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HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF MOROCCO IN NINE DAYS


Morocco is a unique and glorious country which is home to numerous wonderful cities and attractions for tourists. In this blog below I will explain to you why it is definitely worth visiting and how you can organise your time to make the most out of your trip, let's get started!


Chefchaouen


Chefchaouen is in the north-east of Morocco and is renowned for its' spectacular blue buildings throughout the city, making it one of the most picturesque places to visit in the country.

The beautiful blue of Chefcaouen

In the heart of this city there are many landmarks that will impress you, starting with the Kasbah of Chefchaouen. This term comes from Arabic for "fortress" and this structure holds great historical importance, having been used as a base in the past to help fight against Portuguese forces.


You can enjoy the views from the watchtowers, have a look at the cells that prisoners used to stay in, which will give you a real sense of what life was like during conflict. Furthermore, do not forget to visit the ethnographic museum inside the fortification which includes precious Moroccan artefacts which will paint the picture of Chefchaouen even more for you.

The Kasbah of Chefcaouen

A second attraction that you should plan to visit is the Grand Mosque of Chefchaouen. If you are not Muslim you will not be allowed inside in the mosque, however you can still appreciate the spectacular structure of the building from the outside as well as taking in the wonderful views from the top of the hill where the mosque is located. If you see the picture below there is no surprise as to why this city is known as "The blue pearl of Morocco".



Fez


A four hour drive from Chefcaouen, Fez is the oldest of Morocco's imperial cities, which stands out for its' famous Medina called Fez el Bali, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Two of the main streets of the Medina are Talaa Sghira and Talaa Khbira.

Fez el Bali Medina

As you can see in the photo above you will find some incredible market stalls in the Medina, with locals selling items such as fruits and spices. This is an ideal chance for you to buy some authentic Moroccan goods that are made locally. If you want to spice up your camera roll you must take the opportunity to capture the image of the main entrance to the Medina, Bab Boujeloud. The structure with three arches and a facade made with blue tiled mosaics is displayed in the picture below.

Bab Boujeloud

What else is worth visiting in Fez? Well, I'm happy you asked! The Bou Inania Madrasa.


You might be thinking, well what is a Madrasa exactly? This word comes from the Arabic for school and these buildings are used as religious educational centres.

Bou Inania Madrasa

Upon your trip to Fez you will be able to visit the central courtyard of the Madrasa and enjoy the stunning architecture, including the elegance of the green tiled roof. A real interesting fact here is that a type of tile called zellige was used to decorate the lower walls and pillars of this structure. Zellige is a common type of Moroccan art form that can be found on many buildings in the country, typically made from a unique type of clay.


Make sure you look out for this form of design when you are touring around the country!


Azrou


You must visit here to see the Azrou monkeys! These monkeys live in the cedar forest and are a really unique part of this town which is 89km south of Fez. There are 3 spots in particular where you can meet these animals. You can learn about the specific areas of these places here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g616013-c145720/Azrou:Morocco:Barbary.Apes.In.The.Cedar.Forest.html



Ziz Valley


Do you want to enjoy the exquisite gardens, rocky walls and gorges of the beautiful Ziz Valley? Whilst visiting this valley you will find the largest palm grove in the whole of Morocco.





Merzouga Desert


Camel Riding in the Merzouga desert

How does riding across this beautiful desert on a camel sound to you? This is a thrilling experience that you do not want to miss out on! Or would you prefer more of an adrenaline-filled activity? If so, you can opt for a desert safari in a 4x4 vehicle, where you will race through the sand dunes with speed and admire the sensational views and sunset.


TIP- A quick tip is to do these activities early in the morning or much later in the afternoon, as you will be too hot during the middle of the day.


You might be thinking about accommodation and where to stay overnight in the desert- look no further than Jaimas Madu- where you can enjoy a glamping experience. Sleeping in a tent with air conditioning, being offered a glorious five course meal as well as listening to traditional music around the campfire, what is not to like?


Erfoud

This town is full of ancient fortifications, for example Maadid and is very well known for its' oases. In particular the Tafilalt oasis is of great interest- the largest in Morocco and second largest in the whole of the continent. You can see the wonderful groves in the image below that will take your breath away!



