You have never traveled to Morocco? The destination tempts you but you still have questions. Why go there, is it a safe country, when is the best time, how much should I spend...
I give you here the 10 great assets of this country of a thousand contrasts. Something to make you want to pack your bags right away;) Morocco opens its doors to you...
1. Sunshine 365 days a year
Morocco is a real sun destination. However, each region has a different climate depending on the time of year. Temperature differences can be significant on the same day in different places.
Some examples :
In the evening in summer, you will put on a sweater or a windbreaker in Essaouira while you will still be very hot in Marrakech.
During the day in winter, you can bask in a t-shirt in the sun under the 25°C of Marrakech, or hike in summer clothes in the desert, or put on a down jacket to face the snow in the Atlas.
Each region has its own climate:
Northern Morocco: a Mediterranean climate as we know it in the South of France
The Atlantic coast: mild and temperate all year round, but watch out for the wind and the coolness of the water, it's the ocean!
The center of the country: the Atlas brings a mountain climate, harsh in winter and dry in summer with a very pleasant altitude coolness
The South: hot and arid, especially in the desert
In short, what to remember: 8 hours of sunshine per day in Morocco and an average annual temperature of 17°C! A real joy...
Find out more: http://www.meteomaroc.com
2. Only 3 hours by plane from France and most European capitales
Flowers & scents
The border between Morocco and Spain is very short! Three enclaves of the Spanish State are located on the African continent (Ceuta, Mellila and La Gomera) and only 18 km of sea separate Gibraltar and Morocco. A geographical proximity to Europe which makes it a destination close to us. Allow only 3 hours by plane between Paris and Casablanca, and 30 minutes more for Marrakech.
Other examples to Marrakech: 3h45 from London, 3h40 from Brussels or Rome, 3h15 from Geneva, 2h from Madrid...
In France, it's not just Orly as a starting point: Paris Vatry, Beauvais, Lyon, Lille, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg.
No wonder 3.3 million French people visit Morocco every year!
3. A total change of scenery, for guaranteed disconnection
3 hours of flight later, you are immersed in Moroccan culture. The country immediately evokes palaces with sumptuous decorations, worthy of 1001 nights, and its luxuriant gardens, the souks and their smells of spices, the slippers, the tajines or even the zelliges (these famous colored earthenware mosaics).
But this is only a small preview compared to what awaits you! Morocco is made up of large natural spaces that have remained intact, magical imperial cities, large sandy beaches, mountains defying the great peaks, palm groves and oases, or stretches of dunes.
Beyond this diversity, it is a different culture and ancestral traditions that will take you back to another time. And it is by going to meet its inhabitants that you will discover the most beautiful riches of the country.
Welcome to the land of colors, scents, flavors, emotions, surprises, magic and authenticity!
4. A safe country, the only green vigilance in the Maghreb
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms it: Morocco remains a safe country where tourism can be practiced without difficulty. The country is also the only one in North Africa to be in green on the vigilance map.
Morocco has also strengthened its security measures following the Paris attacks of November 13, 2015. And is actively collaborating with European countries in intelligence on terrorism.
You can walk easily alone in Morocco, you will not feel insecure. The vigilance rules are the same as anywhere in France
Find out more: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs
5. Where you can go at any time of the year
You can go to Morocco all year round. Spring is particularly popular with tourists because it offers mildness, sun, and flourishing vegetation. But each season offers its charm and allows you to discover different regions.
Here are some ideas for stays:
In the spring: Visit the imperial cities, enjoy the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast, go to the Valley of Roses or Dades, take a 4-day getaway to Marrakech.
In summer: Ideal season to discover the mountains of the Middle and High Atlas. Sea lovers will enjoy the Atlantic and its refreshing wind, or the North of Morocco between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in Tangier. Personally, I also like to spend a few days in Marrakech because you will see a lot less foreign tourists there and you will taste the real nightlife of the Jemaa el Fna square.
In autumn: Go to the desert! The days are still long enough for beautiful hikes in the dunes and the nights are not too cool for a bivouac under the stars.
In winter: Always the desert (until early April) and a more unusual destination, the Dakhla lagoon in the Great South to enjoy water at 25°C all year round. And for snow lovers, ski to Ifrane, the little Moroccan Switzerland.
6. A cheap destination, and offers adapted to all budgets
What budget for your trip to Morocco? It all depends on your desires. But be aware that the cost of living in the country is much lower than in Europe. The Moroccan minimum wage is currently at 3700 dirhams per month (370€).
