Reasons to Travel to Morocco

Reasons to Travel to Morocco

Morocco’s appeal is on the rise, and the reasons are crystal clear. Discover the top motivations for embarking on a journey to this remarkably diverse jewel of Northern Africa.

Morocco is swiftly gaining traction as a sought-after tourist hotspot, offering an affordable gateway to immerse oneself in the rich tapestry of North African culture. Situated on the northwestern fringes of the vast African continent, Morocco is a mere stone’s throw away via a quick flight from Europe.

Cost-effective airlines such as Ryanair operate flights to Morocco for under $100, making it incredibly convenient to incorporate a Moroccan escapade into your European travel itinerary. For those traveling from other parts of the globe, major international airports in Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fez boast regular flights by reputable airlines.

Given the accessibility of flights, there’s no excuse not to explore Morocco. Boasting a delightful mix of desert landscapes, mountain ranges, sun-kissed beaches, quaint villages, and vibrant cities, Morocco caters to a wide spectrum of preferences, making it undeniably one of the premier destinations in Africa.

From delectable cuisine to a rich cultural tapestry and pocket-friendly prices, Morocco offers an alluring package. In addition, this list will delve into essential cultural insights and practical tips to keep in mind before embarking on your Moroccan adventure.

If you’re still pondering the question, “Why choose Morocco?”, delve into this compilation of compelling reasons to jet off to this enchanting country. These are firsthand encounters that have left an indelible mark, making my month-long sojourn through Morocco an experience to treasure.

1.  The delicious food

Situated beneath the glimmering Mediterranean Sea, the culinary landscape of Morocco boasts a striking resemblance to that of nations such as Italy, Spain, or Greece. Morocco offers a delightful array of fruits, including peaches, cherries, oranges, dates, and figs, each boasting a level of sweetness and juiciness unparalleled by my previous experiences.

Moreover, one can indulge in the tantalizing taste of a unique cactus fruit, reminiscent of a delightful fusion of passion fruit and watermelon. Morocco takes pride in its exceptionally flavorful olives and luxuriant olive oil, a versatile condiment that can complement almost any dish. Exploring the vibrant street markets allows for the acquisition of olives and fresh produce at remarkably low prices, creating an enriching and enjoyable gastronomic adventure.

Traditional Moroccan fare features couscous paired with succulent meats or roasted vegetables, omelettes accompanied by bread and drizzled with olive oil, and freshly grilled sardines by the seaside. Tagines reign supreme in Moroccan cuisine, a scrumptious concoction of slow-cooked vegetables, meats, and indigenous spices, typically presented in a distinctive red clay pot.

The cuisine of Morocco brims with vibrant flavors and hues, often enhanced by a medley of fresh spices like cumin, turmeric, and black pepper.

2. The mint tea

In Morocco, it is customary to enjoy mint tea on a regular basis. The preparation involves adding fresh mint leaves to a silver teapot, occasionally with a touch of sugar, and steeping them in hot water. The resulting tea is then served in small glass cups, savored in the company of friends and family.

Whether in a shop or during visits, the gesture of offering mint tea is a symbol of hospitality deeply ingrained in Moroccan culture. I highly recommend indulging in this refreshing tea whenever possible; it truly offers an unparalleled freshness that is hard to match.

Despite the seemingly hot climate in Morocco, consuming warm beverages such as tea actually aids in regulating body temperature and quenching thirst. Therefore, one should never decline a cup of tea, even on the warmest of days.

3. The shopping and souvenirs

Traditional Moroccan crafts are undeniably exquisite and make for memorable souvenirs from your journey to Morocco. Whether it’s the intricately painted ceramics, the embellished attire and footwear, or the artisanal rugs sourced from the mountains, Morocco offers a plethora of one-of-a-kind and visually striking items.

Exploring the Souks, traditional markets with shaded rooftops to shield against the sun, is a must. These vibrant hubs are brimming with local wares, providing an ideal setting for practicing the art of negotiation to secure a favorable deal, as initial prices often cater to tourists. While haggling, it’s important to show respect and appreciate the artistry behind handmade pieces.

Additionally, organic health stores dotting the landscape offer a range of exceptional natural gifts. From teas and spices to essential oils and dried blooms, these establishments are a treasure trove of wellness products. Knowledgeable staff can enlighten you on the therapeutic properties and health advantages of their offerings.

Don’t forget to acquire authentic Moroccan Argan oil, renowned for its exceptional benefits for skin and hair, directly from the source.

4. The ocean

Discover the enchanting coastal towns of Essaouira, Taghazout, Agadir, Safi, and Mirleft in Morocco, perfect for indulging in surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Whether it’s the exhilarating waves of winter or the refreshing Atlantic breeze during summer, the coastline offers a delightful escape throughout the year.

