Morocco is the perfect post-Brexit motorhome escape if you’re looking to spend three months out of the Schengen Area. This diverse and seemingly endless country gives so much more than it takes; with breathtaking landscapes and huge skies, Morocco will delight and mystify you in equal measure. To enjoy your motorhome or campervan tour, planning and preparation is critical. Read on to find out all you need to know about vanlife in Morocco.
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Things to Know About Morocco
Morocco has a multi-cultural influence from France and Africa alongside it’s own Arab and Berber culture. Morocco was a French protectorate from 1912 until 1956 and the effect of this can be seen widely across the country in use of the spoken and written language and architecture.
But Morocco is not a European country and does not look, feel, smell or behave like a European country! Don’t go to Morocco expecting the same standards of civic cleanliness, food hygiene or road maintenance for example, as you would back home.
Manage your expectations about motorhome life in Morocco and you will not be disappointed, only delighted by the friendliness of the people and their beautiful country.
Morocco is an Islamic country with 99% 0f the population identifying as Muslim. It is unlikely that this will affect you much as a traveller. You may be awoken by the call to prayer from the local mosque but we find it quite a soothing sound. Take ear plugs like these if you think this might bother you.
It is evident over the last ten years of our travels to Morocco that the infrastructure is improving year on year and significant investment is taking place in the country. That is not to say that you won’t drive through the most dilapidated towns and villages and be appalled by the rubbish and squalor but be surprised by modern city life in Morocco just a few hours later. In the most rural parts of Morocco, life is tough and remains a hand to mouth existence.
There are no dress laws in Morocco but you should be mindful of where you are and the context in which your dress should be considered.
In conservative areas such as the country and in medinas, both men and women should avoid short shorts, sleeveless tops and clingy clothing. At the beach or in resorts there are less restrictions and clearly, lying fully clothed to sunbathe isn’t going to work!
The best months to tour Morocco in a motorhome are December, January, February and March. During these months the extremes between night and day are marked, with temperatures in the low to mid 20°c during the day to freezing at night, depending on where in the country you are. As a general rule, the further from the coast, the more extreme the temperatures. Pack some thermal nightwear like this for the evenings and to wear in bed.
Many Moroccans speak fluent French and some fluent English. In some rural areas, neither will be spoken at all. Use an app such as Google Translate or iTranslate to help you. The latter can be used off-line for a small monthly fee.
A few words of Arabic go a long way, we use these daily and always get a smile;
- naäam = yes
- laa = no
- min faDlik = please
- shukran = thank you
- As-salāmu ʿalaykum = peace be upon you and widely used as a greeting
You will encounter begging at some point. This might take the form of overt begging, which is usually confined to cities and bigger towns or from traders or faux guides (not registered) who descend to begging when you decline their wares or services.
It can be difficult to know how to respond, especially when the beggars are children. The Lonely Planet Morocco Guide (which we have found invaluable) suggests that giving money (or sweets) to children shames their families and perpetuates the problem. Several of our guides have suggested giving notebooks and pens to children which seems like a better option to us.
Is it Safe to Road Trip in Morocco?
Local Laws & Customs
There are a number of local laws and customs that travellers to Morocco should be aware of;
- Morocco is a Muslim country which follows Islamic laws and customs. Be aware of your actions to ensure they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
- Avoid public displays of affection, particularly outside the main tourist areas and near religious places.
- Sexual relations outside marriage are punishable by law. If you decide to stay in a hotel, you may need to produce a marriage certificate, especially if your surnames differ.
- Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Morocco. Be sensitive to local laws and customs and avoid public displays of affection. Complaints can lead to prosecution.
- Women, especially when travelling alone, may receive unwanted attention from men. To minimise hassle, you may choose to wear loose-fitting clothing which cover the arms, legs and chest.
- Alcohol is served in licensed hotels, bars and in tourist areas. However, drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar isn’t allowed and can lead to arrest.
- Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a heavy fine.
- It’s illegal in Morocco to send passports through the post. British passports sent to or through Morocco by post or courier companies will be confiscated by the Moroccan authorities.
