Confused between Ait Benhaddou and the Great Pyramids? Egypt and Morocco feature some of the most stunning tourist attractions in the world.
Morocco is well known for its diverse landscape, colorful markets, and beautiful architecture. Egypt is famous for its temples, ancient pyramids, and tombs.
Although both have their charms, one destination might appeal to other travelers more. Don’t worry. This guide will highlight the differences between Morocco and Egypt to help you choose your ideal destination.
One day might be all you need to fall in love with Morocco. In this country, it’s easy to get lost in its beauty, from ancient cities and deserted beaches to a sea of dunes and mountain ranges.
Dazzling diversity is the best way to describe Morocco. You could be hiking the Atlas Mountains one day, then camel trekking across the Sahara. And just before sunset hits, wander through the city of Marrakesh, giving you a sensory overload of smells, sounds, and sights.
You could even head to a hammam, which is Morocco’s version of a spa. But unlike traditional spas, a hammam involves scrubbing, steaming, soaping, and a deep massage at the end for total relaxation. The end result? Baby-soft skin and a month’s worth of relieved joints.
There’s a reason why Morocco attracted over 8 million visitors in a single year back in 2018. And if you’re thinking this country only has deserts and rugged mountains to offer, that’s far from the reality here.
So, here are several traveler-approved sights and experiences that rank as the best to visit in Morocco.
What Makes Morocco Unique?
Get Lost in Quiet Adventure
Camel trekking through the Erg Chebbi desert is an unquestionable Morocco vacation highlight. Famous for its red sand, the Erg Chebbi desert offers a landscape any would be jealous of being able to experience.
And without a doubt, it ranks high on the list of quiet adventures in Morocco. Not to mention, a stellar must-do activity for all first-time visitors.
While camel trekking through Erg Chebbi is phenomenal on its own, it’s not the only offer for tourists. You can also choose to spend the night in the same desert at a Berber camp. While there, all your worries seem to fade, and all that’s left is a picturesque view of dunes and a star-filled sky.
Once you’ve had your fill of deserts, take your pick of quiet adventures. Either a freeing road trip through the country’s scenic roads. Or a peaceful mountain escape where self-reflection meets adventure.
If you picked road trips, head to Dades Gorge, regarded as the best choice for its scenic views. The Tizi N’Test Pass offers plenty of twists and turns for those that enjoy a more thrilling experience.
But at the same time, the route of Tizi N’Test also takes you to some of Morocco’s most beautiful places. Among them includes the Ouirgane Ecolodge and Ouirgane Valley, places perfect for spending days in solitude.
There’s also the route from Marrakesh to Essaouira, which is a gentler road trip ideal for families. Essaouira is Morocco’s “Wind City of Africa,” home to beaches, art galleries, shops, and some of the country’s best hotels.
For a road trip that packs relaxation, fun, and family bonding, this is the perfect route to drive through. Finally, there’s Tangier to Chefchaouen, arguably the best choice for culture vultures. Tangier is also well-known to be a haven for anyone seeking creative inspiration – musicians, artists, and writers.
Hiking in Morocco is one of the best activities you can do, be it early morning or in the afternoon. And if you’re looking for a high-altitude climb to the summit, take the Jebel Toubkal trail. Jebel Toubkal is a hiker’s paradise, spanning a total of 620 miles (998 km).
For a real challenge, you can do the Toubkal Circuit, which on average lasts an entire week to complete. But if that’s too long, perhaps the Akchour Waterfall and God’s Bridge trail will be perfect for you.
The hike lasts for five hours, and along the way, you can take a refreshing bath at a waterfall. You’ll also find emerald-green pools and several waterfalls along the hike, which you can bathe in.
If you consider yourself an avid wildlife watcher, the Monkey Trail gives you exactly that. Tons of wildlife opportunities, along with an evergreen forest and cedar trees. The trails here range from easy to moderate. So if you want to break a quick sweat during vacation, this is one of the best places to do so.
