1 Week in Morocco Itinerary for First Timers
Bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the North African country of Morocco is bursting with cultural diversity and an endless number of things to do and experiences to soak up.
From the Imperial Cities and their maze-like medinas to the Sahara Desert and majestic Atlas Mountains, the sights, sounds and smells of Morocco will overwhelm your senses in the best way possible. For first-time visitors, you’ll want to try your very best to find a balance between seeing a little bit of everything without overextending yourself.
If you’re contemplating where to stay in Morocco, the easiest thing to do over one week is to stay in the cities you’re visiting each day, but that’s really up to you.
If you’ve got a well-planned itinerary, 1 week in Morocco can be just enough to have the adventure of a lifetime.
Getting Around Morocco
With so many places to visit in Morocco, being able to get around quickly and efficiently is essential. Luckily, the country offers a few different options when it comes to transport, allowing you to make decisions based on both practicality and your 7 days in Morocco itinerary.
Here are a few options for getting around while you’re in Morocco.
The train system, run by ONCF, runs between all the major cities and some of the smaller towns too. The tickets are affordable, and the trains are comfortable and efficient.
Buses tend to follow similar routes to the trains, between the major cities and towns, with the addition of shorter routes operating all over the country.
CTM and Supra Tours are the most reliable options, and they’re pretty affordable too. They offer both budget and more luxury options, depending on your preference and they’re safe.
The standard, more budget-friendly, bus option is the Souq buses – they also operate all over. However, they stop regularly, they’re pretty unreliable and they allow animals onboard.
Grand taxis are a traditional Moroccan form of transport, and you’ll find them all over the major cities and some of the busy towns. They’re bright yellow with a little red stamp that reads “Grand Taxis”, so you’re unlikely to miss them.
You pay per seat (per person), and it’s super cheap – the only catch is that you’re likely to be squeezed in like a sardine with up to six or seven strangers. However, 1 week in Morocco just wouldn’t be right without having had this authentic experience.
Petit Taxis, on the other hand, are more like traditional western city taxis – they take a maximum of three people and run on a meter, so they’re pricier. They’re different colours in different cities, so find out what you’re looking for wherever you go. But beware of scams!
Hire a Car
If you want to do your Morocco tour on your own terms, hiring a car may be the way to do it. You’ll find cars to hire at airports as well as at private companies all over the country and you don’t need an International Drivers’ License. You just need your normal drivers’ license, your passport and a credit card, and most companies will require you to be over 21 years old.
However, note that hiring a car always comes with risks. It requires a hefty deposit, so make sure you check every inch of the car for damage before you lay a finger on it.
All in all though, hiring a car is the best way to spend 7 days in Morocco on your own terms – the roads are reasonably well maintained and it’s pretty safe. Just make sure you’re following the rules and being cautious at all times, and you’ll be fine.
Book a Tour
The other option is to do a full-on Morocco tour with a reputable company. Whether you’re looking for something extensive or a few Morrocco day trips, Get Your Guide has loads of options available to you.
Ranging from camel rides in the desert to guided hikes and boat trips, there’s something for everyone. Organised tours can be a great way to allow you to see your surroundings while having everything, including your transport, taken care of.
Visa Requirements for Morocco
It all depends on where you’re coming from, but Morocco isn’t the most difficult country to get into. Most people won’t need a visa at all, but travellers from specific countries will need to apply for visas beforehand.
Luckily, the process isn’t particularly time consuming, so you should be able to apply for and obtain your visa relatively easily. In fact, for tourists from specific countries, such as Egypt, for instance, visas can be applied for online via the E-Visa system.
Whatever you do, just make sure you’ve done your research beforehand to avoid disappointment on your travels.
1 Week In Morocco Itinerary
Day 1: The Modern Hub of Tangier
An important centre of trade in Morocco and a common entry point into the country, Tangier became known as the summertime destination of choice for the country’s royals. Today, it’s known as the gateway to Africa and is teeming with incredible historical sites and cultural hubs.
Start off by visiting the Kasbah Mosque, the main mosque of the royal citadel in Tangier’s old city. You’ll find it by winding your way through the streets which is an experience in itself. The Kasbah Museum is also worth a visit while you’re in the area.
Get your fix of Tangier’s markets by visiting either the Grand Socco or the Petit Socco – or both! At the former, you’ll mostly find fresh produce and food, and at the latter, there will be a variety of crafty goods on offer.
The best way to break up your day is to visit Tangier’s shoreline and enjoy some of the best of Morocco beaches. A few great options are Sol Beach, Achakkar Beach and Dalia Beach. If you find yourself with enough time, I’d highly recommend visiting the Caves of Hercules. Here, you’ll find an incredible archaeological cave complex as well as beautiful beaches.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Morocco, visit the Great Mosque of Tangier and the 9 April 1947 Square while you’re in Tangier.
Day 2: The Blue Walls of Chefchaouen
Traveling up to the northwest of Morocco, Chefchaouen is known for its swathe of buildings of blue and white. Known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco, the city was home to many Jewish immigrants who were responsible for the painting of the town, although nobody really knows why.
Take a short walk up the hill behind the city to visit the Spanish Mosque, now abandoned. It’s about 30 minutes up and you’ll be treated to beautiful views of Chefchaouen.
Wander back down into the city and enjoy the streets, noticeably quieter than other parts of Morocco. Make your way to the main city square, the Plaza Uta El-Hammam, and check out the shops and restaurants. With traders on every corner, you’ll find plenty of options to grab a bite to eat or purchase some spices.
From here, you’ll be able to visit the Kasbah Museum, an old Moroccan fort, and learn about the fascinating history of the country and city.
