Another great guide from Dave’n’Deb at ThePlanetD
Morocco is a fascinating multicultural country blended from African, Arab and European influences. It is our closest link to the continent of Africa and a diverse holiday destination. The country offers an incredible amount of history, culture, art and music along with a fascinating geographical landscape incorporating the Sahara desert, the snow capped Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic coastline. This Morocco travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Morocco Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Moroccan power voltage is 127/220 V 60 Hz; Power sockets C & E
- The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD) and is around 9.50 MAD to 1 USD
- In the north of Morocco, visitors will find the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, claimed by Morocco and considered by the Moroccan state to be “occupied territory.” In these two towns, the main currency is the euro.
- Tipping is a way of life in Morocco; almost any service can warrant a tip so make sure to bring small bills.
- Haggling is also a way of life in Morocco. NEVER pay the asking price, vendors often double or even triple the prices of an item to allow some wiggle room through the haggling process.
- If you are not Muslim, you are not allowed in many of the mosques. Exceptions include the partially restored Almohad structure of Tin Mal in the High Atlas, the similarly disused Great Mosque at Smara in the Western Sahara, the courtyard of the sanctuary-mosque of Moulay Ismail in Meknes and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.
- Moroccan laws towards alcohol are quite liberal however drinking alcohol in public places is not recommended. During Ramandan, try to avoid drinking, eating or smoking in public during the hours of fasting.
Top Packing Tips for Morocco Travel
Morocco is about the size of France with coasts upon the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea and has an arid climate. The coastal regions generally have a Mediterranean climate, however as travellers move further inland the conditions can become more extreme and elevation can play a role in the changeable weather conditions. Morocco is also a Muslim country
- Modesty is respected and travellers are expected to follow the country’s etiquette. In villages and small towns, and even in the medinas of large cities, many women still wear the veal and the street is seen as strictly the man’s domain. Women travellers should avoid wearing revealing clothes, like short shorts, low cut shirts or thin-strapped blouses.
- Sarongs – I think we have sarongs in every packing list. From covering up when visiting mosques, being used as a towel or keeping cool on a hot night.
- Pack loose clothing with breathable fabric – cover up with fabric you know will breathe, especially if you plan on heading into the Sahara desert or to one of the coastal regions. Tunics are a great option as they can be dressed up or down, are light weigtht and offer good coverage.
- Footwear – Pack a pair of lightweight, durable and comfortable shoes. Moroccan streets can be dusty and unclean so if you are uncomfortable with the idea getting your little piggies dirty then opt for closed toe shoes instead of sandals/flip flops.
- Kleenex / toilet paper – it is quite common that restaurant restrooms do not offer toilet paper to patrons, so make sure you are prepared. Also, don’t be surprised if you encounter squat toilets!
Top Things to do in Morocco
- Enjoy a Four-Wheeling Adventure – join the guides of Dunes Desert Exploration and take a three hour tour in the desert on your very own dune buggy or quad bike.
- Surf’s up – Taghazout is a small fishing village 19 km north of the city of Agadir in the south west of Morocco and houses some of country’s best surf spots. It is nestled amongst a set of small bays just south of the legendary surf breaks of Anchor Point, Killers and Mysteries.
- Snowboard – yes you heard right … Morocco is home of the Atlas Ranges and the tallest mountain in North Africa, Jebel Toubkel. Skiing and snowboarding is possible from late November to early March, with January and February being the most snow-sure months.
- Go to a Hammam – A Hammam is a hot steam bath followed by a massage. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? It definitely can be quite the experience!
- Shop until you drop – forget about malls, get lost walking through the the medias of Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier, Fes and Marakech. Take your time perusing the merchandise but make sure to haggle heavily to get the best price!
- Visit Fes – Fes is the oldest city in the country and the Medina (or Fes el-Bali) is a World Heritage site. Fez is also famous for its leather products and most of it comes from the leather bazaar (souq). The souq is home to three ancient leather tanneries, the largest and oldest being the Chouara Tannery, which is almost a thousand years old.
- Take a cooking course – learn how to cook traditional Morrocans dishes from a gourmet chef while enjoying great conversations, appetizers and tea.
- Watch the sun rise on a Merzouga morning – to experience a desert sunrise is an unforgettable experience and the best place to do so is at the Merzouga sand dunes or Erg Chebbi
- Take in the colours of the Dades Gorge – There is nothing in the world quite like the Dades Valley. The mineral rich Dades Gorge sparkles in many hues of blue and green as well as white and red.
- Spend a day in Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech – one of the main cultural spaces in Marrakech, this square has become one of the symbols of the city. During the day it is home to juice stalls and snake charmers and as night falls is transformed into a food market where you can purchase some of the amazing culinary delights of Morocco.