Morocco is a wondrous, eye-opening taste of the exotic, with snake charmers and conjurers. Souks piled high with hordes of treasures, and endless glasses of mint tea. It’s also an adventure into some of North Africa’s most stunning scenery. With the desert on its doorstep and the craggy heights of the Atlas Mountains beyond. Things to See and Do in Morocco!
Things to See and Do in Morocco
Off-the-beaten-track destinations like Chefchaouen encourage rest and relaxation. While the coastal towns of Taghazout and Essaouira promise beautiful beaches and rewarding surf spots. This article, then, offers a tiny snapshot of all the excitements that await in Morocco – but it’s a good place to start planning your perfect trip.
Learn To Cook, Moroccan Style
Moroccan cuisine is famous around the world for its fragrant spices and unique cooking methods. It is an amalgamation of many different influences. Including the native cuisine of the Berbers, the Arabs, the Andalusians and the French. Sample iconic dishes like tagine and harira at street-side stalls in the city medina, then sign up for a cooking class to learn how to recreate the flavors at home.
Many guesthouses or riads offer half or full-day culinary classes. The best ones take you into the market to purchase fresh ingredients, then show you the traditional ways to prepare them. Afterward, you’ll get to taste your creation, while the skills you learn are a souvenir that will last forever.
Morocco has plenty of beautiful old town areas but Rabat’s Oudaias Kasbah neighborhood has to be one of the country’s most picturesque. This is a peaceful and perfectly quaint district that feels miles away from the city, despite being right in the city’s core. Inside the walls of this old fortress, the lanes of neat white-and-blue houses rimmed by colorful flowerpots and flapping washing have a lost-in-time atmosphere that’s hard to beat.
Even better, unlike the old town areas of Fes and Marrakesh, there are hardly any other tourists here, so exploring this pretty corner of the capital feels as if you’ve been let in on a well-kept secret.
Tin Mal Mosque
In a small village, deep in the High Atlas mountains, lie the remains of a medieval Almohad fortress that once was the capital of a vast empire stretching from Mali to Tunisia and Spain.
The city of Tin Mal was established by Ibn Tumart, the founder and mahdi of the Almohads. Around 1124, and was the cultural and religious center of the empire until the city’s destruction by the rival Merinid dynasty in the 1270s. All that was spared, apart from a few fragments of wall. Was the monumental mosque constructed in 1156 in honor of Ibn Tumart, according to official Almohad doctrine.
Spend some time at Fes el-Bali in Fes
Fes is the oldest city in the country and the Medina (or Fes el-Bali) is a World Heritage site. There is nowhere in Morocco that has quite the vibrancy and culture of Fes. And in particular the Fes el-Bali, so a visit to it should be an essential destination on your itinerary.
It is worthwhile paying for a guide to take you through its maze of streets and to show you the important sites and explain some of its history. Hiring a guide for a half or even a full day is quite inexpensive and an investment worth making.
Located in the north of Morocco, Meknes is a 9th-century medina surrounded by a 21st-century city. One of Morocco’s previous capitals, it still holds several major historical sites.
Meknes’ medina is what I like to call a “tester,” as it’s not so large as to utterly confuse you. But it’s just enough to test your sense of navigation through an exciting real world maze. Inside that maze but close to its entrance is the well signposted Ryad Bahia.