- It is against the law to carry bibles in Arabic, to attempt to distribute any non-Muslim or evangelical literature, or to be involved in any such activity.
- Avoid taking any photographs near sensitive political or military sites.
- You’ll need permission from the authorities to fly a drone. Contact the Moroccan Civil Aviation Authority for more information about the rules. Don’t take a drone with you if you don’t have permission to fly or it will be confiscated on entry at customs.
- It’s illegal to possess pornographic material.
Check the Foreign Office website for more information and up to date guidance.
The matter of motorhome and campervan insurance in Morocco is one of the most asked questions on any Morocco motorhome forum. Many insurers have now stopped providing a green card for Morocco and those that do, will charge for it. You are required by Moroccan law to have, at a minimum, third party insurance.
Our latest research shows that only Comfort and Saga ‘may’ offer fully comprehensive cover for Morocco. Note the ‘may’ which is a catch-all get out should they wish to change their mind after you have taken out a policy based on getting a green card. At the time of writing, both are charging upwards of £50 a week for a fully comprehensive green card. Whether this may change when Morocco increases in popularity for people long-term motorhoming in Europe post-Brexit, remains to be seen.
You could shop around and try and get cover from a UK underwriter for the period of your trip, but our own recent research has shown that most only offer third party cover and those that were willing to discuss fully comprehensive cover would be charging a prohibitive amount.
Your final option is to purchase third party insurance at the port in Morocco. It’s a very simple process; you arrive, hand over your V5 (original not copy) for a cursory inspection, pay around €200 for three months and be on your way. We were unable to buy for less than three months but other travellers have reported being able to buy for a month. You will get a document with a number to call in case of an accident but this is basic insurance which remember, will not cover you for theft or any damage to your motorhome that you cause yourself. Only you can decide if you are willing to take the risk.
If your green card is being provided by your insurer and you have breakdown cover as part of your package then any costs you incur due to a breakdown will be covered. This means you will need to manage the breakdown, organising recovery and any repairs yourself, pay the bill and submit it to your insurer for payment. We strongly advise that you check with your insurers before departure to ensure that this is still the case.
If you are not covered in this way, then your options are very limited. There is no national breakdown service in Morocco and you will have to use a local recovery service and garage to resolve your vehicle problems. If you do break down, undoubtedly, a passing local will stop to check if you’re ok (this has happened to us several times) and if you need assistance, it will be provided. As mentioned earlier, Moroccans are incredibly resourceful and everyone seems to know someone who can help.
A long held frustration of ours is that as motorhomers we don’t need all the frills of travel insurance, just the medical and repatriation bits. We’re not bothered if we’re delayed and we won’t be losing any luggage!
The best provider we have found is True Traveller. They give a good level of cover including some sports not covered by other insurers and you can purchase this when you’ve already started travelling. They are also not bothered where you have spent the last six months, which makes them quite unusual. This is the perfect travel insurance for UK travellers who’ve spent the last few years motorhoming around Europe, relying on their EHIC cards for medical emergencies but need a bit extra for Morocco.
Morocco is a fundamentally safe country and the penalties for theft are high. Due to the lack of tolerance for wild camping, especially in more off-the-beaten-track and remote areas, the likelihood is that your motorhome will be on a site or in guarded parking.
Follow the advice in our post about staying safe and legal in your motorhome. In our opinion, no additional measures are required.
On the whole, Morocco is a pretty safe country to travel in. As with anywhere in the world, take the usual precautions, be vigilant and use common sense.
We strongly suggesting hiring a proper registered guide when visiting bigger cities. Being lost in the narrow winding alleys of the medinas where your connection may be patchy and your mapping app confused, is not a great idea. Unlike many European tour services, you won’t pay an arm and a leg for a registered guide and are less likely to be harassed. At around £8-10 for 2-3 hours you can only gain from their insight and advice.
Be prepared to be scammed, particularly in big cities. People will pretend to be your friend, faux guides will sell you services, people will try and stop you on the road or pull up beside you when you’re driving. Their aim is usually to sell you something or direct you to over-priced and run down campsites. This is all part of the Moroccan experience; do not engage or give a firm ‘non’. Make it clear you do not need their services and if asked for payment, refuse.
