fbpx
Top

Morocco

Morocco is the ideal destination for an adventure trip for those who love nature, sports, food and wine and contact with local people.

Morocco is a state of North Africa and is characterized by deserts and mountains. It’s washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

It seems to be born for those who love travel as an experience, with its profound diversity, its population that mixes Arab and Berber roots with strong traditions, its ancient history, the infinity of the desert and the ruggedness of its mountains and then dive into the sea.

From the most tourist areas to the unknown ones it offers different type of tourism, with hospitality in five-star accommodations or the warm welcome of a guest house.

Sports and adventures

Here are the sports and adventures we recommend in this destination.

For more details about sports click here.

  • Ski: the most important ski resort is Oukaïmeden, about 80 km from Marrakech, at an altitude between 2,500 and 3,200 meters above sea level on the Atlas, with six chair lifts and twenty slopes. In Ifrane (1,700 meters above sea level), called “Little Switzerland”, there is also cross-country skiing as well as descent, with five runs and two ski lifts. Michlifen is located inside the basin of an extinct volcano, at 2,000 meters above sea level. Those who love to practice ski mountaineering can also experience a mule-ski excursion, that is, ascent with mules and descent on skis.
  • Climbing: Anti Atlas and Grand Atlas offer the opportunity to practice activities like bouldering and more technical climbing. The Gorges of Todra, a canyon carved by the river of the same name, are a paradise for climbers for its walls which, especially in the final stretch, are overhanging and reach 160 meters in height. Two other “climber’s havens” are Mount M’Goun, the country’s second peak (4,069 meters above sea level) and the Rif, which drops steeply towards the Mediterranean Sea. Here there is also the “bridge of God”, a rock arch that connects the two sides of the wadi (canyon) Farda at 25 meters high.
  • Horseback riding: do it in the areas of Anti-Atlas to enjoy the landscape
  • Caving: there are several areas where amateur and expert cavers can have fun, such as the caves in Charkarkar, which reach a depth of over 390 meters; the cave of Ghar Gorani is interesting because it houses the remains of a prehistoric settlement.
  • Mountain biking: there is a vast network of pistes (off roads) and trails in Grand Atlas and Anti Atlas, such as the Jebel Saghro plateau and the Draa Valley.
  • Hiking/Trekking: miles and miles of different landscapes throughout the territory for excursions of any level and lenght. For less experienced hikers we suggest the paths of the Middle Atlas and the Sahara Desert where you can cross small villages, oases and high sand dunes. Magnificent is also the Jebel L’Kest massif, “mountain of amethyst”, to see peasant villages and the kasbahs, the dense gorges of palm trees and the Jebel Siroua of volcanic origin.
  • Jeep/Quad: the countless tracks that can be traveled with these vehicles make Morocco the off-road paradise. Exploring the Atlas on roads is a unique adventure.
  • Surf / Kite / Windsurf / bodyboard (The bodyboard is a water sport in which the surfer rides a bodyboard on the crest, face and curl of a wave that transports the surfer to the shore): among the destinations to report there is Safi, on the Atlantic Sea, known for its tube wave between 800 and 1,000 meters, considered by professionals among the ten best in the world; Mirleft, a fishing village, Essaouira, known among the professionals of the water ride as the city of trade winds, Taghazout is known as the village par excellence of surfing. The coast is also famous for the wave of “Killer Point”, whose name derives from the killer whales that populate this area and that can be seen quite often.
  • Diving: the best area is the Mediterranean coast. The Uadi Lau, 50 kilometers from Tetouan, for example, is the starting point for visiting the gorges and waterfalls of the same name and the Talassemtane National Park, in the Rif. The Lagoon of Moulay Bousselham, between Tangier and Rabat, is the ideal for diving as well.
  • Rafting and kayaking: on the Grand Atlas rivers in the Bin el-Ouidane area.
  • Sandboarding: in the Erg Chebbi desert.