Lastly, you have the trail from Moulay Idriss to Volubilis and the Jebel Saghro Circuit.
Relax at the Country’s Many Oases of Blue and Green
Morocco has beaches that would appeal to any sunseeker and beach lover. The same can be said for nature lovers and serenity seekers, seeing as how Morocco is full of nature getaways too.
Specifically, the Skoura Palm Grove, with its bright green palm trees that certainly stand out. And given the fact that the Skoura Palm Grove is situated along the desert, it’s a miracle how there’s so much green to be found here.
Which is why the Skoura Palm Grove is also listed as a UNESCO-protected site. Thanks to this palm grove’s system of canals that dates back centuries ago, it’s kept its bright palm trees healthy and flourishing.
While in Morocco, make sure to visit the Skoura Palm Grove. Not only is it a place of peace and relaxation, but it’s an educational and cultural experience that will make you admire Morocco even more.
For more spaces of green, be sure to visit Parc Lalla Hasna and Le Domaine du Val D’Argan.
Now, what about the country’s beaches? There are plenty around the country, more than 15 at the very least. The best part is that Morocco’s coastline is diverse enough to offer more than just water activities.
From catching serious waves to playing in warm waters and partying at beach clubs, you’re in for an epic sun-soaked trip.
Speaking of serious waves, Essaouira is the best beach in the country for surfing. That includes kitesurfing and windsurfing too. After all, Essaouira is hailed as the Wind City of Africa for a reason.
Then there’s Legzira, which in a sense, could be regarded as Essaouira’s opposite. While surfing is possible in Legzira, it’s more popular for sunseekers looking for quiet time at the beach. The quiet beach also boasts several photo opportunity spots with panoramic ocean views.
Saïdia beach boasts white sand, tantalizing blue waters, and party opportunities come nightfall. During the day, Saïdia beach is the perfect place to spend a sun-drenched afternoon with the little ones. Even better, there are several villas and hotels that are a stone’s throw away from Saïdia beach.
If you’re traveling with a large group, rest assured, these villas and hotels can accommodate you with ease.
Another beach in Morocco that boasts alluring shades of blue is Oualidia. But it’s essentially more lagoon than it is a beach. Nevertheless, people often visit Oualidia to enjoy a swim in calm waters, even at night. Which, by the way, is even more beautiful.
For a mix of beach fun, seafood galore, and quick access to cafes and hotels, M’Diq is the beach to visit. In fact, M’Diq beach is a hotspot for the locals, and sunseekers will surely enjoy this beach haven.
If you head south of M’Diq, you’ll also find another upscale beach resort: Cabo Negro. From Cabo Negro, and just slightly further south, you should see a boardwalk lined with cafes and restaurants.
You could spend an early morning here before heading out for a swim at the beach. Or do the opposite, take a swim early morning in the cooler waters then spend the rest of your day sipping delicious coffee at the café.
Aside from the beaches already mentioned, there’s also Taghazout, Sfiha, Achakar, Agadir, and Martil.
Soak Up the Beautiful Spaces of Fez, Marrakesh, and Chefchaouen
Fez, Marrakesh, and Chefchaouen make up Morocco’s cultural melting pot of beauty. Imagine an open-air outdoor market that stretches as far as the eyes can see. Marrakesh is known for its beautiful architecture. Fez for its souqs, mosques, and workshops. And Chefchaouen for its blue-washed beauty.
In Marrakesh, this is the place to shop, wander, eat, and soak in the country’s culture and entertaining performances. As you can imagine, Marrakesh is a busy neighborhood. And even though there are dozens of crowds here, your senses won’t be focused on the business of the place. Rather, you’d be amazed at everything around you.
Fez is one of Morocco’s historic hearts. It’s part residential area, part food market, and part shopping center. There are over 9,000 narrow alleyways here, so it’s easy to wander through the maze and stumble on several interesting finds. Travel tip, though. While strolling through Fez, it’s important to stay closer to where the crowds are.
