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Thinking about a March getaway? While March can still be chilly in many parts of Europe, Morocco is warming up! This North African jewel, known for its enchanting blend of Arabian, European, and Berber culture, never ceases to amaze visitors.
It truly shines in spring, offering a delightful mix of warm sun, manageable crowds, and heaps of memorable experiences. At this time of year the weather isn’t too hot, which means it’s the perfect time to explore the Sahara desert and other attractions.
The one downside is that March is one of the rainiest months in Morocco, so you may want to pack an umbrella or rain jacket in case of downpours. On the plus side, the country is at its greenest in March, so you’ll be able to experience some truly beautiful landscapes.
This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know about visiting Morocco in March, from the weather conditions and crowd sizes to the must-see attractions and festivals.
Weather in March
The weather in Morocco in March transforms from winter cold to warmer spring temperatures, making it an ideal time to visit. You can expect daytime temperatures to range between 17°C (63°F) and 22°C (72°F), while night temperatures drop to around 7°C (45°F) to 12°C (54°F).
March brings more sunny days, along with occasional light rain in some regions. The coastal areas tend to be milder and more humid, while the inland regions are cooler and drier.
Crowds and Costs
Visiting Morocco in March means you’re arriving just before the peak tourist season, allowing you to enjoy the sights without the throngs of tourists that usually flock to the country during the warmer months. Consequently, accommodations and transportation are more affordable, ensuring you can maximize your time in this beautiful country. Just make sure to check what month Easter falls in, because if it lands in March, the major cities will be more crowded.
Where to Go in March
Marrakech, “known as the Red City”, makes for a perfect March destination, with mild weather and relatively low tourist numbers. Enjoy wandering through the city’s enchanting streets to explore the vibrant souks and historic palaces.
Glistening with the radiant ochre hue of the city’s buildings, Marrakech offers tourists a rich tapestry of scents, sounds, and sights. Wander along the charming labyrinthine alleys of the Medina to shop for souvenirs and exotic spices in the bustling souks.
Don’t miss the historic marvels like the Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque, which echo the city’s rich past. As the evening falls, head over to Jemaa el-Fna square, Marrakech’s beating heart, to dine on local street food while you watch snake charmers, musicians, and storytellers weaving their magic.
Fes, one of Morocco’s timeless imperial cities, is a true representation of the country’s ancient roots. It is home to the world’s oldest functioning university, Al-Karaouine, and the iconic madrasas such as Bou Inania and Al-Attarine that boast intricate zellige tilework and carved plaster, are a testimony to its educational and architectural legacy.
The city’s myriad mosques, including the grand Zawiya of Moulay Idriss II, are a sight to behold. Arguably the most intriguing attraction is the Chaouwara Tanneries, where you can witness the traditional process of leather-making amidst a riot of vibrant dyes.
The city’s pulsating medina, teeming with colorful markets and traditional artisanal workshops, is encapsulated within an ancient wall, providing the perfect backdrop for a truly immersive cultural exploration. Visiting Fes in March is a feast for the senses, offering visitors a rich combination of history, artistry, and authentic Moroccan life.
The majestic Atlas Mountains, which stretch across Morocco, are a must-see for every nature enthusiast. Gazing at their breathtaking vistas and snow-capped peaks is a humbling experience, epitomizing the country’s diverse natural beauty.
A trek into these mountains reveals traditional Berber villages nestled amidst the valleys, where local life carries on in timeless tradition. Here you’ll find charming adobe homes dotting the hillsides and friendly locals who maintain their connection to a rich ancestral heritage.
The moderate day-time temperatures during March are ideal for light trekking, and also offering a pleasant opportunity to discover the region’s wildflowers and birdlife that springtime brings. Enhancing your Morocco trip with a sojourn into the Atlas Mountains creates a balance of cultural immersion and unspoiled natural scenic beauty.
March is an incredible month to discover the less-traveled Rif Mountains, which are home to charming blue-washed towns, untouched beaches, and breathtaking mountain scenery.
Known as the Blue Pearl, Chefchaouen is the most famous town in the Rif Mountains. A visit here gives you the chance to wind your way through narrow lanes painted in infinite shades of dreamy blue. Capture gorgeous photos, shop for local handicrafts, and sip mint tea at a rooftop café with a view that’ll knock your socks off.
M’Hamid El Ghizlane
M’Hamid El Ghizlane is a charming desert frontier town situated in southeastern Morocco. Often dubbed the “Gateway to the Sahara,” it serves as the starting point for exploration into this mesmerizing desert landscape.
Despite its simple appearance, this oasis town is steeped in history and culture, being a prominent gathering site for local nomadic tribes. Every year, M’Hamid El Ghizlane attracts global attention for hosting the International Nomad Festival, a culturally rich event that celebrates the life and traditions of Saharan nomads.
