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10 days in Morocco is not long to see all this vibrant, chaotic, colourful country has to offer. But after spending a few weeks in Morocco, I have worked out the perfect 10 day Morocco itinerary that will showcase all the best experiences Morocco has on offer so you can fit a lot into a short time.

In this 10 day Morocco itinerary, you will experience the chaos of Fes’s medina and Marrakech’s nigh market Jemaa Ef ‘Fna. You will witness the most beautiful sunsets in the Sahara desert, sip mint tea in a Berber tent, learn how to make the perfect tagine, whizz down Essaouira’s beautiful beaches on a quad bike, relax with a hammam, and shop til you drop in colourful souks.

Witness the blue city of Chefchaouen and go back in history with a visit to Volubilis. Wander the old kasbah at Ait Ben Haddou where ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Gladiator’ was filmed and admire the beautiful Todra Gorge. All during just 10 days in Morocco.

As you can see, this 10 day Morocco itinerary is jampacked so it’s going to be a busy one. If you want to visit at a more leisurely pace, try to spend a little longer than 10 days in Morocco, perhaps closer to 2 weeks.

But if you want to see as much as possible of Morocco in 10 days then follow this itinerary to learn how…

picture of a man in a turban smiling at the camera in fes, morocco

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An overview of this 10 day Morocco Itinerary

Day 1-2 Essaouira

Day 3-4 Marrakech

Day 5-7 Desert trip to Merzouga via Ait Ben Haddou

Day 8-9 Fes

Day 10 – Chefchaouen

A map showing how to spend 10 days in Morocco

Your Detailed 10-day Morocco Itinerary

Day 1-2 Essaouira

Whilst Marrakech is like the definition of chaos, Essaouira, by contrast, is a much more relaxing introduction to Morocco and therefore the perfect place to start your 10 day Morocco itinerary. Perfectly situated on the coast with miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a medina set within an old fortress, Essaouira is certainly full of charm.

Also known as the ‘Windy City,’ the climate is also cooler on the coast and the windy weather makes it perfects for a spot of water sports like kitesurfing or surfing. If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, there are also options to ride quad bikes, horses or camels through the sand dunes, enjoying the beautiful views without braving the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the best things to do in Essaouira, however, is shopping. The medina is packed full of souvenir stalls and shops and you’ll find everything from Berber carpets, to leather goods and Painted tagines. Essaouira has a hippy feel and as such, everyone is so much more laid back. Therefore you won’t get nearly so much hassle from the vendors. Shopping in Marrakech is a whole different ball game.

As well as shopping and enjoying all the beach activities on offer, there’s also a great fish market worth visiting and plenty of brilliant bars and restaurants with a great food and live music scene. As well as some of the larger restaurants, you’ll also find some tiny places to eat where you basically sit around one table with everyone else there, enjoying the same meal – more like being invited into someone’s family home for a meal!

Essaouira was somewhere that I wasn’t that fussed about visiting. Almost as soon as I arrived in this delightful town, I realised I would change my mind. It quickly became one of my favourite places in Morocco. I’d recommend staying day 1 and most of day 2 in Essaouira and arranging a transfer to Marrakech late afternoon so that you are ready to tackle Marrakech the next day. 

How to get to Essaouira

Presuming you are flying into Marrakech airport, I would suggest arranging a transfer direct to Essaouira. The journey will take just over 2.5 hours. If you have the cash, a private transfer will set you back 500-700DH but will mean you arrive in Essaouira much earlier. Otherwise, there is a much cheaper twice-daily transfer which will cost 110DH (as of Nov ’19.)

essaouira fort with blue fishing boats in foreground - a must see during your 10 days in Morocco
colourful moroccan plates against a a stone wall - shopping in essaouira is a highlight on this 10 day morocco itinerary

Things to do in Essaouira

  • Go shopping in the souks
  • Get lost in the old medina
  • Enjoy the great restaurants in this city – I recommend Restaurant Berbere.
  • Enjoy live music in a cafe bar
  • Walk along the ramparts and visit Skala du port which you may recognise from the Game of Thrones.
  • Take a guided tour of the city
  • Go quad biking
  • Take a camel ride along the beach
  • Learn to surf
  • Learn to kitesurf

