Morocco is the definition of sensory overload. The colors of the bustling marketplace are bold and vibrant, the scent of spices and fresh cooked tagine meet you at every turn, and the muezzin's melodious call to prayer echoes through the streets. There's so much to take in across this North African nation; the mental snapshots you take truly last a lifetime. While there are countless ways to experience the Kingdom of Morocco, here are a few unforgettable moments to inspire your next trip.
1. Boat Ride to Tangier
There are many ways to arrive in Morocco but the most incredible by far just might be by boat. If making your way from Europe, the Tarifa-Tangier Ferry is as scenic as it gets. Running 12 times a day, the hour-long journey takes you from the Andalusia region of southern Spain called Tarifa into Tangier; the true gateway between Africa and Europe. Time your trip to a sunset for the full effect and top photo ops.
2. Haggling in the Marrakesh Marketplace
The Djemaa El Fna, or main square, in Marrakesh is home to dozens of vendors selling everything from textiles to chess boards, to carpets to electronics, to mountains of spices, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and snails if you're feeling peckish! It's an impressive scene no matter the time of day during the usual 9 AM to 11 PM hours of operation. Be sure to practice your haggling before you hit the streets. You'll need it!
3. Trekking through the Desert
It's almost impossible not to hear the soaring strings of the "Lawrence of Arabia" theme in your head as you make your way through the desert (Fun fact: desert scenes from the movie were filmed both in Morocco and Jordan!) It truly feels like a movie set with scenery that's almost too gorgeous to be real! The Erg Chebbi or Merzouga Desert is located at the edge of the Sahara Desert and known for its massive pink dunes. Morocco's other Saharan Erg, the Erg Chigaga is is a newer destination boasting a vast landscape of lower dunes. If you're not in the mood to travel hours and hours from your stay in Marrakesh, Palm Grove offers another scenic and camel-accompanied experience through thousands of palm, olive, and fruit trees that date back centuries.
4. Getting the Blues
The northwestern mountain city of Chefchaouen is a sight to behold and an IG travel influencer's dream. The old winding streets are blue-washed in a stunning hue that has inspired explanations ranging from a way to ward of mosquitos to an effort to make the city stand out from the mountains to a tradition brought by a Sephardic Jewish community who hoped to paint the city like the sky. The city itself is tricky to get to and there isn't actually much to do they but relax and explore. The Mini Blue City in the old medina of Rabat gives you a taste of the breath-taking color scheme while placing you closer to the magnificent seaside and the nation's capital.
5. Treating my Tastebuds
The alliteration doesn't stop there. The top Moroccan treats include tagine and tea. Moroccan mint (or Maghrebi) tea to be exact. Poured from ornately crafted silver kettles and sipped from gold lief-ed glass tumblers, you can find people sharing this delicious drink all day long. The green tea steeped with tons of spearmint is a symbol of hospitality and culture.
Your hunger doesn't stand a chance against the aromatic mountain of tagine (also spelled tajine) served in distinct ceramic cookware by the same name. The dish's exact ingredients vary widely but is comparable to a slow-cooked stew that mixes meat or fish and vegetables as well as fruits, nuts, olives, lemons, and herbs. Yum!
6. Learning a Thing or Two About Architecture
Moroccan architecture is a beautiful mix of its past. And it shows! Madrassa Bou Inania, located in Fes (or Fez) located in Morocco's inland, is a stunning example of Marinid and historic Moroccan architecture. Designed as a school for Islamic teaching back in the 14th century, this historic site has it all. Big brass doors, a marble-paved courtyard, and a brick minaret decorated with Morocco's answer to the fleur-de-lis (called the sebka), and eye catching details everywhere!
The list could go on between exploring ancient ruins in Marrakesh, biking through the Atlas mountains, surfing in Essaouira, relaxing in a hammam. Make Morocco your own and day dream 'till you get there!