Top 15 Places to visit in Morocco: From Medinas to Mountains

Rolling hills, ancient medinas, vibrant markets, and stunning coastlines… You’ll discover all this and more in Morocco, home to a rich tapestry of cultures and landscapes. From the lively streets of Marrakech and Fez to the majestic Atlas Mountains and the serene Sahara Desert, this country is filled with captivating destinations.


No list of the best places to visit in Morocco would be complete without mentioning the bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa Square and the beautiful Majorelle Garden. But this country’s charm goes far beyond its most famous attractions – there are countless reasons to visit and things to do – from the blue city of Chefchaouen and the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis to the sandy beaches of Agadir. Here are the top 10 can’t-miss destinations in Morocco.


1- Rabat – The Elegantly Understated Capital

Morocco’s capital city is a harmonious blend of cultures; a place where tradition and modernity merge gracefully. Rabat is among the most refined cities in Africa, inviting travelers to its historic sites, including the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. Its wide boulevards, green spaces, and less crowded markets offer a serene yet vibrant atmosphere – complete with excellent dining and a growing art scene.

When in Rabat, explore a local souk for a genuine shopping experience and embark on a food tour to delve into the rich culinary landscape. Dedicate time to discovering the historical layers of the Kasbah of the Udayas, or visit the numerous museums that narrate Morocco’s rich history and contemporary culture.


2- Ouzoud Falls – The Jewel of Morocco

Considered one of Morocco’s most stunning natural wonders, Ouzoud Falls cascades dramatically in the Atlas Mountains, flowing through a rugged landscape before pooling at its base. Since time immemorial, it has been a vital source of water for nearby communities, nurturing the surrounding lush vegetation and serving as a natural gathering place.

Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of Ouzoud Falls through guided tours that offer breathtaking views of the cascading water and the chance to see local wildlife, including Barbary macaques. The area is famed for its picturesque landscapes, offering a perfect backdrop for spectacular photos. Engage with local guides to delve into the history and ecological significance of this majestic site, and perhaps enjoy a traditional meal at one of the many cafes overlooking the waterfalls. This natural attraction is a serene escape.


3- The Sahara – A Vast Desert Landscape

The Sahara, the largest hot desert in the world, stretches across several countries, including Morocco, where it unveils a different yet equally mesmerizing facet of its vastness. Encompassing millions of square kilometres, the Sahara in Morocco is famed for its majestic sand dunes, notably in areas like Merzouga and Zagora, which seem to touch the horizon. Beyond the dunes, visitors can find sweeping plains and rocky plateaus, along with resilient animals and plant life that have adapted to the extreme desert conditions.

The best way to experience the Moroccan Sahara is to dive deep into its heart, ideally during the cooler months, such as November, to avoid the extreme heat. Adventures abound, from camel treks that follow ancient caravan routes to overnight stays in traditional Berber tents under the starlit sky. Thrill-seekers might prefer a safari adventure by jeep or quad bike, exploring the desert’s surprising green oases and possibly discovering hidden waterfalls where you can hike and swim in natural pools. The Moroccan Sahara offers a unique blend of adventure, culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, inviting visitors to explore one of the most enchanting landscapes on earth.


4- Essaouira – A Beacon of Art and History

This city is perhaps best celebrated for its vibrant medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its rich artistic community. Essaouira has long been a haven for artists, musicians, and writers, drawn to its laid-back atmosphere and stunning natural beauty. Today, this legacy lives on, reflected in the bustling art galleries, music festivals, and the iconic blue and white architecture.

A visit to Essaouira should definitely include a walk through its historic medina, where the fusion of Portuguese, French, and Moroccan architectural styles is evident. The city is also famous for its strong winds, making it a premier spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. For those looking to delve into the history and culture, the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum offers insights into the region’s past, including its music and art. The city’s ramparts offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and its port is a great place to enjoy fresh seafood, capturing the essence of Essaouira’s connection with the sea.


