Morocco is quickly becoming a hot travel destination not just for young travelers, but many families are choosing to visit Morocco with kids. While many people planning a trip to Morocco will combine a few days in Marrakech with a visit to Spain or Portugal, this country in North Africa has so much to offer that it is worth planning a separate Morocco itinerary.
Two weeks is really the ideal amount of time to visit Morocco (after all not many of us get three weeks of vacation that we can take at one time!) However, you can definitely get a very good feel for the country with just one week or, even better, at least 10 days.
Depending on how much time you can spend in country, you have some tough choices to make about what you keep in and what you have to leave out of your Morocco itinerary.
For example, if you dream of riding camels in the Sahara desert and staying overnight in a desert camp, it is hard to fit into a one week Morocco itinerary unless you only want to do Marrakech and the desert.
It is at least an eight-hour drive from Fes to Merzouga at the edge of the Sahara, and even further from Marrakech. If you only have 7 days in Morocco, you can still have a camel desert experience, it is just going to be the rocky desert, not those gorgeous dunes of the Sahara.
Similarly, you really can’t fit in the gorgeous Blue City of Chefchaouen all the way in the north if you only have a 10 day Morocco itinerary. At least not unless you are willing to give up a trip to the desert! We even had a bit of trouble squeezing it into our 12 day trip to Morocco.
But that is ok, I’m going to walk you through what a 7, 10, or 2 week itinerary could look like.
Morocco Itinerary 7 Days
- Days 1-4: Marrakech
- Days 5-7 Fes or Merzouga Desert
If you only have one week in Morocco, I would recommend that you fly into Marrakech. If you find a better deal or a direct flight flying into Casablanca, just keep in mind that most visitors don’t spend much more than an afternoon in Casablanca to see the Hassan II Mosque, and that it is approximately three hours from Marrakech.
4 days in Marrakech
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Plan to spend three nights in Marrakech (four if you want to do a day trip). You may choose to stay in a traditional Moroccan riad, or at one of the resorts like the Four Seasons Marrakech or the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech, outside of city center. Some good riad options include:
- Riad Kaiss in Marrakech – maximum charm (this is where we stayed for two nights and then we split our time between the riad and the Four Seasons for two nights)
- Villa des Orangers — for a splurge riad
- Riad Kniza — more reasonably priced
Spend your first full day soaking in the city with a half-day tour of Marrakech souk. This will then leave you plenty of time to wander through the medina and shop after the tour.
In your free time, you may want to visit some of the major attractions such as:
- Dar El Bacha
- El Badi or Bahia Palace
- Les Jardins Majorelle botanical gardens and YSL Museum
- Museum of Marrakech
- Dar Si Said
- Koutoubia Mosque
- Saadian Tombs
- Jemaa-el-Fna square (go in the evening)
If you have a fourth day in Marrakech, I would recommend choosing an excursion that interests you outside of the city. These are primarily full day excursions, although some could be half day. Some options include:
- Day trip to Essaouira — Essaouira is a picturesque seaside town. The main square was used in Orson Welles’ Othello. The bay is popular with kite and wind surfers, and you can head down to the water to see the fishing boats and then walk along La Skala, one of the port bastions. We planned to do this but unfortunately we got sick and didn’t feel up to it and we had to cancel.
- High Atlas Mountains / Berber Villages — head into the High Atlas Mountains and visit a few authentic Berber villages, including a stop for lunch at a local’s home. You can even include a camel ride.
- Ouarzazate and Ait Ben haddou — take a full day trip across the Atlas Mountains to see the ancient kasbah of Ait Ben haddou (you may recognize this from Gladiator or Game of Thrones) and the “Hollywood in the Desert” of Ouarzazate. If you choose to go to the desert instead of Fes, you would then continue on to the desert from here.
- Rock Desert and Camel Ride — take a half-day excursion into the nearby rocky desert and climb on board a camel for a ride through a palm grove. This tour will typically stop for traditional mint tea in a local village.
- Other options include quad biking, horseback riding, and tours of Marrakech via motorbike sidecar.
3 days in Fes
In the interest of time, from Marrakech I would recommend taking a short one-hour flight to Fes. The old town of Fes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features the best medina in Morocco. It is known as the intellectual and spiritual heart of Morocco, whereas Marrakech is more touristy.
If you don’t want to see Fes, you could try to fit in a trip to the desert instead. Day four would take you to Ouarzazate/Skoura. Then day five would bring you to the desert. On days six and seven you would need to reverse the trip. It is a lot of driving to fit into just a week!
If you continue to Fes, this is where I would definitely recommending staying in a traditional riad, even if you opted for a resort or a riad outside of the medina in Marrakech. Some great options include:
- Riad Fes — Relais & Chateaux luxury riad (this is where we stayed)
- Karawan Riad — gorgeous property, best of the best
- Dar Roumana — more budget friendly but quite traditional and nice
Upon arrival, I would head out on a Fes food tour (unless you took one in Marrakech, then maybe try a cooking class with Riad Fes.) If you aren’t much of a foodie, then I would suggest taking a handicraft tour or visit the tanneries to see this important part of the local culture and economy. Fes is definitely a great spot to do some of your souvenir shopping!
Or, if you just want to relax, try out one of the traditional hammams for a soak, scrub, and massage.
