Road trip in Morocco: the different places to discover
Only 2 hours from France by plane, Morocco is a dream destination for those who like to discover the country. It indeed offers diverse landscapes (canyons, valleys, deserts, mountains…), magnificent cities, atypical villages and a most welcoming population. You don’t know what to do in Morocco? How about a road trip in Morocco?
Are you tempted by the adventure? In this article, I offer you as much information as possible to organize your road trip in Morocco. For example, I tell you what circuit to do, where and how to rent a car, what to put in your suitcases… I even give you some details to define your budget and tips to make your stay go perfectly
When to leave? For how long ?
It must be said, one of the big advantages is that it is a country where road trips are possible throughout the year and the choice of routes is incredible. You can travel the country from north to south, from east to west and from the sea to the Sahara desert.
The ideal time to take a road trip in Morocco is from April to June and from September to October when it will be less hot. In summer, there can be strong heat waves and high humidity, especially near the coast. It is therefore not the best time to take a tour, especially if you plan to go to the south of the country.
Note that during Ramadan, there are not many tourists, you can take advantage of advantageous rates, find accommodation easily and be quiet when visiting tourist sites. It’s a great plan and if you want more, I invite you to read my guide to know when to go to Marrakech
On the other hand, in winter, the cold can be difficult to live with, especially if you are thinking of doing your road trip in the Atlas Mountains.
How many days are needed to see most of the Moroccan landscapes and cities? It all depends on what you want to discover: the mountains, the desert, the coast or the interior. There are also the beautiful and big cities and the small isolated villages.
To make the most of your road trip, I advise you to leave for 15 days, or even 3 weeks, if you have the possibility. This will also allow you to meet Moroccans and visit most of the must-see sites.
The most important stages of a road trip in Morocco
Between the visits of the big cities and the crossing of the small villages, you will never be bored! Morocco has so many assets that your days will always be full.
You can walk through fields of olive trees, swim in rivers and lakes and find shade under date palms. Not to mention the many possible excursions such as desert getaways and hikes in the Atlas Mountains.
So that you can plan your stay, I have prepared a small list of towns and villages through which you must absolutely pass. I’ve written down the must do’s that you need to put on your list of things to see and do
The so-called white city can be the starting point of your road trip in Morocco. Start by stopping at the mythical Café Hafa which is located on a cliff overlooking the sea. Drink a tea and admire the beautiful panorama that you will have in front of you.
Among the other points of view of the city of Tangier, there is the view from the port. From the Kasbah Museum, you will sometimes see Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar.
There are also some cultural visits to do in Tangier, for example, I advise you to visit Dar El Makhzen, the former palace of the Sultans of Tangier. There is also a visit to the Caves of Hercules and for a short break, Cap Spartel will be the ideal place for a picnic. This is a promontory where you will see where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet.
Where to sleep in Tangier?
Hotel Miranda Tanger is a hotel offering beautiful comfortable rooms, not far from Tangier airport. For just under $ 95 per night, you will enjoy breakfast included.
Marina Bay is my favorite in Tangier! It is a seaside hotel in the corniche of Tangier and to reach the city center, you will only have to walk since it is located a few meters away. One night costs approximately $ 105.
Tetouan is 63 km southeast of Tangier. It is known for its superb beaches. Martil beach or Cabo Negro beach are splendid seaside resorts.
But don’t be satisfied with that! The medina, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Feddan Park are also worth visiting. Also take the time to enter the old train station where The Tetouan Center of Modern Art is now located.
The blue city (the streets are repainted several times a year by the inhabitants of Chefchaouen) is one of the most beautiful in Morocco. It is located in the Rif mountains, 65 km south of Tetouan. For the little anecdote, the streets are repainted several times a year by the inhabitants of the village themselves.
Immerse yourself in the heart of its alleys and take a thousand shots. Then go and admire the sunset from the Buzafar Mosque, which is called the Spanish mosque. I also advise you to go see the Achkour Waterfalls in the Akchour nature reserve 30 minutes away by car. If you want to swim, you will have to be patient and walk a good 2 hours before arriving at the waterfalls.