Theft is not a big problem outside of cities. When in busy places carry your bag on your front and be vigilant when using ATM’s. Be respectful of your environment, dress appropriately and don’t flaunt your wealth.
There is more detailed info in the Lonely Planet Morocco Guide.
You will require the following documents when travelling in a motorhome or campervan in Morocco;
- A passport that is valid for the length of your stay in Morocco if you are a Brit or United States citizen. Check with your embassy if you’re from any other country.
- You do not require a visa to enter Morocco for up to three months. Your passport will be stamped with date of entry when you arrive in Morocco and again when you leave.
- V5, the vehicle registration document. You must take the original document as you are required to temporarily import your vehicle into the country. You will also need the V5 if you’re buying insurance at the border and when you buy your ferry ticket.
- Import document you will receive at the port. Keep this safe as you will be required to surrender it on exit and may be asked for it if stopped by the police.
- Vehicle green card or proof of insurance purchased in Morocco.
- Driving License. You do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for Morocco as long as your license is in English.
- A printed copy of your travel insurance policy or access to it online.
Preparing Your Motorhome for Morocco
Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. Moroccan’s are a resourceful people, can seem to fix most things and will willingly help but this won’t be in any recognised garage and any work is unlikely to be warrantied. Prevention is always better than cure!
Ideally, have a service before setting off and make sure your tyres (including the spare) and windscreen are in good condition.
As you may have read, there is no LPG in Morocco. Except there is, but it’s mostly in bottles! You have three options;
Manage Gas Consumption
Follow these tips so that you don’t need to re-fill;
- Tour in warmer months (not December, January and early February) so you don’t need heating at night or ensure you have thermal gear and a winter weight high tog quilt or thermal sleeping bag.
- Use site facilities for showering and washing and turn off your van hot water. (Difficult if you want to wild camp but there are limited opportunities in Morocco in any case).
- Utilise sites EHU for your fridge and buy low wattage electrical appliances such as a kettle and hotplate. Remember that you need special pans if you go for a low wattage induction hotplate.
- Perhaps a bit extreme, but consider a blown air diesel heater which draws from your diesel tank. This is a great option for regular Moroccan visitors (or indeed visitors to Finland where there is also no LPG!).
Use Moroccan Gas Bottles
There is no LPG at the pump for re-fillable systems like Gaslow and Gasit. You can buy a reserve cylinder connection hose and French adaptor for the Gaslow system, which allows you to feed in to your gas system (not into the Gaslow bottle) through the filling point via an external bottle.
If you don’t have a refillable system, bottled gas is readily available and uses the same fittings as French bottles. Gas generally comes in three sizes; the large bottles are propane and cost around 300MAD (£24). The medium sized bottles are butane (OK for your Cadac or BBQ but not for heating unless your manufacturer specifically says its ok) and cost around 75MAD (£6) and small bottles are Gaz. These costs are for the first time buy and include the cost of the bottle. Bottles come in all different colours, which is because there is no national supplier and they each use a different colour to identify their bottles. Try and find the least battered one you can!
If you can’t get a French adaptor in the UK then you should be able to source one on the way down or in Morocco.
Check this out before leaving as there are many, many different ways of adapting from English to French fittings depending on your bottles and system.
At many of the popular motorhome stops, people will come to the site offering to take your bottles away and re-fill them. We have also heard about people using an adaptor to feed LPG from a Moroccan bottle in via an external gas point.
There are also gas works in Morocco where we have been told it is possible to have bottles filled. We have not tried this but it could be worth investigating. The gas works co-ordinates are below but you may need to do some additional checking on Google Maps or Google Earth just to make sure of where you’re heading.
- Marrakech – N31° 43′ 48,4″ W08° 05′ 40,1″
- Foum el Oued – N27° 04′ 32,4″ W13° 25′ 02,4″
- Meknes – N33° 49′ 31,8″ W005° 30′ 52,8″
- Bourfan – N32° 31′ 33,2″ W001° 56′ 45,5″
- Alhoceima – N35° 10′ 45,0″ W003° 59′ 38,8″
Please remember though that these types of bottles are not designed to be re-filled (unless they are from a re-fillable system) and on the continent this would not be allowed as they can be over-filled and explode. This should perhaps be a last resort!
