Morocco Travel Guide
Morocco has got to be one of the world’s most exotic and exciting travel destinations. Located in northern Africa, but easily accessible by train or ferry from Europe, this relatively small country at 446,550 sq km, offers a unique mix of African, European and middle eastern influences. It’s rich in history and culture, but also a great adventure travel destination. Visits to the great imperial cities of Marrakech, Fez, Rabat and Meknes are a must, while other wonderful cities shouldn’t be missed, like Casablanca, Essaouira, and my favourite, Chefchaouen, the blue city.
For those seeking a little more adventure, great hikes in stunning mountain ranges are available. None are more popular than a trek to the top of Mount Toubkal. At 4,167metres above sea level, it is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountain range. It’s possible to complete the trek in two days, although it’s recommended to give yourself at least double this to reach the summit. Mountain refuges are available along the trekking route for accommodations. Once at the peak, you’ll be greeted with some of the most stunning views in all of Morocco.
More adventurous still, and in my opinion, should be on everyone’s bucket list is a trip to the Sahara desert. Many tour operators will organize such an excursion and will drive you to the starting point, where the rest of the journey into the desert will be on camel back. In the heart of the Sahara, you’ll camp at a traditional bedouin style camp. At night, will be greeted with the magnificence of millions of stars in the night sky. A trip to the Sahara desert is unlike any other excursion in the world and few can say that they’ve experienced it. Should you decide to go with a local tour operator, make sure they have an animal welfare policy to ensure the camels are not being exploited and are well taken care of.
While travelling in Morocco, women in particular should be wary of local men offering to marry them in exchange for camels. A firm and consistent ‘no’ is your best response. It’s unfortunate that women continue to experience this kind of harassment, but it shouldn’t stop you from traveling to Morocco, as it is definitely a country not to be missed.
Finally, street performers often make use of trained monkeys to perform tricks to engage with tourists. It’s best to stay clear from these entertainers, as the monkeys are often treated extremely poorly. They are often forced to wear heavy chains and crammed into small boxes when not performing for tourists. Additionally, in order to be trained to obey human commands, monkeys suffer cruel beatings at the hands of their masters. As a sustainable traveler, you can do your part by refraining to pay for such performances, and avoiding performance monkeys altogether.
Morocco is unlike many other destinations in the world. With its relatively easy access as well, it should not be missed by any intrepid traveler. Be sure to enjoy the culturally rich cities but also make time to go on an adventure as well, and you’ll be sure to have the time of your life. By staying local and avoiding the typical pitfalls of mass tourism, you can lessen your environmental and social footprint, allowing you to enjoy a fun, exciting and responsible holiday in Morocco.