Today I’m leaving for Morocco on a four-day trip and it’s with high expectation that I’m going on this adventure since I’ve only visited the country once.
It was back in 2002 — 17 years ago (!) — that I embarked on a road trip with fellow journalists bound for Chefchaouen. I remember little of the city, but I don’t recollect it being blue. We went only a few days, having a little taste of this magnificent culture.
Today I’m super curious! What has changed since then?…
This trip will take me through several cities in the north of Morocco. I’m going to walk through the famous medinas, get to know the main tourist attractions and, I’m sure, some well-kept secrets. 😉
But Why Visit Morocco?
To tell you the truth, my only experience in Morocco was too small, given all that this Maghreb country has to offer.
From the long list of reasons for a visit, some are unavoidable:
1. The Imperial Cities
In this tour through Morocco, I’ll pass through Fez, one of the so-called imperial cities. This place together with Marrakech, Meknes, and Rabat was at some point in history the capital of the country — Rabat currently holds the title — and at its core have traces that prove the past. From the palaces to the centennial medinas.
2. The Medinas
The old historical centers, aka medinas, are like living organisms, composed of several pieces that move at an incredible pace. The streets are narrow and full of movement, often walled, with palaces and mosques, not to mention the traditional souks.
3. The Riads
The riads are traditional houses in Morocco, characterized by beautiful interior patios with fountains or even small swimming pools.
In times were the homes of high-end citizens and merchants. Today they are mostly used as tourist accommodation, allowing an authentic Moroccan experience.
Going through the Moroccan souks without buying something is practically impossible. From the pieces made of leather to the puffs or the worked brass, the skillfully painted pottery and the thousands of carpets on display, you’ll want to take everything home! And the Moroccans are full of pride to introduce us to their stores and products. Plus, they are aces in the art of negotiation.
The herbs and spices that we see in the Moroccan souks are inevitably transferred to the local dishes. The tajines are a must, as well as the green tea that accompanies every meal. Don’t twist your nose just yet when you hear the word lamb and know that chicken and fish are other recurring ingredients in the recipes of this country.
6. The Architecture
The traces of Islamic influence, the tile panels with mixtures of colors that remember the African tribes and even some reminiscences of the passage of European conquerors, make the walks through the streets of the Moroccan cities a real discovery.
Many travelers don’t understand the true essence of the Moroccan people. Yes, they see business opportunity everywhere. But it’s part of their merchant nature.
They try to convince us to go into the shops because they are proud of what they have achieved and of the products that are their livelihood.
They are always offering tea… just like we, in Europe, always go for a cup of coffee or have a beer.
Given this, do you think you need more reasons to put Morocco on the top of your bucket list? I don’t see it any other way 😉