Taylor-Desert-Sahara

A Southern Morocco Tour with We Are Travel Girls

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Morocco has been one of my top travel destinations for the past few years and it was such a dream to experience the south of the country in late April 2019 with We Are Travel Girls. From the breathtaking culture to the dreamy architecture and the delicious food to the stunning historical sites there are so many reasons why you will fall in love with this enchanting North African country.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

We Are Travel Girls is a global travel community created to inspire, connect, educate and empower female travelers around the world. They have a community Instagram page and blog that features female travelers from all over the globe; they host casual meet-ups with inspirational speakers and panel discussions in major global cities such as New York, Los Angeles and London; they give back to countries and fundraise to charitable organizations and they host luxury and bespoke retreats (Travel Girls Getaways) for professional women who are in their mid to late 20s through mid-age. I attended their blogging retreat in Bali, Indonesia back in October 2018 and truly enjoyed everything about the trip from the luxury accommodations to the unique activities and excursions. Currently, We Are Travel Girls host Travel Girls Getaways in Morocco (which is the trip I am writing about in this blog post), Malawi and Turkey. As a female traveler, I love how Travel Girls Getaways provide escapes to beautiful destinations worldwide that I wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling to solely by myself. (As much as I love traveling solo, there are certain destinations (unfortunately) that aren’t safe for women. I am hoping, at some point in time, that this changes because there are so many amazing places to see in this world.) In addition, I love how I am able to meet so many like-minded, professional and mature female travelers on Travel Girls Getaways.

Ps. Becky and Anna were great hosts on this trip and made it even more memorable!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During our weeklong trip through Southern Morocco, we mainly stayed in Marrakech (click here to read my blog post on the best luxury experiences in Marrakech). In addition, we also did a luxury road trip to Ouarzazate to see the breathtaking Kasbah Benhaddou and then made our way to the Sahara Desert for a luxury glamping experience. We also did a day trip to the gorgeous coastal town of Essaouira.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

In this blog post, read all about the top places to see in Southern Morocco luxury style.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.

When to Travel to Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

If you are deciding on when to travel to Morocco, it is recommended that you go either in the heart of the fall or spring seasons. I traveled during the month of April and the weather was perfect during most of our days exploring. It was on average in the 80’s (Fahrenheit), except for a day in Marrakech where it was nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. (Even in the Sahara Desert, the weather was absolutely beautiful!) Another great month to travel to Morocco is in November, where temperatures are similar to how they are in April. If you travel to Morocco in the heart of the summer, you could experience temperatures between 110 and 120 on certain days. In the winter, however, you could experience colder temperatures (between 40 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Two other great months to travel to Morocco are October and March.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The Culture in Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Morocco is predominately a Muslim country. In fact, Morocco was the first country that I’ve visited where Islam is the main religion. In the past, I had been to countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malta where Islam is practiced by a large group of people, but Morocco was where I was able to truly immerse myself in this beautiful religion.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During my time in Morocco, I heard the beautiful Call to Prayer five times throughout the day. Called Salat, this obligatory Muslim prayer is performed at dawn, midday, later in the afternoon, dusk and a few hours before midnight. You will hear it in your hotel/riad, throughout the city and even in the countryside, desert and mountains. It is so peaceful!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What to Wear in Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

In regards to the dress code, it is important to note that your shoulders and knees should always be covered when you’re out in public. I will admit that I wore shorts and a tank top during my 10-hour road trip, but I was in the car all day and didn’t really get out unless it was to go to the restroom at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the trip, I mainly wore maxi and midi dresses because they covered my knees and I also wore a jumpsuit one day. Nowadays, it is very hard to find dresses that fully cover you, meaning that there is usually a sweetheart neckline, an open cutout back, etc. I found that most of the dresses I brought with me to Morocco had this issue, so I used a scarf to wrap around my shoulders. I also brought a denim jacket that worked well with most of my outfits.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

A few other items of clothing that I brought with me to Morocco were black leggings (this was perfect for my time in the desert), harem pants (for when I went camel riding), longer skirts, linen pants, comfortable and dressy sandals, sneakers and a swimsuit (to swim in my riad’s pool).

