Visiting Morocco In Winter, Your Morocco Tour Guide
Morocco is the perfect travel destination regarding of season. Visiting Morocco in winter can make for a rewarding holiday travel experience. The period around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year is a popular time to take vacation and a great time of year to get away from it all. Morocco is a cold country with hot sun. Morocco enjoys sunny, mild weather year round and makes a perfect winter vacation destination.
Depending on the type of vacation you seek as a Morocco traveler a private tour can be arranged with varied trips that focus on one or two centers as well as tours encompassing as much or as little of this fascinating country as you have time and interest to visit.
To give you some idea of the variety Morocco has to offer, here are a few suggestions…
The coastal resort of Agadir enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year and is the perfect base for a family holiday or for exploring Morocco’s Southern Atlantic Coast. The daytime temperature is typically around 70°F (although evenings are cool – pack a sweater) and although the sea is cooler than in summer, most hotels and resorts have heated pools and there is none of the sea fog characteristic of the hotter summer months. With a new marina development, Agadir offers fine dining and also plenty of nightclubs and casinos for those looking for a party!
Agadir is also a great base or starting point for a more active vacation. Morocco’s Southern Atlantic Coast is world-ranking for surfing and other water sports. December to March is the peak surfing season in Taghazout (15 miles north of Agadir), when the big winter swells from the North Atlantic hit. Equipment and instruction is easily obtained locally and non-surfers can enjoy deserted beaches and mountains for long winter walks as well as yoga lessons and plenty of opportunities to relax gazing out at the ocean, coffee or wine glass in hand.
Maybe the ocean isn’t your thing and you prefer the mountains? From Marrakech, the High Atlas Mountains are within easy reach, including the ski resort of Oukaimden. Yes, you read right – skiing in Africa! Facilities are not as developed as in the European or North American resorts, but if you fancy skiing at Africa’s highest resort (5 runs at 11,000 ft) and experiencing snow sports ‘Moroccan style,’ this is your chance! Trekking is also possible in the Atlas Mountains in winter, although ascents of snow-covered Mount Toubkal (North Africa’s highest peak at 13,671 ft) are only recommended for those experienced in winter conditions.
From snow-covered peaks to vast sandy deserts…. Morocco’s Sahara Desert is very accessible in winter, once the heat of the summer has died down. At night, you will need the winter clothes you wore to get here, but you will experience stunning clear, starry skies as you sit around the campfire with your Berber hosts. And early risers will catch the unique sight of sunrise over the sand dunes. Morocco has two principal dune ranges: Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga. We can arrange trips and overnight stays in both starting from the desert city of Ouarzarzate – in luxury Berber tent or boutique kasbah accommodation. Including camel rides, of course!
If all of that seems rather active for your winter vacation, Morocco’s medinas (old cities) offer plenty of distractions – and relaxation opportunities. Indulge in an authentic Moroccan hammam where you will be scrubbed clean and warmed from the inside out. Spa treatments are also available. Shop til you drop and haggle for bargains in the souks of Marrakech, Fes and Essaouira. And don’t worry – the vendor will be happy to ship that carpet right to your door back home! At the end of the day, enjoy a fireside dinner of traditional Moroccan cuisine in your historical riad guest house (restored townhouse, often more than 200 years old) or modern resort hotel. In either you will be surrounded by the famous Moroccan warmth and hospitality.
Events winter vacationers may wish to travel for include:
Marrakech International Film Festival – 5-13 December 2014, Marrakech. Annual festival features new Moroccan and international films plus retrospective categories and is attended by a star-studded jury.
New Year’s Eve – 31 December 2014. Moroccans typically don’t celebrate new year according to the lunar calendar, but there are plenty of events in tourism centres catering for those wishing to ring out the old and bring in the new!
Marrakech Marathon – 25 January 2015. Road race in this historic city with Half Marathon option.
However you decide to spend your winter vacation in Morocco, a private tour company like Travel Exploration can design your trip of a lifetime!
Written by Lynn Sheppard
Lynn Sheppard has lived in Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast for more than 2 years, supporting local non-profits, writing and becoming an expert on all things Swiri (ie. Essaouiran). She blogs at Maroc-phile.com and for other travel industry clients. You can contact Lynn at: firstname.lastname@example.org