Orange blossom. A scent that catches you in every corner. The next moment the smell of oriental spices. You open your eyes and find yourself lost in the maze of the bustling Medina, people haggling around you, music playing closeby. While just the next moment the city gets filled with the sound of afternoon prayers. Picture your ten days in Morocco with this magical scene.
The thought of a 10 days Morocco itinerary makes hearts skip a beat – especially for fans of The Arabian Nights. Morocco has become a more and more popular travel destination. It has a magical pull and that is not without reason: The country offers bustling cities such as Marrakesh and Fes, markets full of exotic spices, a mystical seemingly endless desert, and some fascinating history.

This post focuses on a suggested Morocco itinerary for 10 days in Morocco – with a zoom-in on Marrakesh and a trip into the Sahara desert. Plus, I will provide you with a guide on how to travel sustainably in Morocco.

Sustainable travel in Morocco

In the past, the country has been criticized for building hotels without considering the environmental impacts. Most Moroccans are not really aware of their environmental footprint. Living environmental-friendly is a luxury many simply cannot afford or lack the relevant education.  Often, you’ll find the side of the roads littered. And you won’t find trash bins in many parts of the country. Hence, traveling eco-friendly in Morocco may be harder than in other countries. But it’s not impossible.

Slowly, it becomes visible that the country invests more in the environment. For example, did you know that Morocco has the largest solar energy plant in the world? Besides, already in 2016, the country has banned plastic bags (but unfortunately the majority of businesses don’t bother).
Also, tour operators and accommodations are beginning to pay more attention to sustainability and eco-friendliness, as more and more visitors demand it. Besides, the country offers some stunning landscapes, fascinating culture, and incredibly hospitable people.
10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

Tips on how to travel sustainably during your 10 days in Morocco

First things first. What are the basics that you can consider when you want to travel sustainably in a country like Morocco? There are some easy basics you should pay attention to during your 10 days in Morocco:
  • Take public transport. There is a great local bus connection from the airport straight to the center of Marrakesh. If you arrive during the day, you can easily catch a bus. If you can’t avoid taking a taxi, try sharing it with other travelers who also head towards the city center.
  • Buy locally-made products. Morocco is full of beautiful markets where locals offer handmade crafts. Supporting the locals ensures that they can maintain old traditions and are not replaced by mass production.
  • Stay in a Riad. Small, locally-owned accommodation is usually the more sustainable travel option. Local families own many of the beautiful Riads in Morocco. By staying with them during your 10 days in Morocco, you’ll support Moroccan families instead of hotel chains. And honestly, those Riads are simply incredibly beautiful, often affordable, and the owners are passionate about running them.
  • Eat at independent restaurants. The same rule as with accommodation applies to food. Avoid any chain restaurant and try authentic Moroccan food. Finding vegetarian options may be a bit harder but usually, you can get either a vegetable tajine or couscous with vegetables anywhere.
  • Safe water. In a desert country, it’s even more important to save water – and it becomes more relevant the closer you get to the desert on your Morocco itinerary. When you’re staying in a desert camp overnight, please do not take a shower, as it takes huge amounts of energy to bring water to the desert. That’s a no-go for sustainable travel in Morocco.
  • Book a local guide. Morocco offers so much to see and has a rich history. So it’s well worth booking a guide. When doing so, join a local guide instead of a huge tour of an international organization. Yet, be aware, there are many scams. So rather take a look at ratings on platforms like Get your guide. In case you’re booking with a tour operator, do some research on their practices and on how eco-friendly they actually are, even if they’re claiming to be.
  • Join a local crafts workshop. There are some workshops, such as pottery, where you can learn about local traditions and make your own souvenirs during your 10 days in Morocco.
  • Avoid exploitation of animals and people. Make sure your travel activities are ethical. For example, there are many women’s cooperations across Morocco to ensure fair working conditions. Besides, a popular, yet widely discussed activity in Morocco is camel riding. If you don’t want to refrain from this experience, do some research and look for an ethical guide or company that treats the animals well.
  • Take your waste. You may often find litter across the Moroccan landscape and almost nowhere there are any public trash bins. So if you produce waste, take it with you until you’ll find a proper opportunity to ditch your trash.
  • Engage with locals. This way, you’ll get to know about Moroccan traditions, Berber culture, the best local place for tea, and other secret hot spots. Our wonderful host at Riad Luzia in Marrakesh told us so many interesting facts and helpful tips that really enriched our stay.
  • Respect traditions and local customs. A fact, that’s often overseen is that respectful travel is also an important part of sustainable travel. As Morocco is a Muslim country, be aware that you should cover your legs and shoulders as part of a respectful visit.

