There are few places in the world that offer the wide variety of experiences that Morocco does. A trip to this exotic African country can be customized to your travel preferences to include relaxing days on the beach and nights in Moroccan steam baths, or ramped up for the adventure tourist who’s looking for ski slopes, hiking, and water sports. Depending on the kind of holiday you want, you can make it happen in Morocco. Here are 8 reasons to plan a visit to Morocco
Morocco is the ancestral home of the Berber people, but they’ve a seen a bit of everything. By 500 BC, Phoenicians from the eastern Mediterranean made their way as far as Tangier, helping found that city. Only a few hundred years after that the Roman Empire seized Carthage and took a mighty foothold in North Africa. Once the Empire adopted the Christian religion, Tangier became a local See of the Catholic Church. Umayyad Muslims conquered the region in the 7th century AD and set the stage for the current Arabic cultural presence that has enriched the nation for over a thousand years. A visit to Morocco will give you the opportunity to see Berber settlements, Roman ruins, ancient mosques, and architectural and intellectual marvels birthed in Moorish Spain.
Choose from among dozens of world-famous beaches on Morocco’s Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. There are beaches to suit every mood, from quiet and secluded spots like Oualidia and Asilah, or popular resorts like Agadir for scenic strolls overlooking Atlantic breakers and the ruins of ancient castles. The beaches in Morocco are well-suited for activities such as kite and wind surfing. The cozy breeze, tranquil water, miles of sand and picturesque views makes Morocco a perfect beach vacation destination. The most popular beaches in the country include Lalla Fatma, Larce, and Grottes d’Hercules.
3. Moroccan National Parks
The country is home to 14 national parks, making it an exciting destination for wildlife lovers. The park are filled with a variety of habitats, spectacular landscapes, and some of the strangest animals on earth, including the elephant shrew, the Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, and the Barbary Macaque. Some parks also have picnic areas, tourist circuits, and ecological museums. Bird lovers can visit Oued Massa Reserve, and Souss Massa, while flora lovers can trek to Oasis Du Sud Biosphere Reserve, and Tazekka National Park for stunning expanses of protected wildlife.
Experience typical Moroccan hospitality by staying at a riad instead of a Western hotel. Riads are ancient palaces and homes which have been converted into bed and breakfasts or luxury boutique hotels. With every room facing the inner courtyard and garden, you are sure to experience solitude even in the midst of the city. Staying in a riad in Marrakech is a bucket list item for many visitors.
5. Atlas Mountains/Sahara Desert
The highest peak of the snow-capped Atlas Mountians (Mount Toubkal) rivals the highest peaks of both the Rockies and the Swiss Alps in height. Find a touring service and scale the peaks yourself, or hike the foothills, spotting the occasional Berber village. In the winter, the Atlas Mountains has great skiing. If you are a lowlander by nature, visit the immense Sahara Desert for a 4-wheel drive excursion or a camel trek. You can either go for a day trip or spend the night in a Bedouin tent under an unspeakably brilliant, starry sky.
The delectable Moroccan cuisine includes dishes like Tajine, a richly flavored stew rich with chicken, fish, or lamb. Couscous dishes are extremely popular here as well. Wash down your meals with mint tea, beer, or a local wine.
The huge souks of Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakech and other cities and towns of the country offer excellent leather goods, vibrantly-patterned ceramics, jewelry, carpets, and baskets, amongs other goods of interest. And if shopping doesn’t really hold your interest, you could spend a whole day just watching the street dancers, snake charmers, acrobats, and eccentric vendors putting on their shows.
Pamper yourself in a traditional steam bath, called a hamman. These ancient luxuries have been soothing weary bodies and pampering sore feet for over 2,000 years. You can relax with the ancients, or take advantage of the modern spas found in nearly every luxury hotel.
Regardless of your specific interests, Morocco has what you need to craft a memorable and fulfilling vacation. Why do you want to go to Morocco?
Photo credits: All via flickr. Sam Greenhalgh (white houses); Dominik Golenia (monkey); Dominik Golenia (fruit stall)
Author Bio: Ethan S. writes on behalf of MoroccoTours.org, your source for all your Moroccan travel, touring, and lodging needs.
You might also enjoy
The Travelers Way occasionally accepts guest posts from fellow travel bloggers, friends within the travel industry, and as advertorial content.