Things to Do in Marrakech in January 2020

Hoping to visit Marrakech in January 2020 but not sure what to expect in terms of weather and things to do? Read on to find out…

January Weather

The semi-arid climate of Morocco means visitors can expect fairly mild January temperatures ranging from lows of 8° C (46.4° F) to highs of around 18° C (64.4° F) and plenty of sunshine, albeit with a little more rain (get a 14-day forecast here) than you would expect during the early summer months.

Combined with a reduction in visitor numbers following the Xmas/New Year high season (this is LOW season in Marrakech), these pleasant temperatures make January a good time to explore all that the Ochre City has to offer.  

January 2020 Events for Your Itinerary

The New Year’s traditional events and festivals begin with a national holiday on 11th January, when the country celebrates the anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence, a manifesto demanding full independence that was presented to the French by the Moroccan Independence Party on this day in 1944.

Although the French colonial power initially dismissed the manifesto (full independence was not achieved until 1957), this Proclamation Day remains an important symbol of Morocco’s nationalist struggle, now celebrated widely with public festivities, street decorations and more. 

The 12th January is Yennayer, the first day of the ancient Berber (Amazigh) people’s agrarian calendar. The Amazigh New Year, as it is also frequently called, is seen by many Moroccans (including many who have Arabic rather than Berber roots) as an opportunity to exchange greetings and to have a good time.

Celebrating the arrival of the year 2970, many of the most extravagant festivities will take place in communities in Morocco’s south-eastern Amazigh regions; Berber villages and small towns around Essaouira will mark the day with street parties and collective feasting on traditional specialities including couscous, tagola and other dishes. Traditional music and sports, as well as horse parades in some areas, are other features of the celebrations.

For visitors, this is a great opportunity to learn about Berber customs and culture while enjoying some spectacular sights and sounds.

If you are interested in sporting activities, you shouldn’t miss the Marrakech International Marathon. Scheduled for the 26th January it will see 9,000+ runners compete on a flat, picturesque circuit (considered to be one of fastest in the international athletic calendar) past the city’s ramparts and through streets and avenues lined with palm, olive and orange trees.   

Things to Do in Marrakech in January

January is also a great time to visit Ait Benhaddou, a picturesque and understandably popular tourist attraction and frequent film location.  A UNESCO World Heritage site, just over the Atlas from Marrakech, this ancient, fortified village, its little houses clinging to each other against the steep hillside above a small river, affords visitors a rare glimpse of life as in centuries past - as well as some spectacular views of the mountain scenery around it.  

Back in Marrakech, the modern Museum of Photography with its revolving selection of striking images dating as far back as the 1870s is well worth a visit. On sunny days, even at this time of year, it is possible to enjoy lunch or a snack on the museum’s rooftop terrace while savouring some outstanding views over the city.

Visit Marrakech in January 2020

Whatever your preferred activities or reasons for visiting Marrakech in January, you’ll need a comfortable base from which to explore. Set within the heart of the Kasbah, close to the Royal Palace, Les Borjs de la Kasbah offers everything required for an enjoyable stay in picturesque, peaceful surroundings. Learn more.