The electricity supply in Morocco is not like that of Europe. Most sites will offer a paltry 4 or 6 amps and on top of that, the voltage is often irregular. Trips are frequent and may happen ten times a day or not at all; sometimes this depends on how many other vans are on site.
Often you can only use one appliance at a time, especially those with a heavy draw. It helps if you have a solar panel if the electric does go down for any length of time. We have also found that using our invertor when boiling water or using the hotplate can help. Some people carry a portable voltage regulator like this one. You will need a domestic two-pin plug like this to plug in at all campsites and a long cable (at least 25m) as often EHU points are few and far between.
Make sure that you charge devices when on the move. We also carry several power banks like these which are always charged for emergency electrical failure. If you want to charge a laptop, you will need something like this.
As a minimum we have always been able to run our fridge, TV and charge appliances from the provided electricity. Sometimes we have also been able to boil the kettle and maybe have our water on the lowest heating setting on the boiler, but the latter is a bit of a treat!
Cash vs Card
Morocco is a cash driven society. In the countryside, debit and credit cards are rarely accepted unless you are in a large supermarket for example. We have often been unable to pay for fuel using plastic. Carry plenty of cash with you and make sure you can access additional funds in case of emergencies.
The Moroccan dirham is a closed currency and is difficult to buy outside of the country. ATM’s are widely available. Some will charge 20 -30MAD (around £2), so check before making the withdrawal.
If you use your usual credit or debit card, the chances are you will be charged for making a cash withdrawal or purchase by your bank. A pre-loaded currency card such as Caxton will not charge you for using your card in Morocco. You cannot convert your pounds into dirhams on such a pre-loaded card (because its a closed currency) but you can still use the card and the conversion will be made at the time of purchase.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Morocco is less than that of Europe. To help you plan your budget, here is a brief list of items with their current cost;
- Diesel 10MAD per ltr = 80p
- Sites fees 70-110MAD inc EHU = £5.50 – £8.70
- Dinner 80-160MAD = £6.30 – £15.80
- Fresh milk 9-10MAd per 900ml = 70 – 80p
- Bananas 14MAD per kg = £1.10
- Chicken breast 43MAD per kg = £3.40
- Eggs 14MAD per 6 = £1.10
- Local bread 3MAD = 25p
- Potatoes 4.50MAD per kg = 35p
- Bottled water 3MAD per 1.5ltr = 25p
Toiletries, Coca Cola, chocolate and alcohol (where you can find it) are expensive. If you enjoy a glass of wine, you will pay around €15 for a very mediocre bottle at dinner. Not all restaurants serve alcohol and most shops don’t sell it but it is not illegal to drink it. The publicised allowance to bring with you is one litre. However we, and numerous others, have bought cases of wine and beer into Morocco in their motorhomes, to which customs appear to turn a blind eye. I guess this approach could change at any given time so ensure you are happy to take the risk and use common sense.
Morocco is struggling to recycle single-use plastic water bottles. We have found that almost all water is potable and have been drinking directly from the filter tap in our motorhome. If you don’t have a filter tap you could consider a bottle with built in filter like this one, filling a single-use bottle directly from the campsite tap or using a Brita filter jug.
Data & Connectivity
You will not be able to use your data, make telephone calls or send texts with your normal UK provider, unless you are happy with a second mortgage to pay the bill! The best option is to buy a local data only SIM card; you will find that 4G coverage is widespread and generally of a good quality.
The two biggest providers are Maroc Telecom and Orange Maroc with the former having slightly better coverage. There are Maroc Telecom shops and their subsidiaries everywhere. So important are they, many are signposted on arrival to a new town.
