Weather in Morocco in October

1. Overview

Warm to hot in the day, though it’s cool in the evenings. The weather is comfortably hot rather than being oppressive. Daytime maximum temperatures usually average around 24°C and may reach as high as 30°C from time to time. In the evenings, temperatures tend to drop away quite rapidly. It’s generally quite pleasant, and you can expect to predominantly see clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. In the Sahara Desert region, it stays quite to very hot all the time, and there’s virtually no chance of any rain. By the end of the month, you’re more likely to feel a chill in the evenings, and you may make use of a light jacket or sweater. In terms of comparing October to other months, it’s a mild to warm contrast to November, and it’s a hot contrast to March. It’s very similar to April, although somewhat cooler.

1.1. Temperature

Morocco’s prevailing temperature varies with changing altitudes. It is relatively moderate along the coastal areas, while it is extremely hot in the interior. During the month of October, locals are getting some relief from the heat of summer.
Daytime maximum temperatures average around 26°C (79°F), that’s a 6°C decrease from the previous month. At night, the average minimum temperature drops down to around 14°C (57°F).
Relative to the country’s weather as a whole, October is the second coolest month of the year. However, that might just be perspective, as for tourists unaccustomed to Moroccan weather, it can still feel very warm. With the cooler temperatures and lighter clothing, it’s also a great time of year for trekking.
Overall, the impression of temperatures in Morocco in October is that it’s a very comfortable climate. The heat of the summer has gone, but the weather remains pleasantly warm during the day, with the nights being that little bit cooler.

1.2. Rainfall

Morocco weather in October sees very little rainfall and showers. In the north and on the high central plateau, the rains begin after the autumn equinox and last into April. These regions experience wet winters and it is during these times that travel becomes difficult in the rural regions and off the beaten track. This is due to the fact that a large part of Morocco is situated on the high central plateau and as it nears winter, the Atlas Mountains, the Middle and High Atlas ranges are potential areas for snowfall. Snowfall traditionally has led to closure of roads or in cases of high mountains such as in the Toubkal region, the effort is so great to traverse, that it requires snow shoes for walking and camping becomes very difficult due to a combination of sub zero temperatures outside, and snow on the tents. High in precipitation, the snow forms glaciers in the summer months and there are even ski resorts in the Middle Atlas. This therefore makes the best times to visit the more tropical Morocco in the winter and early spring, should there be interest in such activities. Snow and rain fall decreases sharply in the transitional region and on the fringes of the Sahara, rainfall can be as low as 100-200 mm per year. In the Sahara itself, there may be no rain for years at a time and it is not uncommon for places to never receive any.
Coastal regions see high rainfall in the winter months and October does see a certain amount of showers. The coastal zone is the most temperate in Morocco, having warm winters and cool summers due to the strong maritime influence. The north has a greener landscape with more fresh pastures, and agriculture is the lifeline of the area. Although rain can sometimes not be good for the traveler, the positive side is that the rainy seasons make Moroccan agriculture easier. And it is in the winter that many Moroccan families from the country move to the towns and cities to provide their services at a better rate due to the increased availability of labor.

1.3. Humidity

October is one of the best times of the year to visit Morocco. Temperatures are still high, but slightly milder than during the summer months and the daily sunshine is still strong. Inland and in the south, although temperatures are very pleasant during the day, it can get a bit cooler at night. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the beaches along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. The sea at Agadir has an average temperature of 23°C (73°F), which still compares favorably with a summer’s day in northern Europe. Tangier over on the Mediterranean coast is also still quite a good place to visit during October, having an average maximum temperature of 23°C (73°F). In comparison to its usual wet and cool weather, the north of the country will seem like paradise during October. The wettest place in Morocco in October is still Agadir, although this is only an average figure and the amount of rainfall can vary drastically from year to year. In an average year Agadir will see about 12mm of rainfall during the month, although this will vary quite drastically from year to year.
Humidity for regions around the coast is still quite high and this may cause discomfort to many people. This can be said especially for people who wear glasses. On leaving a cold room and entering the warm humid outdoors, one’s glasses will steam up and impair vision. Family and group travelers to Morocco with children may also find higher levels of humidity to be bothersome. Primarily the combination of warm temperatures and high humidity will create oppressive conditions, especially during the night, in places such as Marrakech and inland towards the Sahara. This should not totally discourage people from visiting these regions – October is still much drier than the winter months and those who can withstand the slight discomfort of high humidity will find lower prices and less crowded tourist areas to be a trade-off.

2. Daytime Weather

The average high temperature in October varies from around 21 to 29 degrees Celsius depending on the region of Morocco, which should be very pleasant for tourist activities. The northern and central parts of the country have similar temperature ranges with an average that hovers around 22 °C (72 °F) with a high around 26 °C (79 °F). The mercury can reach into the low 30s as Sahara heat moves north and at this time of year, and when it does it will be most noticeable in the central and eastern parts of Morocco. Marrakech has an average high temperature of 28 °C (82 °F) with very high temperatures more likely early in the month. There is also little rain at this time of year so humidity will be low which can increase the feeling of heat. Lastly, on the coast temperatures will be a little bit lower. By day it will be very pleasant with highs from 21 to 25 °C (70-77 °F), but it will be a bit chilly at night, especially in the north where the average low temperature can drop to around 11 °C (52 °F).
The number of sunshine hours that Morocco receives in October decreases from the summer months but there should still be plenty of fine, sunny weather. Marrakech should have around nine hours of sun each day while Agadir, on the southern coast, could have as many as 10. It will be less sunny in the north and in the Atlas Mountains but there should still be ample sunshine for an enjoyable holiday. Midday temperatures in excess of 30 °C are not uncommon in the south and the hot weather combined with low rainfall increases the chance of heatwaves and drought. It will still be quite warm early in October and heatwaves are possible; on the other hand, the mountains can be quite chilly at night due to their high elevation.

