Christine, Digital Nomad, Travel Expert
Morocco travel guide
Updated: Jan 17, 2021
The Morocco Ultimate Travel Guide
From Sahara dunes and deserts to souk and medinas, Morocco is not your typical African destination. However, the country spellbound anyone who dares to visit offering a sweet combination of various cultures, Arab-Africa heritage, and an astounding landscape.
Here is a comprehensive Morocco travel guide;
The best attractions to visit in Morocco
1. Erg Chebbi Sahara Desert
Your Moroccan odyssey can never be complete without camel treks and overnight desert stays. Located in the south-eastern part of the country, approximately 403 miles from the famous Marrakech town, Erg Chebbi is the favorite of the two biggest ergs in Morocco.
Moroccan wind-blown dunes are almost like moving sculptures altering their shapes over time to create natural masterpieces. The dunes span across nearly 200km² with the largest dunes soaring up to 300 meters high!
Watching the sunrise or the sunset is a bewildering experience as the orange hues change with the intensity of sunlight casting infinite shades throughout the day.
But to get to Erg Chebbi, you have to brave through a two days drive from Marrakech through desert and mountains to a small hamlet called Merzouga then switch to a few hours of camel ride for the final stretch.
2. Medina of Chefchaouen
Dubbed as the “blue pearl of Morocco”, and nestled between the majestic Rif Mountains Chefchaouen is one of the most alluring destinations in the country.
Almost everything about this charming town is a little bit off-beat – unlike the rest of the country, most locals can speak Spanish (the rest of the country speak Moroccan Arabic, also known as Darija and French).
In addition, the town has greatly been shaped by the rich history of the hippy-culture which is still evident to date.
But the most fascinating part is the fact that the entire medina is clustered with blue-washed buildings and alleyways.
With hundreds of spectacular shades of blue lighting up every corner, walking through the cobblestone streets can feel like a fairy-tale.
3. Gorges of Dades
When it comes to natural sites in Morocco you never hassle to find one that will blow your mind within a short drive.
Approximately 10 miles from Marrakech there is one of those unmissable spots - a drive to Gorges of Dades is nothing but awe-inspiring.
The site is basically a chain of rough-cut valleys shaped by the Dadès River. The walls of the valleys range between 650 to over 1600 feet in height.
Simply put, this hidden gem is a place of unrivaled vistas. It’s a twisty road up and down but the views at the top are worth the effort.
You can take a day trip or stay overnight in one of the many surrounding hotels.
The drive from Marrakech is an experience in itself with dozens of scenic routes and along the way, there are lots of Berber villages where you can stop to refuel with water as well as food.
4. Arches of Legzira Beach
Situated a few minutes’ drive from Sidi-Ifni town this beach is an awesome place to appreciate the forces of nature.
Although one of the dramatic arches that made Legzira Beach famous collapsed into the ocean a few years ago this place is still worth a visit.
There is still a massive promontory jutting into the ocean where you can walk through to discover a small secluded cove.
You can also stroll along the beach to take in the peaceful ambiance or sit in awe from one of the many seaside restaurants and eateries.
5. Ait ben Haddou
This charming walled ‘old town’ can be recognized by many from its starring role in several series and films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, and the acclaimed Game of Thrones.
Ait ben Haddou Kasbah is a cluster of earthen buildings that look like they’ve been carved from a mountain. It’s basically a traditional pre-Saharan village.
The locals used to provide both security and a resting place for the caravan traders.
Today, Ait Ben Haddou is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the beautiful ruins paint a clear picture of the previous era of architecture.
There is a moderate hike before you get to the top of the Kasbah and from here the view of the surrounding area is surreal.
Strolling through the narrow streets takes you back centuries ago and sunsets are magical!
Obviously, hundreds of tourists flock to the site to enjoy the magical the oldest Kasbah in Morocco has to offer.
To dodge the crowds, you can visit early in the morning before tour vans begin streaming in at around 10 am.
You can also visit in late afternoons after tour buses have left or if you fancy a relaxing evening detached from the chaotic world, you can plan for an overnight stay.
Major cities in Morocco
· Rabat is the capital city of Morocco
· Casablanca is the largest city in the country
The best places to stay in Morocco
If you’re looking for a luxury stay, several international chains operate in the country most notably, the Sheraton and Hyatt in Casablanca; Le Méridien in both Marrakech and Casablanca; and Hilton in the capital, Rabat.
Amani Hotel, Marrakech
This 3-star hotel located in Marrakech offers undisputed views of the Atlas and the Koutoubia. Room options include; single, double, and suites.
Accommodation rates start from as slow as $50 per night.
There are lots of budget accommodations, especially in Marrakech. At Kammy Hostel, for instance, you can have a shared room for only $6 per night.
How to get around
Public transport in Morocco is generally easy to use. The rail network effectively connects the coast and the north to the rest of the country.
There are also plenty of taxis and buses.
Travel packing list and Tips
· Bring hand sanitizer and toilet paper – there are no tissue papers in most public bathrooms
· Dress modestly – Morocco is a Muslim country so as a woman, you should cover-up.
Must-try foods in Morocco
· Chicken pastilla
· Berber omelet
· Shish kebabs
· Harira soup
· Kaab el gahzal or 'gazelles horns'