love to visit is the Cave of Hercules – where the ancient Roman/Green hero supposedly rested. What’s particularly fun here is that the cave’s opening looks exactly like the shape of the African continent. 

As our day in Tangier came to a close we headed back to the port for our ferry ride home to Spain. What an incredible day trip, from one continent to another!

Cassie from Mexico Cassie

Do you need a SIM card with data in Morroco?

Buy an international SIM card with data and it receive home before your travel.

The charming town of Essaouira

Located along the Moroccan coastline 3 hours east of Marrakesh is the town of Essaouira. This walled city is full of artistic charm, local culture with a much more relaxed vibe than that of other Moroccan towns. Essaouira the “Windy City of Africa” is a beautiful town known for its galleries and boutique stalls. Make sure to visit the Gallery Kasbah and other silver stalls located on the outskirts of town. 

To get to Essaouira you can fly from most large cities into Essaouira Mogador Airport which is around a 20-minute drive out of Essaouira itself. There is no train station in Essaouira so if you were coming from Marrakesh you would need to book on a coach which usually departs once a day or a private taxi. For a private taxi to pay a minimum of €80 for a private transfer from Marrakech to Essaouira. If that doesn’t seem like something you would enjoy, why not try a A Coastal Tour of Morocco which includes Essaouiraas part of the itinerary.

When you arrive in Essaouira, if you are staying inside the walls someone from the hotel will usually come help you bring your bags into the city as your transport is not allowed inside. 

The main attraction in Essaouira is the outdoor activities brought about by the wind in the area as well as the sandy beaches of the surrounding coastline. If surfing or windsurfing is for you there are several surf groups in town who will take you to the day’s best surf spots around the area. 

Perhaps surfing and the coastline isn’t for you. Essaouira is also well known for its artsy vibe and relaxed scene through the area. Enjoy wandering through the towns Medina where local handmade crafts are available to purchased direct from the artists themselves. After that, head to the port to watch the local fishermen bring in the catch of the day and if you’re feeling hungry they will BBQ it for you. From here you can enjoy a walk around the city’s walls and along its beautiful coastline. 

If you are wanting to unwind and relax then make sure to check out the local Hammams or enjoy a local yoga class (usually offered in English and French). 

There are lots of options to eat and drink in Essaouira. For sunset drinks try Beach and Friends before heading to The Loft restaurant for some delicious food. After that, go to Le Club Essaouira for those late-night drinks and dancing. 

Recommended by Aimee from Our Salt souls

Safi

Safi, an industrial town sitting in between Casablanca and Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, is rarely on the tourist radar. However, there are some wonderful experiences and things to do in Safi

The harmonious cultural fusion within the rustic and reasonably traffic-free medina is fascinating (there’s a mosque, synagogue and church all within throwing distance of each other) and the beautifully deep beach and rolling waves beckon surfers. Plus, it’s worth walking to the top of the Kechla (the Portuguese fortress) for views over the city.

But actually, the main reason to visit Safi is to experience the heart of Moroccan pottery at the Pottery Quarter. Here, on the edge of Safi’s medina, opposite Bab Chaaba, time stands still. 

Within the Pottery Quarter you will find the oldest pottery kilns in Morocco where local craftspeople create ceramics by hand using the exact same methods their ancestors have used over centuries. Although the kilns themselves are no longer used. Instead, more reliable gas powered kilns are used. Workshops spill out along the lanes working up the hill and tourists are welcome to walk around and admire the craftsmanship from preparing the clay, moulding the clay, to painting and glazing.

Dining options are rather limited in Safi, but I very much recommend heading to Le Rooftop for brunch or dinner with superb ocean views. Low slung handmade chairs with Moroccan cushions are laid out around low tables, and burgers and pasta are on the menu if you need a change from tagine.

If you don’t have your own wheels, there’s a direct bus to Safi from both Essaouira and Casablanca. Grand Taxis also travel between these cities. 

Recommended by Jenny from Explore Essaoira

Ourika Valley

Ourika Valley is located in the Atlas Mountains, 30km south from Marrakech. This makes it a very easy drive from Marrakech and back, even though there’s plenty of accommodation options and things to do in the area. 

