Just a short hop over the Mediterranean, Morocco offers a wonderful and enticing taste of the exotic, within a 3 hour flight. Wander through ancient alleyways packed full of colourful spices and leather goods. Climb golden sand dunes replete with majestic camels and Bedouin tents. Explore an endless wind-swept coastline and hike through rugged mountains and lush valleys. Welcome to Morocco!
Delicious meals are cooked over the open fire in an earthenware tagine whilst the call to prayer echoes out from the nearby mosque. Locals beam welcoming smiles and the sun shines over a stunning, ever-changing landscape. Spend time in Morocco with kids and you’ll discover that westerners – particularly youngsters – are greeted with open arms and a warm ‘Salaam Aleikum’.
The beauty of Morocco is that you can return time and again and still find something different to do, somewhere else to explore. Nevertheless, here are our Top 10 family-friendly activities. We’ve done them all with our own children. Alternatively, check out our Family holidays in Morocco section to find out more.
Morocco with kids Top 10
1 – Ride camels in the Sahara Desert
Is there anything more ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ than sitting atop a camel in the picture-perfect sand dunes of the Sahara? Cue endless photo opportunities of camel silhouettes and roly-polies in the sand (which of course gets everywhere). Stop for mint tea at sunset and dinner under the stars. And if you can bear it, the 4am wake up call to watch the sunrise is not to be missed.
2 – Trekking the Berber villages of the Atlas Mountains
Even the youngest of children are able to enjoy this quintessential Moroccan experience from the back of a mule. You’ll spend a morning wandering through lush valleys and picturesque villages with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. Perhaps stop at a local waterfall for a freshly squeezed juice before wandering through olive and walnut groves. Join a local family for a delicious lunch of tagine and freshly cooked flatbreads. The itinerary is entirely flexible, which means that if feet get tired, your Berber guide will pace the expedition accordingly. See our Morocco Family short-break.
3 – Take a Fes city tour
The crazy maze of alleyways will leave you lost and gloriously confused in this fascinating city. We suggest having a guide on hand to ensure that you see all of the highlights as well as some of the little visited parts of the souk. This is the real deal so get the kids haggling for that trinket, that ‘must-have’ teapot, scarf, wallet or key-ring, and act like a local. Check out the famous ‘Café Clock’ for the camel burgers. See our Highlights of Morocco example itinerary which includes a Fes city tour.
4 – Live like royalty in a luxury Agafay desert camp
A mere 40 minutes from Marrakech and you find yourself in the utter peace of the Agafay Desert. Despite endless desert stretching in every direction, the camps don’t skimp on luxury. You will be greeted with a traditional performance of dance and drumming and a glass of cooling mint tea. Spend the afternoon lazing in the pool or exploring the desert by camel or mountain bike. Dinner will be a Moroccan banquet, where wine and soft drinks flow. Later, sit around the campfire stargazing a cloudless sky before retiring to a beautiful en-suite desert tent. A highlight on any trip to Morocco with kids.
5 – Relax in a riad in Marrakech
Any holiday in Morocco with kids is not complete without a night in a riad, a beautiful traditional boutique hotel. Tucked behind ornate and imposing entrance doors, they’re an oasis of calm away from the bustling streets and markets. Many offer roof-top terraces and pools and nearly all have tranquil central courtyards. Rooms can be exquisitely decorated with mosaic tiles and colourful plants and flowers. A highlight is eating supper or breakfast on the roof terrace, giving you a birds-eye view over the surrounding ancient pink rooves and listening to the call to prayer.
6 – Summit Mt Toubkal
At 4,167m, Mount Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa and a fantastic ‘tick’ for all budding mountaineers. You can climb it in just two days, although we recommend a short acclimatisation programme. This takes you through the lower valleys before making the final ascent. From the top, there are superb views over the Atlas range, the villages below and even the Sahara.
Although Mount Toubkal is an accessible mountain for most ages, with help from mules up to the refuge, we primarily recommend this to families with children aged 10+. Check out our family trekking holidays if you are keen hikers.
7 – Cool down in the Todra and Dades Gorges
If your trip through Morocco with kids follows the longer ‘Sahara route’ between Fes and Marrakech, you will come across some stunning scenery. Our favourite section of this journey encompasses Todra and Dades Gorges. In Todra Gorge, the sheer walls rise impressively from the lush valley floor and kids will love wading through the shallow waters. They can cool off with water fights and boulder-hop across the river and under the bridges. For added (albeit slightly nerve-wracking) fun, try body surfing the gentle rapids in the neighbouring Dades Gorge. Stay the night at the fabulous Hotel Babylon for exceptional accommodation, service and food.
8 – Get lost in the Kasbah of Ait Benhadou
This ancient citadel, built on the hillside out of mud houses, forms part of the ‘Route of 1000 Kasbahs’. This is a dramatic road where barren desert landscapes give way to lush oases and adobe villages. As you explore the citadel, no map is required, let the children be your guide. They will meander their way past the shop sellers and village dwellers to the top of this famous film spot. Here there is plenty of cairn-building fun and stupendous views to be had. See our Morocco Family short-break for a sample Morocco with kids holiday that includes Ait Benhadou.
9 – Explore Essaouira
Wind-swept beaches, Sahara-esque sand dunes (well, nearly) and endless shopping opportunities are all on offer in Essaouira. This long-standing Atlantic coast Portuguese town has been on the hippie trail since Hendrix and is a must-see as part of any Morocco with kids holiday. Try your hand at kite-surfing, watch the fishing vessels coming into harbour and enjoy one of the westernised restaurants (for when you are a little tired of tagines). Moules frites anyone?
Accommodation ranges from exquisite city centre riads to family-friendly hotels with pools a short walk along the promenade. Our favourite is the Riad Baoussala, a laid-back sprawling complex of rambling old buildings which you and your children will never want to leave. See our Highlights of Morocco example itinerary for details of a trip that includes Essaouira.
10 – Make a splash in pools, pools and more pools
Let’s be honest, when it comes to finding a holiday to suit the children… all they really want is a pool. We can find you swimming pools on the coast at Essaouira, multi-pool hotels in the High Atlas Mountains, pools right next to the Sahara at Merzouga, dip pools on the roof-top in Marrakech and Fes and even, unbelievably, pools in the barren Agafay Desert. So pack those water guns and head south to Morocco!
More about Morocco with kids
There are many more activities to enjoy in Morocco with kids. Get in touch if you want to find out more or head to our section on Morocco family holidays and example Morocco itineraries. You can also find out more here about the places to visit in Morocco and the best time to travel, and your children may enjoy these fun Morocco facts by Science Kids. If your family are keen hikers, talk to Helene about trekking to the Roof of North Africa, Mount Toubkal with children.
To speak with one of our family experts and to start planning your own perfect itinerary in Morocco with kids, simply call us during office hours on 01728 752751. Or use our website contact form to let us know what you and family would like to do and see in Morocco. We’d love to hear from you.
Liddy Pleasants MD Stubborn Mule Travel