On the doorstep of Europe bustling souks, spice markets, stunning mosques, white-washed coastal towns and medieval cities carpet this land of extremes. Whether you're looking to work up a sweat in the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas Mountains or a more leisurely plod sitting astride a reluctant camel, heading into the seemingly endless dunes of the Sahara Desert.
Indulge in a spot of surfing at the glorious beaches of Taghazout and Amouage and ending the day with a deep cleanse at a traditional hammam. Morocco is an assault of colours, scents and sounds all mingling into a vibrant, affordable, sun-soaked destination. This part of Islamic Africa has more than enough to keep you in its grasp long after you leave.
The Mountains of Morocco
This is a country made for explorers of the great outdoors. Morocco is home to North Africa's finest mountain ranges. In the High Atlas, there are over 400 summits with an elevation of up to 3000 metres and numerous are over 4000 metres. The centrepiece of which Mount Toubkal, Morocco's highest peak standing proudly at 4165 metres.
Other ranges include the Mid and Anti Atlas Mountains, the Jebel Saghro Mountains and the Rif Mountains.
Swaddled in Morocco’s far north, the Rif Mountains are an almost forgotten corner of North Africa. Despite their allure and sensational views, this mountain range is by far the lesser known of all Morocco's mountain ranges. Receiving fewer visitors than anywhere else in the country, off the beaten track is where you'll be in these mountains.
Whilst not as grandiose as the High Atlas, the views of limestone cliffs and gorges as you ascend will beguile, and the laidback vibe never fails to enchant.
The hypnotic pink evening hues of Marrakech are alone enough to keep your trigger finger needing urgent WD40 attention. Get up on the rooftops surrounding the lively Jemaa el fnaa, and find bonus vistas of the distant Atlas Mountains. This bustling square is a hive of activity and a great place to sample some Moroccan culinary delights.
Essaouira is a particular favourite of mine. This coastal gem formerly known as Mogador reveals an enchanting Citadel, a shimmering seaboard, and undulating sand dunes. And all within just a stone's throw of each other.
Add to this the Blues of Chefchaouen and the historical city of Fes. Garnish with a bit of Sahara desert and Booyah, David Baileys your uncle.
Completely Useless Facts about Morocco
- The Fez is a type of hat named after the Moroccan city. Ironically, it was made famous by the Ottomans, who never actually ruled Morocco.
- Each year more than 90,000 tons of dates are exported from Morocco.
- Tea is the national drink. This originated in the 19th century when British merchants became stranded off the coast and had to offload their cargos.
- Morocco is the only African country that is not a member of the African Union.
- Population: 36.64 Million
- Capital City: Rabat
- Land Area: 446,550 sq km
- Major languages: Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic and Berber
- Major religion: Islam
- Currency: Moroccan Dirham
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Fancy rockin' the kasbah? So what if the Shareef don't like it.
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