You've got 10 days? This Morocco itinerary with allow you to see some of the coolest sights and experience adventures of a lifetime, whether you have kids or not.
It's no secret that I love Morocco and found it so nice to travel with my baby. As it was one of our first international trips with our first born as a 10 month old, it was a great introduction to travel and adventure with kids.
It was actually on this trip that I decided to start Born a Backpacker.
We were on a multi-day trek in the Atlas Mountains with our 10 month old on our back when we passed a young couple. They were shocked we had a baby with us and told us they left their baby with the grandparents because they didn't think they could do this with kids.
After that trek and the incredible and enriching experience we had as a family, I wanted to share it with others. I wanted other parents to know that it's not only possible, but amazing to travel and adventure with their kids.
You might also like: Camel trekking in the Sahara with a baby
Trekking in the Atlas Mountains with a baby
8 reasons to travel to Morocco with a baby
So if your looking to travel to Morocco with your kids, here is the ultimate itinerary to have an adventurous and relaxing time.
12 day itinerary:
Day 1: Fly in and take a train to Marrakesh
Day 2: Enjoy Marrakesh
Day 3-5: Trekking in the Atlas Mountains
Day 5: Explore Air Benhaddou
Day 6: Merzouga
Day 7-8: Erg Chebbi desert
Day 9-11: Essaouira
Day 12: Marrakesh and flight home
Rabat and Casablanca are typically the easiest and cheapest ways to get to the smaller and quintessential Moroccan towns with bustling markets. Luckily, you can easily take a train from those major cities to Fez, Marrakesh, or most popular towns. Check out https://www.moroccotrains.com for an easy way to find tickets and train times.
From one of these major cities, head to Marrakesh, a beautiful city of color and scents that will delight your senses.
What to do in Marrakesh:
Put on your best bargaining shoes and explore the Medina
Eat on a rooftop restaurant to catch the views (all the buildings are flat on top, so they have plentiful rooftop bars and restaurants around the city)
Jamaa el Fnaa square in the heart of the medina
Where to stay
Stay in a traditional Riad. You can easily find numerous on booking.com that include a traditional Moroccan breakfast.Check out these top rated Raids for availability:
Day 3-5: Trekking in the Atlas Mountains
This was a highlight of our trip. We used the guide service Naturally Morocco and they were wonderful. They were very accommodating to take us with a baby and comforted any nerves we had.
They were willing to tailor our tour to our hiking capabilities and how far we wanted to go, so in your pre-trek discussion, you can hammer out the details of where you will be going. It was convenient because they took care of transportation to and from Marrakesh.
I wrote a blog post about this experience if you're looking for more detail or what your experience may be like! Trekking in the Atlas Mountains with a Baby
Day 5: Ait Bennhadou
After the trek, we had them drop us off at the airport where we rented a car for the duration of our stay and returned it on the day of our flight. And I know your next question:
Should I bring a carseat?
The carseat dilemma is truly the worst part about traveling with kids. They are super annoying. You can decide whether you want to risk it, but I always find that rental car places only have random, overused, dusty carpets thrown into a back room and I don't personally trust them.
Here are my recommendations for good travel carseats:
The best and lightest weight infant carseats for infants are the Nuna Pipa (high end), Cosco Scenara (most affordable), and the Evevnflo Lite Max carseat which is a perfect middle-of-the-road option. Remember that carseats sold in the US have to pass all the same safety inspections, so when buying a carseat, you're not paying extra for safety.
If your child is 2+, front facing, and fit the other height and weight requirements, the WAYB Pico carseat is a god send to traveling parents (not without a hefty pricetaj though). Yes, it's pricy, but if you plan on traveling a lot and/ or having multiple children to get good use out of it, the WayB Pico is definitely worth it. I did a full review that you can check out here.
Ever since our oldest became big enough for a booster, it's made traveling so much easier. I'm pretty obsessed with the Mifold because it's so compact and lightweight, he carries it himself as his carry-on.
Ok, back to Morocco!
After picking up a rental car in Marrakesh, the 4 hours to Ait Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is the perfect midway point to the desert. It is a fortified village along the old caravan route from Marrakesh to the Sahara. It's a beautiful place to stop, explore, and catch some beautiful breakfast views.
Where to stay in Ait Benhaddou
We stayed in Chez Brahim, a cute little place with a wonderful new from the roof. The owners were sweet and I highly recommend.
The view from Chez Brahim at breakfast
Other great places to stay in the area are Kasbah el Hajja right in the old town, Kasbah du Peintre, and Guest House Bagdad CaféGuest House Bagdad Café.
Day 6: Merzouga
Enjoy your morning in Air Benhaddou before making the 5.5 hour drive to Merzouga. Take your time, stop at the restaurants on the side of the road in between naps to get a tagine and break.
Once you get to Merzouga, enjoy your time walking around d the little shops and cute little town and relax after the long drive.
Day 7-8: Camel trek
This was one of the major highlights of our trip. It was something I didn't know was possible because I saw nothing about doing it with a baby. But it was possible and AMAZING!
There are a variety of overnight camel treks you can do, from budget (which isn the way we went) to luxury. Choose what feels best for you and what your budget allows.
Budget: Mouhou Tour Adventures and Sahara Camel Trips
Luxury: Azawad Luxury Camp
I wrote a blog post with details of our camel trek and time in Air Benhaddou if you're looking for more detail and tips: World's biggest sandbox: camel trekking in the Sahara with a baby.
Day 8-9: Essaouira
After A wonderful night in the desert, you'll have breakfast then head back to Merzouga by camel. I actually walked mine because my butt was so soar from the trek in the day before.
Once you get back to your car, you can hit the road (it's a long way back). To Essaouira from Merzouga, it takes about 11.5 hours. You can break it up over 2 days if that sounds nauseating, but we just ripped it off like a bandaid.
Essaouira is a wonderful coastal town where you can wander around the Medina, check out the Kasbah, watch the fisherman do their thing, hop on camels again for a little beach cruise, visit a hammam and eat until your heart is content.
Day 10: Marrakesh and flight home
I hope you enjoy your time in Morocco with your family! This country has such a special place in my heart as it was thew trip that showed me I can still travel and do what I love with my kids in tow. Please let me know if you have any additional questions!