Located 200 km south of Chefchaouen, Fez is the imperial city and one of the most fascinating in the country. There are so many things to see! I also advise you to sleep in Fez for a few nights to take full advantage of the city, I will give you some addresses a little further down in this article.
Start by going to Fez El Bali, the old town. It is the medina and it is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impossible today to get lost in the maze of its alleys because the city has been redeveloped and signs will show you the paths to follow and the sites not to be missed and this from the gateway to the medina, Bab Boujloud .
During your walk, you can buy heaps of souvenirs in the small shops and especially admire the work of the artisans of the city. Thus, on Place Esseffarine, you will see the work of coppersmiths. In front of the famous Nehjjarine fountain and the souk just opposite, the Fondouk Nejjarine, you will see the cabinetmakers. Then descend to the famous tanneries of Fez which are located near the Medersa Essaffarin, you will see the tanners who still use 11th century methods to dye sheepskins.
Do not forget to pass in front of the Karaouiyine Mosque, you will not be able to enter it if you are not of the Muslim faith, but that will be more than enough since the view you will have is exceptional. Then, go and admire the architecture of the old Koranic school Medersa El Attarine.
On the side of the new city, Fez Jdid, you can stroll through the Jewish quarter, the Mellah and take your picture in front of the royal palace just next door. Then take a break in the Jnan Sbil garden where you can refresh yourself near the lake and among the fountains and tall bamboos. This part of the city also has super and luxurious cafes and a gigantic shopping center, Borj Fès from where you will have a superb view of the city. You will have the opportunity to discover all these places during a half-day excursion with a guide in the streets of Fez at the price of 14 € per person .
To the south of the city, you have Ifrane which looks very much like a kind of small Swiss town, and its superb national park. There is one of the largest cedar forests in the world. Some trees are over 800 years old! Beware, however, of the Barbary macaques which are the attraction of the area, they are a little too excited by the food!
Where to sleep in Fez?
Riad Le Moucharabieh in Fez is the perfect opportunity to completely immerse yourself in Moroccan culture by sleeping in the traditional Moroccan house: the Riad. In this one, located right in the center of the old town, you will enjoy a night from $ 58 with breakfast included.
Riad Sidrat Fes is another traditional accommodation in the city, which is located near the new town. To spend the night there, count about 105 $ and of course, breakfast is included.
If you cannot go to Ifrane, head west to visit another imperial city: Meknes, 64 km from Fez, it is also a very charming city.
The must-see is Place El-Ehdim, a sort of mini Jamaa El Fna in Marrakech. Gateway to the medina, you will see many street vendors (food, clothes, toys…) and street artists of all kinds.
Among the other sites to see, you have:
the Sahrij Souani, a huge water reservoir near which the inhabitants come to sit and chat.
The Hri Souani granaries with the stables just next door.
Bab Mansour, the gateway to the city.
The Medersa Bou Inania with its superb view of the city.
About twenty kilometers to the north, you have Moulay Idriss Zerhoune, a small village on a hill from which you will also have a nice panorama. It is a real place of pilgrimage for Moroccans because it houses the Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed and founder of the Idrisside dynasty. Unfortunately, access is forbidden to non-Muslims.
About thirty kilometers away, you will find the ancient city of Volubilis. You will discover pretty Roman ruins which have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (remains of mosaics, thermal baths, etc.).
Rabat is 150 km west of Meknes. Even if it is not as touristic as the other cities of the country and you will surely wonder what to do in Rabat, this city must be in the program of your road trip in Morocco. And after all, it’s the capital!
You can stroll through the medina, get lost in the alleys with white and blue houses of the Kasbah des Oudayas district, an old fortress, visit the Hassan Tower (an unfinished minaret) and approach the Mausoleum where the ancient kings of the Morocco. Also visit the Chellah Necropolis, an ancient Roman city.
Finally, drive along the corniche and enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, don’t miss the gigantic new Marina.
Where to sleep in Rabat?
