Where to go in Morocco? From ocean to desert, our 7 travel ideas for all seasons

GUIDE Mediterranean, ocean, mountain, city or Sahara… Many aspects of the Kingdom and ways to travel to Morocco in cultural, festive or sports mode. Our pick for (re)discovering the Moroccan way of life.

The excitement of Jemaa el Fna square, the hills of Erg Chegagan bathed in light, the trid eaten while flying in the market… For French travelers, Morocco represents the quintessence of a change of scenery and attractions in just a few hours. from our borders. A status not nicknamed by Covid, to the point of being our first overseas destination outside of Europe.

From Essaouira to Dakhla, novelties of the Atlantic coast

The Dakhla lagoon in southern Morocco is a famous stage of the World Kitesurfing Championship. The desert behind, the real thing! Adobe Stock / Idouhna

Almost 3,000 kilometers of coastline, mostly wild, and 3,000 years of history between Phoenician colonies, Portuguese trading posts and… state-of-the-art seaside resorts. With its tonic climate and choppy waves to surf from Essaouira to Dakhla, the Atlantic is a breeding ground for lovers of heritage, space and excitement.

In Essaouira, we uncover the secrets of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, between two visits to the UNESCO-classified medina; In Agadir, we go on a mini-safari in Souss-Massa national park, observe Sahara antelopes and about 260 species of birds. And in Dakhla, southern Morocco, we invite ourselves to a night in a bivouac on the sidelines of surfing or kitesurfing sessions.

Best season: Essaouira, trade winds, the guarantee of blue skies without extreme heat and kitesurfing especially between May and September, it all depends on what you are looking for! The temperature is mild throughout the year and the ocean is pleasant in the off-season (17° to 22°). Agadir has mild winters and often foggy summers. In Dakhla, regular winds from the North/North-East moderate the heat considerably (25° on average).

Where should you put your suitcases?

in Essaouira, Le Jardin des Douars , a guest house in 4 hectares of gardens, renovated in an exquisite style. 25 rooms and suites and 6 villas with hotel services. From €150 for a double room with breakfast. Douar Sidi Yassine.

in Agadir, Riad Villa Blanche, 50 Palms Bay. From €140 for a double room with breakfast. Elegant table.

In Dakhla, Otoctone, a lovely guest house from €100 for a double room with breakfast. 100 Boulevard Mohammad V.

Berber treks in the High Atlas

Peaks, valleys and valleys dotted with ocher villages stretching for more than 700 km: the High Atlas is a trekker’s Olympus. Adobe Stock

Peaks, valleys and valleys dotted with ocher villages stretching for more than 700 km: at the heart of the Berber world, the High Atlas is a hiker’s Olympus. Many options for all desires, including day trips, tribes, which promise a change of scenery within a 1 hour 30 drive radius from Marrakech to the Grand Pass in three weeks.

rise Mount Toubkal (4167 m), the peak of North Africa, likes candidates for sports competitions: 970 meters of altitude gain at dawn from the shelter to the summit in a rocky environment. But you can put your bag down to walk on a star, just like on a star Aït Bougmez Valley (4h30 from Marrakech): Between seguias (traditional canals), apple orchards and earthen villages and irrigated fields, at 2000 meters above sea level, we live according to the rhythm of the villagers.

Best season: Great in spring for peaks like Toubkal or Aït Bougmez Valley from April to October. In the Moroccan region, it is possible to walk all year round, including summer when you seek the (relative) coolness of the altitude.

Where to put your suitcases: Ecolodge Dar Itrane, Aït Bougmez Valley. This kind. +212 661 20 63 30. From 70 euros for a double room with breakfast.

In White Tangier, the fabulous medina and beaches

Cap Spartel, also called Ras Spartel, is located 14 kilometers west of Tangier. This is the place where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Adobe Stock

Tangier, 14 kilometers from the Spanish coast, facing the Strait of Gibraltar, is another gateway to Morocco, shaped by influences since Antiquity, a world city with a cosmopolitan aura. The city of hills, you will never tire of its dazzling panoramas over the Mediterranean and the vintage charm of its old quarters, the Medina, the Kasbah and the “new” city, where you can collect Art Deco, Moorish or jewels from the beginning of the 20th century. Bauhaus.

Modern Tangier pushes its boundaries in line with the big industrial projects around the bay, but the artistic spirit is intact by a young guard who wants to dust off the myth. And Tangier is a stone’s throw from the beaches: on the Mediterranean or Atlantic side, very busy in the summer, but divine before and after the season.