The easiest and most convenient way to visit Ourika Valley from Marrakech is on a private day trip. That’s exactly what I did. The driver picked us up from our hotel, then drove us along the scenic road that crosses the Atlas Mountains. 

For the most part of it, the road runs alongside the Ourika River.  There are many restaurants on the river bank opposite the road. To get there, you need to cross bridges over the river. 

None of these restaurants is fancy, but they are all welcoming and they serve local dishes. This is one more chance for you to enjoy Moroccan cuisine with its tasty tajines and spicy meats. I also loved the dessert, a specialty with cheese and orange slices on a thin, moist dough.

The driver took us to Setti Fatma. Here you can hire a local guide to climb to the waterfalls. 

This scenic 2-hour hike is only possible in dry weather. On a rainy day or following heavy rains, you’ll have to give up on this hike and enjoy your time in the village, shopping for local products or taking photos. The Berber carpets, the pottery, the argan oil cosmetics and the spices can make excellent souvenirs from your trip to Morocco.

For argan oil-based cosmetics, consider visiting one of the women’s argan cooperatives in the area. They have excellent hair oils, face creams, soaps, scrubs and lip balms at lower prices than in the airport. I bought souvenirs for all of my friends at the Argan cooperative we visited. 

Visiting a traditional Berber house is one of the best things to do in Ourika Valley. The hosts are extremely welcoming. They would show you their home, with the rudimentary but perfectly functional kitchen, the dirt stove, the grain grinder and the kitchen sink with running water coming straight from the Ourika River. 

Special tip: In Ourika Valley, you can buy semi-precious stone necklaces at excellent prices from old vendors in parking lots or belvedere points along the main road.

by Violeta Matei of Violetamatei

Don’t know where to stay in Ourika Valley?

Book an accomodation early here and visit this beautiful valley.

Fes

Fes, the old capital of Morocco, is a lively and fascinating place city to explore. I recommend allowing yourself a day or two to explore the ancient medina, walk through narrow streets, discover traditional crafts, and experience a hammam. 

The medina, Fes el Bali, is super old, dating back to the 9th century. Imagine 9454 small streets and 300 mosques – it’s the largest medieval Islamic city and a massive pedestrian area. I guarantee you will get lost exploring by yourself, so you might want to consider taking a walking tour like this one so that you won’t miss any highlights. 

One highlight is the Chouara Tannery, which is rather smelly but interesting to visit. It’s been making leather for almost 1000 years, and not much has changed in how they do it. You can see all the different coloured dyes in giant pits, a unique part of Fes culture. To help cope with the smell, take the fresh mint they offer and keep it under your nose; it works. 

The Ain Nokbi pottery village is another excellent spot and great for souvenir shopping. Fes is known for its pottery and mosaic tiles; you can watch how they are made here. It’s free to visit, and the best part is, there’s no aggressive selling here like in the medina.

At the end of the day, treat yourself to a hammam. It’s a wonderful experience; your skin will feel so clean and smooth afterwards. I recommend the Royal Medina Spa inside the Medina. If you get lost, the staff there will come to find you and take you back to your hotel, if needed. 

To get to Fes the closest airport is Fes-Saïss Airport. If you plan to visit other places in Morocco, there are direct trains and buses from other major cities to and from Fes. 

Recommended by Sarah from Lifepart2andbeyond


Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley is a stunning oasis in the High Atlas mountains where you can enjoy swimming in natural rock pools, hiking by the side of the Tamraght River and panoramic views across the valley from various roadside vistas.

It’s best to visit this area after the wet season has finished. If you visit from the end of January through spring, you should see the rock pools naturally filled with water. This is a must-see because the pools are one of the main reasons why this area is called Paradise Valley.

I missed this memo myself, so I visited at the end of December. While the rock pools weren’t as blue as I was expecting, my husband and I could still enjoy a splash about and stunning views.

If you want to stop somewhere for a drink or a spot of lunch, then my two favourite cafes were Café Tropical where you can sit at tables that are actually in the river and Cafe Restaurant Le Panoramic where a beautiful viewpoint awaits – this time from the cafe’s balcony.