2.1. Average high temperature

There can be a significant temperature difference in the daytime, however, between the start and end of the month. Whilst early October is still relatively pleasant, daytime temperatures can still reach 30+°C (86°F) in the south of the country. But as the month progresses, the weather follows suit and becomes gradually more Mediterranean. In the north of the country, temperatures usually hover around the low-mid twenties, but as you move further south and inland, temperatures remain higher. By the end of October, daytime temperatures in the Atlas Mountains will be in the region of 20-25°C (68-77°F), and to the south of the mountains generally in the upper twenties but still can exceed 30°C. Nights throughout the entire country compare relatively, usually being between 10-15°C (50-59°F) in the north and 15-20°C (59-68°F) elsewhere in the country.

The daytime high temperatures in Morocco in October are warm and are usually around 24°C (75°F), and there is not much fluctuation in temperatures from one city to the next. This is in complete contrast to the evening temperatures, which generally vary by around 10°C. This is due to the heat which is absorbed by the earth during the daylight hours being released slowly during the night.

2.2. Sunshine hours

*Sunshine Hours*
Sunshine hours in July average 11 hours of sun per day, making it the sunniest month of the year. Thus, you can expect warm weather with a high average temperature, but it is not so hot that you cannot enjoy the daytime.
The average sunshine hours decrease steadily as summer goes to autumn, with June boasting 10 hours per day, 9 hours per day in July and August, then 8 hours in September. This is not a steep enough decline considering these hours are close to the global average/mean of 7 hours per day.
However, in October, sunshine hours drop dramatically to just 7 hours per day. This qualifies the weather as less mild, rather than warm. As a comparison, it would take a typical London October with about 4 hours of sunshine to convince someone that it is not usual to get both barrels of a British summer. Despite this, Morocco’s October is still only just below the global average for sunshine hours per day.
Sunshine hours then drop to 7 hours per day on average. This would be qualified as less mild weather, rather than warm. As a comparison, it would take a typical October in London with about 4 hours of sun to convince someone that it is not normal to get a British summer. Despite this, Morocco’s October is still only 1 hour of sun per day below the global average.

2.3. Wind speed

The prevailing wind in October on the coast is from the N/NE. However, it can come from any direction. It is quite mild and subsiding normally quite often into light sea breezes. Further south there are light to moderate E/SE winds. These winds blowing on to the land from the sea keep the temperatures down and prevent the very dry air from the desert raising the temperatures into the excessive zone. These conditions are ideal for windsurfing with both coastal and medina locations offering good sailing. The sea breezes can be quite gusty, especially near headlands.
Inland and in the mountains there can be strong winds at times, especially during frontal depression activity. These winds blow from various directions based on the location and also offer good and relatively clean lift and soaring conditions.

3. Nighttime Weather

Average low temperature is an important factor when deciding what outdoor activities to engage in while on holiday. Most nights in October will be warm enough to sit outside and enjoy a meal, but it is from the middle of October that things begin to change. The evenings become cooler and gradually become colder as the month turns into November. The average temperatures in the beginning of the month will be around 20 degrees Celsius, falling to highs of 17 or 18 in the middle of the month and possibly 15 by the end of October. Around the coasts, temperatures will always be a few degrees warmer than in the cities and further inland. Highs of 18 will be maintained for the entire month of October in Agadir and Essaouira. Tangier, on the other hand, will have temperatures between 16 and 18 from October 15th onwards. In the Atlas Mountains, night temperatures will drop to quite chilly temperatures, so make sure to pack suitable clothing if staying in this region.

3.1. Average low temperature

In the beginning of October, nighttime temperatures will hover around 59°F/15°C in the north and central parts of the country, the daily high temperatures at this time of the year are about 77°F/25°C. By the end of the month, temperatures will drop to between 46°F/8°C (in the mountains) and 53°F/12°C (on the coasts and in the south). In the desert, days are still quite hot, with daytime temperatures between 77°F/25°C and 93°F/34°C, but evenings and nights can be very chilly.
The average low temperatures are very similar in both Marrakech and Agadir, with the former being 63°F/17°C and the latter two degrees higher at 65°F/18°C. These averages are still comfortably warm but can feel quite fresh, even a little cool, since both cities are still within a transition period between summer and winter. By the end of the month, Marrakech will experience lows of 53°F/11°C, whereas in Agadir temperatures should remain as they are. This is considered mild but can feel a lot cooler in comparison to temperatures experienced in previous months, and tourists should bring some warm clothing when venturing outside after dusk.
Temperatures in Casablanca and Rabat are one of the highest in the country, remaining constant at 65°F/18°C throughout the month and lowering to 59°F/15°C come nighttime. This is not much of a change from what has been experienced earlier in the year, whereas the northern cities of Tangier and Fnideq will have an average low of 63°F/17°C, although this can decrease to 57°F/14°C towards the end of October.

3.2. Moon phase

The moon reaches its last quarter on the 1st, which means that the mornings between sunrise and moonset will be bright. The last quarter moon rises around midnight and will allow for uninterrupted stargazing just prior to its setting. New moon is on the 7th, which will provide for a dark sky and good stargazing, particularly in the early evening hours. First quarter moon is on the 14th, which means bright evening skies and dimmer early evenings as the month closes. Full moon occurs on the 21st. This will make for bright skies through the night and there will be little variation in the evening sky brightness for about a week after the full moon. By the final night of the month, the moon will not rise until around an hour before sunrise, and so the last hour of the night will be good for stargazing at that time.

3.3. Stargazing opportunities

The lack of humidity, clear skies, and refreshing temperatures make stargazing in Morocco in October an unforgettable experience. The ability to see the stars is a rarity in many countries, and if you live in a major city, you may only be able to see a handful of stars at night. Morocco is relatively pollution-free in comparison to Western Europe, which means that there is very little light pollution. Light pollution is artificial light, such as that from street lights, that is so bright that it causes a veil of brightness in the sky, thus making it difficult to see stars. Rural areas of Morocco experience almost no light pollution, so the sky is a deep shade of black with bright twinkling stars.
Astronomy in the desert has been practiced for thousands of years, and it was the Arabs who made some of the greatest observations of all time. Arabic names are still used for many stars and constellations, and there are constantly allusions to observational astronomy in classical Arabic literature. It is still practiced today; there are several astronomical observatories in Morocco, and though they are not open to your casual stargazer, there are opportunities for visits and events at these institutions. A recent event was the Atlas party, a star observation event that lasted several days and included lectures, observation sessions, and a general fantastic learning experience – a similar event is planned for the near future.

