Have you booked a trip to Morocco and now realise it falls in the midst of Ramadan? Are you enticed by the cheaper April flight rates to Morocco but wary about the Ramadan period? To be clear: yes, you can travel to Morocco, even if it is Ramadan. And no, you do not need to fast too.
Visiting Morocco during Ramadan is special. There is no reason for you not to enjoy a steaming pot of sugary mint tea, a camel ride in the Sahara under the sweltering sun, or the hubbub of multi-coloured souks and medinas. And to top it off, you are privy to Morocco in a different light, an experience that not all travellers can say they’ve encountered. You’ll find yourself part of local celebrations, savouring certain food that is specific to Ramadan, and the cherry on top: hotels and attractions are much less crowded.
Read on to find out what happens during Ramadan in Morocco and why you should consider visiting Morocco during this unprecedented time.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is an Islamic period of fasting. From sunrise to sunset, everyday for a month, Muslims will not eat, drink, smoke, and participate in sexual intimacy. It is considered the holiest month in Muslim culture, and there is an extra emphasis on religion during this time. 2022 Ramadan begins on the 2nd of April, and finishes on the 1st of May, when the new moon shines bright and high in the midnight sky. To mark the end of Ramadan and the month-long fast, a special festival called Eid al-Fitr, is celebrated for three days.
How Does Ramadan Affect Travellers to Morocco?
Morocco experiences few changes during Ramadan. Cafés will typically run as usual, serving food and drinks throughout the day. And the same goes for hotel and chain restaurants in bigger cities. Most tourism activities or tours, as well as sites and attractions, will also function normally. At most, there may be a modified schedule.
Be aware, many local business such as retail and grocery shops, will adjust their opening times during Ramadan, often opening much later in the day. Most shops and eateries will close for an hour or two at sunset to break their fast with a meal called iftar. You may even be startled by an ear-piercing canon or blaring alarm to signal dusk – don’t be alarmed. A traditional iftar meal can include a warmly spiced harira soup, dates, dried figs, boiled eggs, and plenty of sweet treats such as chebakia, sellou, and fekkas.
For the ecstatic night owl, you’ll be happy to know that some restaurants and major stores open from 6pm until 1am. During the evening hours, Morocco awakens from its afternoon lethargic state, coming alive under a black sky lit by a myriad of lanterns. Locals flock to the streets, wafts of fresh food permeate the air, and the snake charmers are excited to delight in all their pomp.
The big question most travellers to Morocco will have during Ramadan is: do I need to fast too? You certainly can if you want to. But you can eat and drink as you wish during Ramadan here. However, be respectful to the fasting Moroccans around you. If you’re craving a snack, eat out of sight. The same goes if you need a swig of water. With that being said, remember to buy water the night before, as many grocery stores may not be open in the morning.
Is Morocco Worth Visiting during Ramadan?
Absolutely. You’re in for a unique cultural experience if you do. As a truly special time in Morocco, there is no reason for you not to miss out on Ramadan. As part of Moroccan hospitality, you may even be invited to an iftar or two. Not only will you be able to taste incomparable cultural cuisine, but you’ll be part of a remarkable ambience.
Travel Talk Tours gives you the one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience Morocco during Ramadan this year!
Find out more about our Morocco tours here.