If you are staying in the capital for a few days, here are some of my favorite places to sleep in Rabat
Riad Dar Rabiaa is a place that I love! It is close to all the places of interest I was telling you about, such as the Hassan Tower, and offers a setting that is both traditional and modern. Breakfast is included in the price of one night fixed at 90 $.
Riad Meftaha is another address in the capital that I recommend. The establishment is also perfectly located, near the Kasbah of the Oudayas. Here too, breakfast is included in the price of the night from 95 $.
If you don’t know what to do in Casablanca, the main attraction is the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world. What makes it special is that it was mostly built on water. It is also my favorite spot to take the most beautiful photos of all Morocco.
Otherwise, Casablanca is more of a European-style city with large avenues and large shopping centers. It is very nice for those looking to party!
Where to sleep in Casablanca?
Of course, you will find more addresses in my article where to sleep in Casablanca, but here is a small selection just for you.
Family Aparthotel, as its name suggests is both an apartment and a hotel, breakfast is part of the price of the night at around 89 $ but the accommodation also offers a kitchenette for the rest of your meals. You will also be close to Casablanca Cathedral and the old medina.
StayHere Casablanca Ghautier II is the second accommodation that I have selected for you. This time it is a simple, very modern apartment in which you will necessarily feel at ease. One night costs about 79 $ and you will also be close to places of interest.
Marrakech is one of the most touristic cities in the country. Located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, it is the 4th largest city in Morocco. You don’t know what to do in Marrakech? I will explain everything to you just below.
Impossible not to go there, if only to go through its large Place Jemaa El Fna. It is teeming with people day and night and you can do and see a lot of things there. First there are the many street vendors who sell sandwiches, tajines (meat, vegetables, fish…) and freshly squeezed orange juice and then there are the street artists who present their shows and folklore , always with a big smile.
And the city offers so much more! You absolutely must visit the following places:
The medina (be careful not to get lost because it is a real labyrinth) and its shops where you will find thousands of items to buy (fabrics, slippers, djellabas, pottery, spices…).
The Majorelle Garden with its exotic plants, its art deco architecture and its Berber museum.
The Yves-Saint-Laurent Museum
- The Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in the city and its magnificent garden
- The Menara Gardens
- The various Koranic schools, including the Medersa Ben Youssef or the Maison de la Photographie.
- The Bahia Palace, the El Badi Palace and the Saadian Tombs during a half-day excursion at 47 $ per person.
Do not forget to observe the panorama of the city from one of the many terraces of the city. The palm grove of the so-called La Cité Rouge in the vicinity of the city is also an obligatory stage of your stay in Morocco.
If you don’t want to do it by car, plan a quad tour in the Marrakech desert or even a camel ride thanks to the excursion in the palm grove of Marrakech that I suggest. For this, count about 47 $per person.
The other essential activity in the surroundings of Marrakech is to visit the Ouzoud Waterfalls (110 m high), 157 km from Marrakech where you can have a good meal in the very heart of the wadi.
Take a detour to see Mount Toubkal, from Oukaimeden about 80 km south of Marrakech. This area is considered the ski resort of Marrakech. You can do a 2-day trek, or even start climbing the mountain if you are a pro hiker (4,167 meters).
Where to sleep in the city of Marrakech?
I strongly advise you to stay several days in this cosmopolitan city, and for that here are some addresses where to sleep in Marrakech.
Riad & Spa le Secret de Zoraida is the first establishment in which I suggest you spend your nights. You will be able to enjoy a luxurious and warm setting in the heart of the medina of Marrakech. You can even enjoy the spa at the end of the day to relax! All for €95 per night with breakfast included.
The Riad azra Marrakech is also an exceptional place where you can spend a night for just €55. The atmosphere is a little less warm there, but you can also enjoy the benefits of the spa after a day in the car. Of course you will always be close to places like the Jemaa El Fna square. If you are looking for other addresses of riads in Marrakech, I have a complete article for you.