4. Clothing and Accessories

When it comes to choosing suitable clothing for travelling to Morocco, you should aim to pack light and loose garments to encourage airflow. Your best choice would be lightweight clothes made from natural, breathable fabric. Evenings can get slightly chilly, so a light cardigan or pullover might be needed. If your visit to Morocco is primarily to visit the sites and trekking, then wear what you would wear at home. If you are interested in experiencing the full Moroccan culture and lifestyle, wearing traditional clothing will allow you to integrate more with the local people. Djellabas are widely available all over Morocco and are the typical Moroccan staple of clothing usually worn by the menfolk, followed closely by the Jilbab worn by the womenfolk. However, if you do not wish to don their garb, you could try your hand at haggling for some secondhand clothing at the local markets. Moroccan women are, by western standards, very modest, and it is recommended that while you are here, you dress modestly as well. This is purely out of respect for the culture and not because any particular clothing is forbidden. Short-sleeved tops and shorts are acceptable, but skirts should at least be knee-length and avoid showing too much cleavage. Although it is unlikely anyone would take offense at you personally, this extra level of respect from the western tourist is much appreciated by the local Moroccans. Despite the heat and the large number of tourists who choose to simply wear sandals on holiday, shoes are an essential part of your travel kit. High-quality, closed-toed trekking shoes or sneakers are best if you plan on doing a lot of walking. If you intend to attend any official establishments, it is customary for both men and women to wear closed shoes.

4.1. Recommended clothing

Essential to consider when traveling in Morocco and especially the Sahara are the seasons and the effect they will have on your choice of clothing. If you plan to visit the Sahara, the ideal time to do so is between October and April when the temperatures are not as high. The evenings can be very cold, so it is wise to take a good fleece and a warm jacket. In the winter months, rain is not common, but it is wise to be prepared for this, so make sure to pack a waterproof jacket.
Most people pack too much for their time in Morocco. It is possible to buy most items of clothing here for a lot less than at home. Unless you visit in mid-winter, a fleece and some form of jacket is all that is needed for the cooler evening, though between December and February, a heavier jacket is definitely needed. A week’s worth of clothing is also sufficient, as it is more than likely that you will do a fair amount of hand washing. A good tip for backpackers is to take clothing that is 100% nylon (adventure clothing), as it can be easily washed and dries in no time. This is especially useful if you are traveling to more than one country.

4.2. Footwear

Good hiking boots or shoes should be a priority if you intend to trek in the Atlas Mountains. The more sturdy ankle-supporting boots are preferable for treks with mules or longer treks from one village to another. Snow can fall on the highest ground in the winter months, so make sure boots have a good tread for added grip. Wellington boots can be extremely useful during the wet season if you intend to stay in rural areas. These can sometimes be purchased cheaply in Morocco.

When in Morocco, it is essential to have good footwear that is comfortable, durable, and preferably waterproof. The streets within the medina can be very slippery, especially when it rains, and the countryside and Atlas Mountain treks can be extremely muddy – a good, strong pair of walking shoes or boots are often essential. Make sure your footwear is well broken-in and suitable for hot, dry conditions during the summer months. If predominantly visiting the cities and urban areas, sandals can offer a much cooler alternative to shoes, but they are not as practical and often unsafe for various excursions and activities. Quality footwear can be expensive in Morocco, and it is not always possible to find specific sizes, so be prepared in advance.

4.3. Sun protection

The sun in Morocco, even in October, will burn your skin. So my advice is to take a cap and wear sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF30, and higher is better. Something like long t-shirts with holes in them to keep you cool but protect your skin could be useful, but isn’t essential. For me, I wear normal t-shirts and just make sure I’m well protected by sunscreen. It’s up to you how you feel you would be most comfortable. As for sunscreen, it can be hard to find a good selection and cheap prices in Morocco, so it’s best to buy your sunblock in the UK.
When I talk about eye protection, I’m not suggesting you go and buy a pair of goggles, but just that normal sunglasses will be sufficient. The sun isn’t bright enough to really cause damage to your eyes, but if you’re not used to hot countries and high sunshine, it’s best to be safe and avoid squinting all week and take some shades. Moroccan markets are the place to buy cheap and cheerful sunglasses, hats, and lip balm! Usually Moroccan prices are low, but you can often barter the prices to get them even lower. A good hat can be a great way to keep the sun off your face and neck, and the lip balm will just keep your lips moist and protected from the sun. A last note for those taking digital cameras and video cameras, taking photos and videos in the sunlight can really tire your eyes, so stay well protected.

5. Activities and Events

The weather in Morocco offers plenty of fun in the sun, even in October it is still quite warm and the daily temperatures sit in the high 20s. Once the morning mist clears in the northern cities, it is still warm enough to hit the beaches all along the coast. Surfing and windsurfing are favorite activities which can be enjoyed at beaches in and around places like Rabat, Essaouira, and Agadir. The further south you go, the warmer it gets. Agadir has average temperatures of 25°C and six hours of sunshine in October, with a few brief but heavy downpours. By way of comparison, Marrakech has an average of 29°C, Hurghada 26°C, and the nighttime temperatures are considerably warmer than in Mediterranean countries so it’s still t-shirt and shorts weather in the evenings. On the east coast, Al Hoceima is generally 3-5°C cooler than northern cities, it’s often wet and the sea can be rough, so any beach activities are best enjoyed further south.
Plan out a trek or adventure of some kind – October is a good time to go to Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. In the lowland areas, the temperatures are still very pleasant and it’s not too cold up high, although there can be some early snowfalls. A trek can simply involve walking through the beautiful Berber villages in the foothills and there are many companies which organize guided walks. If you decide to trek independently, it is possible to rent a guide and/or a mule at a reasonable price. For those who are looking for a bigger challenge, North Africa’s highest peak Jebel Toubkal is a trekking/climbing objective which can be done in 2-4 days. There are also great trekking opportunities in Morocco’s other mountain ranges, such as the Mgoun region or the Jbel Saghro.