Savor the abundance of seafood, embrace the invigorating ocean winds, and immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of these serene surf communities. Experience the warm hospitality and relaxed charm of the locals, adding to the tranquil allure of these Moroccan seaside gems.

5. The insight into Islam

In Morocco, Islam stands as the predominant religion, with its religious customs intricately woven into the fabric of daily life.

From the grand mosques gracing the upscale urban areas to the humble ones nestled in impoverished neighborhoods, places of Muslim worship dot every town. Notably, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca reigns as the largest mosque in Africa and the fifth largest globally. While non-Muslims typically aren’t permitted inside these sacred sites, they can marvel at their architectural splendor from the exterior.

The melodious “call to prayer” rings out five times daily, resonating through the air in Arabic and beckoning Muslims to their devotions.

Local women adopt a conservative style of dress, veiling their bodies, hair, and occasionally their faces. As a female traveler, displaying respect for their cultural norms involves dressing modestly by covering your shoulders, knees, and chest. While attire at the beach may differ, exercising discretion in your clothing choices will determine how conspicuously you stand out.

6. The affordability of everything

Morocco offers an excellent setting for budget-friendly travel, making it an ideal destination for backpackers looking to explore without breaking the bank. The cost of living in Morocco is relatively low, enabling travelers to enjoy various tours and activities without overspending. The Morocco travel guide by Worldpackers serves as a valuable tool for crafting an unforgettable budget-friendly trip in this vibrant country.

Dining out in Morocco is surprisingly affordable, with options ranging from lavish restaurants offering 3-course meals for 120 dirhams ($12) to tourist restaurants serving meals for around 50 dirhams ($5) and local eateries offering dishes for as little as 10-20 dirhams ($1-$2). Street markets provide an even more budget-friendly option, where you can purchase generous quantities of fresh produce for 10 dirhams each ($1) and loaves of bread for just a few cents.

For budget-conscious accommodation, hostels present a fantastic option in Morocco, with prices typically averaging around $7 in touristy cities. The most economical hostels can be found for $5 to $6, while slightly more upscale options may cost up to $20 – still a more cost-effective choice compared to hotels. Staying in hostels not only saves money but also offers the chance to connect with fellow travelers and forge new friendships, making them an excellent choice for solo travelers in Morocco.

Another cost-saving possibility is volunteering in exchange for accommodation at hostels, language schools, or surf camps across Morocco, providing a unique cultural immersion experience while enjoying complimentary lodging. Overall, Morocco offers a budget-friendly lifestyle, particularly appealing to travelers accustomed to higher expenses in countries like the USA, Australia, and various parts of Europe.

7. The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert is an awe-inspiring destination on our planet, and embarking on a journey into the dunes from Morocco is an excellent starting point. Opting for a three-day tour, priced at approximately $150-$200, is a common choice as it typically encompasses meals, upscale camping in the desert, and an enjoyable camel trekking experience. It’s advisable to thoroughly research the tour operators available to ensure a satisfying experience.

I highly recommend joining a guided tour when exploring the Sahara. While it’s possible to self-drive or hitchhike, having a knowledgeable local guide to navigate you through the desert’s highlights simplifies the journey. Going solo may end up costing as much as a tour once you factor in expenses like fuel, public transportation, meals, accommodations, and camel trekking.

Prepare yourself mentally and physically for the extreme heat when venturing into the Sahara. During summer, temperatures can soar to 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 degrees Celsius. Although the heat is dry, necessitating sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and light clothing to shield yourself from the intense sun.

Despite the challenging conditions, the Sahara’s allure is undeniable. Vast expanses of delicate golden sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see create a mesmerizing sight. Ascending these colossal dunes offers a surreal experience, while the serene and tranquil ambiance is perfect for witnessing awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets. Moreover, the desert’s minimal light pollution provides an unparalleled stargazing opportunity.

8. The rugged mountain ranges

Morocco’s diverse geography makes it a captivating travel destination! Apart from its stunning beaches and vast deserts, the country boasts impressive mountain ranges as well. The Rif Mountains in the north and the Atlas Mountains running through the heart of Morocco offer breathtaking landscapes with sheer cliffs, vivid natural hues, and charming hilltop settlements. However, if you’re prone to motion sickness, the twisting mountain roads and daring local drivers might not be your cup of tea.

These mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking and trekking, whether you opt for guided tours or prefer to explore on your own. For the more daring and physically fit explorers, a trek up Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, is a must-try adventure.

Set amidst the mountains are picturesque villages like Imlil in the Atlas Mountains and Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains, serving as tranquil bases for hiking expeditions. Additionally, a visit to the Berber Villages offers a unique glimpse into the lifestyle and language of the indigenous Berber people, offering an enriching encounter with the ancient Moroccan cultures.

