In the past few years Morocco has become one of the favourite destinations that people want to travel too. With good weather all year round and only 3 hours flying time from UK from low budget airlines it has become a firm favourite with young and old alike.
Morocco is so diverse with ancient Medina’s where donkeys are still the only means of transport in some towns to the sumptuous villas with lush manicured lawns and 21st century services.
The official language is Arabic but French is the dominant language throughout Morocco. English is fairly widely spoken especially in the cities and large hotels.
With the scent of spices, vibrantly colourful bazaars teeming with people, lilting music and culture then this is Morocco. This ancient land looks like it has just stepped out of the Arabian Nights and whilst Morocco may not be beautiful, its vibrant appeal is hard to resist.
The popularity of Morocco is not just the scenery and the way of life but the wonderful climate it has to offer which varies from area to area. The coast has a warm, Mediterranean climate tempered by cooling winds while inland areas have a hotter, drier, continental climate. In the south of the country, the weather is very hot and dry throughout most of the year, with the nights coolest in the months of December and January. Rain falls from November to March in coastal areas. In summer, the country is mostly dry with high temperatures. If you like the heat, go in the summer months (June, July and August) but it will be very hot in the desert, with temperatures hitting the 30s in Marrakech. At this time Essaouira or Oualidia are the places to be with temperatures around 25°C with a sea breeze to cool and to enhance that golden sun tan.
Getting round Morocco is easy whether by taxi, hiring a car or by train is easy. There is an extensive rail system and local bus service between all major cities. The rail service is efficient and you will pay extra for air-conditioned and sleeper cabins. Petit taxis are metered and readily available in the cities and operate only within the Medina’s as they are not allowed to drive longer distances outside the cities. For longer journey you can hire a Grande taxi which is usually an old Mercedes where fares should be negotiated first before getting in to the taxi. Sometimes if there are just 2 people the taxi driver will ask you if you want to share the taxi with others who are going in your destination. Whilst you might be wary of this, this is one way of meeting local people.
A “must” on holiday in Morocco is the food which is richly spiced with cumin, coriander, saffron and chilli. Harissa (http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/harissa.htm) paste of garlic, chilli, olive oil, and salt, is used for the more fiery dishes and worth a try. Couscous is often cooked with spices, vegetables, nuts, and raisins and accompanies most tagine dishes. Lamb is the principal meat used that can be grilled, stewed, or cooked in an earthenware tagine (the name for both the pot and the dish). Lemons, preserved in a salty mixture are used for chicken and pigeon dishes. Try a Pastillas for lunch with a Moroccan salad. These are delicious that are either savoury or sweet with the filling wrapped in a pastry not unlike filo pastry. For those with sweet teeth try the Moroccan confectionary in various colours and perfumes and all made with cinnamon, almond and soaked in honey and then rolled in a filo dough. Read more about eating out in Morocco.
A trip to Morocco would not be complete with a trip to the Souks. Local handicrafts such as brightly coloured embroidered cloth, ceramics, gold and silver products, leather and carpets are just some of the things that are easily purchased in the souks and outdoor markets. Not for the faint hearted but the serious shopper can bag some great bargains and bartering is expected.
Below is a sample of the villas in Morocco as offered by our company, which may be of interest.
To learn more about the following destinations and for general tourist information, please click:
Agadir and Tiznit