Spend the rest of your afternoon wandering the streets as you please and taking in the culture that oozes from every inch of the city.
Day 3: Immerse Yourself in Culture in Fez
Referred to by many as the cultural capital of Morocco, Fez is also one of the four imperial cities. It’s known for its leather tannery and that should be the number one thing on your list of places to visit in Fez during your 1 week in Morocco. You can wander around the leather shops on the outside, but you’ll need to pass through one of them to view the entire tannery from the top.
Pay a visit to the Fez medina that was once surrounded by large fortification walls used to secure the city. Make sure you pass through the Blue Gate which is a beautifully decorated mosaic archway. Explore the medina and check out the Bou Inania Madrasa – an iconic religious building, previously a school, right in the middle of the medina that boasts incredible architecture.
Take a walk down from the Blue Gate to the Jnan Sbil Gardens. The gardens are exquisite, filled with ponds, fountains and gorgeous greenery.
An alternative option for your fourth day of your 1 week in Morocco is to do a day trip from Fez to visit the ancient Roman City of Volubilis. It was built about 2,300 years ago and today, has UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s an incredible place to see and well worth the trip.
Day 4: The Port City of Casablanca
Casablanca, the home of Morocco’s main port and the second largest port in northern Africa, is a commercial hub. The French influence of the city is evident and as the business and industrial centre of the country, it’s a must-see.
Casablanca is modern and slick, he powerhouse of Morocco, and one night in the city is perfect to be able to get a feel for it.
Taking a tour to the Hassan II Mosque should be at the top of your list of things to do in Morocco – you will certainly not be disappointed. It’s the second largest mosque in the world covering a whopping two hectares.
Once you’ve seen the mosque, wander down the Corniche road – it runs along the seaside and provides exquisite views of the Hassan II Mosque.
Enjoy a stroll around Downtown Casablanca and enjoy the Mauresque architecture that was introduced to the city by the French in the 20th century as an attempt to modernise it.
The Central Market and Souq Haboos is always a good stop, providing an excellent opportunity to experience a slightly more modern version of Moroccan trade and market culture.
If you have extra time, visit the beach at Mohammedia for some fresh air or go explore El Jadida’s Citadel.
Day 5: Exploring Marrakech
As you near the end of your 1 week in Morocco, it’s time to explore the imperial city of Marrakech. One of the country’s most popular entry points and base for day trips, Marrakech is a dynamic city simply oozing with and incredible mixture of African, European and Middle Eastern culture and ancient history.
The Bahia Palace, a 19th century palace complex, is found in between the Jewish Quarter, the Medina (old city) and the Kasbah (where the royal employees used to live). Walk through the massive palace and admire its incredible gardens, mosaics and courtyards.
Wander over to the Medina and take in the incredible sights and sounds. Enclosed by 19 kilometres of pink walls, the entire city of Marrakech used to be found within these walls. Today, you can stroll through the winding streets and explore the shops and stalls.
When it comes to eating in Marrakech, the best thing to do is try the local food in the best souks (markets), but if you’d prefer to escape the hustle and bustle, you’ll find a plethora of rooftop restaurants scattered all over the city too. Have a traditional lunch before you carry on with your day in the city.
Make your way to Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. Non-Muslim guests can admire the religious building and its beautiful gardens from the outside, while Muslim visitors may be permitted entrance.
End your day by spending the late afternoon and evening at Jemaa el-Fna. The busiest and most popular square in the city, you’ll find yourself surrounded by swarms of people and traders selling local goods and consumables. Throughout the day, the nature of the square changes, and as the sun sets, you’ll most likely meet snake charmers, storytellers and vendors selling traditional food. It’s an incredible experience that you simply cannot miss out on.
Check out our guide on where to stay in Marrakech.
Day 6: Hiking in the High Atlas Mountains
While the Atlas Mountain Range spans across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, one of the best places to hike is in the High Atlas region in Morocco. With more time to spend in the area, you could do a multiple-day hiking trip, attempting to summit one of the many famous peaks such as Jbel Toubkal. However, with only day, the best thing to do is the Aroumd Walk. It’ll allow you to get out into nature and get a real feel for hiking the Atlas Mountains.
It’s a fairly gentle walk quite close to Imlil, and you’ll follow the trail to the little Berber village of Aroumd. You’ll be able to wander around, have lunch with the locals and before returning via the same trail. It’s possible to do this on your own, but if you’d prefer, you could also do one of many Morocco day trips from Marrakech.
Day 7: Camel Ride in the Desert
You can’t go to Morocco without enjoying a traditional camel ride, and the best way to do this is by means of a day trip from Marrakech. By embarking on a full-day adventure in the Agafay Desert and Atlas Mountains, you’ll be able to take in the incredible desert landscape from a completely different perspective – one of many Morocco highlights.
I’d suggest going for a camel ride through the palm trees in the Palmeraie, where you’ll be led by locals and your trusty steed. You’ll be able to see the palm groves and orange trees as you pass by while learning interesting facts and stories from your guides.
There are a few days to do this – either a full day out with the camels, exploring your surroundings and the local villages you pass through, and even a visit to a local spar and some fun on quad bikes. Alternatively, you could also just choose to do a short camel ride. Both are great – it all depends on how busy you want the last day of your 1 week in Morocco to be.
Final Thoughts on Spending 1 Week in Morocco for First Timers
Morocco is a vibrant city full of incredible people and the most dynamic history, traditions and culture. With so much to see and do (and eat), you could easily spend a month exploring the different cities, hiking in the Atlas Mountains and taking in the beauty of the surrounding desert.
However, it is possible to see all the most important places in a week, so if you’re going to visit, make use of our 7 days in Morocco itinerary and allow the country to sweep you off your feet.