Essaouira, a gem on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, is the epitome of tranquility and charm. It is particularly notable for its well-preserved Medina—a UNESCO World Heritage site—where narrow alleyways and blue-shuttered houses create a picturesque retreat steeped in rich historical resonance.
The sandy beaches of Essaouira invite you to unwind while taking in the romantic vistas of the sun painting hues of gold on the azure waves. For thrill-seekers, the city’s gusty winds offer an exciting opportunity for wind and kite surfing.
Don’t forget to relish the mouthwatering delights of freshly caught seafood served in the city’s many restaurants and stalls. This laid-back coastal town offers a serene contrast to the more frenetic pace of larger Moroccan cities, making it an irresistible escape.
Festivals and Events in March
International Nomad Festival, M’hamid El Ghizlane
Every March, the usually calm gateway town of M’hamid El Ghizlane, at the brink of the Sahara Desert, comes alive with vibrant colors, soulful music, and fascinating traditions during the International Nomad Festival.
This unique cultural extravaganza is a tribute to the Bedouin lifestyle and the nomadic communities of the region. It brings together local tribes and international visitors, breaking down barriers and making cultural exchange happen right in the warm sands of the desert.
With a cornucopia of activities, the International Nomad Festival is all about diving deep into the nomadic way of life. Get ready for bewitching performances by traditional Sahara bands; their music is soul food here. Art enthusiasts can admire unique pieces showcasing nomadic culture through paintings and crafts.
But it’s not all tranquil—there’s plenty of thrill too. The festival has high-energy sports events like camel racing and traditional Moroccan games that add a fun and exciting dimension to the event.
Finally, sitting under the stars while nomadic poets narrate tales of desert life—there’s nothing quite like it. Prepare yourself for the magical experience of poets spinning tales of heroism, love, and life in the desert underneath a blanket of stars.
The Marrakech Biennale hits the city’s vibrant cultural scene every March, transforming the ancient city into a pulsating hub of contemporary art. This fantastic event is a blend of music, visual arts, and performance, bringing together talented artists, musicians, and performers from the world over.
The aim of the Biennale is to bridge the gap between cultures through creativity. During the festival, public spaces, historic sites, and art galleries across Marrakech are adorned with fascinating installations, innovative artworks, and immersive performances.
Music, a universal language in its own right, is another highlight of the Marrakech Biennale. Budding musicians to well-established bands grace the stages with their eclectic sounds, varying from edgy electronic beats to traditional Moroccan rhythms, offering something for every music lover.
Alongside visual arts and music, thought-provoking performances charm audiences with contemporary narratives and avant-garde art forms. Workshops and open forums invite attendees to engage in dialogues about art, creativity, and the social impact of the festival.
Things to Do
- Shop for Moroccan souvenirs in Marrakech and Fes.
- Sample exquisite Moroccan cuisine at traditional restaurants, known as riads.
- Alcohol is hard to come by, but you can sip on mint tea and try some typical Moroccan drinks.
- Visit the ancient Roman ruins in Volubilis.
- Take a guided tour around the Atlas Mountains, visiting Berber villages.
- Relax on the beaches of Essaouira and admire the local talent of the Gnaoua musicians.
What to Pack
Visiting Morocco comes with a fascinating weather twist; daytime and nighttime temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit. To ensure comfortable travel, it’s advisable to dress in layers throughout the year.
Transition into Spring: March Weather
By the time March rolls around, the weather in Morocco starts warming up. For most regions, you won’t require heavy jackets anymore, with exceptions for certain mountainous areas. Evenings, however, can still be a tad chilly. Therefore, carrying long sleeve shirts, light sweaters, and slightly warmer jackets for post-sunset ventures is a good idea.
Throughout the day, opt for comfortable clothing like slacks, jeans, leggings or long skirts/dresses. Light-weight short or long-sleeved shirts—especially for layering—are your best bets. Given the sun’s intensity, don’t forget to carry a good pair of sunglasses.
Hats or scarves do double duty, adding a style layer to your attire while protecting your head from the sun. While Morocco doesn’t explicitly have a dress code, dressing modestly out of respect for local customs is appreciated.
Prepping for Mountain Excursions
If your travel itinerary includes mountain visits, you might want to consider packing thermals or long johns for the chilly nights. Warm sleepwear and a comfy robe can also be handy as many accommodations may not have heating facilities, and nights can get quite cold.
When preparing for your Moroccan trip in March, be sure to pack:
- Light layers for daytime wear
- Heavier clothing for cooler evenings
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sun protection (hats, sunglasses, sunscreen)
- A compact travel umbrella in case of rain
- Modest clothing for visiting religious sites
March is a fantastic month to enjoy the beauty and diversity of Morocco. With pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and various events and attractions, a Moroccan adventure in March promises to be memorable and enchanting.