You can buy a SIM for 20MAD (£1.60) which gives you a tiny amount of calling and text credit. Top this up with a data only pack, currently retailing at 10MAD (79p) for 1gb and multiples thereof, up to the largest data pack at 200MAD (£15.80) for 20gb. The process is simple and the shop staff will talk you through the set-up if you take your device with you. You will need your passport when you go to buy your SIM. You have a couple of options;
- Put your local SIM into your existing phone, although that means people back home won’t be able to call you on your usual number.
- Download WhatsApp for calls and messages as this negates the need for calling credit and uses 4G or a wifi network.
- If you have a spare phone, consider using the SIM in that and use as a hot-spot for other devices. This maintains your UK number for calls & messages on your usual phone, although you will pay handsomely for them!
- Use a mi-fi device in your motorhome and when you’re out and about. This also acts as a wifi network for your motorhome.
GET OUR FREE EMAIL SERIES – THE FIVE SECRETS TO STRESS FREE MOTORHOMING – AND MAKE LIFE ON THE ROAD A BREEZE
Algeciras to Tanger-Med
This the most popular route for motorhomes due to the ability to buy tickets at Viajes Normandie (also known as ‘Carlos’) and the ease of ongoing travel due to the proximity of the motorway to the Tanger-Med port in Morocco. An open return at Viajes Normandie will cost around £170 (cash only), considerably cheaper than on-line prices.
Tarifa to Tanger-Ville
A slightly quicker route with lots of convenient places to stay overnight before sailing. There is less space for motorhomes on these fast ferries and it is usually a little more expensive. Going into Tanger-Ville means you have to drive through the city to get to the nearest motorway, although if you are intending to head south on the coast this may be a good option.
Algeciras to Ceuta
Sailing into this Spanish enclave may feel simpler, but you still have to go through customs as you leave Ceuta into Morocco proper. Tickets are more expensive than the Algeciras-Tanger-Med crossing and boats sail less frequently.
The Night Before
Head down to Algeciras the day before you want to cross. Viajes Normandie is open from 9am to 9pm. Park up, get your tickets (you can only pay in cash, use the ATM in Carrefour not the Santander machine over the road as this has a hefty charge for withdrawals) and then chill overnight in the convenient car-park full of other motorhomes!
There is a huge Carrefour just over the road where you can stock up and a few eating places around. It’s not the most salubrious place we’ve ever stayed but it’s convenient for tickets and the port. We met some awesome people there who we travelled on to Morocco with!
At Algeciras Port
You will be departing from the north port in Algeciras, signposted ‘puerto norte’. It’s south down the A7 until junction 108c which takes you onto the N-357. You’ll find it is signed once you are on the A7. It will take around 15 minutes from the car-park to the port.
There is a garage with LPG in Algeciras but it’s the wrong side of the port so we suggest filling up the night before. You can check the details and directions using the myLPG app.
Follow the signage and hand over your ferry tickets when prompted to do so. Loading is time consuming and doesn’t seem to follow the nice orderly procession we’re used to at Dover! We were loaded last but able to get off first, although this is not always the case so relax and enjoy the spectacle. Driving on is simple, the ramp is level and stable, unlike some ferries we’ve been on. Remember to turn off your gas when you leave your vehicle; your fridge will stay cold for the journey without any extra measures.
On the Ferry
As you head up the stairs from the garage deck you will be handed a white immigration form. Make sure to take a pen and your passports with you, as you will need to complete the form and get your passports stamped on the boat. There is generally only one or two decks, so finding the immigration officer is not difficult. Before the boat even sails, a long queue will have formed. If you don’t fancy standing for half an hour, wait for the queue to dissipate and then hand in your passports along with your completed immigration forms for a stamp which shows your date of entry into Morocco. You must get this done on the boat or you will be denied entry.
You may stay in Morocco without a visa for up to 90 days. It is possible to extend this for longer by applying at your local police station in Morocco, you can find more details on how to do this here.
Remember to turn your mobile roaming off before the boat sets sail, or very soon afterwards. The maritime roaming charges are astronomical.
At the Port in Morocco
Once off the boat, follow signs for ‘sortie’ (exit) and you will come to customs. Here you will be stopped and your passports requested. Do not be alarmed when the customs official keeps your passports, this is normal. You will be asked to join the queue for the x-ray machine which is driven over your vehicle. This can take a long time, especially if you are last off the boat; accept that this one day is a write-off and you’ll be fine!
