Traveling in Morocco
Casablanca has a population of 3.2 million. The city is situated 91 kilometers from Rabat.. The city is nestled on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Casablanca is Morocco’s commercial and industrial hub, despite the fact that Rabat is the official capital of the country.. Casablanca is also the largest Moroccan city. In terms of area, in Africa, it is second only to Cairo. Casablanca is the embodiment of modern Morocco. Its atmosphere and appearance resemble the cities of southern Europe. Casablanca is home to the largest banks and companies. There are many boutiques of European clothing. The night life of the city is very rich. Many discotheques, bars and casinos open their doors to tourists and residents.
Casablanca is a city on the Atlantic Ocean, the romantic image of which is supported by the legendary movie and the famous song by Jessica J. that immortalized it. Here you can stroll through the old colonial town center and admire the lush and once stately buildings. The city’s Hassan II Mosque, is the tallest religious structure and the second largest mosque in the world after Mecca.
The Mosque of Hassan II is situated in the northeastern corner of the Old Medina. It can only be visited as part of an organized group which is formed on the spot. Photographs and cameras are allowed in the mosque. The mosque is the symbol of modern Casablanca, its main attraction. The mosque is the most magnificent and grandiose temple of Muslims, built in the 20th century. It ranks second in size after the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca. In the temple can pray at the same time 5,000 women and 20,000 men. On the area around the mosque can accommodate about 80 thousand people. The height of the minaret is 200 meters.
The Old Medina (Medina is the Old City) of Casablanca is very similar to the medinas of other Moroccan cities. Here you can see the Jewish quarter, poor locals, as well as many small cafes, mosques and shops scattered through the narrow streets. Tourists in the Old Medina always remember the local cats. There are a lot of them here. The Marrakech Gate is a fascinating landmark in the Old Medina..
Near the century-old kuba tree stands the mosque of Dar el-Mahzen. Its construction was initiated by Sultan Mohammed bin Abdullah. Near the ocean is the Bastion of the Rock. It was built in the 18th century. In the bastion are remarkably preserved cannons.
Museum of Moroccan Judaism. The museum exhibition introduces visitors to the main events of Jewish history in Morocco. It shows relics and everyday objects of Moroccan Jews.
Rabat is the capital city of Morocco. Rabat has a population of about one and a half million people. The city serves as the state’s political, administrative, and cultural center.. It is home to the main residence of Mohammed 6, all foreign embassies as well as the country’s ministries. Rabat is quite a quiet city. It is home to a huge number of gardens and parks. The city is one of the “imperial” cities. Its history is very interesting. By the number of inhabitants Rabat is second only to the economic center of Morocco – Casablanca. The capital is located on the Atlantic coast, more precisely on the left bank of the river Bou-Re-Greg. Rabat and Salé, which is its satellite town, form the province of Rabat-Salé.
Attractions in Rabat
The Kasbah of Oudaya rises on the southern bank of the Bou Regre. It can only be accessed from Ta-riq-al-Marsa Street. You have to go through the Bab al-Qasba Gate or the Udaya Gate. Abd al-Mumin, a sultan of the Almohad dynasty, started the construction of the citadel for military purposes in 1158. Later, it was used by pirates to defend the mouth of the river against attacks by European warships. The kasbah takes its name from the tribe of the Udaiya. During Alawite rule, members of this tribe garrisoned the fortress. The kasbah was built of clay, widespread in Morocco. Shell rock brought from the coast of the ocean was also used. Rumor has it that the gate was carved out of a monolith.
The kasbah is a labyrinth of narrow, clean streets, on which white buildings rise. The shutters, doors, and bottoms of the buildings are painted blue. It will be very interesting to look closely at the details. For example, the door handles are made in the form of the hand of Fatima, on the doors placed a fly ashtray made of iron. Often these little things seem like real works of art.
Attractions around Rabat
The Ethnographic Museum is 4 kilometers away if you walk towards Kenitra. Mohammed Abdallah Belhazi was responsible for converting an old factory into a museum.. The area of the museum is 5 thousand square meters. The museum is recognized at the level of the state, despite the fact that it is private.
Gardens of exotic plants were established in 1951. At the present time there are about fifteen hundred varieties of flora from all over the world.
