From its sprawling deserts to its craggy mountains and everything in between, Morocco has an exotic enticement that’s sure to pique the interests of any type of traveler. This fascinating country merges the African and Arab cultures together in country that is full of age old customs but still modern in its own right. The North African country offers plenty of adventure for those seeking it out. But there are also plenty of cultural and historical opportunities to take in as well. So if you’re looking for a bit of intrigue and fascination, Morocco could be just the sort of travel experience you’re looking for.
The first thing to know about Morocco is its four geographical areas. If you’re looking to for a desert experience, well what better way than with the Sahara desert? You’ll find it in the southern part of the country along with many desert towns and oases. In the interior of the country, you’ll find the Atlas and Rif Mountains. This is a great area to explore if you’re an avid hiker. In the plains you’ll find the historic cities of Fez and Marrakesh. And along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea lie Morocco’s famous sandy coastlines as well as the famed city of Casablanca.
WHEN TO GO
The best time to travel to Morocco depends mostly on where you’d like to visit. Weather can vary greatly between the desert and coastal areas. The spring months of April and May tend to see the best weather conditions across the country. If you’re looking to visit and of the Saharan desert regions, it’s best to avoid midsummer. But the hottest summer months prove to be a good time to visit the coastal cities. It’s also important to take note of desert weather. That means that the days can be very hot, but in the evening, temperatures can get very cold.
Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country. It’s important to keep this in mind while traveling throughout the country. This is especially true for female travelers, as it’s customary for women to dress more conservatively. That doesn’t mean you have to go through any sort of extreme wardrobe overhaul. But do make sure you are being respectful of the country’s culture by dressing modestly. For example, go with flowing, airy clothing that doesn’t cling to your body. It will also help keep you cool in the heat. A one-piece bathing suit is also something to consider. While the larger cities may be a bit less conservative, if you plan on visiting smaller places in the countryside, modest dress will definitely be more appreciated.
So now that we’ve covered a little bit about the country, let’s take a look at some of the top things to see and do while travelling around Morocco:
TAKE IN THE SIGHTS OF CASABLANCA
Even though it’s one of the more well-known cities of Morocco, Casablanca is not actually the most popular Moroccan city tourist destination. And it does have a more modern, industrial vibe since it is the business hub of the country. But Casablanca definitely still has its charms and is worth exploring.
The Hassan II Mosque is a definite must see while in Casablanca. It’s one of the few mosques in the country that non-Muslins can visit. It’s an impressive site and the second largest mosque in the world!
Beach goers will definitely want to check out the beachfront district of Corniche. Here you’ll find plenty of luxury hotels and restaurants. And of course, there’s plenty of beach for swimming and sun-bathing.
For a real taste of local culture, be sure to wander around the central market. It’s located in the city center of Casablanca and is where locals come to buy and sell goods. It’s a great place to pick up some local produce or find some intriguing souvenirs.
GET SNAKE-CHARMED ON THE STREETS OF MARRAKESH
The city of Marrakesh is well-known for showcasing the exotic charm of North Africa. The hustle and bustle along its city streets brings an eclectic mix of an old and new culture. It’s a vibrant city and of course, be on the lookout for those snake charmers looking to wow you with their abilities.
Marrakesh has some great museums and monuments to check out if you’re looking to take in some Moroccan history and culture. And you can’t miss the Medina. It’s the old city district of the city with narrow alleyways and all kinds of great shopping opportunities.
SEE ROMAN RUINS AT VOLUBILIS
History lovers will love this site, and it can be visited as a day trip from Fez or Meknes. The roman ruins site at Volubilis features tumbled columns and remnants of Roman temples. It’s also a site where impressive mosaics were unearthed. The hilltop location offers some pretty great views as well, giving you an insight to what once might have been an important hub of the ancient Roman Empire.
TAKE A TREK THROUGH DADES VALLEY
Trekkers, hikers, and nature-lovers in general will definitely love exploring the natural, raw landscapes of Dade’s Valley. It’s a great getaway destination for those looking for something more low-key, especially after visiting some of Morocco’s more hectic cities. There are small villages to discover as well as some great bird-watching opportunities. And with the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance, it makes for an all around great outdoor destination.
RIDE CAMELS ALONG THE DUNES OF ERG CHEBBI
Along Morocco’s eastern Sahara region, travelers will discover the impressive sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. Those looking for a true desert experience or a bit of adventure will want to look into taking a journey to this part of Morocco. Here you’ll find the towering, iconic desert dunes and plenty of ways to explore them. Four wheel drive dune bashing and dune surfing are a few of the more extreme ways to experience Erg Chebbi. But the more traditional way to take the journey on a camel ride.
LEARN THE SECRETS TO MAKING DELICIOUS MOROCCAN CUISINE
Morocco is well known for its diverse and delicious cuisine. With influences from Arabic, Berber, Turkish, and Middle Eastern Cuisine, it’s definitely something not to be missed while exploring the country. There’s even a bit of French influence to Moroccan cooking too.
Aside from the trying out various restaurants and street foods, a great way to experience the broad spectrum of Moroccan cuisine is to take a cooking class. In most of the larger cities, you’ll be able to find half-day cooking workshops. This includes being able to take a trip to the local market to purchase fresh ingredients yourself in most cases. And when cooking in Morocco, you’re most likely to learn two how to make two very traditional dishes: tagine and couscous.
Morocco offers such a diverse travel experience rich in culture, history, and grand landscapes. And it’s definitely a great choice to consider for those looking for an intriguing mix of both African and Arabic destinations.