Have you already decided to travel to Morocco this year? ✈ Great! You made the best decision 🙂 Now it´s time to plan your trip.
Where to go in Morocco in 2021? You may get crazy thinking about what places to visit in Morocco because there is so much to see and experience. Morocco is a country with so many contrasts, with a great mix of cultures in the north and pure Berber traditions in the sought. The variety of landscapes from coastlines and snow-capped mountains to arid desert is a real marvel. Moroccan cities are like open-air museums that keep centuries of history, starting from great empires to the most recent colonies and dynasties.
So, your headache in planning your travel itinerary to Morocco will be related to WHICH places to visit instead of WHAT to visit.
But don´t worry. Here we are to help you as always! We, prepared for you the list of 15 must visit places in Morocco for 2021. It may result complicated for you to include all of these places in your itinerary but it´s not impossible. It highly depends on how long will be your trip to Morocco and what type of tour you choose. Wandare offers private and customized tours so that we go with you there where you want.
Thus, where to go in Morocco in 2021? Here are 15 places you must visit in Morocco:
- Marrakech – the “Red City” of Morocco
- Fes – the oldest imperial city of Morocco
- Rabat – the capital city of Morocco
- Casablanca – the biggest city in Morocco
- Meknes – the holy city
- Volubilis – impressive Roman ruins
- Chefchaouen – the “Blue Pearl” of Morocco
- Essaouira – the paradise for kitesurfing
- Aït Ben Haddou – the kasbah from Game of Thrones
- Ouarzazate – the “Hollywood of Morocco”
- Dades – the Road of 1000 kasbahs
- Merzouga – the most beautiful sunset over dunes
- Tetouan – Andalusian charm
- El Jadida – one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World
- Agadir – the dream of surfers
1. Marrakech – the “Red City” of Morocco
Marrakech is the most popular city among the tourists and not in vain. The city is an important cultural and religious center and is a great expression of the Moroccan way of life. The Medina of Marrakech impresses every passer-by with its amazing architecture of red walls. Hence Marrakech got the nickname of the “Red City” of Morocco. The city is home to some of the most valuable architectural treasures of Morocco. From mosaic ornate mosques to sophisticated palaces and gardens, Marrakech is the place that conserves Moroccan authenticity and tradition. Thus, Marrakech should definitely be your number 1 place to visit in Morocco.
2. Fes – the oldest imperial city of Morocco
Fes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, being the oldest one. Its great history starts in the 8th century and over time became an important cultural and educational center. Few know that Fes is the city where the oldest university in the world is still operating. That’s Al Quaraouiyine University that was founded in 859. Amazing, huh? In Fes, there are numerous mosques, madrassas (educational institutions), funduqs (traditional hotels), and hammams (Turkish baths) that have extremely beautiful architecture. The city is also famous for the traditional tanneries where the methods of dyeing the leather haven’t changed since medieval times.
3. Rabat – the capital city of Morocco
Rabat is the capital city of Morocco since the country proclaimed its independence in 1955. Rabat has always played a more administrative role, being the main location of all embassies. The city is well known for the unique carpets and blankets that are woven locally, being the main center for the textile industry. It’s also the main center for the food processing industry, especially for fish and fruits. So, thanks to fresh and tasty food, Rabat plays an essential role in the Moroccan gastronomic culture. One of the main attractions in Rabat is the Hassan Tower, a 12th century minaret of a mosque that was designed to be the largest in the world but its construction has stopped.
4. Casablanca – the biggest city in Morocco
Casablanca is the biggest city in Morocco and the most important economic center. The main office of most international businesses in Morocco is located in Casablanca. Casablanca is an amazing contrast of modernity and antiquity. The city is a product of the local Berber culture and the Western influence, such as Spanish, Portuguese and French. Did you know that Casablanca is the home to the tallest minaret mosque in the world? That’s right, and it’s about the beautiful Hassan II Mosque that’s a real symbol of the city and of the entire country. This precious mosque has an impressive architecture done by the best craftsmen. Hassan II Mosque is one of the few mosques in Morocco that can be visited by both men and women.
5. Meknes – the holy city
Even though Meknes is a less popular place among Morocco´s visitors, the city is a must visit place in Morocco without a doubt. Meknes is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. It was the capital of Morocco in the 17th century under the rule of Sultan Moulay Ismaïl. Meknes impresses with its amazing architecture. Palaces, monumental gates, defensive walls, mosques, and other amazing fortifications make every visitor stop and marvel. If you visit Meknes, you should not miss the chance to take a short tour of great Volubilis (Roman ruins) and charming Moulay Idriss (the place of the tomb of Idris I).
6. Volubilis – impressive Roman ruins
Volubilis is the place that will make you travel about 2 300 years back when the Roman Empire was ruling the kingdom of Mauritania (Maghreb – North Africa) and Volubilis was its capital. It was one of the richest cities in the kingdom. This fact that is also proved by its architectural style and details such as mosaics, fine houses, triumphal arch, and other great buildings. After Romans, the city was the capital of Idris I who founded the Idrisid dynasty and the first Moroccan state. In the 11th century, Volubilis had been abandoned. Today you can find only its ruins that keep so many years of great history.
