Reasons to travel to Morocco
Reasons to travel to Morocco: The truth is, you don’t need any specific reason to go to Morocco, as the country’s name alone should be enough to make you want to fly to one of the world’s most incredible places. If that’s all it takes to convince you, here are 10 reasons to Morocco tours.
Discover its culture and realize how close it is to Spain.
It may not seem like it, but Morocco’s proximity to Spain makes it an ideal destination for those planning to visit the country and discover a culture that’s quite different from Spanish culture. Morocco is just a few hours away, making it a perfect travel opportunity.
Taste the local gastronomy.
If there’s one thing you can’t ignore in Morocco, it’s its cuisine. It is infinitely varied. You can, for example, drink orange juice in Marrakech‘s Jemaa el-Fna square, buy a handful of almonds at a market stall, sit on a terrace, and enjoy a delicious tajine. These are just a few of the many travel memories that this country’s cuisine has to offer. Ah, I forgot the local breakfasts, the local patisserie… I could spend hours and hours telling you about one of the most complete gastronomies in the world.
Realize just how prejudiced this country is.
As is often the case, Morocco is a country against which there are many prejudices, some more well-founded than others. The best way to reinforce or eliminate these prejudices is to travel to the country in question. There, I assure you, your perception will change completely: what already seemed incredible will be even more wonderful. Places you thought would simply surprise you will exceed your expectations. What you thought would test your nerves will probably do so, and more than once. This is Morocco, a country to be savored with all five senses…
Visit Jemaa el-Fna (Marrakech) and the rest of the medinas.
If there’s one place you’ll find in every city in Morocco, whether Marrakech, Agadir, Ouarzazate, or Tangier, it’s the medinas and souks. There’s nothing like these corners to get a feel for the country’s reality, to observe its culture, chat with the locals, sample the cuisine, and, at the same time, experience firsthand those little everyday things that often elude us when we visit the more touristy places. There’s no doubt that spending a few hours in a souk will be a real surprise. Now, if you’re in Marrakech, it’s best to take it easy as this is a more tourist-oriented city, it’s much more crowded and the vendors are quite absorbing.
Reasons to travel to Morocco: Well, it’s true that shopping isn’t everything. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it should be a secondary aspect of any trip, but… what would Morocco be without its stores and souks? And what would we be like if we didn’t stop in one of these places, armed with patience and ready to spend several minutes in front of a mint tea or haggling as if our lives depended on getting that pretty tea set that delighted our hearts.
Spend a night (or more) in the desert.
A good reason to visit Morocco is to spend a night or more in the desert. What you can’t do in many countries, you can do in Morocco by buying a tour ticket through one of the more touristy cities, or by going straight there yourself and getting accommodation once you’re at the very gates of the desert. Can you imagine yourself sleeping between the dunes, under a sky full of stars? It’s possible, and in Morocco, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Take the Kasbah tour.
If there’s one road that leaves no one indifferent, it’s the route des kasbahs – kasbahs are small citadels built of adobe, representing Berber culture and dotting the breathtaking landscapes of Morocco’s Deep South.
The best-known kasbah is that of Aït-Ben-Haddou, declared a World Heritage site in 1987. You can enjoy a unique experience by entering this ksar and wandering through its adobe streets.
Another not-to-be-missed stop on this route is the Taourirt Kasbah, considered to be the best preserved in the country.
Stroll through the narrow streets of Essaouira.
Marrakech is one of Morocco’s largest and most tourist cities. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook Essaouira, a quiet coastal town close by that has, over the years, become one of the most fascinating and surprising places in this Maghreb country. A unique place where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle and chaos of Marrakech, and soak up the tranquility and hospitality of Morocco.
Lose yourself in the impossible blues of Chefchaouen.
If there’s one corner of Morocco that’s close to Spain, pretty and charming, it’s undoubtedly Chefchaouen, also known as Chaouen, the name the Berbers gave it when they founded it. Chefchaouen is nicknamed “the blue city” because of the distinctive blue of the houses in the medina. Isn’t it worth exploring?
Explore the country from one end to the other, from top to bottom.
And now, here’s the reason to go to Morocco: to explore the country from one end to the other, from top to bottom, because it’s the best way to get to know one of the world’s most surprising and magical places. It’s so close and you’re not going to be surprised by it, are you? Morocco is like that, it’s a fabulous country that gives you a unique gift: to let you get to know it without reservation.
10 must-sees in Marrakech
Reasons to travel to Morocco: All travelers know that Morocco is a completely different country from ours, culturally, religiously, in terms of customs and mores, and climatically, despite its proximity to Europe.