Marrakesh | a must for your 10 days in Morocco itinerary

The court of a Riad in Marrakesh. Riads are a great way for sustainable travel in Morocco Sustainable travel Morocco | Nachhaltig reisen in Marokko

What you can’t miss in Marrakesh

Marrakesh is one of a kind. I’ve visited over 40 countries but I’ve never experienced any place like this. It’s colorful, mystical, it’s loud, bustling. Therefore, it has to be on your Morocco itinerary for sure.

The beauty of Marrakesh definitely lies within all those hidden oases in the Riads’ backyards. You’re walking through the streets without any clue about the secret paradise behind the walls next to you. And then you pass by an open gate and catch a glimpse into a courtyard – a lush oasis of tropical plants, a fountain, and colorful walls. That’s what makes this place enormously magical.
So what are the things you can’t miss?

The Medina

In Northern Africa, the term “Medina” stands for the old part of a city or town. Strolling through the busy narrow streets, there is so much to explore. You can really dive into the Moroccan culture in between fruit stalls, stores, and hagglers. The different scents and noises are overwhelming.
the spice market in Marrakesh | Sustainable travel Morocco | Nachhaltig reisen in Marokko

Djeema el Fna (the main square)

The name of Marrakesh’s main square reminds of tales of One Thousand and One Nights. Djeema el Fna has been one of the main cultural places in Marrakesh since the eleventh century – that’s a thousand years ago! You will be surprised at how much culture you can feel in one place, expressed through Berber musicians, henna painters, fortune tellers, and dancers. At night street food hawkers, magicians, and more music makes the square even more lively. It gives you the feeling that you’re in the middle of an Aladdin scene. No wonder that Unesco enlisted the square as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
What I loved is that many of the fruit juice vendors offer their juices in glasses instead of plastic cups (for which you’ll hardly find a trash bin anywhere).

The downside: On the square, you also come across lots of animal tourism, such as snake-charmers and men with monkeys on chains with cut-off tails. That’s just heartbreaking and cruel, as they’re only there for tourists to take funny pictures with a monkey on their shoulder. As a responsible and sustainable traveler in Morocco, please don’t support activities where people exploit animals for the sake of profit.

The souks

Djeema el Fna is the place where you can start diving into the Medina’s maze of souks. The souks are the traditional markets that offer an authentic Moroccan shopping experience. They are the heart and soul of Marrakesh, where you can find spices, lamps, tableware, carpets, and other crafts & souvenirs. It’s the perfect place to buy some gifts to bring home from your 10 days in Morocco.
You can either stroll through the souks by yourself or book a tour through the souks of Marrakesh.

The stallholders are willing to haggle but can be very forward. While haggling can be fun, as a respectful traveler you should only haggle if you actually want to buy. Many stalls, however, seem like they exist more for tourists than for locals nowadays. Only if you dive deep into the souks you’ll find yourself somewhere in the maze of local buyers haggling for lamps, local carpets, and tobacco.

Bahia Palace

In the middle of Marrakesh’s historic center, you can find this artistic masterpiece. Your eyes will marvel at the colorful courtyards, gardens, and patterned rooms and ceilings.
A local Minister has built this incredibly beautiful palace for his wife in the 19th century. I wonder how they used their 150 rooms and numerous landscaped gardens. Even if it’s one of the city’s main tourist spots, you should definitely see its beauty. But go early in order to avoid the crowds.
10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

El Badii Palace

As opposed to the well-preserved Bahia Palace, El Badii Palace is largely in ruins. The palace dates back to the early 1600s and the site is huge!
You can spend hours in there exploring the maze of ruins, the underground jail, the walls. We went in the evening, an hour before closing time, which is why we were able to s visit an almost empty palace – awesome for some nice photos without the tourist crowd.
Sustainable travel Morocco | Nachhaltig reisen in Marokko

Koutoubia Mosque

As only Muslims can access the interior of the mosque, everyone else has to stick to an external visit. You can’t miss it, as the 70 meters high minaret is one of Marakesh’s landmarks close to the main square Djeema el Fna.
The mosque’s minaret has shaped the city’s picture for years. My mother once showed me an old photo of her trip to Morocco around 40 years ago and the first thing that caught my eye was the Koutoubia Mosque.

