The Perfect Morocco Itinerary
Morocco is quickly becoming a holiday hotspot amongst travelers, and for good reason! With culture behind every corner, to die for markets, and an impressively diverse landscape, there’s something for everyone, even those of us who are on a budget. I spent two weeks of August traveling around Morocco on a Tavel Talk Tour, and a couple days exploring Marrakech on my own. I was able to see enough of the country to confidently put together what I think is the perfect 10 day itinerary for Morocco.
If you’re the type of traveler who likes to see everything a country has to offer, then this travel guide is for you. It’s a fast paced itinerary, but it’s full of all the best stops in Morocco and guaranteed to make you wanting to come back for more
More of a visual learner? Check out my Morocco Photo Gallery!!
Day 1: MARRAKECH
Your tour of Morocco should start and end in Marrakech for cuteness and convenience purposes. With its international airport and world renowned souks, it’s the best and easiest introduction to Morocco. Marrakech, aptly named the Red City, has an abundance of things to do and like most Moroccan cities, it’s divided into two sections: The Medina and the New City. “Medina” means ‘old town’ and no matter which city you’re in, it’ll no doubt be the most exciting, picturesque, and touristy area. The Medina in Marrakech is famous for its souks, or markets. You could easily spend two days getting lost in the ally ways and spending too much money on carpets for a house you don’t even have, speaking from personal experience here. For specific recommendations on where to shop and what to eat, check out my 24 Hour Marrakech Guide!
Day 2: ESSAOUIRA
Essaouira is a small coastal town with a lovely little Medina next to the harbor. It’s a great place to catch a wave, eat fresh seafood, do even more market shopping and just enjoy a break from Morocco’s heat, as it gets quite chilly at night here.
Day 3: RABAT
In my, and I think pretty much everyone else’s opinion, Casablanca isn’t worth spending the night. The Mosque of Hassan II is an impressive and beautiful building, and a good break from the drive, but it’s the only thing worth seeing in the city. Forego Casablanca and spend your time in the beautiful capital city of Rabat. With a charming Medina built into the Cliffside, you’ll feel like you’re in Greece.
Day 4 & 5: CHEFCHAOUEN
Morocco’s famous blue city is a small town nestled in the mountains and full of life, well deserving of a 2 night stay. Get up early so you have the streets to yourself; without the crowds, you can actually take in the city’s unique beauty and get some pretty great photos as well. Spend your days shopping in the markets or hiking the mountains, and in the evening enjoy the live music in the main square and have a delicious dinner at literally any restaurant you can find a table at (the food here is the best in Morocco!).
Day 6 & 7: FES
Being in Fes is an amazing cultural experience. The Medina is incredibly old and full of houses built on top of one another. The market is wonderfully diverse and full of vendors hand crafting everything from leather to carpets, making Fes a great place to buy authentic goods. Be sure to visit the spice market, a tannery, a silk shop, a metal shop, and everything in between. The meat market can be skipped if you have a weak stomach or have ever even considered being vegetarian (there are heads everywhere). Everything that makes Fes an amazing city, also makes it a tad overwhelming. I highly recommend taking a guided tour to get your bearings, learn some history, and navigate the labrynth that is the Medina.
Day 8 & 9: MERZOUGA
You can’t go to Morocco and not visit the Sahara Desert. The majestic sand dunes are begging to be photographed and the stars want you to sleep beneath their glow. Tours can be booked from any major city, but be prepared for a couple long drives. There are hotels, but I highly recommend going with a tour that includes a night camping in the desert! Just don’t wear yourself out too much, as the drive back to Marrakech through the Atlas Mountains is stunning.
Day 10: MARRAKECH
We started and ended our trip in Marrakech and it was the best thing we could have done. We felt at home in the maze of the market and knew exactly which souvenirs we wanted (after having seen thousands of them throughout the country!). It’s always relaxing to revisit a destination you enjoyed the first time around, and Marrakech has so much to offer, I highly recommend going at least twice! If you do decide to buy souvenirs and have them shipped, make sure you buy from a reputable shop (feel free to ask me for a referral). And remember that you should be able to bargain the price down to about half of the vendor’s initial asking price. Do not pay more than 4000MAD for a carpet (including shipping). Also, when flying out of Marrakech, please note that you’ll have to go through security before you even enter the airport! This can cause some serious delays when the airport is busy, so give yourself plenty of time. Most importantly, just remember to have fun!
WHAT TO WEAR Morocco is an incredibly accepting country that’s very understanding of different cultural norms. Their tourism has also skyrocketed in recent years, so they’re quite used to the western wardrobe. As long as you’re not visiting a mosque, you can wear whatever you like.
WHAT TO BUDGET Morocco can be relatively cheap trip or a lavish luxury vacation, the choice is yours. A bed in a dorm room will cost you around $8 USD where a room at a relatively nice riad will cost upwards of $250 USD. For backpackers like me, you can find local cafes and get a pastry and a coffee for less than $1. We budgeted $35 USD per person per day and found it very easy to stay under budget (until we spent all of our money on carpets).
WHAT TO EAT Tagine. It’s everywhere and it’s not all created equal. Sorry Vegos, but the meat is the best part and the best meat we had was goat. Get the cous cous in leu of the tagine, as it’s virtually the same meal but comes with cous cous.
WHEN TO GO Try to avoid peak tourist season if you can! Summers can be crazy hot, so planning a trip for September would give you ideal weather conditions and a taste of the busy season without feeling overwhelmed.
ALCOHOL Morocco is a relatively dry country. It can be difficult and expensive to find a drink at a restaurant or bar. If you’re on a budget, your best bet is to go to the supermarket and stock up on beer to enjoy at your hotel or in the desert.
CULTURE Morocco is an amazingly accepting and welcoming country. While most people practice Islam, all three Western religions have been coexisting in Morocco for centuries. In fact, most mosques include crosses or the Star of David to remind muslims of the other religions practicing nearby. I found this tradition incredible, and as a tourist, I never felt obligated to adjust my personal practices.
SAFETY A few women have asked if I felt safe in Morocco, as there are a lot of mixed reviews out there about this topic. Personally, I felt safe the entire time. Granted, I was traveling with a man and ultimately a group, so I can’t speak for solo female travelers. However, I absolutely loved Morocco and I couldn’t see safety being an issue as long as you keep your wits about you, as you would in any other country.
I hope you enjoy your trip to Morocco! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll get back to you :)
Don’t forget to check out my Morocco Photo Gallery for more pictures!