23 Undeniable Reasons to Visit Morocco This Year!

Morocco is an exotic destination known for its beautiful scenery, tasty food, hospitable people, unique architecture, and long-standing traditions that are unique to the country.

There are many reasons to visit Morocco, whether you love nature or historic towns, or simply a place that offers something new and exciting – unlike anywhere else in the world.

Morocco is not a cheap country to visit, but every penny spent is worth it. Don’t believe me? Here’s 23 reasons to add Morocco to your travel bucket list…

Reasons to Visit Morocco

These are the things that (in my eyes) make Morocco a one of a kind travel experience. Here are my reasons to visit…

1. To see the Sahara Desert

sand dune
Sahara Desert Morocco

The Sahara Desert is the main reason why people travel to Morocco. It’s the largest hot desert in the world, encompassing 9,200,000 square kilometres and extends into 10 other African countries – though Morocco is the main access point for most tourists since Morocco is a relatively safe destination to travel to in comparison with the other countries that shares it territory.

The Sahara Desert in Morocca shares its border with Algeria and is located just south of the Atlas Mountains.

You can reach the desert from several destinations, but most enter from the fortified city of Ouarzazate, which is the main gateway to the desert.

However, if you go to Merzouga, a tiny village in the desert, you can see the highest sand dunes in the Sahara (Erg Chebbi), and take camel rides, go sand boarding, hiking, or take ATV tours. Usually a trip to Merzouga takes 3 days because of how remote it is.

2. To see the Hassan II Mosque

2-Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II Mosque

Hassan II is the most famous landmark of Casablanca and also the most beautiful mosque in Morocco. It’s the second largest functioning mosque in Africa and 14th largest in the world, capable of housing 25,000 worshippers at one time.

It’s noted for its architecture, which is the most delicate and intricate of Islamic styles. A highlight of the mosque is the platform which sits above the Atlantic.

It is a surrealistic experience to walk around its impressive construction surrounded by the mist coming from the Atlantic ocean. Try to visit the mosque on Sunday morning when many people go to the prayer and the place comes alive.

Non-Muslim visitors can enter the mosque by guided tour. Several English tours are run throughout the day outside of prayer times.

3. To admire the Majorelle Garden

pathway next to trees
Majorelle Garden

Created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, but became famous later for being the home of the fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent, this garden is a beautiful masterpiece combining oriental colors and exotic plants.

It is a quiet place in the middle of Marrakech, the busy imperial city of Morocco and also the house of the Berber Museum, exhibition of the Berber culture, lifestyle, and handcrafts.

4. To stay in The Riads

fountain in riad
The Riads

Riads are the garden spaces in traditional Moroccan houses that often are turned into small hotels and guest houses.

They are known for their tiled courtyards, often in a rectangular shape and divided into quadrants by paths intersecting in the center. Usually there is a water fountain or pond in the center.

There’s no greater feeling that the cozy sensation you get sitting behind the thick walls of your guest house after wandering on the small narrow streets of the medina.

Riads are an oasis at home, and the perfect place to unwind in after a day of exploring.

5. To go treasure hunting in Medina

A store inside of a building
The Medina is a popular place in Morocco

The Medina is a district in Marrakesh known for its souk markets, hammam bath houses, and winding cobblestoned lanes.

Head to Jemaa el-Fna square at night and watch the snake charmers, folk dancers, and indulge in some street food.

Walking in the medina can be really challenging for a woman on her own, but the feeling of treasure hunting makes you feel excited in front of all these colorful babush slippers, spices, jewelry pieces, leather bags, tasty food and freshly baked bread.

There are hundreds of items that you can choose from, many of them handmade. Just remember to pack your haggling skills. You can read more about how to deal with Baksheesh (the art of haggling) here.

6. To try Moroccan mint tea and pastries

6-Moroccan mint tea & pastries
Experience Moroccan culture

Tasting mint tea and local pastries is another thing you should absolutely do while visiting Morocco.

It is always a good time when you enjoy these two, especially with a good view and pleasant company. The tea is served everywhere and tastes the same but the pastries vary depending on the place.

Be happy, you will always have those for breakfast in your hotel and you can kick start your day with a slice of pleasure!

7. To experience El Bahia Palace, Marrakesh

7-El Bahia Palace
El Bahia Palace

This palace has certain melancholy about it that is difficult to explain, but easy to feel at the moment you put your foot on its floor.

The beauty of the architectural details and the refreshingly green garden make this place one of the top places to visit in Marrakech.

