Spring comes early in Morocco. The shift from a mild winter into the warmer season starts happening in March. The upside is pleasant temperatures (the average in Marrakech hovers in the mid-sixties, with highs in the low seventies, while it's slightly cooler in northern cities like Fez and Tangier). The downside is precipitation. With the exception of the coast, you'll want to be prepared with an umbrella, as March is considered one of Morocco's rainiest months.
But there's an upside to the downside: the rain brings Morocco's landscapes to life. Especially in the second half of the month and into April, you'll enjoy vibrant green almost everywhere you go.
Crowds & Costs
In terms of tourist numbers, March is a great time to visit Morocco. Most major destinations see growing numbers of visitors as winter turns to spring, but nothing compared to the high season that's coming: you can enjoy exploring the cities, the mountains, and the desert without major crowds. Be aware, however, that if Easter happens to fall in March, you'll encounter crowds of holiday-goers around big cities and attractions that are easily accessible to travelers coming in for the weekend.
Where to Go
March is an excellent time to visit Morocco's Atlantic coast—popular destinations include Essaouira and Sidi Ifni—where temperatures are warm and there's little to no rain.
It's also a great time for hiking in the Rif Mountains or High Atlas Mountains, as long as you're prepared for the possibility of rain, and to explore the Sahara Desert without too many tourists around.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Camp out in the Sahara, taking a camel ride at sunset: just be sure to bring warm clothing so that you'll be comfortable around the campfire. Or plan a hiking adventure in the Rif Mountains or High Atlas Mountains. As long as you have the proper gear—you could see snow at higher elevations—it's a wonderful time of year to get off the beaten path and explore some of Morocco's lesser-known trails and Berber villages.
March is also a good time for cultural sightseeing in the northern imperial cities, as tourist numbers are relatively low and you're unlikely to encounter huge crowds at popular sights.
International Nomads Festival. This three-day festival, which takes place in a remote Saharan village called M’Hamid El Ghizlane, celebrates nomadic culture. The open-air event features local musicians, dancers, writers, and craftspeople, plus traditional food and educational workshops. Dates vary, but the festival usually happens towards the end of the month.
Marrakech Biennale. A contemporary art fair that lasts the entire month of March happens every other year in Marrakech. With a range of exhibitions and installations featuring both Moroccan and international artists, it's a destination for art enthusiasts and tourists alike. Unfortunately, the 2018 version was canceled due to a lack of funding, but plans are in a place for the 2020 edition.
Traveling to Morocco in March? Check out these great itineraries.
Morocco Grand Tour from Rabat: Imperial Cities & Coastal Towns. Take advantage of the great weather along Morocco's coast in March to try this nine-day itinerary that starts in the capital city of Rabat. Stops include the Rif Mountains, the blue city of Chefchaouen, historic Fes, and busy Marrakech, plus a seaside stay in Essaouira and visits to other coastal towns.
Marrakech, Grand Desert Tour, Hiking & the Coast. Ocean breezes and fresh seafood are just a few of the perks of this ten-day itinerary that takes you to Marrakech, hiking in the Atlas Mountains, camping out under the stars in the Sahara, overnighting with a Berber family. Coastal Essaouira is the relaxing final stop on the trip.