5 Beautiful Areas To Visit In Morocco
Museums, breathtaking vistas, local culture and thriving markets. What more could an artistic soul want from a visit to Morocco? Here are the five most beautiful areas to find these treasures in Morocco.
Home of the Musée Marocain, an ethnographic museum containing an equisite collection of clothing, jewellery and homewares, the artistic soul will revel in the serenity of the terrace overlooking the Rif Mountains.
Admire the intermingling colours of the orange, almond and pomegranate orchards as you meander through the city. Take a tour of the World Heritage Listed medina (old town) and meet the weavers, jewellers and leather workers dotted through the city.
Remember your sketchpad and charcoal when you visit Meknès – you won’t be able to resist sketching the tomb hall in in the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail or the luxuriously decorated salon in the Dar Jamaï Museum.
If photography is your art of choice, be sure to visit Café Opera, where you can capture the local men sipping mint tea in this grand old venue. But don’t put your camera away until you’ve visited the Central Market: It’s a bustling hive of colour and personalities.
An oasis in the mountains, Tafraoute provides the perfect locale for you to unwind and let your mind wander. This area is known for its lowset pink houses and wind-sculpted mountains.
Take a stroll through the shops and stalls and marvel at the artistic ingenuity of the craftsmen making lanterns, shopping baskets and other goods from found objects. See out the day painting the arid landscape at sunset.
Essaouira is known for being an artist’s paradise and it’s easy to see why. Who wouldn’t be inspired by the Spice Souq, a flurry of traders selling everything from spices to cosmetics?
Or the Skala de la Ville, the ramparts offering 180 degree views of the city and its maze of winding streets?
What about the Skala du Port, where you can observe the fishermen bringing in the day’s catch while the canons stand guard on the ramparts? With all of these experiences at your fingertips, you’ll be sure to leave your accommodation every day with a backpack full of your artist’s tools.
Slow down and take it easy in Taroudant, a truly beautiful market town known for its town walls that are more complete than any others in Morrocco, offering shimmering canvasses of gold, orange and pink.
Awaken your inner artist with a horseback ride around the valleys and mountains or walk down an orange tree lined path to observe Bab el-Kasbah, an incredible defensive tower built in the 17th century. Capture it all in your media of choice – you wouldn’t want to forget these amazing sights.
Touring Morocco is really the easiest way to make sure you get to see as many of these beautiful areas as possible. Morocco tours have become more and more popular as travellers realise how previous the country is and what it has to offer. Inspire your inner artist and head to Morocco today.
(photo credit: 1)
Exploring The Best Of Marrakech, Morocco
In the middle of Morocco, nestling at the feet of the Atlas Mountains, you will find the charming bustling city of Marrakech. Divided in two parts, the Medina (the old city) and Gueliz (the modern city), Marrakech is a city of culture, history and intriguing architecture alongside a bustling shopping centre and a vibrant night life.
Djemaa el Fna
Two of its claims to fame include the largest souk, or traditional market, in Morocco and one of the liveliest squares in Africa and possibly the world, known as Djemaa el Fna. Although hotel accommodation isn’t too expensive in Marrakech, staying around Djemaa el Fna is more expensive than other parts of the city, so if you want to stay in that area try searching for a Low Cost Holidays discount code to get a deal on accommodation. Don’t rush the souks but spend time wandering the stalls and alleyways and get a feel for the items on offer, before plunging into bargaining. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, just watching the whirl of people and flashes of color and listening to the bustle and noise is an experience in itself. Next to the Souk is Djemaa el Fna, the main square of the old city that never sleeps.
The Berber people come down from the Atlas mountains to Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakech to entertain with their story-telling to the locals.
In the day it is buzzing with entertainers, from musicians and acrobats, to snake charmers and sooth sayers, story tellers and dancers who continue into the night, becoming more exotic as the night falls – casting a romantic glow over the square.
The drums beat, the crowd claps, the wistful sound of a song rises above the excited chatter – traditional costumes vie with the modern dressed tourists and different cooking smells tantalise and taunt the crowds, inviting them to try the many wares on offer. For many visitors this is the height of night life and they return here each evening, forsaking the bars and clubs of the modern Gueliz.
Rue Bab Agnaou
For a more peaceful area, head up the Rue Bab Agnaou through the impressive ramparts to the Kasbah area – the streets here are clean and safe, as it is home to the Royal Palace and the Saadian Tombs, as well as the ruins of the El Badi Palace. You will find small bazaars, not on the scale of the main Souk, but a lot less frenzied and various food stalls and restaurants.
Look for Riads to stay in – although these look drab from the outside, once inside you feel like you have been transported to a different world.
With windows facing the central courts, you get the feel of being taken from the city to an inner sanctum – for extra relaxation and serenity book a massage in a Hammam.