5.1. Beach activities

Morocco has a vast coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, and warm weather in October is still well suited to beach activities. The Mediterranean Sea, where the climate will be more mild, still offers some sunny days. Although in some parts of Morocco, October nears the end of the season where strong winds can sometimes adversely affect the beach conditions. Swimming can be unsafe at this time of year due to rough conditions, though in a calm cove it may still be possible throughout the month. It is better in general for water sports such as windsurfing and water skiing, for which there are facilities along the coast at towns such as Asilah, and equipment can be hired. The more consistent sun can be found on the southeastern coast at beaches near Al Hoceima. A gentler tourism development means these beaches are less crowded and cleaner than others along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. Beachside towns in this region still retain a quaint fishing village feel and offer fresh local seafood in cafes.
On the Atlantic coast, the beach to visit is at Agadir. This popular tourist destination is known for its long sandy beach, and in October the weather can be compared to a European summer, with several hot days. The water is not as cold as further east, and there are days when swimming will be possible due to the sheltered nature of the bay. Days near the start of the month are longer, so sunbathing and relaxing on the beach are well catered to. The weather will be suitable for beach activities further inland too; horse and camel rides are offered by operators based at the beach. An interesting place to visit in Agadir is the Souk El Had, which is an open-air market selling all kinds of crafts and goods, typical of Moroccan culture. It is located just behind the beach and gives an enriching experience of local life and customs.

5.2. Hiking opportunities

Hiking opportunities are excellent in October. In the High Atlas, temperatures are perfect for walking and the Marrakech region is an excellent area to base yourself, with many companies running day walks to the surrounding areas. Walking in the Anti Atlas is also excellent although temperatures are slightly higher than in the High Atlas. In Toubkal and Imlil, you should expect afternoon temperatures of around 15°C. There are also many areas for walking in the Coast and Middle Atlas regions, although temperatures will often be higher than ideal. Note that October can be a busy time on the mountains, especially in the Toubkal and Imlil region. This is the most stable month for the weather and conditions are excellent. The popular areas can be relatively busy and there can be a shortage of guides and mules. For booking treks and tours, it is best to do so in advance. Out of season, there are numerous guides touting their services and you can usually arrange a trek the day before or even the day of departure. With this method, you do get what you pay for, and the quality of equipment and food provided will vary greatly. A rough price for all expenses on a trek is 35 euros per person per day. This should include your guide, mule, cooking, and accommodation. Try to ensure that all equipment (sleeping bags, etc.) is suitable for the time of year. A good place to find a guide is the Maison de la Montagne in Marrakech.

5.3. Festivals and celebrations

The most significant festival of the year in Morocco is the Eid el Adha, which takes place at the end of the Hajj and involves the sacrifice of a sheep, which is shared out between the poor and the family. The sacrifice is in remembrance of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah. The sacrifice usually takes place on the first day and the meat is cooked in many different ways in a special family meal. Other customs include wearing new clothes on the day, exchanging gifts with family members, and helping the poor. The atmosphere of this holiday is like nothing you have experienced here in the West.
The Moroccans celebrate the Islamic New Year in a similar, although less extravagant, fashion to the Eid el Adha. The Awal el-Moulid is the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday and is widely followed by the colorful and loud moussems, with music, dancing, and a variety of entertainers. The biggest and most important moussems take place in August, usually in the town of Sidi Ibrahim Ak Issa by Rissani and the Imilchil moussem in the Atlas Mountains.

6. Popular Destinations

6.2 Casablanca shares similar weather to Marrakech with the temperature and low possibility of rain but with a cooler sea breeze due to the fact it’s a coastal city. Even in winter it doesn’t get a great amount of cold and October is still a good time to go. Highs of around 23-24 degrees and cooler evenings. This is another good location for people who are looking to extend their summer or at least not get right into the full swing of winter. Step by step through these destinations, you can see the different types of climates available during the fall time in Morocco.

6.1 Marrakech is a great one, for those who still want to see the sun and experience a little bit of heat during autumn. The temperature generally stays around the 20-27 degree mark during the day and slightly cooler during the night. This is still a warm temperature for some nations and Marrakech provides exactly that during October compared to it being unbearably hot in summer time reaching around 38 degrees at times. This is an enormous contrast and serves well for people who aren’t too keen on winter weather but are looking to escape the summer heat. The chance of rain is very low at this time of year.

Discover the top destinations for Morocco in October. Fall is setting in and Morocco’s scorching temperatures are finally beginning to cool. Holidaymakers have been waiting for this time of year. The director’s main concern is the weather in Morocco in October, in fact it’s actually the most spread out topic when it comes to Morocco. The reason being is that everyone has different habits and no one wants to go away on their long-awaited holiday and have it be similar to the weather they’ve just left. So here are the synopses of the most favorite locations during this time of year.

6.1. Marrakech

The weather in Marrakech in Morocco during October is very pleasant for this time of year. Insect free, with cooler evenings, and still warm enough to sunbathe. Marrakech often has the edge temperature wise over the coastal regions. The country’s top tourist destination, Marrakech has a very dry climate, and October sees on average 20mm of rain over 3 or 4 days near the end of the month. The beginning of October usually sees the tail end of the summer with temperatures in the mid 30’s Celsius, tailing off to the mid 20’s.
Marrakech is an incredible city, and to fully comprehend the depth of culture surrounding it, Marrakech needs to be experienced. Historical sites such as the Saadian tombs, Koutoubia Mosque and Bahia Palace to name a few, give an insight into the history of an empire that once spanned from Africa to the far east. These sites are all fascinating and usually not overwhelming in the intense heat. For a more detailed account of Marrakech historical sites, it is worth investing in a local guide. These can be found through an agency or if you are prepared to haggle, amongst the crowds at the entrance to tourist areas.
Marrakech is also renowned for its gardens. In October, the Menara gardens are full of locals sparing a few moments in the shade of the pavilion. Majorelle gardens and the gardens at the Agdal Royal Palace are also very tranquil and worth a visit for those interested in gardening. Finally, Marrakech is also home to a newly built café and bar filled tennis club and a popular paintball and quad biking centre complete with its very own theme park. Offering usual activities with a slight Moroccan essence to them!

