Home » Destinations » Africa » Morocco » Go traveling with kids in Magical Morocco
Morocco with kids

Go traveling with kids in Magical Morocco

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

On the first morning in Morocco my kids looked out of the window. “Everything is red!” they were shouting. Indeed, all the houses were red, the sand was red, magical….

Morocco with kidsMorocco, one of the best examples of geographical diversity. Landscape of mountains, plains, dessert and oases, Morocco is still undiscovered territory for many travelers. The country is also home to a diversity of cultures: African, Islamic, Arab and European.

You might think that it’s not the most ideal place to travel with children. On the contrary, Morocco is one of the best destinations for you and your kids!

OK, I admit, in the beginning I also had some fears. It was the first time traveling with kids aged 4 and 6 years and Morocco is such a totally different world. But after reading my story you will be rest assured: Morocco is great and people are so friendly: go there with your kids!

Here are some tips when traveling to Morocco with kids:

  • Wander through Aït Benhaddou, location of great Hollywood movies.
  • Book hotels with a swimming pool (kids need to play after a long day out)
  • Visit Marrakech with its famous Djemaa El Fna square and horse carriages.
  • Watch the fishing boats return from their sea trips at Essaouira and go for a beach ride on a camel!
  • Don’t try traveling the whole country, focus on a specific region like we did (from Ouarzazate to Marrakech, ending up at the Atlantic coast in Essaouira).

Morocco with kids

Gazing at a different world

Waking up on the first morning after a late arrival. Opening the doors, one step outside on the balcony. Children become silent. This is a totally different world! Different smells, climate, sights and sounds…..now you know you have made the right decision…

Our travel starts in Ouarzazate, in the middle of the country, 200kms east from Marrakech. This is the threshold of the mighty Sahara desert. When we drive out of the city, our children keep gazing at the landscape: a combination of Monument Valley, the moon and the Sahara. This is absolutely not like home!

Tip 1 Visit the ancient town of Aït Benhaddou

After a beautiful drive along oases and kasbahs, we arrive at the ancient town of Aït Benhaddou. This is Unesco World Heritage and the place were movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and Alexander have been shot.

The town is build against a hill. The beautiful thing with children is to wander around its small and narrow streets. People actually still live here, so you can watch daily life. Play hide and seek and have fun!

Don’t forget to climb all the way to the top of the hill. The view is really breathtaking! Give your children their own bottle of water, they need to learn to be responsible for drinking enough water.

ait ben haddou with kids

Tip 2 Book hotels with a swimming pool

Obvious, but important in these parts of the country. After a long day in the desert, children need to cool down and play of course. Book hotels with a swimming pool. Wash away the dust and have fun!

Also, when driving, take your time, get out of your car and let the landscape have its impact on you and your children.

Morocco with kids

Tip 3 Move through the bustling city of Marrakech

Marrakech is a city of taxis (petit taxis!). Let the children wave them down, they love it!

Make sure that on the way back to your hotel, you step in one of the many horse carriages. Riding in open air you can smell the city (yes, that’s part of the experience as well!).

There is so much to see in Marrakech: the Medina with all its shops and handicraft and the Djeema El Fna square with artists and musicians. The square really comes to life at night when it turns to one big open air restaurant!

Morocco with kids

Morocco with kidsA great sight seeing tip is Ben Youssef Medersa Islamic School. Beautiful architecture, described in my post on this Hidden Treasure of Marrakech.

Visit the Majorelle Gardens, a truly peaceful haven in this busy city. Your children can really come to rest here. Don’t forget to drink your Moroccan tea!

Morocco with kids

Morocco with kids

Marrakech is also famous for its white storks. We were surprised how many storks nested in the middle of the city. The children counted more than 30 when we paused for a drink!

Storks in Marrakech

After the desert and the big city of Marrakech we traveled to the Atlantic coast (only a 3-hour drive). We spent our final days in the fishing town of Essaouira of which the Medina is also listed as an Unesco World Heritage.

Tip 4 Watch the fishing boats return from their fishing trips

Morocco with kidsThat’s all excitement! In the town of Essaouira, sea-gulls are screaming while fishing boats find their place on the quayside and fishermen call out for help carrying fish (and of course claiming to have caught the best fish of the day!). Children love it! They watched tons of fish being unloaded and even posed on a picture with their Fishermen Friends!

