18 interesting facts about Morocco
18 interesting facts about Morocco
18 interesting facts about Morocco: If you’re looking for some of the most interesting facts about Morocco, this article will help you! Here are 18 of them.
Located in the west of North Africa, Morocco is a country full of natural beauty, such as the Sahara desert, paradisiacal beaches, forests and rugged mountain ranges, as well as welcoming people, rich history, wonderful spices and beautiful medinas, mosques and palaces.
These are some of the best-known facts. But what many people don’t know is that here there are snowstorms and cats everywhere! To learn more about this and other Moroccan curiosities, read on…
1. Cats are everywhere
If you love cats, you’ll be happy with this, which is one of the main curiosities about Morocco. As soon as you get there, you’ll come across hundreds of kittens!
All the locals seem to love them and it’s common to find people feeding, caring for and petting them.
The reason? Legend has it that the prophet Muhammed loved cats and, when he gave sermons, his beloved kitten Muezza was always on his lap.
2. Morocco is home to the largest hot desert in the world.
Technically, one of Morocco’s curiosities is that it is ONE OF THE homes of the world’s largest hot desert.
The Sahara stretches over 9,200,000 km² and 11 North African countries, including Morocco.
Guided tours of this desert are popular and I recommend that you absolutely do not leave this experience out of your Morocco tours. We did it and loved it!
Regardless of the heat, the Sahara is simply beautiful! Endless layers of golden sand dunes fill the horizon, and climbing these huge dunes is surreal. The atmosphere is very quiet and peaceful, and watching the sun set or rise over the desert is unforgettable.
Here are a few options to get a closer look at what is one of the main curiosities about Morocco:
3. Morocco is home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Yes, that’s right! Third on our list is one of the most impressive curiosities about Morocco! The country is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, i.e. places of great historical, scientific and cultural importance.
Here’s the full list:
Medina of Fez
Medina of Marrakech
Ksar of Ait-Benhaddou
Historic City of Meknès
Volubilis Archaeological Site
Medina of Tétouan (formerly Titawin)
Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)
Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)
Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City
4. Wedding celebrations last up to 3 days
This is one of the curiosities about Morocco that may be difficult for you to witness, but if you get the chance, don’t miss it! Just remember to set aside 3 days in your diary for the event.
That’s right, weddings there can last three days and there’s everything! The bride, for example, changes her dress more than seven times and the groom puts on the traditional jabador or a djellaba.
To help you understand, the first two days of the wedding are reserved for a hammam and the third for a henna party.
And as alcohol consumption is not very common in the country (I’ll come back to that in a moment), what keeps you going are sweets and strong coffee!
5. The symbol of love is the liver
Here comes one of the most peculiar curiosities about Morocco! Here, and in most countries, the heart is considered the ultimate symbol of love, right?
We send heart emojis, scribble them on love letters and there are hearts everywhere on Valentine’s Day… but not in Morocco.
In Moroccan culture, the symbol of love is the liver! That’s because, for them, a healthy liver means good digestion and promotes well-being.
They even have a saying that translates roughly as “You conquered my liver”, used as a declaration of love!
6. Moroccans are crazy about tea
18 interesting facts about Morocco: Sixth on our list of curiosities about Morocco is another fact that will surprise you. Just as you’ll see cats everywhere, it’s also common to see lots of people drinking tea at all hours of the day. Everything revolves around tea!
Early in the morning, there are children distributing tea among the vendors, later in the day, there are people relaxing in the shade with a cup of tea and, of course, in the evening, people sit around chatting over a cup of tea.
It’s Morocco’s national drink, so it’s almost obligatory to try Moroccan tea during your trip. The taste is reminiscent of mint chewing gum, but it’s not just about the taste, it’s about the experience!
7. Alcohol is hard to find
This is one of Morocco’s curiosities that you might not like very much… Alcoholic drinks, unlike tea, are not so easy to find here.
Although the country produces 40 million bottles of wine each year, alcohol is not widely available. This is because consuming alcohol is against the religion of Islam.
But rest assured, you can get a beer in licensed hotels and restaurants that cater mainly to tourists. It’s also possible to drink peacefully on tours such as the ‘Marrakech: Moroccan Dinner and Live Band Experience’.
8. There are many snake charmers
If you think that snake charmers are fictional characters found only in movies, when you arrive in Morocco, you’ll discover that they really do exist!
You’ll often find snake charmers at popular tourist spots, such as the main square in Marrakesh or Tangier, at work.
9. It has some of the best cuisine in the world
Eighth on our list of Morocco trivia is a very interesting fact, especially for those who love to taste new dishes, like us: Moroccan food is wonderful!
Moroccans have a wide variety of fruits and spices (especially seasonings) and love to experiment with them in the kitchen.
This custom has meant that over the years, Moroccan cuisine has become a world-famous blend of Arabic, Andalusian and Mediterranean food, with a hint of French influence!
Some of the most famous typical Moroccan foods are couscous, served with meat or roasted vegetables, omelettes served with bread and olive oil and fresh sardines grilled by the ocean.
