By: Dan Grec
At first a little overwhelming, Morocco has an enormous amount to offer any traveler. From isolated mountain villages to white-sand beaches, breathtaking sand dunes to lush oases, Morocco has something for everyone. And that’s all before you explore ancient cities and the oldest markets in the Arabian world!
You can hang out sipping delicious sweet tea in the ancient market of Fes. Take notice of the lack of cars. Everything must be carried into the ancient city walls by man or beast, so keep your eyes out for passing donkey-drawn carts – a frequent sight. Fabrics burst vibrantly out of markets and vegetables and spices of every flavor and color are packed into every corner. Handmade jewelry, local crafts and leather products abound. Haggling over price is not only common, it’s expected, and locals will respect you more for trying your hand at some friendly negotiation.
Make your way to the South to where you can ride a camel into the mighty Sahara Desert, and spend a night under a blanket of stars unseen anywhere else on earth. You will eat specially prepared tanjin and play drums late into the night with local Berber nomads. Be sure to bring your camera, you are going to want to remember this one.
In central Morocco you can rent a car or take a guided 4×4 excursion through enormous canyons and high up into the famous Atlas Mountains to visit breathtaking waterfalls and lakes. Keep your eyes peeled for troops of wild monkeys gliding through the trees. Children riding donkey-drawn carts are an endless source of entertainment, as they laugh and play boisterously.
Venture into Marrakech and the world-famous street market to sample all manner of food and be entertained by street performers and one-of-a-kind stall operators. While in the city don’t miss the 12th century Mosque, 16th century tombs and one of the oldest universities in the world dating back to the 14th century!
No visit to this magical city is complete without watching a snake charmer play his mystical tune, enticing cobras to sway and dance on command – just make sure you negotiate the price for photos before you start snapping away!
If you are looking to relax, take some time out and visit one of the many natural oases dotted throughout – where spring water bubbles up from the ground creating a lush green paradise.
And yes, they really are surrounded by palm trees – it’s not a mirage!
Or, if you prefer, take a trip to the warm coast and laze on the white sand beaches of Casablanca or Rabat, before rubbing shoulders with Morocco’s elite shopping for designer clothes and cars, before dancing the night away in hopping european-style bars and nightclubs.
Take a deep breath, and venture into a new world that is Morocco.
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