Last but not least, Chefchaouen. While Fez and Marrakesh have a busier atmosphere, Chefchaouen is the complete contrast.
Put simply, Chefchaouen is quaint, charming, and easy on the senses. After spending a day in either Fez or Marrakesh, visiting Chefchaouen feels relaxing. What’s more, this quaint town is situated beneath the Rif Mountains, giving you easy access to Morocco’s mountain ranges.
You’ll easily spot Chefchaouen, even from a mile away, thanks to its blue-washed color. The majority of this town features blue-washed paint, adding to its Moroccan authenticity. In fact, it’s even regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in the country.
Around Chefchaouen, there’s plenty of food and accommodation so you don’t have to worry. Plus, you can book a cultural tour to learn more about what you can do around the town. Or, you can hop on a quick day trip to the Rif Mountains and reconnect with nature.
Together, these three are places you don’t want to miss when visiting Morocco. And will surely make up the top highlights of your Moroccan vacation.
If you’ve ever watched Game of Thrones, you’ll recognize Ait Benhaddou immediately. In fact, Ait Benhaddou also served as a film feature for movies such as Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia.
Think of Ait Benhaddou as Morocco’s Hollywood attraction. And even past its pop culture significance, Ait Benhaddou is one of the most awe-inspiring kasbahs (fortified houses) in the country.
Of course, the famed attraction isn’t solely for movie buffs. Strolling through Ait Benahaddou’s winding paths is a great way to explore Morocco’s architecture and culture. The kasbahs are a picturesque marvel worth a photograph of and are meant to be appreciated up close.
Through the winding paths, you can also walk all the way to the top of this ancient fort. There, you’ll be greeted with spanning views of the mountains and valleys surrounding the fort.
You don’t have to be a history buff to love Egypt. It’s a common belief that when visiting Egypt, you’re in it mostly for the history, from temples and museums to ancient pyramids.
However, Egypt has more to offer past its famed attractions and despite its dominant desert landscape. Did you know Egypt has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world? Ever try bathing in an oasis in the middle of a desert? What about walking along a white desert? Or diving at the Red Sea?
Egypt is home to some of the world’s greatest treasures, extending far beyond tombs, mummies, and pyramids. And if you’re curious as to why Egypt is worth your dime and attention, here are the best reasons to visit.
What Makes Egypt Unique?
Ancient Marvels You’ll Never Regret Seeing
As one of the most ancient civilizations in the world, Egypt is full of unmissable historical sites. But it’s also more than simply standing amidst one of the seven wonders of the world.
The Great Pyramids of Giza stand as one of the most highly rated attractions in Egypt. So why not make the trip worthwhile? Rather than just snap photos and appreciate their stature, why not have breakfast at the pyramids? Even better, you can make a reservation for a candlelit dinner accompanied by a picture-perfect view of time-honored wonder.
From there, the Great Pyramids of Giza are only just the beginning. You can book a cruise through the Nile River, offering as much as cafes, lounges, and even yoga classes on the deck.
Egypt also isn’t home to solely ancient Egyptian history. The Serapeum houses the remains of an ancient Greek civilization. Further inside, you’ll also discover what was once an ancient Egyptian burial site. The Roman Catacombs are also another burial site showcasing ancient wonder.
For a full-on historical experience, head to Luxor. There, you’ll be able to see tombs, temples, and ancient sites as if they were just carved yesterday. Some of these include:
- Luxor Museum
- Valley of the Kings
- Temple of Hatshepsut
- Tomb of Seti – I (KV17)
- Tomb of Ramesses III, VI
And just when you think you’ve seen it all, there are still mummies and dozens of Egyptian treasures to discover.
While in Luxor, you can also book an early or sunset hot-air balloon ride, giving you a panoramic view of Egypt.
It’s one thing to be able to see photos of pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies online. It’s another to be up and close with each one. And truth be told, seeing them up close is 10x awe-inspiring. Not simply because of its archaeological significance, but how it has been preserved for centuries.
