JBT offers friendly small group, cycling, trekking and family holidays in Morocco as well as affordable, custom tours of Morocco: Wild Sahara; Sahara Desert Tour; Ultimate Morocco; Imperial Cities; Eclectic Morocco
Lake Yasmina making an infrequent appearance at Merzouga, beside the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Look closely and you can see tourists climbing the dune.
This notorious desert stretching across North Africa is the size of the USA but only about 25% sand. The rest is composed of volcanic hills, rock and gravel plains and some vegetation which is home to around 300 species of bird and animals such as mongooses, snakes, jackals, hares, deer, foxes and even baboons.
Desert experiences are not to be missed. It's easy enough to drive on hard packed sand/rock near to massive dunes and have a climb (and even picnic), though preferably travel on camel for a couple of days including sleeping under the stars. Merzouga is a famously easy place to reach big dunes.
A Moroccan family on the way home from market, beside the Atlas foothills.
The traveller's mecca in 60s-70s, Morocco is a fascinating mix of Islamic, Arab, African and Berber cultures with a chic topping of France.
Throw in a handful of exotic cities, eye-boggling landscapes, colourful people, excellent beaches, good trekking, plenty of interesting shopping and there's something for almost everyone.
Moroccans are mostly Muslim but not pushy about it, the sunshine quota is high and prices are pretty low making this one of those classic old tourist destinations where millions have already visited but it will still provide a superb, unique and memorable trip.
An oasis village somewhere on a spectacular road through Dadés Valley region of the Atlas Mountains.
Drive the lovely Ziz Valley from
Errachidia to Erfoud - then on to Merzouga and the Sahara desert. Or along the Dràa Valley from
Ouarzazate to Zagora and on into the desert.
Also driving between Errachidia and Ouarzazate (the Kasbah Route) with snow-capped mountains, valleys, oases, villages and kasbahs is magnificent. Visit the Todra and Dadès gorges.
Dining in the ever lively Djama el Fna square in Marrakesh.
Marrakesh (aka Marrakech) is beautifully located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the centre of the country but also not far from either Atlantic coast beaches or the Sahara Desert or up north to the capital, Casablanca, on the new expressway takes just a couple of hours.
Marrakesh is home to some terrific buildings - especially traditional riads - good museums and a great covered souk (market) that is the best place to find good quality crafts in Morocco - but most of all Marrakech hosts Djemaa el Fna, the most entertaining city square in Africa, where assorted weirdos put on performances and food stalls serve excellent local cuisine at low prices.
These photos were taken in December, wintertime, when days are usually sunny and reasonably warm but nights can be relatively cold, down to 0C/32F at sea level and way colder up in the Atlas Mountains. Take into account that temperatures usually range between quite hot and blood-boiling so hotels - especially at the budget end - are set up for heat avoidance and tend to ignore insulation, draft prevention, effective bedding and any form of heating except for open fires. So take plenty of warm clothes if you travel to Morocco in the winter and stay down south.
The best Morocco weather happens in the shoulder months, spring March to May and autumn September to November.
Winter daytime is fine in southerly parts though nights will frequently be bitterly cold while the north of the country and mountains may see rain. In summertime heat is excessive (into the 30Cs and possibly 40Cs), making cultural tourism a sweaty, foot-dragging pain and Sahara trips out of the question, but if you're by the sea in Essaouira, Agadir or even Tangier sea breezes may deliver enough cool while up in the Atlas mountains the trails will be equally cool as you trek from village to Berber village.
Ramadan can be an awkward time for tourism as many locals neither eat nor drink during the day and may be tired. (Muslim fasting month, dates depend on full moon so may differ by one day depending on location. 9 July-7 August 2013. There's always a lively feast day, Idd al-Fitr, at the end of Ramadan.