Why travel to Morocco?
Why travel to Morocco?: From the Atlas mountains to the Atlantic beaches, from the silence of the desert to the bustle of the cities… nature, culture, architecture, history, tradition of hospitality… few countries in the world offer such a wealth of riches. Morocco is one of them. Here are 5 good reasons why the kingdom of the setting sun is a must-see destination!
BECAUSE JUST 3 HOURS FROM FRANCE, IT’S A COMPLETE CHANGE OF SCENERY:
As soon as you arrive in Marrakech, you’re already far, far away from France. Vibrant, colorful, spice-scented and bustling with life, the “red city” opens the door to another world, another culture, another landscape – or rather, other landscapes, for Morocco is home to such a diverse natural environment.
The Atlas mountains, peaks over 4,000 meters high, the Sahara desert, the ocean, the Mediterranean, green valleys… Imperial cities, Berber villages, long-lasting traditions… Everything you need for an escape. Add to this the mild climate all year round, and the many activities on offer, and Morocco is definitely a destination with a change of scenery… and yet so close!
BECAUSE THE ATLAS IS THE KINGDOM OF HIKING:
Why travel to Morocco?: A barrier on the edge of the known world in ancient times, the Atlas owes its name to the eponymous god charged by Zeus with supporting the celestial vault. Culminating in Toubkal, the “mountain of mountains”, at 4167 meters, the Atlas is a prodigious terrain of discovery for hikers, whether they climb its mineral peaks, follow its spectacular gorges or stop off in one of the Berber villages suspended from the slope.
In the villages with their adobe houses, the Berber people perpetuate their bond with the land and their sense of hospitality. Magnificent handicrafts (woodwork, leatherwork and pottery) and a language, Tamazight, with an alphabet dating back thousands of years, bear witness to a vibrant, living culture.
BECAUSE WALKING IN THE DESERT IS A MAGICAL EXPERIENCE:
Southern Morocco is synonymous with the Sahara, the world’s largest desert in northern Africa. In places that may seem inhospitable, these vast expanses of sand have much more to offer than you might think. Here, magic happens! The immensity of these landscapes of ochre dunes and rocky spires will fascinate hikers and photographers alike.
In the desert, simple things bring tenfold pleasures: the taste of mint tea, the smell of toasted bread in the early morning or the sound of running water in the palm grove, time seems suspended. And it’s enough to see a caravan of camels in the distance, or to spend an evening around the fire watching the stars, for our nomadic instincts to awaken and transport us on improbable adventures. All the experiences we have here are more intense.
BECAUSE A TRIP TO MOROCCO IS ALSO A CULINARY JOURNEY:
Colors, smells, flavors… Moroccan gastronomy is a journey for the senses. In the morning, breakfast is sacred: you can enjoy it while strolling through the streets or comfortably seated on a shady terrace: coffee, fresh fruit juice, omelette with olive oil and cumin… a real treat!
On hot days, a salad of tasty souk vegetables will refresh you, and it’s beldi (organic) too. On cool evenings, traditional hot dishes are the order of the day, such as meat kebabs rolled in salt and spices, or tajines, the emblematic Moroccan stew cooked in an earthen dish of tender meat and caramelized vegetables.
Last but not least, mint tea is served piping hot and very sweet, providing an opportunity to take time out to chat with Moroccans and indulge in oriental pastries (gazelle horns, briourates, baklawas…). A good address: La Pâtisserie des Princes in Marrakech, the palace of gourmet delights: ideal for filling up on sweet treats before heading home!
BECAUSE THE ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE IS EXCEPTIONAL:
Why travel to Morocco?: In Morocco, it’s not uncommon to come across a kasbah, a fortified house that housed the family of the lord ruling over the surrounding land, often located high up in a strategic position to protect itself from a siege. Characteristic of traditional architecture, these kasbahs are often used as film sets, notably the most famous, Aït Benhaddou.
Mosques are everywhere, in towns and villages. Closed to non-Muslims, they are oriented towards Mecca and can be recognized by their minaret.
Souks are also a constant feature of Moroccan cities. Real labyrinths in the center of the medina, where you’ll find carpet stores, craftsmen’s workshops or “petits métiers”, food stalls, tanneries and more.
In town, the ryads, those magnificent residences with an interior garden or patio with a water feature, are little corners of paradise that you wouldn’t suspect from the narrow, austere streets. When the weather’s hot, it’s very pleasant to find coolness, greenery and calm.