In this fourth and final blog in a series documenting my son Andrick and my travels to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, I’ve got to tell you about Morocco—best for last, perhaps? Morocco is a country that’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, set’s dive right in, as Morocco has a lot to offer travelers.
Experience the Marvelous Moroccan Outdoors
While Morocco is famed for its cultural buildings and historical cities, its outdoors are absolutely worthy of attention as well.
1. Take A Ride Through The Sahara Desert
No trip to Morocco is complete without taking a ride through the Sahara Desert, best experienced on a camel safari or a 4X4 tour. In addition, these tours give you the opportunity to spend the night under the radiant stars. The desert is a beauty to admire during the day, but it's even more spectacular during the night.
After dark, the stars are fiery constellations, unimpaired by the light pollution of cities. Even the sunsets and sunrises are like no other, as the dunes turn into a dreamlike landscape.
2. Go Surfing At The Coast
From beginner surfers to professionals, Morocco's coast has surfing for everyone. For more experienced surfers, the place to visit is Taghazout, which is a small fishing village. Here, you can find waves for all abilities. From the difficult Boilers site to the laid back Immensouance, which is one of the longest rides in the country, you can do it all here. If you're a beginner surfer or a kite surfer, you can visit Essaouira, where the swells are more gentle and easier to ride.
3. Hike The High Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains stretch over 1,500 miles, from the west coast of Morocco to Tunisia. It's also home to North Africa’s highest peak, known as Jebel Toubkal, which is the most popular destination for experienced hikers. However, if you're not looking to embark on such an ambitious hike, there are a number of shorter, easier hikes to take.
Visit Morocco’s Beautiful, Timeless Cities
Morocco’s position in Northern Africa has led to its cities developing an astounding mix of European, Mediterranean, and African architectural styles and cultures. I completely fell for Morocco during the time my son and I spent there, and these cities simply blew me away.
4. Delight In Casablanca’s Gorgeous Mosques
Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. It’s a city with an incredibly dense population, even compared to my home of New York City. As such, this visit can even be overwhelming; however, as long as you take your time, it’s absolutely worth the trip.
One thing that you simply can’t miss in Casablanca is the Hassan II mosque. There are many beautiful mosques in Morocco, but this one takes the cake! It's the largest mosque in the country and contains the second-tallest minaret in the world, topping out at 689 feet. The mosque was commissioned by King Hassan II, and was completed in 1993. Hassan II’s goal was to create a landmark for Casablanca that would be recognized worldwide, and this mosque doesn’t fall short—literally.
5. Feed Your Creative Side Show In Fes
Fes is the artisan capital of Morocco and is most famous for its leather products, which come from the leather bazaar in the old medina, which means market in Arabic. Visiting Fes is one of the best ways to understand Morocco’s rich culture and its history. Here, you can find anything from beautiful tanneries, to rug weaving shops as you explore the city.
6. Be Mesmerized By The Multicultural Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is known as the sleepy town of Morocco’s bigger cities, and can be a beautiful place to unwind after visiting the fast-paced Casablanca. This town once served as a place for refuge for Muslims and Jews during the Spanish Reconquista, and again for Jews during World War II.
Chefchaouen is now known for its breathtaking cobbled streets, bohemian atmosphere, and dreamy, blue buildings. You can admire the town’s beauty and all its colors while enjoying a treat at one of its many street-side cafes.
Experience Authentic Moroccan Culture
Moroccan culture is something to behold. A mix of North African, Mediterranean, and European cultures, it’s sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
7. Steam In A Traditional Hammam
A hammam, also known as a public steam bath, is a Moroccan rite of passage. Hammams were once a place where people would gather to bathe and socialize, as very few used to have access to private bathrooms. Now, while there are far fewer hammams, they still exist and allow tourists to immerse themselves into Moroccan culture. They are a great way for female travelers in particular to meet and socialize with local women.
8. Visit The Djemaa El Fna
Marrakech is the cultural capital of Morocco and is filled with an abundance of nightlife, restaurants and shopping malls. At the heart of it all, however, is the Djemaa el Fna, which cannot be missed.
Djemaa el Fna is Marrakech’s most popular meeting place full of snack stalls and street vendors during the day. At night, it transforms into a mystical place full of entertainment. From jugglers to musicians and snake charmers, Djemaa el Fna has it all.
9. Visit Marrakech’s Saadian Tombs
If you’re interested in the history of Morocco, the Saadian Tombs is the place to go to learn about Morocco’s sultans. These tombs showcase the finest Arabic craftsmanship of the 16th century. Historically, many Saadian sultans were buried here until a rival dynasty seized power and closed the tombs off. However, in 1917 these tombs were rediscovered and restored to their former beauty.
At the Saadian tombs, you can admire the tile and lattice work in the columned mausoleums as well as pay your respects to the Saadi household staff buried in the rose garden.
10. Attend A Cultural Festival
Morocco hosts a number of unique annual events and festivals, and this can be a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Music festivals such as the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is a multi-day celebration of music.
One of the most exciting events held in Morocco is the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival. During this festival, entertainers and artists from all over the world come together to perform in the Djemaa el Fna and El Badi Palace.
Add Morocco to Your Travel List
Morocco was the final country my son and I visited during our trip overseas. We traveled through Spain, Portugal, and I’m so thankful we added Morocco to the list because it’s simply magnificent. The people, culture, and sheer beauty of the country are incredible, and I’d recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.
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