Overall, a walk through Egypt’s historical sites is one of those moments where everything around you freezes. You won’t bother to check your phone for hours or scroll through social media while the tour guide explains Egypt’s past. Instead, you’ll revel at the moment. In the sheer brilliance of ancient Egyptian wonder that stands before you.
Paradise for Thalassophiles
A lot associate Egypt with its tombs, pyramids, and mummies. But did you know it’s also one of the top windsurfing and kitesurfing destinations in the world? Not to mention, Egypt is home to one of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing schools too.
El Gouna, Hurghada, Dahab, Ras Sudr, and Safaga are all excellent places to test out your surfing skills. Thanks to the perfect weather, great wind conditions, and steady waters, you could easily spend hours on the water.
In Dahab, there’s one particular kitesurfing spot that stands out among the rest. The Blue Lagoon, sitting between the Red Sea and Sinai Mountains, is a paradise for kitesurfers. And its shimmering, crystal-clear cerulean blue waters will tempt anyone to just dive right in for a swim.
Kitesurfing and windsurfing aside, Egypt also has several fantastic diving and snorkeling spots. Ever wondered what’s beneath the Red Sea? Now’s your chance. The Sataya Reef, located in the Red Sea, is regarded as one of the most beautiful dive spots in the world.
And it’s not so much due to the colorful, teeming aquatic life here. Rather, the entire underwater ecosystem is so vibrant you might end up spending more time under the sea than on land.
Last but not least, and for softer aquatic adventures, take a healing bath in any of Egypt’s salt lakes. In Siwa Oasis, you’ll find hundreds of these salt lakes. All of which boast picture-perfect beauty and healing properties said to treat infections and clear sinuses.
If you’ve ever wondered what oasis life would look like, Siwa Oasis is the perfect example. And it’s rightfully earned its place in the world for having the title “Sunset Oasis.” One of the most famous salt lake springs in Siwa Oasis is Cleopatra’s Spring.
The large stone pool is rarely empty. What’s more, there are several cafes around the area, along with shaded lounging areas to keep you cozy and comfortable throughout the day.
Safari Desert Trips, Desert Camping, and Horseback Riding
Egypt is best toured not on foot, but on four wheels. Or to be more specific, a desert safari trip. The majority of Egypt’s landscape is a desert, making it entirely possible to explore the country via a 4×4.
Plus, your desert safari trip options aren’t solely limited to 4x4s and camels. You can opt to ride a quad bike or go horseback riding. Some desert safari trips last for three hours. But there are several that offer a complete 10-hour desert safari trip, along with the option of camping in the desert overnight.
Think of desert safari trips in Egypt as unique weekend getaways. Because there’s so much to see around the desert, a quick 3-hour desert safari might feel too short or lacking.
If you want to see all the best that Egypt has to offer, booking a desert safari trip is highly recommended. You can see Egyptian temples, the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and Siwa Oasis all in one trip. To add even more fun, you can even add a sand surf experience along the sand dunes in the Egyptian desert.
What’s more, most desert safari trips include a visit to two spectacular sites in Egypt:
- Mudawara Mountains
- Wadi El Rayan Waterfalls
The Most Surreal Beaches
Egypt’s beaches stand on equal footing with several world-class beaches on the planet. Some even say Egypt’s beaches are far better. The thing is though, Egypt’s beaches are often overlooked and constantly shadowed by the country’s other attractions.
But if you do a quick search on Google, you’ll find that Egypt truly does have the most surreal beaches. The country boasts everything any beach lover and sunseeker would dream of. Breathtaking coastlines, off-grid lagoons, luxury resorts, and hotspots perfect for unplugging.
Finding sugar-soft, pristine white sand is easy in Egypt. But what’s even more impressive are its azure waters so clear you don’t need a diving suit to see what’s below 30 meters (98 ft) deep.
Dahab Lagoon, as mentioned earlier, is one of those sugar-soft, pristine white-sand beaches. As mentioned earlier, it’s a paradise for kitesurfers but also for sunseekers.