5- Marrakech – A City of Timeless Beauty

The bustling city of Marrakech stands as a vibrant testament to Morocco’s rich history and culture. Nestled against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, it’s here that you’ll find the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square and the sprawling Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on its western frontier. Beyond the city lies the tranquil Menara and Majorelle Gardens, offering a peaceful retreat from the urban energy.

Visiting Marrakech means immersing yourself in the heart of Moroccan tradition. Here you’ll be enveloped by the lively atmosphere of its ancient souks, filled with the aromas of spices and the sounds of traditional music. The city is home to beautifully preserved palaces like the Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace, showcasing the opulence of past dynasties.


6- Fes & Volubilis – Heart of Moroccan Heritage & Ancient Roman Ruins

The spiritual and cultural heart of Morocco, Fes is known for its historic medina, Fes El Bali, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s largest urban pedestrian zones. Set against the rolling hills of the Moroccan countryside, it serves as a portal to the country’s rich Islamic history. Fes is also a prime location for exploring the nearby ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, located just a short journey away.

While in Fes, it’s crucial to delve into its medieval medina, where you’ll discover a maze of narrow streets, bustling markets, and historic madrasas. The city’s architectural marvels, like the Bou Inania Madrasa and the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University – considered the oldest existing, continually operating educational institution in the world – offer profound insights into Islamic art and scholarship. A day trip to Volubilis will transport you further back in time to one of North Africa’s most important Roman sites, famous for its well-preserved mosaics and monumental arches.


7- Agadir – Morocco’s Sun-Soaked Beachfront

The western edge of Morocco is graced by the Atlantic Ocean, where Agadir offers a stunning coastal retreat. This city boasts long stretches of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere that provides a serene contrast to the bustling medinas and mountainous landscapes elsewhere in the country.

Agadir is an idyllic destination for those looking to unwind and indulge in seaside leisure. Its beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying watersports, with surfing and windsurfing being particularly popular due to the excellent wind conditions. Beyond the beach, Agadir offers a range of activities including horseback riding along the shore, exploring the nearby Souss-Massa National Park, and visiting the historic Agadir Kasbah for panoramic views of the city and ocean. The city is also known for its modern marina, vibrant nightlife, and seafood restaurants, making it the ideal spot to blend outdoor adventure with relaxation and culinary delights.


8- Dakhla

Similar to Essaouira, Dakhla is home to a wealth of Atlantic Ocean retreats that often make good-value getaways. Relax on the sandy shores or engage in windsurfing or kitesurfing on the sparkling waters that are brimming with multicoloured coral and marine creatures, including shimmering silverfish, dolphinfish, and sea turtles.


Ocean Vagabond is one of the best in Dakhla. Earthy tones complement its Saharan-style architecture of open spaces and domes, and the resort offers a wide range of on-site activities.

9- Taghazout

A sanctuary for surfers and digital nomads, laid-back Taghazout radiates a vibe as relaxed as Morocco gets. Eclectic cafés dot the coastline, where remote workers enjoy their brews and watch surfers catch waves under the sun. Surfers and yoga enthusiasts find their paradise here, with world-renowned breaks and serene yoga retreats available right in town, and stunning coastal paths and beaches stretching in both directions.


10- Ait Benhaddou

One of the many places in ancient Morocco to be declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ait Benhaddou is a striking example of Southern Moroccan architecture. This fortified village, or ksar, was a key trading post on the caravan routes between the Sahara and Marrakech. Its impressive clay and straw architecture is highlighted by numerous towers and is protected by walls of defensive fortifications. Inside, the community houses beautiful examples of traditional Moroccan buildings and has been the backdrop for numerous films. The Ksar of Ait Benhaddou, with its unique beauty and historical significance, is a must for Morocco sightseeing tours in the Ouarzazate area.


11- Tafilalet Oasis

Located in the heart of Morocco’s eastern region, Tafilalet Oasis stands as a testament to cultural resilience and diversity, having maintained its distinct identity and traditions apart from the broader Moroccan culture for centuries. Nestled amidst the Moroccan Sahara, the people of Tafilalet have cultivated a unique way of life, alongside their own language, Tamazight, a Berber dialect.