Between Marrakech and Ouarzazate there are 195 km. Count nearly 4 hours by road but you will enjoy magnificent landscapes. There is not much to do in Ouarzazate except stroll through the souks and pass by Place Almowahidin.
The city of Ouarzazate is best known for its film studios. The Cinema Studio Atlas where you can discover the sets of many Hollywood films such as Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia or Kingdom of Heaven. You will also see the behind the scenes of Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra.
You can also visit the Kasbah Taourirt. Built in the 17th century, it is one of the largest and one of the most beautiful kasbahs in the country. It is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Add Fint’s Oasis to your program. It is located south of the city, about fifteen kilometers, be careful, there are a lot of stones on the road. With its pretty palm grove, its huge rocky peaks and its very refreshing river, it’s a real little corner of paradise in the middle of the desert! You can even spend the night there if you wish.
Unless you prefer to go swimming in the lake of the Barrage El Mansour Eddahbi which is only 17 km east of the city. The water is bewitchingly blue!
Do not miss the Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou, location of Game of Thrones in particular. This sublime Berber fortified terracotta village overlooking the Ouarzazate River has also been classified by UNESCO. Feel free to stroll through the small streets of the Ksar and spend the night there, just to enjoy the sunrise and sunset!
A tip: climb to the attic at the top of the fortress to enjoy a superb 360° view of the entire village of Aït Ben Haddou and the valley that surrounds it.
Then take the direction of Skoura, another pretty palm grove 45 km to the east on the road of 1,000 kasbahs and Tineghir. You will follow the Oued Dadès.
Between Skoura and the Dadès Gorges, there are 88 km. This region, where the valley is luxuriant and the rocks are red, is one of the most peaceful in the country. Along the way, you will come across El-Kelaa El-M’Gona, a fortress that was once a prison for opponents of the regime.
At Kalaat M’Gouna, about 40 km from the Dades Gorges, you will enter the Valley of Roses. You can buy many rose products there: soaps, water, cosmetics… Rose cultivation is very important in this region. Many families live from its harvest, which goes from mid-April to the end of May (it takes 4 tons of roses to obtain 1 kg of extract). It is therefore the best time to go there: when the fields are in bloom. In May, there is even the Rose Festival, which lasts 4 days in the city.
If you want to rest for the night, you will find many ksars, lodges and hotels but if you can, do it in Boulmane Dadès.
The Dadès Gorges are simply splendid. Along the road that winds through the valley, you will discover many varied landscapes with incredible views of canyons, green fields and cliffs. There are many switchbacks through these landscapes worthy of the American West. On the program of your activities in the area: many hikes, especially in the Canyon des Doigts du Singe.
River and Gorges of Toudgha
In the hollow of the valley, you can take the fresh air near the water which flows throughout the year. You can also go climbing on the vertical walls.
After the Toudgha Gorges, direction Merzouga, with a short stop in Rissani. You will see that the closer you get to the desert, the rarer the vegetation becomes. The landscapes are very reminiscent of the savannah.
Merzouga is a small village which is just over 40 km from Rissani. It is just at the gates of the Sahara, not far from the Algerian border.
The dunes of Merzouga are the highest and most beautiful in the desert. It is even one of the most beautiful places in the world to admire the sunset sunrise and take great shots. A magical moment to live.
The best thing is to be able to bivouac on the spot to take full advantage of the desert: go on camel, 4×4, quad excursions, spend the night under the stars or in a pretty Berber tent, but above all learn the mode life of the Bedouins, listen to their stories and their songs.
Moreover, if you do not want to venture into the desert with your rental vehicle or because it is simply forbidden by your rental agency, you can depart from Merzouga, go on a camel ride in the Erg Chebbi and spend a night in a camp from $ 73per person.
The specialty of the region is to be buried in the hot sand to take advantage of its therapeutic virtues against rheumatism. Moroccans love it!
You also have to see the lake which is barely 10 minutes away, Lake Dayet Srji. Flamingos live there between November and May but also lots of other migratory birds (larks, ducks…). It’s quite strange to see them evolving in the middle of the desert!
Where to sleep in Merzouga?
