Trip to Morocco: The Ultimate Guide
Planning a trip to Morocco is a good option to enjoy your vacation, as Morocco is located in northwest Africa and is a captivating country known for its vibrant history and cultural richness. Its diverse landscapes offer a myriad of experiences for travelers. The bustling souks and ancient medinas of cities like Marrakech and Fes encapsulate the essence of Moroccan life. The Merzouga Desert beckons with its majestic dunes, camel caravans, and nomadic settlements. Morocco is the best destination that costumes to all kinds of travelers who want to have an unforgettable experience.
Food enthusiasts can indulge in the aromatic flavors of traditional tagines cooked using age-old recipes. History buffs can explore the mosques, museums, and palaces that bear witness to centuries of Moroccan heritage. Many travelers will be surprised by the stunning landscapes, the beaches of the Atlantic coast, the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara desert, and more.
To start on your Moroccan adventure, this comprehensive guide provides essential information, including details about the local language, currency, and practical tips. Discover what to do, what to eat, and where to stay, ensuring an unforgettable journey through this treasure trove of wonders.
Planning Your Morocco Trip
The best time to visit Morocco is during the spring months of (April and May), or the fall months of (September and November). These seasons offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. However, Morocco has various regional climates, so it’s important to consider specific activities. Winter is great for surfing, while summer appeals to beachgoers. Cultural and religious festivals take place throughout the year.
Language: Morocco’s official languages are Modern Standard Arabic and Berber, but the most widely spoken language is Moroccan Arabic. English and French and Spanish are also commonly understood, especially in tourist areas. Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can enhance your experience and foster cultural connections.
Things to Do in Morocco
While the Imperial Cities of Fes, Marrakech, Meknes, and Rabat are popular destinations in Morocco, it’s also worth exploring the country’s rural areas to discover its rich and diverse culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the medinas, where you can enjoy the stunning Arabic and Andalusian architecture and navigate the labyrinthine souks to find unique souvenirs.
Morocco is abundant with historic landmarks that showcase its fascinating history. Explore the Roman ruins of Volubilis near Meknes, visit the Saadian Tombs and El Badi Palace, Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech, or stroll along the medieval ramparts of Essaouira. Each of these sites provides a glimpse into different periods of Morocco past.
Nature lovers will be captivated by Morocco natural wonders. Enjoy the camel ride through the Sahara Desert of Merzouga, catch some impressive waves in Taghazout on the Atlantic coast, or enjoy skiing in Oukaïmeden, one of Africa’s few natural ski resorts.
By venturing beyond the Imperial Cities, you will have the opportunity to experience the true diversity and beauty of Morocco, from its bustling markets and historic sites to its awe-inspiring landscapes.
What to Eat and Drink in Morocco
Moroccan cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors influenced by Arabic, African, and Berber cultures, enhanced by a variety of locally sourced spices. One of the most renowned dishes is tagine, a savory stew named after the distinctive clay pot it is cooked in. Tagines come in a range of flavors, with chicken, lamb, and kefta (meatballs) being popular choices. The addition of dried fruit and nuts lends a uniquely exotic taste. Tagine is commonly served alongside couscous, another Moroccan staple. Don’t miss out on harira soup, a hearty blend of tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and spices, or Bastilla, a savory pie traditionally filled with pigeon meat, passed down from the country’s Moorish rulers.
In respect of Islamic traditions, alcohol is not widely available in traditional Moroccan restaurants. Instead, savor your meal with a refreshing cup of mint tea, a ubiquitous beverage in the country. Freshly squeezed orange juice and strong Arabic coffee are also popular choices among locals and visitors alike.
Where to Stay in Morocco
The choice of accommodation in Morocco depends on your interests and preferred experiences. If you are drawn to the historical architecture and vibrant markets, consider staying in the medinas of Fes or Marrakech, where you will find boutique hotels housed in traditional riads. These riads offer an authentic and immersive experience. To fully experience the Merzouga Desert, venture to Merzouga, located near the Erg Chebbi dunes. Here, you can explore on a camel ride and spend a night in a traditional Bedouin village.
For a serene mountain retreat, Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains is a popular choice with its distinctive blue-painted buildings. If you are seeking a relaxed beach getaway, destinations like Asilah, Essaouira, and Taghazout on the Atlantic coast offer beautiful coastal settings.
