While many people flock to well-known cities and attractions like Marrakech and the Sahara Desert, Morocco has much more to offer for those who are willing to venture off the beaten path.
If you’re searching for something different on your trip to Morocco, forget about the usual tourist spots and check out these 10 off-the-beaten-path Moroccan destinations that offer a peek into Moroccan culture and history.
From charming mountain towns to coastal fishing villages, these hidden gems are waiting to be discovered by travelers seeking a more unique and unforgettable experience in Morocco.
Ouarzazate – a desert gateway to some of the most gorgeous landscapes in Morocco, like the Atlas Mountains, the Dades Valley, and the Sahara Desert.
Movie buffs will be thrilled to know that it’s also home to several movie studios that have produced big hits like Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia.
The city is also home to several historic kasbahs, including the Taourirt Kasbah, which was once the residence of the Glaoui dynasty.
Additionally, Ouarzazate is a hub for adventure tourism, with opportunities for hiking, trekking, and camel riding in the surrounding desert landscapes.
Tafraoute is a hidden gem that’s not as well-known as some of Morocco’s other tourist destinations, but it’s definitely worth a visit for those who want to experience a more off-the-beaten-path adventure.
It’s a small town located in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco.
For hikers and climbers, Tafraoute is the place to be. It’s a small town in the Anti-Atlas Mountains that is surrounded by picturesque rock formations and traditional Berber villages.
Tafraoute is relatively isolated from major cities and transportation hubs. This means that it’s not as heavily visited by tourists, which can make it a more authentic and peaceful experience for those who do make the journey.
Asilah is a charming and laid-back seaside town in Morocco. It’s located on the northwest coast of Morocco, about 46 kilometers south of Tangier.
Asilah is known for its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant art scene.
The Medina of Assilah is surrounded by 15th-century Portuguese ramparts and features a maze of narrow streets lined with white-washed buildings and colorful murals.
The medina is also home to several historic landmarks, including the 15th-century Grand Mosque, the Dar-el-Makhzen Palace, and the Raisoul Palace.
Asilah holds an annual cultural festival, which takes place in August and attracts artists and musicians from all over the world. During the festival, the town comes alive with exhibitions, concerts, and street performances, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.
For beach lovers, Asilah has several beautiful beaches, including the Plage d’Asilah, which is a wide, sandy beach that is popular for swimming and sunbathing.
Asilah is also a great place to shop for traditional Moroccan handicrafts, such as pottery, textiles, and jewelry. The town has several markets and boutiques where visitors can find unique souvenirs and gifts.
Overall, that offers a mix of cultural attractions, natural beauty, and vibrant art scenes. It is a great place to visit for a relaxing beach vacation or a cultural getaway.
Another off-the-beaten-path destination in Morocco is Ifrane. Ifrane is a small city located in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco, about 70 kilometers southeast of Fez.
In the city center, visitors can explore the charming streets lined with Alpine-style buildings and browse the local markets for handmade crafts and souvenirs.
The city is also home to several museums, including the Museum of Moroccan Arts and Traditions and the Berber Museum, which offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.
One of the main attractions in Ifrane is its National Park, which covers an area of over 500 square kilometers. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and bird watching in the park, as well as skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.
For luxury seekers, the famous Michlifen Resort and Golf is a luxurious resort that offers a range of amenities, including a spa, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. The resort is located in a stunning natural setting and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
Taroudant is a walled market town located in the Souss Valley between the High Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountains that’s often referred to as “Little Marrakech”. You can find bustling souks, beautiful gardens, and traditional mud-brick architecture here.
Located about 4 kilometers from the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, Moulay Idriss is named after the founder of the Idrisid dynasty, Moulay Idriss I, who is considered to be the founder of the city of Fez.
The town of Moulay Idriss has a rich history and is an important pilgrimage site for Moroccan Muslims. Moulay Idriss I brought Islam to Morocco in the 8th century and it’s believed that he is buried in the center of the town.
Aside from its religious significance, Moulay Idriss is a charming and picturesque town that is worth exploring. Its winding streets are lined with white-washed houses and blue-painted doors and windows, creating a beautiful contrast against the green hills that surround the town.
From the hilltops, you can enjoy panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside.
Visitors to Moulay Idriss can also take a short trip to the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis, which are among the best-preserved Roman ruins in North Africa.
Sefrou is a charming small town located about 30 km south of Fez in Morocco. It is a great alternative to the more touristy destinations and is well worth a visit for those looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations in Morocco.
One of the main attractions of Sefrou is its medina, which is smaller and less crowded than the one in Fez.
It has a relaxed and authentic atmosphere, where you can wander through the narrow streets and admire the traditional Moroccan architecture.
The medina is also famous for its annual cherry festival, which takes place in June and is one of the largest in the country.
Another highlight of Sefrou is the nearby waterfalls of Ain Chifa, which are located about 8 km from the town. The waterfalls are surrounded by lush greenery and are a popular spot for picnics and swimming in the summer months.
For those interested in Moroccan crafts and traditions, Sefrou is a also great place to discover local pottery, carpets, and embroidery.
Oualidia is a small, picturesque coastal village located between Casablanca and Essaouira in Morocco. It’s often considered a hidden gem because it’s not as well-known as other popular beach destinations in Morocco.
One of the main attractions of Oualidia is its beautiful lagoon, which is a designated nature reserve and home to a variety of bird species. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lagoon or explore it on foot, and there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
Oualidia is also known for its excellent seafood restaurants, which serve fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish.
The village has a laid-back, tranquil vibe and is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Morocco’s cities.
Dakhla is a coastal city located in the Sahara region of Morocco, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert.
Despite being a remote and isolated location, Dakhla has become a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Dakhla’s main attraction is its stunning natural surroundings, which offer a mix of desert and ocean landscapes. In recent years, the city has become a top destination for water sports, such as windsurfing and kitesurfing, thanks to its steady winds and warm waters.
In addition to outdoor activities, Dakhla offers a glimpse into the traditional Sahrawi culture. The city’s colorful markets, music, and cuisine showcase the unique blend of African, Arab, and Berber cultures that define Morocco.
Often overshadowed by its more well-known neighbor, Fez. Meknes has a rich history and culture of its own, making it a hidden gem for travelers looking for a unique Moroccan experience.
Meknes was once the capital of Morocco under the rule of the powerful Moulay Ismail in the 17th century. Today, the city is home to many historic landmarks and architectural wonders, including the impressive Bab Mansour gate and the massive Granaries of Moulay Ismail.
The city’s medina is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring intricate architecture and bustling markets with a more laid-back atmosphere than Fez or Marrakech.