Once though the x-ray machine, head back to the original customs lane and retrieve you passport. At this point, you will be required to hand over your v5 and wait for the official to bring it back with the temporary import document for your vehicle (I say document, it’s a credit card size piece of paper!). Keep this safe for the duration of your stay as you will be required to return it when you get the ferry back to Spain from Morocco in your camper.
You are now free to drive on to the area straight after customs where you can change money, use the ATM and buy insurance (in euros or dirhams). If you do get cash out here or change money, only get a small amount as the fees are high and rates poor. Make sure you have cash for the tolls (50-100MAD should be sufficient) as there is no option to pay with a card.
Have a couple of options for your first stop in mind. If you get the 11am crossing for example, you may not get through customs until 4-5pm, not leaving you much time to get anywhere before dark.
Driving a Motorhome in Morocco
Many Moroccan motorways and roads are in excellent, well maintained condition, especially those close to larger cities and along the coast. Moroccan drivers are on the whole quite steady and sometimes infuriatingly slow but the road safety record in Morocco is worse than the UK, so follow these driving tips and check out our driving in Morocco guide;
- Take it slowly and be cautious, particularly in wet or snowy weather or where there is likely to be ice on the roads. This is a real hazard on secondary routes and mountain roads.
- Road lighting at night is often poor, aim to be at your next stop before dusk.
- Lorries and trucks may be seriously overloaded and you should take extra care around them.
- It’s common for pedestrians, donkeys, horses and carts and people on bikes to wander across roads without looking.
- You should take extra care when overtaking, particularly where there is no hard shoulder.
- Leave plenty of time to reach your destination, it always takes longer than you think!
- Stick to the speed limit, there are usually police with radar guns about.
From time to time, you will come across road works. There is often no attempt to fix one side of the road whilst managing two-way traffic on the other; you will find the entire section of the roadworks in chaos with vehicles squeezing past each other on bare gravel and verges falling away on either side. Take your time and all will be well, but the first time you come across road works, it can be quite nerve-racking.
Some smaller roads are not ‘sealed’ and have no tarmac top although they are clearly roads. These roads are called piste. Depending on how far off the beaten track you want to go, you may not encounter any of these roads or perhaps the odd one leading from a main road to a campsite. None of the sat nav apps we have used in Morocco distinguish between sealed roads and pistes.
Navigation in Morocco
The Michelin 742 National Morocco Map 2015 (fold-out, paper) shows the different road surfaces in some detail and is the most up to date Moroccan road map at the time of writing. The road system is continuously being upgraded and this map may be out of date in some places, but only to the good with pistes being surfaced regularly.
Our choice of sat nav app for Morocco is Maps.me as this can be used off-line. Although 4G coverage is generally good, a live sat nav app will chew through your precious data. You must have a wifi connection to download each countries maps, make sure you do this before leaving home or where you have free wifi!
One every road into every city, town and village you will see police stationed at roundabouts. This allows them to monitor the comings and goings into each town. Sometimes they will also have a radar gun to check for speeding. You will know there is a checkpoint coming up as temporary speed signs will be displayed at the side of the road cautioning you to reduce speed to 60, 40 and then 20km/h.
These checkpoints are more frequent the closer you get to the Algerian or Western Sahara borders. The former has been closed since an Algerian terrorist attack in Marrakech in 1994 and the latter has a defensive wall in place which you are advised by the Foreign Office to avoid.
If you are stopped you will be asked for your passports and sometimes your vehicle importation documents. The police will want to know where you have been and where you are traveling to; the more specific you can be the happier they are!
People do report being stopped by the police and fined for unspecific traffic misdemeanours. The police are either unable to state the crime or will not produce a receipt for payment, which always must be in cash! In this case, you know you’re being scammed and you must decide whether to refuse to pay and hope to be waved on or pay up knowing it’s going into the policeman’s pocket.
