Morocco is a country in North Africa that borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It is a fascinating country due to its diverse geography, multicultural atmosphere, and rich history. Morocco’s towns offer a striking contrast of ancient Casbahs (citadels), mosques and souks (local markets), and modern architecture, with a Berber (Amazigh), Arab, and African population mix. The Atlas Mountains run like a spine from southwest to northeast, separating the urban centers from the desert, and most major cities are on or near the coast in the north. Beaches, mountains, lakes, forests, and the Sahara are all part of the scenery. Here are some travel information of the best cities and places to visit while in Morocco.
Merzouga is a village in Morocco’s Sahara Desert, on the outskirts of Erg Chebbi, a 50-kilometer-long and 5-kilometer-wide set of sand dunes that rise up to 350 meters above the plain and 808 meters above sea level. The majority of visitors come here to go on a camel safari through the dunes and get a taste of remote (but undoubtedly tourism-influenced) Berber life. The locals are a mix of Arabs and Berbers, and they are generally welcoming and friendly. In general, it is important to remember that the dunes do not represent an authentic Moroccan landscape.
Many tourists come here to ride camels and take pictures, leading people to believe that this is how the desert in the south looks. However, riding a camel through the dunes and sleeping in a tent is not authentic—it is a tourist trap. Having said that, the region is still beautiful and interesting, and even the typical stony desert is impressive in its own right.
Marrakech provides visitors with a wonderful taste of Moroccan culture and life. It is one of the four imperial cities, very lively and exciting with an abundance of Moroccan culture and a feast for the senses to entice foreign visitors, and is known as the gateway to Morocco for most visitors. The famous walled medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination, is located in the heart of Marrakech, with sprawling souks, a wide range of charming riads, and numerous other sites of interest.
Marrakech has a diverse range of accommodation options, including: the bustling Medina, where restored riads (courtyard houses) provide a traditional retreat; and the peaceful Palmeraie, a residential oasis just 20 minutes’ drive from town that offers more spacious small hotels set in lush surroundings. Marrakech is also a good starting point for excursions to the High Atlas Mountains (1 hour by car), the Atlantic coast (2.5 hours), or the Sahara Desert (about 9 hours).
The capital of cinema is Ouarzazate, which is located south of the High Atlas Mountains. Ouarzazate, a former garrison town and gateway to the Great Moroccan South, is now a 7th art Mecca, having served as the location for a slew of cult films and series, including Lawrence of Arabia, A Tea in the Sahara, Kundun, The Mummy, Babel, Alexander, Asterix, and Obelix: The mission Cleopatra, Gladiator, and Game of Thrones are just a few examples.
Several studios welcome visitors, but don’t miss the Film Museum for a dose of pure nostalgia. Moroccan Hollywood is home to the magnificent kasbah of Taourirt and, a few kilometers away, the ksar of Ait Benhaddou, which has appeared in a variety of films, in addition to the unmissable film sets that were the stars of Asterix and Cleopatra, Kundun, and Gladiator. Ouarzazate is also the starting point for the oases of Fint and Skoura, as well as Kelaa M’Gouna, which envelops the valley in the entrancing scent of Damascus roses in spring. The sumptuous valleys of Dades and Draa are also where the oases stubbornly resist the desert. The impressive Todra gorges will also appeal to adventure and trekking enthusiasts.
Essaouira is a charming town to include in your Moroccan vacation. We provide a selection of riads in the traditional, bustling medina as well as boutique hotels from which to explore the medina and active fishing port, as well as to enjoy the long sandy beach on the Atlantic coast. It is ideal for first-time visitors who want to explore a Moroccan walled town; the sandy beaches offer activities such as water sports, for which it is famous; and horseback riding is available nearby. It is about 2.5 hours west of Marrakech and makes for an interesting two-centre vacation.
Essaouira’s heart is a small traditional medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has remained relatively unspoiled by tourism. In comparison to Marrakech, the souks are quieter and offer an exciting range of craft goods, including exquisite marquetry made from the fragrant local thuya wood. The walled town’s beautiful Portuguese architecture ends at an attractive traditional fishing port, where many fish restaurants enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic. In modern times, the town has become popular among artists and poets, and it now provides visitors with a seaside destination where they can relax or be active. Its 10-kilometer-long sandy bay is protected by the offshore island of Mogador and offers a wide range of water sports.