You can easily enjoy Paradise Valley as a day trip from the popular resort towns of Agadir or Taghazout, so I’d suggest staying in either city when you visit. You’ll find various beachfront hotels and all-inclusive resorts to choose from.

It’ll take you about an hour to drive to Paradise Valley from Agadir while Taghazout is just shy of an hour away. When you get there, you’ll only need to pay for parking and refreshments. 

You’ll likely see the car park labelled on Google Maps as “Parking vallée du paradis” and there’s a natural rock pool just a short walk away. If you want to explore more of Paradise Valley on foot then you can also hike to other rock pools. 

If you’re not comfortable with driving in Morocco then you can also reach Paradise Valley by public transport or head out on a guided group tour from Agadir or Taghazout.

Recommended by Justine from Wanderers of the World 

Ait Ben Haddan

Ait ben Haddou is a UNESCO world heritage site, tucked away in the Atlas Mountains. This a breathtaking destination, perfect for every traveller out there. 

I recommend taking a picturesque drive from Marrakech to reach this captivating destination. It takes about four hours, and you will go through the stunning Tizi n’Tichka Pass. 

You can also choose to explore the vibrant markets of Marrakech, with the help of a souk guide, before leaving.

The scenery transitions from bustling cityscapes to wide desert plains. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the remarkable sight of Ait Ben Haddou rising from the banks of the Ounila River. 

It is a living testimony to Morocco’s rich architectural and historical legacy. The ksar, a fortified village enclosed by towering walls, offers a look into the Berber civilization’s past. It is a popular filming set. You may recognise it from Gladiator and Game of Thrones.

Exploring Ksar is similar to entering a live history book. Get to the peak for panoramic views of the surrounding area. You’ll come across local craftsmen selling handwoven rugs and elaborate jewellery.

Explore the interiors of some of the historic buildings for a nominal entrance fee of about 20-30 dirhams. The Kasbah is a highlight, providing insight into the lives of the families that once lived here. 

Visit the neighbouring Atlas Film Studios, recognised as “Hollywood of the Desert.” Admission ranges between 20 and 30 Moroccan Dirhams.

The local eateries serve up delicious Moroccan cuisine. I recommend trying a traditional tagine paired with mint tea. 

Stay at the Caravanserai, a charming boutique hotel located a short drive from Ait Ben Haddou or in the charming guesthouses within the ksar. Prices range from 300-700 dirhams per night. 

I suggest visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) to avoid the intense heat of summer.

Recommended by Lavina D’Souza of Continent Hop 

Akchour Falls

Located in the heart of the Rif Mountains, Akchour Falls is one of the most beautiful natural sites in the entire country in my opinion.

A little off the beaten path, Akchour sees very few foreign tourists in comparison to other places in Morocco, though it is popular with locals. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the culture of Morocco, interact with locals, and enjoy a peaceful day surrounded by nature.

How to get to Akchour

Akchour is located approximately 45 minutes drive from Chefchaouen and is a must-do when you visit the blue city. 

To get there, you have the option of either driving yourself, if you have a hire car, or catching a grand taxi, which is the option we took. 

A grand taxi to Akchour is super affordable, only setting you back 25 dirhams per seat, though you can also pay for the entire taxi.

What to do when you arrive

Once you arrive in Akchour, walk down the road towards the river (you won’t miss it), cross over the bridge and follow the path up stream. Surrounded by towering mountains and the sound of the river, it’s super peaceful.

You have the option of either walking to the small falls, which is an easy half hour walk, or continuing on to the large falls, a further hour and a half away. This part of the hike is a little more strenuous, and honestly, if you’re visiting in summer, we’d recommend skipping it. We walked all the way there only to find it had completely dried up.

Located along the way are several quiet turquoise pools you can swim in, so definitely bring some swimmers as this is the perfect way to escape the hot Moroccan sunshine! 

You’ll also find several cafés on the way to the small falls serving ice cold drinks and smokey barbecued food to keep you fuelled throughout the day. However, if you’re heading to the big falls, there are very few places to buy a drink after the small falls, so we would recommend bringing a water bottle!