In Merzouga, I therefore offer you an address to stay in a luxury camp in the middle of the desert and more traditional accommodation if the adventure does not tempt you at all.
Zahra Luxury Camp is therefore the first address that I recommend. It is 12 km from the ghost town and offers an incomparable view of the dunes of the Sahara. For one night with breakfast included, count around 121 $.
Otherwise there is the RiadSuerteloca in Merzouga where you will enjoy a little more comfort and an outdoor swimming pool at the gates of the desert. It’s really one of my favorites at the exceptional price of 89$ per night with breakfast included.
From Merzouga to Zagora, you have a little over 4 hours to drive. The place lends itself to various excursions such as hikes on the Djebel Zagora or near the Cliff of Zagora. From there, you will have a great panorama of the city.
South of Zagora (nearly 100 km) you have one of the two largest ergs in the Moroccan desert, Erg Chegaga with dunes sometimes over 100 meters high. A unique natural place!
Otherwise continue your way west to get to Tamegroute. Here you will find the first library in the desert. You will discover very very old manuscripts there.
If you can, go through Taliouine between mid-October and mid-November. For what ? Because Taliouine is the capital of saffron. You will be able to see the fields in bloom and witness the harvest. If you want to buy some, do it directly from a cooperative. Not far away, you have an old volcano where you can go for nice hikes: Djebel Sirwa.
Continue your road towards Taroudant about 1h30 drive. The city is not touristy, but you will surely enjoy it because life is quiet there.
As everywhere in the country, go to the souk to stock up on spices and buy superb pottery from the Souss region for your family and friends.
Agadir is only 1h30 from Taroudant. On the other hand, there, you will be in a real seaside resort. After having taken a tour of the medina, the Kasbah, the Amazigh Heritage Museum or the Garden of Olhão, head for the beach for a swim or the marina for a short offshore cruise.
Note that you will meet a lot of French people there. Indeed, every year, many retirees come to spend the winter there. How can you resist this mild climate and this omnipresent sun?
In the surroundings of this city very popular with tourists, I advise you to escape to the Valley of Paradise where you can cool off in sumptuous lakes, then you can even venture into the Atlas Mountains. With your rental car, you can embark on this expedition yourself or choose an excursion from Agadir from 20 € per person.
Where to stay in Agadir?
If it is not yet in your schedule, I recommend that you put your bags in this city and find where to sleep in Agadir
Zephyr Agadir is an establishment just 1 km from the beach, an ideal location in this seaside resort. The venue also has an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant. Finally, the rooms are all equipped. One night costs from 53 €.
Hotel Argana Agadir is another upscale resort. For €83 per night with breakfast included, you will enjoy all the luxury of a 4-star establishment with access to a private beach with deckchairs. The place also has an outdoor swimming pool, a spa and a hammam, we promise you a luxury stay.
If you continue your way north, you will pass through Taghazout. This is where you are most likely to meet surfers from all over the world. This spot is indeed very popular for its beautiful waves. You want to try ? No problem, it’s not the schools that are missing.
150 km to the north, you will find Essaouira. The fortified city that is nicknamed the pearl of the Atlantic is especially popular for its wild beaches where Moroccans and tourists love to bask.
Do not deprive yourself of a short tour of the ramparts, in the medina and in the small alleys which do not lack charm and where you can buy heaps of souvenirs. Its very authentic fishing port is also one of the most visited in the country.
Essaouira also has many art galleries such as Espace Othello. Essaouira is also known for its argan oil. So, if you have the opportunity, go visit a cooperative where you will see the women working on its production.
And if you go there in June, stay a while to attend the Gnaoua Festival, where you will hear some of the most bewitching music. I also advise you to go to Paradise Valley, a little further south. There are varied landscapes, including natural pools where you can swim.
Where to sleep in Essaouira?
Here is another city in which you can stay for several days and for that, here are the best places to sleep in Essaouira.
Riad Baladin is also a traditional establishment in Essaouira but I really like the atmosphere of the place and especially the decoration. Here too you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the ocean and all water activities will be at your disposal, including surfing. Also enjoy the hot tub, all for around $95 per night with breakfast included.
