Morocco is known for many things. Moroccan holiday is the gateway to Africa. It is where the Atlas Mountains are located. And who can forget Casablanca?
But there is more to Morocco than having its city name be a title of a popular 1940s Hollywood movie, as well as a film location for a more recent blockbuster film.
It is a country that has a diverse landscape, a rich history, and interesting people. All of these combined are ingredients for a trip that will no doubt leave you satisfied.
So where does one go to experience the best of Morocco?
8 of the Best Places for a Moroccan Holiday
Morocco has many historic places, including this town located on the Atlantic side of the country. It dates its history back to the Phoenician occupation in 1500 B.C. It was conquered by the Portuguese in the 15th century before being taken back by Moroccans. That didn’t last long as the Spanish soon arrived, with the country being part of Spanish Morocco for some part of the 20th century.
Such a storied history is bound to leave traces, and that’s what makes a visit to Asilah so interesting: a chance to see how previous societies and cultures have shaped it into what it is today.
Asilah makes for a lovely visit, what with its coastal location and lovely white-painted houses. Not only is the town a visual delight, but it is also a place where one can enjoy different cultural highlights too.
It seems a shame to not mention this city when it’s one of the first that pops to mind when Morocco is mentioned. It’s a pretty busy place, what with it being a port area. If you really want to include the city on your itinerary, it is best to come here at night to enjoy the variety of restaurants.
When you want to visit a town awash in blue, you couldn’t go wrong with this one. Located in Morocco’s Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is truly a sight to behold. While the mountain location surely makes it an interesting visit, there’s more to be enjoyed in this location.
The Chefchaouen medina is one of the loveliest you can visit in Morocco. It’s not crowded and it’s fairly easy to explore. While the paths here are still winding, there’s a small chance you’ll end up very lost.
Since your feet are bound to get tired, head for the heart of the medina, the Plaza Uta El Hammam, for some drinks and a bite to eat. It’s also a great place to just watch people go about their day.
Other interesting areas in the medina are the Grande Mosquee and the kasbah, which has a garden, and ethnographic museum, and an art gallery.
The medina in this city is one of Morocco’s nine World Heritage Sites. But that’s not the only thing that’s interesting about this place. The city has a rich history that stretches back ages and like other places in the country, it has been shaped by the presence of different cultures over the years.
Essaouira may be a bit windy, but that’s to your advantage as these conditions keep a large crowd away. This leaves you all the opportunity to take in the city’s beauty, from eye-catching buildings to a busy harbor. You can take a walk along its winding alleyways and see what you can bring home from the market places.
What can be of interest in Morocco’s second largest city? One answer: the medina.
Yes, Fes may be a city but it still has that feel of a small town, and that makes it interesting. The city is home to two medinas, one of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to Fes el Bali will have you exploring alleys, courtyards, and souks. As you go around, don’t forget to pay a visit to the world’s oldest university, the University of Al Quaraouiyine.
The collection of Islamic architecture in Fes makes it a truly visual wonder. So take time to see the different madrasas and mosques to satisfy your visual cravings.
The places mentioned so far have had similar features. If you want something different on your trip, make room for a visit to this city. Like other Moroccan cities, this one is located in the mountains but it is different from others in a certain way: it looks like one of those mountain villages you’ll find in Switzerland.
The aesthetics of Ifrane are that way for a reason: it was developed by settlers from France. These settlers chose a location way up in the Atlas Mountains as a reprieve from the hot summer months. While here you can enjoy a parade of chalets done in European style as well as numerous gardens and parks.
A visit to Morocco isn’t complete without seeing Marrakech. Like many cities in the country, it too has a storied history that makes it an interesting visit. It is also home to a medina on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
What can you do in the city to make a trip worthwhile?
The Jemaa el-Fnaa is obviously a must-visit. It’s not unusual to find monkey trainers, storytellers, and entertainers dressed in medieval attire here. The souks are an interesting place to find items you’d like to take home with you as a souvenir.
Given its long and rich history, Marrakech is home to many city walls and gates, as well as gardens that were first built centuries ago. You can also treat your eyes to a delightful array of palaces and riads, a lot of which can be found inside the medina.
Also located in Marrakech are the Saadian Tombs, which house the corpses of members of the Saadi Dynasty who ruled Morocco for centuries. For a bit of culture, there is the Marrakech Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art.
While some of the best places in Morocco are those with less visitors, it wouldn’t hurt to see frequently visited places as well. Tangier is a Moroccan port with a long history, which is evident as you go about exploring the place. Some of the must-see sights are the kasbah, the beach promenade, and the Librarie Des Colonnes.
These are but a few of the many interesting places to see while in Morocco. While you can stick to one city on your visit, there’s no stopping you from seeing two or more.