6.2. Casablanca

Casablanca sees an average high temperature of 25.9°C and an average low of 18.5°C, meaning that there is no major difference in temperature levels throughout the month. A fairly warm average sea temperature of 19°C makes the weather in October pleasant, however, the likelihood of rainy and cloudy days is quite high. Over 5 days of rain or showers are experienced throughout the month, often accumulative to an average of 34mm. Although this is still minimal in comparison to winter months, October is the start of the rainy season and this can affect the mood in the city. High humidity levels from 64% and up to 90% can make the temperature seem higher than it really is, and a combination of this and rain cause a rise in mosquitoes. High levels of mosquitoes can be very irritating and sometimes the possible fever or fatigue can lead to illnesses such as dengue fever, this is most common in areas near the beaches. On a more positive note, due to the amount of rainfall, October sees a large increase in the lushness and fertility of the landscape. This is ensured by the fact that from October to April the sun will only shine for 4-6 hours a day, due to the cloud cover and rainfall taking the country through winter.

6.3. Essaouira

Located on the west coast of Morocco, the seaside town of Essaouira is a stark contrast to the cities of Marrakech and Casablanca. Boasting a much milder climate than the rest of Morocco, with temperatures rarely going over 35 degrees Celsius, and with next to no rainfall, this is a stark contrast to the blistering heat of the larger cities. Suffering with strong winds for most of the year, Essaouira has been dubbed “The Windy City”. The windy season reaches its peak in June and July when the “Alzitr” is blowing west off the continent. This is not to put tourists off visiting, as the weather is still mild, but it doesn’t hold the same attractions as it does for the windsurfers and kiters. When October comes around, these winds will have subsided and the town will retain its calm ambience and friendly feel. The small streets and bustling markets of the Medina are a much more approachable experience when not being battered by the wind.

6.4 Merzouga desert

October is also the best time to come to Merzouga Sahara and spend a night in a bivouac in the sand dunes. During the day, even in October, the weather is very hot and it is possible to wear summer clothing. Usually at night the temperature falls to around 10 to 20 degrees Celsius, so a sweater is advisable for the evenings. From November through to February, the temperature can be quite cool during the day and very cold at night. There is also the possibility of rain around this time of year.
In 2010, unusual weather patterns throughout Morocco brought extremely heavy rainfall to the south and a lot of snow to the High Atlas. Some of these southern regions can be prone to flash flooding and heavy winds that come with violent desert thunderstorms. Since the southern regions of Morocco are poorly equipped to deal with even a small amount of rain, it is probably best to avoid these areas during the winter months. A lot of tour itineraries will have to be altered because of impassable dirt roads and that picturesque desert you were dreaming of could end up looking like a mud flat.

7. Cultural Considerations

It is customary to accept if invited to someone’s house, a meal, or to partake in some activity. It is often disappointing for the person extending the invitation if this is declined, and at the least, you will find they are persistent in asking you again and again. If you are invited to the home of a Moroccan, it is customary to bring a gift of some sort as a token of appreciation. Your conduct, manners, and dress will always be noted in public and even more so in private areas. It is said that Moroccans are a judgmental people, and you will find that impressions count for a great deal in how you are treated. In general, Moroccans are quite conservative, and it is appreciated if the dress code is followed, particularly by women. Try to respect yourself as you find yourself in a situation and to respect the Moroccan people. Many behaviors that the Westerner might find offensive are tolerated simply because they are executed by a foreigner, but this does not mean people are comfortable with it or do not view such actions negatively. And finally, it is always important to show politeness, patience, and good humor. This can yield many benefits in a variety of situations and perhaps save you from some unfavorable ones.

Visitors to Morocco may find themselves the brunt of attention solely due to their foreigner status. Children are the most common perpetrators of this and will often beg for small change, pens, or anything else they might think you have on you. It is worthwhile taking a humble approach to this and engaging with the kids. Many visitors come to Morocco on organized tours, hardly seeing any Moroccan people, and ultimately leave feeling the country and its people have left no impression on them.

Morocco boasts an array of different customs and etiquette that are quite unique to those in Western countries. Moroccans are a very welcoming and hospitable people. A smile and greeting will make everyday interactions much more pleasant. Handshakes are the customary form of greeting between the same sexes, though this may not always be the case between different sexes. The typical Moroccan handshake is rather light. Between close friends, it is not uncommon to see a thumb interlocking. Greetings are quite lengthy, and it is common to inquire about the health and wellbeing of one’s family and other such niceties. It is usual for men to walk hand in hand and to greet each other with a kiss on each cheek. Public displays of affection between the opposite sex are rare to see.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is observed in Morocco. This is a time of fasting, prayer, and repentance. Many restaurants close during the day, as people are not allowed to eat in public. Tourists are not exempt from this. While you are not expected to fast, it is prudent to respect those that are by not eating or drinking in public. It is considered impolite to be eating in front of fasting people. There are, however, some restaurants in the main cities and major tourist areas that do remain open during the day. It is also worth noting that the working day is much shorter during Ramadan, and the evenings can be quite festive, with families being out in the streets and children staying up much later than usual. Music will be played more frequently in the evenings, and people may be more inclined to dance and sing. In the more liberal touristy areas, people may not fast at all, but it is still best to show respect for those that are.

The month of October is a favorable time to visit Morocco from a climate perspective. Rain is uncommon in the cities and the south, and the temperature is warm but pleasant. However, there are a number of cultural considerations that may affect your travel experience.

