Bustling cities, quiet courtyards, labyrinthine alleyways, sweeping desert plains and spectacular coastlines; these essential ingredients to Morocco’s charm are also the ideal forums for some of North Africa’s most creative and exciting events. Bursting with colour and energy and often steeped in fascinating traditions, here are some of our favourite events and celebrations that take place in Morocco each year.
Almond Blossom Festival – February
Escape to the remote village of Tafraoute in February and it’s likely you’ll stumble upon a celebration of seasons, nature and the coming harvest. Inspired by the beauty of the almond trees that decorate the Atlas Mountains with their pink and white petals as they begin to bloom, local communities gather together to taste the year’s crops and listen to traditional music. The connection of both the music and dancing to Moroccan folklore is palpable, making this an authentic choice for the curious traveller. The first of many yearly celebrations that can be found happening in amongst Morocco’s beautiful landscapes, you’ll not regret taking a detour into the mountains for this one.
Marathon des Sables – April
One of the toughest marathons on the planet, Marathon des Sables welcomes around 1000 adventurous (and perhaps slightly mad) participants to the Sahara Desert each year. Here, in arid conditions and amongst spectacular scenery, they will attempt to travel 156 kilometres over six days. It’s an intense way to test your athleticism, and you’ll get to witness some striking views of Morocco’s most stunning landscapes. How much you’ll be able to actually enjoy what’s around you as you push yourself to your very limits, however, we’re not too sure…
Morocco’s Rose Festival – May
Each May, 20,000 people descend upon the small town of El-Kelaâ M’Gouna for Morocco’s Flower Festival, an incredibly unique (and sweet smelling) celebration. It’s a celebration of spring. Of the abundance of pink Persian Roses within the arid regions of the High Atlas Mountains that produce rose water, the main source of income for the region. Throughout the festival, these roses are harvested whilst the rest of the town dances, sings and even crowns a Rose Queen. Yep, it really is as exciting and beautiful as it sounds.
Festival of Popular Arts – July
Marrakech is frenetic and enchanting every single day of the year, but for a few days each July, the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival takes the city to another level of vibrancy. A festival that attracts entertainers, musicians, artists and more from all over the world who perform with such fervour, you’ll be witnessing anything from fire eaters to snake charmers to traditional musicians in an inspiring Medina setting. It can only be described as a unique spectacle that you’re unlikely to come across anywhere in the world.
Timitar Festival in Agadir – July
From its humble beginnings as a platform for local talent to showcase their music, Timitar Festival has now established itself as one of Africa’s most revered festivals. The charm of Timitar lies in its refusal to move away from its traditional roots. On the same day as a world famous pop act might grace the stage, so too will traditional musicians and modern Moroccan talent. Its little wonder over 500,000 make time for this one each year.