Last Updated: September 7, 2022

One Week In Morocco Itinerary: The Ultimate Guide For First Timers

Morocco is a magical place packed full of varied landscapes and a wealth of diverse cultures too.

You have the rugged Atlantic coast in the west which stretches all the way through to the Mediterranean in the east with both the high Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert to the south.

It is safe to say that not many countries in the world are blessed with such amazing natural features and when you add to that the bustling markets, stunning towns, and the Moroccan culture, there truly is a lot to see.

This makes it hard to plan a one-week Morocco itinerary as you don’t want to miss anything but you don’t want to be leaving anywhere once you have just arrived. Not to worry, I have created a great itinerary for one week in Morocco so that you can see the best of it at a relaxed pace and take it all in.

When To Visit Morocco

When To Visit Morocco

The first step to having an awesome week in Morocco is picking the right time to visit Morocco and this mostly comes down to the weather and the Islamic festival of Ramadan.

The weather in Morocco can be very hot during the summer and very cold during the winter, depending on where you go. This makes the best time to spend your one week in Morocco between the months of March and May or September and October.

During these months, the weather is warm everywhere and the mountains have a touch of snow but not too much, making it an ideal time to be in Morocco.

But, it is best to avoid being there during the month of Ramadan which is in April of 2022 as transportation, restaurants, and services can be hard to find since all the locals are celebrating.

If you are visiting the coast of Morocco, the weather is actually great all around as it stays cool in summer and warm in winter.

The mountains and desert, however, are freezing in winter and rather hot in the summer, so if you want to see all that Morocco has to offer in your one week in Morocco, stick to the dates mentioned above.

Getting Around Morocco

Getting Around Morocco

Getting around Morocco is actually quite easy as their public transport systems are pretty solid and between the trains and buses, there isn’t anywhere you can’t get to comfortably. Let’s start with the trains.

Taking Trains In Morocco

The trains in Morocco are both very comfortable and affordable, you can get a first-class ticket for a super cheap price and they get you from A to B very quickly.

For example, you can travel from Casablanca to Tangier for under $35 and you will be there in 2 hours, or Marrakech to Casablanca in just under 3 hours for a similar price.

If you are a solo female traveler you even have the option to book a female-only cabin to ensure you feel safe on your journey.

But, the trains can’t take you everywhere you want to see in Morocco so you will have to rely on some other transportation means.

Buses & Taxis

For any long trips, say into the high Atlas Mountains or to the Sahara Desert, it is best to use a private bus company like Supratours or CTM. The buses are very affordable, comfortable, and safe.

While in the cities of Morocco your best way of getting around is using taxis. The buses are slow and overcrowded while the taxis are quick and cheap. But, keep an eye on the meter and ask some questions about pricing so that you don’t pay too much for your journey.

Renting A Car

Having a car always gives you a lot more freedom to roam and explore which is a great thing but they are quite expensive.

You should expect to pay around $30 a day on average for a standard car which is expensive as a solo traveler but if there are four of you traveling in a group, this becomes a lot more affordable.

Driving in Morocco is perfectly fine when you are out of town but the cities can be very hectic so some previous driving experience in the developing world is useful and confidence is a must.

Trams

If you are spending some time in Rabat or Casablanca then you should use the excellent tram system in place to get around the city. It is fast, efficient, super affordable and more convenient than a taxi too.

Useful Information About Morocco

Useful Information About Morocco

When traveling in Morocco there are some things you need to know as it is a very culturally diverse country that operates in a different way from the western culture most of us are used to.

Dress Appropriately

Men can wear whatever they please in Morocco but since it is a Muslim country, ladies will need to cover from their shoulders to their knees when out in public.

Be sure to have a sarong or scarf with you as you can quickly cover your shoulders with ease and then wear longer skirts or shorts that reach your knees. By covering up you will also evade any unwanted attention in crowded markets and parts of the cities.

If you are planning on visiting a Mosque, be sure to cover yourself down to your wrists and ankles before entering.

Haggling Is A Way Of Life

It is part of the culture for any street vendor or anyone, to be honest, to start off by saying a ridiculous price. Be sure to get involved and engage in some haggling and get them down to the best price you can.

While doing this can seem quite foreign, it is actually a fun process so long as you do it with respect.

Use Cash And Keep Change

Morocco is very much a cash culture and having the right change on you will also save you a bundle since most people say they don’t have any when you overpay.

Change money at hotels or at exchanges when you can as the ATMs are often empty. Some places do accept credit cards but chances are, you will need cash for more local experiences.

Moroccans Are Very Welcoming

Morocco is a mix of diverse cultures and therefore the locals are very accepting and interested in tourists. Their nature is very hospitable and helpful, so don’t be afraid to engage and get to know the culture.

