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Morocco is one of those magical places that stimulates all the senses at once through vibrant colors, sounds, textures, smells, and tastes. You can lose yourself in the treasure trove of embellished textiles, ceramics, and spices in the country’s many markets, known as souks.
Find out what to wear in Morocco including tips for the fantastic cities, beaches, and the Sahara Desert!
What to Wear in Morocco
Written By: Taylor Fuller & Lola Méndez
If you only take one piece of advice from this post, let it be this: pack light. I guarantee you’ll be bringing back more clothing and trinkets than you can imagine! You’ll love trying on local caftans, Berber dresses with neon pom poms, linen embroidered blouses, camel leather handbags, and sandals.
While in Morocco, you should dress modestly, keeping your shoulders and knees covered. That applies to time spent in the desert, too. Women cover themselves in loose clothing and headscarves, so you’ll feel more comfortable dressing in a way that fits in with the local style. Keep reading to learn what to wear in Morocco!
You’re also going to be dealing with a lot of heat during the day and in the desert, cold nights under the stars. These are the items you should pack on a trip to Moroccan cities, the beach, and the Sahara Desert.
While versatile scarves are always a great travel accessory, one is especially useful in a modest country where many women wear headscarves. You’ll likely be asked to cover your shoulders, and sometimes your head, when visiting heritage sites, old Islamic schools, or tombs. There’s only one mosque that non-Muslims are allowed to enter: the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.
If you’re headed to the beach or desert, your scarf can double as a blanket to lay on in the sand.
In the Sahara, your scarf will be your best friend. You’ll use it to keep your hair out of your face, to cover your face from sand, and you’ll even get it tied into a traditional headscarf by your Berber guide. And don’t worry; if you forget to pack one, you can buy one at the souk in Marrakech.
If you do buy a pashmina scarf at a souk, beware of the quality, especially if the vendor tells you the material is luxurious, like silk or cashmere…it might not be!
We love packing a circle scarf for travel, for both function and style!
Comfy, Flowy Pants
When planning what to wear in Morocco, flowing, loose pants are great for hot weather and for keeping your legs covered. They can also be comfy to wear as pajama bottoms at night.
For desert trips, you’re going to be sitting in a car for a long time (I think it was 16 total hours over 3 days) and you’ll be riding a camel, which is not the most comfortable activity or form of transportation. These are way more comfortable than wearing jeans or leggings on a camel!
Anatomie makes our favorite travel pants–find out why!
I recently bought this one-piece from Forever 21 and am obsessed. It’s both sexy and comfortable.
The ultra-tight fabric helps keep everything in place. If you’re going surfing in Taghazout or anywhere else along the coast, you’ll want a one-piece to wear under the wetsuit you borrow from your surf camp.
Bonus points: this suit can be worn as a top with pants or a skirt and a scarf tied fashionably around the chest. When you aren’t surfing, tie your scarf around your waist for a boho look.
Here are the 23 best one-piece swimsuits of the season!
Some travel girls are obsessed with this Macabi skirt and others aren’t fans of the look. Whatever your preference, there’s no denying that this single piece is super versatile–it can be worn dozens of ways! It can easily be transformed into pants with a simple clip.
This type of skirt would come in handy when you find yourself at the base of Erg Chebbi being challenged to climb up to the tallest sand dune in Merzouga. 150 meters in a skirt wouldn’t be easy, but it’s certainly less challenging in pants.
The light cotton fabric is extremely breathable which is a necessity for the year-round Moroccan heat. The fabric is wrinkle-resistant and boasts a sun protection of SPF 25+. It’s something to consider if you’re unsure of what to wear in Morocco!
Alternatively, here’s a round up of modest dresses for Morocco!
When deciding what to wear in Morocco, consider bringing a pair of sturdy, opaque, black leggings, because I’ve never been able to find them there! Bring your trusted pair along with you. They could double as pajamas bottoms, too.
Leggings are great layering pieces to wear under your new kaftans and help make you more comfortable on long bus rides. Marrakech to Merzouga can be a 12-hour ride, even without traffic! My favorite pair are from Gap Body.
These are the best leggings for women who travel as voted for by our readers!
It almost goes without saying: bring along quality sunglasses with UV protection for any trip.
