Morocco travel guide
Morocco is a country which straddles a great many cultures, philosophies and beliefs yet somehow manages to project an image that is at once both distinctive and remarkable.
Hugging the North West bulge of Africa the country’s influences include everything from Mediterranean, Arabic and European which are in turn mixed with a fundamentally African identity. The result is a wonderful fusion which, with its beautiful scenery and hospitable people, makes for an excellent holiday destination.
Visit the coastal city of Casablanca, is the world’s largest artificial port and home to one of the most important mosques in the Muslim world, the Hassan II Mosque. Take a trip to nearby Fes and explore the medina with the impressive Bou Inania Medersa which is considered a masterpiece of Marinid architecture. Take time to admire the many holy shrines and be sure to explore the University of Al-Karaouine, the oldest university in the world.
Discover Marrakech and its spellbinding markets where you can try your hand at negotiating a decent price for the high quality clothing items, or drift through the old town soaking up the atmosphere. Visit the elaborately decorated Dar Si Said Museum and find out more about region’s culture and art.
Rabat is another enchanting city that draws visitors from the world over. With a cosmopolitan vibe and wide boulevards it holds a number of festivals and celebrations throughout the year. The area’s cultural and architectural heritage is priceless and the city is a delight for artists and photographers.
A trip to Morocco is a unique peek into a country with a diverse and remarkable inheritance, an experience that will not easily be forgotten
Morocco has an interesting climate with a variety of factors influencing temperatures and conditions in different regions. The coastal regions are fairly temperate with mild winters and comfortable, warm summers. The Atlantic serves to moderate temperatures in cities like Casablanca, and rainfall is generally infrequent.
Further inland the effect of the Sahara desert begins to be felt as conditions become inevitably drier, hotter and more intense. Winters in the interior are almost non-existent although as with most desert regions, temperatures can drop abruptly in the evenings.
For the latest weather info use the Pampo weather forecast tool.
United Kingdom passport holders do not require a visa to enter Morocco and are able to stay for up to 3 months from the date of entry. An extension after this three month period can be obtained by visiting a police station. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry.
Additional countries that do not require a visa include: the United States and Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, Romania and Qatar.
All other nationals should check with their local Moroccan Consulate or Embassy for visa requirements.
Dip your toe into the incredibly diverse world of Moroccan cuisine by trying Harira, the traditional soup of Morocco. Often eaten by the Muslim population to break fast, Harira consists of tomatoes, lentils, onions, chickpeas, rice, a mixture of dry herbs and spices, eggs and a small amount of meat comprising either beef, lamb or chicken. The soup is very often served with dried fruits like dates or figs.
Keep an eye out for the delicious main course Mrouzia which is a traditional lamb stew made with honey, almonds and cinnamon as well as spices such as clove, chilli peppers, cumin, nutmeg and turmeric.
Sardines are extremely popular in Morocco and one of the best of many sardine recipes in the country is Moroccan Sardine Balls which are served in a tangy tomato sauce. Puréed sardines are rolled into small bite-sized balls and mixed with spices including paprika, cumin, parsley, coriander and garlic then served in a wonderfully thick, spicy tomato sauce.
Being a predominantly Muslim country drinking alcohol is not especially popular although you can still be served beer and other alcoholic drinks at some restaurants.
Try the local Spéciale Flag beer which is a slightly sweet Pilsner often referred to as a “light” beer. This is confusing as its ABV is around 5.2%. It can be very refreshing though especially with the constant heat you are likely to encounter on your trip making you extra thirsty.
Stork is a light lager and an excellent choice on a hot day. Smooth and crisp it is easy to drink with a mellow finish, light body and thirst slaking aftertaste.
Two well known cocktails are also worth a try, the originally named Moroccan Cocktail and the Moroccan Mint Tea. The Moroccan Cocktail is served in a short glass garnished with a lemon wheel and is traditionally fairly strong. Its base is gin blended with a shot of Cointreau and a dash of Orange Curaçao. The drink is sweet and smooth.
Moroccan Mint Tea is a light cocktail served in a long glass with a lime wedge. The drink is made up of vodka, plenty of iced tea, lime cordial and fresh whole mint leaves.
The currency used in Morocco is the Dirham symbolised as Dh. One Dh is divided into 100 centimes. For the latest info on your rates, please use the Pampo exchange rates calculator.
Mohammed V International Airport (CMN)
Marrakech-Menara Airport (RAK)
Saiss International Airport (FEZ)
Casablanca-Anfa Airport (CAS)
The Arabic name for Morocco is Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiya and means literally “The Western Kingdom”
Although Morocco is in Africa it shares a border with Spain on its northern frontier (a water border through the Strait of Gibraltar)
The national dish of Morocco is couscous
The University of Al-Karaouine in Fez was founded in 859AD and is the oldest university in the world, it is a particularly revered institution in the Muslim world
Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956
The most popular drink in the country is mint tea
Jack Kerouac and Tennessee Williams were two famous American expats who lived in Morocco and frequented Tangiers Café de Paris
The population of Morocco is 31,993,000