Morocco has such a dramatic variety of environments and microclimates that the question of when to go depends greatly on what kind of experiences you want to have. Here’s a rough seasonal guide to the diversity of the Moroccan environment:
The north coast of Morocco is rimmed by the Rif Mountains. It has a mild, Mediterranean climate, with golden beaches, beautiful landscapes, and easy hikes into the mountains.
The Atlantic coast of Morocco is also a popular summer destination, with resort towns, gorgeous beaches, and the trade winds bring summer milder temperatures than the rest of the country. The southern reaches of the coastline can be uncomfortably hot in summer, however, due to their proximity to the desert.
Hiking in the Atlas Mountains is a popular summertime activity, with cooler temperatures than the desert below, and a wealth of gorgeous landscapes, natural scenery, and enjoyable activities.
Summer is a great time to visit coastal cities like Casablanca and Rabat, which don’t get as hot as the interior cities.
Morocco’s beaches are beautiful and relaxing well into the autumn, due to the late rainy season.
Fall is also a great time to visit the Atlas Mountains, but late in the year night time temperatures can drop severely.
Late fall is a fantastic time to visit the Sahara Desert, after the brutal summer heat has passed and days and nights are cooling off.
Morocco has a brief ski season in the Atlas Mountains from mid January to mid February.
While much of the Atlantic coast is rainy in the winter, the southern beaches are sunny and mild as you approach the desert, and can be enjoyed even in winter months.
Winter is a great time to visit popular cities like Marrakech and Fez, if you don’t mind the rainy season. Overnight lows can be cold, but remain well above freezing, and you can avoid the normal tourist crowd, and enjoy the souks, cafes, and monuments at your leisure.
The brief Moroccan spring is, without a doubt, the best time to experience everything the country has to offer. The beaches are balmy, the inland cities aren’t too hot, the mountains are renewed and green, and the country is at it’s most beautiful in March-May. The downside of spring is that it’s also the most popular time to visit the country, so the cities are more crowded, and desert dust storms can persist into April. However, it’s the time when the weather is most agreeable, and the complex climates and environments of the country come together to make an unforgettable experience.
Things to Keep in Mind
In the mountains and desert, there can be very dramatic temperature differences between day and night, sometimes by 80 or more degrees. Outside of the summer season, travelers should prepare for warm days and cold nights, and pack accordingly.
July and August are the hottest months in inland Morocco, and it’s best to escape the punishing heat at the coast, or in the Atlas Mountains.
Some travelers prefer to avoid Morocco during Ramadan, as many shops and cafes are closed, and the cities have an altered pace of life. However, for cities that are accustomed to tourists, there is less of an impact on the daily experience of visitors, and evenings during Ramadan are bright and festive as everyone breaks their fast.