We have been travelling around the world for one month now as a family. We have just ended our four-week road trip to Spain with our two children.
We’re now in Morocco as our next destination on this journey around the world with our babies.
We were looking forward to exploring this country that intrigued us and that we hoped would bring us beautiful discoveries and adventures.
We weren’t disappointed by our adventures…
In the end, Morocco will have been colourful and highly emotional in all kinds of ways… We went through positive emotions sometimes, but often mixed ones, and even negative emotions.
With over a month’s experience of travelling to Morocco as a family, we, unfortunately, don’t always have good things to say about this country.
I publish a blog article about why we didn’t like Morocco so much during our nearly five-week trip with our little ones to this coastal country with Berber and Arab influences.
But until then, here is our itinerary to Morocco with our young family where we explored the Sahara Desert, we visited big cities as well as the countryside filled with oases, and finally enjoyed the seaside.
One of my highlights in Morocco was the city of Chefchaouen and all of its different shades of blue found in the old city.
We stayed for three days in the blue pearl, which was enough for us to see everything we wanted.
Note that since the city is built on a mountainside, the alleys are narrow, and there are many staircases. Chefchaouen is, therefore not stroller friendly.
What you should see:
- Ras Elma Park with its river
- Strolling through the small blue alleys
- Hiking by the Akchour Falls (half an hour’s drive from Chefchaouen)
We were able to live Fez authentically, staying for four days in exchange for a house in Riad ( an authentic house in the inhabitant of Morocco), thanks to the superb HomeExchange platform (if you don’t know about it yet, you can find more information here).
During our visit, we got to experience the excitement around Eid Al-Adha, the most important Muslim holiday. It added to the exoticism of our stay as we felt the importance they accorded to the rituals in preparation for this celebration.
If I had to describe Fez in one image, it would be like a heart beating fast, with its warm blood. The pulse of this city is palpable as soon as we set foot in it.
- Walk in the medina el-Bali– go there early in the morning before 10 a.m.;
- See the tanneries and tanners at work;
- Observe the city from the El Qolla Hill and see the tombs of the Marinids.
THE SAHARA DESERT IN MERZOUGA
Living, seeing, smelling and tasting the Sahara Desert is something out of this world! We really feel a thousand miles from home in this desert! It’s a different world.
The Sahara Desert will remain one of my highlights of our one-month family trip to Morocco.
When I say “taste,” it’s because the air is so dry (it’s a bit like a dry sauna there, but you never get out of it haha) that it has a particular smell and taste. What a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
On our side, we stayed two days in the desert, we did the “classic” (not so classic haha) camel ride in the Sahara desert, with a short walk in the dunes. What a view!
Good to know:
- We were able to do the camel rides by carrying our two young children (2 and 3 years old) on our abdomens.
- On the way to the Sahara Desert, there’s the Ziz Gorges, a very impressive canyon (halfway between Fez and Merzouga).
- The Sahara Desert is very hot in August (not a big surprise here?) with an average temperature of 43 degrees. So having a swimming pool in your home isn’t asking for too much.
It really is a beautiful place to visit in a rather rural environment.
In addition, of all our trip to Morocco, the Dades Gorge folks are GENUINELY lovely people- the only nice ones we met during our whole trip to Morocco.
We stayed three days in Dades Gorges. We explored the oases of the area, which also serve as a community garden. We saw lots of frogs in these wetlands and lots of fruit in the trees – the kids (and I) had a blast.
We also went hiking in the Valley of the Dades to see the Monkey Fingers.
What can we say about Ouarzazate, except that it’s a transit city. We stayed there for three days, and I can confirm that it was too much.
We first visited the Cinema Museum, a warehouse filled with leftover movie-set furniture that was transformed into a “museum.” We didn’t find much to see at the museum, and it’s not designed to understand anything (no info, no labelling to understand what was in which movie, etc.).
The only real thing there is to see around here is Aït-Ben-Haddou. A small village on a mountainside with a set of earthen houses surrounded by walls and towers.
You can walk inside the village, climb the mythical steps and observe what life can be like in this other world with these earthen walls.
The place is really beautiful. It’s worth the detour (about 25 minutes from Ouarzazate). This small village is from another world!
There’s not much to see in Taghazout. It’s a fishermen’s village known as a jewel by surfers who storm the place as soon as October arrives – but in summer, the atmosphere is more relaxed.
We rented a house by the sea for more than a week, and our first goal was to enjoy a slow moment.
The city of Agadir, which is about 30 minutes away from Taghazout, has a much faster pace with much more to do. (But I can’t tell you any more, because the only reason we went to Agadir was to do the grocery shopping. Haha!)
Marrakech surprised us from the very beginning. We heard so many bad things about this city, in addition to everything we had just experienced in the rest of the country, that we didn’t expect anything – not to say the worst. Hahaha!
What we did there during those 5 days:
- Visiting the Menara Garden; a vast expanse of vegetation with an olive grove. It’s not a must-see, but if you want to go for a walk, or if you have children that need to run, it’s a destination you can put on your to-do list.
- We visited the Medina and Jemaa El Fna square. As we went there early in the morning -10 am- it wasn’t too crowded. We could even have gone with a stroller. So I recommend you go early if you have young children or if you don’t like crowds.
- We were supposed to see the Majorelle Garden and walk around this part of town, but it would have been quite different. Because that morning, while playing with Ely, I dislocated his wrist. So we went to the hospital that day.
This was our itinerary for our one-month trip to Morocco. As I told you earlier, I haven’t finished writing about Morocco. I want to share our experience and share what we have been through, what has been good, and what hasn’t been so good in this very unique country.
If you go to Morocco with young children and you want to go there for several weeks, off the beaten track (living with the locals, not on organized trips/visits) expect it to be arid – in every sense of the word.
On that note, I won’t say anymore, and I’ll save the rest for another article. ?
In the meantime, don’t hesitate if you have any questions or comments! ?
This post was translated from French to English by:
My name is Aimy and I am a second year-student in translation studies. I discover my truths through my passion for literature, arts and culture. I have a keen eye for beauty, a lust for life. For me, every day is a chance to acquire knowledge and create. As Einstein once said, “creativity is intelligence having fun.”