Morocco’s Best Places to Visit: 6 Captivating Destinations

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    What are Morocco’s best places to visit? From Marrakech to the Sahara & Fes to Essaouira, we’re breaking down six of our favorites, with hotel recs and other tips.

    Prefer a tailored experience, instead? Connect with a Fora Advisor and they’ll supply you with destination recommendations that fit your travel style, plus book your stay at the top hotels in Morocco, unlocking a VIP experience along the way. 

    The 6 best places to visit in Morocco, from Marrakech to Essaouira

    From bustling ancient cities to natural wonders, Morocco’s best places to visit are a compelling mix of culture, beauty and adventure (along with plenty of relaxation, too). Read on for six of our favorites.

    1–2. Marrakech & the Atlas Mountains: culture meets natural wonder

    It’s hard to think of a place that better captures so many elements of Morocco's spirit than Marrakech. This ancient city blends historical significance with contemporary Moroccan culture. 

    Additionally, some of the country’s most stunning natural destinations are within day-trip distance (or an add-on experience for a few days). That includes the world-famous Sahara Desert and the lesser-known but equally beautiful Atlas Mountains (we’ll come back to both). There’s also the nearby Ouzoud Falls, the largest series of waterfalls in North Africa. 

    A Morocco itinerary featuring Marrakech will likely touch at least one of these destinations. But the Atlas Mountains tend to be a common choice per our Fora Advisors’ recs. For one, the change in scenery provides a majestic contrast to Marakkech’s bustling vibe. 

    The Medina of Marrakech, a lively hub of culture

    Marrakech’s main draw is its old medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an incredible experience. This walled inner city was built nearly a millennium ago and has regularly served as the seat of power in what’s now modern-day Morocco. Captivating landmarks, dizzying souks and more make the medina a fascinating place to check out.

    Unsurprisingly, the medina is a big reason Marrakech is one of Morocco’s best places to visit, and it offers a few things that are a little different from the Medina of Fes (we’ll touch on this again, too). Most of the best things to visit in Marrakech are within the inner city, but check out our advisor’s guide to Marrakech if you’re curious about what's beyond the medina.

    (P.S. Is Morocco safe to visit after the 2023 earthquake? Yes. But our guide has details.)

    Where to stay in Marrakech: Royal Mansour, Four Seasons, La Mamounia…

    Moroccan decor fills a lavish room at La Mamounia in Marrakech, one of the best places to visit in Morocco

    Image courtesy of La Mamounia

    The best hotels in Marrakech include a ton of our favorite hotels in Morocco. Royal Mansour Marrakech was commissioned by King Mohammed VI to serve as a riad-style hotel for elite travelers. Four Seasons Resort Marrakech is perfect for families. And La Mamounia was our most-booked hotel in Morocco last year, which says a lot.

    There are so many incredible choices in Marrakech that it can be overwhelming. But if you connect with a Fora Advisor, they can help you sort through all the choices that resonate with your travel style while securing VIP hotel perks at no additional cost.

    Fora Perks at Royal Mansour Marrakech:

    • $100 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    Fora Perks at Four Seasons Resort Marrakech:

    • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

    Fora Perks at La Mamounia:

    • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    3. Fes: one of Morocco’s best places to visit for authentic culture

    As far as big cities go, Fes may be the best place to visit in Morocco for travelers who want to experience local culture at its most authentic. 

    Fes is less cosmopolitan than Marrakech and much more in tune with its Islamic roots. The city is a haven for crafting, and its leather tanneries are legendary.

    The Medina of Fes is pretty similar to Marrakech’s medina as a whole. There are bustling souks and impressive exhibits of ancient Moroccan architecture, plus maze-like streets primed for exploring. However, in contrast to Marrakech, the streets are much narrower and the vibe as a whole is less polished (which is part of the charm of Fes). In both medinas, it’s highly recommended to explore with a guide so that you don’t get lost — but this is especially true in Fes.  

    Where to stay in Fes: Riad Fes & Hotel Sahrai

    Riad Fes is one of our Fora Advisors’ absolute favorite places to stay in Morocco. The overall vibe is charming, but with an overlay of luxury. Traditional Moroccan design elements are front and center here, but there are also notable Andalusian elements. 

    If you prefer something more contemporary, Hotel Sahrai — Riad Fes’ sister property — is a solid choice, especially if you want to stay somewhere that will feel familiar when you’re done exploring the otherworldliness of the city at large.

    Not sure which type of property best suits you? A Fora Advisor will be happy to break down all the differences.

    Fora Perks at Riad Fes:

    • VIP welcome, breakfast daily.