Jardin Majorelle

With Jardin Majorelle, we found a peaceful oasis within the bustling city. It comes as no surprise that Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with this lovely garden and purchased it.
It’s a short bus ride or an adventurous walk a bit outside the city center. But once you get there, you’re rewarded with an exotic place full of fountains, exotic plants, and even an Islamic Art Museum. A true oasis when you spend 10 days in the desert country of Morocco.
Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

Arsat Moulay Abdeslam (Cyber Park)

Another place for a green break from the bustling city is the so-called “Cyber Park”. Its name says it all: within neat paths and pomegranate and lemon trees, there is free wifi. It didn’t work for us but we didn’t really care. We went there more to have a break from the hustle. But don’t expect a European park with soft grass to lay down – that’s not allowed.

The Mellah (Jewish quarter)

Marrakesh’s Jewish quarter is definitely worth seeing. Not only the Jewish cemetery is worth a visit, but also the neighborhood itself. It’s rather off the beaten path. You mainly encounter locals among the mud-brick buildings. Don’t miss the Mellah market for a more genuine experience than the touristy souks in the Medina.

Watch out for scams

We had a few incidents of Moroccans approaching us and telling us that a certain street apparently is a closed road or not safe to go. What may seem helpful at first sight, eventually turned out to be a scam. They tell or show you another street and then ask for money. Just don’t let people like that take you in.
While this may seem alarming, I want to point out that they don’t represent the Moroccan locals. Most of the encounters we had with locals on our 10 days in Morocco itinerary were extremely warm and welcoming. And that’s the picture I want to keep of the Moroccans.

Where to stay in Marrakesh

One thing is clear: For the most authentic experience, you have to stay in a Riad. Those beautiful, traditional Moroccan houses typically have a gorgeous courtyard and lovely, typical Moroccan decorations. Many of them are owned by local families and thus a great sustainable travel option. By staying with them during your 10 days in Morocco, you’ll support local families instead of hotel chains. And these Riads are incredibly beautiful, mostly affordable, and the owners are passionate about running them.

Hotel recommendations:

  • Riad Luzia – What a wonderful place I always love thinking back to. Such a beautiful family-owned house with a lovely courtyard and a rooftop from where you have a spectacular view across Marrakesh. The owner was so lovely and told us so much about Berber culture and Moroccan traditions.
  • Riad Vanilla Sma & Spa – The beautiful rooftop area with the whirlpool where you can relax is for sure the highlight of Riad Vanilla. It’s also super close to Marrakesh’s main square Jemaa El Fna. Probably the value for money you can get.
  • Dar Andamaure – Located in a super central yet quiet location, Dar Andamaure and their lovely team welcome you with open arms.

Hostel recommendations:

  • Earth Hostel – Created by a young Amazigh (Berber) man, who loves gathering people from all over the world where you can experience the wonders of Morocco, meet, share, create and enjoy the unique Moroccan vibe.
  • The Central House Marrakech Medina – A more upscale hostel with a wonderful pool
  • Equity Point – A Spa hostel (how cool is that?) where you can enjoy their Hammam, massages, pool and you’re in the heart of Marrakesh.

Where to eat in Marrakesh

For the preparation of many traditional Moroccan dishes, they use only locally found ingredients. Food miles are a great contributor to climate change. Hence, by eating and drinking locally, you raise the demand for local products and don’t support unnecessary food imports.

Drinking tea is a very popular tradition in Morocco. Moroccans make contracts drinking tea, settle disputes drinking tea, and cultivate friendships drinking tea. You can have tea anytime of the day: for breakfast, as an afternoon tea, or before going to bed. Perfect for me as a tea lover. Even if you’re more of a coffee person, you shouldn’t miss out on having a pot of tea skillfully poured in a traditional glass during our 10 days in Morocco.

Moreover, a part of the proper dining experience in Marrakesh are the numerous rooftop terraces. You find them everywhere – from tiny ones on top of seemingly run-down buildings to beautifully decorated lounges overlooking the city up until the edge of the Atlas mountains.
A true highlight during your Morocco itinerary is a Streetfood tour by night in Marrakesh. Or dive deeper into Moroccan cuisine by joining a Tagine cooking class with a local!