Swimming in the natural pools, surrounded by mountains and peaceful nature is absolutely the best way to spend a day in Morocco, and was one of the highlights of our entire trip.

Recommended by Megan from The Endless Travellers

Best Places to visit in Morocco – Todra Gorge

If you want to see one of the most beautiful places in Morocco, be sure to visit the Todra Gorge! I visited this amazing area on a 10-day tour of Morocco. We passed through the gorge during a day trip from the Sahara to Ouarzazate.

The Todra Gorge (called locally Toudgha Gorge) is part of the rocky Atlas Mountains on the road between Marrakech and the Sahara. The deep cliff-sided canyons look prehistoric with canyon walls reaching over 400 meters (1200 feet) in height. This natural oasis was created by the Todgha and Dades rivers. Over millions of years, these rivers slowly carved away the sandstone and limestone forming a series of gorges. 

The 15 mile (24 kilometer) gorge is one of Morocco’s top attractions for visitors as it’s a perfect place for hikers, climbers, and photography lovers. The best time to visit is spring or fall when temperatures are comfortably cooler. I was there in mid-April which was perfect to have fewer tourists. There are many options for activities near the gorge, but it’s simply enough to walk along the Todra River and roadside to check out the local artist stands. If you are looking for a traditional Berber carpet to buy, you will find one here as many of these rugs are made in nearby rural towns.

I recommend having a delightful lunch at the beautiful Kasbah Restaurant Amazir in Tinghir for a quiet place with stunning canyon views. Situated next to the hotel’s swimming pool, you can enjoy a delicious local meal on the tiled terrace under shady canopies. If you’re looking for overnight accommodations near the gorge (only 4 kilometers away), this hotel would be perfect.

I know you’ll find the Todra Gorge well worth the detour and one of the best places to visit in Morocco!

Recommended by Jan from JanAdventures

Taghazout, Morocco

I lived in Taghazout for a month and I highly recommend the small sleepy Moroccan seaside village for those seeking surf, culture, and relaxation. 

Getting there is easy, you can take a bus from either Casablanca or Marrakech to Agadir, the closest city to Taghazout. From there, it’s only a 40-minute bus or taxi ride to the village. 

Surfing is the #1 main thing to do in Taghazout. You can take surf classes from pretty much any hostel or surf camp in Taghazout – they all include a two-hour session, wetsuit, and board. 

If you’re just learning how to surf, I recommend taking a week-long surf camp, which includes all of your accommodation and meals. There are a ton of these in Taghazout, and I recommend MintSurf.

While surfing is the main activity in Taghazout, there are some other things to do and see in the small village. 

You can take a stroll down the Taghazout corniche, a seafront esplanade that runs down to the neighboring village of Tamraught. Or, you can choose to do something a little more adventurous like riding camels and ATVs on Taghazout Beach.  

Taghazout is also a popular party spot. Amouage, the village’s fanciest club, comes alive with Thursday BBQ parties and Saturday DJ sessions.

There’s a huge range of accommodations in Taghazout – There are luxurious resorts like Fairmont Taghazout Bay and Hyatt Place Taghazout. Budget-conscious options include Roof House Hostel or The Surf Hostel.

I loved having meals at Teapot Cafe, which was on the ground floor of MintSurf, where I rented my apartment. They offered affordable vegan options. For local cuisine, Tajine Palace on the main street is the place to go. If you’re looking for something a bit more high-end, Let’s Be Healing in Tamraught serves great vegan fare.

Taghazout has also made a name for itself as the premier destination in Morocco for Digital Nomads. It’s one of the only places in the country that boasts a consistent internet connection. 

Mint Surf Apartments, where I stayed during my time in Taghazout, doubles as a cozy coworking space with an average speed of 90 MBPS. Alternatively, SunDesk Cowork provides a formal office setting with 24/7 access for residents.

Keep in mind that while Taghazout is extremely popular with tourists, it’s still just a tiny beach town. One of the biggest things tourists in Taghazout complain about is that there’s no ATM in the town, even though most places only accept cash – So I recommend bringing all the cash you will need on your trip to Taghazout with you! 

