For me Morocco has to be one of the most perfect travel destinations. It offers everything an adventurous backpacker could want. Beach, Mountains, Desert, Medieval cities, amazing food, people and culture! I’ve listed some of the obvious choices that are popular among travellers along with some of my personal, less visited favourites. Go explore Morocco!
Beach - Essaouira is the most visited backpacking town along the coast. For good reason, It has an excellent choice of accommodation, interesting markets, and activities such as Windsurfing available. My hidden gem of the coast however is El Jadida. The old historic Cité Portugaise is the maze of interesting turns. Throw in the atmospheric market, easy going souvenir shops staffed by friendly locals and prime beach front cafes and you have a town waiting to be explored! Moreover it’s visited little by backpacker’s so you’d often have the town to yourself… The word is spreading though so don’t delay!
Desert – If you’ve been windswept by the Atlantic and are looking for a change of scenery… Enter the Saharah. Zagora is the most popular starting point for many Camel treks and the most logical place to head if your looking to spend a couple of days in amongst the dunes.
If you’ve got a bit more time and money, I recommend heading to Dakhla. It’s over 1,000kms south of Agadir in the disputed Western Sahara, however if you’re looking for a great Desert/Atlantic experience you won’t be disappointed. The town, albeit isolated is relaxing enough, however it’s the backdrop for windsufing which,is out of this world! This place is fast becoming very popular! http://www.club-mistral.com/en/destinations/home/26
Mountains - Jebel Toubkal towers at over 4,000 metres and is North Africa’s highest peak. From the starting point at Imlil you pass through some amazing terrain and on a clear day the view at the top is simply breathtaking. Make sure you have warm clothes as it’s awfully cold up top! If you’re looking to get even more off the beaten track, trek the little visited Jebel Sahara range, in the area known as the Anti-Atlas. The scenery is quite different to that of Toubkal but just as impressive, and alot quiter.
Exotic cities – Everybody knows Marrakesh is a fascinating place. From it’s fragrant spice markets to super hip modern cafes. Interesting architecture awaits, and of course the centre piece, the Djem El Fna. However, if you’re looking for an equally inspiring city, without the crowds or hassle you can’t pass by Meknes. Strolling through the old medieval part of town you’ll be hooked like I was. The locals are great. Come here during Ramadan and it’s an experience you’ll never forget! Also Volubilis, the ancient Roman ruins are within an hours drive away.
Food – When you ask someone what food comes to mind when you mention the word Morocco, most people will say Tajine or Couscous. Quite rightly so, they are both delicious dishes which ooze Morocco. My personal favourite though is Harira, the soup which is traditionally taken when breaking the fast during Ramadan. You can find it all year around though, it’s cheap, nutritious and doesn’t taste half bad either!
Top Day Trip Recommendation – If you’re visiting in November you can visit Le Jardin du Safran for the annual Saffron harvest. You’ll get an insight into how this amazingly expensive spice is cultivated and prepared, and of course you can indulge in buying some. It’s an easy day trip from Marrakech. http://www.safran-ourika.com/
It’s seemingly easy to decide to travel to Morocco. I’ve found the challening part is deciding what to do. Best best is to come with lots of time and an open mind and see it all! Happy Travels!
Head to my ‘Destinations’ section to read in detail about my adventures in Morocco!