Christmas in Morocco

Posted by Fran Wood on

The joy of Christmas in Morocco is that it can be whatever you want it to be. If you would like to immerse yourself in festive cheer then head for the shopping malls in larger towns. Here you will find splendidly festooned Christmas trees with all the trimmings whereas, a few miles out of town, you wouldn’t know such Yuletide excitement existed. Beyond the city walls you may however feel you have been dropped into a biblical scene and quite likely to catch a glimpse of a mother and child on a donkey being patiently led by a man in a hooded jellaba.

Hotels catering for foreigners will put on a show to make you feel at home and some restaurants will indulge you with their interpretation of a Christmas Lunch where you will probably be surrounded by tables full of expats (mostly French) enjoying themselves. Don’t expect to find any brandy butter in the smaller cafés! There are Christian churches (predominantly Catholic) with regular services in most towns. The security will be heavy but don’t let that put you off. French and American schools are on a break over the Christmas holiday but most of the Moroccan schools are not, so don’t be surprised to see children in uniform off to school as usual on Christmas morning. The majority of shops and banks are open for business as usual too.

Christmas and New Year are a peak tourist season so it would be advisable to plan your trip and book your hotel if you are heading for a popular area. The weather is mild with Marrakech averaging 19º C in December but temperatures drop as you climb higher into the mountains so you will need your winter woolies. The best of the weather is further south where you can explore Taroudant in the Sous valley and Tafraout in the Anti-Atlas Mountains or surf on the coast at Mirhleft and Sidi Ifni. For something more traditional why not ski? Provided there has been enough snowfall you could hit the white stuff in Ifrane in the north and Oukaimeden in the south. Finally, winter is one of the best times of the year to experience a camel trek in the Sahara. The days will be warm under a blue sky and nights chilly, so wrap up warm to enjoy an evening round the camp fire.

If you are lucky enough to be planning a trip to Morocco I can recommend Naturally Morocco who will tailor-make your holiday.

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