Learn About Morocco
With its endless stretches of sand, fortified ports, oases of greenery and Atlas Mountains, Morocco offers many tourist attractions.
Located in northwest Africa, Morocco is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar to the north. Being a mountainous country, Morocco has a very diverse climate and varies widely from one point to another. The Mediterranean climate, particularly in the north and center, is characterized by warm, wet winters and hot dry summers. The southern area has a semi-arid climate, predominantly in Sahara region. The wet seasons are from April to May and October to November, nevertheless Morocco can be a suitable destination for the entire year.
With its endless stretches of sand, fortified ports, oases of greenery and Atlas Mountains, Morocco offers many tourist attractions. For many visitors, a stay in Marrakech, with its teeming souk, its storytellers and snake charmers, is the defining Moroccan experience. Marrakech remains Morocco’s most popular tourist city and a great base for first-time visitors to the country. But the country has other cites that are just as exotic, with a calmer atmosphere and some very special hotels, and not to mention the coast of Morocco and its rural regions.
Djemaa El Fna is the piece de resistance of any visit to Marrakech and one of the top attractions in Morocco. During the day, the center of the medina is filled with snakes, wizards and people with monkeys, but also stands with all kind of goods, which is why you will enjoy a great show.
Of course, here's much more to Morocco than Marakech. Visit the cities of Fès, Meknes, Tangier and Essaouira, with their superb examples of early Islamic architecture and you will understand why Morocco is an excellent holiday destination. Must-see attractions include…
The Erg Chebbi dunes are located in the Sahara Desert, the nearest sizable town being Erfoud. They have an altitude of 150 meters, and in their shadows you can't help but feel somewhat overwhelmed. The main feature of these dunes is the unique orange sand. The camel rides are very popular among tourists, although not the most comfortable way to travel!
Fès el Bali is the larger of the two Fès medinas, being a medieval town that has been preserved almost intact over time. As the most traditional imperial city in Morocco, Fès can be difficult to penetrate. The maze-like streets and dark alleyways can have you spinning like a top, but it rewards like nowhere else. Here there are no cars. Goods are carried by donkeys, carriages and motorcycles. The whole medina is surrounded by high walls lined with historic gates. Some shops and restaurants have terraces on the roof, a great way to escape out of the city’s bustle. The views are spectacular, especially at dusk.
Chefchaouen is a charming mountain town, located in the north-east of the country. This picturesque medina, which has the Rif Mountains on its background, is full of whitewashed houses with blue accents. Chefchaouen is a popular destination for shopping, with a wide selection of handicrafts you won't find elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool clothing and blankets woven by hand. The goat cheese in these places is also popular among tourists.
Todra Gorge is located in the east of the Atlas Mountains. Todra River and Dadesm dug into the mountain, canyons bounded by rocks. The last 600 meters of Todra gorge are the most spectacular, because here the canyon narrows, creating a trail of only 10 feet wide in places with precipitous walls.
Aït Benhaddou is one of the fortified cities of Ouarzazate, located along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech. Beyond the city walls are six fortresses and several houses, only a few inhabited. Aït Benhaddou has been featured in many films including Lawrence of Arabia and the Gladiator.
Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco, has the most important harbour in North Africa and is a gateway to the magic of the Orient. Sailing into Casablanca is an unforgettable experience, with glimpses of the Hassan II Mosque and the Casablanca Corniche. Centuries of history await to be unraveled in the seaside city that is coupled with Moroccan and Jewish History and is the economic capitol of Morocco. There are Gothic churches, a Jewish Museum, Synagogues, parks, the Cathedrale du Sacré Coeur, Moroccan grand bazars and markets to explore.
Rabat is the capital city of Morocco, located on the Atlantic ocean and the country's second largest city. Rabat is where the government is located, as well as the King of Morocco, but it's not the commercial capital (that would be Casablanca). Rabat has a rich history and is not as congested as some other Moroccan cities. As with many Moroccan cities, it's divided into the Medina (old-walled city) and the Ville Nouvelle (new city, built by the French).
The Moroccan cuisine combines with refinement, the vegetables and fruits of sunny lands, rare and fragrant spices, delicious fish and meat delicacies. Known worldwide as the best African cuisine, Moroccan food is incredibly diverse, thanks to the country’s interaction with other cultures and nations over the centuries, including Berber, Moorish, Arab and Mediterranean influences.
A classic Moroccan dish is the tagine (or tajine) – a slow-cooked stew made in an earthenware dish known by the same name. They are typically made with inexpensive cuts of meat that become tender with long cooking and are typically flavoured with fruits, olives, preserved lemons, and spices.
Couscous is considered a gift from Allah and is a staple of North African countries. It is the most common starch used to accompany dishes and is typically cooked with spices, vegetables, nuts and dried fruit.
Spices feature extensively in Moroccan cooking and there is a centuries-old art to their careful balancing. These are just some of the preparations you can search in Moroccan menus… Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup; try a kebab with marinated meat or fried chicken with olives and lemons; Chorba Fassia (originally from Fes); Zaalouk (or eggplant salad); Chermoula; Mechoui; Mourousia; Feqqas (cookies with raisins and almonds). All are irresistible!
Morocco is a truly fascinating country. It has steep mountains, massive deserts, sand dunes and cities that will give you a strange feeling of a time travel. Now is the time to visit Morocco!
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