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Marrakech – Gateway to the South of Morocco
Just over a 3 hour flight from the UK (and many other European cities), with no time difference (apart from 1 hour during the month of Ramadan) makes Morocco is an easy choice for a short break. There is a wide range of direct flight departures direct to Marrakech from many UK airports:
Morocco offers great weather and year round sunshine, making it perfect for both summer and winter breaks. However, it is best to visit different places at certain times of year, due to the seasonal weather changes.
At the bottom of the page is a chart, showing the average temperatures to expect in different areas of the country, but please contact us for further information and advice.
Located inland in the south of the country and close to the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech enjoys a particularly dry and sunny climate where you will be welcomed most of the year with azure blue skies.
The best time to visit is from March until October, with the days getting much warmer from May onwards, although mornings and evenings can still be a little chilly in March and October, so it’s best to take a warm jacket with you. In June and September the weather is perfect, hot and sunny in the daytime with warm, balmy evenings. July and August are very hot with temperatures reaching over 40ºC, but the joy for sun worshippers, and its dry heat means humidity or mosquitoes!
The foothills of the Atlas Mountains, are less than hours’ drive from Marrakech, and although temperatures are usually at least 5 degrees cooler than in Marrakech, there are generally blue skies and cooling breezes, making it perfect to stay most of the year and ideal for trekking, walking and horse riding, or just sunbathing on the roof terrace or in the gardens of your Atlas retreat. In January and February expect some snow, which can sometimes result in the higher mountain roads becoming impassable.
Essaouira, situated on the Atlantic coast, is also perfect to visit at any time of year, where the winters are warmer and the summers cooler than in Marrakech.
This charming seaside resort enjoys an agreeable temperate year-round climate and promises plenty of sunshine, with cloudless skies and gentle breezes. Temperatures range from 18ºC and 24ºC, although the nights are cooler. From time to time, an unpredictable wind blows up, adding a definite chill factor to a normally warm day. July and August are the busiest and hottest months, when temperatures can reach up to 30ºC, but these are also the windiest months and therefore a magnet for wind/kite surfers and sun-worshippers!
The best time to arrange a desert trip to the Sahara is between March and June or September and October, as the summer months get very hot and windy, and from December to February, it gets quite chilly!
Average temperatures in Morocco in ºC
Essaouira – Morocco’s Wild Atlantic Coast
Essaouira has now become a lot more accessible with Easyjet’s twice weekly service direct from London Luton, and is ideal for anyone fancying a weekend break in this fascinating Unesco World Heritage seaside resort.
You can also fly in to one and out of the other airport for if you are combining a stay in more than one region.
Nothing can quite prepare you for the spectacular scenery, diverse landscapes, fascinating culture and warm welcome that Morocco has to offer. If you like the idea of exploring several areas of the country at your own pace, then we can help you plan a bespoke journey in Morocco, to include stays in any of our featured destinations, such as Marrakech, Essaouira, The Atlas Mountains and/or the Sahara or Agafay deserts. We can give you first hand advice about tailor-made journeys in Morocco, based on our own travels, so please email or ring us to discuss your requirements.
Popular Journeys Include: Depending on the length of your holiday, some of our favourite journeys contrasting the varied scenery, sights and culture which Morocco has to offer include:
3 – 5 nights: Marrakech with a day trip to Atlas Mountains/Essaouira
5 – 7 nights: Marrakech and Atlas Mountains
5-7 nights: Marrakech and Essaouira/Oualidia
7-10 nights: Marrakech, Atlas Mountains and Essaouira/Oualidia
7 nights: Marrakech and Sahara Desert
10 nights +: To really make the most of this magical and diverse country, why not let us tailor-make your trip and include all of the above, allowing you to experience, the cities, coast, mountains and desert!
Local Excursions & Authentic Experiences
To help you discover Marrakech and its surroundings, we liaise with our hosts and partners, who will recommend their local agents to provide the following activities:
- Discover Marrakech and its souks with a qualified guide
- Excursions to the Atlas Mountains, to Imlil and Ouirgane and the Toubkal National Park
- Excursions to the Ourika Valley and the Cascades D’Ouzoud,
- Day trips and stays in Essaouira
- Bivouac/glamping in the Sahara Desert at Zagora, M’Hamid or Merzouga
- Indulge yourself in a heavenly Hammam & Spa experience
- Learn the secrets of traditional Moroccan cuisine by booking a cookery class
- Try your hand at a round of golf at one of championship courses around Marrakech
- Explore the magical gardens in and around Marrakech
- Shop til you drop! Discover the exclusive boutiques as well of course, the myriad of souks
There are plenty of festivals and celebrations in Morocco that will only enhance your stay in this fascinating country. Religious festivals are dictated by the lunar calendar so vary every year, but we have also outlined some of the more popular festivals that are well worth a visit.
Almond Blossom Festival
Usually held in the 2nd week of February in the pretty village of Tafraoute, in the South of Morocco, and is the largest producer of Morocco’s almonds from which the incredibly tasty amlou, a favourite at traditional Moroccan breakfasts.
Arts in Marrakech International Biennale
This festival takes place at various venues in Marrakech, including in the grounds of the famous palaces; El Badii and El Bahia, and on Djemma el Fna Square. This is an interesting festival with the mission to build bridges between the cultures through contemporary art.
Kelaat M’Gouna Rose Festival
A 3 day festival held every May in the small village of El Kelaa des M’Gouna, near Ouarzazate in the south of Morocco, the centre of Morocco’s rose cultivation and where the precious rose oil is produced. Each year a ‘Rose Queen’ is chosen to reign over the following year’s crop.
The Festival of World Sacred Music
This 10 day event celebrating spiritual music from all over the world takes place in Morocco’s Imperial City of Fes in May. This festival is an absolute must for global music lovers.
Gnaoua Music Festival
Takes place in May in the pretty seaside town of Essaouira. This 3 day festival features global artists and a fusion of exotic beats from all over the world, unsurprisingly, one of the main spectacles are the traditional Moroccan Gnaoua musicians with their mystical blend of Berber, African and Islamic music.
The International Film Festival of Marrakech
Held in the 1st week of December and lasts for a week to 10 days. Contestants come for all over the world to showcase their short films. The festival is perfectly located and timed in early December in Marrakech, making it a fantastic time to visit for a little winter sun and Christmas shopping, as well as checking out some cultural feature films.
Religious Festival dates and Public Holidays
This runs on 27th May June until 25th June 2017. During this period, Moroccan Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. After sunset, they celebrate the breaking of the fast, with a light meal (called Ftour, which includes traditional dates, cake and honey) followed by a main meal from about 22.00 onwards.
Staff in the riads and villas will continue to work as normal, but may need to take a break in the afternoon for a short rest. There will absolutely be no problem about them preparing meals and you eating and drinking (including alcohol) in front of them.
This fast-breaking celebration, takes place a few days after the end of Ramadan, and is a huge national festivity where friends and family spend quality time together.
Eid al Adha (‘Feast of the Sacrifice’)
This is celebrated on 16th September 2016 and 2nd September 2017, this an important holiday for Moroccans where most families sacrifice a sheep in respect of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God. Families get together to celebrate and enjoy a long-lasting family meal together.
Other public holidays in Morocco tend to be pretty low key and should not affect your stay in any way!