If you plan to expand your children's minds and open their eyes by taking a unique trip, Morocco is a brilliant choice. With a diverse landscape and rich culture, we'll tell you the best places to explore in Morocco with your kids.
Is Morocco Family Friendly?
Morocco is only about a four hour flight from several major European hub cities and even relatively easy for Americans to access. Moroccan society is warm toward children. Locals are generally friendly, helpful, and protective of children and their parents.
Speaking of safety, mostly only small crimes happen from time to time that are not aimed at children. Single moms with kids can also have a good time in Morocco. Click here to see more information about how to travel safely as a family.
Top 7 Regions for Kids
If you only visit one city in Morocco to experience the rich history and culture of this amazing country, Marrakesh is definitely the one to see. The old Arabic way of life is on display for your whole family to see, feel, smell, hear, and taste at the medina, the Jemaa el-Fna public plaza, and the bustling marketplace.
Royal residences including palaces, tombs, and pristine gardens are the best places to understand the history of sultans. Majorelle Garden and the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum are edifying lessons on the arts to kids. The whole city is like the setting of The Arabian Nights.
Erg Chebbi of the Sahara Desert
Normally no kid will say no to playing in the sand, and the Sahara is just like a huge sandy playground with spectacular views. Dancing around the campfire at night and counting stars while lying on the dunes is a memory that both kids and adults will remember for a lifetime.
There are two recommended Ergs in Morocco: Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga. Erg Chebbi is more appropriate for children as it's easier to access. To stay overnight in a desert camp surrounded by dunes, an hour camel ride is needed which may not be easy for small kids. For more information about the desert trip, please click here.
- Atlantic Coast
The more than 1800 km (~1100 mile) coastline of Morocco boasts hundreds of beaches for relaxation and fun. The Atlantic coastline is longer than the Mediterranean coastline with more beach choices that are easier to access and more accommodation options.
There are popular beaches for surfing on the Atlantic that may be too difficult for little kids, but if your children are up for it surfing lessons are available. Many beaches are great if you are looking for a place to chill, tan, and build sandcastles.
Tagharte beach of Essaouira and Oualidia lagoon are highly recommended for families with small kids. If you prefer a more unique beach, Legzira is famous for breathtaking sunsets with majestic sandstone rock arches. Click here to read more on beaches in Morocco.
- Atlas Mountains
If your children are outdoorsy, a trek in the Atlas Mountains cannot be missed. It's worthwhile year round as there are always different views worth seeing in the mountains: trees with changing colors, waterfalls, lush valleys, and snowcapped peaks.
The High Atlas is a more difficult trek than the Middle Atlas. The most favored trek at the High Atlas is to Toubkal peak--the highest in North Africa at 4,167 meters (13,671 ft). The trek normally takes about 3 days, but some prefer to take 4-6 days at a more relaxing pace. The High Atlas trek is not appropriate for families with little kids.
Marrakesh is where most people set out from to get to High Atlas. If the trek to Toubkal peak doesn't interest you, a 1-day excursion to Setti Fatma village is another great option to see the mountains and the seven waterfalls. It is about an hour drive from Marrakesh to get there.
Middle Atlas is an easier trip than High Atlas and still gives breathtaking views of the mountains and waterfalls. Middle Atlas is usually reached from Fez and Azrou.
- The Blue City of Chefchaouen
One of the most popular "blue cities" in the world is Chefchaouen, Morocco. The city is situated 600 meters (~2,000 ft) high in the Rif Mountains and is an awesome place for relaxing and a great starting point for trekking.
Stroll along the delightful blue alleys that are the stuff of fairytales. Snap photos at Instagram hot spots. Take a walk up to Spanish Mosque and have a panoramic view above the nested city. Try your hand at Moroccan cuisine in a cooking class. These are all fantastic experiences waiting for you in Chefchaouen.
As one of the four imperial cities, the capital of Morocco, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Rabat is an awe-inspiring place of historical education. Besides its rich history, the city also has beaches, pony rides, and an amusement park that's great for kids.
Moreover, don't miss the Rabat National Zoological Garden that protects threatened and endangered species. Its aim is to recreate the original ecosystem for 130 different animal species from 5 different biozones (Atlas Mountains, desert, savannah, wetlands, and tropical forest).
- Draa Valley
Quarzazate, near Draa Valley, is called the Hollywood of Africa. It's an interesting destination for movie fans. You'll find the number popular movies filmed here is surprisingly high. Gladiator, Cleopatra, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time are just a few that went to Quarzazate to shoot.
Most recently, the biggest name to shoot there was The Game of Thrones. Ait Benhaddou is the historic fortified village where the "Mother of Dragons" frees the Yunkai on the show. Sunrise and sunset there are remarkably beautiful. You can also take camel rides from the city and across the dunes to the Draa Valley.
Tips for Families Traveling with Kids
- When traveling outdoors, it's good to take the usual precaution of carrying insect repellant to keep from having mosquitoes or other bugs bother you during your trip. Light colored clothing is also useful to avoid mosquitoes and stay cool.
- As in many parts of the world, tap water is not safe to drink in Morocco so stick with bottled water. Street foods are not always clean so if you plan to buy food from street vendors, bring upset stomach medicine just in case.
- Squatty potties are common in Morocco, especially at roadside stops and in rural areas. Be ready for a new cultural experience if you have never used a squatty potty before.
- It can be very hot in summertime, especially in the desert. Please be mindful of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Bring sunscreen, a sun-umbrella, or whatever you typically use to prevent sun overexposure. Drink lots of water when you know you'll be outside a lot that day.
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