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Men should also be covered up when they are traveling through Morocco. It isn’t ideal for a man to wear shorts and/or a tank top. Their knees should be covered as well as their shoulders too.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Getting to and Around Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

For my trip to Morocco, I flew from JFK in New York to Marrakech. Since flying to Marrakech, usually requires a layover in another city, I had to fly to Madrid first where I spent a few hours before landing in Marrakech Menara Airport. It is a lot easier to get a non-stop flight to Casablanca instead, but I didn’t travel to Northern Morocco on this trip. Since I traveled to Morocco in April, which is considered high season, the flight prices were a little high, but I ended up scoring a great deal through Skyscanner!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What I love most about Moroccans are that they are so nice and accommodating. The staff at my riads throughout my stay in Morocco always ensured we were safe and if you had to go somewhere on your own, a staff member from the hotel or riad would walk you to your prospective destination or even to your taxi.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Since we were on a tour, we had a private van that took us everywhere, but if you are on your own, whether it’d be solo or with another person(s), I highly recommend taking the train, hopping on a short flight or renting a car to get around the country.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Road Tripping through Southern Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During the first few days of my Morocco trip with We Are Travel Girls, we spent a lot of time in the car traveling southeast to Ouarzazate, Benhaddou and the Sahara Desert and then back to Marrakech. What I loved most about this trip is that the views along the way were absolutely breathtaking and it allowed a lot of us to see how Moroccans live outside of the large cities. Between the traditional clay houses, gorgeous red snowcapped mountains, beautiful nature and the thriving culture throughout each small town we drove through, I was astonished!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco
Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What I loved about the We Are Travel Girls tour in Morocco is that we stopped at scenic locations along the way for photo opportunities. During our drive to Ouarzazate, we made a pit stop at Tizi n’tichka, which is a breathtaking mountain pass through the Atlas Mountains. I enjoyed this area because there was a rest stop where you could grab food and drinks while enjoying rooftop views. 

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

From Ouarzazate to the Sahara, we also made a scenic pit stop along the highway called Todgha Gorge. This outstanding gorge features limestone river canyons, valleys and views to admire.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

In regards to food, we stopped at Riad Lamane in Zagora both to and from the Sahara Desert and they offered a wonderful lunch in a beautiful space. I highly recommend getting lunch at Riad Lamane during your road trip because their tagines (I go into what this is below) are amazing and they also put out fresh vegetables and Mediterranean salads. In addition to the food at Riad Lamane, the interior and exterior of the riad are absolutely stunning to walk around and enjoy!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Ouarzazate:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Ouarzazate is a popular city that is located just south of the High Atlas Mountains. It is known as the gateway into the Sahara Desert and features ancient rugged views, beautiful kashbahs and stunning architecture.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Ouarzazate was a large business hub from people all over Morocco and it also became a modern garrison town to oversee France’s colonial interests. Nowadays, a lot of movies and shows are set in this beautiful vicinity such as Game of Thrones.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Where to Stay in Ouarzazate

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

We only stayed in Ouarzazate for one night and it was so lovely residing in the lovely Dar Daïf Hotel – a boutique riad located in the heart of the city.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Dar Daïf means “house of the guest” and when you first arrive, you will be asked to take off your shoes and keep them in a small cubby in a room. You will then be given a pair of slippers to walk on the beautiful and colorful carpets that the riad features. In addition, this riad offers cozy nooks, beautiful artwork, a library, numerous terraces, gardens with trees, a swimming pool, a Hammam spa as well as in-house dining options.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

I absolutely adored our cozy room at Dar Daïf! During a Travel Girls Getaway, you could either book a double occupancy or you could get your own room during your tour. My roommate was a lovely woman from Tel Aviv named Robynne. At Dar Daïf, we shared a beautiful room that had a small entrance room, a large bedroom, a bathroom and separate room for the shower, a sitting area and small alcoves. What was nice about having a small entrance room and a large room is that they both had beds allowing us privacy. Each room at Dar Daïf is unique from each other and depending on whom you are traveling with, there are plenty of different rooms to choose from.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The staff at Dar Daïf were super lovely and I truly enjoyed the spreads they put out for both dinner and breakfast. During our first night, we enjoyed dinner on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Atlas Mountains and nearby Sahara Desert. (During the winter, this area gets snow, so you could also enjoy a winter wonderland if you come during December through February.) It was such a perfect night and we all enjoyed vegetarian Harira soup, which consisted of turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, butter, celery, onion and cilantro. After enjoying our soup, we were given vegetarian briouat, which is similar to vegetable spring rolls. For our dinner, we savored tagine for the first time and we had a choice of choosing the chicken, beef or vegetable options. (Please note that tagine is a national dish of Morocco and you will savor it a lot during your trip there. You could get tagine with any type of meat, fish or vegetables. Almost every restaurant serves tagine and it contains fresh vegetables, turmeric, saffron and ginger.) In addition to all of the savory dishes, we also enjoyed ice cream for dessert with Moroccan mint tea. For breakfast, we were given an assortment of fresh Moroccan breads, khobz (a thick pita bread) and msemmem (pan fried dough). Just like at all of the riads we stayed at, we were given fruity jams to enjoy with our bread. There was also fresh fruit and eggs to enjoy with our breakfast as well.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Aït Benhaddou:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The historical and fascinating site of Aït Benhaddou is considered a fortified village (Kasbah) along the former caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara Desert. Most people know this site of Morocco as the famous Game of Thrones location.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The beautiful buildings you see throughout Aït Benhaddou are called a ksar. High walls surround these earthen buildings and they date back to the pre-Saharan times. During our time at this significant site, our guide Hassan took us through the alleyways, around artisanal shops and even introduced us to one of his friends – an older, wise woman who was dressed beautifully and welcomed us into her home. It was so cool seeing the inside of one of the homes within the Kasbah.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What you will also see at Aït Benhaddou are donkeys carrying goods, people taking their carpets and washing them along the Asif Ounila river, workers along with painters. In addition to touring the city, you could also do an ATV tour and have fun riding around Aït Benhaddou while enjoying the views.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The Sahara Desert:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

