7 amazing things to see in Morocco

If you are a culture lover, then visiting Morocco is a must! This North African country has a lot to offer. Especially in the famous cities of Marrakech and Tangier you will find an enormous amount of history and culture. The pleasant climate makes Morocco an increasingly popular vacation destination. In this blog you can read all about this beautiful destination! Happy reading.

General information

Morocco is a country located in North Africa, just below Spain. Because of its location close to Europe, the country has a variety of cultures. For example, influences can be found from Berber, Arab and European cultures. Compared to other African countries, Morocco is a prosperous country. As a result, prices in the country are also slightly higher than average in Africa. However, prices are on average lower than in Europe or the United States, so you are still relatively cheap. Hotels and transportation in particular are affordable.

Climate

With Morocco, many people immediately think of the Sahara Desert and the drought. This image is partly correct. Especially in the south and southeast, summer is very hot and dry. Winters are also mild, with temperatures often around 15 to 18 degrees. If you have an active trip, it might be wise to go around March or April. Then the temperatures are still pleasant; in summer it can reach 40 degrees. In general, in Morocco, the further south you go, the warmer and drier it gets.

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Language

The most commonly used language in Morocco is Arabic. However, French is also spoken in some parts, which stems from Morocco’s colonial past. Morocco was once under French rule for 44 years. This is especially evident in the city of Rabat. It is difficult for Europeans to learn the Arabic language on short notice, but if you enjoy being able to greet locals, you can practice pronunciation using Google Translate.

Animals

During your trip through Morocco, you may encounter many different animals, depending on where you stay. For example, in the desert you may encounter a black cobra, among others. If you encounter this snake, keep enough distance because the venom of this animal is deadly. You can also find other types of snakes, scorpions and various toads in the desert. In other parts of Morocco you can find the following animals, among others: the Barbary ape, striped hyena, gazelles and the desert fox.

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Is Morocco a safe country?

In general, Morocco is a safe country, especially when compared to other African countries. However, there are security risks, especially in the less touristy places. In big cities like Marrakech, you have to be especially wary of street robbers and pickpockets, but that’s really true of every city in the world. As a woman, keep in mind that dress standards in Morocco are a bit more conservative than in Europe or the United States. The locals are not very strict on this, especially with tourists, but it is respectful to adapt to the local culture.

Highlights

#1 Marrakech

As mentioned several times above, Marrakech is a city in which there is much history and culture. The city lies at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and has traditionally been a trading city. Both in terms of buildings and culture, this is noticeable. The locals bargain over everything! So at a market, feel free to try to haggle a bit off the original price. One of the places where you can do this is the famous Djemaa el Fna square. Here you will find many stalls selling local food, but you will also find a lot of other things. For example, there are snake charmers walking around with black cobras. Don’t take pictures with these animals; they have been robbed of their freedom and are now used as a means of entertainment.

Another great thing to do is shopping in the so-called souks of Marrakech. These are all covered small streets containing both large and small stores. The place is bursting with stuff (and people), but it’s huge fun and relatively cheap to score souvenirs here.

If you’re ready for a little more history, visit one of the city’s beautiful palaces. For example, you’ll find the Bahia Palace here. This enormous palace from the 19th century is one of the most important monuments in Morocco, so it is definitely worth a visit!

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#2 Dadès du Gorges

For nature lovers, this is an absolute must. Characterized by its impressive rock formations and winding roads, this valley gets its name from the river Dadès that flows through it. If you have a rental car at your disposal (and love adventure), we definitely recommend taking a drive through this valley. The route is about 60 kilometers long and along the way you can enjoy the views and the old villages. In these villages, life is still as it used to be and you will experience the original Moroccan culture.

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#3 The Atlas Mountains

Not had enough of all that beautiful nature yet? Then explore the Atlas Mountains! This mountain range is located in the middle of the country and runs from north to south. The area consists of several mountain ranges all with their own characteristics. Also in this area you will find traditional villages with their own culture. In addition, there are so-called Kasbahs to be found in the mountains. These are villages surrounded by a wall, which used to protect the population from outside danger. Finally; in winter you can even ski here! Although Morocco is a relatively warm country, some of these mountain peaks are high enough to act as ski resorts. Of course, though, only in winter.

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#4 Casablanca

The literal meaning of Casablanca is “white house. Walking through the beautiful streets of this city, you will understand why. Almost all the buildings in this city are white, often combined with beautiful mosaic decoration. One of these beautiful buildings is the Hassan II Mosque, which, with its amazing waterfront location, makes for a unique picture. Especially when it is quiet in the little square in front of the mosque, you can take beautiful pictures. It is often relatively quiet around the mosque in the morning and late afternoon.

If you want to know more of Casablanca’s history and culture, go to the old medina. In this old city center you will find many small stores selling local products at reasonable prices. You can also enjoy tea in one of the traditional cafes in the city.

Casablanca has many more beautiful places. Here are some more places that we highly recommend visiting:

  • Park of the Arab League
  • Marabout Island
  • Sacré Coeur
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#5 Rabat

Many people think that Marrakech is the capital of Morocco because it is the most famous city among tourists. However, the capital of Morocco is a different city: Rabat. Unlike many other cities in Morocco, Rabat is a fairly modern city. Nevertheless, the historical buildings have been kept intact, so you can definitely discover the ancient culture of Morocco here.

The city, like Casablanca, is located by the sea and you can enjoy the beaches and water. Especially towards the sea you will find beautiful boulevards with many stores and restaurants. You can really wander around for hours while enjoying the delicious food.

Still more looking for the history and culture of Rabat? Then visit the Kasba of the Oudayas. This fortress is located just outside the center and is characterized by white houses with blue paintings. In this part of the city you will find many older houses and the towers that stand there even date back to the 12th century. Another cultural highlight in Rabat is the Dar el-Makhzen palace. Originally the king’s palace, today the government works from this palace. So unfortunately it is not possible to see the inside, but even from the outside this is a beautiful palace.

#6 Chefchaouen

Looking for a truly authentic village? Then travel to the fishing village of Chefchaouen. This village is characterized by its blue houses and the fact that, compared to other Moroccan places, it is fairly quiet. In every street there is something new to discover and while walking through the streets (which can sometimes be quite steep) you will come to places where you have a beautiful view over the village. Lovers of fish can enjoy the local fish dishes prepared in the restaurants in the old medina.

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#7 Sahara Desert

The desert is one of the most famous places in Morocco. In the Sahara you can easily get lost, so absolutely do not go out here by yourself! If you go out alone you take the risk of getting lost and not being able to call for help in time. So always make sure you join guided tours. For example, you can explore the desert on a camel or join a quad tour. These tours are often offered from the accommodation where you are staying. In the desert there are mostly (luxury) camps that you can use as a base. Most people choose a camp in the town of Merzouga because a lot of tours are organized from here.

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