Recommended by Katie from Katiecaftravel

Merzouga

Merzouga is a small village on the edge of Sahara Desert, popular with tourists because of its golden sand dunes. The easiest way to get to Merzouga is through a tour, directly from Marrakech. You must plan at least 2 days in Merzouga because the drive from Marrakech takes a long time as it crosses the Atlas Mountains. Another alternative is through Fez, which again, is a very long drive. The closest town to Merzouga is Erfoud. 

Whilst Merzouga is quite small, there are plenty of adventurous things to do here. The main reason why I came to Merzouga was to spend a few nights in the desert, in one of the camps at the bottom of the dunes. Merzouga is home to some of the tallest and most stunning sand dunes in the Sahara, including the iconic Erg Chebbi. Watching the sunrise or sunset over the dunes makes for a truly magical experience. The oasis usually arranges the camel rides, which can be taken either at sunrise or sunset. You go up the dunes on a camel, and then wait for the sun to rise or set from up there. I went on a sunset camel ride. Watching the sunset from the top of a dune was such a special moment. 

In the evening, the camps usually organise Gnawa music performances around a campfire, in the sand. The music is usually performed by the staff of the camp and lasts for a few good hours. 

Merzouga has its own community, so don’t miss tasting the traditional Moroccan food here, which is the Berbere Kalia. It consists of pieces of preserved lamb cooked in a delicious sauce made with onions, peppers, garlic, and typical spices, served with a fried egg on top. I only found this dish in Merzouga. 

Recommended by Joanna from Theworldinmypocket

Visit the beautiful landscapes of Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is a city located in the southeastern part of Morocco, known for its beautiful landscapes and historical sites, and as a gateway to the Sahara Desert.

Ouarzazate is often referred to as the “door of the desert” and has been a popular filming location for many movies and TV series, including Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones, so there’s no surprise that the city is called “Hollywood of Morocco.”

Besides exploring one of the most famous movie locations in Morocco, this place offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in Berber culture. Here, you can visit local markets, interact with the friendly locals, and experience traditional music, dance, and cuisine. Many tours make stops at traditional Berber houses where you can learn about how locals live.

The city is home to the impressive Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Atlas Studios, one of the largest film studios in the world.

There are several ways to get to Ouarzazate, depending on your plans. The most popular way to get there is by taking a guided tour from Marrakech, which includes an overview of the city accompanied by a guide and a quick stop at the nearby film studio. 

The town is a gateway to the Sahara Desert, and from here, you can embark on desert tours to explore the vast and mesmerizing landscapes of the Sahara, including sand dunes, oases, and traditional Berber villages.

Most international travellers fly into Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) and take a guided tour from there. However, you can also fly into Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ), which is connected to Marrakech and Casablanca. 

Finally, you can rent a car in Marrakech and drive to Ouarzazate, which should take you between 4-5 hours, depending on traffic and conditions. 

Recommended by Daria from Explore Baka California

Rabat

Rabat is the beautiful capital city of Morocco, and it is definitely worth a visit. Unlike the rest of Morocco, Rabat is calm, quiet and orderly. The capital city is clean, and there are many green parks and trimmed trees all around the city, that’s what makes it so special.

Rabat has an international airport that you can fly into. Another common possibility of going to Rabat is with a cruise ship from Casablanca cruise port. Of course, it is also possible to travel to Rabat from Marrakech or other bigger cities with the modern train system.

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco, and as such it has some pretty important buildings that you can visit. The Hassantoren and the Mausoleum of Mohamed V are free to visit and are super impressive. 

One of the coolest places in Rabat is the Kasbah des Oudaias, a stunning medieval fortress. You can walk within the castle walls for free as well. There is a lovely view, some cafés and souvenir stands. 

As with any Moroccan city, Rabat also has a medina, which is the old town. There are typical street stands, cafés, and a bazaar. 

Lastly, you need to check out the Palace of the King (sadly only possible to visit from the outside), and the Mohammed VI Tower, one of the biggest buildings in Africa. It is super impressive to see. 