If you live in the south of Europe, there are many reasons to visit Morocco.
Firstly, for reasons of proximity, since depending on which part of Spain you live in, you’ll be on a 3-hour flight at most. You can also take the ferry from southern Spain and bring your car to get around Morocco. You’ll need to be patient because it often takes a long time to cross borders with a car.
You’ll have more money if you change currency. To give you an idea, a meal in Marrakech can cost 50 or 60 Moroccan dirhams, which works out to around 5 euros.
Visiting the desert, the medinas, or the mosques is not only different from what you’ll find in other countries in the region, but it’s also unique. Moroccan squares become a spectacle of vendors, juice and fruit sellers, snake charmers, musicians, jugglers, and artisans. The desert is transformed into an incomparable stage where you can dress like a Tuareg and ride a horse, spend the night surrounded by dunes and under a starry sky.
Gastronomy: Tasting delicious dishes like tajine (lamb or chicken stew with vegetables) or couscous (semolina with vegetables), you won’t miss what you usually eat during your stay. Morocco offers you a wide range of dishes, and you’ll be able to eat cheaply, as we said earlier.
Do you need more reasons to visit this fabulous country? There are many reasons to visit Morocco, but we’re sure that with the ones we’ve given you, we’ve managed to convince you. Nevertheless, we’re now going to give you a list of the 10 must-sees on a trip to Marrakech, one of Morocco’s most touristic cities and where most international flights to the country land.
Must-sees in Marrakech
Marrakech, along with Meknes, Fez, and Rabat, is one of Morocco’s four imperial cities. It was founded in 1062 by the Almoravids and was the capital of the Christian Empire. It is nicknamed “the Red City” because of the color of its buildings and the dominant hues. Unofficially, it is also known as the “Pearl of the South”, or the “Gateway to the South”.
1. First and foremost
Reasons to travel to Morocco: Because it’s one of the city’s most striking landmarks, we’re going to tell you all about the Place Jemaa el-Fna, also known as “the Plaza”. It’s located in the heart of the Medina. Thousands of people pass through here every day, and it’s the meeting point and leisure area for the city’s inhabitants and visitors alike. But the most attractive thing about this place is not the square itself, but the atmosphere that reigns here. An atmosphere created by cafés, terraces, food stalls, crowds, dancers, storytellers, snake charmers, and many other things worth contemplating.
2. The souks
It’s almost impossible to travel to Marrakech without appreciating its souks, which surround the square and are scattered throughout the medina. They are a symbol of the city. You can find everything from spices, leather, decorative objects, and dried fruit to various oils. There’s also a blacksmith’s market. Haggling is one of the main features of these street stalls, part of their culture and an experience not to be missed. The trick is not to show too much interest in the product, bearing in mind that the sellers will offer you double or triple what you’re willing to pay, but that they won’t lower the price beyond a certain minimum (these are normally handicrafts that require a lot of work, and that’s something you have to pay for).
3. Koutoubia Mosque
The minaret of the Koutoubia is also considered a symbol of Marrakech and is visible from many parts of the city. Similar constructions can be seen on the Tour Hassan in Rabat and the Giralda in Seville. Its height isn’t really the reason (it’s over 70 meters high); rather, it’s because it’s forbidden to build anything in the medina itself that’s taller than a palm tree, and, given that Marrakech is a mostly flat city, the minaret is clearly visible.
Although it’s forbidden for non-Muslims to visit the inside of the mosque, it’s well worth going in, admiring it from the outside, and resting for a moment on one of its benches while listening to the prayers being said.
4. The tanners’ quarter
A visit to the Tanners’ quarter is a good way to get to the heart of the most authentic, medieval part of Marrakech, but the smell can be too much for a visitor. That’s why we recommend that you place the mint leaves you’ll be offered at the entrance to this district on your nose. If you’re not sure how to get there (it’s a bit far from the souks), it’s best to arrange for a guide to accompany you and explain the concept of this art form at the same time. It’s well worth seeing how the tanners do their work, and appreciating what it costs to make each piece.
5. The charm of belly dancing
Oriental dance is very sensual, which means that it can’t leave anyone indifferent. You can enjoy this spectacle in many places, both inside and outside the medina. You can watch an exhibition of this art form while dining in restaurants such as Comptoir Darna or Le Marrakchi.
6. The Majorelle Garden
Conceived in 1924 as a place of inspiration, this garden is a work of art in motion, with exotic plants, unconventional species and beautiful water fountains, ceramic objects, and more. Fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent bought the garden in 1980, restoring it and adding new plant species.