Tagines are also very popular. This is a delicious dish of slow-roasted vegetables, meat and local spices, typically served in a red clay pot.
To top it off, the olives are the tastiest we’ve ever had, and the olive oil is so rich and abundant that you can eat it with almost any dish.
You can buy olives, fruit and fresh produce very cheaply at the street markets, which is always a fun experience there.
10. There are snowstorms in Morocco
18 interesting facts about Morocco: Another of Morocco’s surprising curiosities! Morocco has beautiful beaches, high mountains, desert landscapes, lush oases and… snowy landscapes!
Can you imagine that the same country that is home to the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, also has snowstorms?
But it’s real: in the southern part of the country, especially near its mountains such as Jebel Toubkal, it’s very common to see snow at certain times of the year.
11. And there’s a ski resort
Despite its small size, Oukaïmeden has seven ski lifts and over six miles of ski slopes!
It may seem insignificant compared to the ski resorts in the Alps or the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada, but it’s still one of the most interesting curiosities about Morocco.
12. There are several Blue Flag beaches.
Although many consider this to be a developing country, one of the curiosities about Morocco is that it has around 26 Blue Flag beaches!
What does this mean? It means that the country has dozens of clean and safe beaches for you to spend your vacation at sea.
To help you understand, the Blue Flag is an environmental award that requires a series of strict environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria to be met and maintained.
Some good options are: Plage Tagharte and Saïdia.
Another must-see beach destination is South Africa! Find out more in our list of the 11 best beaches in South Africa. If you like diving, I also recommend taking a look at the 12 best places to dive in the world.
13. The left hand is considered unclean.
Yes, that’s right, one of the curiosities about Morocco is that the left hand is considered impure, but there’s a good explanation for this.
In Moroccan culture, the left hand is reserved for toilet hygiene and household chores!
So, in fact, what is impure and downright rude is to use that hand to eat, especially any food eaten with the hand rather than a utensil. Remember to eat with your right hand!
14. There’s a city all painted blue
18 interesting facts about Morocco: One of the most popular cities in Morocco among tourists, the blue city of Chefchaouen was one of the places we found most beautiful in the country. It is full of blue-painted houses and charming old alleyways!
Known as the Blue Pearl of Morocco, the main attraction here is simply to wander around and take pictures.
To make your visit more fun, you can book a tour such as:
Xexuan: 1-day excursion to the Blue City from Fez (you’ll hear about the local culture and history).
Chefchaouen: guided gastronomic tour with more than 6 tasting stops (as well as getting to know the city, you’ll get to try some delicacies)
15. There’s also a red city
If blue isn’t your favorite color, why not visit the city of Marrakesh, known as the “red city”?
Unlike Chefchaouen, the walls were not painted that way on purpose. The reddish hue comes from the clay and red sandstone used to build many of the old buildings here.
In reality, they look much more pink or salmon, but the city ended up earning this nickname.
To learn more about the history of this destination and these buildings, and to see up close one of the famous curiosities about Morocco, you can book a Historical and Cultural Tour of Marrakech.
16. There are two official languages
Unlike most countries which have one main language, Morocco has two. The first and main one is Arabic. While the second and lesser-known spoken language is Berber.
Another fact is that French is also spoken and, in less common situations, Spanish
17. Morocco is home to the oldest university in the world
18 interesting facts about Morocco: Founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, the University of al-Qarawiyyin is considered the oldest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Interesting, right?
It is located in Fez and is on the route of a number of sightseeing tours. To visit it, you can book a guided tour of the Medina of Fez.
18. Morocco is a cheap country
Finally, on our list of curiosities about Morocco, one of our favorite facts: Morocco is cheap!
Even in good restaurants, a 3-course meal will rarely cost more than 120 dirhams or US$12. A typical restaurant for tourists serves meals for around 50 dirhams (US$5), while cheap local restaurants serve meals for 10-20 dirhams (US$1 or US$2).
Street market produce is even cheaper; you can buy bags of fruit and vegetables for 10 dirhams each (US$ 1), as well as loaves of bread for just a few cents.
And even accommodation in riads, kasbahs, 3-5 star desert camps and luxury hotels is much more affordable than you’d expect in the US, Australia and places in Europe.
In other words, Morocco is an excellent destination for both budget and backpacker travelers, as well as those who want to experience luxury without going broke.
Did you enjoy learning these interesting facts about Morocco?
18 interesting facts about Morocco: I’m sure that by reading these interesting facts about Morocco, you’ve realized how unique the culture and geography of this country are, and you’ve become even more eager to go there.
In fact, it’s a place you always want to go back to! We’ve been three times and, as soon as possible, we’ll be back to discover more of this country that has won our hearts!
Morocco is a very diverse and colorful country and it’s definitely never boring.
I hope our tips help you embark on a wonderful journey through Morocco!
18 interesting facts about Morocco
Before you leave, check out this tip: on our trips to Morocco, we booked all our hotels with booking.com and we recommend that you do the same, since, through this platform, you can read the reviews of previous guests and even cancel your booking for free (in most hotels) if your plans change.