There are, of course, some instances which should be avoided like strangers trying to sell you something, like a tour, as this is most likely a way for them to earn some money.

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is, without a doubt, one of the most vibrant imperial cities in North Africa and a great place to start your one-week in Morocco itinerary. Sitting in the heart of Morocco with great transport links, it is easy to fly into and move on from when you are ready.

Marrakech is a special place and since you only have one Marrakech day there, it is important to get out and see what is on offer.

Known as the Red City, Marrakech is architecturally stunning and filled with magical buildings, the Royal Palace, narrow streets, potion vendors, snake charmers, bazaars, and more – it feels like you are in the movie “Aladin” at times. Here are some things not to miss while you are in Marrakech.

The Museum of Islamic Art & Majorelle Gardens

To dive straight into some peace and culture, head to Majorelle Gardens, an iconic spot in Marrakesh that everyone should see.

The gardens took 40 years to landscape to completion and are incredibly peaceful and beautiful. You will find plants from every continent on the planet here and you can also visit The Museum of Islamic Art while you are there.

See El Badi Palace or Bahia Palace

Since you only have one day in Marrakesh, it is best to visit just one of the many stunning places and old castles instead of too many.

A great choice is the El Badi Palace which was built in the 17th century and showcases magical Moroccan architecture. Another fantastic option is Bahia Palace which looks more like a painting of paradise than an actually old aristocratic residence. Both will blow you away with their beauty!

Do Some Souq Shopping

There is no better way of immersing yourself in the vibe of Marrakech than doing some shopping at one of the many Souqs.

Gaze upon all the amazing goods, try your first hand at haggling and don’t buy too much to haul around for the rest of your one-week in Morocco itinerary.

Visit A Hammam

You might want to get pampered after your flight to Morocco and there is nothing better than going to a Hammam. Set in old roman baths, you can rest, relax, wash, scrub, and be massaged into your freshest self.

Now, you might not be able to do all of this in one day in Marrakech but I wanted to give you all the options for your Marrakech day.

Day 2: Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate, Morocco

The second day of your one-week in Morocco itinerary is going to be an amazing one. You will leave Marrakech and head towards the Sahara Desert over the high Atlas Mountains to the stunning Moroccan city of Ouarzazate with your Desert Tour Operator.

The drive over the middle Atlas Mountains is simply stunning and as you meander around each corner, the mountains will continue to blow you away on each turn.

Be sure to leave Marrakech early as the trip is around 4 hours long and you will want to be in the desert town of Ouarzazate by lunchtime. Once you have seen the Atlas Mountains you will arrive in Ouarzazate, a city full of red buildings that match the rocks with a bright blue sky that is always blue!

The moment you gaze at it, you’ll be a little blown away as it will be like nothing you have seen before, especially as you notice the lush valleys and oases in the area.

Spend your afternoon exploring the iconic Kasbahs like ​​Taourirt Kasbah, check out the Cinema Museum which takes you through the movies and cinema history of the filming industry in Morocco.

Oh, and don’t forget to stroll along the river and lush valleys plus enjoy a delicious traditional Moroccan dinner.

Day 3: Sahara

Sahara, Morocco

Next up on your one-week in Morocco itinerary is spending some time in the Sahara desert at a desert camp. Your Sahara desert tour should be booked in advance and it is a short drive from Ouarzazate to where you will meet your tour.

At this point, you will either hop on a camel to get to your luxury camp or in a 4×4 if you are staying in a more remote place.

There is a lot to do in the Sahara Desert which is why a few days is needed and whoever is providing your Sahara Desert Tours will have a lot to offer you.

Considering you will arrive mid-morning, chances are you will be welcomed with delicious herbal tea and offered an early lunch.

From there a 4×4 safari around the sand dunes is a great experience as is visiting the nomadic tribes who live between the desert and the Atlas Mountains. They will hopefully invite you in for tea and a chat, plus a donation is always appreciated for them.

The best way to finish your first day in the desert is by taking a camel ride over sunset through the dunes. There is no other experience that will connect you more to desert life than this and once you are back at camp, it is star gazing time. The stars are the best you will ever see!

Day 4: Sahara

On your final day in the desert, you should wake up just before sunrise to see it peek over the dunes. The dunes turn to a light pink color and it is something you must see while you are there as you may never have the chance again.

Enjoy your morning and the luxury breakfast laid out for you as it is absolutely delicious, as it will be time to leave soon. Your one week in Morocco is moving on and it is time to get a ride to Fes, which is 9 hours away.

Usually, a desert tour starts and finishes in Marrakech but you can ask them to get your transfer from the desert to Fes. After 9 hours and a spectacular drive through the Atlas Mountains and into northern Morocco, you will arrive at the stunning Fes for the night, an imperial city of Morocco.

