Hi there! My name is Alex and a few years ago I travelled alone to Morocco. I met up with my Godmother while I was in the country and did a combination of things with her and by myself. It’s worth noting that this is my experience as a young, white woman. I also speak French which is widely understood across Morocco.
I am not a stranger to solo female travel in Middle Eastern countries, but travelling around Morocco was still a little different from my usual city exploration breaks. I flew into Marrakech and spent time in both he Atlas Mountains and Marrakech, and had a vastly different experience in each location.
The Atlas Mountains
While in the mountains, I stayed in the Kasbah Du Toubkal which was glorious. This retreat felt serene and I would recommend it to any solo female traveller. I felt safe at all times and staff were friendly and helpful for the duration of my stay. The food provided here was also delicious!
I hiked around the local area and did plenty of exploring. I wasn’t bothered by anyone and came across some wonderfully friendly locals. While I was out and about, I saw woman, clearly a tourist, exploring with a baby strapped to her which filled me with joy.
I ended up travelling through the desert via camel to a small Berber village. This trek was organised by the Kasbah Du Toubkal and went without a hitch. My accommodation for this night was at a small bed and breakfast which was run by a local Berber woman. She looked after me amazingly, taught me about local cuisine, used local remedies on my sunburn, and chatted to me long into the night. As far as I was aware, there were no men in the building, which was a nice bonus that made me feel a little safer!
The breakfast I had in this small B&B was incredible and the coffee was the best coffee I have ever had in my entire life. I drank it looking out at the mountains, it was pure joy.
Next, I got a transfer back to Marrakech which was a whole world away from the peacefulness of the mountains. The hustle and bustle of city life was truly amazing, but I definitely didn’t feel the same level of safety as I had for the past few days.
Throughout this whole trip, I made sure my arms, legs, and head were always fully covered, but while exploring the streets of Marrakech, that didn’t deter men from trying to touch me, and catcalling. I remember being excited to explore a huge covered market in the city centre, but once I was inside the souk, it was a bit of a nightmare. I couldn’t walk five meters without someone touching me, which made it impossible to actually stop and explore the market as I would have loved to.
The sights and smells throughout the city are amazing, but I would urge solo female travellers to consider their trip to Marrakech carefully. If you have a male friend who would make a good travel companion, consider inviting them along – women who are travelling with men tend to get a lot less attention, touching, and catcalling. There are also some female travel agencies who set up female only travel groups to explore the city, so safety in numbers is another option.
While the mountains are considerably safer, there is a reasonable amount of petty crime in the city. If there is ever a place for a moneybelt and other safety essentials, this is it.
Overall Atlas Mountains and Marrakech
I think the mountains are a wonderful place to visit for anyone, solo female travellers included. Make sure you plan all aspects of your trip before you travel and read reviews of your accommodation thoroughly to make sure they seem safe. As always, take safety precautions when you are travelling. While I found the mountains to be really safe and a general pleasure to explore, I would urge solo female travellers to explore Marrakesh with extreme caution, and definitely think about travelling with either a man, or a larger group of women.