Tangier used to be the starting point for most Moroccan vacations, as it was the main entry point for ferries arriving from Spain. However, as low-cost air travel to the heart of Morocco becomes more popular with tourists, it is not as frequently visited. It is a vibrant city with a rich history, one of the oldest in North Africa, and has seen many European powers come and go. Tangier is an intriguing city destination due to its eclectic mix of historic legacies, and it can be linked with other northern destinations such as the beautiful mountain village of Chefchaouen and Fez to extend your holiday itinerary.
Tangier is situated on the extreme northwestern tip of Morocco, on seven hills overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. As a result, it serves as an important entry point for tourists arriving in the country from Spain (including train and car travellers from the UK). Tangier’s history is complicated, but suffice it to say that it is fascinating and is more associated with the arts. Its most cosmopolitan period, around 1952, when immigrants made up nearly half of the population, drew famous writers such as Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, and Tennessee Williams to live here.
Tangier also attracted talented artists such as Henri Matisse and a slew of celebrities. Since the beginning of Mohammed VI’s rule in 1999, the city has undergone massive transformations: the old port now only serves passengers with a marina for yachts and cruise ships, while industrial traffic uses a new commercial port outside the city, Tanger Mediterranée (Tangier Med), and public spaces and buildings have been renovated, including a new railway station and a beach promenade.
Chefchaouen is a remote small town that is also one of Morocco’s cleanest, safest, and most beautiful. It has whitewashed and blue-hued houses, winding streets, and peaceful markets, and it is set in the foothills of the Rif Mountains. Chefchaouen is less bustling than most Moroccan towns and, while popular with visitors, is rarely visited by tourists due to difficult access via scenic mountain roads and distance from international airports (Casablanca, Fez and Rabat) Chefchaouen (or Chaouen) has enormous charm: it is clean, safe, relaxed, and highly photogenic – the charming cobbled streets, flower-filled squares, and the breathtaking mountain backdrop, with peaks in the area rising to over 2,000 meters soaring above the town at 660 meters, all combine to create a wonderful spectacle.
Morocco’s Imperial city of Fez el Bali, known as the “city of thousands of alleys,” is an opportunity to visit one of the country’s treasures. Its exciting history and outstanding architecture provide a fascinating opportunity to learn about a lifestyle that has barely changed since medieval times. The medina of Fez el Bali, the most authentic of Morocco’s Imperial Cities, is recognized by UNESCO as one of the finest in the world and has been designated a World Heritage Site. It is said to have 9,000 alleyways, many of which are barely wide enough for a donkey or mule, the only mode of transportation in most of the medina, and which arouse curiosity and excitement at every turn.
For more than 400 years, the city served as Morocco’s capital, and it is now the country’s spiritual, religious, and culinary center. It is home to Morocco’s finest collection of architectural delights, as well as a superb range of accommodation in very elegant riads (courtyard houses), primarily in the accessible Batha and Ziat districts. Every riad has a private sun terrace, many with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and some have pools, though most are small. It should be noted that many parts of the medina require walking through uneven, sloping alleys.
Meknes is an understated Imperial City that is frequently overlooked by tourists due to the more well-known attractions of nearby Fez. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is smaller than Fez, has a genuine medina, a number of grand monuments and lovely gardens dating from its time as a capital city, and offers more reasonably priced riads than its neighbor. Meknes is located near Fez, between the Rif and Middle Atlas mountain ranges, and is connected by an excellent railway network to Casablanca, Marrakech, and Tangier to the south and Tangier to the north.
Meknes is a fascinating city located 40 miles west of Fez on the Boufekrane River, with the medina and Imperial City on the west bank and the Ville Nouvelle (new town) on the east. It was Morocco’s capital around 1700 and now has a population of around 1 million people. It is a hassle-free city with many attractions, including many structures that give a sense of its grand past: huge tombs, granaries and stables, gardens, lakes, mosques, and much more.
In Morocco, there are many other beautiful places to visit. Only the most popular ones were included. Morocco is a country that makes you want to travel there. From the colorful, fragrant markets filled with the rich scents of spices to the magnificent Atlas Mountains and the peaceful desert, there is so much to see in this lovely North African nation. Furthermore, the vast majority of individuals are kind and welcoming.