Winter in Morocco is cold. Not 'cold' like the type of cold Canadians face in the winter, but a cold that'll make you constantly wish you'd packed thicker clothing if you don't come prepared.
I was one of those people...
The only jacket I'd brought was a thin, zip-up hoodie - leaving me shivering and wearing multiple shirts underneath to try and stay warm. This method worked until I got to the desert, where the temperatures dropped significantly at night, and the wind was constant. At that point, I think the locals actually took pity on me because someone loaned me a coat Berber men wear.
Temperature wise, this is what you can expect from December - February in Morocco:
- Avg. temperature: 55°F - 57°F
- Avg. high temperature: 68°F - 70°F
- Avg. low temperature: 43°F - 46°F
During our trip, we noticed the temperature varied a lot depending on which region we were in. Some of our warmer days were in Marrakech and Fes, while Ait Benhaddou, Merzouga and Chefchaouen felt a bit colder.
Overall though, warm clothes are a must in Morocco during the winter. Even if you get lucky with a few mild, daytime temperatures, it will likely get very cold in your hostel or riad at night. Most of the buildings in Morocco have little to no insulation in them, and only the nicer places have heaters in the rooms. For me, this meant sleeping in my clothes at night.
Ready to know exactly what type of clothing you should pack? Keep reading for tips on shoes and socks, warm layers, winter gear, and most importantly - what not to bring!
Shoes and Socks
Walking / Hiking Shoes: For winter travel in Morocco, it's important to bring a comfortable pair of walking or hiking shoes that keep your feet warm. This was the shoe I wore the majority of the time on my trip, because it was simply too cold to have my feet showing.
Shower Sandals: No matter where I go, I always make sure to bring a pair of cheap flip-flops for showering in and walking around my hostel/hotel with. This saves me from worrying about when the last time a bathroom was cleaned, or what type of germs I may be picking up.
Casual Shoes (optional): While my friend Yuting only brought tennis shoes and flip flops, I brought along a pair of thin, lace-up flats. They fit easily into my backpack and dressed up my outfits on days I didn't feel like wearing socks and tennis shoes.
Wool Socks: In addition to your usual socks you wear, bring along a couple pairs of tall, wool socks. There will be nights and days when you want as little skin as possible showing because it's so cold.
Warm Winter Jacket: This was something I didn't bring, and regretted the entire trip. I ended up wearing 3-4 layers of tops everywhere, and still found I wasn't warm enough at night. Since the afternoons are a lot warmer too, I ended up stripping off layers and having to carry them around everywhere. With a puffy winter jacket, I could've worn a single long-sleeve t-shirt underneath, and been a lot more comfortable.
Sweaters: I only brought one sweater on my trip, but ended up wearing it at least part of every day. If you have a variety of sweaters, I recommend bringing a few of them. It would've been nice to have a thin sweater that's easy to layer, and another thicker, coat-like sweater.
Long or Mid-sleeve Shirts: During the warmer afternoons, a long or mid-sleeve shirt is all you need on top (go with loose or flowy shirts for a more conservative look).
Leggings / Long Underwear: I lived in my leggings in Morocco. They made the chilly nights bearable, and long bus rides a lot more cozy. While they aren't the most conservative pant, you can pair them with a long top or sweater and still feel decently covered.
Sweatpants: These were Yuting's choice pants for the entire trip. He brought along a pair of jeans but literally never wore them. If you're comfortable wearing sweats or joggers, and own a couple of different pairs of them, make sure and bring them along.
Jeans: I was hesitant to bring jeans to Morocco, because I wasn't sure if it was humid still in the winter. Luckily it wasn't, and jeans turned out to be a good decision. The one thing I'll say about jeans though is they're incredibly hard to hand wash, slow to air dry, and take up a lot of space in your bag. Consider only bringing one pair if you decide to bring them at all.
Scarf: Scarves have a lot of different functionalities in Morocco. They keep your neck warm in the cold, can stop the sand from blowing in your face, and give you something to hide behind if the stares from men become too much. In the winter, fighting the cold is excuse enough to either bring a scarf, or buy one at a souk in Morocco.
Hat: Unless you have a tight, warm hood on your jacket, you should definitely bring a hat to Morocco. It can get awfully chilly and windy at night, especially in open areas around the Sahara Desert.
Gloves (optional): Gloves may not be necessary for everyone, but if you have room in your bag, you might as well bring them. I prefer ones with touchscreen fingertips, so I can use my phone without taking my gloves off.
What Not to Bring
Shorts: Unless you like sleeping in shorts, I wouldn't recommend bringing any. Even in the warmer afternoons, a pair of sweats or jeans was perfectly comfortable.
Tank Tops: I brought a couple of cute tank tops thinking I'd wear a kimono or button-up shirt over them, but it was too cold for that. I ended up just wearing my tank tops as another layer under all my other other clothes.
Anything Revealing: Morocco is a very conservative country, due to the majority Muslim population. If you're a girl, I don't recommend wearing anything above the knee, or anything that exposes your shoulders or cleavage outside of your hostel/riad. If you do, expect a lot of stares and a few uncomfortable comments.
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Read more: Spending the Night in the Sahara Desert
Read more: Cost of Traveling in Morocco
Read more: 6 Unique Things to do in Marrakech
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