Experiences

Here are some of the unique and exciting experiences you could live in this destination:

  • Visit a movie set in the Atlas Studio in Ouarzazate: a visit to the sets and scenographies that have served as background to some of the greatest film productions ever, such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky, Gladiator, The Mummy , Sahara and the tv series Game of Thrones.
  • Traveling on the Oriental Desert Express between Oujda and Bouarfa: the numerous stops, between Aïn Benimathar, Tendrara and Bouarfa, allow you to visit some characteristic places, while during the journey, from the window you will see wonderful landscapes, high dunes, nomadic camps and small isolated villages.
  • Taste Moroccan specialties in Jemaa el Fna square: after admiring the sunset, sipping mint tea from one of the many terraces surrounding the square at the entrance to the medina of Marrakech, dine in what in the evening turns into a large restaurant where each one offers its specialty to be tasted sitting at a table immersed in coulors, smells and sounds.
  • Participate in the Cherry Festival: held every year in June in Sefrou, about thirty kilometers from Fes. It’s Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It lasts three days and ends with the coronation of the Queen of cherries. The area is cultivated almost exclusively with cherry trees, which makes it spectacular in the flowering period.
  • Sleeping in a riad: the riads are ancient private residences that have been renovated and transformed into welcoming places for tourists. The term riad means garden and it is this space that represents the heart of the house. Each room overlooks the internal garden, often shaded by lemon and orange trees and refreshed by fountains and water features. Some riads have an internal hammam and a beauty center. Some riads also offer catering services and the possibility of Moroccan cooking courses. They are generally located in the medina and will be a real oasis of silence and tranquility compared to the confusion of the surrounding streets thanks to their particular architectural structure.
  • Admire the starry sky in the desert: the Sahara is the largest desert in the world, where you can hike and spend the night in a bivouac for the chance to admire the carpet of light from the sky at night.
  • Getting in touch with local communities: from the Tuareg to the Troglodytes, from the people who live in villages to the merchants of Marrakech, the Moroccan people are charming, immensely hospitable. It’s really touching to see the shyness and curiosity of the people who live in the desert and who have never seen a means of transport other than a mule.
  • Make a beauty treatment: in Morocco body care is very important, so there are countless treatments that can be done. Start with a treatment (energizing or relaxing) in an hammam, then move on to massages and treatments with essential oils capable of eliminating stress and enriching the holiday with a moment of total physical and mental relaxation. Typical beauty products of Morocco and exported all over the world are rose water, produced in Kelaa M’Gouna in the “Valley of Roses”, known for its emollient and invigorating properties, ghassoul, a clay that since Middle Ages is used for the care of the body, face and hair and which can be found in only one field in the world, located on the Middle Atlas; the very rare Argan Oil, a cure-all for the skin but also an excellent ingredient for salads and desserts.

What to see

In addition to the sports and adventures mentioned above, Morocco offers wonderful locations that are absolutely worth visiting, including:

  • Marrakech: Jemaa el Fna square, a UNESCO oral and intangible heritage, full of snake charmers, astrologers, dentists with jars full of teeth extracted from patients, hens vendors, girls who make tattoos with henna, music, orange juice, street food; Minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, with Moorish decorations and battlements taken as a model for the Giralda in Seville; the Souq, where you can get lost and buy local crafts, but also admire the techniques of processing and coloring of leather and wool; Jardin Majorelle, which house 300 species of tropical plants, donated by Yves Saint Laurent to pay homage to the city that had adopted him; Madersa by Ali Ben Youssef, an artistic and architectural complex that will leave you breathless at every corner.
  • Chefchaouen: it’s a mountain village, ideal for those looking for lush landscapes, traditional villages and fir forests. Its main feature is its blue buildings with red roofs and wrought iron balconies.
  • Fes: you’ll hate it or love it. It’s sometime fetish, sometime bewitching, with its dark alleys that lead to enchanting squares, artisan shops, minarets and the medina, a labyrinth, a world of hidden squares, massive studded doors, stuccoes, ceilings carved in cedar wood , mosaic floors.
  • Meknès: an ancient little known imperial city but worth visiting for the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, the Bab el-Mansour portal, the Place el-Hedim that looks like a small Jamaa el-Fna.

Nature

The country hosts many natural parks and reserves, including the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, oases, deserts and mountains, which modify the landscape in an unexpected way.

