One week in Morocco itinerary: A taste of northern Morocco

Northern Morocco is not where most people set foot on their first trip to the country, yet it’s tremendously beautiful! There is so much culture and the Berber villages are spotted all over the astounding Atlas and Rif mountains. The deep blue Mediterranean Sea dominates the coastline while you can visit the fascinating Blue city in the inland. Come with me, and discover the best of the north in this one week in Morocco itinerary.

There are some true hidden treasures of Morocco here that will show you a different side of the country than the crowded Medinas. Whether this is your first trip to Morocco or your fifth, you will love this part of the country! Get ready and pack your backpack!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you have any questions about these services or products, feel free to ask me.

A beautiful rainbow on our Morocco 1 week itinerary. Spring is best time to travel to Morocco when the fields are golden.
A colorful rainbow over the golden fields in northern Morocco

 

How to get to Morocco

Morocco is easily accessed by plane and you can fly straight into Meknes where this itinerary starts and fly out of Al Hoceima where it ends; unless you want to return from Meknes.

If this is part of a longer trip to Morocco, Marrakesh and Casablanca are the most frequent airports to fly to.

Find flights to Morocco here

 

Best time to travel to Morocco

The best time to travel to Morocco is during spring or autumn. This is when temperatures are pleasant but not too hot. Especially for this northern Morocco itinerary, it can get extremely cold in the winter months between November and mid-March.

The summer months, June to August can get very hot, especially in the lower altitude destinations and if you plan to go hiking.

Northern Morocco itinerary
The beauty of northern Morocco

 

Travel insurance for 1 week in Morocco

You should definitely get good travel insurance for 1 week in Morocco. There are so many things that can go wrong, even though Morocco is a safe country to travel in. Your bags could go missing, you could have an accident, or something could happen so you need to cancel your trip.

I choose World Nomads Travel Insurance. Not only are they easy to buy before or during your trip, they are also extremely focused on responsible travel! Both of these are things I put high on my list.

I hate spending time on things like this, so the fact that it’s only a few clicks, straight forward and no hidden cost, is enough for me to go back every time!

However, that they have the same values as me, makes me actually recommend them and feel I’m doing the right choice by using them!

Book your travel insurance with World Nomads here

 

One week in Morocco itinerary

This is a suggestion for spending 7 days in Morocco if you want to experience some incredible places in the northern part of the country.

To manage the suggested destinations with only one week in Morocco, you should either get a rental car or a private driver as there are no good public transport options to all of these places.

Get a rental car here

This northern Morocco itinerary starts in Meknes and ends in Al Hoceima. Feel free to use parts of the itinerary and stay longer or shorter in any destination.

A week in Morocco on the road
Northern Morocco

If you start or end your trip in Marrakesh, find the best riads here.

 

Day 1: Meknes

Start your Morocco 1 week itinerary in the imperial city of Meknes. It is incredibly beautiful and underrated by tourists, which is good, right?

 

Where to stay in Meknes

When you arrive in Meknes, you might want to install at your accommodation straight away before you start exploring the medina. So. Let’s start to look at where to stay in Meknes.

 

Dar Merzouga

I stayed at the shared dorm at Dar Merzouga and found it good. There are no lockers, so you’ll need to keep your valuables with you at all times. However, they do have private rooms too and the free breakfast is delicious. The Riad is situated just inside the walls of the medina and is beautifully decorated with friendly staff! They have free WiFi.

Book your stay at Dar Merzouga here

 

Dar Meknes Tresor

Dar Meknes Tresor has excellent reviews and is situated in the medina with a rooftop terrace that has breathtaking views of the city. Rooms are beautifully decorated. They serve breakfast and have free WiFi.

Book your stay with Dar Meknes Tresor here

Stroll through Meknes medina with 1 week in Morocco
Meknes medina

 

Explore the medina

Depending on how much time you have the first day after you have installed yourself in your Riad, you can use half a day of a whole day exploring the medina. You find everything you can imagine between the medina walls from traditional leather slippers to craft shops.

Make sure you download an offline map so you find your way back to your Riad. If you opt for asking for your way back, most locals are friendly and will point you in the right direction. However, be aware of those who will follow you the whole way and ask for a tip after.

There are also plenty of places to eat in the medina. A nice place to eat, even for vegetarians and vegans, is Aisha. They serve delicious, traditional food, and I don’t know if that’s the whole restaurant, but we were placed in what looked like their living room set up with a couple of low tables. TV showing Moroccan soap operas and mama chilling in a couch, eagerly watching it. The day after, I noticed a Trip Advisor recommendation sign for the place outside.

