When should you visit Morocco?
Morocco is home to quite a diverse climate – from the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains to the extreme heat of the endless Sahara desert – and so the best time to visit Morocco depends on what you intend to do during your trip here.
Morocco has a subtropical climate, with hot summers and moderate winters. The coastal areas tend to have more moderate temperatures than the interior of the country, so cities like Tangier, Rabat and Casablanca are normally visitable throughout the year, thanks to the cooling air from the Atlantic Ocean. The best time to visit these cities is in the spring or autumn, when temperatures are at the most comfortable – day time highs of 20-25 degrees. In the summer, temperatures can reach 30 degrees in the middle of the day, but quickly drop down to a more comfortable level by the evening.
When should I visit Northern Morocco?
Tangier is visitable all year-round, and is generally cooler than Spanish cities across the strait like Malaga which is less exposed to the cooling effect of the Atlantic Ocean. Temperatures on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast can still get quite high, up to 35 degrees at its peak in August, but it’s generally comfortable all year-round. Rain during the summer months is very rare, but during the rest of the year, occasional rainy days keep Tangier’s countryside fresh and green.
Morocco’s Atlantic coast is normally cooler than the Mediterranean coast, with fresh breezes keeping the temperatures to a reasonable level during the summer months. On the other hand, while winter temperatures remain mild, it will be necessary to bring a coat and possibly gloves and a hat, especially if you intend on spending a lot of time outside in the late evening. Morocco’s Atlantic coast is also wetter than other parts of Morocco, particularly during the winter and spring months, which keeps the nature green and pleasant.
Temperatures generally increase as you travel inland to the south. This is offset by the increase in altitude as you climb through the Rif Mountains, so temperatures around the Chefchaouen area are still bearable during the hottest summer months. Fes can be very hot during July and August, with temperatures occasionally exceeding 40 degrees, so it is better to visit during spring or autumn when it is much more comfortable. Fes is also a very dry city during the summer months, with most of the rain falling between November – March.
If you are visiting Northern Morocco in the winter, it will be necessary to bring warm clothes, particularly if you plan on travelling from Tangier to Chefchaouen which is located in the mountains and can see temperatures drop to single figures in December and January.
When should I visit Casablanca?
Casablanca and Rabat are also influenced by the Atlantic’s cool winds, since both of these cities are located on Morocco’s western coast. As they are only 1 hour apart, the climate is very similar.
Surprisingly, Casablanca and Rabat (72 rainy days per year) are both dryer than the inland city of Fes (78 rainy days per year), with the wettest period of the year between November – February. Temperatures in Casablanca and Rabat are much milder than Fes however, with average day time highs of 26.3 degrees in August and 17.3 degrees in December according to Wikipedia. During the winter time, it will be necessary to bring warm clothes for the evening.
When is the best time to visit the Sahara Desert?
Cities inland such as Marrakech can reach uncomfortable temperatures during the summer, and are better to avoid during the months of June, July, August and the first half of September.
So when is the best time to visit the Sahara Desert? Day-time temperatures during June, July and August regularly exceed 40 degrees, and at times even higher. Night time temperatures rarely drop below 25 degrees, which makes it uncomfortable to sleep too. Therefore, the best period to go on one of our desert tours is between October – May, when the desert temperatures are much more comfortable.
During the spring and autumn periods, you can expect day time temperatures of 30 degrees at the hottest part of the day, and night time temperatures of 15-22 degrees. At these temperatures, it is much more comfortable to walk around and visit various sites, with the exception of middle of the day. Remember our vehicles are air-conditioned, so travelling with us is always comfortable.
During the winter period, day time temperatures rarely pass 25 degrees, and night-time temperatures can drop quite low, so it is necessary to have heating in your accommodation. Winter is a great time to go on one of our desert tours since the temperatures are comfortable at all times of the day. The only downside of taking your desert tour during the winter is that the days are shorter, which means you have less daylight to see everything. The advantage is that the sunrise is much later, so if you want to wake up early and watch the sun come up over the desert horizon, you don’t have to get up as early as you would in the summer!
Visiting Morocco during Ramadan
Ramadan is a Muslim celebration in which eating and drinking is forbidden during the sunlight hours. The dates for Ramadan change every year, so it’s important to check them before you travel to Morocco. For 2018, Ramadan will be from 15th May 2018 – 14th June 2018.
Should you visit Morocco during this time? Restaurants are closed during the day, and you won’t be able to eat or drink in public places. Although this is inconvenient during the day, big meals are enjoyed in the evening with friends and family to break the fast. The day after the final day of Ramadan, an elaborate feast is prepared and the celebrations continue late into the night. This is called Eid al-Fitr and is one of the most important observations in the Islamic calendar.
Visiting for Eid al Fitr is a great idea if you are interested in experiencing this important celebration, and learning more about the culture and traditions in Morocco. Since Morocco is normally quiet during Ramadan, visiting during this time is also good if you want to avoid crowds of tourists and visit the main sites and attractions more peacefully.
If you have any questions about the best time of the year to visit us here in the Sahara Desert, just send us a message and we would be happy to advise you based on your preferences and requirements. We run desert tours all year-round.