Here are some of my favorite places to dine, have a snack, or simply a cup of tea.
L'Mida | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute


  • L’Mida – Moroccan fusion on a beautiful terrace with magical lamps under the night sky. Try the yummy Amlou cake!
  • Café  des épices – An affordable, down to earth place with a relaxed rooftop right above Place des épices
  • Naranj – Extremely delicious Lebanese food with a stunning rooftop
  • Henna art café – Run by a local Berber and an American artist this welcoming place combines an art gallery, a school for henna art, and a cute café serving vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food inside Marrakesh’s center
  • Broc the Kasbah – An awesome concept with a mixture of second-hand clothing and affordable, yummy vegetarian & vegan food. Try the vegan burger!
  • Earth cafe – A place for organic vegetarian and vegan food, traditional Maroccan as well as international options
  • Nomad – For high-class rooftop dining with a modern interpretation of some traditional dishes. Owned by a young Moroccan entrepreneur who is known for his effort in modernizing the Marakesh restaurant scene.

Other places that I haven’t visited myself but that have been recommended to me:

  • Terrace des épices
  • Un déjeneur a Marrakesh
  • Le Jardin (high-class rooftop dining)
Sustainable travel Morocco | Nachhaltig reisen in Marokko

Where to shop

If you’re up for strolling through some shops, the alleys of Marrakesh’s Medina offer some cute, alternative stores and stalls. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Arganino – For high-quality Argan oil products, on the first floor of Souk Cherifa
  • L’Art du Bain – A small soap stall at the market on place des épices
  • Chabi chic – High-quality, modern Moorish ceramics – fairtrade and handmade in Morocco
  • Max & Jan – A stylish store for ethical clothing and decor, all products designed and manufactured in Morocco

The Sahara desert | A unique experience on your 10 days in Morocco itinerary

Sahara desert | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

How to reach the Sahara desert and plan your Morocco itinerary

When you spend 10 days in Morocco, digging your feet in the warm sand of the Sahara desert is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss. It is quite a long drive from Marrakesh – after around 9 hours you’re at the edge of the Sahara desert. It is a long but unique ride through the stunning Atlas Mountains and Moroccan outback.
After hours of extremely windy and bumpy roads, you’re rewarded with the view of the first dunes in the distance. The magical view you’ve been waiting for during your whole Morocco itinerary.

What to see on the way from Marrakesh to the desert

Due to the long drive, I recommend some stops along the way and even spending a night. If you want to make your Morocco itinerary more sustainable, your 10 days in Morocco can be slowed down.


A popular stop near Ourzazate is the city of Aït-Ben-Haddou, a town which exists of mud and earth houses only. Since this town has been the film location for some scenes of Game of Thrones, Gladiator, and other movies, it has become extremely touristy though.

Tazekka National Park in the Atlas Mountains

A better option is visiting Tazekka National Park. This lovely park in the heart of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains is a great example of conservation. Originally, the national park has been created to preserve the region’s cedar trees and it’s a perfect place to watch wildlife in its natural surroundings.
Aid Benhaddou | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

Joining a Sahara desert tour

Of course, there are plenty of tours that organize a complete 3 day trip from Marrakesh to the Sahara desert and back, including a stay in a desert camp. Also, you can start your tour in Fes, and will be dropped off in Marrakesh after some days in the desert. Due to the large number of tour operators offering such a Morocco itinerary, you have to do some proper research to find an ethical tour company. Finding an operator that supports sustainable travel in Morocco isn’t super easy.

In general, I’m not a big fan of these organized tours which try to squeeze as much as possible into a short time. When you only have a restricted time (less than 10 days) in Morocco and don’t want to miss the desert, those tours may be the most affordable and most convenient option for your Morocco itinerary.
For us, unfortunately, it turned out this way. But it’s not the way I’d recommend. While we met some great people we shared the bus with, the places we visited along the way were extremely touristy (all the tour operators seem to stop at the same spots).
Moreover, they took us to extremely overpriced restaurants where the food was not good at all. Eventually, we also only had a very short time at the desert itself, which was quite a shame.

When you can afford to travel to such an exotic country like Morocco, the better option is to take a few more days and don’t rush. To have 10 days in Morocco should be the minimum if you plan to see 1-2 cities as well as the Sahara desert during your Morocco itinerary.
You can either join an extended high-quality tour or another option is to organize your trip to the desert yourself. This is what I’d do next time.
There is public transport, which takes longer and may be more uncomfortable. And there is also the option to get a rental car. This way you are free to stop wherever you want to.
Sahara desert | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

The controversial question of riding camels

A very popular spot to start heading into the desert is the small town Merzouga. There’s basically nothing but Sahara tourism and camels over there. Speaking of camels, the question comes up whether riding a camel can be ethical? And whether camel riding could ever go along with sustainable travel in Morocco?
On the one hand, camels are domesticated and have been a mode of transport in the desert for thousands of years. Hence, you may consider it more similar to horse riding than the cruelty of riding wild animals such as elephants. As desert animals, camels have been the only option to connect humans to this beautiful, mythical part of the world. Without being able to experience the desert, how can we humans value and protect it?