7. Chefchaouen – the “Blue Pearl” of Morocco
Chefchaouen is the place that will give so much color to your trip. It´s called “the Blue Pearl” of Morocco because the Medina of the city is painted completely blue. It´s a 13th century kasbah (fortified village) and was the main settlement for the Moors and Jews fleeing Spain, whose influence can be easily noticed today. There are many theories why the city is painted blue. Some people support that it’s because of keeping mosquitoes away. Others say that the tradition of painting buildings blue was brought by Sephardic Jews, symbolizing the sky and the spiritual life. However, some locals state that Chefchaouen was painted blue just to attract tourists. Anyway, one thing is sure, the city is unique.
8. Essaouira – the paradise for kitesurfing
From the blue streets of Chefchaouen, we travel straight to the white medina of Essaouira. Essaouira is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in Morocco with a unique charm and splendor. The port of Essaouira was one of the most important trade ports between Africa, Europe, and America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today you can still admire some old boats in the port. The city is nicknamed by some the “Wind of Africa”, because of the hard wind that masters over it. Respectively, Essaouira is a dream for kite surfers, being their top destination, especially in spring and autumn when the wind power is perfect.
9. Aït Ben Haddou – the kasbah from Game of Thrones
Aït Ben Haddou is an 11th century ksar (fortified village) in the Ouarzazate province that strikes with its historic architecture. Its unique style has been an inspiration for many film directors, choosing Aït Benhaddou as a shooting location for famous movies and series such as Jesus of Nazareth, The Mummy, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones. Together with Ouarzazate, Aït Ben Haddou became the Hollywood of Morocco and the interest in visiting this ksar increased significantly. For the fans of Game of Thrones, Aït Ben Haddou is the destination nr.1 in Morocco. It was the “Slaving city” in the 3rd season of the series.
10. Ouarzazate – the “Hollywood of Morocco”
As Aït Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate was the filming location for many Hollywood movies, having one of the biggest film studios in the world, Atlas Studio. Here, movies like Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Gladiator, The Mummy, and Alexander were shot. The city has a Cinema Museum where you can learn more about the cinematographic history of Ouarzazate. The natural beauty of Ouarzazate impresses everyone, being boarded by the High Atlas Mountains to the north and by the Sahara desert to the south. Thus, the city is the Door of the Moroccan Sahara and was an important crossing point of the former caravan trade route between Sahara and Morocco.
11. Dades – the Road of 1000 Kasbahs
Dades is a place that impresses and strikes, a place that everyone falls in love with. Dades Valley is a large pass that stretches out from Ouarzazate to the east to Tineghir oasis. It’s also called the Road of 1000 Kasbahs because you can find hundreds of kasbahs and traditional Berber villages on the way. Dades will surprise you with a series of gorges carved by the Dades River, a river that crosses the beautiful High Atlas Mountains range, and Todgha Gorges, enormous limestone canyons which paint one of the most spectacular landscapes of Morocco. Dades is also an amazing place for hiking lovers. We highly recommend that you stay at least one night in Dades, as there are some of the most beautiful riads in Morocco.
12. Merzouga – the most beautiful sunset over dunes
Everyone who visits Morocco wants to enjoy the beautiful Sahara Desert. Well, in Merzouga you’ll find the most beautiful and largest sand dunes. If you visit Morocco, you can’t miss the stunning sunset over Merzouga dunes, one of the best moments of your trip. The Merzouga village is the starting point of all your adventures in the desert. Usually, here everyone takes a camel ride to the Erg Chebbi dunes where the traditional Berber haimas (camps) are located. If your tour includes overnight in the deep desert, these traditional haimas will be your accommodation 🙂 Other adventures that you can enjoy in Merzouga are Quad Bikes and Sandboarding.
13. Tétouan – Andalusian charm
Tétouan is a less explored city by tourists in northern Morocco but with so much to show and tell to its visitors. Known also as the “daughter” of Granada, Tétouan has an Andalusian charm so that it will make you feel like in Spain. Why? Because the city was rebuilt by Andalusian refugees after the Reconquest in the 8th century. The Medina of Tétouan is an amazing expression of the Spanish/Andalusian influence that can be easily noticed in the art and architecture of the Medina. The Medina of Tétouan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it kept very well the Andalusian heritage. So, if you want to discover new treasures in Morocco, Tétouan is a must visit place.
14. El Jadida – one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World
Now we go from the Spanish influence in Tétouan to the Portuguese heritage in El Jadida. Located about 90km southwest of Casablanca, El Jadida is a port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. In the 16th century, the city was seized by the Portuguese and named Mazagão. The Portuguese built here large fortifications including a fortress, a citadel, and a cistern. The Fortress of Mazagão is one of the Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World and the Portuguese City of Mazagan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thus, El Jadida will impress you with its amazing history and architectural heritage.
15. Agadir – the dream of surfers
Agadir is a paradise for everyone who wants to enjoy sun and beach all the year. The city is located on the Atlantic coast close to the Atlas Mountains and has very nice weather all year round. It’s one of the must visit places in Morocco especially for surf lovers. The nearby beach – Taghazout – is a great place to surf for both advanced and beginner surfers. In Agadir, you can’t get bored. Every summer the city in on musical rhythms, holding the Timitar Festival that is dedicated especially to Amazigh music. However, there are plenty of cultural activities in the city that you can enjoy at any time.
Attractions: ● Taghazout beach ● La Médina d’Agadir ● Timitar Festival ● The Casbah