For desert tours, note that sunset camel rides are super bright. The orange tones and blue sky really reflect the sun, so be sure you have your shades to keep from squinting.
What are the best sunglasses for your face shape? Find out here!
You may find yourself enjoying the blue city in Chefchaouen tucked into the mountains or sleeping under the stars in the Sahara desert. If so you’ll be glad you packed a cozy sweatshirt.
It will also make a great travel companion on your flight to Africa as well as bus and train rides that may be extra chilly from air conditioning.
In the desert, layers are key. You’ll be warm and then you’ll be cold, just like that.
When we first started our trek into the desert, I was so hot. But as soon as the sun started setting I was freezing–actually shivering! I was so happy that I had a sweatshirt to layer under my jacket. We spent a lot of time outside, around a fire, listening to music, and playing the drums. It was nice to have that cozy sweatshirt during that time.
Here are some tips on how to pack for trips with both hot and cold weather!
Additional Items for Trips to the Sahara Desert
Take into account whether you’ll also be visiting the Sahara when planning what to wear in Morocco. I visited the desert during March, and was comfortable wearing a chambray top, loose-fitting pants that I bought at the souk, and a scarf.
On the way to the town of Merzouga, you’ll make quite a few stops on your very long van ride. Dressing comfortably is key to enjoying your time.
So, if you’re interested in checking off a major bucket list item and visiting the Sahara Desert, these are the additional items you don’t want to leave home without.
The odds are that you’ll be making your desert trip during a visit to Marrakech. If you book through your hostel, you should be able to store your larger suitcase or bag there. Only bring a small backpack with your clothes for 3 days and 2 nights (or 2 days and 1 night, depending on the tour you choose).
You’ll have to carry everything you bring with you while riding the camel to the camp, and a backpack just makes the most sense.
Did you know there are convertible backpack purses? They’re functional and cute!
While it won’t be freezing in Morocco, the temperatures will drop significantly while you’re in the desert in the dark. A light jacket that you can layer will come in handy.
I wore mine during both the sunset ride and sunrise camel rides. I also slept in it because it got really chilly at night. Consider this when making your packing list of what to wear in Morocco!
Check out our 5 favorite lightweight jackets!
Sneakers or Boots
You may think that sandals are the way to go since you’ll be walking on sand. However, you’ll want closed-toe shoes. It’s a lot safer because you’ll be climbing up and down off a camel and wandering around the desert in the dark. You don’t want to step on a desert beetle barefoot… trust me.
Find out how to choose the best hiking boots, plus our favorite styles!
Camera With Sturdy Strap
I watched someone drop her camera while on a bumpy camel ride, and the camel stepped on it. She was devastated! Make sure you have a reliable and sturdy strap so the same thing doesn’t happen to you.
And you’ll definitely want to bring a camera because you can get great shots of other caravans that pass you in the distance.
Here’s how to make your own camera bag out of a purse–DIY style!
You can get some awesome video while exploring the desert! I suggest bringing a selfie stick so you can get footage of yourself on the camel. Keep in mind that it’ll probably be a little shaky, but that’s all part of the experience!
Here are smartphone accessories to help you take photos like a pro!
You might not think about warm socks when planning what to wear in Morocco! Remember that your desert camp will be in the middle of the desert. You’ll be sleeping on rugs with a few blankets. It gets cold in the middle of the night, but it’s also beautiful and you’ll probably see the most stunning stars ever.
I didn’t bring warm socks. I just had little ankle socks and ended up wearing three pairs to keep my toes warm while I slept!
Here’s how to stay warm using fleece clothing without sacrificing style!
What are your tips on what to wear in Morocco and the Sahara Desert? Share your tips below!
For more Africa packing lists, please read:
- What to Wear in Marrakech: 6 Do’s and Don’ts
- What to Pack for Africa: Serengeti Safari and Zanzibar Beaches
- What to Pack for Safari: These are 10 Things You Absolutely Need
- What to Wear for Red Sea Holidays in Sharm el Sheikh and Dahab, Egypt
Suggested Travel Resources:
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Author Bio: Lola Méndez is a full-time traveler sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista as she adds to her collection of passport stamps. She travels to develop her own worldview and has explored 45 countries. Passionate about sustainable travel, she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.