Though isolated by the vast expanses of desert, Tafilalet has not been hidden from history’s gaze. The region is famed for its historical Ksar of Rissani, which dates back to the 17th century and served as a crucial trading and caravan center in the Sahara. Its historical significance is marked by its architecture and the remnants of a rich trading past that connected sub-Saharan Africa to the northern Moroccan cities.


Nowadays, Tafilalet Oasis is an emerging tourist destination. Visitors are drawn to its lush palm groves, ancient kasbahs, and traditional mud-brick architecture, exploring the heritage of a region that once thrived as a hub of the Sahara’s caravan trade. The oasis is also known for its natural beauty, including the Ziz River, which breathes life into the desert and supports the vast palm groves that characterize the landscape.


12- Casablanca

Close to Morocco’s heart lies the vibrant city of “Casablanca,” where you can explore the stunning Moroccan architecture epitomized by the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world with its towering minaret visible from miles around.


Not far from the city center, the Habous Quarter offers a glimpse into the past with its traditional Moroccan market, or souk, showcasing the country’s rich history through its architecture and the variety of goods available, from intricate crafts to delicious local foods.


Casablanca is also home to numerous art deco buildings and structures, a testament to its French colonial past, which decorate the cityscape and offer a unique blend of Moroccan and European styles. These historical and cultural sites provide significant insight into the urban and social development of modern Morocco.


13- Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen rests in the heart of the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco, often paired with visits to the larger cities like Fes or Tangier in travel itineraries.

It’s celebrated for its stunning natural surroundings and tranquil ambiance, offering a serene retreat with its picturesque landscapes.

The town’s most iconic site is its medina, awash in varying shades of blue, which paints a vivid backdrop against the lush greenery of the mountains. This unique color scheme is a delightful spectacle for visitors.

Among its winding alleyways, you can discover the rich heritage and cultural tapestry of the area, with Spanish and Moorish influences evident in its architecture and crafts.

Adventurous travelers can also explore the surrounding countryside, which offers breathtaking views and the chance to visit traditional Moroccan villages.


14- Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate, often referred to as the gateway to the Sahara, is one of Morocco’s most enchanting tourist cities.


Situated in the governorate of Drâa-Tafilalet, this city lies at the edge of the Sahara Desert and is famed for its breathtaking landscapes and historic kasbahs.


Its stunning natural beauty and unique desert landscapes make Ouarzazate a prime location for film productions, earning it the nickname “Hollywood of Morocco.”


Adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts flock to Ouarzazate for its vast array of activities. The city is renowned for its tours into the desert, where visitors can embark on camel treks, explore ancient kasbahs, or enjoy a 4×4 safari across the dunes.


For those interested in cinematic history, the Atlas Film Studio offers tours where visitors can walk through sets of famous movies and TV shows filmed in the region.


Additionally, Ouarzazate serves as a perfect starting point for excursions to the nearby valleys and gorges, offering spectacular views and opportunities for hiking.


Shopping enthusiasts will find the local markets and craft shops a delight, offering unique Berber crafts, jewelry, and traditional Moroccan goods as memorable souvenirs of their visit.


15- Tangier

Tangier is the captivating gateway to Africa, located at the northern tip of Morocco, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. This city, with its rich history, was established during the Phoenician period and lies close to the ancient site of Tingis near the Strait of Gibraltar.


Tangier is a city that boasts an array of attractions drawing visitors from around the world, including:


  1. The Kasbah Museum, housed in the former Sultan’s palace, which delves into the region’s history.
  2. The grandiose Mendoubia Gardens, offering a tranquil escape within the city.
  3. The Caves of Hercules, steeped in myth and offering stunning seaside views.
  4. The captivating American Legation, a museum that chronicles the long-standing ties between Morocco and the United States.
  5. The unique Church of St. Andrew, showcasing a blend of different architectural styles.

Moreover, the marketplace of “Grand Socco” is a must-visit, presenting an authentic atmosphere where a variety of traditional Moroccan products can be found.


Additionally, a stroll along “Boulevard Pasteur” offers a journey through time, revealing Tangier’s cosmopolitan past with its historic buildings and cafes that have hosted famous writers and artists.

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