7. La Menara
A visit to La Menara, just a few kilometers from Marrakech, will make you feel like just another Marrakchi. It’s a 200-meter-long pond teeming with carp. The best time to visit is at sunset. That’s when you can contemplate its pavilion and a large artificial pond.
8. The ramparts of Marrakech
Reasons to travel to Morocco: These ramparts were originally built as a defense system for the city. Stretching for 19 km, they surround the medina or old city, and are accessed through the beautiful gates known as “Bab”: Bab el-Jadida, Bab Doukkala, or Bab el-Khémis, to name but a few.
9. Sleep in a riad or jaïma
Riads are typical, traditional Moroccan dwellings, with rooms arranged around a central patio. They offer great tranquility, as well as the opportunity to enjoy Moroccan hospitality. As for jaïmas, sleeping in the Sahara desert is a truly unique experience. You can start with a camel ride to the jaïmas’ camp and enjoy a typical dinner accompanied by live music. Interesting, isn’t it?
10. Relax in a hammam
There’s nothing better than ending your day in a typical Moroccan hammam. Choose from one of the city’s many hammams or baths and unwind.
How to get across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco
Many travelers visiting Andalusia, in southern Spain, wonder how to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. Here you’ll find all the details, alternatives, and experiences of traveling from Europe to Africa.
On numerous occasions in Andalusia, and during my long journey around the world, I’ve been asked about crossing the Straits. Sometimes by friends who, at the time, were planning a trip through southern Spain, with the possibility of a stopover in Morocco. Others by travelers who had come to Malaga. For those of us who live in southern Andalusia, and especially for Gaditans, crossing the Straits to the neighboring continent is something of a routine. It’s a different, attractive destination that’s hard to forget, given its proximity. There are people who go from time to time to spend a few days in Morocco, and there are people who take their car for a longer drive. Not to mention those of us who have friends or family in Ceuta or Melilla.
However, for those of us who like to travel to other latitudes, the experience of taking a boat and arriving straight in Africa is something very exotic and, to a certain extent, adventurous. Clearing a new continent off our travel bucket list is very satisfying. But, in addition, we at Travel and Exchange recommend that you continue on the Morocco route and, at the very least, plot a course for the north and include Chefchaouen, Rabat, Casablanca, Mequinez, or Fez.
It’s hard to describe the travel sensations that emerge in Tangier, as the distance of just 15 kilometers doesn’t seem to match reality. This paradox is, in my opinion, the main attraction of making the crossing to Morocco. I’ll tell you right away how to do it.
How to get to Morocco by ferry
Reasons to travel to Morocco: Algeciras – Port Tanger Med (one and a half hours by boat). This port is in the town of Ksar Sghir, 50 kilometers from Tangier by road and 30 from Ceuta. You can reach Tangier by bus or cab. Buses are cheaper, but their timetable varies and they’re not too modern. For greater convenience, you can share a cab to get there.
(One hour by boat) Tarifa – Port Tanger Ville. Best located in Tangier itself.
How to get to Tarifa
It’s best to cross from Tarifa to Tangier, as it’s the shortest route and arrives directly in Tangier. However, in Spain, before taking the ferry, it’s not so easy to get to Tarifa if you don’t have your own vehicle, as there isn’t a train line and buses aren’t very frequent from Cadiz or Algeciras.
If you’re coming from Seville, it’s not so complicated, as there are several buses a day with the company Transportes Generales Comes. On the other hand, if you’re coming from Málaga, there’s only one direct service a day, and another that isn’t direct, you can book with Avanzabus.
The alternative we Andalusians use is BlaBlaCar or Amovens. It’s more economical and, with a bit of luck, there will be places available to get to Tarifa easily by car.
In any case, if you’re traveling from another city by public transport, my recommendation would be to spend at least one night in Tarifa, regardless of whether it’s on the outward or return journey from Morocco. It’s a small town, with beautiful streets, good people, good food, and spectacular beaches known around the world for surfing and kite surfing. This is not the case with Algeciras, a larger and, in my opinion, less interesting city.
Traveling to Morocco
Residents of a detailed list of countries do not require a visa to enter Morocco, just a valid passport. In this case, the formalities are quick and straightforward. If you speak French, you’ll have no trouble communicating in Morocco in Spanish or English, only in Tangier and a few tourist locations. Remember that in Morocco you’ll need to set your clock forward one hour, and to pay you’ll need to change your currency to dirhams. Continue reading to learn a quick and simple method for doing this.