8. To admire all the Morocco interiors

bathroom sinks
Beautiful Moroccan design

Another one of Morocco’s charms lie in its cozy house interiors, complete with unique and bold fixtures and furnishings.

The sofas are large and low, the tables are small but have just enough space for the tasty food and refreshing tea.

Lanterns make mysterious shadows on the walls, and the ochre color of the tiles makes the whole room look warm and inviting.

Everything in the Moroccan style interior design is rustic, but made with clear attention to the detail.

9. To get beautiful carpets

moroccan carpets hanging up
Moroccan carpets

Having shared my fascination with the Moroccan interiors, it is understandable to share my love for Moroccan carpets.

As everything in this country, they are in strong and warm colors, with simple designs that can fit any style.

Your house can get a bright retouch with a Moroccan rug. The only problem can be its weight and volume for transporting it back home.

See how I landed in a carpet scam in Morocco – Caroline

10. To Admire the Moroccan landscapes

A canyon with a mountain in the background
Beautiful landscapes

Pictures speak for themselves, but you can’t get the real beauty of any landscape in a photo, it’s better to see it with your own eyes!

The landscapes in Morocco are second to none. You will find everything from vast deserts of the Sahara and Jbel Toubkal National Park, to winding canyons and gorges in Dades Gorge, craggy mountains in the Atlas Mountains, pristine golden beaches on the shores of Legzira Beach, and amazing limestone caves and waterfalls in Akchour.

Whatever your nature loving heart desires, you can find it in Morocco.

11. To visit a real oasis

dirt mountains behind a town
Morocco-oasis

Well, you have to go out of the famous cities like Marrakech and Casablanca to really see Morocco.

If you pass the Atlas Mountains and head to the south, you finally will get to see amazing oasis towns, where the buildings blend in with scenes of orange and green. These are known as oasis – a water hole in the desert where vegetation can thrive.

Oasis’ still exist in Morocco, just like at the time of Lawrence of Arabia. In fact, the largest oasis in the world can be found in the Tafilalet region. In the lower valleys of the wadis Ziz and Ghéris you will find several oasis between the cities of Erfoud and Rissani.

12. To see all the colors

paintings
Colorful Morocco

In my opinion, Morocco is the most colorful country in the world.

The colors are everywhere you go. It’s in the architecture, the artwork, the cuisine, the landscape – everywhere.

Even te sunrises and sunsets are a vibrant shade of pinks and reds.

The nature is full of bold reds, mulberry and orange, and ochre; the houses are overwhelmed with green and even the food has the whole gamma of colors thanks to the spices and freshly collected veggies.

13. Cats everywhere

A cat sitting on a motorcycle
Ubiquitious cats

The funny thing about Morocco that totally surprised me when I first visited was the presence of the cats everywhere.

And I mean they were everywhere – at the town squares, tourist sites, hotel lobbies and even in the corners of the medina, calmly resting on their master’s motorbike.

And also like the human, they represent the typical features of their habitats – looking like beggars on the streets or having the look of a king in the garden of Saadian Tombs.

Cats are sacred animals in Morocco since the country is largely Muslim, and cats are sacred in Muslim culture, but the street cats are not to be petted or approached.

Rabies is present in Morocco and many of the cats are unvaccinated, so may have other unpleasant diseases as well as fleas, parasites, and worms.

14. To stay at the luxurious Hotel Mamounia

pool in front of a building
Hotel Mamounia

Synonymous for luxury and grandeur, La Mamounia is an obligatory stop for travelers in Marrakech because of its history and notorious clientele.

And don’t worry if you don’t have the means to pay for a night stay.

You can just go and have a coffee at the hotel’s terrace where you will mix with the rich and famous people of the world.

See rates and availability here.

15. To admire the Moroccan Architecture

A large stone building
You’ll love the architecture in Morocco

Moroccan architecture is some of the most unique and striking in the world, and it varies from place to place.

Kasbah is another traditional style of house in Morocco, which is mainly built inside the ksar (the Berber villages) and made from adobe.

You can see these villages at the foot of the Atlas Mountains when heading to the Sahara Desert, such as Rabat, the current capital of Morocco.

Today, the typical architecture and traditional techniques and materials involved in the construction of the kasbah are used for building unique Moroccan hotels.

16. For hotels with amazing views

16-hotels with amazing views
Can’t beat those views

Moroccan landscapes are some of the most beautiful in the world, and fortunately, you can see them without having to leave your hotel most of the time.

They are changing with the regions, but also with the change of the sunlight.