One of the most memorable experiences during my time in Morocco was taking a traditional Moroccan camel ride to our luxury campsite in the Sahara Desert.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Camel Riding

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Before we got to the desert, we stopped at a stand where we purchased a shemagh. Also known as a keffiyeh and ghutrah, this scarf-type wrap is used to protect one’s face and hair from direct sun exposure as well as dust and sand. I got a cute red one because it matched my outfit. Thankfully the man selling the shemaghs was able to help me put it on properly.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

When we got to the desert, we had the option of choosing to get on a 4×4 or a camel to get to our campsite. Since I had never been on a camel prior to coming to Morocco, I wanted to get the experience. One thing to note before getting on a camel whether you’re in Morocco, Jordan, Dubai, Egypt, etc. is that you should notice if it is in poor condition. If you see that the camel has marks on it from abuse, DO NOT GET ON IT! There are a lot of major ethical issues going on within tourism industries that involve animals such as elephant riding in Southeast Asia, Camel riding in the Middle East and dog sledding in the Arctic and it’s always important to do your research before you visit a place that involves any close contact with these beautiful creatures. Although there is a major difference between riding an elephant in Southeast Asia (which no one should EVER do) and riding a camel in North Africa or the Middle East, it is important to always keep in mind the welfare of these animals.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

We Are Travel Girls does not promote camel riding within their tours, so a few girls and myself did this excursion on our own. Becky from WATG did provide us with some helpful resources on camel riding worldwide and passed along this wonderful organization called SPANA that helps improve the welfare and lives of working animals. Camels have always been used to transport goods and people through the desert. This is also similar to reindeer and Huskies in the Arctic. Elephants, however, are not meant to do the same. (Click here to read about my time visiting an elephant save and rescue center in Thailand and click here to read about my time dog sledding and sleigh riding in Finland.)

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Luxury Glamping in the Sahara

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Overall, our hour-long camel ride through the Sahara was absolutely beautiful! We rode past gorgeous mountains that separate Morocco from Algeria, we went over sand dunes and then we finally reached our luxurious campsite called Erg Lihoudi. Also known as the Taragalt Luxury Desert Camp, this wonderful spot offers stunning tents with beautiful Arabic furniture and decorations.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco
Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The camp was surrounded by sand dunes, offering a quiet, peaceful and breathtaking atmosphere. When we first arrived, I couldn’t wait to get into a beautiful dress and take photos! I also enjoyed taking in all of the beauty around me. It was my very first time in a real desert sand dune and I seriously felt like I was in heaven!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

As the sun started to set, we were given beautiful Moroccan costumes and participated in a fun dinner show that included dancing, wine, good food and great company! Everything was magical! Later into the evening, we enjoyed the breathtaking stars under the sky and had our very own bonfire that included s’mores.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco
Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During our night in the desert, I was given my own tent that was absolutely beautiful! What made it so luxurious was that there was a king-sized bed, a sitting area, a full-sized mirror and sanitary facilities such as a sink, toilet and shower. In regards to the sleep I got that night, I will honestly say that I barely slept. I am usually not one to sleep with earplugs or take any kind of sleeping pill, so I had to endure the harsh winds from the desert. The tents also don’t include air conditioning, so I was pretty hot during the night as well.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

When the morning came, we all woke up early enough to enjoy the sunrise over the sand dunes. Because the wind was so heavy during the night, I was afraid there was going to be a major sand storm, but it wasn’t bad at all! We walked up to the dunes and enjoyed the sun come up from the east. It was also awesome seeing all of the camels walking by as well!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

After watching the sunrise, we all enjoyed a lovely breakfast that included the same Moroccan specialties I mentioned above.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Essaouira:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During our time in Marrakech, we took a lovely day trip to the coastal city and resort town called Essaouira. Located 3 hours west of Marrakech, this seaside village reminds me of a blend between Lisbon and Mykonos.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Learn about Argan Oil