Best season: since winter is usually rainy, the period from April to October is preferred, preferably in spring or autumn.

Where to put your suitcases: Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier is an opulent Arab-Andalusian palace with panoramic views of Tangier. From 320 euros for a deluxe room with a forest view, from 535 euros for a junior suite. Jamaa Mokrae Boubana district. This kind. +212 539 37 89 89.

Bath in Arab-Andalusian culture in Fez

The Blue Gate (Bab Boujloud) is the most famous gate in Fez. It is west of the old town. Roberto Frankenberg / Le Figaro magazine

It all started here! Founded in the 8th century, the first capital of the kingdom and always its spiritual beacon, the Medina of Fez is a memory of Arab-Andalusian culture, rich in music, gastronomy and riads – elegant decorations celebrated in the privacy of the palace. We come here not to party like in Marrakech, but to taste a unique way of life and immerse ourselves in a magnificent bath of colors, smells and sounds. Fes is on the edge of the Middle Atlas where olive trees and vineyards flourish, popular since the Romans. Another story to explore around Meknesand the city of Rome Volubilis (1 hour by car) with excellent mosaics.

Best season: avoid the very hot summer and prefer autumn and spring when the mountains and fields are decorated with wildflowers.

Where to put your suitcases: Palais Faraj, a restored residence of distinguished persons with taste and excellent cuisine. Bab Ziat. This kind. : +212 535 63 53 56. From 250 euros for a double room with breakfast.

Chefchaouen, Colors of the Reef

The atmosphere in the alleys of Chefchaouen, located in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco. Sebastien Soriano / Le Figaro

Obviously, the medina of Chefchaouen (also spelled Chaouen) has an indigo blue, thus triggering “chaouenmania” on Instagram. Tourists are coming back, but the cascades of alleys winding through small squares, staircases and tiled houses revive the laziness dear to this holy city, long forbidden to Christians.

With two natural parks on its doorstep, Chaouen la Rifaine also sees life in green. Into Thalassemtane Park (about 59,000 hectares belong to the Transcontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean Sea) wonderful secret walks can be arranged in the spectacular scenery between valleys, peaks, valleys and forests. Most notable? The A fir forest planted with Abies pinsapo marocanaIt is one of the park’s 300 endemic flower species.

Best season: from spring to fall, avoid the height of summer for hiking.

Where to put suitcases: Dar Echchaouen is a neat guest house with a swimming pool and beautiful views of the Medina. Ras El Ma Road Tel. : +212 648 46 69 35. From 90 euros for a double room with breakfast.

In Ouarzazate or the Draa valley: dunes and deserts for everyone

The orange hills of Erg Chebbi near Merzouga in Tafilalet. Adobe Stock

How to tell the difference between ergs, regs and hamadas? By exploring the Moroccan desert! On roads and paths from the south Ouarzazate, we pass large stony plateaus (hamadas) and cliffs before reaching the grail: the sand dunes. Two main erg options, the orange dunes of nearby Erg Chebbi Merzouga In Tafilalet or the sea of ​​sand Erg Chegaga,. Either way, the immersion is complete and the scenery is breathtaking.

How to get there: Ouarzazate is a closer gateway than Marrakech, but less well served by direct flights (2 direct weekly flights from Paris with Transavia in summer and winter).

Best season: winter but also spring when everything is green! If you are afraid of hot weather, avoid July and August

Marrakesh innovation festival in 2023

Ben Youssef Medersa is one of the main monuments of the city and an architectural gem of Marrakech. Adobe Stock / Bonnie Caton

Morocco again? The invincible, imperial oasis is never short of ideas to attract the inexperienced and unqualified traveler. The Red City celebrates the return to life with a flourish of innovation. Within the dark-colored walls of the newly renovated medina, trendy craft markets, designer boutiques, small bohemian cafes and rooftops open up to welcome the sunset against the backdrop of the Atlas. New neighborhoods are emerging, such as M’Avenue, a “lifestyle” hub around the Pestana CR7 Marrakech hotel, the brand and artisan quarter that connects Cristiano Ronaldo, and Sidi Ghanem, an incubator of artistic addresses.

Best season: Winter (from November to May, depending on the weather) is mild with strong temperature amplitudes between night and day, with often blue skies against a backdrop of the snowy Atlas, very hot summers (average 36°, peaks near 50°). Off-season and spring are very pleasant, sunny 340 days a year!

Where should you put your suitcases?

> Our ten favorite riads for less than €100 a night

> Our ten favorite riyadhs for an exceptional weekend

> The best hotels for a charming stay in Palmeraie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *