Why You Should Definitely Travel to Morocco in Winter
Morocco. Country of sunshine and chaos. Surely a place you’d reserve for the summer months, when it is at its best and brightest. Right?
Maybe not so much. By the time you reach the middle of winter in places like the USA, CAN and Europe, you might suddenly feel a desperate need to escape somewhere, anywhere with any semblance of warmth.
Luckily, living in Europe is like winning the country jackpot. You can fly to almost anywhere you fancy and often not for a too upsetting price. So, why wouldn’t you go? Particularly in winter.
Related: The Top 11 Things to do in Essaouria
When a fellow Australian expat asked if I wanted to join her in a quick trip to Morocco, I accepted her invitation eagerly. We discovered shortly after that we’d have cloudless skies and mid-twenties (seventies) weather for our trip, meaning we’d absolutely made the right decision. Morocco in winter couldn’t have been anything but a really good idea.
So, here are some reasons why you should definitely travel to Morocco (and particularly Marrakech) during the cooler season. Winter in Morocco is truly lovely.
If you live in Europe, you travel a short distance for a completely different climate
It boggles my mind that the country of Morocco on the continent of AFRICA is only a three hour flight from London. Yet, this is the reality of the situation.
It’s an inexpensive-ish destination
Morocco isn’t the cheapest of cheap destinations, but compared to other countries (we are talking the USA, Canada, UK, those in Western Europe, Australia and NZ here, to clarify) it seems pretty reasonable. Most meals out cost less than $15 AUD and the food was good and plentiful. Plus, did I mention I’d pay just about anything to escape a UK winter? I definitely felt like I was getting a good deal.
The only time I felt we were getting properly ripped off was when we caught a taxi from the airport to our riad. I’d been told by a friend who frequented the place what to expect to pay and had quoted that price to the taxi driver, who agreed on it. When we reached our destination, he raised the price and wouldn’t let us out of the car until we agreed to pay it. As I was travelling with another female friend, we decided the safest course of action was to pay it and curse him as he drove away.
Yes, I know that we were viewed as rich westerners who could afford to pay the extra, but it’s the principle of the matter. Plus it’s always fun to be taken advantage of, particularly when you’re a defenceless woman.
The weather is perfect in Morocco in winter
Marrakech in particular seems to have splendid weather all year round, with an average temperature of 29°C (84°F) in the hotter months and 13°C (55°F) in the wintertime. I will admit I got incredibly lucky when I visited in January of 2016, with the temperature ranging in the early twenties (that’s mid-seventies for you Americans out there). The cloudless blue skies certainly helped add to this picture of perfection.
You might be able to ski… in AFRICA
What do you picture when you think of Africa? Searing heat? Beautiful beaches? An expanse of desert? ME TOO. Except, Morocco truly is a country of many diverse climates. Including one that features of all things… SNOW.
Yep! The Atlas mountains, which you can visit within a day trip from Marrakech, regularly see snowfall in the winter months. So, if you’re lucky, you might be able to have a bit of a snow break during your time in Morocco.
You can go home and brag to your friends that you managed to ski in Africa. They may not believe you… but you’ll know the truth in your heart.
Sweet mint tea tastes so much sweeter when it isn’t searingly hot outside
Personally, any country that is passionate about tea is a country I can get behind. Moroccans happen to be mad about their mint tea – drinking it morning, noon and night.
Even as a half-British passionate tea drinker, I will concede that drinking the stuff when it’s hopelessly hot outside is a labour of love or perhaps just an addiction. It’s so much easier to enjoy tea when there’s a slight chill in the air and you realise you’re drinking it for the comfort value, rather than because you have an outright dependency on the stuff.
You’ll still be able to do everything you want to do in Morocco in winter
Places like Marrakech are touristy, but for good reason – they have plenty on offer.
We organised every activity we wanted to do when we arrived in the city and weren’t left wanting on anything. Every tour had spots left, we were able to walk straight into a spa and get a service. We didn’t have to wait for seating at restaurants.
Plus I think any excess heat would have diminished certain experiences, like walking up the Atlas mountains to see what was admittedly a fairly disappointing waterfall. We would have languished in the summer sun, which would have been wholly unpleasant for all involved.
Your brains won’t be addled by the heat whilst you try to haggle in the souk
The Middle East is hands down my favourite place to shop, because haggling is the best. It’s a sport that I am personally good at, which is rare (I somehow managed to knock myself out by running into a brick wall during P.E. when I was 13 and have avoided all organised sports since then).
It’s not only a sport, it’s a psychological game, between you and the shop owner. And what I like about it, is that everyone comes away feeling satisfied… you feel like you’ve got a good deal. They’ve made a sale. Smiles all round.
I particularly like my souvenirs from Marrakech because I feel like I worked for them. And I did this successfully as I wasn’t melting in the heat like the Wicked Witch of the West at the time.
We stayed at the very beautiful Riad Catalina in Marrakech. Click here for current availability.
And if you’re looking for some things to do there:
Here’s what’s like to make a day trip to the Atlas Mountains.
The Jardin Majorelle is a must-see for any fashion-lover, plant enthusiast, or just general human being.
I’m not sure if I’d recommend a visit to a hammam (Moroccan spa), but it made for a great story.
Have you been to Marrakech, or somewhere else in Morocco in winter? What were your impressions of it?
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