You’ve heard of Morocco and you wish to know about a country which has so much more to offer other than mint tea and middle eastern pastries? This is your guide to discover the best
You’ve heard of Morocco and you wish to know about a country which has so much more to offer other than mint tea and middle eastern pastries? This is your guide to discover the best places in a country of bewildering diversity.
Tucked between tradition and modernity, the city of Marrakesh gradually introduces the visitor to Morocco’s traditions and culture. Marrakesh radiates authentic Moroccan culture and architecture. Stroll along the Jemaa El-Fna square as the souks entice you with their bright colors and oriental scents.
Get to stay in a traditional Moroccan house (Riad) of the Medina (city district) for a unique experience. Authentic Riads are similar to tiny palaces which were formerly owned by wealthy statesman in the past. Each room is uniquely decorated, melding the complex Moroccan architecture and stunning tile work.
Recharge your batteries at the gardens of Menara, the city’s most attractive green space with a reflecting pool and a pavilion dating from the 19th century.
For those wishing to dive into the contemporary side of Morocco, you can visit the suburbs; Gueliz and Hivernage. Shop for luxury items and ready-made international clothing brands.
Have you ever fantasized about a quiet beach spot devoid of bustling crowds? Sidi Kaouki should be in the itinerary of those searching for bohemian vibes and tranquility, far away from the hectic Medina of Marrakesh. You can opt for an hour-long camel ride along the wild beach which stretches up to 150 km. The windy Atlantic coast is an ideal spot for windsurfing, kite-surfing or just plain surfing.
Facing the Atlantic is Morocco’s commercial center with modern infrastructure and charming districts. Casablanca’s identity lies in its Arab heritage and French colonial legacy. Discover its Medina, dally along the art deco buildings up to the Hassan II mosque, an architectural gem built on the ocean. Those yearning for creative inspiration will revel as Casablanca has a plethora of contemporary artworks scattered among the numerous art galleries of the city.
Stepping in Chefchaouen might remind you a little bit of Santorini in Greece. Located in the northwestern region of Morocco, the town is famous for the blue color that predominates the majority of its limestone houses. Chefchaouen is often called the “blue city”. The mountainous region makes Chefchaouen a popular spot for hiking and those who are bold enough can venture around the Rif Mountains further in the north.
Tizi n’Tichka is a mountainous pass that runs from Marrakesh to the Sahara desert. At the beginning of the trail, there is a lot of vegetation around. As you go further breathtaking sand dunes get into most of the visitor’s views. There are many villages, cafes and stores along the route, where you can stop and refresh yourself with a traditional Moroccan tea.
Visit Rabat, the capital city of Morocco known for having the best souks of the country. From food and spices, to crafts and souvenirs, Rabat’s souks are a paradise for those going on a shopping spree.
Built by the French, Fez is the oldest colonial city of the country. Fez possesses one of the first universities and oldest medieval Medina in the world. If you would like to shop for leather products, visit the medieval Chouara Tannery which dates from the 11th century. Shop for an authentic handmade Moroccan rug. Be prepared to haggle with the merchants as prices are usually high for tapestry with intricate designs. Before leaving Fez, do not pass by Dar el Makhzen without a glance at the royal palace of Fez. It’s gigantic doors made of gold and brass, surrounded by Zellige tilework and carved wood, all play with light and perspective, turning your holiday photos into artwork.
Located just 44 miles away from Fez, archaeology-enthusiasts visiting Morocco cannot miss Volubilis, an ancient city founded by the Romans a century before Christ and declared as a UNESCO World Heritage. The best-preserved archaeological site of the country of which only half of the site has been unearthed and its beautiful mosaics still remain. Enjoy a day trip exploring the ruins and learn about history. Volubilis is ideal to visit during spring as summer can be burning hot.
Tangier’s particular location brought in North African, Portuguese, Spanish, and French influences. Each day ferries from Europe cross the Straight of Gibraltar to head to Tangier, making the city one of the most cosmopolitan spots in Morocco. To get an authentic glimpse of Tangier, get lost in the Old Kasbah and succumb to the charms of the many teahouses of the old city. While you await the friendly waiter to bring you a glass of generously sweetened mint tea with pastry, contemplate the décor and unleash yourself to embrace the relaxed atmosphere.
Are you still planning to visit Morocco? Get an English-Arabic phrasebook to help you around when asking for directions in the Medinas. Comment below and share your experiences of Morocco!