Top 10 places to visit in Morocco
Only a few hours away from most European destinations, you can visit the Maghreb region of north Africa and its exotic hot spots. The experiences to encounter can be adventurous, rustic and rather down to earth, in addition to there being a more luxurious, quite glamorous side to a traveler's experience, depending on their preferences. This contrast has broadened our horizons to want to explore more of Morocco. The change of scene, authenticity, sun, hospitality, gastronomy and cultures can differ, with a strong presence of Berbers, sub Saharan Africans, Arabs and other cultures within the country can very much be seen throughout Morocco.
We have decided to put together a list of what we believe are the top 10 places you can not miss in Morocco Most of the places on our list are influenced not only by our personal experiences but also from the opinions of the locals that we had the chance to talk to whilst travelling. Special thanks to Siham Lahmine and Jamal Chaaoune from Plan-It Fez for their prep talk and choice of opinions as well.
This list is not in ranking order:
1. Volubilis - The nearest town is Moulay Idriss, which is quite fascinating on the hill tops nearby. Volubilis, which has been recognised by UNESCO since 1997, became famous abroad when Martin Scorsese made it a feature location for his film 'The Last Temptation of Christ'. This partly Roman excavated city is the single most important Roman find in the whole of Morocco.
2. Fez - The ancient medina has labyrinths of individual souks (each filling a street or square and devoted tone particular craft). We were most in awe from the visit to the old tannery which is a fascinating cultural experience that is difficult to find anywhere else in the world. If you are a big foody, you will be overly spoilt with the good number of restaurants.
3. Meknes - This imperial city was the capital of Morocco under the reign of Moulay Ismail. Being the fifth largest city in Morocco, it has a lot of hustles and bustles of a city life in the centre. Great for buying olives, authentic rugs and mint tea. The city's unity of style lends its undeniable charm, enhanced still further by the beauty of the surrounding countryside. We remember the great number of beautiful gates, ramparts, mosques and palaces.
4. Essaouira - Has an exotic coastline that is beautiful for sunbathers year-round. Surfing is a big phenomenon around these parts and so are other water sports. Here you can enjoy the charming traditions as a tourist.
5. Chefchaouen - Situated in the Rif Mountains, its blue-glazed houses are quite unique in the whole of the world. Amazing quaint place to hike, relax and shop. It offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The goat cheese is of a significant importance as well here.
6. Merzouga - Great for the thrill seekers, this place is located in the Sahara desert. Camel trekking is one of the most popular activities and the sun set is supposed to be mind blowing.
7. Jebel Toubkal - North Africa's highest peak and perfect for trekking. The high Atlas Mountains are beautiful and as many don't believe, the peaks are snow-capped.
8. Dades Valley - The remote southern Dades Valley is a very rural destination. Packed with adventure sports to do and the photographers' dream come true for capturing panoramic images of berbers, unique builds and ancient ways of life. The “Monkey Fingers” are one of the top sites in the Dades Valley, this very rare geological formation is a must see.
9. Tangier - Tangier has long been romanticised by artists, poets, and writers who have arrived at its busy shores seeking adventure. Also, the medina is beautiful with its narrow alleyways, interplay of courtyards, arches and domes dotted with cafes and shops.
10. Ouarzazate - Gorges, amazing valleys, international cinema, exceptional kasbahs, amazing landscape and a secular past all attract visitors to this part of Morocco. Game of Thrones, Gladiator and Hercules Reborn are just a few of the films shot here.