Morocco with kids

Morocco with kids

Tip 5 The camel ride on the beach

My youngest son thought it somewhat scary at first, but after a couple of minutes you enjoy the waves of the sea, the salty smell, the sun on your skin and the endless, empty beach, all from the back of your own camel! What a great experience!

Morocco with kids

Morocco with kidsPeople everywhere in Morocco are so friendly. And I have to admit, when you travel with children doors open that normally stay closed. People love children, everywhere. Bringing your children to people’s home country is seen as a compliment.

Are you convinced? Don’t hesitate! Traveling with children is a great experience. They will be stunned about the different world out there, and you about the way they adopt to different cultures and people! It’s an experience they will never forget, for sure…

Morocco with kids

Morocco with kids

Morocco with kids

This story was first published in March 2010 as a guest post on Cumidanciki.com. Thanks to Mei for supporting me and providing me that very first opportunity to write about my travel experiences.

Related posts on my blog:

You may also like


Families on the Move - Meet the VandenBoomens | Raising Miro on the Road of Life - Travel Podcast May 8, 2012 - 09:04

[…] time on the beach in Essaouira in Morocco. We arrived at the beach where camels were waiting for us. We booked a camel drive. Our son was […]

camilla March 29, 2011 - 14:21

stumbled upon your site while looking for destinations for a family holiday in early June (kids aged 2 and 5), thank you, lovely! Would you mind sharing info on the hotels (w pool!) where you stayed in Ourzazate, Ait Benhaddou, Marrakech and Essaouira? What about car hiring / seats for children?

Emiel van den Boomen March 29, 2011 - 21:03

Hi Camilla,

Thanks and no problem to share those details. I will send you an e-mail!
We did not drive a car ourselves, but the traffic in that part of the country is not very busy. From Marrakech to Essaouira we went by local bus. Have fun and let me know what you decide!

Nicole March 13, 2011 - 15:20

Hi Emiel,

Your trip through Morocco sounds exactly like what we are looking for. We want to go to Morocco next October, but we only got 6-7 days. How long did your trip take? How much time did you spent at your different locations?

Thanks, Nicole

Emiel van den Boomen March 14, 2011 - 19:02

Hi Nicole,
Great you’re having plans to visit Morocco!
We spent in total around 12 days: 2 in Ourzazate, 1 in Dades valley, 2 in Ait Benhaddou, 3 in Marrakech and 2 in Essaouira (and 2 days for traveling :). If you need some more information just let me know.

Mark Robertson February 8, 2011 - 23:19

Your posts are inspiring–especially as we begin to think of starting a family. I love the idea of letting your children “soak in a Moroccan landscape.” I can only imagine the wonder you experience seeing such broad and beautiful places through the eyes of your little ones.

Thanks for unlocking this door–and causing me to reckon w/some of the selfish reasons I’ve balked at starting a family.

Thanks Emiel,

Emiel February 9, 2011 - 22:45

Mark, thanks. I am so glad this post helps you in a certain way. Deciding to have children or not is far from an easy choice, especially if you love freedom, flexibility and of course traveling (and I know you do!). The first couple of years with children will be without any serious traveling (at least, that’s what we decided for). But after that, it’s a great experience as traveling with children opens doors that stay closed to others!

Crushing Travel Barriers and Travel Fear January 5, 2011 - 03:10

[…] into realities.I am talking about the surmountable psychological and emotional barriers surrounding the act of traveling and subsequently the mission to crush these barriers one by one. The simple truth is this: Travel […]

david November 10, 2010 - 04:15

Morroco is a country rich in culture and history therefore, will be an educational trip for the kids. It is also a country with amazing landscaping and breathtaking views. I took my toddler there for our last vacation and he enjoyed every minute of it.

Emiel van den Boomen November 10, 2010 - 20:08

Thanks David. Indeed it was an educational trip. But honestly, every travel you make with your children is educational. They learn about different countries, people and cultures, so early in life. It makes them aware that the world is a place of diversity and that we are all part of it.

