Looking for a vacation in Morocco? If yes then you’re at the right place. Morocco is one of the most visited places for tourists. Here are some of the most popular attractions to visit in morocco.
The journey between Fez and Meknes takes half an hour by train. Cost – € 2. After Fez, you find yourself in Meknes like in a hot home bath. All people in the medina help unobtrusively and unselfishly. The streets are clearer and quieter. The shop assistants pay little attention to you until you are interested in the product.
Of the sights – again massive fortress walls, again abundant markets and another luxurious ancients city gate. There are ruins of giant stables and royal gardens.
Meknes is a beautiful and calm city. I spent a couple of days in it just to take a break from Fez. And generally rest. The terraces here are already cooler, much fewer people hunt for tourists and their dirhams, prices are not more expensive than Fez. At the same time, it is not so full of the ebullient Maghreb life. It hardly makes sense to combine both of these cities on one short trip.
“Look, you see how many towns and villages are scattered around? If a local does not want to work or does not get along with the community, then he goes to Marrakech to look for any kind of work. There is nothing for a tourist to do there ”- Jorgen from Denmark takes me half the way to Marrakech.
Jorgen first came to Morocco in 1972 to smoke hashish in Tangier. Since then, he has been running between the two countries. At first, he took up leather shoes, then argan oil. Now obsessed with finding the best raw material and recipe for rose oil. “Belarus? Hmm … Is this … a country or a tractor? A-ha-ha, ”Jorgen laughs like an old man.
He was absolutely right about Marrakesh. Morocco’s most hyped travel brand – and most overrated. The only thing that I really liked about Marrakech is that it is easy to leave it – there are many interesting places around.
The city has a huge (just amazingly huge) number of hostels, hotels of any value, riads and guesthouses. Bars and clubs, many casinos open at the hotels. But why exactly in this city remains a mystery to me. Medina of Marrakech is very simple and discreet.
The plus is that the market streets are wide, but there is little colour in them. At the same time, helpers, sellers of Chinese consumer goods, barkers to restaurants, snake charmers, henna artists and others perceive tourists as cattle. Your personal space evaporates.
The main attraction of the city isJamaa el-Fna square . I was lucky to be there on the day of political protests. In addition to the riot police, the government brought as many street performers into the square to stifle the protests. Dozens of the most diverse and multi-genre musicians against the background of a line of special forces and mixed with heaps of boiled snails create a truly mystical atmosphere.
On the following evenings, nothing happened in the huge square. There were only street restaurants with medio coequality national food and unbearable barkers. After visiting Marrakech, many tourists like to do camel ride and camping in the desert. Therefore, they take Marrakech Morocco desert tours to Fes or Merzouga because it is short and you can visit many places.
Perhaps I saw a different Marrakech, which is usually open to tourists. I hit it during Ramadan. The holy month of Muslims completely changes the lives of local people, even in such a relatively secular country like Morocco. A Moroccan citizen can be imprisoned for up to six months for a serious violation of the fast in Ramadan. For example, for drinking alcohol.
Among other rules – during the daytime you must not eat, drink (including water), smoke (including hashish). Taking into account the heat, this is a difficult test for a person. Someone just become lethargic and calm, but someone – nervous and agitated. It becomes even more unsafe on the roads during the day. In order not to seem impolite and not to cause unnecessary irritation, it is better to behave yourself more modestly at this time.
On the other hand, not much really changes for a foreigner. Especially in tourist areas. Contrary to what the locals told me the day before, alcohol shops and bars are still open in the cities. I did not notice that restaurants were closed during the day.
On the night of Ramadan, cities have a special holiday atmosphere. Everyone takes to the streets with their families and friends, sharing dates and sweets. All the smoke not smoked during the day fills the city.
Ramadan is perhaps the best time to go shopping in Moroccan markets. In this month, Muslims try to be as honest as possible and avoid lies and bad thoughts. It is unlikely that this rule is ironclad for everyone, but nevertheless.
Bargaining with exorbitant prices is sometimes too lazy on an empty stomach, so sellers are more inclined to immediately say a price close to the real one. Due to the fact that Moroccan stake this tradition very seriously, you yourself are imbued with a special spirit that reigns in the country at this time.
Merzouga, Ouarzazate and others
A huge number of travellers come to Morocco for the mountains, small picturesque towns and villages. All this dusty movement will surely pull you along, even if you flew in for a couple of days to drink tea.
I didn’t have time to shower after checking into the Fez hostel, but I was already studying the map of eastern Morocco with the Catalan Jordi and the local Berber. Even the very picture of three multi-coloured heads hanging over the map in the light of yellow lanterns and the singing of the muezzins of the nearest mosques is a movie.
Places between Fez and Marrakech and to the east are full of authentic villages and natural attractions. Which one you will visit depends on your luck on the road if you are travelling on your own, or on your guide if you follow an easier way. In any city, you can find a local who makes money on tourist routes, who will offer a hodgepodge of mountains, desert, jeeps and camels – the set depends on how much you are willing to pay and spend time.
In Marrakech, small tourist offices are stumbled at every turn. To get to Merzouga you will need to book a travel agency in Morocco that offer Morocco Sahara trips or get a bus as a public transportation
The most common option is to leave Fez and arrive in Marrakech, or vice versa, in an arc and with zigzags, which depend on the saturation of the trip. There are airports in both cities.
Most tourists rush to Merzouga – the very east of Morocco and the very west of the Sahara. A photogenic dune begins on the outskirts of the town. Be prepared that this is not for a fatal and mystical journey across the Sahara, but an organized trip for photos on Instagram. An alternative approach to the deserts in Zagora. There are canyons and gorges.
Mount Toubkal, the highest point of the Atlas, is located just below Marrakech. It is known as the summit, convenient for the ascent of an inexperienced team.
Ouarzazate attracts tourists because it is essentially a film set in Hollywood. Ifrane is a mountainresort very close to Fez. According to a tradition familiar to Belarusians, it is called “Moroccan Switzerland”. A hundred kilometres from Marrakech, there are cascades of the Ouzoud waterfalls.
The common misfortune of the routes of central and eastern Morocco is their off-scale tourism. The pristine nature is commercialized and it can be difficult to find secluded spots. Locals surround tourist groups as obsessively as mosquitoes. As a result, you dismiss everything, even if they offer good products/services.