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Before we reached Essaouira, we stopped at a few wonderful places along the way. The first place we stopped at was called Coopérative Marjana. This wonderful place is where you could learn how to make argan oil, argan spreads and other natural products using argan. It is also a place where you could support local women! What I loved most about Coopérative Marjana is that it employs women in the rural areas to improve lives and socioeconic development.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

When we first arrived at Coopérative Marjana, we were taken to an argan tree where we were shown what an argan fruit looks like. We then saw the women making the oil for both cooking and beauty and we even got to try making it ourselves. The woman was so sweet to me and we shared great laughs!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Afterwards, we walked into the gift shop where we were able to taste a few oils, spreads and honey with fresh bread. The gift shop also offered soaps, natural beauty products and essential oils.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Visit a Moroccan Winery

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

One thing I truly enjoy doing during my travels is checking out the wine culture within each place I visit. Even though alcohol isn’t huge in Morocco since it is a Muslim country, there are still wineries that you could visit.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Right before we arrived in Essaouira, we stopped at a vineyard called Val D’Argan where we took a tour through the cellars and learned about the wine produced there; enjoyed a great lunch in the restaurant that overlooked the vines and nearby countryside and we also had the opportunity to walk around the beautiful property.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Overall, the wines at Val D’Argan were delicious; we all really enjoyed their rosé. (Morocco’s rosé is absolutely refreshing!)

https://browneyedflowerchild.com/southern-morocco/

Getting Lost in Essaouira

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Known as the “Wind City of Africa”, Essaouira is a beach city that features large waves from the Atlantic Ocean making it the best surfing destination of Morocco. Beachgoers from all over Africa and Europe come to Essaouira to enjoy a perfect day by the sea.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Not only is Essaouira known for their amazing beaches, it is also a fortified medina that features beautiful white and blue houses, picturesque blue boats, colorful art galleries, boutiques, amazing restaurants and hotels. We weren’t in Essaouira for a long time, but during our afternoon there, we enjoyed getting lost in the beautiful streets, watching the waves pass by and petting some of the cutest cats.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

If you have any questions about my time in Morocco or my memorable journeys with Travel Girls Getaways, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of Morocco:

Currency: Moroccan Dirham, Capital: Rabat

Click here to join my private Facebook group for bloggers!

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Related posts

The Best Boutique Experiences in Tulum, Mexico

A Dreamy and Authentic Escape Photo By Madeline of MLenore Photography Tulum, Mexico is one of the dreamiest destinations I’ve...

An Escape to Turneffe Island Resort in Belize

A Private Caribbean Experience Turneffe Island Resort - the place where guests “Come as Strangers” and “Leave as Friends”. During...

How to Have the BEST Time at an Oktoberfest Event

Tis' the Season for Beer, Brats and Dirndls Oktoberfest - one of my favorite events of the year! There really...

9 Comments

  1. Jordan Fields on June 19, 2019 at 11:44 am

    These pictures are too die for!! Loved reading about your experience, and of course now I just want to go even more!!

    • Taylor Deer on June 19, 2019 at 11:48 am

      Thank you so much Jordan! It was such a memorable trip and I wish I spent more time there.

  2. Maria on June 22, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Soo cool Taylor, this reminds me a bit of my own Morocco trip as I visited similar places. Loved the seafood in Essaouira and Ait Ben Haddou just looks so cool! Your photos in the Sahara are amazing!! If you ever travel to Morocco again you need to visit Chefchaouen, it was one of my favourite places 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on June 23, 2019 at 10:46 am

      Yes! I absolutely loved Morocco and wish I stayed an extra week to explore the North. Chefchaouen is my dream Moroccan city to visit! 🙂

  3. Marisa on June 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Beautiful post Taylor! Makes me miss my time in Morocco as I went to many of the same places! The country is just beautiful and filled with such lovely people! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Charu Goyal on June 24, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Such a great read Taylor and I absolutely love all your pictures too. I have been wanting to visit Morocco since so long and this just makes me wanna go there super soon.

    • Taylor Deer on June 24, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Thank you so much Charu! It’s such a fascinating country. I wish I stayed an extra week because I feel like one full week wasn’t long enough for me.

  5. World of Lina on June 24, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Oh wow! It sounds like you had such a good time there Taylor! I’m going there in August (I’ll probably die lol) and I’m sooo excited already ?

    • Taylor Deer on June 24, 2019 at 10:06 am

      You’re going to have the BEST time!!! I’m so excited to see your content on Morocco!