Go traveling with kids in colourful Thailand! (part I) - clpl-india News November 5, 2010 - 12:19

[…] publishing one of my earlier posts (Go Traveling with kids in Magical Morocco) I realised there are a lot of parents out there who want to go and travel with their children. I […]

suchheini November 5, 2010 - 06:51

Wonderful blog! I truly love how it? s easy on my eyes as well as the data are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

Emiel van den Boomen November 11, 2010 - 09:06

Thank you and I hope you love all of my next travel stories!

Moussa November 2, 2010 - 16:07

we present you the first sociale bookmarking for Moroccan web pages and Webblogs. Your page shows a lot of very nice photos, thanks. We pleased also to see your blog on http://www.maroc-ads.com

Rumio October 16, 2010 - 07:25

After reading your post it seems Morocco is my next destination after Bali. One quick question; did you find internet there? If yes, the whole of Morocco or in some particular locations?

Thanks for the amazing post.

Emiel van den Boomen October 16, 2010 - 11:13

Thanks and indeed make sure to make it your next destination! Not in all parts of the country we found internet. If you travel to the Atlas mountains and further to the desert, it will become more difficult to find out. But in cities like Marrakech (and also other ones we didn’t visit) it probably won’t be a problem.
Have fun preparing your trip!

bookjunkie October 12, 2010 - 17:52

the architecture and intricate designs on the window looks amazing!

Ampbreia October 12, 2010 - 16:22

Sounds like a really exciting fun trip and I’m noticing you didn’t have to wear a hijab. Did the Muslims there ever harrass you for not wearing hijab as they tend to do in other Islamic nations? Sounds like they didn’t but that’s very surprising to me if so.

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 22:07

We didn’t nead to wear a hijab or any other clothing. We were absolutely not harrassed, so I guess they all accepted it.

Heather Stark October 12, 2010 - 15:52

Thanks for the post – brings back such happy memories. We visited Morocco two years ago when our son was almost 3, staying in Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains, scooting around the Tizi’n’Test pass and thereabouts. (We went in April, so didn’t need swimming pool.) The country is very, very beautiful, but what was even more beautiful was the friendliness of people. My son got so many smooches, from cute little schoolgirls, from chefs, and from bearded old shepherds. We even got invited in to a village school by a headmaster to say hello to the youngest class. Natch, my son loved it. He also loved the food. (As did we.) If you are wondering whether to go for it with young ones – I recommend it. pack a pram and go for it! Your post tempts me to go back, and visit Aït Benhaddou….

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 22:05

Great comment Heather, loved it! I can so imagine you must have had a fab time in Morocco with your only 2 year old son. Indeed traveling with children opens doors that stay closed for others. I read so many comments on parents that intend to start traveling with their children, your story will convince them even more!

jesspeletier October 12, 2010 - 15:01

Thanks for sharing this – we’re about to start international travel with our three kids aged 3,5 and 7, so seeing this post is very inspiring. Morocco is added to the list!

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 22:02

Thanks for your comment Jess. What a great prospect and I’m sure your kids will enjoy traveling! Glad to know my post inspired you.

nahniku October 12, 2010 - 14:08

Thank for the tips but i am still afraid to go there 😀

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:59

Hi Evija, don’t be afraid. Latvia and Morocco are very different for sure, but people are very friendly all over Morocco.

Kristin October 12, 2010 - 13:59

I want to be there in this winter ..
God help me with my finance lol

stellycious stella October 12, 2010 - 11:26

Lovely journey… It would be unforgetable vacation for u n ur children.. Love the photos.. I hope i can be there some time. 🙂

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:52

It was indeed unforgettable, and I am happy I could share the memories this way. Thanks Stella.

C October 12, 2010 - 13:04

Morocco is indeed a wonderful place! I went there and brought back home a beautiful, totally different and unexpected experience. It really blew me away! Did you guys visit Tangiers? The beaches there are absolutely breathtaking!

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:56

Hi C! Love your bucket of words 🙂 Glad you share the same mindblowing experience. We did not visit Tangiers, but thanks for the tip. I’m sure we will go back a second time.

C October 13, 2010 - 06:37

Thanks! Yup! Be sure to visit Tangiers! And tell us all about your 2nd trip to Morocco! 🙂 Looking forward to your next post! 🙂

restaurantezine October 12, 2010 - 12:06

Wow, I wish I could be there …
I’ll enjoy their food …

patissonne October 12, 2010 - 11:39

This looks fantastic!

