[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Morocco has so many hidden gems and it has been a popular location for the filming of many movies because of its vast and interesting terrain. It is located in Northern Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and it is also known as the Kingdom of Morocco. With a subtropical climate and extreme heat in Summer it might be a good idea to travel during Spring to avoid the heat waves. There are so many hidden gems in the country and a variety of things to do including mountains, deserts and beaches which is why we have made a list and will start with the best of the best things to do first.
1. Volubilis Archaeological site (Meknes)
Many tourists travel to all of the original sites that are given to them by travelagents but there are a few places that are not often mentioned and are fantastic to experience. This city was built in the 3rd century BC, abandoned in the 11th century and excavations revealed that it was a Roman empire with a basilica, baths, aqueducts and beautiful mosaic tiles but it is now occupied by a popular bird in Morocco – the stork. A UNESCO world heritage site Volubilis has some amazing ruins that leave a trace of the old world behind for us to explore.
2. Tree of Goats (Tamri)
Seeing is believing and when it comes to finding anything but birds in a tree you might want to have your eyesight checked but there is a place where you will see something that will leave you speechless and this is the “Tree of Goats.” The Argan trees in Morocco are full of nuts and this attracts the local goats who are interested in eating the nuts. This tree is a rare species and it gives fruit once a year which is when the goats come to feast. If you would like to see goats as if they are flying then it is best to go when the fruit is ready which is in June. It is rather weird and strange but also funny at the same time and to see these goats perched in a tree is quite something as they stand on the branches one by one until the tree is completely full of goats. There is another benefit to the goats eating the nuts which the farmers condone as the goats pass seeds out and this is used for the making of Argan Oil.
3. Legzira Beach (Tiznit Province)
For an escape to have a little peace the Tiznit province does not have too much to offer but the beach and the amazing rock formation located in between Mirleft and Sidi Ifni. There are a few donkeys and fishermen that form part of the locals and tourists enjoy going there for a surf but at low tide you are able to see the two gigantic stone arches that have formed after years and years of erosion. The weather is rather unpleasant at times and it is a very windy and rocky beach but it is worth taking a look at and there are local hotels that are not expensive like the Auberge Beach Club Legzira Beach which has a great view and it will save you some money.
4. Friouato Caves (Taza Province)
If you are up for an adventure and you feel like being active then the caves are incredible to explore. Situated between two very important mountain ranges the Rif and Middle Atlas is a city called Taza. The caves can be accessed through rough mountain terrain and it is worth going to see as nobody can actually say just how deep these caves are. With an underground river in the caves and the magnificent landscape leading you there the caves are filled with stalagmites and stalactites that a tour guide will explain to you as they inform you of the history of the caves.
5. Erg Chebbi (Merzouga)
Morocco is not a true experience unless you have been to the desert and felt the radiant heat and the orange sands on your feet. This is not for the faint hearted and you will need a guide to take you through but it is worth it and the story that goes with the Saharan desert dunes will leave you breathless. The desert is actually at the base of the dunes and locals have an interesting story of how they were created saying that a wealthy couple turned away a traveller who was tired and by doing this were punished by having tons of sand dropped onto their home. The dunes shift on a daily basis and can go up to 150 metres high creating a “sea of sand.” The Erg Chebbi dunes are located between the Algerian border and the town of Merzouga.
6. Kasbah du Toubkal (Atlas Mountain Range)
A hidden gem that is almost like the Himalaya’s and it was the location for Martin Scorsese’s film Kundun. It starts with a small village below and here you can try the local cuisine as well as find a trail that will lead you up to the most spectacular view. The Kasbah was owned by a local chief and the decor is out of this world so much so that you will feel as though you have been transported into another world. There is also a National park to visit as well as the beautiful escape that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on more of Morocco.
You will need at least two days to go through the national park and take a trail up to the mountain but if you really want to enjoy some peace and tranquility then an extra day or two is a good idea so that you can fully appreciate the magnificent hotel.
7. Atlas Film Studios (Ouarzazate)
An interesting place to visit is the Atlas film studios which is one ofthe oldest studios in the world and home to the set of many Hollywood films. It has been abandoned covering 322 000 square feet of the desert. The studio is close to Marrakech and it has become a popular tourist destination as people can view the decaying sets that have been left out in the harsh sun. This studio has created movies “Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, The Mummy, Star Wars and Jewel of the Nile.”
