5 reasons to visit Morocco

There are so many places that I would love to visit in the world, from cruising around the Caribbean to skiing in the Alps, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland and elephant rides in Thailand. Every now and then Gaz and I write down all of all of the places we would like to see and tell ourselves that one day we will cross each of them off the list, either as a family or later in life when the children are grown.

One of those places, and somewhere I have always wanted to visit, is Morocco. Located in Northern Africa, Morocco is a country with epic mountain ranges, ancient cities, sweeping deserts and wide diversity. Over the last few weeks I have been looking at villas in Morocco and researching all of the wonderful things to see and do there. I thought that I would compile a list of the things which appeal to us the most in the hope that one day soon, we will get to see all of them with our own eyes.

1. Visit The Sahara Desert 

The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the whole world. At 9,200,000 square kilometres it is comparable to the area of China or there United States, a thought which is pretty mind blowing! The Sahara Desert is a real tourist attraction in Morocco with many travelling there for the sole purpose of visiting the desert.

There are so many ways to see the Sahara, with guided tours on camel back or over night camping tours, all of which sound equally appealing and for us, would be at the top of our list of things to do!

2. Shop at the markets in Marrakech 

When locals refer to the souks they mean the maze of market streets that stretch north from the Djemaa el-Fna. The main thoroughfare are Souq Semmarine and Souq el-Kebir, originally dedicated to leather work, they now sell all manner of things and trinkets.

There are thousands of small market stalls in Marrakech, each selling something unique, and the atmosphere is said to be loud and lively with a variety of aromas, music and laughter. I love visiting markets when we travel and picking up some local souvenirs.

3. Rock climbing at Todgha Gorge

Todgha Gorge is the most spectacular canyon where a 300m-deep fault splits the orange limestone into a deep ravine at some points just wide enough for a crystal-clear river and single-file trekkers to squeeze through. The road takes you through the most beautiful green palmeraies and villages where there are often small markets to wander.

For the more adventurous wanderer, there are guided walks or rock climbing experiences to take part in, something which would be such a memorable experience with the beautiful orange limestone as your backdrop. I know this is something that Lewis and Gaz would jump at the chance to do!

4. Eat a traditional Moroccan Tagine 

It would be a sacrilege to visit Morocco and not try a tradition Moroccan tagine. A tagine is a slow cooked savoury stew, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Moroccan cuisine uses a real mix of spices, commonly ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, paprika and chilli, and create a beautifully rich dish served with fresh Moroccan bread to scoop it all up.

We love Moroccan food and would love to experience it in a real Moroccan restaurant setting, I am told there are wonderful places to eat on every corner!

5. Visit Bahia Palace 

The Bahia Palace is located in Marrakech and was built in the 19th century as the greatest palace of its time. The floor-to-ceiling decoration here was begun by Grand Vizier Si Moussa in the 1860s and embellished from 1894 to 1900 by slave-turned-vizier Abu ‘Bou’ Ahmed. In 1908 the palace’s beguiling charms attracted warlord Pasha Glaoui, who claimed it as a suitable venue to entertain French guests. They, in turn, were so impressed that they booted out their host in 1911, installing the protectorate’s resident-general in his place.

Although only a portion of the palace’s eight hectares and 150 rooms is open to the public, there is still so much of the stunning architecture and grand interiors to see.

6. Hassan II Mosque

The Hassan II Mosque is situated in Casablanca and is the largest mosque in Morocco. It’s minaret is the worlds tallest at 210 metres tall, topped with a laser, the light which is directed towards Mecca. Accommodating 25,000 worshippers the mosque is of epic proportions and the interior is just as spectacular as one would imagine. With hand carved stone and wood, marble flooring and ceramic tiling throughout, guided tours are conducted outside of prayer times for those who wish to see this elaborate building.

To take part in one of these guided tours visitors must be ‘decently and respectfully dressed’ with knees and upper arms covered.

There are so many more wonderful places to see in Morocco, not just including the many tourist attractions but some of the hidden gems which can only be discovered through exploring the colourful markets, wandering the back streets of an array of bustling villages, and sampling some of the most delicious Moroccan delights along the way.

I always thought of Morocco was a place we would visit when the children were older but actually, knowing how much they would love to trek across the desert on camel back or eat delicious tagine in lively restaurants, I can see them enjoying it just as much while they are still young. After all, there really is nowhere quite as perfect for building sandcastles than the Sahara itself!