But if you want an upscale beach experience and to spoil yourself while on vacation, head to Almaza Bay. The best part? It’s an undisturbed pocket of sand and blues that will truly make you feel relaxed.
Those looking for an epic beach party paired with a breathtaking coastline will find it at El Alamein. Throughout the year, several of the best beach parties are hosted here.
For the ultimate mix of resort vibes, sun-drenched fun, and nonstop beach activities, head to El Gouna. Imagine small lagoons all weaved together surrounded by resorts. It’s like a mini private island and even has an 18-hole golf course around the area!
Other beaches worth taking a dip in include the following:
- Naama Bay
- Sahl Hasheesh
- Giftun Islands
- Wadi El Gemal National Park
Be sure to add some beach time should you decide to visit Egypt. And pack plenty of swimwear too. Because rest assured, you’re bound to spend a lot of time in the water.
Which Is Better – Morocco or Egypt?
Morocco and Egypt are similar in some ways, but ultimately, both offer different vacation experiences. Egypt offers more with regard to historical wonder, culture, and beaches. With Morocco’s landscape being more diverse, you have a wider range of activities to choose from.
Road trips, mountain escapes, desert safaris, and beaches. Fez, Marrakesh, and Chefchaouen add to Morocco’s appeal, along with shopping and food opportunities.
You’ll be spending more time outdoors in Egypt than in Morocco. However, Egypt’s beaches are arguably far better than those in Morocco.
If you want bargain shopping and want to find unique gifts to bring home, Morocco might be the better choice. Wandering through Marrakesh and Fez will give you plenty of those. Not to mention, there’s more culinary variety you’ll find in Morocco.
That said, Egyptian food is unique and doesn’t disappoint either. Both countries offer novel gastronomic experiences for any traveler.
If Morocco has better hiking opportunities, Egypt has better beaches and water-related activities. Between the two, it depends on which fits your vacation preferences more.
With regards to sightseeing, Morocco’s is spectacular but Egypt’s is on a whole other level. The temples, open-air museums, and the Great Pyramids of Giza are sights to behold.
Adventure-wise, Morocco boasts more inland adventure, ranging from mountain escapes to desert safaris. Egypt has desert safaris, too, but has more water adventure overall.
Last but not least, accommodations. Both have stellar options when it comes to hotels and resorts. You can’t really go wrong between either destination.
However, Egypt scores higher with regard to its resorts, be they mid-range or luxury. El Gouna is one example of that fact. Because Egypt’s beaches offer a better overall experience, this also adds to the appeal of each resort.
Morocco vs. Egypt Economy
According to the Economic Complexity Index, Egypt ranked 68th place while Morocco at 81st place. The GDP data also shows a significant difference in their economies.
Egypt recorded an annual GDP of $396.33 billion whereas Morocco reported an annual GDP of $126.04 billion. This significant difference also holds true when looking at both countries’ GDP per capita.
Egypt’s GDP per capita is $12,000 while Morocco’s GDP per capita is $6,900. Based on all the data provided, along with the Economic Complexity Index, the difference is clear. Egypt has a higher economy than Morocco.
Is Morocco More Developed Than Egypt?
Morocco and Egypt are well-developed countries. Both also see a high number of tourists per year. That said, Egypt is more developed than Morocco overall. This does not only refer to the country’s infrastructure, urbanization, etc.
A good way to measure this development is through the GDP and GDP per capita. Egypt’s GDP is $270.20 billion higher than Morocco’s. And even with regards to GDP per capita, Egypt is $5,100 higher as well.
Generally, Egypt has a very well-developed infrastructure, along with large communication industries. Morocco is also well-developed and is often hailed as beautiful and colorful.
Is Morocco Close to Egypt?
Morocco isn’t too far from Egypt and is fairly close. If you travel from Morocco to Egypt via plane, it takes an average of five to six hours. This means Morocco is fairly close to Egypt.
Morocco to Egypt Distance
The distance from Morocco to Egypt is 2,302 miles or 3,704.5 kilometers. Traveling via plane from Morocco to Egypt is the most common and preferred option.
