Morocco by motorhome: tips, areas, itineraries
Morocco by motorhome:: Visiting a country by motorhome, van or camper van always offers more freedom than relying on public transport and hotel infrastructure. Why not visit Morocco in a camper van or van van and sleep almost under the stars, in a breathtaking natural environment? You won’t have to look up the rates and opening hours of Moroccan hotels and riads, and you can stop wherever you like (as long as you park in places authorized or tolerated by the local authorities).
Morocco is one of the most popular tourist destinations for the French. And tourism is the second-largest contributor to Morocco’s GDP, with 12.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2018. And for good reason: with its natural capital, architecture, historical and cultural heritage, Morocco – between the cities of Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fès Agadir, Meknes, the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert – is replete with wonders to see.
Ideas for itineraries in Morocco by motorhome:
Morocco is a vast country covering 446,550 km², and its culture is so rich that several trips are possible in a single stay in Morocco. Your trip will be different depending on whether you visit Morocco by motorhome for its cultural sites, sublime sandy beaches, unspoilt wilderness, Berber villages dyed ochre and red in the middle of the desert, imperial cities, medinas or souks. Morocco is a bridge between tradition and modernity. There’s so much to see and do in Morocco that you’ll need several visits to explore all its secrets.
Between Marrakech, the Atlas mountains, Meknes, Fez, Essaouira, Casablanca, the Erg Chebbi dunes, Chefchaouen, the Dades gorges, Tafraout, the Drâa valley, Ouarzazate, Rabat or Agadir, putting together an exhaustive itinerary for visiting Morocco in a motorhome or converted van seems complex.
Traveling from Spain or locally by renting a campervan or motorhome, you’ll discover that the options for itinerary are nearly endless, matching the variety of preferences. You can either cover the whole country, racking up the sights from north to south and east to west – but that’s going to be a race – or you can restrict your area. But it’s only by staying for several weeks that you’ll have the time to discover an authentic Morocco, and meet its people.
Note: Naturally, these stage ideas are merely suggestions; you are free to reduce the program as much as necessary. Your itinerary will differ according to whether you wish to follow a tourist itinerary or spend longer in the villages to get to know the local population.
Where and how can I rent a motorhome in France?
Would you like to explore Morocco by ferry from France with your motorhome or camper van, for example? Nowadays, it’s easy to rent a motorhome in France. How can you do this? By using platforms such as Yescapa to put renters in touch with private owners of motorhomes.
How does it work?
First, you need to choose the motorhome in your city (e.g. Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse, Paris, Montpellier or Marseille).
Make sure you choose unlimited mileage, confirm the number of berths available, and ascertain whether you can travel abroad.
Make your rental request online and share your travel details (dates, rental options, mileage, etc.) with the owner.
If your application is accepted and after payment, you’ll have access to the owner’s contact details to arrange a first meeting.
On the big day, present your driver’s license and pay the deposit.
An inventory of fixtures is carried out and a rental contract is signed by both parties. On your return, after having driven the Moroccan roads, sign the return inventory of fixtures and that’s it!
In Morocco, where and how can I rent a motorhome?
Would you like to discover all the different facets of Morocco, all aboard a motorhome? If you prefer to rent one directly on site, it’s advisable to make an online reservation in advance to ensure that there are vehicles available on your arrival.
To purchase a motorhome, we recommend you use an online campervan or motorhome rental platform. These websites are now widely available for road trips and wild camping. The principle is simple: you choose the vehicle you want – based on the daily price, the type of camper/van, the vehicle’s equipment – and send a rental request to the owner.
The final step is to receive a confirmation e-mail after your online payment. After that, you can travel through Morocco in total peace of mind!
Driving a motorhome in Morocco: traffic rules you need to know:
Are you wondering whether it’s safe or difficult to drive around Morocco in a motorhome or van? If people say that driving in Morocco is dangerous, it’s a prejudice: it’s only dangerous in the big cities. But the Cherifian Empire is an excellent country to visit by motorhome.
Before getting into the subject, here’s some good news: there are plenty of petrol stations in the country, and prices are much lower than in France (around €1 per liter). Note that, to drive and visit Morocco in a motorhome, a French driving license is sufficient. What’s more, there’s no need to apply for a visa for stays of less than 90 days (only a passport is required).
Safety and equipment:
A warning triangle for use in an accident, a spare wheel, and a reflective vest are required accessories for the car. Seatbelts must be fastened for all passengers.
Driving is on the right-hand lane, and overtaking is done on the left, just like in France. The state of the road network is constantly improving, as the government is investing heavily in road infrastructure. However, you need to be extra careful, as motorists (including scooters and motorcyclists) can be dangerous.
Take care when driving at night, as obstacles are often invisible. And beware of mountain roads. There are some that lack guardrails and have large overhangs. Another tip: when crossing the road, if the traffic lights malfunction, listen to the horns to know what to do.
Blood alcohol level:
The blood-alcohol limit is 0. As Morocco is a Muslim country, the government has no tolerance for alcohol. It’s best not to try even one drink before driving, as penalties can include imprisonment.
