Africa

15 days in Morocco – 2018

Gateway to Africa, Morocco amazes young and old, students left for a backpack adventure and families looking for a change of scenery close to France, the diversity of its landscapes, its sense of home, its gastronomy and its low cost of living.

Dive into the souks of bubbling Marrakech , venture into the High Atlas Mountains , explore the maze of alleys of Fes el-Bali … the options are endless in this region of the Maghreb which includes no less than 9 sites classified World Heritage of UNESCO! Whether you go there for the first time or rediscover the country, a  stay in Morocco always invites you to come back, so here is a proposal for a route, to modify, enrich, shorten or lengthen according to your desires.

But above all, here are some practical tips to help you organize your trip to Morocco  :

  • When to go? There is no season to avoid properly. However, spring offers a temperate climate in much of the country and the blooming landscapes are worth a look.
  • How to move? Several options are available to you: the bus is an economical and practical solution since three big companies plow the roads of the country: CTM , Supratours or SATAS for the south. Another alternative: the car rental , which offers more freedom and above all, an even more unique experience … Prepare to use the horn!
  • Is it dangerous to travel to Morocco? The country welcomes thousands of tourists each year and remains a safe destination for tourism. However, we recommend that you consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before planning your trip.

Day 1/2: Marrakech

Arrived in Marrakech , largest city of Morocco, the magic operates from the beginning. Its medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, concentrates many of the city’s attractions: the Koutoubia minaret , the Jemaa-el-Fnaa square and the Bandiâ palace . You can not make your choice? Read our top 10 things to do in Marrakech  !

Source: Instagram @baya_iyi

Day 3: Ait-Ben-Haddou

Marrakech, fascinating but exhausting? It’s time to take the air, heading south-east towards the High Atlas Mountains. A first stop at Ait Ben Haddou , located about 3 hours from Marrakech road, you will discover the Ksar most famous of the country . Perched on a hill, this set of traditional pre-Saharan habitats offers an atypical setting with the air of Mont Saint-Michel Berber!

Source: Instagram @k_kwette

Day 4/5/6: Ouarzazate and its surroundings

This is where your journey into the High Atlas Mountains begins. The ocher tones are more intense and the air drier: you have arrived at the “Door of the desert”! An important film center since the 1950s, Ouallywood will not detain you for more than a few hours.

Source: Instagram @liang

However, it is a perfect base for exploring the region: the Drâa Valley, home to the largest palm grove in Morocco, the Roses Valley or the majestic Dades Gorge  surrounded by a multitude of ksours and orchards. Three days will be far from enough to see all the wonders of the region.

Day 7: Ouzoud Waterfalls

If you ask a Moroccan what is the most beautiful natural site in the country, he is likely to quote the waterfalls of Ouzoud . Although the falls are more abundant between March and June, these impressive cascades of 110 m height can be visited all the year.

Source: Instagram @jorgecanudas

Day 8/9: Fez

Dive into the dark alleyways of Fez el-Bali , wander amidst the maelstrom of vendors, craftsmen and onlookers, soak up its medieval atmosphere by visiting one of its  Medersas(Koranic schools) and discover the tannery of Chouara , nearly a thousand years old. To overcome the sometimes heady smell when approaching tanneries, a tip: buy a few sprigs of fresh mint to put under your nose!

Source: Instagram @instasiman

Also make a detour to the royal palace , the oldest in Morocco, the Seffarine square and the fondouks , these buildings with their particular architecture housing many craftsmen’s workshops. You have understood: Fez, more than any other Moroccan city, is fascinating.

Day 10: Volubilis

Nestled in the middle of a very fertile agricultural area where olive trees are legions, the Roman remains of Volubilis constitute one of the most beautiful testimony of the Roman influence in the region . Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site includes the ruins of a triumphal arch, a basilica and several villas with beautiful mosaics. If your visit ends early, you can also visit the beautiful holy city of Moulay Idriss, just 5 km away.

Source: Instagram @francahengstermann

Day 11: Meknes

Twenty-five kilometers of ramparts surround this imperial city, sometimes nicknamed the “Versailles of Morocco”, which can be accessed by one of its monumental gates. Once inside, you will discover a surprising and lively city. To feel the pulse of the city, approach the streets around the palace Dar Jamaï  and engulf you in the souks of El Dlala , Kissaria or el Sabbat .

Source: Instagram @celtandkiwi

Staying overnight can also be a good option to enjoy the sunset on the ramparts. For this, appointment (with your camera, of course) on the hill where the hotel Transatlantique rises for a magnificent view of the northern part. To admire the southern part, it is on the side of the royal stud that you will have to go.

Day 12: Casablanca

We continue our journey west along the coast to the largest city in the country. While Casablanca , or Casa for the intimate, may not have the charm of Marrakech, but it still deserves a glance, if only for its amazing art deco architecture and the Hassan II mosque , including the minaret is 210 meters high!

Source: Instagram @danielaruf

And if you ever decide to stay a few days, here are our top 10 things to do in Casablanca .

Day 13/14: Essaouira

Last step of this route: Essaouira, the occasion of a well deserved rest at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. A bit bohemian, the city invites to stroll on its beautiful fishing port , along its long golden beaches or on a terrace of one of its excellent restaurants . You want to finish your trip to Morocco in beauty? Book a night in one of the city’s riads and enjoy a good hammam session!

Source: Instagram @kelsiespassport

And if you have a little more time, do not hesitate to explore the surroundings: take the car in the direction of Agadir , make a first stop at the Berber village of Diabat (made famous by the visit of Jimi Hendrix in the 70s ) then continue to  Sidi Kouaki . You may come across an argan oil cooperative on your way, stop to know the secrets of its manufacturing process and then, for the bravest, push up to the waterfalls of Sidi M’Barek and the valley of Paradise . Promised, you will not regret it!

Day 15: Return to Marrakech

Back to the starting point, it’s time to buy the last memories: spices and dried fruits, pottery, leather objects, etc … and take a deep breath to bring some of the magic of Morocco with you!

What do you think of this route? Have you ever made a trip to Morocco?

15 days in Morocco – 2018
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Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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