Morocco is a safe, beautiful, splendid country. The people in Morocco are kind, the food delicious. To be honest, Africa in my (rather ignorant) mind has always been a region populated by wild animals and natural habitat. Of course, I knew there’d be big cities and urban living. But the thought of a country like Morocco, with its Arabian influences, has never crossed my mind.
Alongside India and Colombia, Morocco has become one of my favorite destinations. With its magnificent architecture, welcoming people and lavish lifestyle, I often miss the days sipping overly sweet mint tea and jogging around maze-like medinas.
A week in Morocco really isn’t enough to experience the true nature of this charming country. However, it may just be the perfect length to have a taste of what this vibrant destination has to offer. From Chefchaouen to Marrakech, here are some things you really should see/do for a week in Morocco!
Best Time for Morocco
Although Morocco sits in Northern Africa, the weather is a bit chiller than I expected. During my week-long trip at the end of Feburary, I ended up purchasing a small sweater to brace the cold. Nonetheless, summer in Morocco can reach a temperture of 30 degrees celsius on a daily basis. As such, Spring (mid-March to May) and Fall (September to November) are the best times to visit Morocco.
Is Morocco Safe?
Yes! I thought Morocco was perfectly safe, especially for those on vacation who wish to travel with a tour group. I never once felt uncomfortable when walking alone in the streets or eating out at night. Of course, most of my time was spent with my friends. But truth be told, people in Morocco were so kind that I wouldn’t hesitate to visit by myself!
One Day in Chefchaouen, Morocco
Chefchaouen is a destination north of Morocco. The whole city is in varying shades of blue, a color said to have the magical power of repelling mosquitoes. As the capital city of marijuana production, it was offered everywhere. People rolled joints in little cafes by the streets and sold them by the bundle.
The city was founded in 1471 in an attempt to fight against the Portuguese invasion of northern Morocco. Chefchaouen was only returned in 1956 after the liberation of Morocco from Spanish colonization.
The city was small. We were able to tour the town within a day and even had time to hike up a Chefchaouen Ras Elma for the full view of mismatching blues. Although the whole town is colorful, some of the most visited areas are Souika, Bab El Sor, and Rif As-Sabanin Oven. While we felt safe in a group of 9, our guide did tell us to be extra cautious at night.
Two Days in Fez, Morocco
Fez is the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities, with a medina that extends back to the thirteenth century. From splendid palaces to religious sanctuaries, the city is often called “Mecca of the West.” Its artisans and activities are spread across maze-like bazaars. We began the day by visiting the Royal Palace of Fez (Dar el Makhzen).
While the gardens of the palace have restricted access, the magnificent gates were worth the visit. After visiting the palace, we were driven across the city towards Fez el-Bali. This ‘old wall’ provides a great view of the whole city.
Although it is not difficult to find, a tour guide is highly recommended. The sprawling streets and constant hustle of Fez were really confusing.
A Night in Merzouga Desert, Morocco
Despite how cold the night was, it was while worth the chats in the sand.
We went through the Cedar Forest, the Port of Midelt, Errachidia Reservoir, and the Valley of Ziz towards Erfoud, the city to our desert stay. We weren’t able to stop at every location on the road, but if you are on vacation and have the time to pull off a road trip, do follow this ultimate itinerary!
I really can’t stress how different the landscape and weather between the various Moroccan regions can be. At one point, we had mountains full of snow behind us while heading towards eye-distant desert! We spent the fourth night in the middle of the desert with some Berbers. They were happy-go-lucky people that drummed and danced with us the whole night. The night was completed by millions of stars, a bottle of wine, and a tribe of camels dozed a few feet away. Alas, the February night sky was bone-shattering, so we spent the rest of the night crawled up in sleeping bags on mattresses inside pre-prepared tents.
Half a Day in Ouarzazate Ciudad, Morocco
This is where movies like Lawrence of Arabia and The Mummy were filmed. The set is still intact, and there weren’t many tourists around the area. Unfortunately, our itinerary only provided an hour or so here so I didn’t have the chance to go inside. But if you are on vacation and decide to visit the area, do yourself a favor and explore the city!
By mid-afternoon, we were on route to Morocco’s crown jewel–Marrakesh.
Three Days in Marakesh, Morocco
Marrakesh, Morocco is as lively as you’d think a metropolis can be. It buzzes with life day and night, with thousands of henna artists, hustlers, musicians, tourists and vendors strolling through the old city center. There was an infinite number of cuisines. The city center provided western cafes, traditional Moroccan tea shops, Chinese, curry, steak, you name it.
I’ve always thought that Italy was home to the best pizza, but it definitely has some competition in the markets of Marrakesh. One of my favorite places was Bari’s Pizza. They are located just at the outskirts of Jemaa El Fna (main square). Their margarita pizzas are amazing :’) Morocco also makes a mean avocado milkshake, which is basically heaven’s gift to earth and a must have!
No need to say, a week in Morocco was not enough. For 6 days including ground transportation in and between cities, accommodation at beautiful riads (mini palaces) with half board (breakfast and dinner), excursion in the desert (camel, tents, and entertainment) and transfers to airport, we each paid €200. Considering the amount of traveling, we definitely got a bargain deal! The rest of the money I spent was in bazaars. I couldn’t resist the temptation of buying supposed cashmere scarves and cotton shirts. If I could, I would have gotten a Moroccan rug as well! They are wonderful.