Take time to enjoy the many other varied sites in Marrakech; the Koutobia Mosque besides the Djemaa El Fna proudly displaying its minaret as Paris does the Eiffel Tower and at night it comes alive with illumination.
Also take time out to visit the beautiful Majorelle Gardens, a small oasis in the hustle and bustle of city life. The early morning is one of the best times to visit; not only are there less crowds but the morning light creates some stunning visions.
For those into museums the Museum of Islamic Art can be found here and not far from here is the Dar Is Said Museum. This city is a mix of old and new, custom and modern and caters for all budgets. It is possible to book a cheap holiday in Marrakech, just as it is easy to experience a luxury retreat – whatever your price range, remember to check for any discount codes for cheap flights. From backpacking to five-star hotels: there really is something for everyone.
Colorful dyed yarn hanging to dry in the sun in Marrakech
(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3)Marrakesh is a city that stands out from many other places around the world. You can be sure to leave this place with a complete brain-overload full of strange, new impressions.
Exploring Marrakesh Pharmacy
A great experience I had there once was when I stumbled upon a tiny pharmacy hiding around a small narrow street corner…
As always in Marrakesh no matter where you go, you are welcomed with tea (it was the best mint tea I’ve ever tasted). You will find them bringing it out so quickly that you find yourself with a hot glass even before you know whether you want to even stay or leave.
So I took the mint tea, sat down and looked around.
Every area of this small pharmacy was covered from top to bottom with shelves full of delicate glass bottles – each one looking stranger than the next.
The bottles were filled with liquids in strong vibrant colors and came across looking rather poisonous.
Some had strange plants and branches inside, others had things my imagination couldn’t even describe – I wouldn’t have been surprised if I suddenly saw a head in one of the bottles..!
Everything inside these bottles was meant to be medicine, which would curand diminish things I didn’t even know you could… like stretch marks :S
The pharmacist asked us what we’re looking for, and we became a little hesitant. We weren’t really looking for anything, we just wanted to browse, but we didn’t really feel like that was a good enough answer, so we made up a few things like coughing medicine etc.
An hour later we stumbled out of the pharmacy with two big bags full of herbs, oils and liquids, confused but happy.
And to be honest, I’ve been using the herbs I bought there a long time after.
Since then I’ve become much more interested in medicines from other cultures and what they use to cure every day illness.
I would love to visit more of these street corner pharmacies, in fact I think I might make it my thing – to visit pharmacies in every country I visit, just to see what they look like (many interesting photos coming soon as well I’m sure!)
Mad About Morocco
The British are mad about Morocco – and it has nothing to do with international disputes! The African country is one of the most popular sites for luxury holiday destinations among the British because of its fantastic weather, fascinating places, and friendly people. Let’s just admit it – Morocco can be your home away from home during your luxurious vacation no matter how short it may be.
But before undertaking your luxury holiday in Morocco, you must first educate yourself about the place and its people. Yes, it is an exotic gateway to the spectacular Black Continent but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Laid-back to Adventure in Morocco
Who says that luxury weekend breaks in Morocco have to be so laid-back as to be almost sedentary? The most westerly of African countries has everything that week-enders will want, from the peaks of the High Atlas to the dunes of the Sahara, from the glorious beaches fronting the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and from bustling Casablanca to the hidden jewels of its resorts.
This is a place where the term luxury holiday takes on another meaning, one where you can choose to be laid-back on your hammock or to be adventurous on the dunes. Regardless of your preference for tailor-made holidays in Morocco, you can look forward to luxurious accommodations, sumptuous food and beverages, and outstanding service. This is luxury at one of its best and it can be found in the exotic land known for its colorful patterned rugs.
How can you not fall madly in love with such a place?
Ancient to Modern Morocco
The Moroccan people are rightfully proud of their culture including their traditions. Berbers, Arabs and Saharawis, among other ethnic groups, largely live with each other in peace although it must be said that said peace was not without its price.
Today, the country is an intriguing mix of the ancient and the modern – a cliche mainly because it is true. While the features of encroaching modernity like skyscrapers and motorways are present, the traditional features of mosques and Kasbah still dominate the landscape.
The best thing about such a mix of the ancient and the modern: You can enjoy the best of both worlds in a single luxurious weekend! But why spend just one weekend in the fascinating country when you can come back again and again and again?
Hand felted hats on a side street in Marrakech. I love the contrast between the colorful hats and the worn down street.
Be prepared for pleasant surprises regarding the ingenious ways that the Moroccan people have combined their ancient traditions with modern lifestyles. Nomadic southern ‘blue men’ in their flowing robes and tight turbans brave the Sahara but with a twist – their hands clutch the latest in mobile phone technology, for example.
And let’s not forget the people, the heart of the place itself. Sit in an al fresco café, watch the world go by, and Moroccans will come by your table to talk sooner or later. Now that’s the best way to enjoy a luxurious weekend while making new friends.
(Photo Credits 1)