17 Places You Have to Visit in Morocco

Morocco is one of the most interesting countries in the world; a melting pot of Berber, Arabian and European cultures. There’s a unique fusion of influences that is evident in the history, architecture and culinary experiences that travellers often encounter. And offering a bold contrast of desert, mountain and urban landscapes, Morocco is a place with so much to offer. Here are 17 places that you just have to visit during your time here!

1. Oudaias Kasbah

For postcard-perfect views, you simply cannot miss the neighbourhood of Oudaias Kasbah in the capital, Rabat. This quaint and peaceful part of the city is defined by its pretty white and blue houses, and cobbled streets decorated with painted front doors and flower pots. You will feel worlds away from the bustling centre and you’ll want to bring your camera to capture it all. Other sights and attractions in Rabat include Hassan Tower, The Chellah museum and gardens, Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Dar al-Makhzen, and Rabat Zoo.

2. The Marrakech Medina

There are fewer places in the world more vibrant and spectacular than the Marrakech Medina and bustling market square. Jemaa el Fnaa is a place for snake charmers, medicine men, hustlers and orange juice vendors by day. But by night, it transforms itself into a magical hub of local life at its most authentic, the best street food in the city, and live entertainment and music.

It’s noisy, full of people and a total assault of the senses. For anyone travelling to Morocco for the first time, this night market a must-visit. The tagines are to die for and you’ll be able to get delicious escargot for a fraction of the price that you would find in French restaurants.

marrakech

3. Toubkal National Park

Toubkal National Park is located in the High Atlas mountain range and is home to North Africa’s highest peak, the snow-capped Jebel Toubkal.  Treks start from Imlil, the principal trailhead village located in the heart of the national park. Not only is this an excellent base for hiking, but the area provides great places for mountain biking. Another great place to visit is  Morocco’s best ski resort, Oukaimeden.

At 8,530 feet, the Oukaimeden resort is the highest in the entire continent. And there are 10km of slopes available during the open season, with ski lifts and a ski school. With lift passes priced at just £7, plus lessons ranging from £3 to £8, it’s a bargain compared to the famous resorts in Europe.

4. Jebel Saghro

Go hiking and spend a few days camping in the wilderness in the Jebel Saghro mountain range. Located between the High Atlas and the Sahara Desert, this unique region offers some of the most spectacular views. It has striking volcanic peaks, table top mountains, and beautiful oases and is also home to the nomadic tribe, Ait Atta. Cultural encounters with the Ait Atta tribe can be arranged, and there are a number of different hikes to be enjoyed.  A full hike of the Jebel Saghro can be anything up to 8 days, but day hikes are also possible.

5. Erg Chebbi Dunes

The Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco’s two Saharan ergs, which are large dunes formed by wind-blown sand. Folklore tells the story that the dunes were a punishment sent by God, and they are one of the country’s biggest attractions. Located right on the edge of the dunes is the desert town of Merzouga, where travellers can camp or find local accommodation. If you wish to explore the dunes, the most authentic way is to do it by camel trek. But if can also choose to hike on foot or book a 4×4 desert tour with knowledgeable drivers and guides.

camel trek

6. Fez el Bali

Together with Marrakech, Fez is one of Morocco’s unmissable cultural destinations. But unlike Marrakech, Fez remains relatively untouched by tourism. For an authentic experience of the city, be sure to head to the Old City (Fez el Bali), where you will find a photo opportunity around every corner.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves buildings and streets from its past as an Imperial city, and the medina is one of the most stunning and complex in the country. Don’t be alarmed if you get lost whilst shopping here – just be sure to bring a camera and take a tour of the tanneries if you can handle the smell.

7. Asilah

Situated on Morocco’s northern tip, just south of Tangier, this coastal town is an interesting mix of cultures, traditions and architecture. The medina and old town area is enclosed with a 15th Century wall that was erected by colonial Portuguese. The proximity to Spain and history of Spanish occupation means that you will find the best paella and rioja around.

Spanish food and drink is served in most of Asilah’s restaurants, and the sleepy seaside town offers a laid-back atmosphere with great beaches for sunbathing. For first timers to Africa, it acts as a good introduction to the continent and a suitable base for exploring the northern region of Morocco. Don’t miss the annual festival, the Moussem Culturel International d’Asilah, and hop on a train to nearby Tangier for a day trip.