9. The impressive architecture

Exploring the enchanting world of Moroccan architecture is a visual feast that beckons you to capture each winding street through your lens. From lavish hotels to budget-friendly hostels, chic cafes, lush gardens, governmental structures, and even everyday residences, every edifice boasts a distinct architectural charm.

In Morocco, intricate designs blend seamlessly with elegant simplicity, where delicate tile patterns, tasteful hues adorning facades, and gracefully arched entryways punctuate the urban landscape. The extensive use of red clay, particularly in the rugged mountains and sprawling deserts, not only reflects the availability and affordability of the material but also adds a rustic allure to the structures.

Adding to Morocco’s architectural splendor are the breath-taking mosques inspired by Islamic aesthetics, which grace the skyline with their diverse styles, ranging from unassuming elegance to grand opulence, enhancing the architectural tapestry of each city.

10. The sensory experience

Should you find yourself pondering the question, “What is the allure of Morocco?” then the sheer sensory delight awaiting you serves as a compelling reason to include this enchanting country on your travel itinerary.

Morocco is a captivating assault on the senses. A myriad of hues, fragrances, and melodies bombard your senses at every turn. The intensity amplifies as you navigate through bustling cities and vibrant towns, offering a stark contrast to the serenity and seclusion found in the more remote corners of Morocco.

Within city limits, particularly in the warren-like alleys of the Medinas, you’ll be engulfed in a whirlwind of activity. Behold towering heaps of vividly colored dyes, intricately decorated pottery, and the sight of donkeys laden with carts of luscious watermelons passing by.

Amidst this visual feast, the air resonates with the rhythmic chatter of locals conversing in Arabic, intermingled with the alluring strains of traditional Moroccan melodies. The rich aroma of exotic spices, sweet pastries, simmering tagines over smoky embers, and the pungent perfume of leather from nearby tanneries fuse together in a heady olfactory symphony.

Morocco stands as a tapestry of diversity and vibrancy, ensuring that each moment spent here is filled with captivating experiences.

11. The constant presence of cats

If you are a cat enthusiast, Morocco presents an ideal destination for you.

Feral felines roam freely in abundance, receiving care and attention from the residents who feed them tidbits and offer affection. While they may occasionally approach for a share of your meal, their demeanor tends to be rather relaxed. Beware their irresistible cuteness, but exercise caution by refraining from touching them without access to proper hand hygiene facilities as they may carry dirt.

12. The cities

Experience the vibrant pulse of Moroccan cities, promising to captivate your senses. Despite their bustling and boisterous nature, amidst the chaos, pockets of tranquility await your discovery. Within these urban hubs, a fusion of culinary delights, awe-inspiring architecture, spiritual traditions, vibrant marketplaces, and unique shopping experiences coalesce, offering a sensory feast like no other.

Embark on a journey to Marrakech, a city that serves as a quintessential gateway to Moroccan culture, drawing in hordes of visitors with its charm. Delve into the rich tapestry of culture and history in Fez, home to the oldest Medina in the nation and the world’s most ancient university.

Wander through the enchanting blue-hued alleys of Chefchaouen, an iconic city renowned for its distinctive aesthetic. For those seeking adventure, head to Taghazout to ride the waves and immerse yourself in the coastal town’s eclectic offerings.

13. The work exchange opportunities in Morocco

Among the myriad reasons to embark on a journey to Morocco, one compelling aspect is the abundance of work exchange opportunities available in the country through Worldpackers. By simply browsing the website with a search for “Morocco”, you will be astonished by the sheer volume of work options to choose from!

Imagine residing in a cozy hostel in Taghazout, a sought-after surf haven nestled along Morocco’s southern coastline. Here, you could assist the hostel owner with social media marketing tasks in exchange for valuable surfing lessons amidst the pristine waves, not to mention complimentary lodging and meals.

Alternatively, you could contribute to teaching English or French for a non-governmental organization in Salé, making a positive difference in the lives of local children.

Venture to the outskirts of the Sahara Desert for more work exchange possibilities. In Tagounite, a charming desert oasis town, you might engage in activities like tree planting or cultivating fruits and vegetables. Consider participating in a work exchange program centered around mastering the art of Moroccan cuisine or promoting indigenous events. With numerous opportunities at your fingertips, each experience promises a deeper immersion into Moroccan traditions while enabling you to economize during your travels.

Morocco boasts an inexhaustible array of experiences awaiting exploration. These captivating facets of its culture are sure to entice you to embark on your next holiday to this enchanting destination!

  • 16 Avenue Hassan II Gueliz,
    Marrakech, Morocco

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