Accommodation in Morocco
Batbout, Moroccan bread
Asilah, white city
Luxury and refinement
Some examples of prices:
A loaf of bread (the famous batbout!): 1 dirham (€0.08)
A city bus ticket: 2 to 4 dhs (0.18 to 0.35€)
A minute squeezed orange juice: 15 dhs (€1.40), except in cafes and tourist hotels where prices climb quickly
One kg of fruit: 10 to 20 dhs (0.80 to 2€)
A taxi ride in town: 15 to 30 dhs during the day (1.40 to 2.80€)
A cheap restaurant where the locals eat: 80 dhs per meal (7.30€)
One night in a hostel in a small village: 300 dhs/pers. in 1/2 board (30€)
5 days of all-inclusive trekking, in bivouac: from €450/pers.
From the low-cost roots stay to the luxury stay, all ranges of services are possible in Morocco. You choose !
7. Spectacular, varied and truly preserved landscapes
Morocco offers a mosaic of landscapes, as varied as they are surprising. Lovers of nature and wide open spaces will be served!
Surfing in Morocco
Canyons and waterfalls, fir and cedar forest of the Rif, majestic peaks of Toubkal (4167 m) and MGoun (4071 m), sea of dunes in Merzouga and Chegaga, palm groves of the Draa, the coastline with its spectacular sandstone cliffs and its white sand beaches...
A multitude of walks, hikes, trails or mountain bike outings are possible, in less frequented places. The kingdom preserves these natural riches and has created protected national parks.
8. World renowned cuisine. You can only enjoy yourself!
Moroccan street food
The Berber table
Morocco's culinary reputation extends far beyond its borders. Fresh and tasty products, accompanied by a skilful blend of spices, cooked for many minutes in the famous tajine. You already smell the smell from here I imagine ;)
And I'm not even talking about the sweet mint tea, accompanied by a few pastries like chebakias or gazelle horns. Or the flavor of sun-kissed fruit, which you can also savor in fresh fruit juice.
A varied cuisine, with its specialties for each region: tanjia in Marrakech or bissara in Tangier for example.
9. An incredible cultural richness, with multiple influences
Morocco has always been, due to its geographical position, a crossroads of cultures. You will therefore discover a multitude of influences and traces of past invasions: Berber, Roman, Phoenician, Almoravid, Alawite, Portuguese, Spanish, French...
Colors of Morocco
mosaic of colors
Lights of Morocco
Today, the Moroccan population is still mixed:
Berbers: Morocco is the Maghreb country with the most Berbers. They are among the oldest inhabitants of the country and represent 2/3 of the current population. Different Berber communities exist but they federate under the name Amazigh, literally free man.
Arabs: The first Arabs arrived from the 7th century. Fez was the capital of this first Arab kingdom, which gradually converted the Berbers to the Muslim religion. Today, Arabs make up about 20% of the population.
Sahrawis: Nomadic people of the Sahara, the Sahrawis live mainly in southern Morocco. They have their own culture and their own original language, Hassaniya.
Haratines: This is the black population of Morocco, from the oldest populations of the Sahara or descendants of former Sudanese slaves. Their Gnaoua music is very popular among young people at the moment.
Moroccan Jews: Settled since antiquity in Morocco, they quickly integrated into the Berber populations. In large cities, their district is called the Mellah and is often located near palaces. Today, only a few thousand live in the country.
Europeans: Many French people in particular have gone to settle in Morocco, about 50,000. Economic dynamism, quality of life and love of the country, there are plenty of reasons to live there.
Visits to cultural sites are therefore not lacking and meetings with the inhabitants will teach you a lot about the many traditions and customs of Morocco.
10. Legendary hospitality that lives on. You will always be welcome!
Welcome to Morocco!Welcome to Morocco!
You will hear Moroccans welcoming you several times a day. At the café, in front of a stall in the souk, getting into a taxi, or just passing someone passing by in the street.
Hospitality is a sacred tradition in Morocco. Take the time for others, stop your activities to help or receive those who come to you. A little human warmth is good!
Accept invitations to drink tea with the locals or in the shops! A real moment of sharing: Moroccans are very happy to talk about their country, their life and to joke a little too. Good humor and bursts of laughter guaranteed.
A truly welcoming country, with a rare natural and cultural wealth. Where you simply feel good!