Morocco is an incredible place to travel with children. It is exotic and adventurous, without the long flight times and travel challenges of the Far East. Moroccans are warm and receptive to children, giving them special insight into a culture that is different from their own. Children especially love the color-themes of Moroccan cities, and the spectacle of acrobats, snake-charmers, and storytellers in the Djemaa el Fna.. Add that the exiting possibilities of camel and donkey rides, the sands of the Sahara, and the souks of ancient medinas, and Morocco will spark a child’s imagination and love of travel for life.
Here are some spectacular Moroccan destinations for families:
Essaouira or Oualidia
These coastal towns offer beautiful beaches, entrancing medinas, colorful souks, and relaxing culture. While much of the Atlantic coast has surf too rough for safe swimming, Oualidia has sheltered lagoons and calmer beaches. Children and parents can explore the ancient cities, relax in the sun, learn to surf, and enjoy a calmer atmosphere than in the larger cities and resort towns of Morocco.
The Middle Atlas
While hiking the High Atlas may be too strenuous for young children, the lower rises of the Middle Atlas are just as exciting, with easy hiking, sheltered forests, and small Berber villages along the way. Many longer tours of the region offer donkeys or mules for children to ride, should they get tired, and it’s a fantastic exploration of the region.
Outside of the heat of summer, a trip to the Sahara is a fantastic way to bond as a family, but can be remote and difficult to reach. The spectacular sand dunes of Erg Chebbi are a fantastic substitute, and more accessible. You can ride camels to ancient oases, camp in a traditional Berber camp on the sands, and watch the sun set over the dunes. Often nights under the stars are accompanied by traditional Berber songs and dances, unlike anywhere else. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience for a family to share.
Traveling and Lodging With Children in Morocco
Note of caution for those with young children: the streets of the medinas, particularly in cities like Marrakech, can be busy and densely crowded, so plan ahead for crowding and bustle.
A riad is a fantastic way to experience traditional Moroccan lodging, but they can also be noisy, have steep stairs, and present challenges for families. Many people traveling with children opt for a standard hotel instead, preferring to rest in a safer, more predictable environment. A hotel with a pool is also a great way to help children cool down from the heat without the rougher surf of a Moroccan beach. And, for those with older children, a hotel will have WiFi that may be lacking in more traditional accommodations.
That being said, clients who travel with Bella Vita Travels are generally booked at higher-end hotels which are curated based on on our clients’ wishes–whether they are more traditional hotels or local-style luxury riads. The hotels we book in Morocco are very appealing for kids and families as they can be high-end resort style hotels with pools and lots of room to run around, or traditional style riads which are almost fairy-tale like in their appearance. All of our hotels have wifi and most of the hotels, even the riads, have at least a small pool.
While Morocco is quick and easily accessible from Europe, travel within the country can be slow. Many parents are dismayed at the thought of spending six to eight hours in a car or train with their children as they travel from city to city in Morocco. It’s also worth noting that car seats are not common in Moroccan cars, and many taxis don’t have seatbelts to attach them anyway. Train travel may be easiest for kids, as they can stretch their legs and move around, and Morocco has good train service, particularly in the north of the country.
Bella Vita Travels clients who visit Morocco have their ground transportation booked with a private driver and a vehicle that has wifi. The distances can indeed be a little long but the scenery is so mesmerizing that the time passes quickly. Another benefit of private ground transportation is that the driver can stop when necessary to give kids – and adults – a break!