8 cities you must visit on a Morocco tours
8 cities you must visit on a Morocco tours: Morocco is one of those destinations that combines a bit of everything, options for travelers who like the beach, the mountains and the frenetic bustle of big cities.
Known as the pearl of Africa because of its privileged location and diverse landscapes, Morocco is a Muslim country where not only religion is taken seriously, but the centuries-old culture is still present in small and large towns, whether in gastronomy, music or dress. It is a destination that surprises at every stop and at the same time can bring unique sensations.
The destinations most people know about, whether through internet searches or on-site tourism, are Marrakech, Fez and Casablanca.
These are big, economically important cities that get a lot of harassment from vendors, and it’s worth emphasizing that this was the only harassment I witnessed during my almost three months as a worldpacker in Biougra and Marrakech.
Caetano Veloso was right when he used the phrase “Pra lá de Marrakech” (Beyond Marrakech) in the 70s song “Anything”.
There is so much to see in Morocco, destinations that surprise you from the north to the south of the country and that you can visit in 15 days on a trip through different landscapes along the way.
July to September is not high season and it’s also not so hot in some places and the rains haven’t started yet, so you can enjoy the beaches.
In this article I’m going to show you a few of the different cities that should be included on your travel list, which could even be extended depending on how much time you have to visit the country.
Located in the north of Morocco, the city is a destination for many tourists, especially those arriving in the country from Spain using a ferry and disembarking in Tangier.
Its fame lies in the all-blue medina. On the walls of the houses and small townhouses, on the walls and streets, different shades of blue make the city photogenic and cozy.
Most of the hostels and hotels are in the medina, which also has attractively priced restaurants and stores with handcrafted products that are cheaper than in the big cities.
As it’s a small town where the main attraction is the medina, two days is enough to wander around Chefchaouen and watch the sunset from the top of the church built by the Spanish. If you like nature, take a third day to visit the Akchour waterfalls, with their trails and breathtaking scenery, about 40 minutes away by car.
Morocco’s imperial city has the largest medina in the country, considered a World Heritage Site. It’s practically an open-air museum. Stores are scattered throughout the streets, and the bright colors of the items on display make the commerce an attraction.
Palaces, mosques and gardens complete the historic feel of the city, which has several water springs from the Atlas Mountains.
In the dyehouses, a famous and well-known place in photographs, you can see up close how the skins are processed and sold.
If you want to enjoy the big city atmosphere, just step out of the medina. Modern Fez is tree-lined and served by cabs with and without meters, an important detail for those who want to use a vehicle but don’t want to pay a high price and avoid a half-hour negotiation. There is also public transport, which makes it easier and saves money, but requires a little more time.
8 cities you must visit on a Morocco tours: Casablanca:
Morocco’s economic capital is the arrival point for many flights, which is perhaps why it receives so many tourists, who end up spending a day or two getting to know the city before moving on across the country. It is also famous for the 1942 film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
The old town is small, but full of stores, stalls and small restaurants, simple and with tasty food, like most medinas. The Quartier Habous is another part with active commerce and is considered the new medina, with French architecture, as it was built under the influence of the French in the modern part of the city.
The Hassan II mosque is one of the most beautiful and the only one in Morocco that allows non-Muslim visitors to enter. The building stands in the sea and is a work of art, well worth a look.
The capital of the Kingdom of Morocco has a fast pace like Casablanca and also keeps important pieces of the country’s history in the medina and in some buildings. The imperial city is home to the administrative branch of the government and is therefore considered an interesting destination that deserves a day in your travel plans.
The modern city offers a diversified program with performances, museums and a charming marina with restaurants and hotels and is next to the medina.
In the narrow streets of the old town, you’ll find locals selling or buying in the souks, tourists enchanted by the beauty of the buildings and products, and surfers with boards and skateboards.
In some neighborhoods, especially those close to the beach, the houses and buildings are painted white and blue, and in some cases the blue is very predominant and even reminiscent of Chefchaouen.
I would venture to say that this is the most touristic city in Morocco. With museums, gardens and palaces that tell a little about Moroccan history and French colonization.
The medina is a maze full of stores, hostels/riads and tourists. Also within the medina is the famous Jemaa el Fna Square, the most visited tourist spot in Marrakech.
During the day there are only a few restaurants, but it’s in the late afternoon that the place gradually transforms and becomes a stage with various attractions, local food stalls, juices and restaurants, some of which are open all day.
Those who like livelier nights and more modern venues can head to Guéliz, known as the new city or ville moderne, which is outside the walls of the medina and has shopping malls, restaurants and nightclubs.
Three days in Marrakech is ideal for seeing the main attractions. It can also be a strategic point from which to visit other parts of Morocco, such as all the cities mentioned on the list and the Ouzoud and Ourika waterfalls on the Marrakech side.
8 cities you must visit on a Morocco tours: Essaouira:
For those who like the beach and sports, such as surfing and kite surfing, this is a good destination. The colors blue and white predominate in Morocco’s seaside towns, which makes some places more charming and even reminiscent of Greece.
The medina is small and easy to walk around. In addition to the stores selling local products, there is a huge variety of spices, herbs and dyes, and the aroma of spices mixes with the smell of fried fish in the streets of the medina.
Fishing is one of the main sources of income in the city, which has a busy port because of the seafood trade. The medina is also home to many hostels and hotels that offer surfing lessons for those interested in learning.
The beach is just outside the old city walls and has a huge stretch of sand, ideal for catching some color and relaxing.
Unlike Marrakech, Fez and Casablanca, it’s possible to walk quietly without being bothered by vendors and locals trying to offer information in exchange for money.
Two or three days in Essaouira are ideal for taking advantage of the sunny days and the local tranquillity before setting off on your journey.
It’s easy to get to Essaouira from Marrakech, there are around five buses a day at different times with the Supratour company, which is the most recommended for safety.
The city named one of Morocco’s most European attracts attention for the architecture of its buildings, especially those near the marina, one of the busiest areas with expensive restaurants.
Next to the marina is one of the city’s main beaches, very busy on sunny days and ideal for outdoor activities. There are also some parks in the area where you can picnic. A few minutes’ walk away is the highest point in the city, the old Kasbah, which was destroyed by an earthquake, but from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Agadir.
In the center, it’s interesting to walk through the streets and stop at a café for the famous Moroccan mint tea. Along the way you’ll come across gardens and mosques, which are worth stopping and enjoying. Close to the city center is the Souk El Had, ideal for those who like to shop or even enjoy a bit of the city’s cultural atmosphere.
Nature lovers should take an hour’s drive to Paradise Valley, then hike down to the pool of green water that comes from the Immouzer waterfalls and invites you to take a dip. The site also has huge walls that make the walk even more enchanting.
Two days in Agadir is enough to get to know the most interesting spots.
8 cities you must visit on a Morocco tours: Taghazout:
Only thirty to forty minutes from Agadir by cab, the small fishing village is paradise for those who like to surf, because of the high waves.
On the only main street you can find hostels, small restaurants offering tajine and other local food, and many stores renting wetsuits and surfboards.
The beach has spots that are more popular and others that are deserted, ideal for those who want to camp.
On the edge of the beach, hotels and small houses painted blue and white make the view more pleasant and charming.
A day in town in Tagharzout is enough, but if you’re pressed for time it’s recommended to spend a night there.