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Desert-Sahara

A Southern Morocco Tour with We Are Travel Girls

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Morocco has been one of my top travel destinations for the past few years and it was such a dream to experience the south of the country in late April 2019 with We Are Travel Girls. From the breathtaking culture to the dreamy architecture and the delicious food to the stunning historical sites there are so many reasons why you will fall in love with this enchanting North African country.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

We Are Travel Girls is a global travel community created to inspire, connect, educate and empower female travelers around the world. They have a community Instagram page and blog that features female travelers from all over the globe; they host casual meet-ups with inspirational speakers and panel discussions in major global cities such as New York, Los Angeles and London; they give back to countries and fundraise to charitable organizations and they host luxury and bespoke retreats (Travel Girls Getaways) for professional women who are in their mid to late 20s through mid-age. I attended their blogging retreat in Bali, Indonesia back in October 2018 and truly enjoyed everything about the trip from the luxury accommodations to the unique activities and excursions. Currently, We Are Travel Girls host Travel Girls Getaways in Morocco (which is the trip I am writing about in this blog post), Malawi and Turkey. As a female traveler, I love how Travel Girls Getaways provide escapes to beautiful destinations worldwide that I wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling to solely by myself. (As much as I love traveling solo, there are certain destinations (unfortunately) that aren’t safe for women. I am hoping, at some point in time, that this changes because there are so many amazing places to see in this world.) In addition, I love how I am able to meet so many like-minded, professional and mature female travelers on Travel Girls Getaways.

Ps. Becky and Anna were great hosts on this trip and made it even more memorable!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During our weeklong trip through Southern Morocco, we mainly stayed in Marrakech (click here to read my blog post on the best luxury experiences in Marrakech). In addition, we also did a luxury road trip to Ouarzazate to see the breathtaking Kasbah Benhaddou and then made our way to the Sahara Desert for a luxury glamping experience. We also did a day trip to the gorgeous coastal town of Essaouira.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

In this blog post, read all about the top places to see in Southern Morocco luxury style.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.

When to Travel to Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

If you are deciding on when to travel to Morocco, it is recommended that you go either in the heart of the fall or spring seasons. I traveled during the month of April and the weather was perfect during most of our days exploring. It was on average in the 80’s (Fahrenheit), except for a day in Marrakech where it was nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. (Even in the Sahara Desert, the weather was absolutely beautiful!) Another great month to travel to Morocco is in November, where temperatures are similar to how they are in April. If you travel to Morocco in the heart of the summer, you could experience temperatures between 110 and 120 on certain days. In the winter, however, you could experience colder temperatures (between 40 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Two other great months to travel to Morocco are October and March.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The Culture in Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Morocco is predominately a Muslim country. In fact, Morocco was the first country that I’ve visited where Islam is the main religion. In the past, I had been to countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malta where Islam is practiced by a large group of people, but Morocco was where I was able to truly immerse myself in this beautiful religion.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During my time in Morocco, I heard the beautiful Call to Prayer five times throughout the day. Called Salat, this obligatory Muslim prayer is performed at dawn, midday, later in the afternoon, dusk and a few hours before midnight. You will hear it in your hotel/riad, throughout the city and even in the countryside, desert and mountains. It is so peaceful!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What to Wear in Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

In regards to the dress code, it is important to note that your shoulders and knees should always be covered when you’re out in public. I will admit that I wore shorts and a tank top during my 10-hour road trip, but I was in the car all day and didn’t really get out unless it was to go to the restroom at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the trip, I mainly wore maxi and midi dresses because they covered my knees and I also wore a jumpsuit one day. Nowadays, it is very hard to find dresses that fully cover you, meaning that there is usually a sweetheart neckline, an open cutout back, etc. I found that most of the dresses I brought with me to Morocco had this issue, so I used a scarf to wrap around my shoulders. I also brought a denim jacket that worked well with most of my outfits.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

A few other items of clothing that I brought with me to Morocco were black leggings (this was perfect for my time in the desert), harem pants (for when I went camel riding), longer skirts, linen pants, comfortable and dressy sandals, sneakers and a swimsuit (to swim in my riad’s pool).