Day 5: Fes

Fes, Morocco

Being one of the major cities of Morocco, Fes is quite a lot like Marrakech and you can easily see the best of it in a day trip before heading to the famous blue city of Chefchaouen in the afternoon.

Fes is known for being the city with the first university in the world University of Al-Karaouine, as local legend goes. It is a lovely city that has a slower pace than Marrakech but still has all the good things too!

Here are some great things to do on your Fes day trip. Be sure to wake up early to make the most of it before heading to the blue city.

Hike To Merinit Viewpoint

To start your day, wander up to the Merinit Viewpoint to see the best view of the city as it slowly comes to life over sunrise. This is a great way to start your day of exploring Fes as you’ll see the bigger picture before diving in.

See The Blue Gates In The Old Town

Bab Bou Jeloud, aka the Blue Gates, are found at the entrance to the Fes Medina (your next stop). They are beautifully decorated with blue mosaics and are a great stop-off.

Wandering Through The Fes Medina Is A Must

Built in the 1st century AD, the Fes Medina is one of the largest pedestrianized urban areas in the world that is full of markets, souks, many leather shops selling leather goods, narrow Arabic alleyways, and lots more.

It is very easy to get lost in the Fes Medina but you will always find your way out safely. If you wanted to, you could book your night in Fes to be at one of the awesome riads in the Fes Medina which are incredibly magical.

See the Royal Palace

Just outside of the Fes Medina is the Royal Palace and it is very much worth taking a quick stroll past it. Now, you are not allowed to go into the palace, but you can gaze at the stunning architecture and the amazing golden gate.

Check Out The Fes Tanneries

Fes is known for its leather goods and the leather is colored at their famous tanneries so seeing this process is a bit of a must. It is free to visit and look at the tanneries but that doesn’t mean someone won’t try and charge you for it, but you shouldn’t pay.

Simply wander through one of the Souks to the terrace to see them for free, just be sure to do some shop browsing while you are there.

Be warned, the tanning process uses bird feces so it is not the best smelling experience, and chances are you won’t last very long.

See The Bou Inania Madrassa Mosque

The Bou Inania Madrassa Mosque is both a mosque and an educational center. All visitors are welcome to see this perfect mosque, dive into the local culture, and see some of the best Moroccan architecture around.

Once you are done with your day of exploring it is time to head to the blue city of Chefchaouen for the night. The journey is just under 4 hours so try to leave by 3 pm so you arrive at your hotel for dinner.

Day 6: Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Waking up in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chefchaouen is quite an amazing thing. The entire city is blue and it sits high up in the Rif Mountains, it is about as beautiful as a city can be and it is a place to take amazing photos too.

The blue cobbled streets are home to weaving and leather workshops and there are plenty of great things to do in this magical city. It has a slow pace to it, everyone is relaxed, no one will push anything on you, and it is a very pleasant place to hang out.

See The Sights

Your first stop should be the lovely Place Outa el Hammam, a stunning square where you will find a 15th-century fortress and dungeon known in the form of a red-walled Kasbah.

You can head to the Chefchaouen Ethnographic Museum next and onto the Great Mosque to gaze upon the amazing octagonal minaret.

Stroll Through The Blue Streets And Shop

Once you have seen the sights, enjoy your relaxed day by wandering through the stunning streets looking at the beautiful doorways, squares, and alleys taking photos.

This city is a great place to shop too and since your one week in Morocco is close to an end, it is time to stock up on some goodies to take home. There are lots of souks to spend your time browning in!

Watch The Sunset From The Spanish Mosque

The best way to end your day is by going to the Spanish Mosque for sunset. As the sun goes down it lights up this blue city in a magical way. The Spanish Mosque is pretty cool too!

Day 7: Tangier

Tangier, Morocco

The last day of your week itinerary is a day in Tangier. It is just a two-hour drive from Chefchaouen so enjoy breakfast and hit the road around 8 am for a timely arrival.

Tangier sits where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean. It is a modern city, a seaside city, and shouldn’t be missed when visiting Morocco. You won’t have long to explore before departing in the evening or the following morning, but here are the things to see.

Hercules’ Cave & Cape Spartel

Just outside Tangier is the archaeological site of Hercules’ Cave where legend has it Hercules rested before completing his twelve labors.

Just nearby, is Cape Spartel which is worth stopping at on the way back as the view is amazing and you can see where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic.

Head To The Beach

If you are tired of sightseeing on your Morocco tour, then you could head to the beach for lunch, a swim, and simply relax.

Eat Some Non-Moroccan Food Or Get Your Last Dose

You might be tired of Moroccan cuisine by now and Tangier is a great place to get something international to fill your cravings. Or, you can use it as your last chance to have a tajine.

Old Kasbah

A sight you shouldn’t miss is the Old Kasbah where you can get your final dose of amazing architecture

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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