Morocco is a country that you can find in north-western Africa just across the sea from Gibraltar and Spain. Morocco is a country unlike any other I have ever had the pleasure of visiting and let me tell you it is well worth your time.
Here are my top seven must have experiences in Morocco, I hope you enjoy!
Visit Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II Mosque is located in the north of Morocco in the city of Casablanca. To say that the mosque is grand and beautiful would be a total injustice. I have seen a multitude of buildings filled with history, feats of architectural genius and pure beauty but I was completely in awe of this mosque. This one is truly a you must see it to believe it kind of deal – words and photos, while we can try, cannot do it justice.
There are many things however, which set this mosque apart from others – aside from the sheer size of the building. The first may be its unique location set alongside the Atlantic ocean and it is said that there is an area within the mosque that consists of glass floors so one can pray directly above the water. This however I cannot confirm for you as it is said to be mainly reserved for royalty and ultimately off limits to visitors on tours of the mosque but I did find this an interesting piece of information regardless. Another fact about this mosque that makes it unique is that is has a sliding roof which opens on occasions of importance and at times when the mosque may be crowded to allow for air movement.
Spend a night camping in the desert
Camping in the Merzouga Desert – which is a section of the Sahara Desert that as you may well know extends throughout northern Africa – was by far one of the best experiences I have had in my entire life and I can safely say is perhaps my fondest memory of Morocco.
There is nothing quite like riding a camel out into what seems like the ever-ongoing sand dunes as the sun sets to find your little village of tents where you will camp for the night. This one is definitely one of those experiences where someone telling you cannot do it justice, you must experience it for yourself!
Visit a souk
You will find no shortage of souks in this vibrant country so you are in luck. A souk is also known as the marketplace or bazaar and you will find these in every major city and in most cases in every main centre of even the small towns.
Get lost in the medina of Fes
This one is actually quite easy to do regardless of whether or not it is your aim. I had never experienced anything like the tiny maze-like pathways between buildings in the medina of Fes and I’m not sure I will ever get to again. For those of you who may not know the medina refers to the oldest part of the city which is in the large majority of the time walled off, this would have been as a precaution from attacks on the city in times gone by.
Fes is the oldest of the imperial cities of Morocco and accordingly there is a great deal of history and secret spots to be found in the medina of Fes. You will find this out for yourself in no time as you pass through the hustle and bustle of the markets and continue on your way to the leather tannery that produces some of the finest quality leather that I have ever seen and had the privilege of wearing.
Go to the beach
It may not be the obvious choice for those making their way to Morocco to head to the beach but the cities and towns found beachside were in my opinion a lot slower paced and provided a perfect opportunity to escape the craziness of the cities.
There are beaches to suit every individual taste in Morocco, whether it’s lounging in the sun, surfing or you simply like to take in nature there will be a beach for you. Essaouria was very relaxed in comparison to the other cities I experienced in Morocco and here there were a number of kite surfers. If it is sun bathing and lounging you would prefer I would suggest heading to a beach in Agadir area and if surfing is more you then places such as Mazagan and Taghazout are where you should head.
Experience the hustle and bustle of Marrakech
Marrakech, where to start. Once you’ve stepped foot within this busy city it would bring you no surprise that Marrakech is home to just shy of one million people.
If you are wondering where the best place to experience the hustle and bustle that Marrakech has to offer you need not look any further than the square of Djemaa el-Fna and the surrounding marketplace and souk. The square is home to snake charmers, monkey handlers, a man with an awful lot of false teeth, more leather than you could imagine, lamps, tea sets, at night-time a sea of restaurants set up shop and an endless amount of people. Marrakech for me encapsulates Morocco in a number of ways and yet somehow manages to take everything that you have experienced in Morocco to the next level.
Drink mint tea with a local
I think anyone who has spent time in Morocco could tell you that you will drink mint tea. You will drink a lot of mint tea. It is often given upon arrival at your destination as a welcome drink as well as before and after meals and all the other times in between for that matter. Whether it is sharing a mint tea with your guide in the desert or sharing your tea in the company of your homestay hosts I’m sure you will learn something new about Moroccan culture and traditions.
So that’s it, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this list and by all means if you are travelling to Morocco there are so many more experiences than these to have, it is a vast country with so much to do!
Nina – Adventuring Life Away