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Men should also be covered up when they are traveling through Morocco. It isn’t ideal for a man to wear shorts and/or a tank top. Their knees should be covered as well as their shoulders too.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Getting to and Around Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

For my trip to Morocco, I flew from JFK in New York to Marrakech. Since flying to Marrakech, usually requires a layover in another city, I had to fly to Madrid first where I spent a few hours before landing in Marrakech Menara Airport. It is a lot easier to get a non-stop flight to Casablanca instead, but I didn’t travel to Northern Morocco on this trip. Since I traveled to Morocco in April, which is considered high season, the flight prices were a little high, but I ended up scoring a great deal through Skyscanner!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What I love most about Moroccans are that they are so nice and accommodating. The staff at my riads throughout my stay in Morocco always ensured we were safe and if you had to go somewhere on your own, a staff member from the hotel or riad would walk you to your prospective destination or even to your taxi.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Since we were on a tour, we had a private van that took us everywhere, but if you are on your own, whether it’d be solo or with another person(s), I highly recommend taking the train, hopping on a short flight or renting a car to get around the country.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Road Tripping through Southern Morocco:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During the first few days of my Morocco trip with We Are Travel Girls, we spent a lot of time in the car traveling southeast to Ouarzazate, Benhaddou and the Sahara Desert and then back to Marrakech. What I loved most about this trip is that the views along the way were absolutely breathtaking and it allowed a lot of us to see how Moroccans live outside of the large cities. Between the traditional clay houses, gorgeous red snowcapped mountains, beautiful nature and the thriving culture throughout each small town we drove through, I was astonished!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco
Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What I loved about the We Are Travel Girls tour in Morocco is that we stopped at scenic locations along the way for photo opportunities. During our drive to Ouarzazate, we made a pit stop at Tizi n’tichka, which is a breathtaking mountain pass through the Atlas Mountains. I enjoyed this area because there was a rest stop where you could grab food and drinks while enjoying rooftop views. 

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

From Ouarzazate to the Sahara, we also made a scenic pit stop along the highway called Todgha Gorge. This outstanding gorge features limestone river canyons, valleys and views to admire.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

In regards to food, we stopped at Riad Lamane in Zagora both to and from the Sahara Desert and they offered a wonderful lunch in a beautiful space. I highly recommend getting lunch at Riad Lamane during your road trip because their tagines (I go into what this is below) are amazing and they also put out fresh vegetables and Mediterranean salads. In addition to the food at Riad Lamane, the interior and exterior of the riad are absolutely stunning to walk around and enjoy!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Ouarzazate:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Ouarzazate is a popular city that is located just south of the High Atlas Mountains. It is known as the gateway into the Sahara Desert and features ancient rugged views, beautiful kashbahs and stunning architecture.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Ouarzazate was a large business hub from people all over Morocco and it also became a modern garrison town to oversee France’s colonial interests. Nowadays, a lot of movies and shows are set in this beautiful vicinity such as Game of Thrones.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Where to Stay in Ouarzazate

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

We only stayed in Ouarzazate for one night and it was so lovely residing in the lovely Dar Daïf Hotel – a boutique riad located in the heart of the city.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Dar Daïf means “house of the guest” and when you first arrive, you will be asked to take off your shoes and keep them in a small cubby in a room. You will then be given a pair of slippers to walk on the beautiful and colorful carpets that the riad features. In addition, this riad offers cozy nooks, beautiful artwork, a library, numerous terraces, gardens with trees, a swimming pool, a Hammam spa as well as in-house dining options.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

I absolutely adored our cozy room at Dar Daïf! During a Travel Girls Getaway, you could either book a double occupancy or you could get your own room during your tour. My roommate was a lovely woman from Tel Aviv named Robynne. At Dar Daïf, we shared a beautiful room that had a small entrance room, a large bedroom, a bathroom and separate room for the shower, a sitting area and small alcoves. What was nice about having a small entrance room and a large room is that they both had beds allowing us privacy. Each room at Dar Daïf is unique from each other and depending on whom you are traveling with, there are plenty of different rooms to choose from.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The staff at Dar Daïf were super lovely and I truly enjoyed the spreads they put out for both dinner and breakfast. During our first night, we enjoyed dinner on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Atlas Mountains and nearby Sahara Desert. (During the winter, this area gets snow, so you could also enjoy a winter wonderland if you come during December through February.) It was such a perfect night and we all enjoyed vegetarian Harira soup, which consisted of turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, butter, celery, onion and cilantro. After enjoying our soup, we were given vegetarian briouat, which is similar to vegetable spring rolls. For our dinner, we savored tagine for the first time and we had a choice of choosing the chicken, beef or vegetable options. (Please note that tagine is a national dish of Morocco and you will savor it a lot during your trip there. You could get tagine with any type of meat, fish or vegetables. Almost every restaurant serves tagine and it contains fresh vegetables, turmeric, saffron and ginger.) In addition to all of the savory dishes, we also enjoyed ice cream for dessert with Moroccan mint tea. For breakfast, we were given an assortment of fresh Moroccan breads, khobz (a thick pita bread) and msemmem (pan fried dough). Just like at all of the riads we stayed at, we were given fruity jams to enjoy with our bread. There was also fresh fruit and eggs to enjoy with our breakfast as well.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Aït Benhaddou:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The historical and fascinating site of Aït Benhaddou is considered a fortified village (Kasbah) along the former caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara Desert. Most people know this site of Morocco as the famous Game of Thrones location.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The beautiful buildings you see throughout Aït Benhaddou are called a ksar. High walls surround these earthen buildings and they date back to the pre-Saharan times. During our time at this significant site, our guide Hassan took us through the alleyways, around artisanal shops and even introduced us to one of his friends – an older, wise woman who was dressed beautifully and welcomed us into her home. It was so cool seeing the inside of one of the homes within the Kasbah.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

