Morocco is more than just desert. It’s a diverse and vast country full of culture and possessing a wondrous landscape. Here are five of the very best places to visit in the country.
1. Atlas Mountains
North Africa’s highest mountain range is home to an incredible network of hiking paths, which run through quaint Berber villages. The Atlas Mountains stretch through North Africa, across Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. When it comes to Morocco, the High Atlas runs diagonally across the country for almost 1,000 kilometres. The range encircles Marrakesh to the south, and east from the Atlantic Coast just north of Agadir, to Khenifra in the northeast of the country. If you love to trek in the untouched wilderness, the Atlas are the perfect slice of Morocco for you. Mount Toubkal is one of the world’s greatest climbs, and is the highest peak in North Africa, standing at 4,167 metres above sea level. You needn’t worry about experiencing high temperatures, as the Atlas are much cooler than other parts of Morocco.
If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, an exploration of Marrakesh must be at the top of your list. Although it’s only the fourth largest city in the country, Marrakesh is a bustling place with a 1,000 year old history. From the exotic market stalls of the medina, to world-class dining, it’s a city of extremes and a city of adventure. If you covet an authentic Moroccan experience, you can stay in a riad. Many are located in the city, tucked away on more quiet streets and provide a refuge from the busy city outside. The area of Guéliz is where you will find broad avenues with European-style buildings, luxury boutiques, and upmarket restaurants. The neighborhood is also home to one of the most famous galleries in Marrakesh, the MACMA Museum of Art and Culture of Marrakesh.
Nestled in the Rif Mountains in the north of Morocco, the city of Chefchaouen is known worldwide as the ‘Blue City’. Its buildings are striking and blue-washed, which is the reason for the name. In the 1930s, Sephardic Jewish refugees took their brushes and coloured the walls of their houses with a talcum-based blue paint, which still shines today. Chefchaouen is located around 6.5 hours from Casablanca by car, 4 hours from Rabat, and 3.5-4 from Fes.
4. The Sand Dunes of Merzouga
The sand dunes, located in Merzouga, are one of the most incredible locations in the whole of Morocco. Known locally as Erg Chebbi, these large dunes are formed by wind blown sand, which creates an incredibly dramatic landscape. The nearest tourist centre from the dunes is Merzouga itself, which is home to more than 70 hotels and travel companies, who can provide tours and camel rides. For many, sleeping under the stars in Merzouga is a bucket-list activity.
Located in the north east of Morocco, Fes is home to around 1 million people. The city is the country’s undoubted cultural capital. In fact, Fes Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most important monuments in the city are Bou Inania Madrasa, Al-Attarine Madrasa, and Aben Danan Synagogue. Interestingly, Fes has been twinned with Montpellier in France since 1961.
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