Read next: 17 awesome things to do in Essaouira


essaouira beach

Where to stay in Essaouira

  • Scrimp: The Chill Art Hostel is a budget hostel with plenty of quirks such as rooms dedicated to Jimi Hendrix memorabilia. Enjoy the rooftop terrace and its close proximity to the medina. Check it out here.
  • Save: Dar Latigeo, a boutique guesthouse with just 6 bright and airy rooms in the centre of the medina. The prices here are very affordable. Check out the current prices here.
  • Splurge: Heure Bleue Palais-Relais & Chateau is a stunning hotel a stone’s throw from the old medina with a beautiful rooftop terrace. Have you checked out that swimming pool?!
canyons on essaouira's ramparts

Alternative option: You can also visit Essaouira as part of an organised day trip from Marrakech. Whilst I think it’s worth spending more time here, one day is preferable to not seeing it at all. So if your flight arrives late on day one and you simply don’t have the time to spend 2 days in Essaouira then take an organised day trip with a reputable company like GetYourGuide.

Day 3-4 Marrakech

Describing Marrakech is quite a challenge because it is the most confusing, baffling place I’ve ever visited and I have a real love-hate relationship with this city.

But you absolutely can’t spend 10 days in Morocco without visiting the tourism capital. It’s chaotic, colourful, fascinating, beautiful but also frustrating and at some times, plain exhausting.

It’s a city of contrasts. One moment you can be being harassed in the souks, narrowly dodging a motorbike or a donkey. The next, you slip inside a riad and suddenly it’s a peaceful, tranquil oasis even though you are just metres away from the chaos outside.

There are some beautiful old buildings with beautiful architecture and palaces and gardens to explore. You should definitely try to see Ben Youssef Medersa, an old college which is a beautiful example of intricate Moroccan architecture.

Another must-see is Jemaa El’Fna night market. This place can be totally overwhelming so I suggest you escape to the rooftop cafe, Le Grand Balcon du Café Glacier, to take in the sights from above. Otherwise, you are likely to be accosted by the aggressive henna ladies or have someone try to place a monkey or a snake around your shoulders.

Try to arrive an hour or so before sunset to stand a chance of getting a table with a view. The sunset views as the night market starts to come alive are quite magical.

Once the sun goes down, it’s time to brave the market itself. But take a deep breath. You will be harassed by the food sellers and you need to make sure you don’t go too close to the snake charmers, henna ladies or monkey trainers.

Enjoy eating with the locals at the market. We ate at stand 14 after reading good reviews online and speaking to a local who recommended it. But if you’re feeling really adventurous you can find all sorts here including brain!

After sampling some local foods, enjoy all the activities at the market such as dancers, acrobats and a game which you can play which involves trying to get a small loop around a bottle using a fishing rod!

I would recommend that all women wear long clothes and a headscarf as sadly, there are some men who use the crowded market as an opportunity to grope western women’s bums. It’s best, therefore, to blend in as much as you can. Also, watch out for pick-pocketers and make sure your belongings are safe. I use this theft-proof bag.

If you want something alternative to do in Marrakech, I recommend exploring the museum ‘Maison de la Photographie’, or testing out your logic skills at the escape room ‘Escape the Medina’ which was some light-hearted fun away from the frantic medina.

when backpacking in morocco ypu will see lots of colourful displays of moroccan spices like this one

How to get to Marrakech

You can either arrange another private transfer or if you are keen to save money, there are buses which run fairly frequently until 6 PM. Either way, the journey will take around 3 hours. Look out for the goats climbing in the argan trees along the way.

Things to do in Marrakech

  • Take a guided tour of all the highlights
  • Stay in a riad or at least visit one for lunch or a massage.
  • Visit the Maison de la Photographie – well worth the 50DH entrance fee.
  • Try out the escape rooms ‘Escape the medina”
  • Visit Jemaa el ‘Fna market at night and enjoy the chaos
  • Shop til you drop in the souks
  • Have a hammam and relax Moroccan style
  • Take a cooking class and learn to make the perfect tagine
  • Take the hop-on-hop-off bus
  • Visit Ben Youssef Medersa and admire the architecture
  • Visit Saadian’s tombs
  • Visit Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace.
beautiful riad yasmine in marrakech. visiting a riad is a popular hing to do whilst backpacking in morocco

