Travel

15 awesome reasons to visit Morocco (pictures)

Morocco is one of the most distinctly unique places you could ever visit – from the imperial cities to rogue mountains and a hundred colours and smells in between, Morocco should be on every adventurous travellers wish list and here is why:

Jemaa el-Fena

This market place in Marrakesh is perhaps one of the most famous globally and visitors flock here from around the world. At night it comes alive with bustling food stores, snake charmers, dancing men and much more. A must visit for the food alone.

fenaa

The Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains are a world away from the beaches and city life of Morocco and are easily accessible from Marrakesh. No trip to Morocco would be complete without a visit to the Berber inhabited Atlas mountain range.

atlas



Berber Markets

Every Tuesday there is a weekly Berber market in Amizmiz in the Atlas Mountains which is an experience not to be missed – you can find everything from livestock, food, fruit and veg, electrical’s and everything in between. Definitely try to organize your trip around this – and there is really no need to go for an organized tour just show up, have an open mind and experience it all.berber

The Road-Trips

Morocco is relatively easy to get around – rental cars are readily available and there are some amazing drives you do not want to miss out on especially around the mountain ranges.

road-trip_fotor

The Transport

One highlight of this trip for Ali was the prevalence of the finest vintage Mercedes shared taxis – we planned trips and routes based on where these shared taxis were operating (yes he is a geek, to each his own) but just look at this elegance….and at less than $1 per person to go between towns and cities they are a great way to get around. You can check out our two week itinerary suggestions here.

merc_fotor

Moorish Architecture

No where is the beauty of Moorish architecture more pronounced than in the beautiful mosque courtyards across the country, as shown here in the Moulay Idriss Mosque, Fes.

mosque-moulay-idris

The Mosques

The Mosques in Morocco are distinct from other mosques around the world in that they do not have a dome but rather an elaborate minaret. The tallest minaret in the world is located at the Hassan ll Mosque in Casablanca pictured below. What this picture does not show is it’s enviable position located on the seafront with an amazing view of the ocean. A visit to Casablanca is worth it alone for a visit here.

casa-mosque

The Mint Tea

Mint Tea is Morocco’s crack – and one sip of the sugary sweet hot beverage of the heavens will demonstrate why. Even the serving of the tea has been perfected into an art and whether you like it or not you will be offered mint tea at least 3 times a day!

mint-tea

The Fruit Stalls

Street food in Morocco is not a trend, it is a way of life – from desserts, soups, snails and fruit the food of the people is available on a stall at every street corner. I have no idea what this fruit is called but it is so tangy sweet and refreshing and an obvious favourite amongst Moroccans.

fruit

Getting Lost in Rabat

The old town of Rabat has some beautiful narrow winding streets of blue and white that is a dream to explore and get lost in.

rabat-alley-2

Breakfasts with a View

The breakfasts in Morocco are something else – from every possible derivate of carbohydrate goodness to sweet cakes and fresh juices we enjoyed every breakfast on our trip, though the breakfasts in Fes were the best due to this amazing view across the old city.

fes-breakie

The Food

The food in Morocco is amazing if you go to the right places – these include street food stalls, the Berber markets, good home cooked food and some of the riads. We tried some very highly reviewed French Moroccan Michellen starred chef establishments and were less than impressed – I’ll take a harira soup or spicy chicken tagine from a street food stall any day.

morocco-food

The Imperial City of Fes

Fes is right up there with one of the top places I have ever visited. The city has two old Medina’s which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Medina is an amazing place to wonder around and you could spend days exploring here and it would not be enough. From the tannery’s, the rooftop views over the medina, the narrow winding alleys, the souks, the food and the whole atmosphere of the place – this is not one to be missed. Tourists frequent Fes a lot less than places like Marrakesh and some people can find it intimidating – but really you just need to accept you will get lost in the Medina and if someone offers to help you find where you are looking for they will expect payment.

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Zellige (Moroccan Mosaics)

Morocco has taken the tiling game and elevated it to such heights of intricate beauty that you really need to see it to believe it. From Mosques, Madrasah’s (traditional Islamic schools), riads to public drinking fountains and bathrooms the Zellige game is on point.Zellige (Moroccan Mosaics)

zellige-morocco-2-1

Chefchaouen – The Blue City

Chefchaouen is a city in Northwest Morocco and very close to Spain. As such it served as a refuge point for the Jewish community fleeing the Spanish Reconquista in Medieval times. Chefchaouen is most noted for the beautiful blue paint much of the old city is painted in – from houses to walls to doors – it is a feast for the eyes and a must visit for any photography enthusiasts (ergo Instagrammers). Check out our photo essay of Chefchaouen here.

chefchouen


For more Morocco inspiration and travel ideas check out the Morocco section here.

For a two week Morocco itinerary plan, check out the blog post here.

Risk consultant by day, foodie and travel obsessive by night working my way to break free of the corporate shackles. Blog charting my epicurean activities on www.somethingtodeclare.net

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