Park located at the mouth of the Souss and Massa wads and Rif natural reserve: it’s the ideal environment to see flamingos, cranes and hermit ibis.

Dakhla Bay: home to the last monk seal colony in the world.

Dadès Valley which, after crossing the palm grove of Skoura and the Rose Valley, ends with the Dadès and Todra gorges, characterized by overhang rock.

Oasis: patches of luxuriant vegetation that stand like mirages in a stony landscape of mountains and contrast with the nearby desert. Figuig, one of the most beautiful oases in all of Morocco, where only very few tourists go, is made up of seven traditional villages in the desert, surrounded by 200,000 date palms; the oases of the Draa Valley, to be covered by quad.

Beaches: the Moroccan coast runs from the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert and boasts beaches for all, including coves, cliffs, fine sand. Among the beaches where it’s worth spending a day there is Plage du Marabout, spectacular with rugged and wild-looking rocks and a mausoleum of a saint (marabout, indeed); Yellich, from which you can reach an islet on foot; Plage Robinson, in Tangier, from which it’s possible to walk to the Grotes d’Hercule, the mythical home of Hercules. For photography enthusiasts, from inside the caves you can see the Atlantic from an opening similar to a map of Africa.

Deserts: Moroccan deserts range from soft and sinuous dunes to earth and rock (hammada). One of the most striking is Erg Chebbi, characterized by pink-golden dunes and, at sunset, take on orange, pink and purple shades; the other one is Erg Chiagaga, where you can meet the Berbers, with their blue robes and stay in one of the small camps and admire the spectacular night skies;

Mountains: High Atlas is one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world, with its villages perched under snow-capped peaks. Jebel Toubkal is the highest peak in North Africa. In the Anti Atlas it’s worth staying in a traditional house in a village between the palmeraies and the pink-golden mountains; the Middle Atlas is ideal for day trips in hills and forests; the Eastern Atlas is characterized by barren red mountains.

Food and Wine

What you could eat and drink in this country

Moroccan cuisine, with a thousand-year tradition, is one of the most appreciated in the Middle-Mediterranean. The invasions and commercial contacts with the different countries over the centuries have contributed to creating a fabulous mix with strong, but well balanced flavors, and the aromas of spices.

Perhaps the best known dish is cous cous, in its infinite variety of combinations of meats, vegetables and aromas according to the region and the season of the year.

Equally well known is tajine, a chicken or fish stew, accompanied by vegetables and fruit, which is cooked in the terracotta dish from which it takes its name.

Very particular is the pastilla, a thin puff pastry with pigeon meat, boiled eggs, almonds and honey. All sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. There is also a variant with fish.

Briouat is a minced beef or chicken pie.

The desserts deserve special attention: honey and sesame seed crepes, almond cake, dried grapes, “Kaab El Gazhal”, perhaps better known as “gazelle horns”, the “Ghoriba” with almonds, sesame and other delicacies …

To accompany delicately spiced dishes, in addition to the excellent Meknes wines, it’s recommended the fragrant mint tea, served with shugar and with a fresh mint leaf in small glasses.

When to go

In Morocco weather is sunny for most of the year and the weather is mild in all seasons.

Along the coasts the climate is temperate, with pleasant summer temperatures and mild winters.

Inland, the heat is dry in summer (with averages around 38 ° C), while in winter the weather is mild during the day and the nights are cold, especially in the desert and in the mountains.

In winter there are heavy snowfalls on the Atlas and it is the season in which the rains can occur more frequently.

Information

Language: Moroccan Arabic (darija), berber, french

Currency: Dirham – Dh – MAD

Capital: Rabat

For up-to-date and detailed information visit www.viaggiaresicuri.it

Some tips

When you spend a night in the desert, don’t forget to look at the sky, it will be the first time you see so many stars.

The feeling of the sand under your feet is amazing, but don’t take off your shoes when you’re in the desert, and don’t sit on the ground without even a carpet, because you might meet some scorpions.

Consider being in an African country, where the rhythms and customs are different , so be patience and flexible.

Do you like this destination?

Do you want to visit it with us on a discovery tour?

0