Known for its glorious and scenic mountain scapes and its vibrant
and lively bazaars, Morocco is a kingdom in North Africa famous for
its mystical cities of Casablanca (yes, like the one with Humphrey
Bogart and Ingrid Bergman), Fes and Marrakech.
Although the climate in Morocco is subtropical with cool breeze
coming from the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans, it can get very
hot during summer and a bit cold during winter. Of the major cities,
Marrakech is often the hottest part of the country.
Moroccan cuisine is very sensual for it appeals to all the major sense
organs, something other world cuisines cannot lay claim to. Culinary
experts from Rabat, Meknes, Fez, and Marrakech have all contributed to
what is now known as uniquely Moroccan cooking.
Couscous (variety of meats and greens atop
semolina grains), Mechoui (roasted lamb), and Djej Emshmel (roasted
chicken with olives, lemon, and bisteeya) are among the most popular
dishes in the country normally washed down with Mint tea. Mints, olives,
oranges, and lemons are basic home-grown ingredients. Moroccans will
tell you that the best food in the country is home-cooked and cannot be
found in even the best restaurants.
A blend of African, European, and Muslim cultures, Moroccans are slowly
but surely adapting more modern ideas and values. If you’re nice and
polite to them, you’ll find the locals friendly and courteous. Some
would even invite you to their homes for a meal, a very big honor not
bestowed on many. If this should happen, you’d better brush up on their
customs and traditions so as not to offend. As with most cultures, bring
the hostess a gift of sweets.
Non-Muslims are not allowed in Mosques and don’t be offended if you are
not allowed inside. These places are not for tourists, they’re for
devotees and it would be a great insult to try and sightsee inside.
Obviously, taking pictures inside is a NO-NO.
So what are the best ways to enjoy your visit to Morocco? Innumerable!
But we’ve paired it down to ten best ways to enjoy Morocco. These are
the basics, the things you should NOT miss when visiting Morocco. Do all
these things, and you can truly say that you’d been to Morocco.
Explore the Sahara Desert. Beyond the High
Atlas lies a landscape so picturesque it cannot be found anywhere else.
It’s as if time has forgotten to move forward in this area. Fortified
villages, the Kasbahs, and old abandoned Foreign Legion posts can still
be seen in this region. Despite its vastness, roads on the Sahara are
well made and maintained and travel from village to village is
surprisingly easy and comfortable.
A drive through the Kasbah Valleys is a definite must for it will take
you through some of the most scenic and picturesque areas of the country
from quaint little villages, vast deserts, and don’t forget, the out of
this world Jebel Sargho with its moon-like surface.
If you’re visiting Morocco in July and in you’re in the city of
Marrakech, be sure to come to the Arts festival. See the city light up
and take on a new life as it buzzes with activity and intensity. This is
the most popular event in the country and one of the best known in the
Well, since you’re exploring the desert anyway, might as well go the
authentic way. Ride a camel. It’s the best way to go around and offers
you a great opportunity to have your picture taken on an animal you
don’t see everyday.
The Portuguese city of Mazagan is a must-see. Cited by UNESCO as a World
Heritage, it showcases the best of both worlds, African and European
cultures living together in perfect harmony.
Established in 1777, the American Legation is a monument to Morocco’s
foresight in recognizing the U.S. as an independent nation. It is a
charming building located in Tangiers and was given to the Americans by
Sultan Moulay Suliman in 1821.
Other places of interest are Smir Marina (the jewel of the marinas), the
“Hollywood of Morocco” in Quarzazate, Mt. Toubkal (a trekker’s paradise
in winter), and Ouikaimeden, dubbed as the best place to ski in the
Morocco has some of the most spectacular, natural wonders of the world.
Its topography is so diverse it seems as if everything on earth has been
placed in one country; snowy capped mountain ranges, cedar covered green
slopes, wild rough ridges, and a vast expanse of desert. Though very
near Europe, the Moroccan experience is unlike anything found in that
continent. The language, culture, people, and customs are from another
world altogether. Morocco is truly a place worth visiting.