7.1. Ramadan

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting for the Muslim community. This means abstaining from eating or taking anything into the body (smoking, drinking) between sunrise and sunset. The fast is broken each day at dusk with a meal called iftar. People are encouraged to wake up before the fast begins and take a meal called suhoor. Ramadan is a time for self-sacrifice and devotion to Allah. It is also seen as a method of self-purification. A time to cleanse the soul and refocus on spirituality and God. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is an obligation for all adult Muslims, although there are some exemptions. The holy month ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr where Muslims are required to give to those less fortunate than themselves in the form of a meal. This is so that Muslims all over the world can enjoy the day of Eid.

7.2. Local customs and etiquette

A smile – a universal sign of friendliness, but to many Muslim men it can be seen as an insult. It is best for a woman to nod her head to acknowledge a man greeting her. If a Moroccan offers to shake your hand, it is best to do so with the right hand. The left hand is considered unclean because it is used to assist in bathroom things. The traditional form of greeting involves a series of questions concerning one’s well-being, their families and things happening with them, and is followed by a series of responses. For instance, one might be asked about their family, to which the correct response would be to say al-hamdulillah (praise be to God). Foreigners are not expected to understand or follow these practices, but any attempt is looked upon as a great sign of respect to the Islamic traditions and the people who follow them.
Another interesting note is the tradition of Sbou. This involves sacrificing a sheep in the name of guests. This tradition still takes place today in many parts of the country. The sheep’s head is the part to look for a polite Moroccan will offer his guest. It is to say no to this that would give offense!

7.3. Traditional cuisine

Couscous is the staple food in Morocco. This is a type of pasta that is steamed over a special dish, mainly on Fridays but also at other festive times. In certain regions, it is considered as a specialist dish and is served with meat and vegetables in a spicy gravy. What is supposed to be couscous in some countries is a poor imitation of the real thing. In rural areas, couscous is eaten straight from a communal dish. One must roll it into a ball in the hand and use the ball to sop up the sauce, all the time using only the right hand. It is polite to start and finish with a “Bismillah” (which means “In the name of God”).

Traditional Moroccan cuisine is varied and delicious. It is an art to be savored during a visit. A wide range of influences are found in Moroccan food from Berber to Moorish, from Arab to French. Spice, in the form of ground ginger, pepper, cumin, and paprika to name but a few, is the very essence of Moroccan food. These spices are used to enhance the flavor of dishes made from high-quality ingredients. The skill is in the subtle balance of the flavors, the result is often a delicious blend of sweet and savory, with a mouth-watering aroma.

8. Safety and Health

If you are traveling from Europe to Morocco, travel insurance will often not cost much more than your flight and could well save you a lot of money in the long run. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) won’t be of any use to you in Morocco.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age arriving from infected areas. For all other visitors, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required. Vaccination against typhoid is also sometimes recommended.
Morocco has a reasonably good infrastructure of healthcare and medication, particularly in the tourist-friendly cities of Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat, and Casablanca. Pharmacies are denoted by a green cross and can offer a wide variety of treatments for mild medical complaints. So that more serious health problems do not ruin your holiday, it is often best to head to a private hospital where the treatment will be of a higher standard. If you have a more serious problem or injury, it may be necessary to be airlifted to Spain for emergency treatment. It is unlikely that you will be able to claim the cost of this on travel insurance if your treatment within Morocco is not of an adequate level, and it is for this reason that having an adequate insurance policy is of high importance.

8.1. Travel insurance

It won’t need to be reiterated again that Morocco is a country with high political tension and that there are occasional acts of terrorism. Standard travel insurance will not cover any travel in areas for which the FCO has advised against all travel, or all but essential travel. Thus far, the FCO advice is to avoid the Northern region bordering Algeria (parts of eastern Morocco around the town of Oujda and south and east of the city); and the Jais Mountain area and the Desert Tourism Circuit (these are wilderness areas east of the towns of Zagoura and Tinghir). Advice can change at any time, visiting tourists are urged to check the FCO website for updates during their trip. Any travel to an area with limited FCO advice is to be deemed as entirely at the tourist’s own risk. Special insurance with a specific war and terrorism clause would need to be purchased for this, and is really not advisable.

Travel insurance is highly advisable in Morocco. Travel insurance in Morocco should include air ambulance, as this is the usual way of getting to the hospital in an emergency, and is at the patient’s expense. Hospital care is very expensive, especially so if surgery is required. Any insurance should clearly state that it covers all scenarios, from minor complaints such as gastroenteritis, to intensive care treatment and major surgery. When receiving treatment, a guarantee of payment in cash or by credit card is often required, thus a 24-hour service allowing direct access to specialist medical advice and specific instructions will also be highly beneficial. It is important to keep a record of all receipts and medical documents in order to facilitate any insurance claims.

8.2. Vaccinations

You should consult your doctor or local health department about immunizations. Because recommendations can change, ask about current outbreaks of diseases such as meningitis, and other risks to Moroccan travelers affecting the vaccine availability. Plan to get the vaccine 4-6 weeks before you leave, in case you have side effects and need to postpone travel. If you receive vaccines abroad, keep the documents, in case your country requires verification of inoculation. Although there are no required vaccinations for Morocco, it is best to protect yourself from Hepatitis A and B if you haven’t already, Typhoid, Rabies, and a series of meningitis shots if you have not been vaccinated when you were younger. Yellow fever is another vaccination to consider, but can only be given at designated centers and may not be available in all countries. Doxycycline is a recommended preventive medication for Malaria, taken two days prior to entering the infected area, everyday while in the area, and for four weeks after leaving the area. This is yet another reason to consult a healthcare provider, due to the possible side effects on individuals.

