Morocco is, after all, the country where the Sahara Desert comes to a stop on the striking waves of the Atlantic Ocean and once-nomadic Berber tribes have made their homes in walled-cities high in the Atlas Mountains, the country Morocco has some truly picturesque scenes, which should shock no one. It is another matter of knowing where to find these iconic scenes. To get a peek into what makes Morocco special, better check out these five destinations.
The walled city of Aït Benhaddou is perhaps even more splendid while the medina in nearby Ouarzazate gets most of the noticed. The sand-colored buildings of its kasbah merge almost smoothly into the desert mountains and are situated in the Atlas Mountains. Hit films including The Mummy, Gladiator, Babel, and Prince of Persia have all used the town as a set which made the town a popular filming site in recent years.
Situated a few hours drive west of Marrakech on the Atlantic Ocean is Essaouira. Contrasting to the more desert-colored themes of other Moroccan cities, its white walls and buildings with blue trimming stand in desolate. The main charisma is the seafood restaurants and small shops in the medina although the town’s sandy beach is a good place for a short ride with camel and windsurfing. As if it’s safeguarding the city from the waves, the city wall stretches along the sea and is the place to be daily at sundown.
Fez has an absolutely different feel to it compared to the cities of the more desert-like southern Morocco, as it’s situated in an area of forested mountains and has a correspondingly crisp climate and it is part of northern Morocco. There lies the world’s largest active medina inside its walls, a literal puzzle of small lanes loaded with bazaars, cafes, and shops.
Classic Moroccan city, Marrakech and when one thinks of Morocco, odds are that the city’s palaces, spice markets, and mosques are the first things that come to mind. It is a must on any trip to spend a few days in a riad (grandeur guest house) right in the medina and shopping at the bazaars and munching at the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square.
Check out the Atlas Mountains Hotel in the small village of Amizmiz if you wanted to get out of the city and be alone in the crowd a bit. In the jagged and remote High Atlas Mountains, this small town is situated about 60 kilometers south of Marrakech.
Just across from Gibraltar, Tangier is at the very northern tip of Morocco and is a popular entry point for travelers arriving via ferry from Spain. Tangier was a popular stomping ground for Beat-generation poets and authors in the 50s and once legendary for its bohemian lifestyle. There’s still a unique je nes sais quoi that makes the city above and beyond interesting to check and discover while most of the city’s care-free spirit has given way to greater tourism.