Morocco stole my heart. This was one of the few places I have ever visited where I cried on the way home. I was not ready to leave the country and I especially was not ready to leave our Sahara Desert driver, Hicham. He truly made our trip very special and became what I would consider a lifelong friend. I traveled through Morocco with two of my girlfriends. We visited Chefchaouen, Fez, did a 3-day Sahara Desert Tour (many stops/sites) and ended our trip in Marrakech. So read on and plan your perfect Morocco itinerary!
Arrive in Tangier, Morocco
Since we arrived late in Tangier (flight delays), we only spent a few hours here before traveling via CTM Bus to Chefchaouen. Tangier seemed like your typical beach town, I wish we had more time to explore here but unfortunately, we did not.
The CTM bus was about a 3-hour ride from Tangier to Chefchaouen. The bus is very nice with assigned seats, and AC. We had one stop in a small town to pick up more passengers. Once you arrive in the city of blue, Chefchaouen, you can take a petite taxi to your Riad. A petite taxi is a smaller taxi that can go up the small, cobblestone roads.
Make sure you know the name, address, and phone number of your Riad. We had our Riad pulled up on Google Maps so we could easily find it once the petite taxi dropped us off at the top of the hill.
Mel’s Travel Tip: If you get car sick make sure to take something before getting on the bus. I personally love Boion MotionCalm Relief.
Once settled into your Riad, start to explore the magical blue city. Two nights in Chefchaouen is perfect, we were able to explore the entire city easily in just two days.
For even more beautiful Riad options check out my pre-filtered hotel list. If you visit Morocco in the warmer months, make sure the hotel has a pool!
Mel’s Travelers Note: What is a riad? A traditional Moroccan Riad is a rectangular structure with multiple stories that centers around an open-air courtyard that usually has a fountain or a pool. Rooms are all facing the courtyard on all four sides. Riads were once estates to the wealthiest citizens of Morocco. When traveling to Morocco, no trip is complete without experiencing a stay in a Riad!
- Old City and Medina
- Get lost in the Blue City
- Grand Mosque
- Cascades d’Akchour (depending on the time of year you go the falls could be dried up so check before hiking)
- Hike to the Spanish Mosque for the best view of the city – I recommend hiking during Sunset
- Go to the top of the fortress in the main square for a good view, the price of 10dh
- Auberge Dardara Restaurant – it is about a 20 min drive by taxi. Highly recommend. Make sure you check meal times before going.
- Restaurant Assaada
- Bab Ssour – Order the Brown Bean Soup
- The food in Chefchaouen was my favorite – if you can DO NOT ORDER OR EAT COUSCOUS. I promise you – YOU WILL EAT SO MUCH COUSCOUS YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO EAT IT AGAIN!!!!
There are millions of beautiful Riads in Fes. We wanted one with a pool since we were going during a warmer month. Check out, even more, stays in Fes!
Book a Hammam and massage. We booked ours through the Riad. It was quite a cultural experience and my skin has never felt softer.
Mel’s Travelers Note: A Hammam is a traditional Moroccan Bath. For most Moroccans, the hammam is more than a day at the spa; it is a social event that happens regularly, rooted in the tradition of Islamic cleansing ablutions. It is worth experiencing one during your travels through Morocco. In my experience, I was bathed head to toe in a hot steam bath, then received a massage.
Definitely hire a tour guide for Fes! Fes is made up of 9,000 small streets and it is EXTREMELY easy to get lost. Our Riad set up an “outer” city tour and an “inner” city tour. I recommend doing both. My favorite part of the outer city tour was the ceramic / tile shop. You actually see them make the ceramic from start to finish. Do not feel pressured to buy anything during the tour, the guide will most likely bring you to a lot of shops. Beware of the silver shops, some of the silver we purchased was fake. Below is a list of places we wanted to see before we decided to do the private tour, we saw A LOT more on the tour and it would have been impossible for us to see everything without a guide.
- The Tannery (Chouara Tannery)
- Golden Gates at the Royal Palace
- Mellah or Jewish Quarter
- Attarine Madrasa
- Medersa Bou Inania. This is one of the only religious buildings in the city that non-Muslims can enter.
- Bou Jeloud Gardens
- Souk Medina
- University of al-Qarawiyyin
- Hike: Mount Zalagh
- Cafe Clock
- The Ruined Garden
- Fes Et Gestes
Sahara Desert Tour
3-Day Tour from Fes to Marrakesh
The tour from Fes to Marrakech was probably the highlight of my trip, full of incredible stops along the way. We booked our tour with Morocco Happiness Tours. Our driver Hicham picked us up early in the morning from Fes and we started our journey through the Atlas Mountains. Stopping to feed monkeys, overlooking palm groves, and touring through Berber villages all while listening to music and chatting up our driver. We ended the first day of driving in Merzouga, Erg Chebbi, where we slept in a traditional nomadic tent and enjoyed a night full of Berber music, food, and dancing.
