A few years ago (before I had a decent camera) I spent a month travelling Morocco seeing as much as we could from the coast to the mountains. As with any travelling endeavour there were some hits and some misses (mainly sampling the flavourless snails and getting horrendous food poisoning from dodgy meat). Here are some of my highlights from the trip that I would recommend to anyone planning to travel around the country.
Watch the sunrise in the Sahara Desert
We spent three days on a trip through the Atlas Mountains, Todra and Dades Gorges, culminating with a night sleeping in the Sahara Desert. On the final morning we were awoken at 5am and climbed aboard our camels to reach a view point on the dunes to watch the sun come up. From our view point we could see vast desert and the Algerian border in the distance as we watched the sunrise in the east which was truly a site to behold and a moment I will never forget.
Sleep on a Roof
We arrived in Fez at a hotel just inside the city walls that had been recommended by a fellow traveller earlier on in our trip. Sadly when we arrived at the entrance the guy in charge told us there were no rooms available. Just as we were about to turn on our heels and plod off into the midday heat to find somewhere else he said “but you can sleep on the roof if you want.” We were sold and were promptly shown to where we would be laying our heads that evening. A mattress (of sorts) and blankets were provided and sleeping under the stars and being woken up by the early morning call to prayer from then nearby mosque was truly magical.
We headed north from Fez to the Chefchaouen which is undoubtedly one of the prettiest places in Morocco. The blue and whitewashed buildings and relaxed atmosphere give the town an entirely different feel to rest of the country which can most likely be attributed to its Spanish influences. From here we took a taxi to the luscious Rif mountains where we enjoyed a day of hiking and watching the crazy locals diving dangerously into the rock pools.
Spend an afternoon in the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech
Marrakech is a bustling city and combined with the intense North African heat it can become quite exhausting. A friend had advised us to check out the Jardin Majorelle just outside the main city walls and it served as the ideal retreat from the hot afternoon sun. The gardens were designed by the French artist Jacques Majorelle and were owned by Yves Saint-Laurent whose ashes were scattered there following his death in 2008. The shaded pathways lined with tropical plants, calming water features and cooling blue buildings make for a relaxing atmosphere in stark contrast to the medina.
These are just a few highlights and as you can imagine there were many more. If you have anything you’d like to add or you have any questions about travelling in Morocco please feel free to get in touch or comment below.