Planning Your Morocco Itinerary
So you have three days in Morocco? Thanks to the country's relatively small size, you don't have to stay in one place, or to choose between the city and the great outdoors—unless you want to. If you're eager to visit more than one place, you can: you could see a couple of imperial cities, or Marrakech and the desert, or Fes and the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis.
Add on a few more days and you can tour the cities of the north, including the postcard-perfect "Blue City" of Chefchaouen, or you could spend a night camping out in the Sahara. With ten or fourteen days, you can hit many of Morocco's major sights—or choose one or two that you love, and linger longer to savor the pleasures of quiet mountains, larger-than-life sand dunes, and charming medieval medinas.
More time is always better. But even if you only have a few days, you can have a wonderful time in Morocco. Here are some suggested strategies and itineraries for trips ranging from three days to two weeks.
Morocco in 3-4 Days
If you just have a long weekend to spend in Morocco, you're not necessarily limited to one place. Fes and Casablanca are easily connected by train: the journey takes about four hours. You could start in Casablanca, where you won't want to miss a tour of Hassan II Mosque, home to the tallest minaret in the world. Find the ultimate guide to the city here.
Then catch a train to Fes, where you'll probably want to focus your time. Fes el-Bali, the ancient walled city, is a labyrinth of more than 9,000 alleyways. Take a walking tour, shop in the souks, and set aside some time to admire the colorful vats of pigment at the world-famous Tanneries Chouara. Learn more about Fes in this guide.
Alternatively, base yourself in Fes and enjoy short side trips. You could go to Meknes, where the ancient medina sees fewer tourists than you'll encounter in busy Fes, and nearby Volubilis, where well-preserved Roman ruins serve as an interesting counterpoint to Mahgreb architecture.
If you'd rather spend your time in the vicinity of Marrakech, there's more than enough to keep you occupied in the city for three days: lively Jemaa el Fna Square, the stately Bahia Palace, and, for art lovers, the Majorelle Garden. The botanical garden and villa, created by French artist Jacques Majorelle and restored by Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé, is a dreamy refuge outside the medina.
From Marrakech, you can also take a side trip into the nearby Sahara Desert. Hiking, a camel ride, a glimpse inside a traditional Berber village? It's all within a short drive of the city.
Morocco in 5-7 Days
A few more days in Morocco means that you can cover more ground in the country. Or that you can linger longer in a particularly fascinating destination like Fes, a city that ends up becoming a favorite of many travelers. Decide whether you'd rather focus on the imperial cities, the desert, or the mountains—or some combination of these—so that you don't spend a disproportionate amount of time in transit.
One option is to focus on the northern cities, a suggestion that's popular with photographers, painters, and travelers interested in history. Visitors have plenty of time to wander around incredibly picturesque destinations like Chefchaouen, Morocco's famous "Blue City." This particular itinerary includes stops in Fes, Tangier, and Casablanca, but it could be shortened or altered to accommodate how many days you have—and where your flights are arriving or departing from.
Alternatively, base yourself in Marrakech and embark on an adventure tour into the desert. Combine four days in the Sahara with a day or two in Marrakech on each end. You'll take a desert tour of the massive wind-shaped sand dunes at Erg Chebbi and enjoy a camel ride at Merzouga.
Morocco in 10 Days
Ten days may just be the sweet spot when it comes to the ideal amount of time to spend in Morocco. It's enough time that you won't be rushed, and it's easy to modify one of these weeklong itineraries to allow a couple of extra days in a place you love—and wish to linger in—along the way.
With ten days, you can sample all of Morocco's unique ecosystems. This itinerary features a combination of adventure, and relaxation—you'll start in the imperial city of Marrakech, explore the Sahara and surrounding desert towns, hike the High Atlas mountains, and chill out along the coast. The tour includes plenty of culture, too: highlights include traditional music around a campfire, a night with a local Berber family, and fresh seafood by the Atlantic in charming Essaouira.
Alternatively, take the grand tour of Morocco's imperial cities. Start with this weeklong itinerary, and leave yourself some flexibility: if you fall in love with a particular city, you can always stay another night or two to really enjoy it.
Morocco in 14 Days
Two weeks is a generous amount of time in a country as compact as Morocco, and a grand tour of its offerings is more than possible. Explore the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Casablanca. Venture into the desert a few days exploring kasbahs, caravan routes, and the Saharan dunes. Cross up and over the high atlas mountains, and even spend a couple days hiking between small villages, spending the night with a local family. End your trip by relaxing in Essaouira before continuing along the coast back to Casablanca.
Travelers can also condense their sightseeing into fewer days, using the extra time for add-on adventures. For example, towering Mount Toubkal—the tallest peak in North Africa—is just an hour and a half outside of Marrakech, but most travelers only see it from the car window. With an extra 2-3 days, you could work in a trek to the summit—read about the logistics of the hike here.
Another idea is to pick and choose from these recommended itineraries that each last five days but cover different areas of the country. Spend half your time hiking and relaxing outside Marrakech and half touring the northern cities. Then schedule in an extra day for travel between the start and end points of each.