What you will also see at Aït Benhaddou are donkeys carrying goods, people taking their carpets and washing them along the Asif Ounila river, workers along with painters. In addition to touring the city, you could also do an ATV tour and have fun riding around Aït Benhaddou while enjoying the views.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The Sahara Desert:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

One of the most memorable experiences during my time in Morocco was taking a traditional Moroccan camel ride to our luxury campsite in the Sahara Desert.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Camel Riding

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Before we got to the desert, we stopped at a stand where we purchased a shemagh. Also known as a keffiyeh and ghutrah, this scarf-type wrap is used to protect one’s face and hair from direct sun exposure as well as dust and sand. I got a cute red one because it matched my outfit. Thankfully the man selling the shemaghs was able to help me put it on properly.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

When we got to the desert, we had the option of choosing to get on a 4×4 or a camel to get to our campsite. Since I had never been on a camel prior to coming to Morocco, I wanted to get the experience. One thing to note before getting on a camel whether you’re in Morocco, Jordan, Dubai, Egypt, etc. is that you should notice if it is in poor condition. If you see that the camel has marks on it from abuse, DO NOT GET ON IT! There are a lot of major ethical issues going on within tourism industries that involve animals such as elephant riding in Southeast Asia, Camel riding in the Middle East and dog sledding in the Arctic and it’s always important to do your research before you visit a place that involves any close contact with these beautiful creatures. Although there is a major difference between riding an elephant in Southeast Asia (which no one should EVER do) and riding a camel in North Africa or the Middle East, it is important to always keep in mind the welfare of these animals.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

We Are Travel Girls does not promote camel riding within their tours, so a few girls and myself did this excursion on our own. Becky from WATG did provide us with some helpful resources on camel riding worldwide and passed along this wonderful organization called SPANA that helps improve the welfare and lives of working animals. Camels have always been used to transport goods and people through the desert. This is also similar to reindeer and Huskies in the Arctic. Elephants, however, are not meant to do the same. (Click here to read about my time visiting an elephant save and rescue center in Thailand and click here to read about my time dog sledding and sleigh riding in Finland.)

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Luxury Glamping in the Sahara

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Overall, our hour-long camel ride through the Sahara was absolutely beautiful! We rode past gorgeous mountains that separate Morocco from Algeria, we went over sand dunes and then we finally reached our luxurious campsite called Erg Lihoudi. Also known as the Taragalt Luxury Desert Camp, this wonderful spot offers stunning tents with beautiful Arabic furniture and decorations.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco
Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

The camp was surrounded by sand dunes, offering a quiet, peaceful and breathtaking atmosphere. When we first arrived, I couldn’t wait to get into a beautiful dress and take photos! I also enjoyed taking in all of the beauty around me. It was my very first time in a real desert sand dune and I seriously felt like I was in heaven!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

As the sun started to set, we were given beautiful Moroccan costumes and participated in a fun dinner show that included dancing, wine, good food and great company! Everything was magical! Later into the evening, we enjoyed the breathtaking stars under the sky and had our very own bonfire that included s’mores.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco
Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During our night in the desert, I was given my own tent that was absolutely beautiful! What made it so luxurious was that there was a king-sized bed, a sitting area, a full-sized mirror and sanitary facilities such as a sink, toilet and shower. In regards to the sleep I got that night, I will honestly say that I barely slept. I am usually not one to sleep with earplugs or take any kind of sleeping pill, so I had to endure the harsh winds from the desert. The tents also don’t include air conditioning, so I was pretty hot during the night as well.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

When the morning came, we all woke up early enough to enjoy the sunrise over the sand dunes. Because the wind was so heavy during the night, I was afraid there was going to be a major sand storm, but it wasn’t bad at all! We walked up to the dunes and enjoyed the sun come up from the east. It was also awesome seeing all of the camels walking by as well!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

After watching the sunrise, we all enjoyed a lovely breakfast that included the same Moroccan specialties I mentioned above.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Essaouira:

