Hassan II Mosque
Visit Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca – the 3rd largest in the world.
Time on the coast is combined with dramatic mountain scenery, palmeries, dusty mud baked villages and the majestic dunes of the Sahara. There is also the freedom to self-drive for a part of the trip, although this is not obligatory.
This Morocco holiday idea covers some of the lesser-visited parts of the country including the town of Taroudant which many people refer to as ‘Marrakech 50 years ago’.
Visit Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca – the 3rd largest in the world.
Explore the traditional Berber market town of Taroudant.
Cross the High Atlas over the Tizi-n-Test pass, one of the most dramatic routes in Morocco.
Spend a day exploring the villages and dunes on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
With the influx of the no-frills airlines bringing more tourists to this easily accessible country, finding less visited, untouched and untouristy parts of the country is becoming more and more of a challenge. By hiring a car and self-driving over the High Atlas Mountains to Southern Morocco, Taroudant and Zagora, you are able to disappear into the incredible views, unfollowed by the crowds.
Morocco on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.
From the ancient city of Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains skyline stretches across the horizon, creating a backdrop of inspiring beauty. Toubkal, North Africa’s highest mountain, is only 50 miles south of Marrakech.
The High Atlas has been inhabited for thousands of years by a pastoral people known as the Berbers. They live in small villages of flat-roofed sun-baked mud houses, usually situated atop steep mountain slopes. Speaking Berber, Arabic, and French, they are as interesting and welcoming as they are knowledgeable of the mountains.
Spend some time in these magnificent valleys trekking or take a simple walk to a Berber Village. Stay in the lap of luxury at Kasbah Tamadot or a more traditional Berber run option at Kasbah du Toubkal, both with amazing panoramic views.
Cutting right through the heart of the Atlas Mountains, Tizi n’Test is an awe-inspiring pass, slicing through this vast mountain range. For those who love scenic drives with epic scenery on a massive scale, this challenging drive on winding roads gives unmatched panoramic views before descending 1600m in little over 30kms. The road brings you to the Souss region and the historical kasbah town of Taroudant.
The Skoura region is very beautiful so spend a few days taking in the magnificent scenery. Activities to enjoy range from walking trails, horse riding and bicycle rides. Longer explorations could take you into the spectacular High Atlas mountains; up the Dades valley (the country of the figs) which has snow one side and semi-desert the other, to discover the ‘Road of a Thousand Kasbahs’, or to the Draa Valley (country of the dates). Visit historical sites such as the fairytale remains of Kasbah Amerhidil, or the much-filmed hilltown of Ait Ben Haddou; keen photographers will adore the extraordinary, photogenic landscape.
As an alternative stepping off point to access the Sahara Desert, Zagora lies almost due south of the towns of Ouarzazate or Skoura. From Zagora you to travel to the small town of M’hamid, the road takes you through a stone desert, or “hamada”. This moon-like landscape is quite dramatic in its own right and is very much part of the experience of reaching M’Hamid. From M’Hamid you start your desert experience by camel or jeep. Explore Erg Lehoudi, a section of 100m high dunes or if you have more time, a more ambitious trip is to head out to Erg Chigaga which is a 40km stretch of 300m Saharan dunes located approximately 56kms from M’Hamid.
Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.
This charming and traditional hotel is made up of four 18th century riads and has a light and airy style mixed with the odd ornate mirror and antique piece of furniture thrown in to give it the perfect mix of elegance and beachside feel.
Riad Kniza dates from the 18th century and has been in the same family for over 200 years. Restored by a skilled team of craftsmen and furnished with family antiques and artwork, it retains a wonderfully Moorish feel, coupled with discreet yet impeccable service. The 11 rooms and suites surround three traditional courtyards and have been tastefully decorated in a Moroccan style.
Kasbah Tamadot is a luxury mountain hotel, owned by Sir Richard Branson, located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, approximately one hour from Marrakech. With the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains forming a stunning backdrop, views from the hotel stretch across steep river valleys towards forested mountains.
Kasbah du Toubkal is a magnificent mountain retreat spectacularly situated in the heart of the High Atlas. Near the foot of Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa, it is only 40 miles from Marrakech but the peace and quiet and seclusion are so complete, the city seems a million miles away. Berber run, the staff at the Kasbah delight in explaining their culture. In addition to the 17 rooms, there is a wonderful rooftop terrace, traditional hammam and a restaurant serving traditional Berber food.
Youssef, our driver, looked after us very well. He was always calm and friendly and made us feel comfortable and relaxed. All our other guides were very professional, friendly and gave us a good sense of the country.
Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.
January is Morocco’s coldest month, yet you can still experience sunny days in certain regions of the country with milder temperatures, ideal for sightseeing and outside Morocco’s peak travel season. It should still be noted that temperatures can dramatically change from day to night.
At the end of the extreme winter months, February will see temperatures slowly rising during the day but be prepared for a dramatic change in temperatures as once the sunsets, evenings are much colder.
Travelling from March through to May is one of the best times to visit Morocco. As the country experiences an extreme of the weather chart, with blistering hot summers and chilly winters, visiting during Spring and Autumn as the best times to travel.
April is an ideal time to travel to Morocco as temperatures will be cooler than the peak summer months and the entire country can be explored without extremes in climates in the Sahara Desert or the Atlas Mountains.
During springtime, sandstorms can be likely in the Sahara yet in the Atlas Mountains, temperatures are comfortable with few rainy days. The climate will vary according to the region, yet it is still a popular time to travel.
Travelling to Morocco during June is a good time to visit the country with temperatures in their high 20s, but temperatures may rise into the 30s if visiting some of the country’s major cities including Marrakech.
Morocco experiences a blistering hot summer, particularly in the months of July and August, where temperatures can climb into the late 30s, meaning sightseeing can be exhausting.
The month of August will continue to bring extremely high temperatures during the day, yet cool evenings, particularly in many central regions. Coastal regions will be marginally cooler; however, temperatures will still be high.
Travel during Autumn, from September to October, for bearable daytime temperatures and cool, balmy evenings. As Morocco experiences extremes in climates during summer and winter, both spring and autumn are the best months to visit.
As one of the best times to travel to Morocco, October will experience about 8 hours of daily sunshine with an average of 28°C. Morocco’s mountainous and desert regions can get cooler at night though and it is best to travel to the Atlas Mountains before winter begins.
The beginning of winter begins in November and lasts until January, experiencing very cold temperatures and occasional rainfall. As November is the start of winter, the climate will be less extreme with more moderate temperatures during the day but cool evenings.
Morocco will experience chilly winters with some mountainous regions even seeing snowfall on particularly cold nights.
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