Morocco is a fascinating country, full of cultural, historical and natural attractions. However, it has an incredibly varied climate, thanks to the fact that it's home to long stretches of coast, vast areas of desert and towering mountain ranges.
This means that you need to do some research about the areas you plan to visit before you travel, to make sure the weather will be favourable for what you want to do. In very general terms, Morocco's climate is hot and dry during the summer months, and mild and rainy during the winter.
However, this varies significantly from place to place - the inland, desertuous regions of Morocco are, naturally, hot and dry for much of the year, while the coastal areas experience a climate that's best described as Mediterranean. In the mountains, meanwhile, winter can be bitterly cold and snow is regularly seen on the highest peaks.
Rain is scarce in the desert, but along the coast you're most likely to encounter showers between November and March. Temperatures obviously vary considerably between destinations - in Marrakech, for example, they can reach highs of 39 degrees Celsius in the summer, while the same season in Agadir will see the mercury hit around 26 degrees Celsius.
There's less temperature variation in Agadir than in Marrakech, with winter temperatures in both destinations falling to the mid to high teens (15-18 degrees Celsius) during the days, although they can drop below 10 degrees Celsius overnight.
When is it best to travel?
The best time to book a holiday in Morocco will entirely depend on what you want to see and do. If you're intending to spend time in one of the country's coastal resorts - like Agadir - it's best to travel in the summer months, when the chances of rain are minimal, there's plenty of sunshine and temperatures are very pleasant without being stiflingly hot.
The sea temperature along the coast also reaches a very pleasant 20-22 degrees Celsius between July and September, making this the ideal time of year to go for a dip and make the most of the beach.
If sightseeing in some of the cities - like Marrakech - is your aim, travelling in spring (mid-March to May) or autumn (September to November) is advisable, as this will see you miss the worst of the heat, while still being guaranteed sunshine and warm temperatures.
For a trip to Morocco that involves visiting the desert, it's certainly sensible to avoid the summer, with spring and autumn again being the ideal times to travel. While the desert remains very warm during the days in winter, temperatures plummet significantly overnight - something to bear in mind if you will be going on an excursion that lasts longer than a day.
When to go to get active in Morocco
There are some fantastic opportunities for getting active in Morocco, such as hiking in the Rif or High Atlas mountains, or going for wind and kite surfing on the coast. For trekking, spring and autumn are, again, the optimum times to travel, although if you plan to climb one of the peaks, remember that snow can linger on the higher slopes until July in some places.
For water sports, like wind and kite surfing, the peak season is in the summer months and into autumn, typically between June and October, when the winds are consistent and the sea is a pleasant temperature.
If your holiday in Morocco will involve a lot of sightseeing, it's advisable to pick spring or autumn - although the former is generally considered to be more picturesque as the landscape is lush after the winter rains. Both these seasons are mild, without being too hot, and there's a low chance of rain, so you can enjoy wandering around the streets of Casablanca or Marrakech, or even head into the desert, without getting uncomfortably warm.
Ramadan in Morocco
One other thing worth bearing in mind - aside from the weather - when you're planning a break in Morocco is when Ramadan falls each year. As Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, many businesses will modify their opening hours during this holy month of fasting.
This may mean cafes and restaurants are closed during the day, only opening after Iftar (the evening "breakfast") when the sun has gone down, or that attractions and shops close for a few hours around breakfast time each day and possibly open later, as many people stay up well into the night to eat and drink.
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