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

During our time in Marrakech, we took a lovely day trip to the coastal city and resort town called Essaouira. Located 3 hours west of Marrakech, this seaside village reminds me of a blend between Lisbon and Mykonos.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Learn about Argan Oil

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Before we reached Essaouira, we stopped at a few wonderful places along the way. The first place we stopped at was called Coopérative Marjana. This wonderful place is where you could learn how to make argan oil, argan spreads and other natural products using argan. It is also a place where you could support local women! What I loved most about Coopérative Marjana is that it employs women in the rural areas to improve lives and socioeconic development.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

When we first arrived at Coopérative Marjana, we were taken to an argan tree where we were shown what an argan fruit looks like. We then saw the women making the oil for both cooking and beauty and we even got to try making it ourselves. The woman was so sweet to me and we shared great laughs!

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Afterwards, we walked into the gift shop where we were able to taste a few oils, spreads and honey with fresh bread. The gift shop also offered soaps, natural beauty products and essential oils.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Visit a Moroccan Winery

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

One thing I truly enjoy doing during my travels is checking out the wine culture within each place I visit. Even though alcohol isn’t huge in Morocco since it is a Muslim country, there are still wineries that you could visit.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Right before we arrived in Essaouira, we stopped at a vineyard called Val D’Argan where we took a tour through the cellars and learned about the wine produced there; enjoyed a great lunch in the restaurant that overlooked the vines and nearby countryside and we also had the opportunity to walk around the beautiful property.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Overall, the wines at Val D’Argan were delicious; we all really enjoyed their rosé. (Morocco’s rosé is absolutely refreshing!)

https://browneyedflowerchild.com/southern-morocco/

Getting Lost in Essaouira

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Known as the “Wind City of Africa”, Essaouira is a beach city that features large waves from the Atlantic Ocean making it the best surfing destination of Morocco. Beachgoers from all over Africa and Europe come to Essaouira to enjoy a perfect day by the sea.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Not only is Essaouira known for their amazing beaches, it is also a fortified medina that features beautiful white and blue houses, picturesque blue boats, colorful art galleries, boutiques, amazing restaurants and hotels. We weren’t in Essaouira for a long time, but during our afternoon there, we enjoyed getting lost in the beautiful streets, watching the waves pass by and petting some of the cutest cats.

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

Top Places to See in Southern Morocco

If you have any questions about my time in Morocco or my memorable journeys with Travel Girls Getaways, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of Morocco:

Currency: Moroccan Dirham, Capital: Rabat

Click here to join my private Facebook group for bloggers!

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

9 Comments

  1. Jordan Fields on June 19, 2019 at 11:44 am

    These pictures are too die for!! Loved reading about your experience, and of course now I just want to go even more!!

    • Taylor Deer on June 19, 2019 at 11:48 am

      Thank you so much Jordan! It was such a memorable trip and I wish I spent more time there.

  2. Maria on June 22, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Soo cool Taylor, this reminds me a bit of my own Morocco trip as I visited similar places. Loved the seafood in Essaouira and Ait Ben Haddou just looks so cool! Your photos in the Sahara are amazing!! If you ever travel to Morocco again you need to visit Chefchaouen, it was one of my favourite places 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on June 23, 2019 at 10:46 am

      Yes! I absolutely loved Morocco and wish I stayed an extra week to explore the North. Chefchaouen is my dream Moroccan city to visit! 🙂

  3. Marisa on June 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Beautiful post Taylor! Makes me miss my time in Morocco as I went to many of the same places! The country is just beautiful and filled with such lovely people! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Charu Goyal on June 24, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Such a great read Taylor and I absolutely love all your pictures too. I have been wanting to visit Morocco since so long and this just makes me wanna go there super soon.

    • Taylor Deer on June 24, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Thank you so much Charu! It’s such a fascinating country. I wish I stayed an extra week because I feel like one full week wasn’t long enough for me.

  5. World of Lina on June 24, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Oh wow! It sounds like you had such a good time there Taylor! I’m going there in August (I’ll probably die lol) and I’m sooo excited already ?

    • Taylor Deer on June 24, 2019 at 10:06 am

      You’re going to have the BEST time!!! I’m so excited to see your content on Morocco!

Leave a Comment





Related posts

The Best Boutique Experiences in Tulum, Mexico

A Dreamy and Authentic Escape Photo By Madeline of MLenore Photography Tulum, Mexico is one of the dreamiest destinations I’ve...

An Escape to Turneffe Island Resort in Belize

A Private Caribbean Experience Turneffe Island Resort - the place where guests “Come as Strangers” and “Leave as Friends”. During...

How to Have the BEST Time at an Oktoberfest Event

Tis' the Season for Beer, Brats and Dirndls Oktoberfest - one of my favorite events of the year! There really...