Morocco might be a relatively small country but it has such a rich culture and a vast variety of unique landscapes and communities. You can travel from the gorgeous coastline to mountain peaks to a hidden desert oasis all in the span of a short vacation. In a country that offers so much, it is worth it to travel a bit more and see as much as you can. Thankfully distances here are not too extreme and you can bounce from city to small village to Saharan oasis via the country’s good bus system. For a two week itinerary, we suggest the following route which will let you see a nice glimpse of the country’s top regions.
A good start to any Moroccan vacation is to spend a few days exploring the bustling city of Marrakech. This is a city that throws you right into the Moroccan culture with beautiful mosques and mase-like markets. Koutoubia Mosque and Jemaa el Fna are two of the city’s most popular highlights with the main square being a great place to people watch in the evenings. For a bit more history, also check out the the Saadian tombs and El Bahia Palace or for an overview of the city, hop on one of the sightseeing tour buses. If you have an extra day in the city, consider a day trip out to Essaouira instead. This relaxed coastal town has nice weather, a good beach, and great seafood.
On the way to Ouarzazate
Leaving Marrakech, head for the High Atlas Mountains. The scenery here is beautiful and there are many great places to stop along the drive. It is recommended to hire a driver or rent a car if you want to have the most flexibility to see the best sights. A nice stop we recommend is Telouet, the famous Aït Ben Haddou which you might recognize from popular movies like The Mummy and Gladiator. Stop off for the night in the city of Ouarzazate which is known as Morocco’s movie capital.
Dades Valley and Todra Gorge
Today’s drive will be equally beautiful with plenty of great places to stop off for an experience of small town Moroccan life or a great hike. The Dades Valley is filled with small Berber villages and roadside shops where you can find afternoon tea or the region’s rosewater. There are great 3-4 hours hikes through the gorges as well with Todra Gorge being a good place to stop for the night.
Into the The Saharan
After a day or two in the valleys and gorges, hop back in the car for a drive into the endless sand dune landscape of the Saharan desert. Erg Chebbi, a city that has been built on offering expeditions into the desert, is a good place to stop for the day. Book a desert trek on the back of a camel or camp out beneath the endless desert sky for great stargazing.
It can take almost a full day to get from Erg Chebbi to Fes so make sure you give yourself extra time here to actually see the city. This well preserved medieval city is filled with a maze of alleyways and streets. Getting a bit lost is half the fun and as you wander, make sure you stop for mint tea at any of the small shops located on nearly every city block. Fes is also a great place to check out a Moroccan bathhouse or to sign up for a Moroccan cooking class.
The Coast and Casablanca
If you have extra time, add in a trip to Chefchaouen and the surrounding area but if you are a bit rushed, you have to make sure you save a few days for Morocco’s famous city by the sea – Casablanca. Enjoy just walking around the city, taking in the art deco style before heading to the last tour of the King Hassan II Mosque. This is Morocco’s largest mosque and actually one of the largest in the world too. It is also one of the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims.