|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 4% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||March||Best time to find cheap flights, 1% potential price drop|
|Average price||$1,777||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||$1,463||From Melbourne to Casablanca|
Morocco is a beguiling country of bustling, colourful souks and serene mountain landscapes, towering minarets and Berber villages. Just a short ferry ride from Spain, it’s a popular spot with Europeans who take cheap flights to Morocco to bask on the beaches of Essaouira and Agadir – cheaper than several European holiday destinations – and take short breaks in the legendary, imperial cities of Rabat, Fes, Marrakech and Meknes.
Morocco is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Algeria and Mauritania to the east. The Atlas Mountains dominate the centre and south of Morocco, the Rif Mountains in the north.
Rabat is the modern capital, a city with stunning architecture, while Fes is the ancient capital, boasting the world’s largest medieval Islamic settlement. It is considered by many to be the cultural heart of Morocco.
Marrakech is beautiful, famous for its central square, the Djemaa el Fna, and for its hustle and bustle. Everything is on sale in the souks, or so it seems.
Tangiers has a slightly raffish reputation, based on its fairly recent past. It was a magnet for rich Europeans and Americans looking for a permissive society. Tangiers has long captivated writers and artists, such as William S. Burroughs and the Rolling Stones and its mix of North African cultures is no less appealing today.
There are three types of climate in Morocco. The north and Rif mountains have a Mediterranean climate. To the south (the Sahara), the climate is described as arid. Atlantic breezes moderate the high temperatures along the coast.
Morocco is a four-season destination and the high and low seasons will depend on what you want to do when you get there. Many visitors think April and May are the best months to see Morocco. For city breaks, Marrakech is best seen in the spring and winter months – it gets very hot in the summer.
The summer months – June through September – are busiest in resorts such as Agadir as this is when schools are out in Europe, but the winter months are popular too, with visitors fleeing harsh Northern European winters. Some parts of the country will be off-limits at certain times of the year. Parts of the Atlas Mountains will be inaccessible, due to snow fall, between December and February and the Sahara Desert will be at its hottest between late June and August (the best months to visit the Sahara are October through November). April and May are the busiest times in Essaouira, as it’s quite windy during the summer months.
The ski season (at Mischliffen and Oukaïmeden, for example) is short – January to March.
Royal Air Maroc, the flag carrier, has an extensive domestic network. It’s the quickest, if priciest, way of getting around Morocco.
The train network takes in the major cities – Tangier to Marrakech for example – and are comfortable and fast. While the train network is not extensive, ONCF, the rail operator, provides the coaches of its SUPRATOURS subsidiary to continue the journey.
Taxis – “petit” (in towns) or “grand” (between towns). The “petit” taxis should be metered, but if it’s not try to settle on a fare before you set off. The “grand” taxis are shared taxis and this is a great way to experience the country.
Buses are cheaper than the shared taxis and operate more regular routes.
Renting a car is a good idea if you want to see more out-of-the-way parts of Morocco. Select a local agency, rather than an international chain, for the best prices and be careful driving at night as many fellow road-users – such as donkeys, bicycles and mopeds – may not have lights.