The Morocco it’s like the spice scent that can be breathed in the tangle of his souks: it is an inebriating mix of cultures, religion and daily life, of ancient traditions and modern sensitivities, of palaces and misery, delicate perfumes and intense stench. And in fact, it is enough to pronounce the name of this town to be attacked by a thousand suggestions ranging from sand dunes to the frenzy of the city, with hints of a Mint tea to the enveloping taste of a tagine eaten in a riad, from the sight of date plantations to the rigorous sobriety of its minarets, from medinas labyrinthine streets full of stalls on the avenues of modern cities. And all these things that represent only a part of things to see in Morocco are the tiles: the whole of the puzzle is a country that conquers you.
Things to see in Morocco: a hospitable country
Morocco, as we have said, thrives on traditions but remains, especially in our confused and tiring days, a welcoming country, one of the most open in the North Africaan obviously Muslim state where, however, those arriving from outside are always greeted with a smile.
And the first place to experience this welcome is definitely Marrakesha grand and seductive city that Winston Churchill he described as “simply the most beautiful place on Earth to spend an afternoon.” Sir Winston will allow us to steal his joke. And confirm that it is true. But each city has its own style, its own special and characteristic character which widens the choice of things to see in Morocco.
From films to the suggestions of Tangiers
Tangier, in the extreme north, practically facing the coast of Spainis the gateway to theAfrica and strikes for its old-time charm spread in the narrow streets overlooked by white Mediterranean houses. And not far away stands the famous turquoise marvel of the city of Chefchaouen.
For decades, up until the end of the 1950s, Tangier it has been a haven for the rich and famous, adventurers, artists, spies and aristocrats and meet authors such as Truman Capote And Tennessee Williams it was as easy as drinking mint tea. Further along the coast is the Cosmopolitan Casablancathe least touristic city in the country and perhaps, for this reason, to visit, to go beyond the myth of the film with Humphrey Bogart and understand where this nation is headed today.
Further south continues the coast loved by tourists: first you meet Essaouiraone of the most suggestive and inviting coastal cities of Morocco which over the centuries has seen Portuguese slavers and traders pass by and which still receives people from all over the world who love to get lost in its fortified medina.
The same as even Orson Welles, he used as a backdrop for his film version of Othello. But the things to see in Morocco continue: to the south you meet Agadirloved by those looking for long hours of sunshine and a challenge on the surf, a stone’s throw from palm-lined avenues and international luxury hotels.
Things to see in Morocco: Unesco sites and nature
Sun, history, shopping: the ingredients that lengthen our list of things to see in Morocco are many. And one of the fundamentals is the extraordinary combination of ancient and colonial architecture that characterizes some of the main cities that have entered the UNESCO World Heritage List. Without forgetting that after a perhaps tiring visit it is always very pleasant to retire to a hammam traditional or treat yourself to a long break in one of the many riad neat and elegant. In fact, these are in cities hotels obtained from traditional buildings, they surprise visitors: from the outside you can’t see anything.
Inside is an embrace of courtyards, fragrant shade and luxurious rooms but still at affordable prices. And sitting in a shaded patio it seems easier to understand how the legacy of the many cultures that have passed is concentrated here: the Phoenician, Hellenic, Carthaginian and Roman as well as Islamic ones which have left an immense heritage of riches among museums, palaces, mosques, tombs and ruins.
Without forgetting that here it is enough to go a little further south to walk on the golden sands of the Western Sahara desert and admire breathtaking landscapes knowing that, however, not too far away, there are the mountains ofHigh Atlas where you can also ski. In addition, no small detail, the communication routes are well maintained and there is also a railway line that connects beyond one hundred stations for almost 2000 km of tracks.
Things to see in Morocco: the imperial cities
Although define what to see absolutely during a trip to this country it is difficult, if not impossible, one can say that one cannot say that one has tasted it the best of Morocco if you haven’t seen at least one of the celebrities imperial cities. In particular, Marrakesh, Fez And Meknes they will captivate you with their unique atmosphere colorful bazaarsbreathtaking buildings and the vibrant life that animates the streets.
Alongside these destinations however one should not miss the opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful beaches in seaside towns such as Essaouira And Asilah or indulge in the pleasure of going and diving in another sea: that of sand that invades the great dry sea called Sahara. Here, you can climb the dunes, explore unique landscapes or travel through the valley Dades to see these canyons and spend a few nights in one traditional kasbah built of mud and clay. Said like this, it seems like a small thing: but in reality they look like palaces.
Things to see in Morocco: Marrakech
It is perhaps the most famous city: and the reason is soon understood. Located at the foot of Atlas mountainsthe imperial city of Marrakesh it’s loud, atmospheric, and steeped in history. And it never leaves you indifferent also because there is so much to do even if it is certainly not a city made up of museums. Indeed, the most beautiful things are outdoors like the famous square Djemma El Fna or his endless souks which can compete with those of Istanbul or of Cairo. And with those unfortunately destroyed by war in Syria. .
But not only Marrakech: also the medieval city of Fez it should also be seen because it was there capital of Morocco for over 400 years and is still an important religious and cultural center today. The old walled part of the city, known as Fez El Bali, it was founded in the 9th century and is a labyrinth where it is nice to get lost going to discover the great tanneries, the sultan’s palaces or the Merenid tombs.
Things to see in Morocco : the sea of Essaouira
Essaouira, we have already mentioned, is a great place to get away from the heat and chaos of big cities. In the 1960s, the seaside town was a popular hangout for the hippies and here all the greats of rock were at home. Jimi Hendrix used to arrive in the old medina. And in these parts they have passed by Rolling Stones to Frank Zappa.
This must be why in the evening here every club offers music and the nightlife is decidedly lively. But then there are also the splendid walls overlooking the sea perpetually shaken by the wind and the very long beaches. It is not a place for relaxing baths: but the atmosphere is special and the scent of the Atlantic will keep you company.
If you prefer dunes instead of waves, then you have to bet on Merzougaa small town on the edge of theErg Chebbia lovely sea of saharan sand dunes shaped by the wind. It is the gateway to the wilderness of the desert interior and the perfect place to savor the Bedouin life.
Camel rides are the simplest and most authentic way to explore the surrounding landscape, where wind-sculpted dunes and turquoise skies create the classic Saharan backdrop. But then there are also small splendid hotels where you can enjoy the sunset over the ocher sea.
Things to see in Morocco: the discoveries
Want to see the imperial cities but fear the crowds? Then try to visit Meknes which is smaller and more relaxed than Marrakesh And Fez. Andyet it has all the charm expected of an imperial city, including a well-preserved medina filled with easy-to-explore souks. Meknes was the capital during the 17th century and is kind of a summary of the classic moroccan architecture with beautiful buildings and fascinating views. And in addition also the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis they are worth a visit.
Finally, our advice encourages you to visit the Dades Valley which stretches between the mountain ranges of the Jebel Sarhro and ofHigh Atlas and offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Morocco.
The deep red cliffs on each side of the gorges are dotted with traditional forts, the famous kasbah, many of which have been converted into top-class hotels. The gorges can be easily ventured by car and be aware that this is an area loved by climbers. Proof that Morocco has it all. Even what you don’t expect.