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Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in North Africa. With a mixture of cultural influences including Arabian, Berber and European, the country has some of the best gastronomic flavours for you to savour. The Moroccan cuisine draws its uniqueness from a combination of Berber, Arab-Andalusian and Jewish culinary traditions with dishes like Couscous, Mrouzia, Pastilla, R’fissa and flavoursome Tagines, all are irresistible and very symbolic of the country. Moroccan pastries are also a must try from Gazelle horns to Briouates with honey. A visit to a specialised spice seller is sensory overload with a kaleidoscope of colours.

Rabat is the modern capital of Morocco with a deep rooted cultural history. Sites include the Kasbah des Udayas and the Chellah, a necropolis dating back to Marinid Dynasty. Rabat is where the treasures of the past blend with the most modern and environmentally friendly achievements.

Travelling around the country is an eye opening joy to behold, with bustling cities like Casablanca where modernity meets old world charm. The Red City of Marrakech with the Jemaa El-Fnaa Square and Souks that shimmer with different colours and smells to Fès, the UNESCO 13th Century Imperial City with its Fès-El-Bali district and the Bab Boujloud.

Tangier lies along the north coast, this modern city has a real Spanish influence of culture, which starts on the Plaza de Torros to the Cervantes Theatre. From the high walls of the Kasbah stroll through the many alleyways of the Socco and admire the fortress that dominates the Medina. The Sultan’s Palace is a little further away and is now dedicated to the arts of Morocco.

The UNESCO World Heritage Medina of Meknes and the remains of the Royal Palace are a masterpiece to behold as well as the El Hedime Square, Bab Mansour and the Sultan Moulay Ismail. To the north of Meknes you will come across the largest Roman archaeological site of Volubilis with its triumphal arch and house of Bacchus.

Safi is known as the pearl of the Atlantic Ocean with its impressive architecture of Kechla. For five centuries the fortress has stood as a sentinel on the shores of the ocean. Its high fortified towers offer splendid views over the surrounding area. The pottery district is also another area that is definitely worth visiting. Here you can watch the craftsmen create marvels from terracotta and clay. A little further away, you’ll get to the Rue du Souk where you can hear echoes and smell the aromas all with the rolling waves behind you.

Essaouira is a port city on the Atlantic Coast. Its Old Town Medina is protected by 18th Century seafront ramparts called the Skala de la Kasbah. The old brass cannons line the walls as it showcases some stunning ocean views. This city is a captivating alternative to the franticness of Marrakech.

If you are visiting Marrakech then why not enjoy a day’s reprieve and head to the Agafay and Atlas Mountains for some respite. Here you can trek up to the Toubkal National Park, which is the highest peak in the whole of North Africa or stroll around some of the lovely Berber villages and meet the locals. Then get a local cab to take you to Agafay in the desert, here you can enjoy a camel ride and pass by the Kik Plateau, where you can also watch the stunning sunsets. The town of Taroudant is another special place to visit with its majestic ramparts. Being one of the most beautiful in all of Morocco, Taroudant is the starting point for many hikes as it is situated in the centre of the two Atlas Mountains. It speciality is the making of Argan Oil so why not take a visit to one of the co-operatives, who shell the nuts, press them, extract the substantial marrow and then make whole oils ready to taste.

To the west of the country, Agadir is another gem with its pleasant climate and 10 kms of seafront, it offers a good spot for visitors to come and laze around the blue ocean on a relaxing holiday. With 300 days of sunshine per year the city has plenty of water sport activities to enjoy as well as cafés, restaurants and souks.

For a trip through the Moroccan Sahara why not travel out from Ouarzazate, Zagora or Tinghir and go on an extraordinary journey packed with breathtaking spectacles. The region exposes you to a diversity of incredible landscapes, from the singular atmosphere of the desert to the picturesque green valleys. Morocco is truly a dazzling jewel of vibrancy, colours, tastes and smells!

 

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