Valley of the Roses


This really is such an amazing sight. Located high up in the Atlas Mountains, every year during the main growing season around 3000 to 4000 tonnes of wild roses are made. It is quite a stunning statistic and when you visit here on May you will see for yourself the abundance of flowers- it is quite remarkable.



Todra Gorge


A natural oasis with walls measuring over 400 metres in height. You can do several activities at the gorge, including hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. If you do not fancy anything too strenuous, just have a wander and take in the wonderful structures. Make sure you capture all the best moments on camera as well!



Ouarzazate


Known as "The gate to the desert" and "The Hollywood of Morocco", this city is somewhere you must visit during your trip to Morocco! If you are a cinephile, then this city needs to be on the top of your to do list.



DID YOU KNOW- Some Game of Thrones scenes were filmed in Ouarzazate! You can visit the Atlas Studios for just €8 per person. These studios were used for filming the series, which are located just a few kilometres from the city.


As you can see in the picture below, the facade of the studios is a sight to behold, do not forget to capture this wonderful sight.

The Atlas Studios

Ait Ben Haddou


From Ouarzazate you can travel onto Ait Ben Haddou- it is only around a half an hour journey. This journey will be well worth your time to see the Kasbah, which is recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO. This fortified village, made with clay, was founded in the 11th century and then reconstructed in the 17th century.

The Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou

Interestingly the Ksar has also been used to film movies such as Gladiator, Indiana Jones and The Jewel of the Nile.


Marrakesh


Marrakesh is the most visited imperial city in Morocco, which is no surprise considering the wide variety of attractions it has to offer. Just like in Fez, the Medina in Marrakesh is very popular. In the Medina there are very narrow streets with little markets selling products- "Souks". The main one is Souk Semmarine, where pottery, spices, carpets, leather goods and Islamic clothing can be found.

A local store in Marrakesh

In the evening during your trip to Marrakesh, you must take advantage of the sight of the Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which is located in the Medina. You will hear some lovely music with flute players as you wander through the square and visit the market stalls.


Jemaa el-Fnaa

Jardin Majorelle. Even the name sounds wonderful, right? Created by the French artist Jacques Majorelle, this botanical garden is two and a half acres in size. This is one of Marrakesh's most popular tourist destinations, because it is a great way to explore the cultural heritage of Morocco, whilst being in the beauty of nature.

Jardin Majorelle

Jacques Majorelle managed to grow 135 species of plants from 5 different continents and some examples of plants found in the garden are cacti and yucca plant. You are bound to be amazed!


Casablanca


I want to talk to you about a very special building in Casablanca, situated in the west of the country. The sight of the Hassan II Mosque will really blow you away when you approach it.


DID YOU KNOW- The Hassan II Mosque is the second largest functioning mosque in Africa and its' minaret is over 200 metres in height, making it the second highest in the world!

Hassan II Mosque

Something that will please you even more is that non-Muslims are allowed to go inside the mosque, meaning that everyone is welcome :) . As I mentioned in the Bou Inania Madrasa section of this blog which comes under Fez, a particular type of mosaic craftwork called zellige is very common in Moroccan architectural design. As you may be able to tell from the image above, this type of mosaic is also found on the Hassan II Mosque. This is an extremely wonderful place to visit, standing on a platform next to the Atlantic Ocean, it is such a unique experience and I encourage you to allow time on your trip to Morocco to see this beautiful mosque.



Rabat


The Mausoleum of Mohammed V really is a joy to behold! Inside the museum you will find the tombs of King Mohammed V and his two sons. This is an important monument as King Mohammed V was the grandfather of the current Monarch of Morocco (Mohammed VI).

Mausoleum of Mohammed V

As you can see in the image above the mausoleum is decorated with some glamorous green tiles, again developed from the zellige art form. The inside walls of the building are engraved with Koranic handwriting. Non-Muslims are permitted entry into this mausoleum, so everyone is welcome to get a feel for some prestigious Moroccan architecture.



Thank you for reading this blog. I wanted to give you all a great summary of how YOU can make the most of your trip to Morocco. It really is an experience you do not want to miss out on! If you can’t wait and need to see it straight away, make sure to join us on our trip to Morocco! Find more information here.



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