Welcome to autumn in Morocco, easily one of the best moments to visit. After months of steaming hot temperatures, Marrakech is finally cool enough to really enjoy—expect a high of 82°F and lows around 60°. You'll find the same range in the nearby Sahara Desert.
The weather is lovely in the Atlas Mountains, too, where the average temperature is around 71°F, with a ten-degree range either way for highs and lows. You'll want to bring a jacket to Fes or Casablanca: in both cities, the daily average temperature hovers around 66°. Bring an umbrella no matter where you go (and especially if northern cities like Tangier and Tetouan are on your itinerary) as the dry season is wrapping up and the occasional rainy day is always a possibility.
Crowds & Costs
With summer vacations over and students back in school, you'll encounter fewer tourists in October. The peak summer season always has the highest prices for hotel rooms and tours, and you may notice slightly better deals in fall. You won't need to buy train tickets so far in advance, either. October is an ideal time for sightseeing in Moroccan cities because you won't see as many crowds, and since you don't need to reserve everything months ahead of time, you can be a little more spontaneous and flexible with your travel plans.
Where to Go
October is a fine time to go pretty much anywhere in Morocco. It's true that coastal areas can be cloudy in fall, especially around Tangier, and winds pick up around Essaouira, so October isn't necessarily the best time to go to the beach. If you do have your heart set on a trip to the coast, choose a southern destination like Agadir, Sidi Ifni, or Dakhla, where you'll likely find pleasant weather.
Rabat and Casablanca tend to be cloudy, too, especially towards the end of the month. But thanks to their cultural offerings, they're still solid choices to visit in October.
After several months of oppressive heat, Marrakech has cooled down by October, making it a great place to visit at this time of year. The Atlas Mountains are also an excellent choice for October: just be sure to bring warm clothing, as temperatures drop after nightfall.
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What to Do
In Morocco, October is a harvest month. In the High Atlas and Middle Atlas Mountains, apples are the main event, while in Zagora, Errachidia, and Erfoud, the date harvest starts in October and continues through late November. It's an excellent time to plan a hike or a trek through the nearby regions, as you'll have the chance to witness the rituals around the harvest — and to taste the fruit, of course. For more on the popular Erfoud Date Festival, see below.
If you're interested in scaling the heights of Mount Toubkal, the tallest mountain in North Africa, this is a good time to do it, thanks to the moderate temperatures. Easier hikes in the Middle Atlas Mountains are also great options: consider a trip to Todra Gorge, Dades Gorge, and Ouarzazate.
Surfing is a popular activity along the coasts at this time of year. Temperatures are warmer and friendlier to beginners in the south, of course. The city of Dakhla is a great option for windsurfers (or travelers interested in learning).
Erfoud Date Festival — This three-day festival happens in Erfoud, the center of date production and home to nearly a million date palms. Just after the dates are harvested each year, a celebration follows with parades, food, music, races, and the crowning of the "Date Queen."
Taragalte Festival — For three days at the end of October (check online for exact dates, as they change each year), the Taragalte Festival is centered around peace and music. Musicians come from all over the world to perform at this far-flung venue in the Sahara Desert, located near the town of Zagora in southeastern Morocco.
MOGA Electronic Music Festival — In mid-October in Essaouira (dates vary each year), this electronic music and digital arts festival highlights talents from Morocco and the Maghreb. As an added perk, it's a nice time of year to visit the beachfront city.
Traveling to Morocco in October? Check out these great itineraries.
Moroccan Adventure, Culture & Relaxation — Take advantage of the lower October temperatures and spend some time in Marrakech and the Sahara. Tour the city's medina, exploring the desert around the popular film location of Ouarzazate, hike in the Atlas foothills, and spend the night in a traditional Berber home.
Imperial Cities, Desert Grand Tour & Hiking in the Atlas — Enjoy cultural sightseeing, hiking, and desert adventures on this twelve-day itinerary that takes you to Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech, and Chefchaouen, plus the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and to the Sahara, where you'll camp overnight.