8. Chefchaouen

The city of Chefchaouen should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Tucked away in the hidden crags of the Rif Mountains, this remote community is one of Morocco’s most interesting. It’s definitely one of the prettiest towns, recognised instantly for its spectacular blue washed buildings and red tiled rooftops. The streets are a sight to behold and even though the area has attracted much tourism over the years, it still remains very much an untouched hideaway for those in search of an authentic travel experience.

Walk around the beautiful medina, shop for crafts and handmade souvenirs, and visit the stunning Spanish mosque and Kasbah. If you’re after romance and magic to impress a loved one, this is the place to come. Wonderful as a destination all year round and a good selection of accommodation in riads.

9. Roman Ruins of Volubilis

This Mauritanian capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site is an important archaeological gem that dates back to the 3rd Century BC. It became a significant outpost of the Roman Empire, and today many of the ruins are still standing for all to see.

The ruins cover more than 40 hectares, with archaeological vestiges that take you back in time to a number of different civilisations and amazing mosaics that have been preserved in situ. It’s an easy day-trip from Meknes or make your base in nearby Moulay Idriss to ensure that you don’t miss the stunning sunrise photo opportunities.

ruins Volubilis

10. Dades Valley

After a few days of souks and busy night bazaars in Marrakech or Fez, you may feel like you need to head out of the cities. The Dades Valley is the perfect place to come for some peace and quiet, for nature spotting and some soul-searching. It’s known for boasting some of Morocco’s most breath-taking scenery, as well as some of the best luxury hotels.

If you want to relax, the Dades Valley has everything you need. The snow-capped mountains of the High Atlas form a backdrop whilst the lush fields and small Berber villages provide plenty of outdoor space to roam freely. Birding is a popular activity here, and you will also find a number of places to buy traditional Berber carpets and craft items.

11. Majorelle Garden in Marrakech

Another attraction not to miss whilst you’re staying in Marrakech is the famous Marjorelle Garden. It’s one of the most visited sights of the city, and it took more than 40 years of hard work to create and finalise. The garden is the work of French painter Jacques Majorelle between the years of 1886 and 1962, and it represents the artist’s lifelong love for flora and fauna.

The garden was bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980, making it an interesting landmark not only for nature and art lovers, but fashion lovers alike. They spent time restoring the original garden of Jacques Majorelle and even transformed his studio into a museum.

12. Ait Mansour Gorge

The Ait Mansour Gorge is located in the Anti Atlas mountain range, a region that attracts hikers from all over the world. The beautiful gorge is perhaps the main attraction, but many also come here to see traditional Berber villages. The main settlement is Tafraoute, a place where time seems to have stood still. There are no road signs, just a cluster of minarets and traditional houses. It’s a good camping base if you plan to hike the gorges, and you can explore the area on foot or by bike.

13. Hassan II Mosque

Casablanca was made famous perhaps by one of the most romantic movies in the history of Hollywood. There are many sights to explore, but the city’s landmark building has to be the Hassan II Mosque. It features the most outstanding architectural detail and décor that required the hands of more than 10,000 artisans to complete. From intricately carved marble and delicate mosaics to the handmade Moroccan tiles, it’s every bit the symbol of tradition and opulence.

mosque hassan

14. Sidi Ifni

Bigger on atmosphere than sights and attractions, Sidi Ifni is the place to go if you’re looking to get away from it all. This small fishing town and former Spanish territory is good for enjoying a bit of peace and quiet, and gorgeous sea views.

Set along the Atlantic coastline in southwest Morocco, the town is a haven for surfers, beach bums and sun seekers. And because of its mild and balmy weather all year round, you’ll have an awesome time no matter the season. The average temperature is around 22°C throughout the year, so anytime is a good time to visit. If you want to rub shoulders with the locals, be sure to go to the weekly Sunday market or the lively fish market.

15. Meknes

A beautiful gateway guards the entrance into this spectacular imperial city. As one of Morocco’s previous capitals, it is home to a number of important sights. Including the aforementioned preserved gates, Bab Mansour, and the Dar Jamai Museum, which houses some of the country’s most fascinating exhibits.

There’s also the fantastic Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and not to mention, the famous Meknes Medina. The city itself is small, yet full of charm and you will definitely want to bring your camera. Everywhere you turn, there will be striking mosaics and spellbinding architecture to take you back in time.

