Oh, Morocco. It is the most intense and foreign country I’ve ever been in. And will completely overwhelm every one of your senses, but somehow will draw you back in for more. I’ve dreamed of going to Morocco for many years so this was a huge bucket list check off. I primarily wanted to visit the country to
- Ride a camel in the Sahara
- Shop in the Marrakech Medina
- Drink my weight in mint tea
…everything else would be icing on the cake.
Morocco as a whole is an incredibly beautiful and fascinating country; I don’t think it gets the love and attention that it deserves.
There are parts of it, particularly a lot of Marrakech, that will have you questioning both your decision to visit and your sanity. It will test you, frustrate you, and nearly beat you down. But if you can make it through without wanting to set yourself on fire it will be a completely eye-opening experience. Morocco will eventually weasel its way into your heart to stay for all of eternity.
Morocco is one of those places that you take a piece with you when you leave.
With only one week in the country you’ll be on the move and unfortunately won’t get to see everything. However, you will be able to
- see the thousand-year-old city of Marrakech
- get lost in a sprawling and dizzying medina full of shop owners selling anything from rugs and lamps to seafood and orange juice
- explore some of the most jaw-dropping architecture and mosaics in the world
- relax and restore in tranquil secret gardens and cafes
- spend a couple nights under the stars listening to Berber music in the Sahara Desert
What a wonderful time to be alive, you guys. Are y’all ready to fall in love with Morocco? YAASSSS!
An amazing week in Morocco
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Written by: Stephanie
Morocco tour guide
Day One: Please don’t let me get lost
If you flew in from the states you’ll likely arrive sometime in the afternoon. And if you’re anything like me you slept like sh** on the airplane and have now reverted to your cranky toddler-self. This is real life, you guys. Take a cab from the airport to the greatest riad in Marrakech, the Riad Dar Attajmil.
Once you arrive, take it easy, low key stalk the owners for some Moroccan mint tea. Then just sit on the rooftop and let the sights and sounds of Marrakech come to you. Once you’ve grown up and can once again be seen in public do a little bit of exploring.
Tonight, your main goal is to be able to find the medina AND find your way home. Which sounds totally basic, but can be quite a challenge. We actually got mega lost…not on day one…nope, or day two. We got lost ON DAY FOUR! Just when we thought we were stone cold badasses for zipping through the medina, our landmark shops had changed and god only knows where we ended up.
So do spend some time getting accustomed to Marrakech. Make note of the permanent landmarks in the Jemma-el-fnaa and chart your path through the medina based on left and right turns and intersections – not by carpet or lamp shops. Oh, and while you are out running around get some orange juice!
Also be sure to check out the Koutoubia Mosque– this ended up being a total lifesaver for us. There isn’t anything in the area that is as tall as the Koutoubia so it’s a perfect landmark. If you can navigate from the mosque to the center of the Jemma-el-fnaa then you’ll never get too lost.
Then if you’re feeling hungry head over to Cafe Kif-Kif for a tajine. But don’t eat too much cause you GOTTA go out for the slap up job they call the nightly food market in the square!
Related: The very best orange juice
Day Two: Things to do in Marrakech
This is your busiest day in the country so put on some comfy pants cuz you gon’ eat! And your best walking shoes cuz you gon’ see errrythang!
Start the day with the most EPIC traditional Moroccan breakfast at the riad and eat all the things. And wash that all down with your 1,532nd glass of mint tea. Then hit the road in a cab up to the Jardin
Real life – we got into a huge fight with our cabby! Spoiler alert: we won. My husband is a stone-cold badass.
From the Jardin Marjorelle, you’ll head over to the:
- Ben Youssef Madrasa (updated to add: this is under renovation until 2020. BOO! If you suffer from FOMO then hold off your trip to Morocco or just go again. The Madrasa is a must do)
- Le Jardin
- Le Jardin Secret: say hi to the turtle for me!
- Saadian Tombs: say hi to the cats for me!
- Badi Palace
Stay in at the riad tonight for dinner cause it’s been a long day. Take Hassan’s advice and try the sardine tajine with maybe a whole bottle of Moroccan wine.
Related: See the sights of Marrakech
Day Three: Super extra culture day – Moroccan cooking class and a hammam!
Today is a well-deserved relaxation day. You’ll start off with a Moroccan cooking class at the riad. In true fashion, you’ll have to go shopping for ingredients. The market is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been and not because I nearly lost a foot because of a donkey cart – general rule of thumb: always watch for asses in Morocco 😉
After you have a Moroccan food baby go ahead and get naked for a super awkward traditional hammam treatment. Btdubs – if you’re a female the hammam treatment will be given to you by the riad chef. Just go with it.
Once you’ve been scrubbed clean in parts you didn’t even know could be cleaned, head out for a delicious dinner on the sick rooftop patio at the hip restaurant Nomad. Nomad is definitely one of the best places to eat in Marrakech!
And finally, round out the evening with cocktails at La Mamounia. Alcohol is a bit hard to come by in Morocco and because of that, you’ll pay a premium price for cocktails. But, when in Rome.
Related: The most awkward bath of my life…
Day Four: Shopping in the Marrakech Souks
Your last day in Marrakech is used as a general clean up and shopping day. YASSS!
Head out to see one last tourist attraction, the Bahia Palace, then make your way to the souks for Operation: blow all your Dirhams. Hang out at Cafe Argana for juice and then make your way to Cafe Clock for an almond
General PSA – Camel does not taste good.
Related: Put your haggle pants on
Day Five: The world’s longest car ride
Today is a long one, you’ll make the trek from Marrakech to the Moroccan Sahara desert. Along the way, you’ll stop and see the Atlas mountains, the production of argan oil, Ksar Ait Benhaddou, a Berber store, and a fossil factory.
Another PSA: If you have even the slightest possibility of getting car sick, bring some Dramamine. I was so stupidly sick I couldn’t even enjoy the drive through the mountains.
Once you finally make it to the desert, the day ends enjoying traditional Berber music by a campfire under a thousand stars.
Day Six: A camel ride!!
Today you’ll enjoy a full day in the Sahara Desert. Start your day off by getting up stupidly early and watching the sunrise over the dunes. You’ll be glad you did. Then have some breakfast, a little reading,
a camel ride!
sandboarding, chess, the sunset, and more of that dope Berber music. One of the best times to visit Morocco is in the fall when the desert isn’t so hot, but beware – September is date season in the dessert and dates = hoards of flies!
Related: It’s hump day in Morocco!
Days Seven & Eight
Casablanca and going home!
Our trip to Morocco comes to end here. On day seven we leave the desert and head towards the departure city, in our case it was Casablanca. Spend the evening at the Atlas Sky Hotel, relax by the pool, have a drink or two, and get ready for the long haul flight back home.
Read Next: 33 of the most epic reasons to visit Morocco! – Just in case you aren’t convinced yet 😉
- 12 brilliant tips to help you enjoy your time in Morocco
- The most beautiful photos of Morocco
- 10 Authentic Moroccan foods you must try!
- Your comprehensive guide to planning your next vacation
- How to pack an overnight carry on bag like a boss
- 22 items that will make your travels easier
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Founder of Packing for Plenty in July 2017. Along with her husband, Pete, she is on a mission to visit most countries. And wants to take y’all along as well! On PFP Steff provides travel itineraries ranging from a weekend trip nearby to 2 weeks living abroad like a local…detailed destination specific travel tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere…and unique and interesting bucket list worthy experiences.