A call that is both indefinable and irresistible. Like the muezzin’s call to prayer in the evening, which frequently clashes with the ringing of bells. A crossroads of historic civilizations, or in this case religions, the Islamic and Catholic, which have always coexisted in Morocco. Not to mention the numerous Jewish neighbourhoods. A land with a thousand faces, countless rulers, and a lush natural environment, with unrivalled beauty. Here, we will give you the best destinations in Morocco.
Marrakech is one of the best destinations in Morocco and the former imperial city is a major economic and tourist centre, with its mosques, beautiful palaces and gardens. It is worth visiting in every season of the year, even in the very hot summer, perhaps going out in the cooler hours. The nerve centre is Jemaa el Fna square, with its rare beauty. In the daytime, one arrives here to visit the souk, while at sunset it is very pleasant to enjoy a mint tea on one of the terraces of the cafés that surround the entire square. Until the afternoon, as mentioned, it hosts the large open-air market where you can buy everything: orange juice, fabrics, dates, fortune tellers and even snake charmers.
In the evening, the stalls give way to dancers, storytellers and musicians. Place des Epices, as its name suggests, showcases all the spices from saffron to curry. At the dyers’ souk, known as Sebbaghine, you will find hanks of painted wool drying on the walls. A spectacle of colour. From the souk to Bahia Palace: a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture that is also an oasis of peace with 150 rooms full of rich decorations in marble, beech or cedarwood. The courtyards are full of lush gardens with Banana, cypress, orange and jasmine trees.
don’t miss the Majorelle Gardens. It is named after the French painter who created them in an extraordinary tropical garden around his villa. The residence, was later bought by Yves Saint Laurent and renamed Villa Oasis. It has been a special landing place in Morocco over the years for many personalities from the Parisian fashion entourage. Another garden worth seeing is Le Jardin Secret, in the Medina and 400 years old. The city’s most fashionable district is Sidi Ghanem, a former industrial area that is home to design shops and attracts art lovers in all its forms. For some years now, Marrakech has been becoming a reference point for the sector, thanks also to the Biennial held in April, an opportunity to display works by artists from the Mediterranean, Middle East and sub-Saharan areas.
Less trendy than Marrakech, Morocco’s commercial capital is nonetheless a must-see if only for the colonial legacy of French culture intertwined with traditional Arab culture. And so, alongside the art deco buildings and old stone alleyways of the Medina, visitors can find museums, imposing buildings and the second largest mosque in the world: the iconic structure named after Hassan II is also one of the few open to non-Muslims. It can accommodate up to 25,000 worshippers, with the possibility of praying on a glass floor from which it is possible to see the sea. And another 80,000 people can enter the courtyard.
In the same area, facing the sea, the La Corniche district offers a wide range of gastronomic offerings as well as swimming pools and access to the beach. In the warmer months, the area is frequented by surfers and sea lovers in general, but also by those who simply want to enjoy a refreshing walk on the beach. The Morocco Mall, also in this district, offers an indoor aquarium complete with a small shark.
It is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of alleyways. Here daily life flows with children running past elderly people sitting in cafés smoking. The Berber Mosque, hidden in these streets, is worth a visit. The Museum of Judaism is unique in the Arab world and demonstrates the Jewish influence on Moroccan society by highlighting their religious coexistence. The Arab League Park is in the square that is the administrative centre of the city between public buildings, the statue of Marshal Lyautey and the fountain that produces a choreographic and musical water show. The Villa des Arts is a large museum promoting Moroccan culture, while the King’s Palace is striking in its grandeur.
In a fertile valley, 350 metres above sea level, the imperial city of Fez is a stronghold of Moroccan culture. Divided into the new city or Fez el Jedid and the old city or Medina, also known as Fez el Bali, it is home to the train station, the royal palace and the Jewish quarter on one side and a maze of narrow streets with markets of all kinds on the other. It is also home to the world’s oldest university. The Ville Nouvelle is home to the most beautiful clubs, bars and bookshops. The old town is characterised by its blue and green tiles, palaces and wonderful mosques such as the Karaouine. Also worth visiting are the Dar Batha Museum and the Borj-Nord Museum, as well as the Merenid Tombs, a scenic archaeological site.
Leaving the city, the natural paradise of the Jardine Majorelle. Fez is like an open-air museum combining Hispanic and typically Arab atmospheres. There are a thousand things to see. Start at the medieval tanneries (Choara) where there are huge stone vats full of paint. Then move on to Mellah, the Jewish quarter where the architecture is very different from the Muslim one. The entrance to the city is Bab Boujloud, a majestic monumental entrance made of ceramics in the Moorish style of Andalusia.
The capital enchants visitors with the strength of its ancient history. At its heart is the medieval city of Chellah, itself built on the remains of a pre-Islamic site as evidenced by the Roman ruins. Another vestige of the past is the Hassan Tower. A work never completed that was supposed to be the minaret of a mosque. Beautiful and intricate designs decorate it right in front of the tomb of King Mohammad V and his two sons, where the gold leaf ceiling is a pleasant surprise.
The Kasbah des Oudais is at the centre of it all, the oldest point, overlooking the river and the sea. Today it is an elegant residential area. The Andalusian gardens are also home to the Palace Museum which displays fascinating exhibits of Moroccan art and culture. The gardens have traditional Andalusian flowers and shrubs with orange, lemon and banana trees. Sweet refuge from the crowds. It’s a different story at Rabat Zoo: it’s recent and divided into all the world’s continents, home to more than 130 animal species and strange to find it in the centre of the city. It’s as family-friendly as the Museum of Natural Sciences, while the King’s Palace is home to numerous government offices. Another escape from the hustle and bustle of the city is of course the beach. The best is perhaps Kenitra, a town famous for surfing.
Those who love history will fall in love with it. But also those who appreciate trekking, food and shopping. A lovely town at the foot of the Rif mountains, a cascade of blue-walled houses harmoniously set in the natural landscape. That’s why it is the “blue city”. The many pictures tourists have posted on Instagram and other social media in recent years have boosted its popularity, but the Blue Pearl remains a quiet and picturesque city. Its small size makes it possible to visit in a day. In the centre of the town you can discover the Ras el Maa river waterfall. A marvel that can be reached on foot.
The largest hot desert on earth is by far one of the most fascinating destinations in the world. An incredible journey, a place of mysteries and great numbers where you can, on a Saharan safari, learn about Berber traditions and experience the thrill of a night under a sky full of shining stars. You can cross it on board the Oriental Express, the desert train. Following in the footsteps of James Bond, you can sit in the carriage of a historic locomotive. Then, travel from Oujda on the Angand plain to Bouarfa, where it really does feel as if you have reached the edge of the world. And sometimes you even have to shovel sand off the tracks. You pass through the dunes to Merzouga, where you will meet the desert tribes.
Also, you can have tea with the Bedouins in one of the best destinations in Morocco. Then on to Erg Chebbi, the Dades Gorges and the Ziz River Valley.
The magic isn’t finished yet with the best destinations in Morocco. Take advantage of it with a Morocco tour operator. We’re looking forward to seeing you on board! Morocco will enchant you with its charm, history, natural and cultural splendour.