If you are a culture lover, adventure traveler, a family or a group of backpackers, North Africa’s Morocco is the must-visit destination for you. Morocco, a country of colors and contrasts – from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech to the golden desert joins with the High Atlas Mountains and the kind, hospitable Berber people, there are so many reasons to visit Morocco, some glimpses of them are:
Meld of Cultures
You know what, tourism helps to bridge the cultures which I read in my higher school book about social differences. Cultural shock is what people experience if they pay a visit to a region alien to them. When I landed in Morocco, initially I was so scared of the strangeness of my surroundings and especially because of the stereotypes I believed when in Austin, all changed within hours though. Cultural diversity was one of the reasons I witnessed and make my new belief of the accepting behaviors lovely Moroccans have.
Morocco is a population of Arabs and Berbers with strong and rich traditions and cultural practices, on the other hand, you would experience the Spanish influences historically pinned with Morocco. French, because of the colonial era factor, has a deep influence in Africa’s this part of the region. You’ll find Jewish influences in different areas of Morocco, Jewish people have a very strong relation with Morocco, interesting? They were once Moroccons, They still have their colonies in Morocco which they visit often. I visited many Jewish colonies in my visit to Morocco, I visited a Jewish Museum in Casablanca, Jewish Museum in Muslim country? Yes, it is, You will love this experience of gazing mix of different cultures, believe me.
Moroccans are Tolerant, Hospitable
We may have many stereotypes in our lives about the things we have no actual experience with. I still have so many, When in school, I’ve been told many of the racist and sexist things by my friends and cousins, but they faded with time with increasing better thought development, thanks to my teachers and parents.
Terminologies to have a reason to hate and love with anything is a trend in every society, but not enough to do so. Arabophobia was once a strongly accepted thing in the west but then it settled down with time. When I was in Morocco, I have many kinds and few harsh experiences to share with future travelers so that you people can be guided well to have your best time in Morocco. I found Moroccan people the most tolerant in the Arab nations I visited time to time.
Should you be Sound with Arabic? No
Language filled many gaps too if you think that, to visit an Arab country, you must have sound with Arabic, no, Moroccan people understand English and can speak too. A thought randomly crossed in my mind that English is the most spoken language of the world, it dominates, well, but we know just one language, our mother tongue, comparatively people of the other parts of different continents are more brilliant, they know many languages and accents at a time.
Moroccans are relatively peaceful, so stable. I have been warmly welcomed most of the time. People might gaze you curiously and with wrong intentions too, I’ve been followed by the locals when in Tangier, but a young boy saved me that moment, I thought of the boy that he could be doing that for a reason and will ask me for his reward, but he shook hand and left with a smile I still remember. So Be there with fewer stereotypes and more intentions of enjoying your holidays there. It is sure that you will enjoy your trip.
You will have Different Shopping experience
For me, That was a different kind of experience than shopping in the marketplace in Austin. Here I learned how to bargain, for the first time. It is funny too. Here in Morocco, every major town has large and small souks to offer any need for life fulfilled. Souks are the traditional marketplaces where people go and buy their routine items.
If you are a shopping lover type of a traveler like me, the souks of Morocco have many colors and sweet smells for you to bring back home. You may buy the Hand made baskets, Clothes, lamps, Purse, gifts, etc.
Change your Currency, Basic shopping tips
You have to change your currency as soon as you are landed in Morocco because you will need the local Dirham currency at any next step you will take. The second very important thing is to beware of the Scams people might try on you while shopping in souks. Try to know the tips of bargaining in the town, It would make your time lots of interesting experiences.
I divided my journey to Morocco into two halves, you can too. The first half can fit exploration and adventures, the second half can be basking on the beaches of the coastline of Morocco, relaxing to refresh your energies. I went for exploration first, What will you opt for?
A historical glance of Morocco
It’s not just an isolated idea when in Morocco, history is pinned with every nook of the country with different expressions of the society. Morocco has four imperial cities, Marrakech of course, Fez, Meknes, and Rabat. Being imperial means you have a history of empires and Monarchs in your region or country. A lot of historical Morocco tourist attractions giving glimpses of Spanish control in the Muslim era and when it was a French colony.
The Kasbah of Oudaias, the old Medinas, and the Hassan Tower are the famous places I want to recommend to you if you already planned your Holidays in Morocco.
Marrakech introduces you to its old Medina, souks, Palaces, Mosques and finally my favorite, Djemaa el Fna and many of other colors you would surely be interested to explore and enjoy.
Don’t forget to pay the visit to the museum of every imperial city to have a deep understanding of its history.
Visiting Royal palaces (from outside, was not allowed to enter into the palace) gave me a thought of this expression of history and culture, Wonderful. That actually started from the place I was living in, the Riad, the local old styled home used as a hotel. This glance of the culture really inspired me, I observed the traditional architecture in tilework, decorative carvings, woodwork, plasterwork, etc.
The most beautiful masterpieces of the architecture you must have to visit are the Hassan Mosque in Casablanca, the Saadian tombs in Marrakech I forgot to tell you about, the oldest university in Fez, and the Grand Mosque of Tangier. You would love to visit the knowledgable and really exciting visits to such destinations I’m sure.
Experience a Life in Sahara
Life in Sahara is never an easy one. Moroccan Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert. Living in Austin, or in Europe can’t get you the experience of such conditions of living which Sahara is famous for. That’s all is actually wrong.
The easiest way to get to the Sahara is from Marrakech. You only have to keep in mind that what are the weather conditions in Sahara the days you are planning your holidays in Morocco and pack your backpack accordingly, there are several guide links on the internet which can guide you the tips on the tough conditions Desert may have, My experience in Merzouga was just a stunning one though and I recommend you to visit Sahara in a pleasant weather so you can explore the beauties of Sahara with high dunes, and landscapes. Else that, Erg Chebbi, Chegaga and Zagora are the best places to venture into Moroccan Sahara. Ouarzazate is famous for the cultural glimpses and the film sights.
Take the opportunity to Climb on Atlas Ranges
It was my first ever expedition on Mountains. I easily reached on the ranges of Atlas from Marrakech. Morocco has three ranges, the High Atlas, the Middle Atlas, and the Anti Atlas. We opted for the lesser ranges and found the anti-Atlas more beautiful. Gorgeous little villages, olive trees, goats, plenty to see and do there.
The mountain biking, horse riding, Birds spotting, and visiting Berber Villages are famous, people can enjoy in Morocco’s mountains.
Time to rest, Calming beaches are there for you
Most travelers opt for the beach experiences at the last of their trip, but it’s up to you that what exactly you need to get from your trip. There are many lovely beaches to relax on. Tangier and Agadir are the most Popular holiday spots which attract foreign visitors, and when Spanish people visit Morocco, they prefer Asilah beach most of the time. Essaouira is the best destination with great facilities and it is the perfect destination for travellers who love water sports.
Moroccan Cuisine you never can miss
Although there are many options for the foreigners in Morocco to avoid the local traditional dishes why? Visiting Morocco and dining with Mcdonalds doesn’t really a suite. That you can have anywhere on earth but When in Morocco, Don’t miss to have the local taste. Delicious traditional dishes are also the expression of culture and living hood.
If you are a vegetarian, No worry, but to know, Meat is a common ingredient in Moroccan dishes, with lamb, mutton, beef, and chicken being the most common. And when in the coastal areas of Morocco, You will mostly find Dishes with Seafood. Sardines are a particular favorite in Morocco.
Tagine and Couscous are the most famous, traditional dishes of Morocco. While other dishes you must have to try are Pastilla, Harira soup, and Bissara.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.