The Sahara Desert, extending across one-third of the African continent, has many subregions. In the desert's northwest, in Morocco, December is the beginning of winter. Days are comparatively short—you'll have fewer hours for daylight activities—but pleasant for outdoor adventures in the desert.
Expect highs in the low to mid-60s and lows in the upper 30s. You'll want to layer and be prepared with warmer clothing, especially for nighttime, but you won't have to worry about rain: there's a 0% chance of precipitation at this time of year.
For more information, see our article on Morocco in December.
Crowds & Costs
Compared to the spike in tourism that happens in the summertime, December is low-key. It's a quiet time to visit Morocco, except for on weekends, when European travelers jet down to warmer climes, and around the Christmas and New Year holidays, when there's an uptick in international tourism. If you're planning to visit at the end of December, you should book your plane tickets, accommodations, and tours well in advance, and be prepared for inflated prices on all of the above. Otherwise, especially during the week, you'll have no problems with crowds or high costs in December.
What To Do
Go hiking in the desert, star-gaze under a wide sky, ride a camel along the dunes at Erg Chebbi, shop for handicrafts in desert villages: there's so much to see and do in the Moroccan Sahara in December. Consider a trip to Ouarzazate, the "Hollywood of Morocco," a filming location for "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Game of Thrones," among other films and TV series. Shop in the market of Rissani, and bundle up by an open fire at night to experience a slice of traditional Berber culture.
If you're prepared for cold and snow, you could also plan to spend a day skiing in the nearby Atlas mountains. At night, find a cozy place to try traditional Moroccan cuisine—anywhere near an open fire will do—but you'll want to focus your energy on activities during December's relatively short daylight hours, when the temperatures are pleasant for being outside.
Visiting the Morrocan Sahara in December? Check out these itineraries.
Moroccan Highlights: Fes, the Sahara Desert, & Marrakech - 6 Days This whirlwind trip takes you to Morocco's top attractions, including Fes, the Sahara Desert, and Marrakech.
Marrakech & Grand Tour of the Sahara Desert - 6 Days Explore the peaks of the High Atlas mountains and the vast sandy landscapes of the Sahara on this outdoorsy tour.
Morocco's Imperial Cities & the Sahara Desert - 13 Days See Casablanca, Fes, Essaouira, the Erg Chebbi Dunes and more on this well-rounded trip plan.