Marrakech in May: guide with itineraries, tips and the best of the city

Marrakech in May: guide with itineraries, tips and the best of the city

Visit Marrakech during the month of May and enjoy the best cultural and religious events Morocco has to offer and outdoor activities thanks to the pleasant warm weather during the spring season. What are you waiting for!

Marrakech in May: guide with itineraries, tips and the best of the city

Marrakech, Morocco | ©Esteban Palacios Blanco

If you are thinking of visiting Morocco during the month of May, you can not miss the city of Marrakech and its neighboring cities, which during this time become a must-see tourist destination.

In May, Marrakech and its surroundings host several events and traditional festivals such as the Aïd El-Fitr, the end of fasting festival after Ramadan or the famous Rose Festival.

1. Discover the Medina of Marrakech with a private tour

Tourist guide in Marrakech| ©Kevin Gessner

If you are going to visit Marrakech in May, you should know that spring is the high season for this tourist destination, so its streets will be full of visitors from all over the world who want to discover its secrets.

Therefore, I invite you to walk every inch of the Medina of Marrakech without worrying about possible scams or tourist traps by hiring a private half-day tour of the Medina.

Thanks to the expert guide who will accompany you and show you the most important and emblematic places of the Medina, you will discover authentic artisans and incredible artists who work in this area creating beautiful carpets, lamps, jewelry and clothes. In addition, you will learn the basics of bargaining to get the best prices and exclusive discounts in your favorite stores.

2. Enjoy local food during the Aid al-Fitr – End of Fasting Festival

Cous Cous with Vegetables| ©LablascovegmenuSeguir

Following the religious tradition of Islam in Morocco, during the month of May is celebrated the Aíd al Fitr or as it is translated into English, the Feast of the End of Fasting.

This holiday is one of the most important in the Muslim calendar, as it marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month according to the Islamic religion, during which Muslims fast while there is sunlight for 29 or 30 days. Aid al-Fitr is not a one-day holiday, but extends over the first 3 days of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Muslim calendar.

So, if you are visiting Marrakech on these dates I recommend you to take the opportunity to taste some of the typical dishes of this celebration. It is the perfect way to begin to introduce you to the authentic Moroccan culture while enjoying delicious dishes such as:

And, above all, do not forget to try the traditional Moroccan sweets, they are delicious! I assure you that there is nothing like the authentic gastronomy of Marrakech, but to live an unparalleled experience you have to know where to go, so I recommend you to take a look at this article about the best restaurants in Marrakech. So you can choose the one that is perfect for your tastes.

3. Discover the Malhoun Festival of Patriotic Songs

Malhoun Festival| ©ALM

If you love to learn about the deep-rooted cultural traditions of the places you visit, you can’t miss the Malhoum and Patriotic Song Festival.

This festival is dedicated to preserving Morocco’s musical heritage, as well as promoting traditional patriotic song, through lectures and discussions among experts, as well as musical evenings and amazing art exhibits for you to enjoy.

If you are visiting Marrakech in May, this is an excellent opportunity to imbibe the patriotic spirit of the country and discover the beauty of the Malhoun.

Here are some of the venues where, in previous editions, the concerts of this traditional festival have been held:

  • The Chamber of Crafts
  • The Dar Bellarj Dar Bellarj Foundation
  • The Royal Theater
  • The Theater of the House of Culture in Daoudiate

4. Take a trip to Ourzazate to see the Festival of Roses

Rose Festival in Ourzazate| ©Ali famille

Located in the province of Ouarzazate, between the valley of M’Goun and the Dades valley of the Atlas Mountain, is the oasis of the Valley of the Roses. There, during the second weekend of May, the Moussem de Kelaa M’Gouna or Rose Festival is held in honor of the rose of Damascus.

This centennial festival lasts 3 days and includes numerous celebrations, among which are:

  • Banquets
  • Souks or markets with all kinds of products dedicated to roses.
  • Traditional songs and dances
  • Processions of decorated floats crossing a road showered with rose petals
  • A beauty contest where a woman is crowned Miss Roses.