Where to stay in Marrakech

  • Scrimp: Right in the heart of Marrakech, you’ll find Boho 27 Hostel, a hostel with nice decor and a lovely roof terrace to watch the sun go down. A perfect spot for those on a tight budget in Morocco.  Check it out here.
  • Save: Riad Salam 40 is a boutique riad with rooftop terrace and swimming pool just a few minutes walk from the medina. Perfect for those who want a little more comfort but don’t have a lot of cash to splash. Check it out here.
  • Splash out: Bliss Riad is a quiet, peaceful green oasis in the heart of the medina. Despite being right in the midst of the chaotic souks, it somehow remains a tranquil retreat. I visited Bliss riad for a massage which was one of the best I’ve had. Lunch was also delicious and I wished I could stay longer! So if your budget can stretch to a few days of luxury, I would highly recommend a few days here. Check it out here.
green leafy and white decor at riad bliss

Day 5-7 Desert trip to Merzouga via Ait Ben Haddou

There are various ways to organise a trip to Morocco’s Sahara desert but since you only have 10 days in Morocco, I would highly suggest organising a 3-day desert tour which begins in Marrakech and ends in Fes.

This is the easiest way to see a lot in a short period of time and also includes all your transport as far as Fes.

What to expect on your 3-day desert trip

1st day (i.e Day 5 of this Morocco itinerary)
  • Drive through the beautiful High Atlas Mountains
  • Visit the beautiful, well-preserved old kasbah at Ait Ben Haddou. Now a UNESCO heritage site, this is also the filming location for various famous films and series including ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Gladiator.’
  • Lunch in Ouarzazate.
  • Visit the Gorges of Dade.
  • Stay overnight at Tinghir
Ait Ben Haddou, this kasbah is one of the highlights on this 10 day Morocco itinerary
2nd day (i.e Day 6 of this Morocco itinerary)
  • Take a walk along an oasis and visit Todgha Gorges
  • Take a camel ride through the Sahara desert and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the dunes.
  • Try glamping and stay overnight at a desert camp (bed included.)
  • Enjoy a drumming experience around the campfire at night
picture of a man walking acoss the sand dunes at sunset on . a desert trip in Morocco
3rd day (i.e day 7 of this Morocco itinerary)
  • Enjoy an optional sunrise
  • Enjoy the scenery in the Middle Atlas Mountains. You may even see snow!
  • Watch out for Berber apes along the way
  • End your journey in Fes
berber apes in the middle atlas mountains

Book a trip starting in Marrakech and ending in Fes

If you are following this itinerary in reverse, you can also find trips which start in Fes and end in Marrakech which follow a very similar reverse itinerary.

Book a trip starting in Fes and ending in Marrakech


Read next: 5 ways to plan the perfect desert trip in Morocco


Day 8-9 Fes

Fes’s medina with it’s 9000 tiny laneways and alleys is delightfully chaotic. This was one of my favourite places during my time in Morocco. It’s also a great place to attend some workshops and see how various trades in Morocco work from pottery and mosaics to carpet weaving and making leather bags and clothes.

I’d advise you to take a guided tour in Fes as you are very likely to get lost otherwise! If you think Marrakech’s medina is confusing, this is a whole new level. A guide will also help you find the different workshops and show you where you can visit to get a great view of the famous leather tanneries.

I’d also recommend visiting Borj Sud viewpoint to get an amazing view of the city. You can appreciate just how vast this city is from this vantage point.

As well as exploring the amazing medina, you can also try a Moroccan cooking class or have a hammam spa experience in Fes since you have 2 days here.

Alternatively, you could allocate one day to taking a day trip to Volubilis Roman Ruins or the historic city of Meknes (or both.) In the afternoon of your 2nd day, it’s time to travel to Chefchaouen so that you can make the most of your last day in Morocco.

view of the tanneries from above with huge pots of coloured dyes- visiting tanneries is one of the most popular things to do with one day in fes.

