The idea of going to Morocco took hold slowly, in small, incremental steps. Our October trip was going to be just Spain and Portugal, but every time I looked at the map, the land below the blue strip of the Mediterranean called to me. I was intrigued by way the curve of land in Spain mirrored the curve of Morocco, and the more it looked as if two faces were exchanging an airy kiss. I entertained the idea that we could hop over the Strait of Gibraltar for a night. Then I realized I couldn’t go that far and not touch the mighty Rock of Gibraltar. The spreadsheet wiggled and wobbled as I rearranged dates and squeezed time from one place and added to another. Midway through our trip, we revised the trip again. Once I stepped foot in magical Morocco, I knew our two-week itinerary was going to be good.
Two Week Morocco Itinerary
There are many routes through the highlights of Morocco, but for those who aren’t sure how to get started, my two-week itinerary will give you some ideas. I’ll also mention some places that I’d visit if we had had more time. We enjoy history, culture, nature, and outdoor activities, and I used Lonely Planet Morocco and internet searches to plan.
The Quick and Dirty Itinerary:
Tangier (1 night)
Fez (2 nights)
Marrakech (1 night)
Sahara Desert Tour (2 nights)
Marrakech (1 night)
Imlil (2 nights)
Marrakech (3 nights)
We traveled by train, taxi, and private car with a driver. Most of our lodging was in mid-level hotels with a couple of splurges. Since I’ve written separate articles on some places we went, I’ll just cover the basics here.
Tangier (1 night): We arrived by ferry from Algeciras, Spain. We loved our quick visit to the medina in Tangier the late afternoon on the day we arrived. The contrast between the gleaming new town vs the old town was dramatic. A highlight was learning about the American Legation Museum, the only US National Historic Landmark located in another country. We stayed at an Ibis Hotel and took the train to Fez. If we had another day, we would have hired a driver to take us to Chefchaouen, the blue city.
Fez (2 nights): The clean and efficient train took four hours to this historic city that used to be the capital of Morocco. It was a quick walk to the Ibis Hotel adjacent to the train station, which had a lovely pool. We spent one full day exploring the wonderful old medina on our own. If you have two days, take a day trip to Meknes and Volubilis to see the Roman ruins. We took the train to Marrakech, which offered contrasting views of farmland, coast, and the leading edge of the High Atlas Mountains.
Marrakech (1 night): The long train to the heart of the Berber culture in Marrakech took six hours. We stayed at Riad Angsana Collection, a luxurious riad in the medina, for one night. We had little time to explore as we had an early morning pick-up the next day for our Sahara Desert tour. We didn’t mind because the riad was so lovely and our large room was so comfortable. They had a top-notch restaurant that served dinner and breakfast. There were a few museums within walking distance of the riad I would have liked to explore if I’d had more time.
Sahara Desert tour with Berber Camp Merzouga (2 nights): Seeing the Sahara Desert and many interesting sights along the way were highlights of our trip. I would have chosen a four- or five-night tour if I’d realized how much there was to see and do.
Marrakech (1 night): This was another repositioning stop as we were scheduled to travel to Imlil the next day. I do not recommend the Ibis at the train station until it is renovated, as our room needed multiple improvements.
Imlil (2 nights): The Kasbah du Toubkal sent a driver to pick us up for the hour-long drive into the High Atlas Mountains. It was a beautiful drive through small villages and apple orchards. If we had more time, we would have enjoyed doing some day or overnight treks in the area. We were so tired after the desert trip that we relaxed at the kasbah, enjoyed their hammam (steam bath) and garden, took a stroll around town, and bought a rug (of course).
Marrakech (3 nights): Our driver from the Kasbah du Toubkal dropped us off at the Riad Arbre Bleu, which is at the opposite end of the medina from our previous stay at the Riad Angsana. It was a pleasant place with wonderful staff, and it was easy to walk to nearby shops and restaurants. They served a hearty breakfast, and it felt homey there. This would have been the perfect opportunity to see more of Marrakech, but unfortunately, my husband got sick and our activities were curtailed. We were able to visit the tiny but impactful Women’s Museum Marrakech in the medina. We would have done the following if we had time: La Maison Arabe Cooking Class (Cookly.me), Bahia Palace, Musee Yves Saint Laurent, Moroccan Culinary Arts Museum, Musee Berbere (indigenous focus) and the Djemaa El Fna main square. These will have to wait until our next visit.
Places We Missed
Suggestions for places we missed: Chefchaouen (blue city near Tangier) and the coastal towns such as cosmopolitan Rabat, Agadir with its beach resorts, and Essaouira, an artsy seaside town. All three of the coastal towns have surfing beaches.
There are always questions about how to dress. There is no official dress code, so it’s based on your personal preference and philosophy. I prefer to dress modestly in Muslim countries. For me, that means shoulders and knees covered. I wear loose long pants that are comfortable in the heat and a short-sleeved top. I carry a white linen long-sleeved shirt for when it’s chilly with too much air conditioning or when I want to cover up more.
It wasn’t enough time, but it was a good start. I describe more about the places we visited in Morocco in separate articles. Each place was unique, and provided fascinating opportunities for learning about the forces that shaped the country over time. I thoroughly enjoyed every place we visited on our two-week itinerary in magical Morocco.