The best routes to follow
When you go on a road trip in Morocco, you can consider various circuits according to your desires and what you absolutely want to visit. Here are the different options for your road trip itinerary.
Follow the coast
Morocco has incredible cities along its 3,500 kilometers of coastline.
On the Atlantic coast, you can follow: Rabat – Casablanca – El Jadida – Oualidia – Safi – Essaouira and finally Agadir.
And along the Mediterranean, you can do: Tangier – Tetouan – Chefchaouen – Al Hoceima – Nador and Saidia.
Travel the mountain roads
The Middle Atlas offers many diverse landscapes to discover, often green and very cool. It is also called Moroccan Switzerland.
For example, you could do the following circuit: Fez – Meknes – Volubilis – the Michlifen Massif – Azrou – Bin El Ouidane – Marrakech.
You can also go to the High Atlas and discover the Jbel Toubkal which culminates at 4,167 meters.
Discover southern Morocco and the desert
Consider that you are in the south from Marrakech. The city can be the starting point for many tours:
Marrakech – Atlas (Imlil and Mont Toubkal) – the Gorges du Toudra / Todgha – the Dades Valley then the desert (M’hamid and Merzouga).
Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Tinghir – Erfoud – Rissani – Merzouga – Zagoura – Taroudant – Agadir – Essaouira
Marrakech – Imilchil – Er Rachifdia – Erfoud – Rissani – Merzouga
The Anti Atlas with the Jbel Sirwa which culminates at 3,305 meters is also a beautiful region to explore. You could do: Agadir – Inezgane – Tiznit – Sidi Ifni and finally Guelmim.
Tour the major cities
It’s a completely different way of doing a road trip in Morocco. Especially since inland, superb cities await you. They are steeped in history and most were even capitals of the country at one time: this is the case of Fez, Meknes and Marrakech, essential for any trip to Morocco.
Car rental in Morocco
If you have a quality vehicle with which you can go down to Morocco and have a great road trip, do not hesitate, especially if you are used to doing it! Indeed, you know your car by heart and you will be able to react quickly in the event of a problem.
Otherwise, you can take a flight to Morocco and book a rental vehicle that will be waiting for you directly at the airport exit.
Where to rent a car?
Take advantage of advantageous rates by using price comparators. By taking it well in advance (several months before your departure date), you will have the choice of model and you can save a lot of money.
Prefer a rental in a large agency such as Europcar for example, Avis or Rentacar. This will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises when returning your vehicle. You can also rent from a local company. For information, Medloc is a car rental specialist in Morocco.
Which model to choose?
The National Motorway Company of Morocco offers a good motorway network linking the major cities:
- Tangier – Rabat
- Rabat – Fez
- Marrakesh – Beni Mellal
You can download the motorway network toll rates from the official website.
Note that there is:
Several rest areas offering fuel, games and rest area and catering.
A breakdown service with regulated rates is available 24 hours a day. The call number is 5050 (24/7).
Driving in Morocco on your road trip
First of all, I want to reassure you, no need for an international license, your French driving license is enough to drive in Morocco.
Is it easy to drive in Morocco?
If you want to see cities like Rabat, Casablanca or Fez, the national roads are paved and the highways in very good condition. Be careful, you often have sections being redeveloped. With the heat and the rain which pours badly, the roads must indeed be redone regularly (potholes and deformed pavements).
Secondary roads are very often single lane and rocky. Be careful when passing another car and pedestrians. Some will sometimes wave to you to take them by hitchhiking to the next village. As a precaution, avoid trouble and move on.
Also watch out for the cops and police. You will find them everywhere: following new regulations to prevent attacks, roadblocks have been installed at the entrances and exits of towns and villages. Signs (sometimes not very visible) will warn you and often just 50 meters before the checkpoint.
Slow down and stop (mandatory!) until the officer signals you to pass. If you start before, you may end up with a good ticket and reprimands. So, to keep a good memory of your trip, pay attention to speed limits and road signs.