Yet, the PETA has urged tourists not to ride camels, after they published some disturbing footage of camels being beaten with a stick in Egypt. The problem is, that there are no strict animal welfare laws in countries like Morocco or Egypt. That’s what makes it hard to monitor, whether a certain tour operator treats their animals well.
Whether or not to ride a camel, eventually, is a very personal decision. But there are some factors you can look out for before deciding to ride one with a certain tour guide:
  • Plan ahead and join a tour operator with an animal welfare policy and that promotes sustainable travel in Morocco
  • Ask questions: A tour operator should be happy to answer any questions about how they keep their animals
  • Camels should only live in desert habitats and never in any humid climate
  • Look closely: Do the animals look healthy and well-fed and are they relaxed and calm (e.g. chewing its cud is a good sign for a relaxed camel)
  • Listen: Is the camel treated gently and not screamed at or forced to be ridden when it doesn’t want to
  • Always follow the rule that only one person should ride on one camel
  • If you witness someone mistreating an animal during your 10 days in Morocco, speak out to the tour operator, and spread the word with a bad review on platforms such as Tripadvisor and Get your guide. Additionally, report them to an animal welfare organization such as SPANA, or Animondial.
Sahara desert | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

Staying at a desert camp

Luckily, there are also other options to reach a desert camp, such as trekking there or taking a ride with a Jeep. And there’s a wide range of different desert camps – from very basic ones up to luxury desert camps that even have running water.
If you opt for a luxury desert camp because you prefer staying in a nicer tent with more privacy and a higher quality bed, that’s completely fine. But I mentioned it in the beginning and I emphasize it once more at this point: Never ever take a shower in the desert! You can do that again when you’re back in a city the next day but taking a shower in the desert is the worst thing you can do in the Sahara. It takes huge amounts of energy to transport that water into the desert. And it’s simply unethical in a country that suffers from drought.

While it can be boiling during the day, be aware that the desert gets very cold at night. And by cold, I mean extremely cold (the temperature went down to zero degrees Celcius when we went in February, even though during the day we had around 20 – 25 degrees). So don’t forget to bring some warm clothes for your Morocco itinerary!

Overall, the feeling of being surrounded by sand and only sand wherever you look is extremely unique. And how bright you can see the stars shining at night! I have been to sand dunes before, but the Sahara desert is a very special place that I can highly recommend visiting during your 10 days in Morocco. Just try to make your visit as ethical as possible by paying attention to the basics mentioned at the beginning.

Desert Camp recommendations

  • Luxurious Merzouga Desert Camps – We spent two wonderful days in this desert camp. It’s just a short ride from Merzouga, but even though you’re not that deep in the desert, you’re surrounded by sand as far as you can see. You can learn about Berber culture and spend the evenings sitting around the campfire with them and their drums.
  • Pueblo Tuareg Luxury Camp – The brothers Salem and Moha have created a calm, remote haven in the Sahara desert with gorgeous luxury tents with everything you need and you can even get vegan food if you let them know.
For more tips on sustainable travel not only in Morocco but at any destination, check out my 12 easy tips on how to be a more sustainable traveler.
Sustainable travel Morocco | Nachhaltig reisen in Marokko | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

Suggested 10 days in Morocco itinerary

As mentioned before, we only had one week in Morocco which is why we concentrated on visiting Marrakesh and the Sahara desert. I’d recommend extending your trip to at least 10 days in Morocco and adding other destinations such as Fes or Agadir to your Morocco itinerary. I will be able to give recommendations about these places after my next trip to Morocco, which I hope will be soon.

A perfect Morocco itinerary for 10 days can be:

  • Marrakesh: 2-3 days
  • Sahara desert: 3-5 days (including the trip to and from the desert)
  • Fes: 3 days

10 days in Morocco – a wrap-up

Morocco in three words: Colorful Riads | Bustling souks | rooftop terraces
Did you know? Marrakesh is neither the capital of Morocco (which is Rabat) nor the largest city (which is Casablanca).
Favorite photo spot: Bahia Palace in Marrakesh
Favorite food: Any desert with Amlou (“Moroccan Nutella”)
Can’t miss: Staying in a Riad and feeling the Sahara desert sand under your feet

Tea in Marrakesh | 10 days in Morocco itinerary | 1 Woche Marokko Reiseroute

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