Morocco Weather in January: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Gavin | Updated Apr. 19, 2023

For what to expect if you travel to Morocco in January, read our travel advice and weather info below, with average temperatures, rainfall, and humidity, places to go, and travel tips, including what to wear.

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1. Morocco Weather in January: Overview


  • Temperature range: 6–17°C (43–62°F)
  • Rainfall: 5 cm (2 inches)
  • Rainy days: 8
  • Sunshine hours/day:
  • Ocean temperature: 12°C (53°F)
  • Humidity: 60–83% (comfortable in the desert to oppressive on the coast)

January comes in the middle of Morocco's cool damp winter. The weather in Morocco in January is cold to mild, with light showers on 1 in 3 to 1 in 6 days. 

There is still some wintry sun, more inland in the desert, though fog/mist is common on the coast and in the mountains leading to high humidity. This typically clears by the afternoon.

January Climate Comparison (Averages) for Morocco's Top Tourism Areas

City/Area High (ºC) Low (ºC) Rain (cm)
Casablanca/Rabat (largest cities, travel hubs) 17 8 6
Fez/Meknes (historical hubs) 15 3 6
Chefchaouen (Blue City, north Morocco) 15 5 7
Marrakesh (southern imperial city) 19 6 3
Essaouira/Agadir/Taghazout (windy beaches) 18 10 5
Mergouza (desert experiences) 17 3 2
Meknes, MoroccoMeknes, Morocco

2. The Best Places to Visit in Morocco in January

January in Morocco is a bit cool for beach holidays, but its mild daytime temperatures lend themselves to active outdoor activities, and visiting Morocco's amazing historical and cultural sights is still suitable in the mostly fine weather.

Top things to do in January include: going to Morocco's historical sites, medinas, and souks, surfing at Taghazout and Agadir, journeying out into the desert, skiing in the Atlas Mountains, and hiking.

To help you make the best of the cool weather, here are Morocco's best places to visit in January:

1) Marrakesh — Visit Historical Sites, the Medina, and Souks

Marrakesh at night, MoroccoMarrakesh at night, Morocco

Morocco's cities of Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat, are collectively known as "the imperial cities of Morocco", but if you had time to visit only one in winter, Marrakesh is most recommended for its proximity to the other recommended places below.

Marrakesh has Morocco's best medina (old city area), with World Heritage buildings and a bustling souk (outdoor market).

For more, see Top 11 Things to Do in Marrakesh.

If you have more time in January to explore Morocco's history and culture, head further north from Casablanca to a triangle of imperial cities… See more on:

2) Taghazout — Go Surfing on Winter Swells

Prepare for surfing, TaghazoutPrepare for surfing, Taghazout

On central Morocco's Atlantic coast, Taghazout is the country's top surfing destination. For a more purist experience, head there before this fishing village becomes another resort town.

Agadir, 20 km (13 miles) south, has more resorts and milder swells, so it is probably better for beginners, though Taghazout has plenty of surf shops that teach and equip those new to surfing. January is the peak time to enjoy catching the up-to-4-meter (13-foot) waves!

Taghazout also offers camel rides in the surrounding arid countryside, good hiking in the coastal end of the Atlas chain, or spots for a quiet time on the around 20 nearby beaches.

Tip: Don't forget a wetsuit, as the ocean temperature is only around 14°C (57°F)!

Further reading: Where to Enjoy a Beach in Morocco: Top 10 Beaches

3) Journey into the Desert

The Sahara Desert, MoroccoThe Sahara Desert, Morocco

To see the best of the desert in Morocco, you would need to travel by road for a day over the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara on the Algerian border. Fez or Marrakesh are popular places to begin the journey.

See our Grand Tour of Morocco — 11-Day Private Tour: Casablanca–Rabat–Chefchaouen–Fez–Merzouga–Ouazazate–Marrakesh–Essaouira – El Jadida – Casablanca

Mergouza is the top base town to head to for desert access, from which the warm orange dunes of Erg Chebbi are a matter of minutes away, though it is a journey into the utter wilderness. A campfire under the stars there is a magical experience, but wrap up warm in your bivouac, as its January nights approach freezing.

For more, see How to Plan a Desert Trip in Morocco.

4) Go Skiing in the Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains, MoroccoThe Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Morocco is good as a different and relaxing (or challenging) place to ski, and it is seldom at all busy. Few people travel to Morocco just for the skiing. With history-filled Marrakesh (see 1. above) as a base, you'll find plenty more to explore to complement Oukaimeden's 20 un-pisted runs, which suit leisurely skiers and confident beginners, those who don't need much support on its crisp and dry virgin snows. 

(More adventurous skiers trek up to the High Atlas peaks like Toubkal at 4,167 m (13,671 ft), highest peak in N. Africa, and ski down.)

Oukaimeden is Morocco's top ski resort, only about 60 km (40 miles) south of Marrakesh in the Atlas Mountains, which takes 1½ hours, so it's easy to make daytrips there for some skiing (or trekking if the snow doesn't come). Its 10 km (6 miles) of slopes extend up to 3,200 m (10,500 ft), and they offer "excellent skiing and snowboarding" (Viator). Ski gear is there for hire and snowboards. 6 J-bars and one 2-person chairlift service the slopes.

3. Morocco Festival in January: Yennayer

The Berber people, MoroccoThe Berber people, Morocco

Celebrated: January 12 and 13 (first day of the Julian Calendar)

Yennayer, Morocco's New Year, has been celebrated from 2018 according to the Amazigh (Berber) calendar.

It is worth catching if you are in Berber areas on January 12/13 and are interested in lively ethnic-culture events. The Berber People mainly live around the Atlas Mountains, lying between Marrakesh and Ouazazate. Oukaimeden, mentioned above for skiing, is in the Atlases.

4. Middle of the Low Season: Least Crowding and Cost

Casablanca, MoroccoCasablanca, Morocco

January is one of the least crowded and cheapest months to travel in Morocco. If you don't mind the cooler weather you can save on flights and hotels and see the sights with few tourists in your photos.

5. What to Wear in January

The Sahara Desert, MoroccoThe Sahara Desert, Morocco

There are mild temperatures, even some warm days, in most of Morocco in January, so it may be t-shirts and shorts weather (or light trousers and shirts to be more culturally sensitive) if you are active. If you are in a windy area, like on the coast or in the mountains, you would need at least two layers, maybe with a light jacket.

In January, it is cold at night in the desert and mountains, so remember to take enough warm clothes. Some riads (guesthouses or hotels in traditional buildings), especially those in the north, do not provide adequate heating.

January is one of Morocco's rainiest months, but it still only comes in light showers at most on 1 in 3 days in the most interesting cities, like Fez. A waterproof is optional for city sightseeing, but a good idea if you're hiking in the mountains, or on the windy coasts or in the desert where it would be a good windproof layer.

Monthly Weather in Morocco

Recommended Tours for Morocco in January

In Morocco, there is a foreign culture and language to negotiate as well as the weather, long distances, and a variety of harsh terrains. So, you may want to have everything professionally arranged for you, including a local guide who makes the best of the weather and gives you insights into the local culture and history, as well as private transport that's comfortable and convenient. 

At Global Highlights, we can do all the itinerary tailoring and expert arranging to make the best trip for you. Contact us to begin a tour inquiry. 

You could start from one of our Morocco tours that we recommend for January:

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Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

8-Day South Morocco & Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakesh 8-Day Morocco Highlights and Bin El Ouidane Lake Tou 10-Day Heart of Morocco Tour: Fez, Marrakesh Featured 11-Day Grand Tour of Morocco: Casablanca Roundtrip

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

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