The 5 Best Moroccan Cities to Visit During Autumn

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With its diverse climate and landscapes, from its southern coast to its High Atlas mountains, Morocco is a great travel destination during any season. Autumn is no exception as major Moroccan tourist cities and attractions are not as busy and crowded as the high season, also making it one of the best times to visit.

As the climate cools from September to November, the temperature in Morocco varies from one city to another. Some cities are still warm, the desert temperature drops in the evening, the coastal cities are sunny yet windy, and the mountains offer a temperate climate in the fall perfect for hiking.

If you’re not a fan of summer heat or the winter chill, then fall is the perfect time to enjoy Morocco’s green and breathtaking landscapes. A few rainy days will wash over some of the famous historical attractions and monuments in the country, adding to the moment’s beauty and magnificence.

Read also: Weather, Festivals, Holidays: The Best Time to Travel to Morocco

Fall in Morocco also sees many special cultural and artistic festivals throughout the country. Seizing the chance to attend these, you will get to experience Morocco’s heritage and art in a festive and joyful environment.

Exploring Morocco’s history and culture in autumn means strolling through the ancient medinas, visiting museums, walking along beaches, camping in the Sahara desert, and exploring the mountains in comfort. These are the five best cities, each near natural wonders, that you should visit during your autumn Moroccan travel.

Asilah

Asilah, Morocco is one of the best Moroccan coastal cities to visit during autumn.

The laid back city of Asilah is even nicer and more comfortable than ever during the fall. The touristic city holds in its walls and ramparts a rich and fascinating history of Morocco that dates back to its use as a pirate port in the 17th century. The Portuguese built the fortification that gives the city its unique and attractive view. It was a major harbor for them, as well as for many other groups such as the Phoenicians, Byzantines, Romans, Arabs, Carthaginians, and Normans.

Asilah is now a haven for tourists from all around the world, from nature lovers to art enthusiasts to history aficionados. Local artists decorate the coastal town’s walls with beautiful bright murals each year in August during the Asilah Art Festival, so visiting in autumn means you will see them at their freshest.

Read also: Travel to Morocco: The Five Must-Visit Medinas in Morocco

Asilah has a population of 29,000 people. As you stroll around the authentic city, you will meet women from the Rif who sell their proper handmade products in the souk, wearing big northern hats with colorful pom poms.

The average temperature in the fall in Asilah is between 14 and 20 degrees Celsius. The weather is usually sunny with just a few rainy days. Asilah is one of the best Moroccan cities to visit in autumn, the perfect destination to enjoy a cozy walk on white-sand beaches, mesmerizing warm sunsets, and beautiful artistic murals.

Erfoud

The 5 Best Moroccan Cities to Visit During Autumn Erfoud, Morocco. Photo: Tadd Debbie

Erfoud or Arfoud is a small oasis town in the Sahara desert, in eastern Morocco. It is a lovely destination to stop by on your way south to Merzouga. Despite its small size, it makes for a lovely stop during your travel to Morocco. Its unique festival and attractive houses and streets are bound to please any autumn visitor.

Erfoud’s proximity to the Merzouga desert have made it a location for many great hotels and lovely restaurants, where you can stay and indulge in some of the best traditional Moroccan food. The daily souk in the small town is a place that you can’t skip. Here you can find special souvenirs that you might not find anywhere else in Morocco.

During the fall, the town holds the grand and fascinating three-day Erfoud Date Festival to celebrate the harvest of the nearly one million date palms planted in the town. It features music, races, parades, and food that is often made with the sweet and delicious freshly-harvested dates, and most importantly the crowning of the “Date Queen.”

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Due to its captivating beauty and Sahara backdrop, the town has also set the scene for several famous films such as “March or Die,” “The Mummy,” “Prince of Persia,” and the 24th James Bond movie, “Specter.” 

In Erfoud, you will also find the interesting Brahim Tahiri’s Museum where you will get to learn more about the region and the planet while admiring incredible fossils and minerals found locally.

Essaouira

The 5 Best Moroccan Cities to Visit During Autumn Essaouira, Morocco. Photo: Pixabay

Essaouira is one of Morocco’s best coastal cities to visit in autumn, especially in October. It offers visitors a rich history, beautiful culture, fascinating art and music, and wonderful natural surroundings.