 

** This is a collaborative post **

 

 

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48 Comments

  1. February 2, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Loved the food and architecture but I kept getting lost in the medina. Need to return and see the souks again.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:40 pm

      Oh I am so jealous that you have been to the souks! I would love to spend a day there! xx

  2. February 3, 2018 / 9:15 am

    I really need to go to Morocco soon! I want to see Yves Saint Laurent’s palace in Marrakesh – and get lost in the souks.
    C x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:35 pm

      Marrakesh is definitely somewhere I would like to stay! There is so much to do! xx

  3. February 3, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    My daughters best friend is from Morocco and the way they describe their country is beautiful. We would love to visit one day

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:34 pm

      Oh wow, I don’t think I have ever met anyone from Morocco but I’m told the people are so welcoming! xx

  4. February 3, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    So many things to see and do – The Sahara dessert would be at the top of my list for sure – an amazing experience x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:34 pm

      Me too, I would love a camel tour! xx

  5. February 3, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    I’ve always wondered if I should put Morroco on my list and by looking at these brilliant pictures I think i might just go really soon.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:33 pm

      It’s always been somewhere I have wanted to visit, I love Moroccan food too! xx

  6. February 3, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    So many amazing things to do in Morocco. Its been on my bucket list for many years now. I just need to turn my dream into a reality

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:33 pm

      Oh me too! It’s hard to save up isn’t it? xx

  7. February 3, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Morocco sounds like an absolutely amazing place to visit! I am in love with the look and sound of the markets, that would be right up my street to find time looking around it.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:33 pm

      Oh me too, I would spend hours wandering round! xx

  8. February 3, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    I’m with you! Morocco is definitely on my bucket list, and I have friends who’ve taken children and loved it!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Oh that’s great to hear! Im sure they would love it! xx

  9. February 3, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    I’d thought about going to Morocco for the markets and food but I never knew about the rock climbing. That sounds awesome.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:31 pm

      I know! I think there is so much more to most countries than we originally think! xx

  10. February 3, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    Awesome photos and great write-up about Morocco, this has inspired us to add this to our list of places to visit

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:31 pm

      Oh that’s great! I hope you get to visit! xx

  11. February 3, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    Morocco has always been such a place of high interest for me. It’s got such a range of culture from Western Europe to Asian influences that makes it so unique. I’d love to visit and soak it all in!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 3, 2018 / 10:29 pm

      Yes I think it would be such an interesting place to visit! One day! xx

  12. February 3, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    Morocco sounds amazing there is so much character and culture . I love places where you can experience history, beautiful terrain and the the colourful markets too.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 2:14 pm

      Oh me too, you can’t beat a market and Morocco is supposed to have the best! xx

  13. February 4, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    I too have Morocco on my bucketlist and want to immerse myself in the culture, the food and tour the place.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 2:11 pm

      It looks like the most diverse country, I’m sure we would love it! xx

  14. February 4, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    Morocco always sounds like a wonderful country to visit, certainly somewhere I would chose to go to given the chance. One of the things I really want to do is go to the souqs, they always look so interesting.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      Me too! I imagine they are a real treasure trove! xx

  15. February 4, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    One of my friends worked in Morocco for a while. Never got to visit before she came back, but it’s been on my list ever since!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 6:33 pm

      Oh wow I bet that was an experience for her! I’d love to go! xx

  16. February 4, 2018 / 6:07 pm

    I’ve never of thought of Morocco as somewhere to visit, but it sounds good and some fun things to do there

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      I think there is so much to see and do there, and eat of course! xx

  17. Helen
    February 4, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    We often sit and write lists of places we want to go at some point too. Morocco is such a beautiful country and I would love to walk around the souks.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 10:51 pm

      Me too, although I bet you could get lost in them for days! xx

  18. February 4, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    Ahh we honeymooned in Morocco (whilst I was pregnant!) and loved it. We mainly stayed in Marrakech but did do a trek in the Atlas Mountains which was the most memorable bit for me. And, I’m very proud to say I navigated the souks very well! We didn’t get lost at all – I felt like a genius. I hope you make it there soon, Laura! I’d love to go back now that I’m much better at photography.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 4, 2018 / 10:49 pm

      Oh I am so jealous!! I bet it’s the most amazing place to photograph isn’t it? So many colours and those beautiful landscapes! xx

  19. February 5, 2018 / 11:37 am

    I would love to go explore Marocco, it sounds so exotic! I have been to the Sahara and I have been on a camel, it was great fun if a little scary xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 5, 2018 / 1:33 pm

      Oh wow Im so jealous Nadia! That’s on my bucket list! xx

  20. February 5, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    Morocco is on my bucket list. I always think it looks so colourful and I bet it smells amazing with all the spice markets.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 5, 2018 / 4:59 pm

      Yes I always think that too! Moroccan food is amazing too! xx

  21. February 5, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Argh the rock-climbing at that gorge completely terrifies me – Fair play to anyone who is willing to have a go. Moroccan food always looks so colourful and tasty so I’m definitely up for a visit for the food alone.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 6, 2018 / 9:31 am

      I think it would me too when it came down to it! My eldest would be right up there! xx

  22. February 5, 2018 / 11:05 pm

    You had me at tagine 🙂 Morocco is somewhere I’d definitely like to go, not least for the food. It looks amazing!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 6, 2018 / 9:29 am

      Haha yes me too! xx

  23. February 6, 2018 / 10:09 am

    My friend visits Morocco frequently and is always telling me how beautiful it is. I really need to plan a trip there one day x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 10:23 pm

      Yes it looks absolutely stunning! xx

  24. February 6, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    Morocco has always been on my list of places that I want to visit someday and this has only made me bump it higher up the list! The colours and the vast range of incredible delicacies has always tempted me! I will be saving this post so I can read it just before I go!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 10:14 pm

      Thanks Nina, it looks amazing doesn’t it? I really hope we make it over there! xx

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