What is the weather like in Morocco in January?? What temperatures to expect at this time of year? What to consider when vacationing in Morocco in winter? An overview with travel information and weather data for selected regions.
Should you travel to Morocco in January? Absolutely! However, it depends on where in Morocco you want to go exactly. Even though it is warmer in Morocco than in Europe in January, there are considerable differences between the different regions of the country. This is due to the three different climatic zones that characterize the weather in Morocco.
A year-round overview of the different destinations in Morocco can be found in the article Weather in Morocco: travel time, weather data and tips for your vacation.
Morocco in January: Weather of selected regions
Even though January is warmer in Morocco than in Europe, it remains the coldest month of the year. In the interior of the country, in the Atlas mountains and in the desert, you have to be prepared for big temperature differences between day and night. Depending on the altitude, even lows below freezing point are possible. On the Atlantic coast the temperatures are more balanced. Therefore, the weather in January is much more pleasant there.
For a Morocco vacation in January I would recommend the Atlantic coast between Rabat and Sidi Ifni as well as South Morocco and Marrakech. Those who want to visit other parts of the country should be prepared for cooler temperatures, especially in the evening and at night. This includes packing enough warm clothes and looking for heated hotels or riads.
Marrakech in January
In January, Marrakech can expect the lowest temperatures of the year. During the day the thermometer shows temperatures above 20°C. Thus one can sit with good weather and sunshine in the afternoon in Marrakesh in January even in the T-Shirt on the roof terrace. But after the sun goes down, it cools down very quickly. From the late afternoon on, nothing is possible without a jacket and a sweater.
The fact that the weather in Marrakech is a bit cooler in January also has its advantages. After all, it's not everyone's cup of tea when the thermometer reads 39°C early in the morning and an extensive sightseeing tour is on the agenda. If you are sensitive to cold, you should definitely think of warm clothes in January in Marrakech and look for a nice and heated riad.
Atlantic coast, Essaouira and Agadir in January
The weather on the long west coast is characterized by the balancing influence of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean stores heat and releases it slower than the air. Winters on the Moroccan coast are distinctly mild and relatively rainy.
But also along the Atlantic coast there are noticeable differences. In January it is similar warm in Essaouira as in Rabat, but it rains already much less there. Due to its special geographic location, the picturesque harbor town is permanently windy, so that Essaouira could develop into a true Eldorado for surfers and kiters.
If you are in Morocco in January, you should visit Essaouira for a few days. You can swim there also in January, but at this time the water is still relatively fresh. Therefore, it is better to spend a beach vacation in Agadir than in Essaouira, especially because of the strong wind.
The weather gets even drier and warmer the further south you go from Essaouira. In Agadir, almost 200 kilometers further south, there is even less rainfall. Even the average temperatures in the popular seaside resort reach higher values than in the coastal cities further north.
Northern Morocco and Fes in January
In January the weather in northern Morocco tends to be cool and wet. The climate on the coasts is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, the temperatures there in January are still relatively mild. In the interior of the country there is not much of this influence anymore. The weather is becoming more continental and the differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures are increasing.
The largest city on the other side of the coast in northern Morocco is Fez. It is located at an altitude of over 400 meters. There is significantly less precipitation than in the coastal areas. In January, temperatures in Fez can drop to freezing point at night.
Of course, the weather in January in Chefchaouen, Tangier or Fez is better than in Europe. But compared to other regions of Morocco, January in northern Morocco is cooler and has more precipitation. Therefore, I would recommend spring or autumn as a better time to visit these cities.
Southern Morocco and the desert in January
In southern Morocco, there are two particularly beautiful Saharan desert areas that can be visited as part of organized desert tours from Marrakech. The desert climate is very hot and dry. While in summer it becomes almost unbearably hot in the desert, in January temperatures do not rise above 30°C even in the sun. At night, however, they fall below 5°C.
January is a good travel month for desert tours and sports activities in the biggest sandbox in the world. If you want to spend a night in a desert bivouac during such tours, you should ideally pack a sleeping bag and warm clothes.
To go on vacation in Morocco in January means in almost every case better weather and higher temperatures than in Europe. Compared to the other months, January in Morocco is also the coldest and wettest month. For a Morocco vacation in January I would therefore recommend the Atlantic coast south of Essaouira as well as southern Morocco and Marrakesh. Also desert tours are possible at this time and can enrich the vacation immensely.