- Visit the fishing village of Essaouira . Try your luck at surfing or just admire the city walls.
- Use Marrakech as a base and plan to do some trekking in the Atlas Mountains.
- Volubilis and Lixus are two ancient Roman sites easily reachable from the capital Rabat. The latter is way off the beaten path.
Why you should add Morocco to your RTW travel listOf course, visiting Morocco won’t be complete without seeing some of the major sights that makes it famous. Here are some ideas on what to do if you’ve never been there or plan on staying for a while.
- Spend your time checking out the souks in Marrakech.
- Casablanca is usually a short stop on anyone’s itinerary, but allow some time to visit the Hassan II Mosque in the city.
- Visit the tanneries in Fes. And check out the rest of the city, too. After all, it is the world's largest medieval Islamic settlement.
- Take a walk on the blue streets of Chefchaouen. You can find them in medina.
- Visit Tangier. The architecture is amazing.
- Cliché or not, a camel safari is a good way to get to know the dunes.
- Spend some time on the beach. Agadir is a very good destination if you have sun and sand on your mind.
- Should you visit Morocco in the winter, go skiing or snowboarding.
- Take a cooking lesson.
- In Marrakech, grab a cocktail on a rooftop terrace or dance the night away.
- Relax at a hammam.
Why you shouldn’t add Morocco to your RTW travel list
- It’s best to avoid the Western Sahara region. Organized tours do, but independent travelers tend to be more adventurous.
- It will get tiring to continuously say no to vendors in souks (in Marrakech , for example) and to try to figure out which tour is genuine and which is not. Speak your way out of aggressive vendors and don’t go on tours unless you get them via an agency.
- Follow the dress code. Although Morocco is touristy, it’s still a traditional country, so keep the knees and shoulders covered at all times. Women are usually covered wrist to ankle (try wearing a long dress , for example) but you don’t need to do that. Still, below knees dresses are a good option.
Morocco packs a lot of exotic into an easy to get to and manageable package. Many people choose to explore Tangier on a day trip from Spain or Gibraltar and that’s definitely a fascinating day, but if you can push on even a little further your effort will be rewarded. Morocco has a fascinating culture that can mostly be seen in cartoonish ways on a bus tour of Tangier, but those tours are cheap and much better than nothing. You’ve heard of the huge city of Casablanca because of the movie, but just because the name is famous doesn’t mean it’s worth visiting. Consider avoiding Casablanca unless you’ve got a lot of time in Morocco.
What To Do
If you arrive in Tangier, get yourself to the train station and go to Rabat as a great introduction to the country without all the hassles. It’s a compact and polite version of some of the other cities and it only takes a few hours by train to get there.
Going further in, or if you arrive by air, Fès and Marrakech are the major draws. They are both somewhat similar so visiting both is a bit redundant if your time is limited. Both have famous and sprawling market districts in their Medinas (old cities) where you can visit tanneries and carpet makers as well as buy food and spices alongside bootleg DVDs and watches. If you visit on your own you’ll be hassled by the vendors from the second you are in their sight, and if you hire an inexpensive local guide you’ll avoid that part but will be taken on a fascinating insiders tour of the cities that comes with being a mandatory captive audience in the tour guide’s affiliate craft shops. Both methods are a bit exhausting, but amazing and worthwhile at the same time.
The Atlas Mountains are another popular destination that offers a completely different experience. These mountain ranges are great for group guided adventure tours where you can balance incredible natural scenery with an insightful look at culture and traditions in small villages and settlements.
Many people will arrive in Morocco by ferry from Spain or Gibraltar. Tarifa is the closest and by far the best place from which to leave Spain as it’s a small and charming town on its own. If you are coming from anywhere but Spain you’ll want to book a flight into Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport. Then jump on a train right away to anywhere else.