Tourists enter the studio with site of the aeroplane that was used in “Jewel of the Nile” and out in the desert is a replica of Colosseum and an Egyptian tomb.
This is a day trip visit on your way to Marrakech and it is also near to the Atlas Mountain Range. A day visit and tour can be booked through the local tour guide at your hotel but do not expect too much as the site is very run down and it is not a sparkling new attraction but one that has really old movie ruins.
8. Portuguese Cistern of El Jadida (El Jadida)
The Portuguese occupied the village of El Jadida for 270 years before the Moroccans took it back in 1769. There is still a portion that was the Portuguese fortress but the true site to experience here is the old warehouse that might have been a storage area for armory that was a dark underground hall which they later converted into a water reservoir.
There is a vaulted ceiling with an oculus as well as a pool in the centre of the room that overflows with a small layer of water on the floor. The oculus is open and you are able to see the sky and the columns echo inside the warehouse which makes this an incredibly beautiful sight to see with shadows, lights and reflections that are truly worth going to see. This site is also home to the movie set of “Othello” and a guided tour will take you half a day and you can book a tour that will take you to Casablanca and El Jadida on the same day.
9. Merenid Tombs (Fez)
The tombs were built in the 14th century and was the resting place for Merenid finest and today not much if it has been left to see but the view is amazing and if you look past the laundry lines, garbage and satellite dishes you can imagine what it was like then. The hills have man made caves that were carved into it and today it is home to some of the less fortunate. A trip to this area is best done with a local guide as it is known for muggings and is not safe to go on your own but once you are there you can see for yourself why this is an eerie area worth visiting as the crumbling necropolis will leave you with a chill.
The panoramic view and the uphill climb will take a day but you are able to catch a taxi from Bab Bou Jeloud and the walk will take you ten minutes. Avoid going at night and leave before dark but during the day you are able to hear the chants of prayers echo through the hills.
10. Hassan II Mosque (Casablanca)
Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco and it hosts the country’s main port which attracts a lot of tourists. It is a cosmopolitan city which is rare to find in Morocco and what is rare to see here is the architecture that surrounds the Hassan Mosque. It was completed in 1993 and it is one of the largest mosques in the world and one of the most beautiful with the artistic design constructed by a French architect it was made for King Hassan as a birthday gift and he wanted it to be a landmark monument. The project cost over $800 million with its white granite tiles and glass chandeliers from Venice this is a magnificent place to visit. It took 6000 craftsmen to help with the intricate decorations and the floor is made of glass. Muslims praying can see the sea floor as they kneel. Non Muslim visitors are able to go on a guided tour and if you are there at night then you are able to see a laser that shines from the top of the largest structure facing Mecca. An automated sliding roof opens up to the heavens for special occasions and there are Turkish styled baths for washing up before prayers. If you are a female tourist there are facilities for you but local guided tours are a must or you will not be allowed inside.
11. Hassan Tower (Rabat)
Rabat is a few minutes away from Casablanca by train and there you will find a few local treats as well as the unfinished tower that began construction in 1199 with the intention of it being the largest one in the world. This was to be the centre of the city celebrating the Sultan’s victory over the Spanish but Yaqub Al Mansur died before the construction could finish and after four years of construction the building came to a grinding halt.
With marble floors and columns this was to be the place where everyone could come to pray giving space to over 22000 people but the unfinished project is now a monument that stands at 44 metres tall and the exterior is ornamented with decorative designs. It is an interesting site to visit but don’t spend too much time there because there is more to see in Rabat and it is interesting to see this tower after you have experienced the mosque in Casablanca.
12. Chefchaouen (Chefchaouen)
What was once a refugee camp is now a tourist attraction that boasts blue buildings in a mountainous region that was also a medieval remnant of when the Spanish came to flush out the Jews and Muslims in the area. It is said that the Jewish refugees painted the walls blue as a reminder of God’s power. Today there are more Muslims in the area than Jews but they have maintained the colour system and still paint the walls blue to keep the tradition alive.
Tourists are able to get there by bus from Fez and Casablanca with a tour of the Kasbah museum, the grand mosque and some of the local cuisine.