How to Travel to Morocco
Flying is the easiest way to reach Morocco, with two main international airports: Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca and Marrakech Menara Airport. Casablanca serves as the primary hub for long-distance flights, while Marrakech is popular for budget airlines from Europe. Royal Air Maroc offers direct flights from New York to Casablanca. Ferries also connect Morocco with countries like Spain, France, and Italy. Morocco visa requirements vary by nationality, but visitors from the USA, Canada, the UK, and many other countries from Europe can enter Morocco without a visa for up to 90 days. It’s essential to check specific visa requirements based on your citizenship before traveling to Morocco.
Culture and Customs
In Morocco, Islam is the dominant religion, and more than 99% of the population are Muslims some of them are believing the Islam but they don’t follow the religion they drink alcohol, and many more like outsiders. As a result, visitors need to respect and adhere to certain cultural norms. Traditional restaurants do not serve alcohol, and modesty in dress is expected, especially for women who should cover their shoulders, upper arms, and legs above the knee but it’s your option, Morocco is very open with this, also many outsiders are living in Morocco and they wear what they want, but, LGBTQ+ travelers should exercise discretion and avoid public displays of affection, as homosexuality is illegal yet in Morocco.
During Ramadan, be aware that most Moroccans will be fasting, and restaurants may be closed during daylight hours. If you are not a Muslim, are not allowed to enter the mosques. Bathroom etiquette involves using squat toilets and water for cleaning, with the left hand considered unclean. Right-hand greetings and avoiding pointing are customary.
Tipping for good service is customary, and haggling over prices is common in souks. Take precautions against pickpockets by using a money belt and being discreet with valuables.
Scam artists can be encountered in popular tourist areas like Djema el Fna Square in Marrakech. Beware of black market money exchangers who may deal in counterfeit currency, and be cautious of vendors or street performers offering “gifts” as they often demand payment later.
For affordable food, consider buying meals from street vendors. If a stall is frequented by locals, it’s usually a good sign of trustworthy and delicious food.
When booking your trip to Morocco, opt for reputable local operators instead of arranging them in advance with international companies. This can often lead to better prices and potential discounts through negotiation.
In the souks, don’t feel obligated to buy items you are not interested in. If the price is not perfect, or you are not interested in the thing, just walk away and ignore it.
Haggling is not limited to the souks. It can also be applied to tours, car rentals, and especially taxi fares. Most taxis do not have meters, so agree on the fare before getting in.
Carrying small denomination notes can help avoid overpaying when drivers or vendors claim to not have changed.
Consider a trip to Morocco by train or long-distance bus instead of domestic flights if you have the time. Both methods of transportation are safe and comfortable. Grand taxis (shared taxis) are cheaper but may not be as reliable.
Morocco Travel Deals
Exploring Morocco through a small group tour can be an incredible way to experience the country’s diverse attractions. Whether you choose to drive La Route du Coeur in a vintage car, trek across the desert on camelback, soar over the Atlas Mountains in a hot air balloon, or immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Tangier’s souk, there are numerous tour options available to cater to your preferences.
Morocco’s proximity to Spain makes it easily accessible, and many tour companies offer itineraries that combine Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. This allows you to enjoy the best of the Mediterranean and North Africa within a short timeframe. Consider booking with Best Morocco Travel, a reputable company that offers multi-destination trips to help you make the most of your journey.
Luxury Desert Camp
Getting into the rich history and culture of Morocco by spending a great night full of experiences in a luxury desert camp, just as nomadic people have been doing for centuries. To truly connect with the surroundings and ensure a private experience, consider choosing a private luxury camp offered by our Best Morocco Travel agency.
For those who prefer a touch of luxury while camping, the Desert Luxury Camp is a great option. Nestled among the stunning apricot-colored peaks of the Erg Chebbi desert, this camp offers en suite bathrooms and beds adorned with handwoven fabrics. It allows you to enjoy the beauty of the Merzouga desert.
Whichever Luxury desert camp you choose, spending time in the desert will provide you with an unforgettable experience, that lets you appreciate the traditions and heritage of the Moroccan communities that live in the Sahara desert.