16. Agadir Beachfront

Agadir is one of the Morocco’s most famous seaside resorts and the beach promenade is the place to be at night. It comes to life as locals and tourists come out for evening walks, street food and social meetups. And the beachfront is lit up by the writing on the hills, which translate as “God, King and Country”. The seafront area has a number of restaurants and is also a great shopping area for anyone in search of hand crafted items, jewellery, leather goods, souvenirs and gifts.

Walk up the hill to enjoy amazing views of the ocean from the Agadir Kasbah, enjoy surfing or sunbathing in the warm ocean, visit the Valle De Oiseaux to check out local wildlife, or visit one of the three golf course nearby – there really is so much to do.

17. Essaouira

Kick back in the seaside town of Essaouira, one of the favourite hippie haunts of the 1970s. Once you get here, you’ll see why it was such a popular place for the bohemian crowd. The vibe is laid back and you can spend hours just watching the day go by as small fishing boats bob on the water. For activities, you can go shopping in the medina, learn to surf, or enjoy horse riding on the beach. The best thing about this destination is that it hasn’t lost any of its authenticity, so you won’t feel like you’ve entered into a tourist trap.

essaouira

We hope this has inspired you to visit Morocco, and we are sure you’ll love it just as much as we do. If you’d like to discuss your visit, please do get in touch with us today.

Morocco’s Mountain Ranges: The Ultimate Guide

With the dazzling sights of Marrakech, the pretty coastline in Agadir, or the romantic draw of Casablanca, it’s easy to become distracted by all the amazing things that Morocco has to offer. Its cities are magical, each with their own unique charms and they give travellers a sense of the exotic through their colourful souks and bustling night bazaars.

But for those who really want to get off the beaten track, there’s much more to Morocco than its urban settlements. The mountain ranges are home to some of the country’s most isolated communities. It’s a Pandora’s Box of history, tradition and culture waiting to be unlocked. And with mind-blowing views and challenging climbs, the mountains of Morocco can offer you and your group an epic trekking experience. Here is our ultimate guide for anyone in search of their next hiking expedition.

The Rif Mountains

Tucked away in Morocco’s far north, the Rif Mountains are an almost forgotten destination. Despite its beauty and the wonderful views that come with the journey, this mountain range is by far the lesser known of them all, receiving fewer visitors than anywhere else in the country. So if you’re looking for something different that no-one else has accomplished before, this is the place to begin your trek.

Whilst The Rif isn’t quite the challenge of The High Atlas Mountains and the Toubkal National Park, it’s still worth visiting. The views of limestone cliffs and gorges as you ascend will certainly beguile you, and there’s a laidback vibe here suitable for even beginners. A hike to up Jebel al-Kalaa (8,058 ft.), the Rif’s biggest peak, will take a full day.

Interesting Facts:

During your trek, you may come across a number of cannabis fields. These can be avoided if you speak to your guide beforehand. Morocco produces over a third of all hashish sold around the world, and these farms are key to the Berber community’s survival; for many of the villages, it’s their only form of income.

Tips for Trekking:

A popular starting point for most travellers is the city of Chefchaouen, known as the gateway to The Rif. Not only does Chefchaouen give you the easiest access point, but it’s also a fine destination that deserves at least a few days of your time. Known as ‘The Blue City’, Chefchaouen is recognised for its blue-washed stone buildings – it’s a photographer’s dream. Another good base is the port city of Tetouan, best known for its UNESCO listed medina.

Where to Stay:

There are many short half day or full day treks, meaning that you can stay in Chefchaouen or Tetouan without the need to camp. If you want a longer excursion, you can also find plenty of spots to camp just off the trails of Talassemtane National Park or further west in Al-Hoceima National Park.

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High Atlas Mountains

The High Atlas Mountain Range is perhaps the most popular choice for many travellers looking for a physical challenge. There are over 400 summits that have an elevation of up to 10,000 ft. and a number which are over 13,000 ft. So if you want a destination with tall peaks and mind-blowing views from the top, High Atlas is a great option for walkers.

This region is relatively well serviced in terms of guest houses, restaurants and professional tour operators, and a bit of forward planning can ensure a very smooth trip. Whilst the Atlas Mountains have become rather well known in recent years, they still remain relatively untouched. So it will never feel crowded here, even during peak travel periods.

With the region’s high elevations, there are also a number of trails that are still feasible for the average hiker. And many of the routes can be achieved without the need for advanced mountain skills such as rock climbing. Even the highest peak up Mount Toubkal (13,665 ft.) doesn’t require technical skills, so people of all levels and abilities can enjoy trekking within this range.