Things to do in Fes

  • Take a guided tour of the chaotic medina.
  • Have a hammam experience
  • Visit the famous tanneries and get a great view of the coloured vats of dye from above.
  • Visit a pottery and learn about mosaic making.
  • Admire the 7 golden doors of the Royal Palace.
  • Visit Medersa Attarine an old boarding school with the most beautiful Moroccan architecture.
  • Take a cooking class
  • Day trip to Volubilis
  • Day trip to Meknes
volubilis roman ruins in northern morocco

Where to stay in Fes

  • Scrimp: Medina Social Club  offers a selection of dormitories and budget private rooms in a converted riad with a beautiful roof terrace.  Check it out here.
  • Save – Riad Al Makan is a budget guesthouse in a pretty riad with a lovely courtyard. Check it out here.
  • Splurge: Karawan Riad is the definition of Moroccan glamour and if you have the cash to splash, here is where you should spend it. The view over the city is the icing on the cake.

Read next: The perfect one day in Fes itinerary


Day 10 – Chefchaouen

Seeing photos of this intriguing blue-painted city was what first inspired me to visit Morocco. I hadn’t ever seen anywhere quite like it.

Places like that sometimes don’t live up to expectation but Chefchaouen absolutely did.

No one quite knows why the town is blue. There are various theories such as the blue paint wards mosquitos away.

Not only is Chefchaouen quirky and unusual but it is also a relaxed laid back town with a hippy vibe. It’s one of the few places in Morocco where I didn’t get stared at or harassed.

It’s only a small town so you only really need a day to explore here.

I would recommend taking time to walk to the Spanish Mosque where you’ll get a great view back onto this blue city.

everything is painted in blue in Chefchaouen one of the stops on the typical morocco backpacking route

How to get to Chefchaouen

  • There is a bus which leaves Fes at 16.15 and takes 4 hours to reach Chefchaouen. The bus operator is CTM and it should cost between 60-100 DH (as of Nov ’19.) You can check the schedule and book tickets here.
  • Alternatively, you can arrange a day trip to Chefchaouen from Fes which would work well if your flight is leaving from Fes airport. However, it’s a long journey there and back so there will be a lot of driving involved.

Things to do in Chefchaouen

  • Take a guided food tour
  • Take endless photos of blue painted streets, houses and alleys.
  • Take a hike up to the Spanish Mosque for sunset views over the city.
  • Explore the Old Kasbah.
One of the many cats of morocco sitting on blue painted steps

Where to stay in Chefchaouen

  • Scrimp: Dar Besmellah offers basic rooms just a short stroll from the medina with plenty of outdoor space and views onto the surrounding mountains. Check it out here.
  • Save: Dar Dadicilef is situated close to the Kasbah. This guest house is painted blue top to toe which seems fitting in Chefchaouen. Check it out here.
  • Splurge: if you’re looking for elegance, with tasteful blue decor and luxury indoor pool and hammam, then check out Lina Ryad & Spa.

How to get home.

There are international airports in Tangier and Fes as well as Casablanca which is a little further away.

If you are flying out of Fes, you may prefer to visit Chefchaouen as a day trip so that you can return to Fes in the same day.

If your flight is out of Tangier (or you are taking the ferry to Spain) then you can travel from Chefchaouen via bus. There are 3 buses a day, the last being at 20.15 (as of Nov’19.) It takes between 2-3 hours or if you take a taxi, it will take about 1 hr 45.

An alternative, more relaxed way to see Morocco in 10 days

If you want to keep the number of hotel changes to a minimum you could choose to start in Marrakech and end in Fes (both of which have international airports,) with the 3-day desert tour connecting you between each city.

You don’t have to miss out on anywhere on this 10 day Morocco itinerary because you can visit Essaouira and Chefchaouen on day trips.

I still recommend the route above mainly because Essaouira and Chefchaouen are some of my favourite places in Morocco and I’d recommend maximising your time in each. But I understand, not everyone is happy to move hotels so frequently.

If you do decide to stay in Marrakech and Fes and take day trips, here are some day trips you can book with a company I trust and use personally;

Frequently asked questions about spending 10 days in Morocco

Are 10 days in Morocco enough?

This 10 day Morocco itinerary is certainly a jam-packed one and if you can afford to spend a little longer in Morocco then 2 weeks would be preferable. That said, it is possible to see a lot in 10 days in Morocco as long as you are prepared to be busy!

Any longer than 10 days – 2 weeks in Morocco and you might start to feel a little drained. Sadly there are a lot of scams to contend with as well as staring and comments, especially if you happen to be female and blonde like me! I loved my time in Morocco but was ready for a break after a couple of weeks.