It is an interesting little town with many a story to tell and if you are interested in culture than this is a great place to get a taste of it all. There is a local flour mill that has a story of its own as well as a natural water spring. A 30 minute walk from the town will lead you on a trail to the crystal clear waters where you can enjoy a dip in the fresh springs to rejuvenate you for the next tour.
13. Cascades d’Akchour (Chefchaouen)
A trail will lead you from Chefchaouen to the Cascades within 30 minutes and it is a bit of a hectic walk but it is worth the trip. For this tour I would recommend that you take two or three days to spend in Chefchaouen as there is a lot to take in and if you do not really have the time then catching a bus and doing it in a day is possible. The waterfalls are also covered in blue to keep with the town’s theme and tourists can cool down in the rock pools or simply take in the view of the picturesque waterfalls as well as having a look at the “Bridge of God” which is an arch that crosses over the river. It is a very peaceful trip but if you are not fit then the trail can take you 2 – 3 hours instead of one. A taxi is able to get you there but it is rather expensive and you need to negotiate prices or share with someone else. The rock formation of the Bridge is man made and absolutely breathtaking if you have the time.
14. Kasbah Ait Benhaddou ( Ouarzazate Province)
The famous caravan route and home to only eight families is the Kasbah Ait Benhaddou which is filled with towering Kasbahs and ruins that have left other families to move across the Ounila river. This site is a UNESCO world heritage site and it was once a popular destination for travellers along the caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara desert. Architecture from the 17th century is there to see today and what has crumbled has been carefully preserved with wood and colours to maintain the old architectural feel.
There is a fort and towers that have kept the town houses together and this is located in the southern slopes of the high Atlas mountain range which might be a little easier to stop over if you do a tour that takes you to the Atlas studio, mountain range and Kasbah.
15. Todra Gorge (Tinghir Province)
The High Atlas Mountains have so much to offer and located east of this is the Todra Gorge one of the world’s greatest canyons. The Todra and Dade rivers have carved out cliff sided canyons throughout the years that makes for a spectacular site. They stretch through the mountains and the cliffs are 500 feet tall. The river dried up in this area and all that can be seen today are the canyons and cliffs. It is in a very remote area but there is accommodation in the town of Tinerhir and many trails that will take you to the Gorge. A dirt road has also been made and this is used by passing locals on camels which could also be an interesting thing to see. Go in a group or with a tour and be sure to take your camera.
Hotel Accommodation can be found for cheap and there are a few B&B’s around too.
16. Medina of Tetouan (Tetouan)
This city is in northern Morocco and is the point between Morocco and Andalusia. It cascades down the Rif Mountains and ends up on the Mediterranean white and soft beaches. The town itself has been around since the 8th century and is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The town is surrounded by a wall that has seven gates to access it and with the Spanish and Arabic conflicts the influence of both remains today. Arts and crafts are what you will find here as the town is well known for this as well as the magnificent architecture that has been preserved and protected without outside influence.
This town is rather small and it will take a tourist a few hours to walk through all of the history but it is an interesting trip with lots of souvenir opportunities.
17. Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert
This is something that you just simply have to do if you are in desert country and it can be so much fun but it can also be a little frightening. If you do intend on doing this tour you will need to go when the sun is not too hot and if you do then be sure to put on your lotion and cover up as much as possible so that you do not get burnt. You can do this tour on the dunes of Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga but Erg Chebbi is a lot easier to get to. If a truly authentic Arabian experience is what you would like then taking a guided tour on a camel that will pass a real life oasis is out of this world and the experience also takes you through the desert where all you are surrounded by is sand. Hopefully your tour is booked for a day where the wind is not too crazy because the last thing that you would like to do is get stranded in the desert.
Staying in Agdes M’hamid is a good idea for this tour as they take you on a two hour camel trekking adventure and the best part here is that you get to have dinner and stay in a nomadic tent in the Erg Lihoudi dunes in the desert overnight. What an experience!
18. Hammams in Marrakech
A very popular past time for the locals in Morocco is a Hammam or in our language a luxury day spa. Both men and women enjoy this in Morocco and you will find the best ones in Marrakech. It is an adventure and you should try one before you go out into the harsh sun or perhaps after a hot day on a trail.
