Heart-stirring landscapes of the Moroccan Sahara, the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains and a coastline that spans 500 km show just how diverse Morocco is. Ancient cities, architecture, and food don’t even begin to scratch the surface of this intriguing land. It would take a long time to experience everything, so here is a useful guide of what you cannot miss when visiting Morocco.
Architecture in Casablanca
The largest city in Morocco, cosmopolitan and vibrant Casablanca is full of Moorish architecture; check out the cathedral for a fine example. Hassan II Mosque is the largest in Morocco and looks impressive against the skyline. Inside, the decor is just as stunning; gorgeous green and blue tiles, water features and a roof that opens to the skies.
Essaouira’s Cultural Scene
Essaouira is a city of culture with many art galleries and its own music festival in June when artists come to perform jazz, rock and Gnaoua music; rhythmic melodies of handclapping and cymbals. Enjoy the smells of spices as you wander along the lanes, a port full of colored fishing boats, and shops selling wood carvings made by talented artisans.
Ijoukak to Tin Mal Mosque on foot
Tin Mal Mosque is about an hour’s walk from Ijoukak, passing the ruined village of Talaat n Yakoub. Upon arrival, seek out the caretaker who will unlock the door and tell you a little of the history. The mosque is in a remote location, in the shadow of the mountains and a stunning landscape of valleys surrounding it, so you’ll probably have the place all to yourself. It’s been partially renovated, and the magnificent architecture, decorative gates and arches, and intricate designs can still be seen.
Journey through the Atlas Mountain Passes
Take the journey from Taroudant to Marrakesh through the Tizi-n-Test pass, a diverse countryside of green valleys, old volcanos, and dramatic gorges, with olive groves and delightful villages. Marrakesh to Ouarzazate over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass is just as magnificent with colorful landscapes of reds and oranges that change color throughout the day, snowy peaks, and ancient kasbahs, empty of tourists and some of the best examples of Islamic architecture in Morocco.
Jemaa el Fna, Marrakesh
If you want to get into the thick of the action in Marrakesh, head to Jemaa el Fna for a veritable experience that will have your senses prickling at every turn. By day, wander the jungle of souks to see people going about their daily business selling anything from textiles to spices. By night, get involved in the hectic atmosphere with musicians, acrobats and over 100 food stalls churning out BBQ meat, tagines, teas, and juices. If the frenzied atmosphere gets too much, find a spot in one of the rooftop terraces above the square.
Saharan Camel Trekking
Embark on your own Arabian adventure and go camel trekking in the Sahara Desert. Be prepared for a breathtaking experience as you follow the trails of Berber nomads to witness the changing color of the landscape and the stars brilliantly sparkling in the infinite sky at night. Enjoy traditional food, music, and singing in your own secluded oasis right in the heart of the desert for a truly magical encounter.
Shop for Handicrafts
Wherever you go in Morocco, you’ll find craftsmen working to create some unique and diverse items to earn their living. Hire a guide in Marrakesh to help choose a rug; color, pattern and size, he’ll help with everything, he’ll even tell you about the motifs used. Visit Safi, the most notable city for ceramics, and indulge in a relaxed shopping experience as you pick out beautifully colored pottery with unique patterns and designs.
Street Food in Fez
Fez is known for its delicious street food, and you won’t have far to go to find some traditional Moroccan fare. Start the day with some delectable mint tea or pistachio juice before sniffing out anything from rghaif (flatbread) filled with honey or cheese to kebabs and fried liver sandwiches, camel spleen, snail soup or steamed sheep head. Medina cooking classes are a great way to experience food; you’ll get to shop for the ingredients in the medina, cook and eat your very own creation.
The Blue Pearl of Chefchaouen
Known as “The Blue Pearl,” Chefchaouen is a photographer’s candy shop; houses painted in shades of blue, alleyways with brightly colored flowers, a medina lined with cafes, and a relaxed ambiance. There are excellent shopping and items, like wool clothes and blankets, won’t be found anywhere else in the country. Surrounded by the Rif Mountains, there’s plenty to do; hiking to Jebel al Kalaa, swimming in mountain streams, and a visit to the old mosque for fabulous views over the city.
This Roman excavation site is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Morocco. Located near Meknes, on an expanse of hills and plains, the ruins rise dramatically from the greenery. Immerse yourself in a magical exploration of the past as you wander around the remains of the Roman city; mansions of the elite, the basilica and triumphal arch are among the most distinctive sights.