When in Morocco, I suggest staying in a traditional Riad, which is a guest house. The Riad Amaris is lovely and very affordable. Make sure to eat some traditional Moroccan cuisine, such as Tajine. There are many lovely restaurants in Rabat that offer such a meal at a super affordable price.

Recommended by Sabrina from Shades of Summer

Al Hoceima National Park – Most underrated place to visit in Morocco

One of the most underrated places to visit in Morocco is Al Hoceima National Park in the far north of the country. If you are seeking Moroccooff the beaten path, this is the ideal destination with plenty of hiking trails to choose from. Covering 40 kilometres of craggy Mediterranean coastline, the area protects both sea and land. Endangered species like Osprey and Monk Seals are common as well as dolphins and sea turtles. The park is also home to a large, protected Thuya Forest. If you opt for multi-day treks, there are plenty of Berber villages dotted around the park where you can camp for the night. One of the locations I like the most in the park is Bades Island, a small rock jutting out in the sea and is surprisingly Spanish territory. It looks super picturesque and there is a small picnic area overlooking it, which is perfect for a lunch break. But make sure you take your rubbish with you, and I also recommend picking up a bit if you find any waste lying on the ground – I found it quite dirty for being a protected area. That is mainly because locals in the area are not educated about the consequences of leaving rubbish in nature.

Al Hoceima National Park is located right next to Al Hoceima which is easily reached by air at Cherif Al Idrissi Airport. From there, there is no public transport to the national park, but you can cycle or take a taxi for a reasonable price. There are plenty of paths that are great for cycling in the park if you prefer that over walking. Al Hoceima is also an ideal place to stay. Rif Apartments offers everything you need for a self-catered trip. If you prefer camping, I loved the eco camping at Cala Iris, they have bungalows and tent pitches there, and make a mean vegan tagine on request!

Recommended by Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers

Atlas Mountains

I recommend the High Atlas Mountains as a must-see for those seeking adventure in Morocco. Conveniently located a 2-hour drive by private car from Marrakesh, the High Atlas Mountains can be visited as a day or multiday trip. If you don’t intend on staying long or you are passing through to view other gems of Morocco, the drive alone through the mountains is breathtaking (quite literally) and incredibly picturesque. The road weaves in and out of mountain passes as it traverses through the rugged, ever-changing terrain filled with valleys covered in almond trees, quaint Berber villages nestled among the mountains and snow-capped peaks. Passing through the High Atlas Mountains is an adventure in itself. I’d leave the drive to a professional, as the road can become quite narrow in certain areas, causing even the most confident driver to tremble. 

One of my favourite things about the High Atlas Mountains is the endless hiking possibilities. Whether you are looking for an easy walk along the foothills or a challenging multiday adventure, this beautiful mountain range has plenty to trails to choose from and are suitable for all skill levels. Most people make their way to Imlil, a small town at the foothills of North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal, to begin their treks. For an ascent that avoids the snow and some of the crowds, I’d recommend planning your hikes up Toubkal in September or early October.  

For an immersive experience into the Berber culture, I’d suggest staying at the local guest house Dar Adrar. Located in Toubkal National Park in the High Atlas Mountains, this locally run guesthouse provides stunning views of the mountains, offers delicious local meals and will arrange hiking tours in the nearby foothills. If you are craving something a bit more luxurious, try having lunch at the famous Kasbah du Toubkal. 

Recommended by Deirdre Jenkins from Build & Board Travel

Toubkal National Park 

Nestled in the heart of the Atlas Mountains, Toubkal National Park is a stunning landscape of high peaks and deep valleys. Covering approximately 380 square kilometres, the park is home to Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak at an impressive 4,167 meters.

The main entry point into the National Park is through the small village of Imlil.  This has a backpacker feel with small cafes and riads dotted along the main road.  Nothing beats sitting at a café table with the mountains rising up in the distance.  In comparison to Marrakech, the air is cool and clear, making it a welcome escape from the bustle of the city.  Imlil is about 2 hours from Marrakech and while there are buses and car shares for part of the journey, it is much easier to hire a private transfer which will cost about £80 each way.  