It is an essential service that each and every community has in Morocco especially when hot water is not always available. The Hammam offers a steam room, warm room for bathing and a cold room for rinsing because the hygiene rules are very strict in the Islamic community.
You will find many of these all over Morocco but the best and cleanest ones are in Marrakech but also remember that it is for both males and females and some offer different times for each whilst others have separate entrances. Hammam Dar El Bacha is a beautiful hammam to experience with the domed ceiling and archways that give you some tranquility.
19. Experience the Fishing Port of Essaouira (Marrakech – Safi)
This fishing port is protected by a natural bay and has been around since the 16th century when it was known as the Mogador after the Portuguese influence. The medina or old town is known for its wooden carvings. The brass cannons protect the walls of the city from the harsh winds and seagulls soar through the skies daily. It is a multi cultural centre and unites the sub Sahara with Morocco as well as being the stopping point or many European ships.
A French architect designed the town with a military feel to it to protect the port and you are able to see the stone and brass as part of the old architecture. This is a great place to stay for a small break and if you are interested in feeling the vibe as the locals do then staying in a hotel that is authentic Morocco will put you in the mood to explore. You will need about a day to go through the area but any more than that will waste the valuable time that you have so little of.
20. Drive through the Draa Valley (Ouarzazate)
If you stay in Ouarzazate it is easy to find the Draa Valley but the drive from Agdz to Zagora will take you a couple of hours and this is a full day trip with a magnificent scenic view that will take you through the river and oasis. The desert route is a fantastic drive but if you do not have a local guide to take you then perhaps retracing your route could be a problem. This is a great way to see the countryside and if you do have the time then it is recommended especially for those who live and drive in the crazy city centres. It is a tranquil and scenic experience that leaves you feeling free and relaxed.
You can hire a car or get a tour guide to take you but it is best to start your trip from Agdz if you do not have the time. Get a vacation package that includes your hotel and car hire to avoid expense and make sure that the tank is full because if you do not have a tent and some supplies for the desert you could leave with a very different experience.
21. Djemaa El Fna (Marrakech Medina)
For a shopping experience that has led many tourists to fall into spending more than they should, Djemaa El Fna is a fantastic place to explore if you enjoy looking for interesting objects and it is absolutely festive but it does get extremely busy and you should also avoid taking wallets and things that can get taken easily. The kasbah is surrounded by a fortified set of buildings and you will find a snake charmer, water and juice suppliers as well as market goods that are sold to locals also. The dancing boys are a sight to see as they dance and explain the story of their culture. Magicians, medicine men and local food stalls are all there for you to experience and if you do not want to spend too much money then leave some of it behind because this will definitely get you to take out your wallet. The market is a great place to be at night and it is festive with all the local tastes. You can stay in a hotel close by and there are local police on standby for tourists.
22. Experience the Snake Charmers in Marrakech
This is for the fearless because if you are not a fan of snakes then stay very far away from the charmers. You also need to be aware that they overcharge tourists and you do need to ask for a snake charmer that is professional or it could end up really ugly. Once you do find an authentic charmer that plays his music to get the cobra to dance and come out of a basket it is a very daunting experience but a good one if you enjoy snakes. Obviously you have got to see it at least once as this has been a well known tradition in Marrakech.
For the very daring you are allowed to put the snake around your neck for a photo opportunity but again be careful of who you are dealing with.
23. Swim in the Sea at Asilah (Town in Northwest Atlantic Coast Morocco)
This is a popular spot for those who love soft sandy beaches. It is a beautiful and picturesque holiday area that is often extremely busy. The town has whitewashed buildings with blue that resemble the homes in Greece. The market day is on Thursdays and the cultural festival is during the summer but it gets very busy and there is often no hotel availability. Before you venture off to the beach ensure that you can get accommodation and it is recommended to go during the festival times as it lights up the city and makes it a really good party vibe. If city fun is not for you then simply take a step back and swim in the ocean or relax on the beach before you find an interesting place to have dinner.
24. Dune Buggy Ride in the Desert
For people who do not like to ride camels or take a drive through the desert in a conventional way then a speedy buggy ride is a good idea for an adrenalin junkie. You can hire a buggy for a half day or full day trip and you can choose to go through a variety of landscapes and take in the view from the highest point on the trails. Whether it is Agafay desert, Atlas Mountain pass or Ourika Plain is up to you but this adventure doesn’t come cheap and you should have medical insurance just in case.
