nown as Africa’s Festival capital, Morocco plays host to an enormous amount of Festivals throughout the year. Each Festival brings something unique to the table, from authentic culture and traditions to a modern Moroccan twist. Bringing North and West together blissfully, enchanting guests from all over the world through music, food, arts and crafts. Moroccan festivals vary in style and content, providing something for everyone. So here is the list of the must see festivals of 2016/2017 in Morocco.
Marrakech International Marathon:
The prestigious Marrakech International Marathon brings together hundreds of amateur and professional, Moroccan and International guests taking part in a 26 mile race through a breath-taking backdrop of Palm tree lined boulevards filled with oranges and olives as well as the cityscape of ancient ramparts. The city comes to a standstill in support of the runners, who look at beating each other and their personal best records.
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Almond Blossom Festival – Agadir
Nestled between the Atlas Mountains and Agadir, the almond producing town of Tafraoute holds the annual Almond Tree Festival which takes place in early February, during the full bloom in Morocco. A picturesque setting of pink, white and red petals blossoming atop the hundreds of trees throughout the city make this event one of natural beauty.The festival sees a wide range of activities throughout to keep guests entertained. From a large bustling souk which opens from day to night. In addition the local village homes create a vibrant, euphoric party atmosphere combining singing, dancing and storytelling to immerse guests into traditional Moroccan culture.
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Dakhla Festival – Dakhla
Known as the Sea and Dessert festival, Dakhla plays host to a Woodstock inspired experiences, combining sport, art, music, food and much more. The cool, bohemian vibe of Dakhla makes this festival the must attend for surf enthusiasts, who have a love for great music, an embracing culture and incredible food and art. Sitting beautifully between dessert and turquoise sea, Dakhla provides the best of both worlds for those looking for an experience.
The city buzzes from the energy generated by Festival-goers who mingle with local and international sporting champions and artists during the day, watching surf competitions on the 30 mile white sands, and then soak up ancestral and western music at night.
Read More : Dakhla Nomad Land
International Magic Festival – Marrakech
Magical Marrakech plays hosts to some of the world’s most notable magicians during March for the International Magic Festival. With the Marrakech Royal Theatre showcasing some of the most show stopping stage acts, bringing a Vegas Vibe to Marrakech. The city still buzzes throughout with incredible street performers and a large array of free activities taking place at other locations throughout the city.
For thorough entertainment, head down to the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square at night which puts on a spectacular show, allowing guests to see real Moroccan magic while immersed in beautiful sounds, scents and sights.
Marathon Des Sables (The Sand Marathon) – Ouarzazate
The arduous annual Sand Marathon has been taking place for over 25 years. The gruelling marathon covers nearly 150 miles of challenging terrain over 11 days in the scorching Saharan Desert of Ouarzazate. Seen as one of the toughest competitions in the World; Competitors must successfully complete various stages throughout the marathon with only a provision of carefully rationed water and communal open tents. Many competitors complete the marathon in support of various charities. But in 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures, this isn’t for the faint of heart.
Grand Prix Hassan II – Casablanca
Held at the Complexe Al Amal in Casablanca, the white city of Morocco, the Grand Prix Hassan II, is an annual event on the ATP World Tour 250 series, which draws an elite set of international guests from tennis players to celebrities and leading business professionals. All wanting to be centre stage at leading matches, creating a vibrant atmosphere and an increasingly popular event within Morocco’s elite.
Mawazine Festival – Rabat
The annual Mawazine Festival is a globally recognised event, and has helped put Morocco on the map as a festival lover’s destination of choice. With the likes of Shakira, Jessie J, Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Sting previously gracing the stage; Mawazine receives critical acclaim and achieves international attendance for bringing together a wide range of music genres in a fun filled 10 day experience.
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Desert Music Festival – Errachidia
The enchanting destination of Errachidia, provides you with a festival backdrop and experience like no other. The festival presents a variety of music from both international and traditional Moroccan artists. This festival has cultivated a way to bring two cultures together, in the ultimate marriage of music and art.
Kelaa-des-Mgouna Rose Festival – Kelaa-des-Mgouna
Tucked away in the Dades Valley is the intimate oases town of Kelaa-des-Mgouna, home to the largest rose water distillery plant. During the 3 day harvest the entire town celebrates in a spectacularly fragrant parade, which includes song and dance. Entertainment in the arena consists of groups mostly drawn from local tribes, amusing guests with sword performances, musical instruments and snake charming. The crowning of the Miss Roses of El kelaa-des-Mgouna is also a highlight of the event.
Read More : Kelaat M’Gouna Rose Festival
Fes Sacred Music Festival – Fes
The 10 day Sacred Music Festival is known to be one of the world’s greatest music festivals, bringing together musicians from every corner of the World, to play centre stage in Morocco’s spiritual hub. Musicians perform everything from modern, western music to traditional Sufi chants and Spanish Gypsy songs at various locations throughout the city.
The Batha Museum, Bab Boujloud and the Bab Al Makina are the go-to venues during this period as they host some of the most breath-taking performances in music and dance throughout the festival. The spiritual festival allows guests to truly open body and mind to new experiences.
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Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival – Essaouira
Enchanting Essaouira provides an enriching and spiritually haunting experience in the form of the 3 day World Music Festival. The vibrant festival, which celebrates the mysteries of the Gnaouas and the music they enjoy, which originates and takes influence from Berber culture, African magic and Islamic rituals and rites. The mesmerising sounds of rhythmic drums take possession of Gnaouas, known for their tassled hats, who then dance in trance with complete joy and celebration.
Read More: Essaouira : Gnaoua World Music
Check out Morocco Festivals Calendar 2017