Your second day in Fes is when you should really dig into exploring this amazing city. I would recommend hiring a guide to get the full history and background, but you could certainly explore many of these places on your own. Some of the highlights include:
- Ancient Medina
- Royal Palace with its golden gates
- Old Jewish Quarter
- Pottery quarter
- Nearby fortresses of Borj Sud and Borj Nord
On your last day in Morocco, you need to get back to your city of departure. You could either fly back to Marrakech, or you could hire a driver to take you to Casablanca via Meknes and Rabat.
Morocco Itinerary 10 Days
- Days 1-4: Marrakech
- Day 5: Eit Ben Haddou / Skoura
- Day 6: Merzouga, Sahara Desert
- Days 7-10: Fes
With three extra days to play with, you will have time to add get out to the Sahara desert if you don’t mind spending a lot of time in a car. Start your trip out in Marrakech, as I have outlined above, but on your fourth day, either rent a car or hire a driver for your three-day trip into the desert.
3 Days in the Desert
You will travel across the plains that surround Marrakech and over the Tichka Pass of the High Atlas Mountains. The first stop will either be the ancient kasbah of Telouet, or head straight to Ait Ben Haddou.
Ait Ben Haddou is the best preserved kasbah in Morocco. The village is an 11th century collection of kasbahs that are still inhabited by a handful of families. It will look familiar because it has been used as the backdrop to many movies and TV shows.
There aren’t really any signs or markers within the town, so to get the most out of the experience, I would recommend hiring a local guide. If you have a driver, they can probably help arrange this. Expect to pay around 200 Dirhams (about $20) for a short tour (see my Morocco trip budget to learn more about what a trip to Morocco costs.)
From Ait Ben Haddou, you will go through Ouarzazate. Today this ex-French foreign legion outpost is a bit touristy and the center of the movie industry.
At the end of the day you will arrive in Skoura, a palm oasis, where you can spend the night. If you are looking for luxury, Dar Ahlam is the place to stay. However, we stayed at the L’Ma Lodge, which features a large garden of palms and fruit trees with a pool and welcoming relaxation areas. We loved this the most of all of our accommodations on the trip. It was such a relaxing place to chill out.
Your next day is spent driving from Skoura to Merzouga at the edge of the Sahara desert. You will pass through the Dades Valley and Kelaa M’Gouna (which sits at the head of the “Rose Valley”) and Todra Gorge. If you have time, stop at one of the women’s rose cooperatives to purchase rose oil, rose water, and other locally-made products.
Stop for lunch near the Todra Gorge and you can take an easy hike through the upper part of the gorge. Todra Gorge is a sandstone ravine with 300 meter cliffs on either side of a very narrow passage.
From there, you will continue on to arrive in Merzouga before sunset. If you choose, you can arrange for a sunset camel trek into the desert to get to your desert camp.
There are quite a few desert camps in this area, so it isn’t like you are alone in the Sahara. The one we stayed at was Jaimas Madu, which had private tents with private bathroom facilities (a must for us!) We were surprised by how nice our tent was and the food was delicious. It was such a special experience.
In the morning we spent some time trying to sandboard on the dunes before leaving camp. After this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the next day is dedicated to the long drive over to Fes. You will pass through the Middle Atlas Mountains.
Be sure to stop before you get to the Swiss-inspired university town of Ifrane to feed the macaques. You can’t miss them as you are driving by and there are vendors selling peanuts.
Once you arrive in Fes, you can pick up from the one week Morocco itinerary above to complete your trip.
Two Weeks in Morocco
- Day 1 Casablanca / Rabat
- Day 2 Rabat to Chefchaouen
- Day 3 Chefchaouen
- Day 4-7 Fes
- Day 7-8 Sahara
- Day 8-10 Skoura
- Day 10-14 Marrakech
If you have two weeks to spend in Morocco — lucky you! We recently visited in March 2019 and spent 12 nights in Morocco and it would have been really nice to have those two extra nights to give the trip a more leisurely pace. As it was, we compressed our travel day into a horribly long day to fit in everything that we wanted.
For your two week Morocco itinerary, I would try to fly into Casablanca and out of Marrakech, or into/out of Casablanca (unless you are connecting through Europe, then it would be ideal to start in Tangier if you could.)
Upon arrival in Casablanca, you could either spend your first night there (visit the Hassan II Mosque and Rick’s Cafe) or head up to Rabat, the Morocco’s capital city.
In Rabat, you can hit a few of the city’s highlights: Hassan Tower, Kasbah des Oudaias, Chellah, and the Medina before the four-five hour drive to Chefchaouen.
Chefchaouen is known as the Blue City and tourism is booming after many have fallen in love with the its blue-washed walls and secret alleyways after seeing it on Instagram (confession – I’m guilty!) It is arguably the prettiest city in Morocco, nestled between two peaks of the Rif Mountains.
You will have a little over a day to explore the winding alleyways and markets of Chefchaouen. Discover the old Jewish quarter, and visit the Ras El Ma spring, where local women wash their clothes.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a hike to the old Spanish Mosque / fort on a hill outside the medina. From here you can see beautiful views of the valley and if you are lucky, catch a beautiful sunset.
From Chefchaouen, drive four hours to Fes, where you will pick up from the 10-day itinerary, but in reverse. Spend three nights in Fes, then head to the desert. On your way out of the desert, you can spend two nights in Skoura to break up the driving.
You will then continue on to Marrakech via Eit Ben Haddou. You can either fly out of Marrakech, or arrange a three hour transfer back to Casablanca at the end of your trip.
- Stay tuned for my Morocco travel tips
- Wondering how much a trip to Morocco costs? See my Morocco trip budget.
- Find out what to wear in Morocco