25. Take in an Aerial View of Marrakech in a Hot Air Balloon.
If you are not afraid of heights then a fantastic way to see the entire view of Marrakech is to go exploring in a hot air balloon. It is absolutely wonderful to take a look at it during the day but a night trip is also a good idea. The guide will pick you up from your hotel and after a stop for breakfast in a Berber village you are escorted to the balloon where elevation is up to 2500 feet off the ground. You do not get too close to the mountains so don’t expect that to happen but it is fun and an adventure that will be remembered. To book the hot air balloon it is advised that you stay in Marrakech and the driver will collect you from your hotel. Look around for the cheapest prices because this is not a cheap adventure.
26. Sandboarding on the Desert Dunes in Erg Chebbi
Camel trekking is not the only thing that you can do in the desert, there is a great way to feel freedom and that is to hire a dune board and surf the sands of the desert. It sounds like a lot of fun and it is but there are a few things that you might have to take into consideration when it comes to playing on the desert; snakes love the sand and untouched territory brings big snakes which means that you should go through a tour guide because they are aware of the areas that are frequently used and they also have someone there to assist in the case of an emergency. Either way take out some medical insurance and to book this experience your local tour information at the hotel will help you.
27. Walk the Line in the Atlas Mountains (Tahanaout)
Adrenalin junkies that have no fear of heights whatsoever will love this adventure because you can take a walk on the suspension and tight rope bridges or you can zipline across the Atlas mountains at the 700 foot Terres d’Amanar.
The eco friendly lodge in Terres d’Amanar is about a half hour drive south of Marrakech and not only do they have sky sports but they also have adventure like donkey polo and bread making classes. If you feel the need to escape the city then going to zip line in an eco estate might be the option for you.
28. Ski off the Highest African Peak Jebel Toubkal (Oukaimeden)
There is a little something for everyone in Morocco and there are not many places in the world where you can either swim in the sea, walk through the desert or ski in the mountains at the same time but you can do that in Morocco and the best part is that you get to ski off of the highest peak in Africa.
The degrees of difficulty range here and with the mountain being 4167 metres high there is a breakpoint where you can rest and choose from a number of peaks that are 4000 metres high. The best time to go is obviously in the winter months as the snow is thickest then and booking this trip will take seven days if you do a tour which will transport you with a guide to Imlil where you are then taken to walk around Aremd and stay the night. The tour takes you to the base of the Jebel and this is where your adventure begins.
29. Take a Walk through Cyber Park (Arsat Moulay Abdeslam)
Situated in Marrakech is an interesting and unusual park with beautiful and ornamental 18th century gardens with fountains, foliage and walkways but that is not all because it is a technological park that provides wifi and internet kiosks with a telecommunication museum too. If you enjoy gardens and scenery whilst surfing the net then this is an interesting place to see. The park consists of eight hectares of land and was commissioned by Prince Moulay Abdeslam in the 18th century….no he did not include the technology but his intention was to create a place to produce food and the French turned it into a botanical garden and it was then abandoned and left to erode. Later on it was found to be a great source of endless water and the gardens were recovered and today can be used for internet purposes as well as viewing the olive and lemon trees and taking in all of the beauty that was almost destroyed.
30. Visit the Tanneries (Fes)
Leather is a very expensive item to find in most countries and it is a great idea to go to the Tanneries in Fes dating back to the medieval times where you can see how they make the leather goods and you can even buy yourself something nice. They make handbags, jackets and shoes but you will find many interesting items that will catch your eye. You are able to get there with the local bus or taxi and if you are not sure then ask the tourist information at your hotel.
31. Festival of Sacred Music (Fez)
This might seem like a boring thing to do for some but you have got to get yourself to the festival which happens in Fez in May each year. The spiritual music from around the world is very moving and it will uplift your spirits and leave you walking away with a warmth in your heart.
32. Free Music Festival Mawazine (Rabat)
This is a free concert that is held each year in May and it has had many great artists performing including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue and Whitney Houston. The concert showcases African artists and the sounds that come out of them are fantastic and it is a true African culture experience in a place that was once very conservative. Most of the acts are free but not all of them and before you book your ticket you need to find out who is in the line-up and how much it will cost.