Moroccans and their way of driving
Moroccans drive a bit haphazardly, often in the middle of the tracks. Do not be surprised ! You will quickly get used to it. Just like the horn which is used constantly. Apparently Moroccans are always in a hurry, especially taxis.
Also use your horn whether in case of danger or just to warn that you are passing, it will be more useful than using your indicators! Apparently everyone cares! Be very careful with two wheels, especially bicycles. They’re popping up everywhere! Also watch out for animals crossing in rural areas.
Are the roads safe?
Unfortunately in recent years Morocco has faced criminals who attack cars on the highway and the roads not very busy.
These people block the lanes with rocks or throw pebbles at your windshield to get you out of your vehicle. They take advantage of this to rob you. Quite simply.
These cases are rare but as a precaution, never stop in the middle of nowhere even if someone signals to you that there is an emergency. Continue your journey and warn the police a few kilometers further. If you are thrown projectiles, ditto, do not stop in any case. Otherwise, the roads are quite safe even if you are traveling alone.
Where to sleep during your road trip in Morocco?
There are many accommodation options in Morocco, I have also offered you quite a few throughout this article .
Hotels of all ranges: modest establishments that you will find away from the tourist routes and numerous high-end hotels
Riads: these are square houses with a patio in the middle, which brings a lot of freshness. Sometimes there is a swimming pool. Installed in the heart of the medinas (the top), they are very often the property of French people living there.
Guest houses everywhere with generally 5 or 6 rooms
Campsites. You will most often find them along the coasts. They have basic facilities: showers and toilets. You can pitch your tent there and enjoy lovely nights under the stars. Be careful, it can get cold at night
Should I book in advance?
If you prefer to plan your road trip in Morocco down to the smallest detail, I advise you to book your accommodation before leaving. This will allow you not to waste time on site. But in general, you will have no trouble finding a room the same day (except in summer).
The reservation also allows you not to be disappointed on the spot. You rent quietly from your home a specific type of accommodation at a price defined in advance and which falls within your budget.
How much does it cost ?
For one night in a two-star hotel at the most, you will get 30 to 40 € on average, but up to 50 € and 100 € if you want to sleep in a room with a bit of luxury and enjoy activities such as a swimming pool and spa…
You will find hotel rooms at much cheaper prices in small unlisted but equally clean establishments.
Count between 30 and 63 $ on average in winter but in summer, the prices of most Riads are higher. Some will offer you double, others can go up to 291 $ per night.
For example, if you book as early as possible, in Essaouira, you can get some for:
7 to 8 $/night in a shared room
Between $24 and $45 for one night for 2 people in a private room with breakfast included and private shower and toilet.
The guest houses offer good value for money. On the Booking.com site, you can find rooms from $10-15 in winter (double room and breakfast included). The best rated lodges are at 45-50 $/night and luxury establishments can quickly go up to 265 $/night.
At the campsite, you will sleep for really cheap. Count between 1 and 2 $ / person. There will be additional costs if you wish to pitch a tent, use electricity and have hot water. Note that there are a hundred campsites in Morocco and that wild camping is prohibited.
The hospitality of Moroccans is known worldwide. Some will offer you to stay with them for the night without a penny, or at least they will let you settle on their land without worries.
On the other hand, others will rent you a room in their home. You can find rooms in private homes at a wide variety of prices. Count all the same at least 40 to 50 € for a single room and up to 100 € for a high standard room.
What budget should you plan for a road trip in Morocco?
We have just seen how much accommodation costs in Morocco. But to this must be added other costs.
How much does a return trip to Morocco cost?
About ten airlines serve Morocco (Air France, Royal Air Maroc…). Some offer low cost flights like Air Arabia and Ryan Air. Prices vary according to season and destination.
You can find flights from $137 return if you book at least two weeks before your departure. But you can find flights at unbeatable prices (less than $20) by using price comparators regularly.