I recommend that you go with time and take the opportunity to stop in Uarzazat, a beautiful fortified city that has been the scene of famous Hollywood movies such as: Lawrence of Arabia, Babel and Gladiator, among many others.

5. Enjoy a day trip to Essaouira

The waves lapping the ramparts of Essaouira| ©Doug Knuth

If you travel to Marrakech in May, you can not miss a day trip to Essaouira. A beautiful city located on the coast of Morocco that stands out for its narrow streets full of charm and its incredible beaches. This getaway is priced at approximately 19€.

Since you are going to travel to Marrakech in May, at the height of the tourist season in this area, my recommendation is that you hire a guided tour to visit Essaouira. Thus, not only you will not have to worry about how to get from Marrakech to Essaouira, since you will have an air-conditioned minivan for the transfer to and from Essaouira.

Another great advantage is that you will have a local guide who will show you the secrets of this beautiful city and the most iconic places and, once the tour is over, you will have free time to enjoy Essaouira at your leisure, without rushing.

May is a perfect month for a day trip to Essaouira, as the dry and warm weather is perfect for a walk around the Skala du Port fortress, from which you can see the best views of the city. The entrance fee is approximately 1 €.

And if you want to take advantage of the free time to try some typical dishes, I recommend you to choose one of the many fish stalls that you will find in the streets; they serve a lot of food at a very good price and will allow you to continue discovering Essaouira while recharging your energy.

And to finish the day, you can not leave Essaouira without seeing the sunset. I assure you that you’ve never seen anything like it, as not for nothing have become the symbol of the city.

6. Live a unique experience at the Transahara Festival

Transahara Festival| ©Sebastian Mulleart

If you are looking for new experiences on your trip to Marrakech in May, you can’t miss the Transahara Festival, an eclectic music festival held in the heart of the Sahara, which usually takes place between the second and third week of May.

Enter an environment that invites contemplation; the impressive area of Merzouga, located in the Moroccan Sahara. Its landscape, famous for its incredible Erg Chebi dunes of golden sand and the beautiful lake, is the perfect setting for introspection and reconnection with nature. and with music, of course!

The Transahara Festival is a wonderful mix of different cultures and artistic expressions that vibrate with music to the rhythm of the desert, you can’t miss it!

7. Take a camel ride in the Palm grove at sunset

Camels for the tour in Marrakech| ©Jaume Pera

If you visit Marrakech, you can not leave without taking a camel ride and, at this time of year, the best way to do it is to hire a camel ride through the Palm Grove at sunset, from about 40 €.

In May the weather is warm and dry, and at sunset the temperature is cool and very pleasant, so it is the best time of day for a camel ride in the Palm Grove.

The best thing about this activity is that, in addition to taking a camel ride while watching the sunset sky (it is amazing, because in May the sky is usually very clear and the views are beautiful), you can wear a touareg dress and a cheich, which is a touareg scarf that serves to protect the face from the sun.

This activity also includes a visit to a Berber house, where you can enjoy a typical Moroccan snack accompanied by traditional mint tea.

An air-conditioned minivan will take you to the palm grove and back to your hotel.

8. Book a guided tour in the Atlas Mountains

Atlas Mountains| ©Spixey

Did you think that Marrakech is only desert? Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that Marrakech is located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, which crosses Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco and separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts from the Sahara Desert.

It is an incomparable landscape, full of traditional Berber villages that are worth visiting. Why do I recommend that you make this trip in May? Because Marrakech in May is characterized by good weather and spring-like temperatures. In summer, the temperature can climb up to 40 degrees and in winter the chances of rain are very high.

Hire an organized tour to make a route through the High Atlas for about 37 € and marvel at the views of the waterfalls and valleys that you will find. In addition, you can have tea with a Berber family and learn more about their culture. And, of course, this trip cannot end without a camel ride.

9. Orange juice at the Spice Square

Orange juice| ©Bruno Scramgnon

Spring is the best time to visit Marrakech, during the day it is deliciously summery hot and in the evening the temperature is deliciously refreshing. And there is no better way to end a long, hot day of sightseeing than with a refreshing, vitamin-packed drink before a delicious dinner on the same terrace.

