Festivals & Events 2014
Marrakech International Marathon
This race of 26.22 miles (or 42.195 km) will take place on Sunday 26th January when the temperature will probably be 19 or 20°C. The hundreds of competitors, who come from all over the world to take part, will run along the streets and boulevards of the red city, some of which are lined with date palms, olive trees and citrus fruits.
Almond Tree Festival, 10-16 February 2014
The town of Tafraoute, which nestles in the Atlas Mountains near Agadir, is the home of the Almond Tree Festival. Since the date of the festival depends on the blossoming of the almond trees, this should be confirmed before planning your visit.
Apart from witnessing the beauty of the pink, white and red blossoms, the event is accompanied by singing, dancing and story- telling that will help to immerse you into Moroccan culture as you experience a vibrant party atmosphere set amongst the earthy colours of the villagers’ homes.
International Magic Festival, 19–22 March 2014
This annual event takes place in Marrakech. It features entertainment by both amateur and professional magicians at numerous locations around the city, the most notable of which is the Marrakech Royal Theatre. There are also street performances which can be enjoyed free of charge.
Morocco Classic Rally, 15 – 22 March 2014
First held in 1993, the Morocco Classic Rally in sees vintage collectors' cars as well as the latest GTs, drive through the exceptional landscapes from Casablanca to Marrakech, via Essaouira, Agadir and Ouarzazate.
This race combines a passion for vintage cars with the thrills of a rally and the beauty of the exceptional landscapes, and sometimes vertiginous routes. Races and placement trials will take place daily for the drivers aspiring to complete this legendary rally.
The Sand Marathon (Marathon des Sables or MdS), 4–14 April 2014
This gruelling 150-mile race for both individuals and teams, takes place near Ouarzazate and is ranked as the toughest footrace on earth! The race is run over challenging terrain and in scorching temperatures (26 - 36°C). It consists of six days of gruelling stages during which time competitors must organise, ration and carry all their own supplies; the only provision given is a carefully rationed water supply.
Grand Prix Hassan II, 7–13 April 2014
This is an international tennis tournament which, since 1986, has formed an important part of the ATP World Tour 250 Series. Casablanca on the Atlantic coast plays host to the event which takes place in the Complexe Al Amal.
Festival of Roses
The Rose Festival or Moussem of Roses takes place on the second weekend in May and lasts for two days. Many festivities take place, including performances by folk groups and the Miss Roses contest, whose winner then takes part in a procession on a decorated float. Traders from all over the region come to sell their specialities and handicraft products.
Mawazine Festival, 30 May – 7 June 2014
This music festival, which was founded in 2001, becomes more popular every year and has recently attracted the likes of international stars such as Sting, Kylie Minogue and Elton John to its stages.
The event which is open to a wide range of music genres, also provides the opportunity for amateurs to perform as part of a plan that seeks up-and-coming talent and provides them with the opportunity to perform in front of a packed crowd.
Fez Sacred Music Festival, 13 – 21 June 2014
The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music is one of the most exciting events that the sacred city organizes. Musicians from around the world perform at both paid and free performances at various locations around the city such as the Batha Museum, Bab Boujloud and the Bab Al Makina which offers a particularly striking backdrop to the concerts, especially at night.
Gnaoua & World Music Festival, 12 – 15 June 2014
The Gnaoua World Music Festival is the fusion of Berber and Arab music and the tranquil seaside town of Essaouira, near Marrakesh, is the perfect place for this deeply moving and continually provocative music festival
The pounding drums shake the white-walled city to the core; the intense trance-like music invites the sea to sing and the whirling, spinning dancers twist within the medina until Essaouira screams in delight. The festival regularly attracts around 500,000 people so be sure to book accommodation early if you want somewhere to sleep during the event.
Marrakech Popular Arts Festival, dates to be confirmed
This popular festival attracts large crowds who come to be inspired and entertained by traditional folk musicians, dancers, story tellers, acrobats and other performance artists who charm them with their fascinating and often diverse range of music, skills and styles.
Imilchil Marriage Festival – dates to be confirmed
According to legend, the Imilchil Marriage Festival was founded after the tragic deaths of Tislit and Isli who were two lovers from separate tribes who drowned themselves because they were forbidden to marry. After their deaths it was agreed to use the festival as an opportunity for neighbouring villagers to meet, socialise and agree to marry, thus dozens of potential brides, dressed in blue, white and red shawls, their cheeks rouged and their eyes lined with kohl, come to sing, dance, feast and flirt with their white-robed male counterparts.
It is a time of great celebration and, though private in the past, is opening up more to tourism each year, drawing hundreds of visitors and tribes from the whole area.
Tissa Horse Festival – dates to be confirmed
The Tissa Horse Festival is a colourful spectacle where locals dressed in elaborate, traditional clothing can show off their horsemanship skills. The sheer energy, speed, power and beauty of the horses they ride - often Arab or Berber bred – is something to behold. The event takes place in Tissa, around 50km (30 miles) from Fez.
Tan Tan Moussem – dates to be confirmed
Tan Tan is a very popular festival where hundreds of Berber tribes gather annually for the chance to socialise, enjoy the various festivities as well as to partake in horse competitions, shopping and do some camel trading.
The desert in Tan Tan becomes filled with nomadic tents that line up row after row along with plenty of stalls selling a wide range of traditional Moroccan products and traditional Moroccan food.
Casablanca International Art Fair – dates to be confirmed
This fair is a unique opportunity for both international and Moroccan artists to come together to both show and auction their work, whilst also allowing the artists to meet up with collectors and other art enthusiasts.
The fair includes all kinds of art forms such as photography, paintings, ceramics and sculptures and includes plenty of extra opportunities such as workshops, conferences and debates.