If you have the time, make your way to the Souk of Meknes, an overload for your senses at this incredible bazaar.

 

Day 2: Meknes

With a whole day in Meknes, you have the time to explore the top attractions. Here are my top picks.

NOTE! I do NOT recommend horse carriage tours in Meknes! You can read more about unethical animal tourism here and especially animal rides here.

7 day Morocco itinerary including Meknes
Meknes wall hiding a beautiful mosque

 

Grand Mosque

After breakfast, if you didn’t see it on your first day when exploring the medina, make sure you go to the Grand Mosque. The 12th-century religious structure is easily recognized by its green-tiled roof.

 

Bab a-Mansour

Head out of the medina and go to Bab al-Mansour which is said to be among the finest remaining gateways in North Africa. And it really is beautiful. Though you can’t enter, make sure you get a photo or two of this artistic piece of work.

 

Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail

This is the tomb of Sultan Moulay Ismail who, in the 17th century, made Meknes an imperial capital. It’s possible to enter the tomb hall which is resplendently decorated with colorful tilework.

 

Lunch at Ya Hala Meknes

Have a delicious tagine for lunch at Restaurant Ya Hala Meknes. They also have vegetarian and vegan options.

 

Norias Basin

For a calm escape, take a stroll to Norias Basin. It’s a bit of a walk from the medina and you will find a huge water basin surrounded by local families hanging out and spending time together. Let the relaxed breeze fill you as you experience a true local place of Meknes.

 

The Royal stables

While you are at Norias Basin, you are not far from the Royal Stables. So if you want to take a look at the ruins this is the time to go.

 

Lahdim square

Round off the day by spending the evening at Lahdim square. Have a hot mint tea and something to eat at one of the many stalls and soak in the busy vibe of Meknes’ largest square.

Visit Lahdim square in Meknes on your 7 days in Morocco itinerary
Lahdim square at day time

 

Day 3: Volubilis and Chefchaouen

It’s time to move on to new places for our Morocco 1 week itinerary and I suggest you do a little stop on the way to Chefchaouen. So make sure you leave early just after breakfast.

 

Volubilis

Just north of Meknes, you find some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco. Volubilis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and not only the ruins themselves, but also the surrounding scenery of green rolling hills will take your breath away.

There is an admission fee to enter, and you can choose to pay additionally for a guide.

Volubilis Roman ruins should be on your Morocco itinerary
The view from Volubilis

 

Head to Chefchaouen

 

Where to stay in Chefchaouen

Once in Chefchaouen, get to your hotel. You can easily park on the streets outside the medina if you come by car. Here are a couple of suggestions to where you can stay in Chefchaouen.

 

Dar Zambra

Dar Zambra has a rooftop terrace with some of the best views in Chefchaouen! Situated in the medina’s historical center, this establishment has traditionally decorated interior, free breakfast, and WiFi in all rooms.

Book your stay with Dar Zambra here

 

Casa El Haouta

Casa El Haouta is situated centrally in the medina. With beautifully adorned rooms, a rooftop terrace, free breakfast, and WiFi, this is a great place to stay.

Book your stay with Casa El Haouta here

 

Have lunch at the main square

Head to the main square and have your lunch with mountain views. There are plenty of restaurants to chose from.

 

Walk around the medina

When you have finished your lunch, walk around the blue streets in the medina. Take photos of beautiful doors and shop for spices. Points of interest are the Grand Mosque and Kasbah Fortress Museum.

Make sure you read my guide to responsible tourism in Chefchaouen

With one week in Morocco Chefchaouen should make it to your itinerary
Inside the medina in Chefchaouen

 

Sunset hike to The Spanish Mosque

Walk the 30 minutes up to the Spanish Mosque for stunning sunset views over the Blue City. It is the best way to finish off your day before a late dinner.

 

Day 4: Hike to Akchour Waterfall

Get up early and aim to hike the Akchour Waterfall just after breakfast. It’s a 45-minute drive to the trailhead and once you get there you cross the little bridge to start walking on the other side.

The hike takes 3-4 hours, but I suggest you bring cash and eat by the waterfall or on your way down. There are plenty of little restaurants along the way serving delicious tagine and mint tea for lunch.