Additionally, the High Atlas region is a wonderful location for mountain biking or even horse riding. Many mountain biking guides can take you out for a half or full day, whilst horse riding trips can provide a fantastic alternative to exploring on foot.

high atlas

Interesting Facts:

The entire Atlas Mountain Range stretches over 1,600 miles through Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Unlike other mountain ranges, this one is not a series of continuous peaks but a collection of mountains that are separated by large areas of land. Toubkal is the tallest summit, not only in Morocco but also in the whole of North Africa. Oukaimeden, which is near Jebel Toubkal, is also the country’s largest and most popular ski resort!

Tips for Trekking:

For a good base or starting point, head over to the small town of Ouirgane or the village of Imlil. Both of these locations offer a number of different trails. Ouirgane has plenty of variety whilst Imlil is ideal for longer and more linear hikes. There are also a number of convenient day trips leaving from the city of Marrakech.

Where to Stay:

Good guest houses are easy to find in the area of Ouirgane as well as in Imlil Village. Many of these houses come with spacious double rooms, swimming pools and even Hammam spas. Prices tend to be very affordable and service is always excellent. Many of these guest houses will also feature restaurants, serving up traditional Moroccan food made with fresh ingredients sourced from the souks of the surrounding neighbourhoods.

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Middle Atlas Mountains

They call it the ‘Land of Lakes’ and natural beauty just oozes from the Middle Atlas Mountains. This is the place of the untouched, with fewer tourists than the High Atlas or Anti Atlas. And trekkers going through here will get the chance to discover some of Morocco’s most remote villages, as well as the unique wildlife. Within the range lies Ifrane National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty and often referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’.

This park features spectacular rows of cedar trees which give it the Alpine resemblance, and it’s also home to much of the country’s endangered species. The range is also home to Tazzeka National Park, an area created in 1950 to protect the natural resources at the top from Jbel Tazekka. Both parks have a wonderful array of flora and fauna, and walkers will get to experience the magical mountain landscape. With its intricate cave systems and deep valleys, beautiful streams and dramatic waterfalls, volcanic hills and coniferous woods, and dales carpeted with wild flowers and plants.

The vast region covers more than 100,000 km2 in total and the highest peak is Jbel Bou Naceur (11,000 ft.), with a number of different trekking routes to suit varying abilities.

Interesting Facts:

Due to the elevation of the mountain range, the Middle Atlas experiences a cool and pleasant climate in the summer and wonderful snowfall in the winter. This unique climate means that Ifrane National Park features one of the few ski resorts in the whole of Africa! Although the runs are short (and not exactly challenging for skiing pros), there are more than 13km of slopes, with 11 ski lifts for guests. The resort was built during the French protectorate, so don’t be surprised if you feel like you’re in an Alpine village in Europe!

Tips for Trekking:

Day trips are common for people staying in Marrakech or Fes. But for independent trips, you can make your start at Sefrou, a small market town with a Berber population. The town of Azrou is also a popular choice, with fantastic souks and medinas to explore.

Where to Stay:

It can be hard to book as places are limited so planning ahead is recommended. Ifrane is a good resort to stay in, particularly if you are after a bit of Alpine-inspired luxury. However, with the close proximity of nearby towns such as Azrou and Sefrou, looking for a place to stay in the mountains isn’t always necessary.

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Anti-Atlas Mountains

Situated between the High Atlas in the north and the desert in the south, the Anti-Atlas region has a different climate to its sisters. Alpine charm and ski resorts do not exist in this arid part of the range, with temperatures between 12°C and 36°C, with a mostly dry and barren landscape.

The biggest draw for hikers is the otherworldly appearance of the range, and this is what attracts climbers from all across the globe. Imagine a world of contrasts, with rocky boulders and lunar topography. With perhaps the biggest attraction being the Ait Mansour Gorge. This is one of the most beautiful oases in North Africa, cutting through colourful vegetation.

Another attraction not to miss in Anti Atlas is the Jebel Siroua, which is an ancient and isolated volcanic peak. It’s got some of the most spectacular 360 views, a superb cliffside village and dramatic terrain.

mountain

Interesting Facts:

Around Tafraoute is home to some works of modern art. You may spot some blue rocks, which were painted by Belgian artist Jean Verame in 1984. It took more than 18 tonnes of paint to complete the project. Today some of the paint has faded, with some of the rocks featuring modern graffiti art instead.