And very often your Moroccan hotel will have a terrace with such a wonderful view that your time for coffee or tea will last much longer than you planned.

You just can’t take your eyes off the magnificent scenery!

17. For the magical guesthouses

A bedroom
Traditional guest houses

Remember the 1001 Nights fairytale? Imagine staying in a house synonymous of homes found in stories like Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad.

Staying at most of these traditional guest houses feels like you are in a different time and place, an imaginary world that can only be found in…Morocco, of course!

18. To see Todgha Gorge

18-Les Gorges de Todra
Les Gorges de Todra

Some places in Morocco are spectacular with their formations and colors. Todgha Gorge is one of them.

Its orange rocks are scary and impressive at the same time.

The canyon is a favorite place for climbers, but if you are not up to this, there is a small market where you can buy handmade goods and beautiful carpets from local people.

19. To admire Volubilis

broken brick walls
Volubilis, Morocco

It is somewhat surprising to see Roman ruins in the abounding green fields near Meknes.

In our minds, Morocco is about the desert and Arabic lifestyle but in the past the life here had a different look.

The huge architectural site is full of small and beautiful ornamental details, different architectural styles and you most probably will take the whole morning to walk around these beautiful sites from another time.

20. To try a Tajine meal

food on a table
Tagine

Moroccan food is what you will miss most when you go back home.

The reason why it is so tasty is in the spices used, but also in the locally produced fresh ingredients.

Tajine (also ‘tagine’) is a method of slow cooking where the ingredients are placed in an earthen clay pot.

There are different types of tajine, but you should definitely try the Berber tagine, an authentic dish with beef or lamb, vegetables, Moroccan spices, preserved lemon, and olives.

You’ll also find you’ll eat a lot of couscous meals too!

Market with pittery
Moroccan pottery

Tajine is the name of the dish and also the pot used for its cooking.

What you can do is to take one home with you, and every time you have a craving for Moroccan food you can do one at home.

21. For the amazing weather

ccar on beach in morocco

The best thing about Morocco is you don’t have to wait until the summer months to enjoy the popular beaches.

Morocco boasts a warm climate all year round, which means it’s beach day every day, especially in towns like Essaouira, Adadir, Oualidia and Asilah.

I personally think Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to October) are the best times to visit as the weather is warm but not too hot.

The summer brings scorching heat that can be too much for visitors.

The winter can get cold, and it can even snow in Morocco in the high Atlas Mountains during December and January.

Ifrane is a ski-resort in Morocco – yes, you can go skiing!

22. For unique places to relax

hotel with swimming pool
-places to relax

After days spent walking among the desert dunes under the strong sun of the Sahara, you can relax surrounded by traditional architecture, clay walls, palm trees, and if you are lucky enough even a swimming pool.

Enjoy your time in this unique environment, you will not find it anywhere else in the world.

23. For unique souvenirs to buy

shoes on the ground
Unique souvenirs in Morocco

You may not be a person who buys souvenirs often, but here in Morocco you may find yourself seriously challenged.

In addition to the traditional pottery, fes hats, rugs and lanterns, the fossils found in the Sahara desert are one of the best souvenirs that you can bring back home.

Desert roses and fossilized snail shells are sold by the Berber people that you will encounter in the desert.

Sometimes it is the only way they can make some money and you can take beautiful pieces back home while helping these people to have a better life.

When shopping for pottery in Morocco you should have in mind that some of the beautifully colored tajines are not for cooking and you better ask the seller for advice on which one is suitable for cooking and which one just for serving.

Morocco Tours

Don’t want to visit Morocco alone? Visiting a country alone can be daunting, especially if you’ve never been to that country or part of the world before.

While you don’t need to take a tour in Morocco (you can travel there independently), if you’d prefer to spend time with other likeminded travelers, or are concerned about safety in Africa, then consider exploring with a small group tour and local guide.

  1. G Adventures is a highly-acclaimed company that offer group tours all around the world. They are noted for their quality of experience, adventure activities, and service to giving back to local communities and supporting sustainability. See G Adventures tours of Morocco here. 
  2. Get Your Guide is another great place that offers many Morocco tours and attractions tickets. They have the lowest prices, guaranteed — no booking fees or hidden charges.

You can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions and cancel up to 24 hours before. Some best-selling tours are below.

 

More Northern Africa Travel Tips

Thinking of visiting other parts of North Africa? Here are some other guides that may be useful to you…

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Are you thinking about visiting Morocco? Tell us what you’re most excited about in the comments below.

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