Is it safe to visit Morocco?

I never felt unsafe in Morocco but I always take precautions like avoiding quiet lanes in the medina at night, always taking taxis if it’s late, keeping valuables hidden and dressing conservatively.

Whilst I got harassed occasionally, I never felt in any real danger.

There was an isolated terrorist attack on some backpackers last year but in general, Morocco is no more dangerous than anywhere else at the moment.

Take sensible precautions and you will be fine. You do however have to stay alert for petty theft and scams.

me walking in the sahara desert in morocco

Do I need a visa to visit Morocco for 10 days?

Most tourists do not need a visa for 10 days in Morocco. For most nationalities can travel visa-free for up to 90 days as long as you can show proof of onward travel.

However, there are some nationalities which do need a visa and it is not possible to secure a visa at the airport so make sure you check in advance.

You can check if you need a visa HERE.

Do I need vaccinations to visit Morocco?

I use the website FitForTravel to check if I need immunisations. They recommend Hep A and Tetanus boosters and make sure your regular immunisations are up to date.

Yellow fever vaccination is not required and there is currently no Malaria or Zika virus (as of Nov ’19.)

Typhoid and Rabies are optional. I usually only get Rabies vaccinations if I am going to be somewhere very remote as it only really gives you extra time to get to a hospital as you will still need treatment.

When is the best time to visit Morocco?

Morocco can get very hot in the summer so it’s best to avoid the summer months unless you love hot weather.

Similarly, it can get very cold in the winter with snow in some parts.

Therefore the best time to visit is in the Spring and Autumn when the weather is milder.

It’s also worth considering Ramadan dates as opening times for tourist attractions and restaurants can be affected during Ramadan when all the local Muslims are fasting for one month.

These are the dates for Ramadan for the next 5 years;

  • 2020 23 April – 23 May
  • 2021 12 April – 11 May
  • 2022 2 April – 1 May
  • 2023 22 March – 20 April
  • 2024 10 March – 8 April

What are the best tours for spending 10 days in Morocco?

If you prefer to travel in a group, then I always recommend G Adventures and Intrepid, both companies I have travelled with many times and trust 100%

If you want to see how these two companies compare, then check out my comparison G Adventures vs Intrepid. My personal favourite is G Adventures but I think they are both brilliant companies which I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Travelling in a group is great for solo travellers worried about safety or loneliness. They also pack a lot into their trips so you will see a lot in a short time including a few off the beaten track adventures…

Check out the options below;

G Adventures trips in Morocco

  • Deserts & Beaches – 11 days – Marrakech/Essaouira/Desert tour/Ait Ben Haddou/ Atlas Mountains
  • Morocco Journey – 9 days – upgraded accommodation – Marrakech/ Fes / Merzouga desert experience / Ait Ben Haddou

If you have a little longer, consider this trip which sees everything I mention on this 10 day Morocco Itinerary.

  • Highlights of Morocco – 15 days – Casablanca / Chefchaouen / Fes / Merzouga desert / Ben Ait Haddou / Atlas mountains / Essaouira / Marrakech

Intrepid Travel trips in Morocco

  • South Morocco Discovery – 10 days – Marrakech/ Essaouira / High Atlas Mountains/ Ait Ben Haddou/ Zagora desert
  • North Morocco Adventure – 9 days – Casablanca/ Chefchaouen / Fes / Volubilis / Marrakech / Tangier
  • Essential Morocco – 11 days – Casablanca / Fes / Merzouga Desert/ Ait Ben Haddou / Atlas mountains / Marrakech

If you want to see all of the places in this Morocco itinerary with Intrepid Travel then you will need to allocate a bit longer. Their equivalent trip is 18 days long but includes more time at each place.

  • Epic Morocco – 18 days – Casablanca / Chefchaouen / Fes / Meknes / Merzouga desert/ Ait Ben Haddou / Atlas mountains / Essaouira / Marrakech

Read next:


Hopefully, you now feel well prepared for planning your own 10-day itinerary in Morocco. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to pop them in the comments box below. And don’t forget to bookmark or pin this post to your Pinterest boards with the pins below so you can return later!

I hope you have the most amazing 10 days in Morocco!

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