The Temara National Zoo is a well-maintained zoo, which has a cafe and attractions. Locals often come here not only to look at the animals, but also to buy fresh seafood. To the north of the Gardens of Exotic Plants is the Beach de Nación. About 15 kilometers south of Rabat is the beach of Temara. Tourists visiting Morocco, often visit the eucalyptus forest Mamora. Its area is 134 thousand hectares. The best time to visit the garden is spring.
Safi has a population of 292 thousand people. The city is 347 kilometers from Rabat, 256 kilometers from Casablanca, and 157 kilometers from Marrakech. Safi is a major economic and industrial center. The city ranks first worldwide in the catching and production of canned sardines. The local chemical plant produces most of Morocco’s phosphates. One rarely sees tourists in Safi. The locals do not like to be photographed or videotaped. Despite this, the city has interesting attractions. For example, structures from the reign of the Portuguese. Safi is famous for its ceramic products. Green tiles are made in the city. It is very common in Morocco.
Sightseeing in Safi
The traditional specialization of Safi is pottery, which is located in front of the gate of Bab Shaba. Ceramics are traded everywhere in Safi, but it is difficult to find anything interesting and of real quality, as almost all the goods immediately go to the stores in major cities. Masters of pottery love to invite foreigners into their workshops, where you can immediately buy the thing you like, first getting acquainted with the process of its production. Before taking pictures, you should get permission from the owners. Even if you do not understand anything in the pottery craft, you will be accompanied and will show everything by a volunteer helper from among the residents of the quarter. Be prepared for the fact that at the end of the “tour”, he will demand a reward. 10 DN will be quite enough. People interested in pottery will find here the first school in Africa where they can take a course.
Safi Medina is surrounded on all sides by strong fortress walls. In the southern part of the medina is the Portuguese Chapel and the Great Mosque.
The main street of the medina, Suq Street, stretches from the Main Mosque in a northeasterly direction to the gate of Bab Shaba. The entire street is made up of stores, small stalls, and ateliers of all kinds.
The underground Portuguese Chapel, a Gothic structure from 1519, is all that remains of the ancient cathedral complex of St. Catherine. The hall, decorated with a lion’s jaws, is the only place available for viewing. It is open from 8.00 to 18.00, admission is charged. Opening hours for the National Museum of Ceramics are from 8:00 to 18:00.. It is located in the building of the Portuguese citadel, which is interesting because at the end of the 18th – beginning of the 19th century there was built a mosque and a garden. The museum displays traditional ceramics of Safi, Fez and Meknes.
The 16th century maritime palace of Dar el-Bar did not get its name by accident. This small Portuguese-built fortress rises spectacularly right above the ocean. In the 17th century it became the residence of the sultan and before that of the Portuguese government. Inscriptions in Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch can still be seen on the portico of the palace.
The city of Fez is located 198 km from Rabat and has a population of 920,000. The oldest city in Morocco, Fez is one of the first civilized cities in the Arab world. It is the mysterious capital of the Maghreb, which hides the great legends of the past. Many tourists come to Fez just to see its ancient medina of Fez el-Bali, the most extensive preserved in Morocco. In fact – it is a huge museum, located directly under the open sky. Suffice it to say that in former times the country was called the Kingdom of Fez.
The city is still considered the spiritual and cultural center of Morocco, and its famous University of Cairo is known far beyond the Kingdom. Fez has developed harmoniously. It has modern industries in textiles, chemistry, metalworking, leatherworking, woodworking and handicrafts, among which weaving, leatherworking, jewelry and pottery stand out.
In the city quarters, amazing handmade souvenirs are born right in front of your eyes. Fez is traditionally considered a stronghold of the local bourgeoisie, for centuries supplying the main cadres of intellectual, economic and official elite of the Kingdom.
Fez is an endless maze of narrow medieval streets and alleys, a third of which end in dead ends, a journey through the craft workshops and shops of local merchants, where you can never guess what’s hiding behind the inconspicuous doors: a luxury palace or a poor man’s shack.
It is interesting that when people say “fez” they immediately think of Turkey, although even the name of the headwear itself points directly to its Arab origin associated with the Moroccan city of Fez. The usual form of the fez is a truncated cone of wool or red felt decorated with black tassels. The fez is red because it was usually dyed with the juice of a red berry growing on the outskirts of Fez. This headdress has always been an accessory for men of the ruling classes. There was once a saying that if a woman wore a fez, the world would end.