8.3. Emergency services

However, in the case of an emergency, the Royal Air Maroc Ambulance Service is available throughout Morocco and aeromedical evacuation can be arranged. The provincial hospitals provide adequate services but there is a shortage of specialised medical care in the public hospitals. In the larger cities, private hospitals and clinics should be used in the case of a medical emergency. It is stated by the CDC that the most common cause of death for travellers to Morocco is cardiovascular disease, followed by traffic accidents. Those with pre-existing medical conditions should consult a doctor before travelling to plan the best management strategy as hospital and medical resources are limited. Mental health and counselling services can be arranged by the International SOS who have two clinics in Morocco, details of which can be found on their website. International SOS also has links to private air evacuation in the case of a mental health emergency. Although Morocco does not have a specific service for tourists in the case of an emergency situation, the consular section of the embassies or consulates are often able to offer advice and guidance.

9. Transportation

Buses are a generally efficient and comfortable way of getting around but they can be very crowded and are not always punctual. Supratours and CTM are two of the larger bus companies with Supratours offering premium services over CTM. The buses only operate on popular routes and do not serve the High Atlas or Anti-Atlas ranges or desert areas such as the Sahara, whatever the season. The train network connects major cities and is an efficient way of getting around. There are two types of trains, the ONCF which is the standard train and the newly introduced ONCF-Maroc Ferroviaire which is a faster, more modern, and more expensive train that connects Casablanca, Tangier, and Kenitra.

Morocco has a good network of buses and trains connecting the major cities and towns in Morocco, and you can reach remote areas using “petit” and “grand” taxis, which will take you to smaller villages and towns. The “petit” taxis are for a city and the “grand” taxis are considerably more expensive but will take you long distances, which can even sometimes be from one side of the country to the other.

9.2. Public transportation

There are 8 international airports in Morocco which include (in order of traffic size) Mohammed V (Casablanca), Menara (Marrakech), Anfa (Casablanca), Fes (Fez), Boukhalef (Tangiers), Agadir (Agadir), Rabat-Sale (Rabat) and Beni Mellal (Beni Mellal). The airports serve over 4 million passengers a year (Mohammed V alone serves over 3 million passengers). These airports offer direct flights to a large number of international destinations including most of Europe, flights to and from other parts of Africa, as well as transatlantic services to the United States and Canada. Of the many international airports, Mohammed V has the most flight connections, and it is advised that if you need to change between international and domestic flights that you allow ample time between flights as queues can be long. Royal Air Maroc is the national carrier and provides cheaper domestic flights to other parts of the country, in contrast to international carriers such as Easyjet, Ryanair, or transatlantic flights where prices can be considerably more expensive.

9.1. Airports

Morocco offers a range of transportation services to meet the needs of locals and tourists alike. Whether you are traveling within the country, or to other destinations such as Europe or other parts of North Africa, there are a variety of means to get you there.

9.1. Airports

There are several airports appropriate for visiting different locations of Morocco. The busiest airports are found in the cities of Casablanca and Marrakech. The most important airport in the country is Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) in Casablanca. It is located around 30 km from the city and it’s possible to go by train or taxi. It is a major airport for most European and North African countries, making it a central hub for tourists visiting Morocco. The second most important airport is Menara Airport (RAK) in Marrakech. It is a relatively small airport and receives mostly internal flights with a few flights from France and Spain. Other major airports are the Agadir Al Massira Airport (AGA) that is north of Agadir and Fes Sais Airport (FEZ) which is near Fes.
There are also many flights to smaller airports mainly from France and Spain from companies like Ryanair and Easyjet. These include Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG), Rabat Sale Airport (RBA) and Nador El Aroui International Airport (NDR) in the north and Oujda Angads Airport (OUD) that is to the east near Algeria. The flight prices for these destinations can often be very cheap and a bargain for people looking to save money.

9.2. Public transportation

In conclusion, public transport can be less time-consuming and offer an insight into Moroccan life, but can be problematic and potentially dangerous for tourists especially females and those who cannot speak French. The best transport option is hiring a private driver from an agency recommended in tour guidebooks. They are knowledgeable and can offer an insight into Moroccan culture. They are also safe and can provide a personalized itinerary and stops. Coming to and from the airport grand taxis can be good as they provide door-to-door service and can carry a lot of luggage, and are relatively cheaper than the airport taxis for groups of 3-6 people. With high safety and convenience and being a cost-effective transport option for getting between major cities, the best public transport option is the train especially for tourists.

The train network links the major towns and cities, and is the fastest way of getting between the major cities. There are three train lines. ONCF operates safe and comfortable services over long distances. It is possible to buy first and second class tickets from the main stations. The main line links Tangier to Oujda and stops in metropolitan cities such as Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Meknes, and Fes. High-speed trains run between Tangier, Kenitra, Rabat & Casablanca. There are also smaller commuter trains on two branch lines, one linking Marrakech with Casablanca and a shorter one linking Rabat with Salé and Témara. These commuter trains are worn and not recommended.

For those with a good command of French, travel by shared (either grands taxi or petits taxi) is relatively easy, enjoyable, and will help you to meet Moroccans. However, it can be time-consuming and is not recommended for single females or those who do not speak French. Safety is a concern in grands taxis when there are only two passengers. It is a requirement for the taxi to take its full complement of six passengers before leaving, but this is often waived in remote areas. Try to sit in the back with other passengers as often males of ill repute may take the front passenger seat. Few of Morocco’s public transport options are suitable for tourists who do not speak at least some French.

In the towns and cities, the small red public taxis (petits taxis) are popular and moderately priced. They operate on a set rate with a premium at night. You can usually get a petits taxi to the price of destination. In some cities there are also big white grand taxis (grands taxis) which run along fixed routes, and operate somewhat like buses. There are also numerous bus companies. Supratours is the most popular one as it is run by the ONCF. It provides a reliable and comfortable service between most major cities. There are also a number of small private bus companies providing services to specific destinations in large yellow white and blue grand taxis-buses. These are not recommended because they are often poorly maintained and driving can be erratic. Prices and timetables for these services are subject to change so they can be difficult to find information on.