Morocco vs. Egypt Time
There is a short time difference between Morocco and Egypt. Morocco follows the GMT standard time zone while Egypt follows the Eastern European Standard Time or GMT +2. This means Egypt is two hours ahead of Morocco.
If it’s currently 8 am Monday in Morocco today, it should be 10 am Monday in Egypt.
Egypt vs. Morocco Arabic
Egyptian Arabic and Moroccan Arabic are very different dialects. Although both use Arabic as their mother tongue, there are noticeable differences. From the vocabulary and pronunciation to the pace, both are very different from one another. Also Moroccan Arabic also includes some French in their dialect due to the French occupation.
The only similarity is the “-sh” ending whenever there is a negation in the verb. However, Moroccans can understand and even speak the Egyptian dialect. This is because Moroccans are exposed to all forms of Egyptian media.
This typically includes Egyptian songs, movies, TV shows, and all levels of speech for Egyptian Arabic. So even Moroccans understand formal and slang or casual Egyptian Arabic.
On the other hand, Egyptians don’t understand Moroccan Arabic as well. Mainly because, unlike Moroccans, Egyptians weren’t exposed to Moroccan media.
Morocco and Egypt have warm relations, and it’s always been maintained that way. To be more specific, Morocco and Egypt share deep social, historical, and cultural ties. Both countries are part of the African Union, along with the following:
- The Arab League
- The Non-Aligned Movement
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
- The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
- Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA)
Over the years, there has been a rising trade exchange between the two countries. There are also growing Moroccan investments in Egypt and several Egyptian investments in Morocco.
Both countries support one another in terms of the overall economy and address any challenges along the way.
How to Get From Morocco to Egypt
The best and only way to get from Morocco to Egypt is via plane. There is no shortage of airline options that fly from Morocco to Egypt. However, there are two airlines that guarantee nonstop flights between the two countries: EgyptAir and Royal Air Maroc.
There are several airlines that offer direct flights as well, but it depends on the time of booking as well. Some of these include Emirates, Air France, Delta, British Airways, TAP Portugal, Iberia, and several more.
Egypt to Morocco Flight Time
A nonstop flight from Egypt to Morocco takes an average flight time between five to six hours. Approximately, it’s between 5 hours and 25 minutes and 6 hours and 15 minutes.
However, there are some flights that include one or two stops along the way. In cases like these, the average flight time is usually around eight hours. Some flights take longer – around 12 hours or more.
Morocco to Egypt by Train
There is no train from Morocco to Egypt. You may have heard about a sleeper train that can take you from Morocco to Egypt. However, as far as it is concerned, this might be possible only from Morocco to Algeria.
Morocco to Egypt by Car
It is not possible to drive from Morocco to Egypt. Overland travel is technically impossible between the two countries. And one of the most significant reasons is due to the fact that the Morocco-Algeria border is closed.
Not to mention, Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and two gulfs. This makes it all the more impossible to drive on land from Morocco to Egypt.
Morocco to Egypt Visa
If you’re coming from Morocco and traveling to Egypt, you still need to apply for a visa. This can be easily completed online and must be completed seven days prior to your arrival.
The application form will require you to state your arrival and departure dates, visa type, and other related information. Scanning your passport photo online is also mandatory. And once your visa has been fully processed, you will have to print your electronic visa and present it upon arrival.
Along with your printed Egypt visa, you will also need to show the following documents:
- Travel itinerary
- Tour agenda or hotel booking and reservation
- Your passport (must be valid for at least six months)
You can also apply at the Egyptian embassy. This will still include filling out an application form, along with the basic travel requirements. Some of which include a valid passport, two passport-size photos, proof of legal residence, and…
- Proof of return ticket
- Proof of payment for the visa fee
- Proof showing your accommodation in Egypt
- Two photocopies of your passport information
- A letter from the company that is hosting you (if you’re traveling for business)
You should also contact your travel agency to verify other documents you might need.