Farnoosh October 12, 2010 - 11:01

We are absolutely going to Morocco. How funny and ironic that I announced loud in our kitchen only recently “we are going to Morocco someday” and my hubby, who is a world traveler with me as you know Emiel, turned around and looked suspiciously at me and said, “hmm why!!? we shall have to see”….Now I have this blog post to present to him – if it’s safe for kids – and such adorable cuties you have…..! Thanks for a fantastic post. You wrote it in such a great helpful format for those who wish to visit. KEEP IT UP!!!!

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:49

Farnoosh, you tell your hubby that Morocco is now on the top of your list! Coincidence doesn’t exist…
Yes, aren’t they cute 🙂

Parker October 12, 2010 - 10:59

Is nice in Marroco, i was there and it’s a wonder of planet.

Jean Huang Photography October 12, 2010 - 09:08

Lovely! Thank you for sharing – Morocco has been on our list and this is helpful for our planning!

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:46

Hi Jean,
I hope your planning works out well and makes it able for you to visit Morocco very soon!

James Mark October 12, 2010 - 06:55

this is the great images and places thnks i realy appriciated

Imaginarium of Pau October 12, 2010 - 06:48

I love your photos. It simply shows how beautiful Morocco is…And Yes, it is all red. 🙂

akasha13 October 12, 2010 - 06:10

Great trip! Such an interesting site to see! Indeed those buildings look red. Why is that so? Hmmm, I might try to google it… hehehe 🙂

hayadith October 12, 2010 - 02:15

how about language?..n food?
I plan to be there in couple of years..

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:42

Dear Hayadith,
Hope you can make it in a couple of years. People mostly speak French and the food, well, it’s great! I love to try local dishes, it’s always an experience..

Beginner-friendly cap « Me and My Crochet October 12, 2010 - 02:14

[…] Go traveling with kids in Magical Morocco […]

Go traveling with kids in Magical Morocco (via The Act of Traveling) « Amber Rose's Adventures October 12, 2010 - 01:15

[…] i thought this was such an inspiring journey and the pictures are wonderful – i hope to one day be doing this with Riley and sharing our pics then! On the first morning in Morocco my kids looked out of the window. “Everything is red!” they were shouting. Indeed, all the houses were red, the sand was red, magical…. Morocco, one of the best examples of geographical diversity. Landscape of mountains, plains, dessert and oases, Morocco is still undiscovered territory for many travelers. The country is also home to a diversity of cultures: African, Islamic, Arab and European. You might think th … Read More […]

Mary October 11, 2010 - 22:40

This is great! I’m so happy to see traveling with children put into a positive light. I don’t have a family yet, but it seems like people always tell me that exploring the world with little ones isn’t doable. You’ve proven them wrong!

All these ideas look fantastic for traveling singles too!

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:41

Happy to see you here Mary. Congratulations on your Freshly Pressed promotion today! And yes, these ideas are for singles too!

rayan October 11, 2010 - 21:01

Thank you, it is great post & great photos. My uncle visited Morocco & tells me about it. really, it has a beautiful nature. Your post & photos make me I wish to visit it. Something else about Moroccan tea (green tea),i want to say that this tea is very benefits for health & weight loss if you want to know about his benefits you can visit my blog
Best regards

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:40

Thanks Ryan, I hope you will get the opportunity to go and experience your uncle’s stories by yourself!

photito October 11, 2010 - 20:58

How very refreshing to read about others who introduce world travel to their kids at an early age! I adore the way your children look so happy in these images. Great post, well done!
Hope you’ll drop by and check out the discoveries we’ve done with our little ones in tow… here’s one about Morocco (we’ve literally been stepping in each other’s footsteps!)

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:39

Magic in Morroco indeed! Your blog looks great, I really love your photography. The circus, the Cairo tea house. Glad to see you here, as one of the ‘travel-with-kids’ promotors 🙂

Lenny October 11, 2010 - 18:51

You’ve been up in in the mountains? 🙂 I so the pic – looks fantastic.

Best regards

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:26

Hi Lenny, we indeed went up in the mountains. That area is fantastic, the nature scenery is stunning.

Andreas Moser October 11, 2010 - 20:45

I have only been to Casablanca so far, and only for 1 day, but I remember it as very lively and colourful! Definitely want to travel more and your article provides valuable advice.