If you want to make your road trip in Morocco with your vehicle, buy a ferry ticket. You will have to go to Marseille or Sète for the big departure. You also have the option of crossing Spain, taking the boat to Barcelona, Almeria, Ceuta or Tarifa. You will disembark in Tangier or Nador.
The prices of boat tickets also vary according to your point of departure and arrival, but also the model of your vehicle, its length and height. Not to mention that you have to choose a seat in the boat or take a room. Count between 300 and 600 € in low season. And double in high season.
To book a boat ticket, check out sites like:
- Direct Ferries
- Morocco Ferry
You must have a valid passport covering the duration of your stay in Morocco. For a stay of less than 3 months, no need to apply for a visa.
How much does the food cost?
Compared to France, the prices are not high. Here is an average:
- A sandwich :$2.86
- A bottle of water: $ 0.54. Preferably buy large 5 liter containers.
- A 33 cl can (Coke, Pepsi…): $0.55
- A coffee: between$0.67 and $2.66
- A meal in a snack bar: between $1.5 and $4
A meal in the restaurant: between $5 and $25. More if you opt for haute cuisine.
What to eat? In the souks, you will find vegetables and fruits in all seasons that you can prepare. Just remember to wash them well! Otherwise, you can eat tajines (minced meat, lamb, etc.), let yourself be tempted by the local soup (harira), chicken pastilla, THE real treasure of Moroccan gastronomy. Not to mention heaps of varieties of pastries.
How much do phone top-ups cost?
As soon as you arrive in Morocco (airport or port), you will be offered free SIM cards. They have a minimum of 20 DH credit. You can recharge it to make calls or use the internet at local operator agencies (Maroc Telecom, Orange, Inwi…) or in a general food store throughout your road trip in Morocco. To recharge it, just follow the instructions on your recharge cards. They are in French.
Otherwise, the second possibility is to order a SIM card before your trip. You select the formula that interests you and your SIM card is sent to you by post. All you have to do is take it in your bag and install it before or when you arrive in the country!
By going through this link, you will benefit from an automatic reduction thanks to the code Voyageavecnous
Tips and tricks for your Morocco road trip
Here are some tips and advice to prepare your road trip in Morocco
What to put in your luggage?
It all depends on the season you are going. In the hot season: it is very hot, preferably take long-sleeved t-shirts to protect you from the sun, a hat, a cap, mosquito repellent (there are a lot of mosquitoes in summer), sunglasses and sunscreen .
In winter: during the day, the weather is nice so sweaters and a jacket will suffice, but at night it is cold (in the High Atlas in particular), so take warm clothes: a coat, a small down jacket, a hat. Also consider a warm duvet and a hot water bottle if you wish.
Take travel insurance
I really advise you to take out insurance that will cover your entire stay in Morocco. Chapka Assurances, for example, offers cover adapted to all types of travel. By clicking on the link and making a quote, you will automatically benefit from a 5% discount when finalizing your quote thanks to our Chapka promo code
Opt for Cap Assistance 24/7 insurance (in partnership with Europ Assistance). It is available from $24. A small amount that can save your stay in Morocco!
Additional tips for your Morocco road trip
A travel guide to have useful information on the sites to visit. Also download before leaving the map of Morocco with the Maps.Me application.
A first aid box even if you will always find pharmacies, dispensaries, Red Cross points. Take with you painkillers, bandages…
A toolbox: an essential for any road trip!
Pay in dirham preferably. Withdraw money from the ATM as soon as you are in a big city, or order dirhams from your bank before you leave. And always have cash on you (car parks, tips, etc.)!
Beware of the winter sun which can hurt your head, a hat will be very useful; just like sunglasses. Remember to drink regularly to avoid heatstroke.
During your road trip in Morocco, let yourself be tempted by a hammam. You will find them in all cities but beware, they are not mixed. Just bring your bath accessories with you (glove, black soap, shampoo, towel…): get a mask, exfoliate your skin, enjoy all these benefits! Simply enjoy Morocco, the real one.
That’s all for this article, I hope it helped you organize your road trip in Morocco! If you have any questions or tips to share, feel free to leave a comment