Tips for Trekking:

The months of September and May are the best times to visit if you are hoping for pleasant weather that isn’t too hot. The summer heat can be very intense, which can make it difficult for those who are not used to trekking in such an extreme climate. A good starting point would be Tafraoute and it’s important to understand that the Anti Atlas only has a very basic infrastructure once you begin your journey. So trips need to be well-planned before you go, especially if you are wanting a multi-day trek.

Where to Stay:

Guest houses are available in the village of Oumesnate or for day trips, the modern Berber village of Tafraoute can make a good base. Alternatively, wilderness camping is also possible for those who want to really experience the outdoors. For campers, it’s important to bring warm layers of clothing for when temperatures drop at night.

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Jebel Saghro Mountains

This is a remote and rugged mountain range, located between the High Atlas and the Sahara Desert, and about a 6 hour drive from Marrakech. It offers a fantastic alternative to High Atlas trekking, especially when the snow can prove to be a challenge.  With a relatively mild climate, this is a great all-weather mountain range that can offer spectacular views no matter which direction you choose. Your climb to the top will feature deep gorges and beautiful almond groves, as well as ravines and apexes carved by volcanic activity.

Interesting Facts:

The Jebel Saghro region is home to the Ait Atta Berber people. The Berber tribes can be found living in the region’s two main villages, N’Kob and Tazzarine, which you may come across during your trek. In some parts of the range, you may also stumble upon the prehistoric cave paintings.

Tips for Trekking:

The best time for visiting the Jebel Saghro is in May or October when temperatures are cooler, yet rainfall isn’t particularly high. The months to avoid are the peak summer months when it can be as hot as 40°C in the day. The two nearby towns of Boumaine du Dades and Kelaa M’Gouna can make good starting points. The famous Sahro Loop will take you around five days.

Where to Stay:

In terms of accommodation, there are only a few good guesthouses, mostly limited to the village of N’Kob. You may also find a small number of village houses across the range. But the best way to truly experience the Saghro is to camp beneath the stars. You will find plenty of wilderness camping spots and you will encounter very few tourists here.

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If you’d like to discuss planning your visit to Morocco’s incredible mountain ranges, do get in touch with our knowledgeable team today.

A Guide to the Best Cities in Morocco

A Guide to the Best Cities in Morocco-min

Although the traditional medinas, souks, bazaars and market squares are features of all Moroccan cities, each one has its own unique character.

If you’re looking for a city break in Morocco or want to stop off on your way to the mountain or the desert regions, be sure to visit at least one of the country’s fascinating cities.

To help you decide, here’s a guide to the best cities in Morocco.

Tangier

Across the Strait of Gibraltar in the far north of Morocco, Tangier is the meeting point between Europe and Africa, known as the ‘Gateway to Africa’.

This unique city is a melting pot of cultures and influences that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.

In the past, Tangier had a rather sleazy reputation, frequented by eccentrics, musicians, artists and spies. However, in recent times the city has undergone major re-development including a new business district and marina, transforming it into a vibrant and cosmopolitan hub where touches of modernity blend with the ancient historic charm of past centuries.

lamps

Highlights

The Grand Socco and Mendoubla Gardens

Once the main market in Tangier, the Grand Socco is a large cobblestone square with a fringe of palm trees and lovely ocean views. It’s also the entrance to the Medina and offers visitors a taste of new and old Tangier, where you can watch parades go by and see local women dressed in traditional costumes.

The Mendoubla Gardens next to the square offer a tranquil spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Medina

Within the walls of a 15th century Portuguese fortress, there’s a labyrinth of winding streets and well-lit alleyways to explore. A mix of shops, bazaars and traditional Moroccan homes give a fascinating insight into the daily life of Tangier’s people. Stop at the weavers, brass works and leather goods souks (bazaars) and watch craftsmen at work, then climb up to the Kasbah and watch the snake charmers in the square. Exit through the Bab Bhar gate and admire the far-reaching views. On a clear day, you can even see the Rock of Gibraltar.

The Caves of Hercules

Once you’ve explored the city, take a trip to the coast and visit the Caves of Hercules, named after the Greek hero who supposedly spent time here. The steps will take you down into the caves where you’ll find a gaping hole in the shape of Africa, overlooking the ocean.