The city has one of Morocco’s best medinas, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also explore the local history while strolling around the ancient Kasbah Skala, Skaladel Port, the marine gate, and the Mellah district that showcases Moroccan-Jewish history and culture.

Due to its pleasant and exotic aesthetic, the laid-back medina was one of the filming sets of the famous series “Game of Thrones.” 

Besides the traditional Gnaoua melody vibrating from artists performing outdoors, the city also offers art galleries and restaurants where you will taste some delicious Moroccan delicacies, especially seafood dishes.

Read also: Travel: Your Guide to Morocco’s Imperial Cities

The weather in Essaouira during autumn is comparable to most coastal cities in Morocco. It is sunny during the day and colder in the evening with little chance of rain. It is also windier this season, which can be great for people who enjoy windsurfing.

In mid-October, Essaouira hosts the annual MOGA Electronic Music Festival. MOGA showcases talents from across Morocco and the Maghreb in electronic music and digital art.

Tetouan

Tetouan, Morocco. Photo: Dickelbers

Located near Tangier, Tetouan is another Moroccan fortress city. It is always worth visiting, but this is especially true in the autumn season. It is sunny yet a little chilly at times, meaning all you need are some light layers to enjoy its rich history, beautiful beach, and captivating medina.

Moroccans know Tetouan as the white dove because its medina walls are all painted white. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is an attractive destination with its Andalusian history showcased in the architecture of the medina, from when the coastal city was the capital of the Spanish protectorate.

The lovely and comfortable weather of autumn in Tetouan lets you explore the city without worrying too much about temperature, instead soaking up the atmosphere of the city and its clean and green nature.

Read also: Travel to Morocco: 5 Best Hammams to Visit in Marrakech

Tetouan’s souk, or traditional open-air market, is one of the greatest in Morocco. It is also one of the cheapest compared to Marrakech or Fez. Here you will find a market called El Fouki that sells bread loaves in all shapes and sizes, El Hot market that sells beautiful handmade ceramic pottery and goldsmith jewelry, and food stalls that offer delicious traditional northern dishes.

Tetouan also has an interesting archaeological museum that showcases the captivating Roman mosaic of the three graces. It also exhibits artifacts found in sites across northern Morocco, such as prehistoric tools, coins, bronze artifacts, and pottery. It also has a library that preserves North African literature with more than 60,000 volumes.

Marrakech

Marrakech is one of the best Moroccan cities to visit in autumn. Photo: Pixabay

Marrakech is one of Morocco’s biggest and most famous tourist cities and autumn is a great time to visit it. With temperatures cooled down a bit and less-crowded streets in the medina, you can explore the city’s attraction more freely and comfortably.

In Jemaa el Fna square you will be able to enjoy Marrakech’s famous performers, from singers to snake charmers to storytellers to tattoo artists. You can peruse the many shops in the souk that offer traditional clothes, decor, wood and leather furniture, precious metal handicrafts, and ceramics. You can enjoy your shopping and exploring while strolling down the maze-like medina in a pleasant temperature.

In Marrakech, you can also visit other important Moroccan attractions such as the famous Koutoubia Mosque, the Ben Youssef Madrassa, and the Bahia Palace that shows the history of Marrakech through beautiful Islamic architecture.

Autumn is also the best time to enjoy many nature activities near Marrakech such as hiking the High Atlas Mountains and exploring the local Amazigh (Berber) villages. Just over an hour from Marrakech is an Amazigh village next to the stunning Ourika River. In late October, the village’s hard-working women rise early before the sun itself to harvest the precious Moroccan saffron that is worth more than gold.

Read also: Travel to Morocco: 8 Tips for an Unforgettable Visit to Marrakech

The Marrakech International Film Festival lasts one week and occurs between November and December. It celebrates diversity, culture, and cinematic art, inviting some of the best creators across the world and showcasing outstanding international films.

Fall is undeniably a lovely time to travel to Morocco. These cities that offer everything from great access to nature to exploration of their ancient medinas are some of the best Moroccan destinations during autumn. A comfortable climate, an array of interesting events, and less-crowded attractions make them a great choice for any fall traveler.

Source: moroccoworldnews.com