A travel guide to Morocco
Morocco is one of the hottest destinations for travellers right now. The country is a beautiful destination combining Mediterranean sea beaches with old North African atmosphere. The country is filled with colour, souks and exotic people waiting to play host to tourists from around the world. From budget travellers to five-star luxury beach resorts, Morocco can accommodate all price ranges.
A trip to Morocco can provide sun swept beaches for surfing or gorgeous old world architecture that takes the breath away. Morocco isn't just your typical budget travel destination, it is a country with history that oozes from every pore. One minute you can be walking the old neighbourhoods, before embarking on an exploration of an old seaside fortress. Morocco is full of great things to see and do.
A walk through the cities of Marrakesh, Agadir or Fes, offers dizzying attractions, smells and markets that offer insight into a whole new world. A holiday to Morocco can be anything you make it, and keeping things on a budget is no problem when visiting its top cities.
Morocco is a country on Europe's doorstep. Once colonised by the French, Morocco has been influenced by Europeans for centuries. Although still strongly North African, Morocco's influence form western cultures shows more and more each year. It is the country's combination of old world charm and modern civilisation that intrigues tourists.
Many feel that a holiday to Morocco is a great introduction to the African continent. Similar to southern Europe, but different all at the same time, Morocco is a new adventure that provides a range of travel experiences.
The country's most important city to many that land on its shores, Marrakesh has its own vibrant life that draws visitors in when staying in the city. Whether it is for one day or one week, Marrakesh stays in your mind when you leave, calling you back for more.
Many visitors to Marrakesh go straight to the Medina when they arrive to peruse the market's stalls. The Medina is a frenzy of chaos and bargaining. It is authentic Morocco and it is advised to never buy anything without haggling over the price. In fact, it is a favourite pastime of Moroccan merchants. A game that they love to play and win.
When you head to the Medina you will pass through the Djemaa El Fna. This is the entry point to the famous Medina and a spot where you will find even more goods, useless or otherwise, on sale. If you are hungry, there are food stalls, cafes and rooftop restaurants to watch the chaos from above whilst eating.
The Saadian Tombs is one of the coolest attractions Marrakesh has to offer. Featuring 66 tombs of the Saadian Dynasty, you can tour the gardens where the mausoleums are located.
For Marrakesh history, there is no older monument in the city than the Almoravid Koubba. The building was built in the 12th century and it is believed to have been a part of a mosque that once stood next door.
Along with Fes, Marrakesh is thought to be Morocco's most exotic city. I cant stress enough however how important it is to haggle when looking around the many hundreds of stalls inside the souk markets. When visiting a city such as this, to feel most comfortable if you are female, I would advise to cover up, so that the attention from the Moroccan men doesn't make you to uncomfortable whilst shopping around.
Agadir is Morocco's top resort and its gorgeous white sand beaches attract tourists from all over the world to its shore. Agadir is Morocco’s main beach resort and it sees nearly 10 million visitors each year. You will find a variety of places to stay from budget to five-star hotels.
Obviously, the city is known for its beach and it is the perfect venue to get that deep Moroccan tan you always wanted. Blue skies, blue waters and endless sunshine make up this North African paradise.
While Agadir is a popular beach destination, it isn't well-know for its historical attractions. In fact, it only has one real historic item to offer visitors. The Kasbah is the remnant of the city's old fortified walls. The walls protected the city from attack. Although well preserved, when we say the city is all about the beach, we really do mean it.
Thanks to Agadir's great location, there are chances to take day trips to some very interesting places. Taroudant and Essaouira are two of the popular places to venture to from Agadir.
Essaouira is a seaside Moroccan town that is as vibrant as it is beautiful. An 18th century fortified seaport, Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. Narrow streets with little cafes give the small town a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Thanks to the strong winds that pelt Essaouira, many of the tourists that come to Morocco avoid the town's beaches. If you can tolerate the relentless wind, you may have a beach all to yourself. It's a famous spot for kitesurfing and surfing, because of the wind and the waves. But don't let that put you off, in terms of relaxing and sunbathing, as there are beach bars that look onto the beach that are perfect for just that.
Part of the reason Essaouira has retained its culture and old Moroccan charm is down to the tourists seeking out other cities. This isn't a bad thing and the town is well worth visiting during your Moroccan holiday. It really is a beautiful spot.
Although many feel Marrakesh is Morocco's most important city, that accolade actually goes to Casablanca. Not just a classic film, Casablanca is a thriving city that is the hub of Moroccan business. The city doesn't have the charm of Marrakesh, but what it lacks in atmosphere it makes up for in its modern approach.
The city's Medina has plenty of great old Moroccan architecture to view and its street vendors have plenty to offer buyers. Once you have viewed the old, why not check out something new? Place Mohamed V is the location of Casablanca's important government buildings. The plaza is gorgeous and well maintained. For a look at a modern Casablanca, it is a great start.
Casablanca Corniche is the city's beachfront. You will find the public beach along the Corniche, but you will also find a variety of resorts with their own little areas for guests to enjoy. It is also a favourite spot for walkers, joggers or people wanting to sit in the sun and watch the world go by.
For an ancient Moroccan sightseeing adventure, head to Azemmour. The small village still has its adobe ramparts intact. It also has a well-hidden beach that few tourists know about, so bring your swimsuit along.
Fes is considered one of Morocco's two most exotic cities alongside Marrakesh. Fes has kept much of its authenticity over the years as it has remained the country's spiritual mecca. The amount of attractions you can see is dizzying, and you will need to budget your time wisely to get all the great sites in before you leave.
The Medersa Bou Inania is one of the few religious buildings in Fes that non-Muslims can enter. In recent years, the building has been renovated to restore is past glories and today it looks much like it did when building was completed in 1357.
Fes el Bali is the city's oldest neighbourhood. After entering the neighbourhood's walls, a river splits it into two districts. One side has monuments and shopping stalls, while the other is full of intricate alleyways. Walk to the narrow streets with your camera and be ready to snap some timely photos. You won't need any Instagram or photo effects to make these images look truly unique.
Fes el Bali is home to shops selling leatherwork, but it is also home to tanneries. You can watch the workers use traditional methods to tan animal skins. This is a great photo opportunity.
Located at the base of the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a city of blue buildings crying out to be visited. Known as The Blue City, or Blue Pearl, Chefchaouen is close to Tangier and Tetouan; making it an easy day trip from both.
While cities like Fes, Casablanca and Marrakesh are all hubs of constant noise and movement, Chefchaouen is a relaxing break. The city's charm and atmosphere give it a quiet vibe that is not found in any other Moroccan town.
Like many of Morocco's top tourist cities, the Medina is a must-see in Chefchaouen. Shops, cafes and restaurants can all be found off of the Medina. The city's Kasbah is another site that attracts tourists to its doors. While the outside can be very impressive, inside can leave a little to be desired. It is still worth a look while visiting Chefchaouen, however.
The Rif Mountains are at your doorstep in Chefchaouen, which means you would be a fool not to head into them for a hike. There is a waterfall nearby and a path that leads just past it into the Rif Mountains. There are several great hiking trails in the area, so be ready to get some exercise while in Chefchaouen.
Morocco is a place high up on many peoples lists for 2017 travel. From eating to staying in budget accommodation, you will have no problem visiting this jewel of a country on a budget.