Morocco is one of those countries that intrigues you with a little mystery but once you start researching and planning a trip, it pulls you in and entangles you with its diversity, beauty and culture - in the best way. The more you learn and explore the more you want to learn and explore. That being said, welcome to our first hotspot deep dive for 2023! We are excited to explore the country of Morocco and give you a taste of all it has to offer. Be warned though - you might find yourself in your own rabbit hole of Moroccan research and trip planning by the end of the read.
Situated in North Africa, this mountainous country that is Morocco borders the Atlantic Ocean in the West, and the Mediterranean Sea in the North and has the Atlas Mountain range running through the middle dividing the coastline from the country's border with Algeria in the East. A country with beautiful ancient architecture and traditional customs that remain in takt even with the rapid modernisation of the country.
So, without further ado… let's dive in!
THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Something so mesmerising about Morocco is how one country can offer a snow-capped mountain range that stretches well over 1000km next to a part of the Sahara Desert along with beautiful wild beaches. But that is exactly what the country offers.
Travellers can hike the mountain range and explore Berber villages, mountain lakes, and valleys or even go skiing on the snow-capped peaks. This mountain range stretches through most of the country and separates the Sahara Desert from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
On that note…
THE SAHARA AND MOROCCAN DESERT
If you only expect to see soft sand and dunes in the desert of Morocco, you are in for a surprise. Just like the rest of the country, the desert areas are diverse. A large part of the Moroccan desert consists of stone and gravel and not the soft sandy dunes you expect. You will find a surprising number of plants in the desert as well. For an immersive experience in the ancient culture of nomadism, you can hike through the Sahara or spend a night or two in the desert in a luxury tent if hiking for days is not your thing.
Bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco has a long stretch of coastline, of which hundreds of kilometres are still totally wild. Wild, meaning no tourist infrastructure and unspoiled beauty where the sea meets land and you can appreciate the pureness of nature. Not all beaches are wild though, and you will still be able to enjoy the ocean from the comfort of your hotel room after a relaxing spa treatment along with gourmet meals and a private beach.
TOWNS AND SOUKS
Besides the mountains, beaches and deserts, you can also spend time exploring the towns and markets the country has to offer and immerse yourself in the culture. You can explore the blue streets of Chefchauen where wandering should be your main objective as leather and weaving workshops line the streets and the city itself is the sight to behold.
The Ksar (fortified village) of Aït Benhaddou is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a prime example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture.
Or spend a day exploring and haggling at souks where the aroma of spices fills the air, mint tea can be enjoyed at midday and you can hunt for keepsakes that will last a lifetime and serve as a constant reminder of your trip.
Last, but certainly not least; the food! We strongly believe the best way to get the full experience of a country is to expose your palate to the local foods. The flavours, the spices, the traditions.
Moroccan cuisine is mainly Influenced by Arab, Berber and Mediterranean cuisines and is usually a mix thereof. The most well-known dish for those outside of Morocco is probably couscous, additionally, you can expect a wide range of vegetables, meats such as beef, lamb, chicken etc and a lot of bread. With 3000+ km of coastline Morocco also offers ample seafood dishes.
A visit to Morocco cannot be completed without a cup of atay – mint tea. The making of which is considered an art form and is often enjoyed daily with friends and family. The pouring technique is considered to be as crucial as the tea itself and is poured from a height with a special teapot.
For an authentic Moroccan experience, visit Al Aïn and “escape into the thousand flavours of Moroccan cuisine”. The menu showcases spices and ingredients that are essential in Moroccan cuisine with a subtle and delicate blend of Arab, Berber and Moresque traditions. The restaurant features and extensive dining area and an alfresco terrace full of colours and arabesque ornamentation.
When it comes to Morocco we can go on and on…and on, but we encourage you to do a bit of your own planning and research. As a starting point, why not have a look at, or book a stay at the Fairmont Royal Palm Hotel. You might find yourself in Morocco sooner than you thought.