So if you’re in Marrakech in May, you’ve been walking around the city’s souks all day and you’ve discovered every inch of Marrakech’s Medina, I have the perfect way for you to end the day on a high note.

Head to the Spice Square and sit on the terrace of one of the best restaurants in the Medina of Marrakech, the Cafe Des Epices.

May is the perfect time to enjoy its beautiful terrace with stunning views of the city, its delicious orange juice and the wide variety of dishes on its menu.

10. Visit to the Majorelle Garden, the oasis of Yves Saint Laurent

Majorelle Garden| ©Kamal Hammadi

The average temperature in Marrakech in May is about 28 ° C approximately and can rise even up to 37 ° C. So, if the day is very hot, I suggest you visit a real oasis in the bustle of the city, the Majorelle Garden.

The Majorelle Garden, located in the Gueliz district, was designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle in 1924, who transformed it into a botanical garden with a great variety of trees and plants, as well as birds that found their home in this refuge. In addition, Majorelle built a 2-story villa painted in his famous Majorelle Blue, to be his home and studio.

Most interesting of all, in 1980, it was purchased by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. Together, they restored the splendor of the garden, somewhat neglected since the painter’s death, and this space became YSL’s favorite place to design his collections.

I recommend you to come to this incredible oasis of freshness thanks to its leafy and tall trees, something that is not given, for example in the Garden La Menara. In addition, the villa has become the Berber Art Museum of Marrakech, which displays the private collection of Bergé and YSL pieces, including ceramics, jewelry and tribal costumes.

What is the temperature in May in Marrakech?

Medina, Marrakech| ©Andrew Nash

One of the factors to take into account when deciding the best time to visit Marrakech is the weather. In the month of May, we are talking about a semi-desert subtropical climate, so visiting this area of Morocco in spring is the best option.

The average temperature during this month is usually around 28ºC, the minimum temperatures do not usually drop below 17ºC and the maximum temperatures can reach up to approximately 37ºC.

The best of all is that, both in Marrakech and in much of Morocco, in May the climate is predominantly dry, so it hardly rains. So you can enjoy the sunshine throughout the trip, allowing you to make the most of outdoor activities without suffering from the heat.

Keep in mind that, due to its distance from the sea and its altitude, there is quite a lot of thermal oscillation, so it cools down at night.

  • Winter
  • December – February
  • Climate: Cool
  • High 13ºC
  • Low 6ºC
  • Spring
  • March – May
  • Climate: Temperate
  • High 37ºC
  • Low 17ºC
  • Summer
  • June – September
  • Climate: Torrid
  • High 42ºC
  • Minimum 21ºC
  • Autumn
  • October – November
  • Climate: Temperate
  • Maximum 28ºC
  • Minimum 15ºC

What to pack for a visit to Marrakech in May?

Preparing your luggage| ©Craig Adderley

As you can see, if you visit Marrakech in May you will enjoy warm weather and it will get hotter and hotter as June approaches.

So, here are some tips for visiting Marrakech and making the most of the experience:

Comfortable clothes for the heat: I recommend that you pack cool, light, cotton or linen clothes in your suitcase, as well as cool, comfortable and breathable shoes.

Be prepared to face the sun: Don’t forget to pack a hat or cap as well as sunglasses to protect you from the sun and, of course, sunscreen to avoid sunburn. In addition, mosquitoes will be your faithful companions on your trip to Marrakech in May, so before the trip buy a good repellent and apply it every day.

The use of the female veil

It is important to keep in mind that Marrakech has a very conservative Muslim culture. For this reason, and especially when it comes to women’s fashion, my advice is to choose more demure outfits that cover your shoulders and legs. This way, you will avoid unwanted attention and unpleasant situations.

You don’t need to wear a veil in the street, but to enter some mosques you may be asked to wear one, so I advise you to carry a fresh scarf in your bag, so you won’t miss anything during your excursions in Marrakech!