Are you planning a winter getaway in Morocco? If so, you may wonder if Morocco is a good destination for a December visit.
Most people think of Morocco as a hot, sandy desert country, but the truth is that Morocco has many different types of landscapes and climate zones. In December, the weather in Morocco can be pretty cool, especially in the mountains and interior regions.
If you’re planning to visit Morocco in December, here are a few things to keep in mind:
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Is December a good time to visit Morocco?
Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. December can be a very good time to visit Morocco if you want to avoid the crowds in busy touristic cities like Marrakech.
Also, most people don’t think of Morocco as a winter destination, so you’ll find that hotel prices are much lower compared to the peak season in summer.
If you visit Morocco in December, you can still enjoy a few good hours of sun during the day which is enough for all the outdoor activities. December is also the perfect time to plan a Sahara Desert tour from Marrakech.
Another reason to visit Morocco in December is that it’s the perfect country to escape the Christmas rush but still enjoy a festive atmosphere.
Read more: Spending Christmas in Morocco
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What is the weather like in Morocco in December?
The weather in Morocco varies depending on the region. It is usually cool and sunny in coastal areas like Essaouira, while the interior regions can be quite cold, especially at night.
December is also Morocco’s most rain-intensive month, so you should be prepared for some wet weather if you’re visiting during this time.
The Sahara Desert is one of the hottest regions in Morocco, but even in December, the temperatures can be cool in the evenings.
In general, the average temperatures in December range from 10-20 degrees Celsius (50-68 degrees Fahrenheit).
In Marrakech, the average temperature in December is around 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit), while in Fez, it is about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
What to pack when visiting Morocco in December?
Because the weather can be cool in December, you’ll want to pack some warm clothes. A light jacket or sweater should be fine for most days, but you may want a heavier coat if you’re planning to spend time in the mountains or in the Sahara Desert.
The best thing to do during this month in Morocco is to dress in layers, so you can easily adjust to the changing temperatures throughout the day. At night, make sure you packed a scarf or shawl.
As always, remember to pack comfortable but closed-toed shoes, as Morocco can be a dusty place.
Also, keep in mind that in Morocco people don’t use/have heating in their homes, so be prepared with warm pajamas, socks, and anything that can help you keep warm indoors.
If you’re staying in a hotel, they will likely have heating, but don’t expect the same from a Riad (a traditional Moroccan house that is transformed into a guesthouse/hotel)
For a detailed list of what to pack for Morocco in December, download our packing list below.
What to do in Morocco in December
December may not be the best time to go swimming and sunbathing on the beach, but there are still plenty of fun things to do in Morocco that do not involve the beach.
Take a day trip to the Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Morocco and for good reason. This mountain range offers some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
Visiting the Atlas mountains in December will allow you to experience another magical side of Morocco. The mountains are often covered in a blanket of snow, making it the perfect place to go for a hike or just to enjoy the views.
If you are staying in Marrakech, you can go on a day trip to Imlil village but you can also visit other villages like Asni, Ouirgane, or Sidi Ifni. There is also plenty of accommodation options in Imlil village in case you want to stay for a night or two.
Explore the Sahara Desert
Going on a Sahara desert trip in summer can be quite hot and uncomfortable, but in December, the temperatures are much cooler which makes it the perfect time to enjoy the place.
Riding a camel on the sand dunes, watching the sunset, and sleeping under the stars is probably the best way to end a year.
There are many companies that offer Sahara desert tours from Marrakech and other cities in Morocco. Don’t forget to pack appropriate clothing for the desert as it can still be quite cold at night.
Read our Sahara Desert packing guide for more information.
Visit Morocco’s imperial cities
Morocco has four imperial cities: Marrakech, Rabat, Fes, and Meknes. All of these cities are worth visiting but if you only have time for one, make sure it’s Fez.
Fez is Morocco’s oldest imperial city and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city is known for its medieval architecture, ancient mosques, and bustling souks (markets).
And if you visit Fes, don’t miss out on a day trip to Meknes as well. It’s just an hour’s drive or less. You can also use public transport to get there, it’s cheap and efficient.
The special thing about Morocco’s imperial cities is that they offer a glimpse into the country’s ancient history and culture. You can literally take a step back in time by just walking through the narrow streets of the Medina (the old part of the city).
If you want to get the most out of these Medina tours, consider hiring a local guide to help you navigate the streets and give you a bit of the history and background of the city.
Spend a night in Agafay Desert
Sometimes the Sahara Desert can be a bit too far and overwhelming for some people. I get that traveling more than 10 hours on a bus is not for everyone.
If that’s the case, you can consider spending a night in the Agafay Desert Camp which is only about 45 minutes from Marrakech.
Agafay desert has more of a rocky landscape compared to the sandy dunes of the Sahara but it is still a beautiful place to enjoy pretty much all the activities that you can do in the Sahara.
From sunset watching to camel trekking and stargazing, a trip to the Agafay desert will offer you a more intimate experience where you can enjoy the tranquility of the Sahara and spend some quality time with your loved ones.
And just like the Sahara, it can still get quite cold at night so make sure you pack some warm clothes. If this experience is on your radar, check out this Agafay desert sunset camel ride and bedouin dinner tour.
Try a Moroccan cooking class
When it’s cold and raining outside, it is time time to stay indoors and cook up a storm. And what better place to learn how to cook Moroccan food than in Morocco itself?
There are plenty of cooking classes in Marrakech that offer authentic cooking lessons given by local families. You can find a list of some of the best Marrakech cooking classes here.
And Marrakech is not the only city where you can find cooking classes. If you are staying in Fes, Essaouira, or anywhere in Morocco, I’m sure you will find a suitable cooking class on this list.
Some of the most popular dishes that you can learn how to cook are Tajine, Couscous, and Moroccan bread. If you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry, there are also classes that cater to your dietary needs like this Marrakech vegan-friendly class.
Where to stay in Morocco in December
Depending on your itinerary and how many places you want to visit during your trip, you can either stay in one city or move around to different cities.
If you are only visiting Marrakech, then I recommend staying in the Medina (the old part of the city) as it is centrally located and you will be close to all the action.
Check out this list of the best riads in Marrakech for some inspiration. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden or courtyard.
Note: Most riads are not equipped with a heating system in their rooms, make sure to ask the host about their heating alternatives before confirming your booking.
Some of the other popular places to stay in Morocco are Fez, Chefchaouen, Agadir, and Essaouira. These cities are all popular destinations in Morocco and you won’t have any trouble finding a good place to stay.
There are plenty of hotels, riads, and guesthouses to choose from. What you need to do is figure out your budget and preferences, then use Booking.com to find good accommodation deals.
Hotel prices in December are usually very reasonable as it is the low season. You can find some good deals if you book in advance.