Some people choose a travel direction based on recommendations and price/quality ratio, others prefer to feel the spirit of adventure and plunge into a new life of unknown cultures. Morocco is a paradise for any traveler, here are windy beaches and the vast Sahara.
We tried and now we recommend: the best places, interesting activities, unusual ideas . Read, write down and get ready for a trip.
Top 4 places in Morocco
Traditional Moroccan front door, many of these in the old Medina
Marrakech: Lively city and medina
Nestled north of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is one of the best places in Morocco. Here are palaces and ruins.
Tip: don't miss the Elbadi Palace and the central square of Djemaa el Fna – these are absolute must-sees even for a short trip.
Marrakech is one of the most popular destinations in Morocco, visited by thousands of tourists every year. In the city, you can easily get acquainted with local customs: take a walk around the city square, pay attention to the merchants and what they sell, among the souvenirs you can easily find jars filled with teeth – a gift from local dentists. Be careful not to run into acrobats and snake charmers. They love doing tricks here.
After sunset, grill cooking competitions and musical jam sessions begin in the restaurants of the city – it's better to book your seats in advance.
Fez: The old town where leather is made
Fes is the cultural and spiritual capital of Morocco, a metropolis with historic buildings on every corner. There are many luxurious traditional mansions of riads, as well as hostels for backpackers, so you can find accommodation for any budget. However, the city still remains as authentic as possible. Its medina is the oldest in the world. It is believed to have over 9,000 streets, so be prepared to get lost. It seems to be inevitable here.
Be sure to make a stop at Chuar, the largest tannery in the world, to see how the locals make leather using traditional methods.
Essaouira, a city in western Morocco, also has the Portuguese name Mogador
Mogador: Game of Thrones filming location
Mogador or Essaouira is a must see for all Game of Thrones fans. He appeared in the third season of the series as Astapor, the city in Slaver's Bay where Daenerys bought the Unsullied for her army.
Essaouira still has historic streets and buildings built in the 18th century, beautiful harbors and honey-colored fortifications. Explore buildings with Portuguese inscriptions and be enchanted by the magnificent sights of La Scala.
Taghazout: A fishing village with great surf spots
Taghazout is a laid back fishing village. Previously, hippies flocked here, now – surfers. This is one of the best places in Morocco for water sports. Strong winds form long waves that are suitable for surfers of all levels.
Best things to do in Morocco
Go mountain biking in the Anti-Atlas Mountains
Anti-Atlas is a desert land with lunar landscapes and rocky outcrops. The mountains lie east of the Atlantic Ocean and extend 500 km inland. You can go trekking, but it's best to cycle through the lush valleys of the oasis. Cycling is well developed here, so mountain biking will be easy to find.
Relax in a traditional hammam
A must-do on any trip to Morocco is to go to a traditional hammam. The bath is similar to Turkish: first you steam, then rinse, and lie down on a stone bench. Masseurs apply black soap with olives to your skin and use an exfoliating cassette glove to scrape off the soapy layer. Then – a plentiful wash with foam and body massage.
Scuba dive to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea
It is believed that scuba diving is prohibited in Morocco. But this is not true. The country can become a good platform for beginner divers. Diving centers already exist in Al Hoceima, Tangier and Agadir. Diving under water, you can see tuna, turtles, eels and breams. Morocco is also a great place to watch dolphins.
Relax on sandy beaches
For a comfortable stay, you should go to snow-white Agadir – there are most hotels with their own territory on the beach. The free-spirited fishing town of Essaouira is perfect for surfing and partying on the city's waterfront. But the real pride of Morocco and its “blue pearl” is Saidia. This is a new generation resort with a 14 km central beach.
During the summer, the popular beaches are usually crowded, but in the off-season the beaches are deserted, so you can enjoy a piece of paradise on your own.
By the way, most of the beaches in Morocco are municipal, so sunbeds and umbrellas will be paid.
When to go to Morocco? < /b>
Morocco comes to life in early spring when cherries, almonds and wildflowers bloom and the mountains melt. This is a good time to travel: in most parts of the country the weather is pleasant – dry and sunny, though it is still too early to swim. But be prepared that there can be sandstorms in the Sahara desert, and constant rains in the north of the country.
Note to travelers: the cost of accommodation usually rises sharply during Easter, it is better to choose other dates for the trip .
Summer in Morocco is usually quite sunny and hot, with temperatures ranging from 30℃ to 42℃ during the day and 18℃ to 22℃ in the evenings. But this is the best time for swimming in the ocean, surfing and other types of water activities.
The beginning of autumn is suitable for both relaxing on the beach and immersing yourself in the local culture. Still warm, but not as hot as summer. And the beaches are not crowded as the locals return to their daily activities.
In winter, it is worth going if the purpose of the trip is to explore the sights. At this time, there is no exhausting heat, the air temperature rarely rises above +18°C, but it often rains. A good time to travel in the Sahara: the desert will please you with light breezes and the aroma of dates. But be prepared that Marrakech is usually crowded at this time: people head in those directions for hiking or visiting the desert.
Travel guide: How to prepare for your trip to Morocco
Morocco is a Muslim country, so learn all the details in advance
Islam is the state religion in Morocco. Therefore, the country has a pronounced patriarchal structure, and the streets are mostly male.
The country's culture is very reserved, so public displays of affection – kisses and warm hugs – are best avoided. Avoid a lot of jewelry, wear only the essentials, such as a wedding ring.
Important: non-Islamic travelers cannot visit most of the mosques in the country. However, there are two mosques that are open to all religions: the Moulay Tomb Mosque in Meknes and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.
City of Fes, Morocco
Wear closed clothes
Despite being one of the most progressive Islamic countries in the world, Morocco is still relatively conservative.
Women need to wear clothes that completely cover their legs and arms: turtlenecks, hoodies, jeans, midi and maxi skirts. In summer, it is best to choose light-colored clothes made from natural fabrics – it is not so hot in it. Swim on public beaches in closed swimsuits, not bikinis. It is not necessary to wear a headscarf. But you can do it if you want to blend in with the locals. Shorts, short skirts and tops are only allowed on site.
Bring plenty of cash
Many establishments in Morocco only accept cash payments. Therefore, upon arrival, immediately look for a bank where you can transfer money into the local currency – Moroccan dirhams. Bring both dollars and euros – there is not much difference. The rate is the same everywhere, so you can change money even at the airport or hotel.
Important: it is forbidden to take the local currency out of the country. Therefore, when exchanging dollars or euros for Moroccan dirhams, be sure to take a certificate – you will need it for the reverse exchange at the airport upon departure. Don't expect to spend your remaining cash at Duty Free, where dirhams are no longer accepted.
It's time to plan your trip to Morocco! Feel free to write to YouTravel.me: we will help you resolve all issues related to the preparation for the trip!