We woke early in the morning and watched the sunrise over the dunes, saddled up the camels, and rode back to Merzouga. After breakfast, we hit the road again and headed to the Dades Gorge and the Todra Gorges. Hicham took us to lunch at his friend’s shop where they made us feel more than at home with traditional cumin and mint tea. After lunch, the daughters dressed us up in traditional Berber outfits and gave us Henna tattoos. Waving goodbye we drove to the stunning Dades Gorge.
The final leg of the journey consisted of driving through Ouarzazate. We went to caves, saw nomadic settlers, stopped in the Valley of Roses, saw the Hollywood of Africa, and lastly stopped at our driver’s family home. They were the sweetest, most welcoming people (I did not post pictures of them out of respect) but they greeted us with food and love. The little kids even gave us a tour of the house. Leaving the warmth of the family, Hicham dropped us off at our Riad in Marrakech and we said our tearful goodbyes.
By the time we arrived in Marrakech, we were ready to lay by the pool and enjoy rooftop bars. Therefore, we did not do much except for the places listed below. Lounging by the pool and drinking atop the roof was a perfect way to end our trip.
We stayed in Riad Farhan, which was spectacular.
But, as always, here is a list of even more accommodation options in Marrakech.
- Musee Marrakech
- Souk Medina
- Spice Souk Medina
- Bahia Palance
- Mustapha Blaoui Store
- Jardin Majorelle
- If you have time a day trip to Ouzoud Falls (we did not have time)
- Nomad Restaurant
- Dar Moha
- Le Salama for Drinks (there are a lot of cool rooftop bars in Marrakech)
- Cafe Arabe Italian (we ate here two nights in a row because we were SO over couscous and Moroccan food. Very delicious food and a fabulous view)
Getting Around Morocco
CTM Bus – The bus was very clean, on time, and had air conditioning. I recommend buying your tickets in advance at the CTM station, as the buses fill up quickly. We were not able to purchase tickets online. We took the CMT bus from Tangier to Chefchaouen and from Chef to Fes.
Taxi’s – ALWAYS ask the price prior to getting in the taxi and BARGAIN the price down.
Petite Taxi – These are cheaper than the regular taxis and best for going short distances, and again bargain!
Private Driver – If you are not a budget traveler or do not want to take a bus everywhere it is very easy to hire a private driver in Morocco to take you from city to city. We used Mozio, a car service, to get from the Tangier Airport to our Hotel. You can easily ask your Riad to set up a driver for you, they are usually very helpful and reasonably priced.
Rent a Car – If you feel comfortable renting your own car and touring the country at your pace it is more than safe to do so. The only downside I would see to renting a car would be the corruption in the Police, I remember our driver saying how police will pull people over for no reason and ask them to pay money. So just be aware of your surroundings and drive the speed limit. I personally would not drive late at night, for safety reasons.
Bargain – Bargain every price down when shopping/taking a taxi – I always cut mine in half then would start to walk away and immediately the price will go down.
Traveling as a Woman in Morocco
Whenever I would tell people I was traveling to Morocco I would get one of two responses:
“Oh my gosh – you are going to LOVE IT!!”
“Eh, is it safe? You are going with JUST GIRLS???”
Even though I did my research, I am not going to lie, I was nervous about traveling to Morocco as a woman. I packed shawls and conservative attire that mainly covered my ankles and shoulders. Yes, I am glad I brought conservative clothes but honestly, it was not necessary.
I never once felt scared or threatened. Moroccans knew we were tourists and did not expect us to dress conservatively. We did get the occasional catcall; “beautiful girls!” “Where are you from?” “I would buy you a million camels” but nothing where I personally felt too uncomfortable.
The only place that was a little overwhelming was in the Medina in Marrakech, but that was not because we were women, it was because we were tourists. Hundreds of vendors, people yelling and coming up to you trying to get you to eat at their restaurant or go into their shops.
My advice would be to dress moderately, bring a shawl just in case, always be aware of your surroundings, know where you are going (Google Maps), act confident, and ignore the catcalls. I felt safer in Morocco than I do in some major cities in the United States.
Must Haves to Travel to Morocco
- Travel size toilet paper – lots of places didn’t have any or made you pay
- Wet Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Antibiotics, Imodium, Tums (I recommend going to Passport Health). We, unfortunately, all got traveler’s diarrhea, which is bound to happen so be prepared!
- Stall Mates are my favorite when traveling! Nice to freshen up down there after long travel days or if you do get traveler’s diarrhea.
- Depending on the time of year you travel to Morocco, bring warm clothes for the desert tour.
I really hope this Morocco Itinerary is helpful and inspires you to add Morocco to your travel list. If you happen to visit, feel free to tag me on Instagram @Mels_Scene, I love to see other people’s travels!
Do you have any additional tips for fellow travelers going to Morocco? Comment below!
For more photos from Morocco and around the world follow me on Instagram @Mels_Scene.
Looking for all the photo spots in Morocco? Check out my most picturesque places in this blog.