June is the month when Morocco starts getting hot—in some cases, extremely so. Highs reach the mid-nineties Fahrenheit in Marrakech, where heat stroke can be an issue for tourists, and soar farther upwards in the desert. It's cooler in the Atlas Mountains, where the daytime average is 78°, at the beach where ocean breezes cool things down, and in cities to the north like Fes, where temperatures hover in the seventies and highs reach the mid-eighties. On the northern coast, in Tangier, the daily average in June is a comfortable 69°.
On the plus side, June marks the beginning of Morocco's dry season. You don't have to worry about rain, but dehydration can be a problem: be sure to drink lots of (bottled) water.
Crowds & Costs
In Morocco, the rising temperatures go hand in hand with high-season pricing and significant crowds. Of course, the crowds are the largest (and the competition for rooms in the best riads and hotels is the stiffest) in popular cities like Marrakech and Fes. Book well in advance to secure your accommodations and tours before they fill up. And try to stay somewhere with a swimming pool—you'll thank yourself after a long day of hiking or sightseeing.
Where to Go
To beat the heat (and the crowds), consider an adventure in the Rif Mountains, or cool off at the beach on either the Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts.
June is not a good time to explore the Sahara Desert. You'll want to leave that particular journey for sometime between October and May, when temperatures are more moderate. It's also baking hot in Marrakech and pretty much everywhere in the country's south, so June is a good time to visit northern cities like Tangier and Rabat.
What to Do
Take a hike in the mountains or catch a wave at the beach, but skip the Sahara—it's too hot to enjoy it in summer. Sightseeing in cities like Fes can be a bit of a challenge, due to the heat and the crowds, but the temperatures are comparatively cool if you consider how hot it gets in July and August. If you want to do sightseeing there or in Marrakech, do it first thing, then head out of town for a quieter and cooler travel experience in the mountains or along the coast.
June, being the start of summer, is an ideal time to catch a concert or music festival with a local crowd. See below for more information.
Festival of World Sacred Music — During the last week of June, Fes comes alive with a special festival dedicated to the arts. The Festival of World Sacred Music, despite the name, has more than music to offer: the event also features a film festival, educational workshops, and open-air concerts.
Gnaoua World Music Festival — Every June, the seaside city of Essaouira hosts a three-day festival paying tribute to the Gnaoua (also known as Gnawa), an ethnic group that's indigenous to the Maghreb. Historically, Essaouira is the center for Gnaoua music, but the festival also features pop, jazz, rock, and other contemporary music forms. The beachfront setting makes this event one of the coolest places to be in June, in more ways than one.
Traveling to Morocco in June? Check out these great itineraries.
Moroccan Cities of the North. When temperatures soar in the Sahara, stay cool in Morocco's north with this six-day itinerary that starts and ends in Casablanca, taking in Rabat, Chefchaoeun, Meknes, Volubilis, and Fes along the way.
Imperial Cities of Morocco. Interested in culture and history? Then you'll want to get to know Morocco's famed imperial cities on this weeklong itinerary. Highlights include tours in Meknes, Fes, Rabat, and Marrakech, plus additional time in Tangier, Chefchaouen, and Casablanca.