As I thought of places to go with my family, Morocco just intrigued me. I longed to experience the exotic allure of the souks, the desert, and the architecture. It’s not typically the first thing that comes to mind for a family trip. In fact, we were often asked: “Are you sure you want to bring your daughter to Morocco?” Well, my answer was “Why not?” My purpose here is not to say that you must bring your kids, as everyone may have a different experience there. But I will share how incredible our journey there was in hopes to show that stepping outside of your comfort zone can have a memorable result.
Did I have my doubts? Of course. My biggest concern was sick from food or water. And admittedly, I also slightly worried about the sales aggression in the souks. But other than that I was ready to bring my family along for an adventure. And to this day, it remains one of our most special trips together.
A Moroccan Family Adventure
Our ten-day journey took us through the entire country, including a three-day desert tour. This usually isn’t the easiest itinerary for little ones, but we did it. I wanted to make sure we saw as much as possible, including unseen parts of the country. Having a private driver for a lot of road travel was so helpful. It definitely made the packed schedule much more manageable.
We started our adventure in Casablanca, then moved onto Fez for a few days. While in Fez we took a day trip to Chefchaouen, also known as “The Blue City.” I also booked a three-day desert tour which would bring us from Fez to Marrakech. This included a camel trek and overnight camp in the Sahara. We also stayed in the Dades Valley atop a tall mountain with the most memorable sunset. The drive through the landscapes included stops along some main sites in between. We saw mountains, valleys, deserts, beaches, villages, forests, orchards, and so much more. Our trip ended in Marrakech, with a brief escape to Essaouira for a day. It was a perfectly planned trip, and we saw so many different places!
What Makes Morocco Kid Friendly?
Throughout our time in Morocco, I realized what a kid-friendly country it actually is. The people were incredibly kind to us, the locals adored our daughter, and she learned so much about a culture so different from ours. Here are some reasons why we thought Morocco was great for traveling with kids.
The streets are filled with cats, donkeys, and sadly, street performing monkeys. But our daughter loved seeing them and even had a blast chasing the cats through the little alleyways. If you head to Essaouira you may even get lucky and see the tree-climbing goats. What kid isn’t intrigued by animals?
I really didn’t know what to expect with the local culture. But I found them to be very welcoming and accommodating to us as a family. Locals just went crazy over our daughter, showering her with attention. She got free gifts from a lot of the shopkeepers. It was very heartwarming to receive such kindness from strangers.
The Orange Juice
This is definitely the most simple reason, but the plentitude of delicious orange juice will make your kid so happy. Our daughter got so excited anytime we came upon an orange juice stand. It’s just perfectly sweet, refreshing, and healthy too! Enjoying a fresh-squeezed glass of orange juice was the perfect break for all of us.
There are two gardens of significance that we visited; Le Jardin Secret and Jardin Majorelle. These are the perfect places to escape to with kids. Beautiful scenery, lots of space to run around and explore, and most importantly cafes to eat and take a break. They also had koi fish, and turtles to entertain your little ones.
While in Morocco, you must not miss out on camping in the desert. It was our daughter's favorite part of the trip. She loved the idea of sleeping in a tent, seeing the stars and the moon so bright in the sky, and dancing on the dunes. There was Berber music in the camp, which made it so entertaining for her. Our camel guide just adored playing with her! And best of all, she loved riding the camel!
This may sound odd since the souks are known to be quite chaotic, but they were such a great experience. I’m all about immersing our daughter into the culture as much as possible. There are so many cool trinkets to see in the shops, and the sensory journey through the winding alleyways is quite memorable.
Helpful Tips Before You Go
I’d like to share some helpful tips that we learned through our time there:
- Buy first class train tickets at least a few hours before departure. They have AC and are much more comfortable than the regular seating.
- Start by offering 1/4 the price they are asking for in the souks. Always haggle and never agree to the original amount.
- Always use bottled water, even for brushing teeth.
- Eat where the locals are eating, this includes the food stalls as well.
- Work out a price for the taxis before getting in. Grand taxis are for further travel, petit taxis are for travel within the city.
- Hire private drivers for longer drives, especially with kids.
- The ATM’s only allow 2000 dirhams to be withdrawn at a time, so you’ll have to repeat transactions for more.
- Dress conservatively to be respectful of the culture.
- Always ask before taking closeup shots of people.
- Consider hiring a guide for the medina and souks before exploring on your own.