From the village, trails lead up into the mountains. These head through walnut groves and small Berber villages before becoming more exposed.  Close to Imlil are some small cascades which are easy to reach and make a good small hike.  But, if you want to really experience Toubkal National Park then a hike to the summit of Jebel Toubkal will allow you to push your limits and experience the true Atlas Mountains.  This hike is tough, and with early starts to make the most of the sunrise, it is not an easy adventure.  Accommodation is in mountain hostels and tents, and I would recommend researching the company you use carefully.  It is not possible to reach the summit without an official guide, but they are easy to find in Imlil.  A guide for the hike, including meals and accommodation, is about £150, and some include a transfer from Marrakech.

Recommended by Suzanne from Meandering Wild

Visit the vibrant city of Marrakech

Marrakech is one of the best cities in Morocco to visit – it’s vibrant, the city walls are red, the medina bustles with life and colour, and there are a ton of interesting things to see and do. Located in the middle of the country, Marrakech is connected to many nearby cities (such as Casablanca and Essaouira by train) and bus, and there is an international airport as well. 

One of my favourite parts of visiting Marrakech are all the gorgeous palaces with tiles and mosaics around the city. The Bahia Palace (70 dh) is a massive complex of gorgeous tiled rooms and lovely gardens, but the Saadian Tombs (7 dh) and the Musée dar el Bacha (6 dh) are also jaw-dropping in the colourful mosaics on display. 

Marrakech also has beautiful gardens to relax in and escape the inevitable hustle and bustle of the streets. The Jardin Majorelle (12 DH) is a fan favourite, with shockingly blue walls around the exotic garden. The Jardin Secret (8 DH) is a serene oasis in the city, with a lovely gazebo set in a traditional Islamic garden. 

Of course, no trip to Marrakech would be complete without stopping by the Koutubia Mosque or walking through the Jemma el-Fna square, or shopping in the souks. I’ll admit, Jemma el-Fna isn’t my favourite place in Marrakech (it’s very touristy), but you have to stop by at least once. But the souks are incredible – full of tiny shops selling brass lamps, traditional clothing, intricate mosaics, colourful spices, and hand-woven rugs. 

Plus, there are all sorts of fun things to do around Marrakech. You can go out to the Marrakech Palm Grove and race dune buggies, go on a hot air balloon ride or a camel ride in the desert, or participate in a traditional hammam in the city.

One of the best places to stay during your time in Marrakech is the Riad Tahyra, a beautiful retreat in the middle of the city. 

Recommended by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast

The most beautiful desert in Morocco, Erg Chigaga


Erg Chigaga is, without a doubt, the most beautiful desert spot in Morocco, if not in the whole Sahara desert. The spot consists of a stretch of endless golden sand dunes reaching out towards the horizon, forming an ethereal landscape where swarms of stars twinkle during the night and where sunrises seem to halt the passing of time. The desert spot is a dream for artists and photographers looking for silence and inspiration.

Erg Chigaga is located 60 Km from the Moroccan town M’Hamid El Ghizlane and on the brink of the closed Algerian border. The only way to get to this stunning desert spot is by 4×4, as there are no roads leading there, and you need to drive 60 Km through the desert to get there. While in theory, you could go there on your own with a rental vehicle, this is not recommended as you could get lost in the Sahara desert, so the only safe way to get to Erg Chigaga is by organized tour. The safest way to get there is to go on at least a one-night stay tour in one of the camps so that you can admire the night sky and colourful desert sunrise. There are no food stalls in the camps but all tours include food, although bringing some water with you is recommended. Remember you will be in the middle of the desert with the closest town 60 Km away.

On the way to Erg Chigaga you will pass by the Oum Laalag’s Oasis, visit a desert nomad tribe tent, have the chance to buy some honey from the Sahara desert beekeepers and buy millions of years old Sahara desert fossils that the nomad families sell to tourists.
The tour varies depending on the number of nights you stay, the number of people on the tour and the time of the year. The minimum price for a one-person private 24-hour tour will be approximately 200 euros, however, the price will be lower if you share with a group. Negotiation is always possible with local tour agencies.

Recommended by Pilar from Travel The World Pages

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