Sitting on the upper ridge of North Africa, Morocco has developed its personality with influences from the leisurely Mediterranean, bustling West Africa, and the devout Middle East. It may be no destination for tranquility seekers, but Morocco delivers a fascinating experience to anyone with energy for and interest in discovering a new perspective. Whether you primarily hit major cities or try to stay off the beaten path, there are several very distinct regions of Morocco that you can’t miss. If you’re looking for the complete Morocco experience, you’ll have to strap in for the medinas, gear up for the mountains and prepare yourself for a vacation you’ll never forget.
1. The Atlantic Coast: Whether you make it to Agadir, Essaouira or Casablanca, the Moroccan Atlantic Coast is an undeveloped stretch of beach towns, forts and harbors that sit outside the inland chaos. You’ll have the chance to remember what stillness feels like as you face away from the street and wait for the hazy neon sunset to come.
2. The Medina: The medinas of Morocco are walled cities that house everything essential in Moroccan daily life. From the chaotic souks (markets) selling dates by the kilo and lavishly decorated leather shoes, to the more tranquil hamams (baths) and mosques, half the fun is in getting lost. Whether you’re wandering around the medinas of Fes or the more manageable Marrakech, the journey is actually quite fun as long as you have a major landmark, some extra time and a big sense of adventure.
3. The Sahara Desert: The Sahara Desert has a certain prestige amongst deserts. Still hosting generations of nomadic groups who continue to live by traditional survival methods, the desert has managed to remain very much the same in a rapidly urbanizing world. A trip to the Sahara is mysteriously alluring for visitors to Morocco. In spite of the harsh climate, its absolute vastness and true remoteness gives you a chance to see something that you really can’t imagine without being there yourself.
4. The High Atlas Mountains: This tall mountain range in Central Morocco spans east toward the Algerian border. While this North African mountain range is an interesting spot for climbers, there are also plenty of opportunities for the less vertically inclined. Its steep peaks can challenge even the most experienced climbers, but the High Atlas also offers a chance for travelers looking to escape the city or connect with the country’s Berber population on shorter trips.
It takes the right kind of attitude to enjoy, but if you’re ready for a big change of–pace, scenery, climate, and altitude–Morocco will deliver.
Ever been to Morocco? What was your favorite spot? (Click here if you can’t see the comments below: Mountains, Medinas, & Other Must See Morocco)