Marrakech

When visiting the ‘Red City’ be prepared for a sensory explosion. The heady aromas of exotic spices, intense flavours, colours, sights and sounds of this magical city will entice and enchant you.

With its spectacular backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, Marrakech, in the south of Morocco, has been attracting visitors since the 11th century. If you love photography, then Marrakech is one of the best places to go to take amazing photos in Morocco. Today it’s an eclectic mixture of ancient and modern cultures with a vibrant buzz like nowhere else.

spices

Highlights

Jemaa el Fna

The most famous marketplace in Morocco, if not the world, Jemaa el Fna in the main square of Marrakech, offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience.

Don’t be put off by the noise, dust and chaos; it all adds to the charm. Here you’ll find mountains of spices, street food stalls and artisan workshops selling handcrafts such as jewellery, leather goods, woven carpets and homewares. During the day, it’s busy and hectic, but it’s the evening when the market really comes to life. The air is filled with the tantalising aroma of fired-up grills and the sounds of musicians preparing to perform. Every night is carnival night at Jemaa el Fna with street theatre, musical performers, snake charmers and acrobatic acts partying until dawn.

Jardin Majorelle

Escape the market mayhem at Jardin Majorelle. This beautiful garden was created by French painter, Jacques Majorelle, and provides a calming oasis of tranquillity in the heart of Marrakech.

Home to over 300 species of plants from five continents, the gardens feature winding, tree-lined pathways and meandering streams. It is also home to Musée Berbère, an art deco museum housing over 600 artefacts from the country’s Berber people.

Koutoubia Mosque

Just opposite Jemaa el Fna, is the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. It’s the largest mosque in Marrakech and one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Morocco.

Although non-Muslims are not permitted to enter, it’s definitely worth looking around the outside. Arrive just before sunset then admire the changing colours of the exterior as dusk descends, while sipping on a sweet mint tea from one of the surrounding roof terrace cafés.

Bahia Palace

This 19th century palace is a prime example of the opulence and wealth of its owners at the time. Built for the Ba Ahmed’s concubines, the palace features a lavishly decorated harem adorned with silk woven panels, stained glass windows and intricately painted ceilings.

There are several tiled courts with water features where the women would have washed, lavish reception areas with painted wooden ceilings, stucco panels, colourful tiles and a grand courtyard laid in white Carrera marble.

Fez

Nestled in a valley between the Rif and the Atlas Mountains, you’ll find Fez. Founded in the 9th century, it’s the largest and oldest medieval city in the world.

Sympathetic restoration to the crumbling medina walls and new luxury hotels have brought the city into the 21st century without losing its ancient charm.

fez

Highlights

Bab Boujloud

The Blue Gate is a magnificent arched entranceway to the medina of Fez. It’s named after the beautiful patterned fassi tiles that adorn it. The gate was built by the French in 1913 and is situated next to the original 9th century medina entrance gate.

The Medina

Morocco’s most impressive and largest medina has 9,500 streets and alleys to explore. There are no cars inside the medina, only donkeys and mules that pull carts loaded with goods up and down the winding streets. It’s the largest car-free urban area in the world.

Theme-related colour-coded routes are painted on the streets, guiding visitors to palaces, gardens, markets and mosques.

One highlight of the many souks here is the weavers’ souk. Watch the craftsmen working on large wooden looms, creating a colourful array of scarves, robes and bedspreads. Then head to the rug shop where you’ll find mountains of colourful rugs with distinctive patterns that relate to the 45 different tribes.

There are so many handicrafts here, from jewellery and leather goods to metalwork and handmade cobalt blue ceramics, you’ll be spoilt for choice. But be prepared to haggle for the best price. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still fascinating watching the craftsmen as they work.

You can’t mistake what the butcher’s shops are selling here; they have camel heads hanging in the windows. Apparently, the hump is the most delicious part. If you’re game, you can try a camel burger at Café Clock which is located opposite the Water Clock, past the meat and vegetable stalls of Talaa Kbira.

Don’t miss a visit to the bakers; there are hundreds in the medina. Watch as they make khobz bread, place the dough onto palettes then shove them into huge clay ovens to be baked. Local women also bring their homemade dough here to be baked.

Kairouine Mosque

Although non-Muslims are not permitted entry, you may get a glance of the beautiful interior from the outside. Look out for the two magnificent chandeliers, which were originally church bells from Andalucia.