Essaouira, which has a population of 70,000, is situated 351 kilometers south of Casablanca, 176 kilometers from Marrakech, and 442 kilometers from Rabat. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Morocco.
Essaouira is a beautiful Mediterranean resort, reminiscent of the likes of Spain, with a unique oriental flavor and a rich historical past.
Essaouira – the music coming from everywhere, the smell of fried fish, the cries of seagulls. It is the narrow streets with white houses and blue shutters, camels strolling along the coast of the ocean against the background of the sunset of extraordinary beauty. In Essaouira there is a true atmosphere of freedom, romance, relaxation and comfort, and many artists live here. No other city in Morocco has so many art galleries and salons.
Essaouira is a photographer’s paradise. A large part of the city’s property is purchased by foreigners from America and Europeans, who once appreciated the charm of this city and do not want to part with it for a long time. Residents of many central regions of Morocco, particularly Marrakech, come here in the summer to escape the heat. Fans of windsurfing are especially pleased with the fact that Essaouira enjoys strong Atlantic winds, as it is located on a cape. The coastline here has the highest waves and a gentle, steady breeze. For swimmers this area is not convenient because the swim turns into a real swing on the waves, the water temperature is low even in summer, and the breeze easily turns into sunburn.
In Essaouira, it’s hard to resist buying furniture made of thuja and other precious woods, but keep in mind that, in a climate different from the humid climate of Essaouira, these things can crack or warp.
The city is amazing and different, a haven for artists and craftsmen, extremely photogenic and drenched in relaxation. You can walk around the medina in a couple of hours, but in spite of this, it is charming in its own way. The monolithic white walls, aged by wind, salt and sun, are diluted by the rhythm of the bright blue shutters and doors.
The port is one of the most interesting places in Essaouira, where fishermen return with their catch, each ship surrounded by its own flock of seagulls. The port is buzzing with fishing life. A huge number of blue wooden boats and small ships, fish, nets, ice and all this is repaired, moved, transported and carried in different directions by small carts and wooden crates. Here in the port locals buy the freshest seafood.
Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Marrakech is an imperial city, the Berber capital of central Morocco, with luxurious palaces and blooming gardens, oriental bazaars and beautiful mosques.
Bahia Palace, with its shady courtyards, fountains and orange trees, outshines all other palaces in the kingdom.
Also worth seeing are the Al-Badi Palace, Qutubiya Mosque, Djema Al-Fna Square and the Majorelle Garden.
The Atlas Mountains is a large mountain system in north-west Africa, stretching from the Atlantic coast of Morocco, through Algeria, to the coast of Tunisia.
Ouarzazate – African Hollywood – a town in whose neighborhoods once ran the caravan routes deep into the Black Continent. Many intriguing medieval strongholds built of sand, clay, and straw, known as kasbahs, are scattered throughout this strange region.. The famous kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, beloved by international filmmakers for its inimitability, has long been used as a backdrop for the shooting of “Gladiator”, “Prince of Persia. “Numerous films, including “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Sands of Time,”.
Tafraut is a unique in its identity small cozy town located in the mountains of Anti-Atlas. This high-rise settlement is attractive not because of its ancient structures and cultural monuments, but because of the picturesque surroundings with mind-blowing mountain landscapes. Tafraut is famous for its pink granite stones that form quaint mountains, its Berber villages surrounded by blossoming or fruiting almond and argan trees, and the tranquility and peacefulness of the Moroccan countryside.
Legzira beach is a deserted beach of rare beauty, far away from populated areas, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and where you can rarely see people, much less tourists. Legzira is unique in its architecture, with huge arches that descend from the rocky cliffs into the ocean.
Agadir is the most promoted and popular among Russian tourists Moroccan city. This is a modern resort with a high level of service, including numerous hotels, restaurants, cafes, casinos and discotheques, and, of course, SPA-center, working on the basis of traditional cosmetics from the fruit of the amazing argan tree, so loved by goats around Tafraut and Essaouira. The location of the city and the climate of the area is most favorable for swimming in the ocean. There are rarely strong winds and the temperature on the coast warms up to a comfortable values for bathing and sunbathing.