Wow, there are so many places to go and places worth seeing in the beautiful, diverse country of Morocco. It would take far more space than this blog allows to adequately cover them all! Many people find that one visit is not enough and come back several times.
If you have a limited time and wish to cover just the basics, to get a taste and feel for the beauty, spirit and rhythm of this country then the following are on the must see list.
The first is, of course the souks and markets of Fez and Marrakech. The medina of Marrakech is still surrounded by the 12th century fortress walls and ramparts. A winding journey through the narrow streets and winding paths makes the present fade away. This experience has remained unchanged for centuries. From the call to prayer echoing over the city walls as it swells from many mosques then slowly dies out till there is but one last voice. The smell of spices, cumin and saffron mingle along with mint tea and baking bread. There is an unending appeal to the senses. This world heritage site provides that rare experience of journeying back in time.
The Fez medina is a maze to end all mazes. The only way to experience it is to plunge in head first, and don’t be afraid of getting lost. Follow the flow of people to take you back to the main thoroughfare, or pay a local a small sum to show you the way. It is an adventure into a medieval world of hidden squares, enormous studded doors and colourful souks (markets). Remember to look up and see intricate plasterwork, magnificent carved cedar wood and beautiful curly Arabic calligraphy, while your feet travel over beautiful mosaics. Fez tours are available starting from Casablanca or Marrakech.
The second is the place Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech, both by day and night. This huge open space gives a whole new definition to the term ‘town square’. Nowhere in the world are you likely to see such an assembly of jugglers, acrobats, monkey tamers, healers, fortune tellers, fire eaters, magicians, snake charmers, henna tattoo artists, story tellers, dancers (actually men dressed as women) and food vendors. The place is famous for the fresh squeezed orange juice, available from dozens of vendors.
When the sun goes down and the lanterns are lit, the food vendors appear within minutes. Dozens of stalls with smoking grills, shouting out their specialities to attract the passing trade. Sellers of snails and roasted chestnuts along with pastry and cookie vendors vie to delight your taste buds. An evening in this place is like no other and it is a must to experience. This is one of The places to see in Morocco.
Another experience unlike any other is a Morocco Sahara tour, an overnight trek into the dunes of the Sahara by camel. They are actually dromedaries, only one hump but the ride is the same!! The rolling walk, much like being on the sea and the height affords an incredible and comfortable view of the beautiful terra cotta colored dunes as the sun sets and the colors change to purple and red. A comfortable Berber camp for the night, with woven camel hair tents and a campfire complete with music from the singing and drums of your Berber hosts. Tajine prepared the traditional way complete with mint tea makes a wonderful evening meal. Your amazing night in the desert would not be complete without a trip to the top of the dunes. It is a bit of a climb but well worth the effort when you reach the top and view the universe and Milky Way with little to no light pollution. It is absolutely breathtaking. I have made this trek several times and am still awed by this incredible spectacle.
Check back next week for more ‘not to missed’ places in the mysterious, magical country of Morocco.