Winter is a great time to visit Morocco. Like Europe, January and February are the cooler months of the year in Morocco, but nothing close to the chilly temperatures we experience in the UK. Winter daytime temperatures in Morocco are around 15-18 degrees – very civilised compared with the grey, wet days at home. And this means there’s still plenty of scope for a wide range of holiday activities from trekking and kite surfing, to exploring the souks or simply lounging with a drink in a riad. Here are our top five things to in Morocco in winter…
Winter adventure in Morocco
January’s cooler temperatures make it more comfortable for those seeking adventure. It’s the ideal time to see the Sahara Desert – you’ll bake in the later months of the year. A guided trekking tour is another wonderful way to see Morocco’s diverse landscape. The Jbel Saghro mountain range offers spectacular landscapes and milder temperatures than those in the higher and more challenging High Atlas mountains. The trails are generally still passable in the winter months. Ask your guide to show you the prehistoric cave paintings found in some parts of the range.
Winter is an excellent time for sightseeing in cities such as Marrakech, Casablanca and Fes, as you’ll find less overcrowding than in the high season during the summer months. Marrakech is a city that will enliven your senses and unless you love the heat, it can be overwhelming on very hot days. A trip to Marrakech in January will allow you to explore the frenetic pulse of the Medina and indulge in a luxurious stay for less at one of the city’s many riads.
Beaches in Morocco
Morocco boasts some spectacular beaches along the North Atlantic Coast and Essaouira is home to a number of them. Known as the ‘Wind City of Africa’, it’s a hub for kite and windsurfing enthusiasts. If you’re ready to hit the surf, Moulay Bouzerktoune is the place to be. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can simply wander along expansive golden sands under clear blue skies or follow the scent of spices through the palm-lined lanes of the medina.
Shopping in Morocco
If you want to lose yourself in the sights and sounds of the medina, January and February is the time to do it. You’ll have less fellow tourist traffic to contend with and you might even find that you have more bartering room in the markets given the market stall traders are selling less than in the peak months. Marrakech is the obvious choice and one of the best cities in Morocco for shopping. You may want to consider joining a guided shopping tour intially. There’s no obligation to buy and it will help you get your bearings. Then you can go out on your own and haggle for cushions, rugs, baskets and more!
Skiing in Morocco
Think of skiing and you might not instantly think of Morocco, but the country does have some gloriously uncrowded pistes . At the Oukaïmeden ski resort in the High Atlas mountains, the lofty altitude means snow is pretty reliable from January until April. You’ll need to bring your own equipment. Oukaïmeden is easily visited as a day trip from Marrakech though guided ski tours with accommodation in the region are also available. One thing is for certain - a skiing holiday in Morocco is going to cost you far less than what you might spend elsewhere. And you can then say you’ve skied in Africa!
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