    Fora Perks at Hotel Sahrai:

    • $50 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    4. Sahara Desert: a renowned landscape that’s anything but empty

    If you’ve never been to a desert, the Sahara is definitely a great first impression. First — yes — the Sahara is exceedingly hot during the day and surprisingly frigid at night through most of the year. But if you check out our Morocco travel guide, you’ll see that the Sahara enjoys much milder temperatures and less dramatic swings in spring and fall (i.e., the best time to visit Morocco for desert adventuring).

    So what makes the Sahara one of Morocco’s best places to travel to? Aside from sandboarding over dunes, off-roading through rugged valleys or camelback riding (one of our favorite things to do in Morocco), the Sahara is a beautiful place to simply take in the scenery. The horizon either seems to stretch forever or is almost jarringly interrupted by majestic mountain ranges. If you’re looking for a unique escape from urban living, consider the Sahara a contender.

    If you plan your trip with a Fora Advisor, they can connect you with trusted tour guides so you get the best experience possible.

    Where to stay in the Sahara Desert: Caravan by Habitas Dakhla & Agafay

    Technically speaking, Caravan by Habitas Dakhla is in the Western Sahara region of Morocco — and sits on the country’s Atlantic coast. But if your goal is to connect with nature and escape the confines of urbanity, you can’t go wrong here. 

    The resort is beautiful, authentic and, perhaps most of all, fun. Here you can kitesurf in the Dakhla lagoon, dine on a rare fusion of Moroccan and Mexican cuisine and enjoy the lavish amenities of their riad-style units. 

    Caravan by Habitas Agafay offers a true desert experience. This location is composed of elegant yet rustic tents (and lodges). But trust us when we say it’s more glamorous than it sounds — there’s a simple authenticity here that makes staying at this location a worthwhile experience. Above all, though, culture is at the heart of Caravan by Habitas Agafay, with curated activities and performances that celebrate local Moroccan traditions amid the dunes and rocky formations.

    Fora Perks at Caravan by Habitas Dakla:

    • Complimentary Air & Concierge Services.

    Fora Perks at Caravan by Habitas Agafay:

    • Complimentary Air & Concierge Services.

    5. Chefchaouen: the Blue Pearl of Morocco

    Centuries ago, the homes, buildings and walls of the town of Chefchaouen were painted a striking blue for reasons that have been lost to history. Some theories suggest the blue paint simply reflects sunlight better, serving as a clever way of keeping temperatures down, while others point to a more spiritual purpose. Either way, Chefchaouen is a spectacle to walk through. 

    The blue-washed buildings create a dazzling contrast with the surrounding mountainscapes — the town is located in the Rif Mountains — while the small-town atmosphere offers a window into the everyday lives of local Moroccans, earning its place among Morocco’s best places to visit.

    6. Essaouira: a lax beach town with a unique medina experience

    With scenic beaches, fresh seafood and a surprisingly relaxed medina experience, Essaouira is a coastal gem among Moroccan cities and towns. 

    Whereas most medinas in Morocco are loud, electric and eclectic, the Essaouira Medina is more laid-back. Strolling through the medina’s labyrinthian alleyways and streets, you’ll still encounter traders and artisans selling Moroccan goods and street food, but it’s not quite the overwhelming experience you would expect in Marrakech or Fes. 

    If you walk along the medina’s seawall, marked by ramparts and old canons dating back to when the city was under European control, you can take in stunning views of the shoreline.

    Speaking of the shoreline, Essaouira is also an excellent surfing destination for beginners, particularly during warmer months when the Atlantic trade winds reach their peak. If you happen to visit in spring or fall, though, the beaches can be a great place to enjoy a peaceful day on the sand as the crowds tend to disappear with the mild weather.

    Fun fact: Marrakech’s Amanjena resort ships fresh seafood daily from Essaouira.

    Where to stay in Essaouira: L'Heure Bleue

    Most of the city’s hotels either border the medina or sit along the shoreline, but in either case, the city is small enough that staying near one doesn’t preclude you from the other. On that note, L'Heure Bleue is one of our favorite properties. It’s located in the heart of the city, where it used to be a luxury residence before it was converted into a boutique hotel. 

    It’s also known as Heure Bleue Palais, and there are only about 30 rooms here, so there’s a bit of an exclusive vibe. Our advisors especially love the hotel’s chic rooftop pool and bar area. 

    Fora Perks at L'Heure Bleue:

    • A VIP welcome & breakfast daily

    Curious about more of Morocco’s best places to visit? Ask Fora

    Can’t wait to check out Morocco’s best places to visit? Have another destination in mind like the cosmopolitan city of Casablanca or the capital, Rabat?

    Why not trust a travel expert to supply you with insider intel? When you plan and book your trip with a Fora Advisor, you can count on VIP perks and extras at great hotels across Morocco. 

    Not sure that Morocco fits your dream vacation vibe? Check out our guides to these great destinations, too:

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