Petrol stations are plentiful, even in the most remote areas. It is considerably cheaper to fill up in Morocco than anywhere in Europe with diesel costing around 10MAD per litre (80p) and unleaded around 11MAD per litre (87p). You often cannot pay with a debit or credit card and they are not like UK fuel stops where an ATM is available, so make sure you have enough cash.
The million dollar question! From the laid back vibe of the Atlantic Coast to the High Atlas Mountains and Sahara desert beyond, Morocco has many beautiful and diverse landscapes and places to experience. Why not check out these posts for lots of great ideas and tips in road trip routes and destinations?
A road trip in the stunning country of Morocco will take you from the sparking turquoise waters of the coast, through the dramatic snow-capped Atlas mountains. You’ll head into some of the craziest cities on earth and take the long road east to the rose gold dunes of the Sahara. With such a diverse landscape and wonderfully welcoming people, what’s stopping you from hitting the tarmac and taking a Moroccan road trip?
If you are going to Morocco, visiting the Sahara Desert should be at the top of your bucket list. The total tranquility and infinite beauty of the rose gold dunes is like nothing else on earth. Being there as the sun rises on the day or sinks into the horizon is one of life’s great privileges. Find out all you need to know about visiting Morocco desert here.
Motorhome stopovers in Morocco broadly fall into four categories. We found Park4Night to have the best options for finding places to stay. We also use Facebook forums and information from other motorhomers to help guide our choices.
Morocco Motorhome Campsites
Motorhome campsites in Morocco are plentiful and in all major towns and attractions. Do not expect European standards in Moroccan campsites; most are basic and don’t offer frills. What you will get though is a great welcome from the host and their family, often with a glass of ‘whisky berber’ (mint tea) and fresh bread at no extra cost.
Showers and loos vary greatly; from the truly appalling at Camping Azilan in Chefchaouen where the only shower with hot water costs extra and the toilets are less than clean to the sparkling loveliness of Camping Zebra at Ouzoud Falls.
Aires in Morocco are more basic than a campsite. Not all will have waste disposal facilities or electricity, but there is usually a loo. They are safe and usually gated or guarded at night. Good examples of this type of overnight stay in Morocco are auberge (restaurants with rooms / small hotels) where you can park in the car-park and use the facilities. There may be a fee or you may be expected to eat in the restaurant; as with all things in Morocco it is best to check the price first!
Sometimes the aire or repos (rest area) will not be a place you can sleep but rather a place where there are services such as water and waste disposal.
Often when you arrive somewhere, a ‘guardian’ will guide you to a space and expect payment for this service. They will also keep your motorhome safe, so we think it’s worth paying the few dirham that are asked. In some places, particularly cities and larger towns, the guardian parking will be walled and you can stay overnight. There will be no services. The charge for this seems to be anywhere from 20-60MAD, depending on where you are. Again, check the price!
There is little wild camping in Morocco, often the police will move you on for ‘security’ reasons. In more popular motorhome spots such as Agadir, along the coast, the painted rocks and Tafraoute (also known as the Valley of the Vans Morocco!) you will find concentrations of motorhomes wild camping which seems to be more tolerated (Tafraout camping is generally poor in comparison to the wild camping to be found there). It goes without saying that you should always dispose of your waste properly regardless of where you are staying.
On one particularly long leg of our journey (heading east to Figuig) the only place on Park4Night within a 250km radius had closed. We stopped at the local police station and were directed to a large fuel station a few kilometres away. We paid the owner 20MAD and stayed safely (if noisy) on the forecourt overnight.
Should You Visit Morocco in Your Motorhome or Campervan?
Yes, absolutely! Morocco is a stunning country, perfect for adventurers, digital nomads and those seeking the sun or a change of culture. Motorhome holidays in Morocco will become more popular as the UK leaves the EU and freedom of movement rules start to bite.
Have you loved reading about van life in Morocco but are still not sure? Then drop us an email with any questions, we’ll be delighted to help if we can. We will also be supporting small group motorhome tours to Morocco from 2021, a service designed to introduce you to motorhoming in Morocco and give you the confidence and knowledge to go it alone. Email us to let us know of your interest.
If motorhoming and campervanning in Europe is more your thing, check out all of our European destinations here.