9.3. Car rentals

It is often very cost effective and convenient to rent a car when travelling around Morocco. Most major international car rental agencies operate in Morocco. It is better to make advance booking especially during the peak tourist season of July to August, or if you require an automatic transmission. If you are not taking the car into the desert or the mountains, a small European model is ideal, being economical and also allowing you to negotiate through the narrow streets of the medinas found in the older Moroccan cities.
Many of the international car rental agencies can arrange for you to pick up a car at one location in Morocco and leave it at another. Prices can vary significantly depending on the company, the type of car, time of year and how long you intend to rent for. Shop around as rates can sometimes be negotiated, particularly for longer rentals or during the off-peak season.
While the roads from the northern coast to the inland cities and to the south are generally good, there are many potholed or unsealed roads in rural areas. Driving at night outside the city is best avoided. Always make sure to respect the speed limit as it is not uncommon to be pulled over by a police road block. It is a good idea to have a basic idea of the French or Arabic name for the city you are travelling to as some road signs are written in these languages. If you plan to travel to remote areas it would be wise to obtain a good map and possibly seek detailed directions.

9.4 take a tour with us

The winter can be quite hot and Marrakech can be an ideal retreat from the cold and damp weather of Northern Europe. By contrast, the weather in January can be just eight degrees lower than in July. Marrakech benefits from over 300 days of sun per year and the rain falls between November and March mainly in short showers. So for a short burst of winter sun and a taste of summer, Marrakech is ideal especially during the months of October and April.

But take a tour with us round the popular tourist city of Marrakech. Marrakech is located in the central parts of Morocco and the weather is a little different to that of northern Europe. In the summer months, the weather can be extreme and temperatures can soar in July and August. The average monthly temperature is 37 degrees C. Take a look at the variation in temperature between some European cities and Marrakech.

We will take example of a country which is in extreme northwest of Africa, with coastline on the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; to the east and southeast is Algeria, to the south is the Western Sahara, and to the west is the Atlantic Ocean. The weather varies greatly and depends on what part of the country you are in. In the south of Morocco, the weather is very hot with little rain in summer and winter. The weather can be very extreme. In the Atlas mountain region, the weather can be quite cold and the ski season can start in November and finish in late April.

10. Accommodation Options

Located all around the country, hotels and resorts are by far the most common form of accommodation in Morocco, offering great value and a comfortable place to stay. For the budget traveller, there are some backpacker hostels available, but these are limited to the main tourist hubs of the country. For those with deeper pockets, it is possible to find some truly extravagant places to stay, namely in the more popular tourist spots such as Marrakesh and Agadir. These vary from chic and modern luxury resorts to grand old colonial-style hotels. There are a few all-inclusive resorts in Morocco, but the concept is not as widely practiced as it is in neighboring Tunisia. Generally, a good idea for any tourist is to find accommodation that is run by Moroccans themselves, as there are many hotels that are actually owned by foreigners and often don’t represent a true Moroccan experience in terms of links with the local community or its cultural surroundings.

10.1. Hotels and resorts

There are an abundance of hotel and resort accommodation options available in Morocco to suit all tastes and budgets. For a sunny beach holiday, Agadir is a popular spot and has a vast number of 4 and 5-star hotels that are reasonably priced out of peak season. Marrakech has a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from budget hotels to luxury palatial resorts. The outskirts of Marrakech boast a number of golf resorts and the area of Palmeraie has a good selection of high-quality resorts complete with spa facilities and lush gardens. Morocco’s coastal towns and cities have a high concentration of hotels, from Tangier in the north to Agadir in the south. Inland and in the smaller towns, the quality and quantity of accommodation options diminishes and it may be harder to find a good quality hotel. The capital city, Rabat, and the old capital, Fes, are home to many functional 3-star hotels that are well priced.
The big cities and the touristy areas have a number of international hotel chains from the luxurious to the affordable. Many of the top-end hotels are of an international standard and are equipped with swimming pools and a range of facilities. They also have a selection of quality restaurants and bars though the prices are often far higher than in local places. High-end hotels and resorts often offer package deals that include accommodation, meals, airport transfers, and guided excursions. During the summer months, some hotels offer special deals for families and all-inclusive options. It is common to find that hotel prices have surged from July to August, so it is best to avoid these months if you are traveling on a budget.

10.2. Riads

Riads are traditional Moroccan homes that have been turned into small hotels or guesthouses. Staying in a riad is an excellent way to sample Moroccan culture and often these buildings are friendly and welcoming places. The built in the traditional Moroccan style, the accommodation in a riad centres around an open-air courtyard with a garden where you can eat breakfast or dinner. The paintwork is typically of soothing, earthy colours try to add the Berber warmth and hospitality and many riads are decorated with mosaics and intricate tile work. Although the riads are generally cheaper than staying in a hotel, the trend towards renovated riads sometimes pushes prices higher than the equivalent standard of accommodation in a hotel. Keep in mind that some of the older and more established riads have no telephone or website and it will be difficult to make a reservation. During October it’s best to look out for riads with heating as this will undoubtedly be needed this time of year.

10.3. Camping sites

For people who prefer the outdoors, there are camping facilities throughout Morocco. The Moroccan climate can be quite extreme for people used to temperate climes: cold and wet in winter and extremely hot in summer. The high tourist season is July and August, and this is when most Moroccans living in Europe return for their holidays. Consequently, finding a place to pitch a tent or park a camper can be a challenge. For those who prize solitude and wild places, it is often best to just ask someone (a shopkeeper, farmer, or truck driver) if it is acceptable to camp on their property. Nearly everyone will agree, but it is wise to make clear whether land is public or private, as well as the nature of the camping place. A good distance from the road is often not considered public just because it is unfenced. Groups of young people can often buy the use of a farmer’s barn for a night, or a room in his house, at a very low cost. This is a good way to gain insight into the life of rural people. In popular tourist areas, there are campgrounds of varying quality. Most are located to take advantage of the natural beauty that draws tourists, and space is often at a premium. High season travelers would be well advised to inquire or make reservations 1 to 2 days in advance. Be aware that a place described as a “campground” in a tourist office may be just a grassy clearing with a water tap. In the mountains, several ski chalets offer cheap off-season lodging to trekkers. Although they are sparsely populated in summer, it is best to call ahead.