North Africa’s Morocco is home to a fabulous array of things to see and do. Whether you’re into history, culture, adventure, shopping, nature, or relaxation, you’re sure to find something that is right up your street. Wander through kasbahs (ancient citadels), chill out on glorious beaches, explore aromatic spice markets, venture into the desert, discover the soaring mountains, and enjoy cities that are simply throbbing with energy.
Here are some highlights of Morocco to add to your bucket list:
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
There’s more to Casablanca than just its movie associations! The beautiful Hassan II Mosque lets non-Muslims see a little bit of the local beliefs, as well as admiring spectacular architecture and designs. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Morocco’s mosques, but the Mosque of Hassan II is an exception. Allowing the public to peek inside (outside of prayer times), it is amongst the world’s biggest mosques. It can hold up to 105,000 worshippers at any given time, with 25,000 inside the mosque and the reminder outside in the expansive courtyard.
Built in the 1990s, it is constructed partly on land and partly over the ocean. Indeed, the hall has a glass floor that looks down into the ocean! The soaring minaret is one of the highest across the globe, the evocative call to prayer ringing through the air and heard from far and wide.
Djemma El Fna, Marrakech
Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most-visited destinations. An old Imperial City, it sits at the base of the stunning Atlas Mountains. One of the biggest public market squares on the planet, it is home to an abundance of sellers, offering an array of dazzling items. You’ll also find things such as snake charmers, dancers, storytellers, astrologers, and magicians! A kaleidoscope of amazing colours and a cacophony of sounds, it can be somewhat overwhelming at first!
Come evening time, the square transforms into a huge food market, where you can try a tasty selection of local fare.
One of Morocco’s most popular beach resorts, Essaouira boasts a gorgeous beach, which is perfect for some relaxation (if you can stand the wind!) and working on your suntan, a delightful fishing harbour, and a mélange of architectural styles around its fortified town. The narrow alleyways within the walls are crammed with vendors and homes, a mixture of smells wafting through the air.
Located in the Rif Mountains, the small town of Chefchaouen is amidst some stunning landscapes. Picturesque and charming, the blue-washed mountain village has a delightful artsy feel about it, and feels like you have entered a different world completely. Take a stroll through the medina and admire the gorgeous buildings, stopping every so often to peruse a range of local handicrafts and items that aren’t so common in other parts of the country.
If you’re looking to enjoy Morocco’s countryside, Taza is a good place to visit. Rather off the beaten track, it is a great place to escape the masses of tourists that are so common in other parts of the country. The attractive medieval town is surrounding by undulating hills, and offers amazing views of the Atlas Mountains. Don’t miss a visit to Jbel Tazekka National Park either, where you can explore the biggest cave system in all of North Africa.
Tangiers is a fascinating destination, and you can see how the modern world clashes with times gone by in the nation’s capital of Rabat. Other top spots include the striking sand dunes at Erg Chebbi, the scenic Dades Valley, the small fishing town of Sidi Ifni, and the seaside Asilah.