Speed limits in Morocco are as follows:
40 km/h in city centers,
60 km/h in built-up areas,
100 km/h outside built-up areas,
120 km/h on freeways.
Make sure you scrupulously observe the speed limits, as there are plenty of police officers equipped with radar and binoculars, even in remote areas: fines are plentiful in Morocco!
Freeway tolls in Morocco: how much does your motorhome category cost?
As the Moroccan system is inspired by the French “model”, there are toll freeways in Morocco, particularly on the highways linking the country’s major cities. When visiting Morocco by motorhome, you’ll pay class 2 tolls if your 2-axle vehicle is more than 130 cm high.
One of the densest networks on the African continent, the Moroccan motorway network spans 1,839 kilometers, while the free expressway network spans 1,093 kilometers.
The freeways, marked with blue signs, are as follows:
A1: Tangier-Kenitra-Rabat-Casablanca-El Jadida-Safi,
A3: Casablanca urban freeway,
A4: Tangier Med-Tangier,
A5: Rabat bypass,
A8: Berrechid-Khourribga-Béni Mellal.
Here’s an overview of rates for the busiest freeway sections, in class 2:
Casablanca-Rabat: 34 DH (€3.18),
Rabat-Tanger: 120 DH (€11.24),
Casablanca-Marrakech: 120 DH (€11.24),
Rabat-Fès: 76 DH (7.12 €)
Marrakech-Agadir: 152 DH (€14.23).
Fares are indeed much lower than in France!
RV parks in Morocco: where to park?
As in France, unauthorized camping is prohibited in Morocco. However, it’s worth noting that visiting Morocco in a camper van or van and stopping at a parking space (for example) is less like wild camping than free bivouac. Provided, however, that you don’t set up tables, chairs, gas stoves and deckchairs on the public highway. In any case, there are an increasing number of campsites in Morocco, despite the fact that some of the pitches can be extremely basic and just comprise a dry, rocky area with easy access to restrooms.
As in France, you’ll be able to park in all the regular parking spaces, but avoid parking to sleep in built-up areas, city centers and isolated spots, especially near the borders with Mauritania and Algeria.
You can always try our favorite road-trip app: Park4night. This mobile application is quite simply a road-trip bible for visiting Morocco by motorhome, van or camper van (and for all other European countries). It’s a tool for sharing the places where travelers in vans and motorhomes have bivouacked. You no longer have to spend long hours wandering around to find THE “spot” to spend a night, sometimes with the stress of being turned away by the police or a night cut short by a late arrival.
The application references a multitude of places: campsites, motorhome parks, free or paid parking spaces, open-air venues. You can compare comments and reviews (rated out of 5 stars) and use GPS coordinates to guide you to the location indicated on an interactive map, provided you have a mobile data network. And that’s not guaranteed outside Moroccan urban areas!
How can a motorhome travel to Morocco?
It’s simple to explore Morocco’s vast open spaces in a motorhome. There are two ways to get to Morocco by motorhome: one with many ferries, the other with few.
Marseille is the port from which one ferry company can provide service to Morocco from France. However, the trip isn’t always insured and, above all, the bill usually comes to over €1,000 for two people and a vehicle! In other words, this option is not really the most advisable.
By far the best option, depending on your departure city, is to cross France and then Spain. The main cost will be petrol, and you should expect to pay between €160 and €210 per crossing, depending on the speed and fuel consumption of your vehicle.
From Spain, you can go to Ceuta or Tangier Med. One of the two Spanish enclaves in Morocco is Ceuta. The crossing between Algeciras and Ceuta has the advantage of being quick, but the disadvantage of being more complex. Therefore, it is advised to travel to Tanger Med from Tarifa, which is further south, or from Algeciras. Allow around €200 per crossing, all inclusive.
When is the best time to travel by motorhome in Morocco?
When is the best time to visit Morocco in a motorhome or van? Morocco has many different climates, thanks to its great geographical diversity. Summer can be torrid, especially when the sirocco is blowing, and the temperature range can be considerable in the desert (cold nights, torrid days). Rainfall can be abundant in the mountains of the Rif and Middle Atlas, except in summer.
Although Morocco’s climate is generally Mediterranean, the country is also influenced by Atlantic currents, with a hot, dry season combined with a cold, wet one. However, the Saharan regions and southern Morocco have arid, desert-like climates. Depending on the area visited, the ocean, Mediterranean, mountains, continent, and Sahara all contribute to a balanced climate.
Traveling to Morocco in a camper van or van is most enjoyable in the spring (April and May) and early fall (October). The temperature isn’t too hot or cold, and the weather is dry.
You can travel to Morocco in a motorhome even in the winter, though. But without climbing to the snow-covered heights of the Atlas Mountains. Days can be pleasant (25°C) on the plains, and the weather is mild all year round along the Atlantic coast. For example, average temperatures in Agadir are 21°C in December, 20°C in January and 21.5°C in February. Beware, however, that it will logically be much cooler in the north.