The hike goes along the river and several smaller waterfalls along the way. But the actual top waterfall is nothing but mesmerizing. If it’s a hot day, you should bring your swimwear!

With 7 days in Morocco it is a must to hike to Akchour waterfall
Akchour waterfall

 

Visit a Hammam or go shopping

If you have the time when you come back from the hike, you should visit a hammam to soothe your sore muscles after the hike.

If this is not your thing, spend the rest of the day shopping spices and shawls in the medina and look for a nice place to enjoy your dinner.

 

Day 5: Chefchaouen to Al Hoceima

Get up early to drive to Al Hoceima. This is a good 4 hours drive, so make sure you bring some snacks in the car with you.

 

Where to stay in Al Hoceima

Rif Apartments

Rif Apartments are modern, clean apartments for a reasonable price. If you would like to have your own apartment with a kitchen for the last couple of days of your 7 day Morocco itinerary, this is the place for you!

Book your stay with Rif Apartments here

 

Mira Palace

Mira Palace is situated in a tranquil area within walking distance from Al Hoceima and the beach. It has its own pool if you want to relax there the last bit of your one week in Morocco.

Book your stay with Mira Palace here

Prefer camping? Check out Eco-Camping Amis de Cala Iris. Here is a complete eco friendly camping check list.

 

Explore Al Hoceima

Head out for a quick lunch before you explore the beautiful Mediterranean beaches of Al Hoceima. They are all within walking distance so you can just stroll around, go for a swim and move your legs after the long drive.

There are quite a few restaurants for dinner in the small town.

Al Hoceima National Park is a must visit with one week in Morocco
Al Hoceima National Park

 

Day 6: Go hiking in Al Hoceima National Park

Get up early and head to Al Hoceima National Park after breakfast. The national park is crisscrossed with hiking paths connecting tiny Berber villages and protecting threatened wildlife both on land and underwater.

Bring snacks and a lunch pack and tie your hiking boots. This is going to be a wonderful day hiking along the Mediterranean Sea.

If you are lucky you will spot dolphins playing in the seafront!

I did a hike from the other part of the national park, as I was staying at a camping in Cala Iris. The hike was from a small Berber village to Bades island. If you opt for this, you’ll have to drive around the park to the other side.

Otherwise, ask at your hotel where they recommend you go from Al Hoceima.

 

Day 7: Fly home from Al Hoceima

The end of your 7 days in Morocco is here, and you can use the hours you have left to chill at the beach or walk around the streets of Al Hoceima nipping mint tea at one of the tea houses to soak in the last bit of northern Morocco.

 

Final thoughts about 7 days in Morocco

As I mentioned at the beginning of this 7 days in Morocco itinerary, feel free to change around on whatever suits you the best. This is meant as a northern Morocco suggested itinerary if you want to explore other than the trodden path in this incredible country!

I did pick out some of my absolute favorite spots to see with just a week in Morocco. That said, I do recommend you spend a lot more time in Morocco if you really want to experience the country.

I hope you enjoyed this Morocco 1 week itinerary. Let me know in the comments!


Still haven’t booked your flight? Book it here now!


 

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Plannig to spend a week in Morocco? This is the perfect northern Morocco itinerary for 7 days from Meknes to Al Hoceima. #traveltips #responsibletravel #morocco #northernafrica #africa #morocco #itinerary #travelitinerary #responsibletourism #brainybackpackers #offthebeatentrack #offthebeatenpath

 

Make sure you don't regret anything after your travels with these 40 tips for responsible travel!

9 thoughts on “One week in Morocco itinerary: A taste of northern Morocco

  1. KatieGoes says:

    The first few photos look like some parts of Scotland – my motherland! Great guide though, thank you for sharing.

  2. Taylor says:

    This is a great Northern Morocco itinerary! I have only been to Southern Morocco and loved it, so I totally have to back and see the north. 🙂

  3. Cecilie says:

    Thanks for the information, will be useful when planning my Morocco itinerary 🙂
    Chefchaouen has been on my bucket list for long now, I really want to go and take pictures! Looks so beautiful.

    • Linn Haglund says:

      I’m glad you found it useful! I really hope you get to visit Chefchaouen, it’s so incredibly beautiful!

  4. shafinah.neville says:

    This is so useful! I’ve always wondered how to squeeze a beautiful place like Morocco into 1 week but this itinerary seems to cover everything I had on mind!

    • Linn Haglund says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it useful. Hopefully, it is not too long until it is ok to travel again:)

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