Friday, January 21, 2022

Things To See in Morocco

AfricaMoroccoThings To See in Morocco

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Morocco is only a few hours away from many major European cities, and visitors will be amazed by the wonderful colors, smells, and sounds of Islamic Africa. Imagine bustling souks and spice markets, stunning mosques, whitewashed seaside towns and medieval city centres. From the snowy mountains of the High Atlas to the seemingly endless sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, no one will ever feel bored in this beautiful country.

Film-famous Casablanca is perhaps the most famous of all Moroccan cities and is home to the huge Hassan II Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world, surpassed only by the Great Mosque in Mecca. While many travelers quickly leave this bustling and modernist metropolis in pursuit of a more conventional Moroccan experience, you can still spend some truly worthwhile time admiring the impressive colonial, Hispano-Moorish, and Art Deco architecture of the city center. Marrakech, known as the “Red City” and probably the most prominent former imperial capital, will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. While there, take a stroll through the lively souks, spend some time admiring the ancient city gates and walls, visit the Saadian tombs and the ruins of El Badi Palace, or spend some of your time visiting the Koutoubia Mosque featuring a 12th century minaret. When evening falls, however, be sure to return to the Jamaa el-Fnaa, Africa’s largest square, as it fills with steaming food stalls. Take in the hustle and bustle there, listen to Arab storytellers, watch magicians and chleuh dancers. Fes, once the capital of Morocco, is another magnificent imperial city. Get lost in the beautiful maze of narrow medieval streets, enjoy the huge medina, see the beautiful city gates, the old university of Al-Karaouine and the Bou Inania Madrasa. Also be sure to visit a traditional leather tannery. The city of Meknes is often called the “Versailles of Morocco” because of its beauty. Its beautiful Spanish-Moorish style centre is surrounded by high city walls with impressive gates, and you will still be able to see the mixture of European and Islamic culture from the 17th century.

For a more relaxed experience of life in the medina, catch the sea breeze in the coastal towns of Asilah or beautiful Essaouira. The blue-washed town of Chefchaouen is an old traveller favourite and a great base to explore the Rif Mountains. More stunning mountain scenery can be found in the Atlas Mountains. Climb Jebel Toubkal in the High Atlas, the highest peak in North Africa, past pretty mud-brick villages and explore the beautiful Ourika and Amizmiz valleys along the way. The stunning panoramic views from the summit are worth every effort to get there. Other praised hiking routes take you through the beautiful Ameln Valley in the Anti-Atlas and the forests of the Middle Atlas. Hop on a camel and take a trip through the golden sand dunes of the Sahara at Erg Chebbi near Merzouga. Spend the night in a desert tent, under the incredible starry sky. A little less easy to reach, but also less crowded, are the dunes of Erg Chigaga near M’hamid. On your way into the desert, don’t miss the breathtaking Todra Gorge near Tinghir. The old fortified town of Aït-Benhaddou is another must-see attraction. Although rainstorms keep damaging the mud-brick kasbahs, this mostly abandoned village remains an impressive sight and has served as a backdrop for a number of films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.

How To Travel To Morocco

With planeThere are flights to Casablanca from New York, Montreal, Dubai and many different European cities, including seasonal charter flights to Agadir.Many European airlines fly to Morocco. Some of these airlines include Iberia, TAP Portugal, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, Norwegian, BMI, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Air Berlin,...

How To Travel Around Morocco

With trainTrains are generally the best option due to their speed, frequency and comfort. However, the network is limited and only connects Marrakech and Tangier via Casablanca and Rabat. A branch line to Oujda starts in Sidi Kachem and connects Meknes and Fez with the main line.People are incredibly...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Morocco

All visitors to Morocco require a valid passport, but visitors from the following countries are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival: Schengen Member States, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Libya,...

Destinations in Morocco

CitiesRabat - The capital of Morocco; very relaxed and stress-free, highlights are a 12th century tower and minaret.Agadir - It is best to visit Agadir because of its beaches. The town is a fine example of modern Morocco, with less emphasis on history and culture. A few cents on...

Accommodation & Hotels in Morocco

Hotels in Morocco are a matter of choice and suit every budget. Classified hotels range from 1 star (basic) to 5 stars (luxury) and are classified as auberge, riad, rural gîtes d'étape or hotel. Stays usually include breakfast, and many include dinner.Places to stayAuberges are located in the countryside...

Things To Do in Morocco

ToursMarrakech is a good starting point for exploring the High Atlas Mountains or organising one to four-day Sahara treks.HammamsThere are two types of hammam (steam baths) throughout Morocco.The first one is a sightseeing hammam, where visitors can be pampered and rubbed out by experienced staff. As these are only...

Food & Drinks in Morocco

Food in MoroccoMoroccan cuisine is often described as one of the best in the world, with countless dishes and variations that proudly bear the country's colonial and Arab influences. Unfortunately, being a tourist in Morocco, particularly if you are on a budget, you are often restricted to a small...

Weather & Climate in Morocco

The country's Mediterranean climate is similar to that of southern California, with lush forests in the mountain ranges of northern and central California giving way to drier conditions and deserts further inland in the southeast. The Moroccan coastal plains have remarkably moderate temperatures even in summer, due to the...

Money & Shopping in Morocco

Money in MoroccoThe Moroccan dirham is used as the local currency, and its ISO 4217 symbol is MAD ( also sometimes abbreviated as Dh, Dhs, DH, or درهم, or دراهم, the plural of Dhm). It is split up into 100 cents (c).There are coins in denominations of 5c, 10c,...

Festivals & Events in Morocco

The biggest event in the Moroccan calendar is the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day and break their fast at sunset. Most restaurants are closed at lunchtime (with the exception of those catering specifically to tourists), and things generally slow down. Travelling during this time is...

Traditions & Customs in Morocco

Greetings among close friends and family (but rarely between men and women!) usually take the form of three kisses on the cheek. In other circumstances, shaking hands is the norm. Touching your heart with your right hand after shaking hands signifies respect and sincerity. When approaching someone or entering...

Internet & Communications in Morocco

PhonePublic telephones are found in city centres, but private telephone offices (also called teleboutiques or telekiosks) are also common. The international dialling code (for dialling out of the country) is 00. All numbers are ten digits long, counting the initial 0, and the whole number must be dialled within...

Language & Phrasebook in Morocco

Arabic and Berber are official languages in Morocco. However, local Moroccan Arabic, a dialect of Maghreb Arabic (spoken in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria), is very different from Standard Arabic, so even native Arabic speakers from outside the region would not understand the conversations of the locals. However, all Moroccans...

Culture in Morocco

An ethnically diverse country, Morocco is rich in culture and civilisation. Many people throughout Morocco's history have come from the East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Jews, Arabs), the South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and the North (Romans, Andalusians). All these civilisations have influenced the social structure of Morocco. It hosts various forms of...

History Of Morocco

Prehistory and AntiquityThe region that today constitutes Morocco has been inhabited since the Paleolithic, between 190,000 and 90,000 years before Christ. In the upper paleoliths, the Maghreb looked more fertile than today, more like a savannah than an arid landscape. 22,000 years ago, the Aterian was replaced by the...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Morocco

Stay safe in MoroccoOverall, Morocco remains a relatively safe country; however, homosexuality is criminalised and punishable by up to 3 years in prison in both Morocco and Western Sahara. Gay and lesbian tourists should be confident and cautious. In 2014, 70-year-old British traveller Ray Cole was prosecuted and imprisoned...

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