Emiel van den Boomen October 12, 2010 - 21:32

Thanks Andreas. About Morocco being colourful, very much indeed!! 🙂

Danny October 11, 2010 - 19:50

I visited Morocco a couple of years ago and it’s really really beautiful!

hawright07 October 11, 2010 - 19:25

Holli Wright

I loved reading this post and learning about the different sites in Morocco. I think that it is very important to get kids into different cultures and allow them to see what life is like for other people. This seemed like a great place to bring your family and teach them about the different architecture and lifestyles. Thanks so much for sharing!

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:29

Holli, indeed Morocco is such a totally different culture. And for us Europeans very close by! That makes it an ideal destination to show your kids.

CrystalSpins October 11, 2010 - 17:20

Man, your kids are lucky! What a great thing to expose them to at such a young age. I’m sure it was very enriching for all of you — and in ways you might not fully understand for years to come.


Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:13

Crystal, nice reading your comment. I know that indeed “we want it all”, especially travel experiences. For us these travels are indeed investments. Investments in life enrichment, learning about other cultures and fun!

lifeintheboomerlane October 11, 2010 - 19:00

Wonderful post, wonderful photos. My husband live briefly in Tangier while in high school, and we do plan to get there in the next couple years.

sayitinasong October 11, 2010 - 18:50

Great pics… Morocco has always been one of my “must visit” lists…loved the pic of your kids with the fishermen!

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:26

Keep Morocco on your must-visit list! And tell us later about the song that goes with that experience 🙂

Joy Victory October 11, 2010 - 18:41

I love that storks nest on the buildings — adorable!

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:24

Thanks Joy. These storks were indeed amazing. They kind of gave us a relaxed feeling. Their gentle way of floating in the air….

Sunflowerdiva October 11, 2010 - 18:05

What an awesome way to spend a vacation! After reading this and seeing your great pictures, I’ve added Morocco to my list of “places to the visit.” Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:23

Thanks, unique teenage New Yorker! Great blog you have, do you have a Twitter account?

amber rose's adventures October 11, 2010 - 17:59

Wow what an amazing and enlightening experience to give your children. I feel we keep our children too safe these days and do not allow them to be world citizens as they were encouraged to be many years ago. Your pictures are fabulous and you have piqued my interest in Morocco. I know one day soon my son and I will see this rich culture for ourselves and i cannot wait to see our pictures as yours are fantastic – thanks for sharing

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:17

Good luck with your travel plans Amber. Show Riley the world! Indeed they need to become world citizens to better understand how it works on this planet.

gealach October 11, 2010 - 17:25

Looks wonderful! I have to go there someday…

Modern Funk October 11, 2010 - 17:01

Love the photos. Very nice!

Gina Mortenson October 11, 2010 - 16:47

Congrats on being Freshly Pressed…loved your post. The photo of your kids with their fishermen friends is priceless! Were you sure that the guy holding your son wanted to give him back? 🙂 Definitely going to put Morocco on our family travel list!

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:10

Thanks Gina, Freshly Pressed was indeed quite a surprise, an amazing effect! That Fisherman photo is indeed priceless..we had so much fun..

The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife October 11, 2010 - 16:39

Great photos, and what a great way to make memories with your children. They’ll cherish that forever 🙂

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:07

Thanks Country Man’s Wife!
Loved your post on South Dakota Summer nights, beautifully written. Just subscribed to your blog as well.

g October 11, 2010 - 16:09

dear emiel & family, many thanks for this – only just came across it via a link from lonely planet. this is very much the type of helpful information those of us looking to travel with little children, but who are a bit unsure. in our case, we also have a 4 year old and morrocco is certainly on the list; we’re just unsure of where to go and indeed when would be best/easiest. do keep it up, and thanks again. best wishes.

Emiel October 12, 2010 - 21:03

I am happy to read that you have the intention to start traveling with your 4 year old child. 4 years old seems very young, but small children have far less problems adapting to the situation. More importantly, traveling with children opens doors that stay closed for other ones. Local people you meet are so happy that you brought your whole family to their country. Enjoy your travels!

ciki October 11, 2010 - 15:51

great post! cannot get enough of it! LOL


Leave a comment below. I know you have something on your mind...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.