Fascinating places to visit in Morocco

Fascinating places to visit in Morocco

Fascinating places to visit in Morocco

Fascinating places to visit in Morocco: When I close my eyes and think of Morocco, all five senses are suddenly activated, with the sense of smell standing out to the maximum. The memory of smells is usually an effective companion when it comes to reviving experiences and sensations. Suddenly a multitude of aromas that are easy to recognize and dissect come to the fore. Like that of mint leaves submerged in the bottom of a silver-colored teapot or that of a freshly tanned leather store in the souk.

I could walk right now with my mind through the labyrinth of the medina of Fez and get lost in its twists and turns, stopping to listen to the call to prayer next to the tomb of an ancient king. Let myself be carried away by the daily spectacle of the Jma el-Fna Square in Marrakech or uncover a succulent tajine overlooking one of the blue streets of old Chaouen. I would be ready to take a leap into the Rif and the Atlas Mountains by changing course and see myself plying the dusty roads of the kasbahs route until I reach the sea of dunes of the Merzouga desert and wait to see how the stars shine brighter than anywhere else.

Morocco is so close, but so remote at the same time… In fact I have always considered it among my favorite destinations because it gives me the closest way to travel far away. And to dream, to dream loudly. Because, although it may not seem like it, on the other side of the strait there is still everything to do.

Travel to Morocco, the exaltation of the senses:

I have traveled countless times to Morocco. In fact it was there, a little more than a decade ago, where I made my first improvised solo trip. I remember it perfectly. It was Christmas. A small van was waiting for me in Ouarzazate, on the other side of a completely snow-covered Atlas. And from there I played to add new amounts to the odometer stopping at everything that caught my attention, which was not little.

Like the kasbahs, the adobe villages in the middle of nowhere or that large number of palm groves that suffocated with their green leaves an arid and rocky container. The dust of the road was my companion, the one that each time was indicating me with precision the proximity of the desert. First of stones (what in the Maghreb is known as hammada) to, in the end, as a reward, walk through an inexhaustible succession of dunes that changed color with each step I took.

From then on there were many more occasions when this country came knocking at my door. And little by little I discovered how much there is to see in Morocco. What if the imperial cities, the white villages hit by the fury of the Atlantic, the Almohad minarets twinned with the Giralda of Seville (Koutoubia of Marrakech and unfinished Tower of Hassan in Rabat), authentic stone gorges and gorges sustained by the whims of erosion.

Cities reminiscent of the tales of a thousand and one nights:

A good starting point to get to know Morocco is what the so-called imperial cities have to offer. Authentic labyrinthine patchworks that represent the greatness of a kingdom with a long accumulated history. This amalgam of unique cities is made up of a wonderful quartet of cities that coincide in the possibility of getting lost in the frenzy of walled medinas that resemble anthills, in their busy souks, their palatial buildings and their beacons of religion resounding loudly. But, in reality, they are four diverse cities, full of nuances that differentiate them and make them unique. Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Rabat. Protagonists of a movie even better than the one you would make in your head under the most demanding direction.

The most adorable peculiarity of Marrakech would be its great square, Jma el-Fna, where what happens there has already been declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Because certain things rely not just on historical or architectural ideas, but also on the so-called human landscape and routinely followed traditions (and also a bit of improvisation) in a square that changes its physiognomy just as the hands of the clock do. Those who know this place, the heart of a very interesting city where things never stop happening, know this.

Fascinating places to visit in Morocco

But Marrakech goes beyond its square. The imperial palaces and gardens, the twists and turns of its souk, the aroma emanating from the kitchens. And it does not stop presenting novelties, as it will soon inaugurate in the medina a space of more than 5000 square meters to house the Grand Museum of Moroccan culinary art. It will take place in an old palace a few steps from the Bahia where it will explain in an innovative way the best of Moroccan cuisine as well as the influences brought by peoples such as the Berber, the Arab-Andalusian and even the Jewish.


It would stand out as the possessor of a labyrinth impossible to imagine. A myriad of alleys that merge with a certain anarchy to ensure that, if the traveler gets lost in them, it is the best thing that can happen. Because there are places where it does not matter not knowing the way back. Especially when the best part of the journey is simply the crossing between two points.


It would be something like the little sister of Fez. And for many the most humble. Although the yellow walls of the mausoleum of Mulay Ismail or the detail found in the great door called Bab el-Mansour indicate absolutely the opposite.

Finally Rabat:

The discreet capital because everything actually seems to move in Casablanca, a total stranger plagued by historical vestiges such as the Hassan Tower or the Romanized Chellah whose abandoned towers are now occupied by hundreds of storks.

Many mistakenly place Casablanca as one of the imperial cities, but it never was. Its small medina or the memories that Rick’s Café provides to those who have seen a thousand times the scenes of the black and white film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, makes it not go unnoticed. But if you have to choose a place in this city is undoubtedly the Hassan II Mosque, one of the best architectural jewels that the twentieth century made emerge on Moroccan soil as a compendium of the arts in the service of Islam in the Alawite country. This building alone could be called imperial.

Neither would they be within the route of the imperial cities, but they would be in any proper route that boasts to Moroccan lands, as much Essaouira as Asilah or Chaouen. Virtuosity tinged with white in the first two, perfumed with the waves of the Atlantic and the mutiny of the fishermen in the port. And the kingdom of blue in the last one, Chaouen, a delightful bend of the Rif mountain range where even the worst photographer is able to portray the purest sky in each of its streets.

The long road to the desert:

But seeing cities isn’t the only thing to do when visiting Morocco. Morocco, in fact, is all a toast to the great adventures in which to cross diverse landscapes. Although in my case I must admit that I am a self-confessed devotee of those whose beginning is the Atlas Mountains and whose end is the desert. From Ouarzazate to Merzouga. Or, from admiring the Jebel Toubkal and its 4167 meters in the North African Pyrenees, to take a leap between kasbahs, mythical citadels that represent the historical depth of a country, to arrive at the most idyllic version of the desert in Merzouga.

There are so many kasbahs that there is even a route through these fortified citadels. Ait Ben Haddou is certainly the best known and most spectacular. But there are many more that are worthwhile. Taourit in Ouarzazate itself, Tamnougalt near Agdz, Telouet or those that can be admired in the vast palm grove of Skoura are just some of a collection worthy, but impossible to complete.

Fascinating places to visit in Morocco

To reach kasbahs and ksour (fortified villages) it is necessary to go into rocky outcrops, cliffs and stony valleys shaped by erosion and, above all, long geological periods. Although, fortunately, many of them are well accessible to two or four wheels. And, of course, to slow walking, which is easy to interrupt with a cup of tea and a spontaneous conversation.

Everything to reach the place where to put the feet on the sand and let them sink. Because in the dunes you can only find solid ground by sitting on it, contemplating the horizon, feeling an insignificance so certain and undeniable that it is possible to assimilate, even if only in part, the grandeur of our planet. Merzouga is one of those places where you find meaning in the sum of the five letters that make up the word TRAVEL.

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