Marrakech in November 2018 – Festivals and Events

With average temperatures hovering only a little over 20 degrees, November may be somewhat cooler than in recent months but, for many, this will be an ideal time to be sightseeing and visiting the souks of Marrakech in perfect conditions with plenty of sunshine and a full programme of things to see and do. Here is a selection of standout events in Marrakech in November 2018.

The 6th November marks the anniversary of the historically important Green March with a National Holiday. This day commemorates the world’s biggest, most peaceful and longest march ever when, in November 1975, thousands of Moroccans came together to demand the return, by the Spanish government, of what is now the country’s southernmost province.

Green March day is closely followed by another National Holiday, Morocco’s Independence Day, on the 18th. Celebrated with colourful parades and other festivities, Independence Day marks the release of Morocco from the grip of Spanish and French colonial power in November 1944.

November is also the month when the fascinating Tan Tan Moussem (festival) celebrates the culture and religion of the region’s nomadic tribes. In 2004, after decades in which it disappeared from the social calendar, the festival was revived when UNESCO teamed up with the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism to showpiece what they considered to be a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.” The response was overwhelming and the Tan Tan Moussem (named after a village in southern Morocco) has reclaimed its spot as the largest gathering of nomadic tribes in northern Africa. Precise dates are not yet available but the event is likely to be held at the end of the month.

Finally, the 30th of November sees the start of the 17th International Film Festival in Marrakech, the long-established Moroccan film industry being especially important in southern Morocco, around Ouarzazate, where the largest studios are located. Presenting tourists with the chance to bump into the occasional movie star, the event, which runs until 8th December, attracts large numbers of international film makers, directors and producers. Visitors will also have the opportunity to watch a variety of films screened in a number of locations across the city including the Palais des Congres and the open air space of the main square, Jemaa el Fna.

Things to do in Marrakech in November

If you prefer peace and quiet to the razzmatazz of festivals, November is an excellent time to visit the Saadian Tombs. Rediscovered in 1917 after decades of obscurity, the tombs are among the few, rare vestiges of the once great Saadian dynasty which reigned during Marrakech’s ‘golden age’ between 1524 and 1659. A site of exceptional historical and architectural interest, the tombs contain the mausoleums of more than 100 members of the Saadian royal family in beautifully decorated rooms adjoining shady gardens.   

Laid out almost 900 years ago and today featuring buildings and reservoirs added to the site over the centuries, the beautiful Agdal Garden is another delightful place in which to find respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the garden is only open to the public when nearby Dar el-Beida is not occupied by Morocco’s royal family (being reserved exclusively for private use when the royal family is in residence) and then only on Fridays & Sundays.

Having spent the day exploring Marrakech’s many architectural, cultural and historic attractions, you are sure to have worked up an appetite – and there’s no better place to enjoy a delicious meal than at the Borjs de la Kasbah’s Le Jasmin restaurant followed, perhaps, by a relaxing spa massage or swim.