Four Skiing Experiences in Morocco

ski moroccoThe words “Morocco” and “skiing” don’t seem to go together, but did you know that Morocco is home to Africa’s highest ski resort? And, in addition to this record-setting resort, there are several other ski resorts throughout the Middle and High Atlas Mountains. If skiing is a hobby you enjoy, consider giving the slopes of Morocco a shot. While American and European ski destinations are expensive getaways in winter months, this is Morocco’s off season so prices are much more affordable.

The ski season lasts from December to March/April but conditions vary greatly depending on snowfall and temperatures. Unlike American ski resorts, Moroccan ski resorts don’t make artificial snow so skiing conditions are completely dependent on natural elements. Also, there are few grooming machines. Because of this, runs may be bumpy, powdered, packed or any variation of these. Ski lessons, rentals, chairlifts and run difficulty vary depending on the ski hill.

While there are many ski hills to cut your teeth on, these four destinations should be at the top of any skiers to-visit list.

Ifrane

Built during the French protectorate, this city resembles any Alpine village in Europe. Jebel Mischliffen is a small ski area a few miles outside of Ifrane. It was built in the 1950s and has remained largely unchanged. The runs are short and the chairlifts unreliable. This is a good ski hill for amateurs or families. If you’re nearby, it’s worth a trip to see the city and say you skied in Africa! (more…)

When to Travel to Morocco

man squatting in alleyway in MoroccoThe best time to travel to Morocco depends on the type of experience you want to have. Planning to visit the desert? Hoping to surf? Is skiing more up your alley?

Despite extreme summer heat, the peak tourist season occurs in July and August. Temperatures in Marrakech and Fez can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit during this time, and a day in the Sahara Desert can climb to an arid 120-degree heat.

Expecting to splash in the water?
With long coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, water sports are popular among foreign visitors, national tourists and locals alike. Coastal breezes make temperatures in these areas feel more bearable throughout the summer, making it an ideal time for a holiday spent kayaking, surfing or relaxing on the beach. Think Essaouira, Agadir or Tetouan. (more…)

Weather in Morocco

Marrakesh Morocco rainIf you haven’t taken a holiday package to Morocco before, you may have little idea of this country’s varied climate.  The Moroccan climate may differ widely depending on the region or the time of year. You can experience warmer, pleasant temperatures on the coastal regions, both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Further inland, the weather becomes hotter and more arid year round. And during the winter months of December and January, nighttime temperatures drop significantly.

During the height of summer, the heat of daytime temperatures is downright oppressive, especially in cities like Fez, Marrakesh and toward the southwest. In contrast, cities like Essaouira, Rabat and Casablanca are a bit cooler due to their exposure to ocean breezes.

The Atlas Mountains region is far less predictable, and weather depends in large part on the elevation. The winters are quite cold from November through March with plenty of snowfall, but the summers are mild but sunny. Northern Morocco may get light snow showers from time to time in the winter. The form of precipitation is often based on whether you are venturing to the High or the Middle Atlas Mountains. Rainfall is more common in the Middle Atlas between November and February. (more…)