Chouara Tannery

If you can stand the pungent smell, visit the tannery quarter for a medieval Moroccan experience.

The skins are dunked in huge vats of cow urine, then softened with acidic pigeon excrement before barefooted workers tread them into the dyeing pits. It’s a smelly, but fascinating spectacle to watch.

Leather goods are sold in stores around the tannery, and mint sprigs are offered to help counteract the stench.

Jhan Sbil Gardens

After a busy day at the medina, relax in the peaceful haven of Jhan Sbil Gardens. There are 18.5 acres of tranquillity to explore. The gardens feature rows of colourful flowerbeds, weeping willows, citrus trees and water fountains including a recently renovated water wheel.

Madrasa Bou Inania

One of the few religious buildings in Morocco open to all faiths, the 14th century Islamic college is a fine example of Marinid architecture, featuring intricate wooden carvings, stucco work and floor to ceiling zelij mosaic tiled walls.

Taroudant

Set in the beautiful Souss Valley, the walled town of Taroudant was once the capital of Morocco, and is often referred to as ‘little Marrakech’.

Taroudant is the perfect base for trekking in the Atlas Mountains. There are fewer tourists, it’s less chaotic than the larger cities, and has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The market town offers a fascinating insight into traditional Moroccan culture and the Berber way of life.

Taroudant

Highlights

The Ramparts

The outer walls of the town are the best-preserved pisé walls in Morocco. The walls feature squared turrets and nine gates to the town. Take a horse carriage ride around the exterior and watch as the red mud walls change colour in the late afternoon.

Kasbah

The ancient quarter was originally a fortress and today is a residential area with winding streets, alleyways, low arches and tiny squares.

Place al-Alaouyine

This charming marketplace is particularly lively during the Moroccan holidays, and features soothsayers, street performers, snake charmers and storytellers as well as the usual food and handicraft stalls.

Casablanca

Morocco’s commercial and economic hub is the most cosmopolitan city in Morocco with a distinctive European influence and vibe.

Visitors will find a wonderful mix of French colonial history, traditional Arab culture and modern European sophistication.

casablanca

Highlights

Hassan Il Mosque

Completed in 1993, the Hassan Il Mosque is the second largest in the world, and one of the only mosques in the Arab world that non-Muslims can enter. Selected tours around the mosque are available throughout the year, but booking is essential.

The open courtyard can accommodate up to 80,000 faithful, but the best feature is the vast glass floor where up to 25,000 worshippers can pray directly over the sea.

La Corniche

This beachfront district offers visitors a European holiday experience, with pools, beach access and a range of restaurants serving European and traditional Moroccan dishes.

Museum of Moroccan Judaism

This unique museum is the only one of its kind in the Arab world. Exhibits, including paintings, artefacts and clothing, display Jewish life and the influence Judaism has had on Moroccan history.

Parc del al Ligue Arabe

Designed in 1918, the widest open space in Casablanca displays African flora, palm-lined avenues, walks and small cafés where you can take a break and watch the world go by.

Villa des Arts

Located near the park, the art museum is one of the largest in Morocco, displaying over 800 contemporary artworks that reflect Moroccan culture and heritage.

Chefchaouen

Located in the Rif Mountains, the ‘Blue Pearl’ of Morocco is famous for its blue-washed buildings and traditional medina. It’s one of the most picturesque and charming cities in Morocco and life is here is more laidback and relaxed than in the bigger cities.

chefchaouen

Highlights

Leather and Weaving

The area is famous for its quality leather and woven goods, so be sure to visit one of the many shops where you can see artisans at work. Or just wander though the medina where colourful wares are displayed in a wonderful contrast to the blue painted walls.

Kasbah Museum

Set in the tranquil Andalucian Gardens, the Kasbah Museum and Art Gallery displays paintings and artefacts relating to the Chefchauoen region.

Plaza Uta el-Hammam

Enjoy street food delights in the old town square or sip on a sweet mint tea under the spectacular backdrop of the Rif Mountains.

Ras el-ma

This fresh mountain waterfall is a popular local meeting point where you can catch a glimpse of daily life as locals wash their clothes, bathe, drink and chat about their day.

Cascades d’Akchour

Thirty minutes out of town, there’s a beautiful tourist trail that leads to the bluest water pools and cascading waterfall. The perfect place to take a refreshing dip in the cool, mountain waters.

For more information and advice on visiting Morocco’s cities, get in touch today.