33. Learn to Cook Traditional Moroccan Food (Marrakech)
If food is something that you enjoy and you have not yet experienced the local cuisine or you have but would love to take back the recipe for others to try then a cooking class is a fantastic idea as you get to learn from the locals in a half day or full day cooking class. They offer you a chance to buy your ingredients from the market and then teach you how to make a classic dish which is a great way to gain access to the culture.
34. Book Your Stay in a Riad (Marrakech)
A Riad is a hotel that was converted from a traditional home and they are usually in the heart of the city but it is a great way to explore the country and staying in a Riad makes it more authentic. The architecture, tiling and the fountain in the centre of a courtyard makes you feel as though you are away on holiday. They do have rooms that are built on two levels and if you are going to be staying there in the summer than looking for one that has a pool might be a great idea. You can also have breakfast on the rooftop in most of them and this will give you a view of the city and its side alleys to see how everything works.
You will be surprised at the prices as they are not all unaffordable and you might find one for under $100 for two people in a luxury Riad.
35. Take a Look at the Dar el Makhzen Palace (Fez)
The palace has large brass doors with amazing carvings and 80 hectares of property but you are not allowed further than the doors and when you do go on a tour the guides will show you the fantastic lemon trees that surround the palace and you are able to take photo’s but if you really feel daring then perhaps you could try and find a way in or bump into the Prince to see if you can get an invite for tea.
36. Play a Game of Golf (Agadir)
There is something for everyone and if you are a golf fanatic then there are a few courses to do in Morocco and the weather is good almost 300 days of the year which gives you no excuses not to play. The King started playing golf and it has since become a pastime for many of the locals. The Golf du Palais Royal d’Agadir is said to be one of the best courses to do and you haven’t lived if you have not tried it out.
37. Take a Picture of the Straits of Gibraltar (Tangier)
Tangier is a spectacular coastal area with a large port and a fishing village that will encourage you to fish. It is a picturesque village and there are fantastic views of the “Straits of Gibraltar” which would give you something to talk about nd place you among the many artists that have written about it. If this is not interesting enough then you can get a close look at the Pillars of Hercules which marked the maps in Roman times and there is also a Spanish sector that might entice you to catch the ferry to Spain just to see how long it takes. A beautiful ocean view hotel is nice to experience here in this area too.
38. Pretend to be Famous in Morocco
The actresses in “Sex and the City 2” filmed in Morocco because they were not allowed to film in Dubai and you can trace their steps and stay in the hotels that were on the big screen.
The desert scene was filmed in the Sahara and you are able to stay in a nomadic tent but if it is the luxury part of the movie that you enjoyed then stay in the La Mamounia Hotel where they stayed.
39. Shopping in Souks (Fez and Marrakech)
Souks and markets are very popular in Morocco and there are so many bargains that can be found and you can find almost anything that you want in these but you do need to see if the price is right because tourists coming looking like tourists will pay more for the item than the locals but the sellers are prepared to be bargained with. It is definitely a culture experience and while you are shopping do try a kebab on the way because it is full of flavour. You can book a tour to one of these markets or souks and whether it is gold, spices, fabrics or leather there is something for everyone and it is a great place to get souvenirs.
40. Birdwatching in Merja Zerga National Park
This is a protected area and you will find many wild birds here but what is fascinating are the Flamingo’s and they are fun to watch. As one of the most important wetlands in Northern Africa it has more than 100 species of birds and is protected by the Ramsar convention. The best time to see the birds is in winter and you will find African Marsh owls, grey heron, storks and slender billed curlews. The area surrounding the park is an agricultural one and to get there it would be wise to have Rabat as your base and catch a train from there to Merja Zerga which would give you an opportunity to see the landscape as it takes about 45 minutes.
41. Dance the Night Away in a Club
Casablanca and Marrakech are the areas where east meets west and you will find many clubs and cocktail bars in the area. Late night cafes are plentiful in Tangier and Agadir has more of a resort style nightlife. Females should not go on their own and if you do intend to dance the night away then be sure to organise transport with your hotel.
42. Learn to Belly Dance
Belly dancing is a traditional dance in Asia and Middle East and you would think that a conservative country would not have any of it but that is not the case in Morocco as it is welcomed and enjoyed and it can be seen in many restaurants or street markets but if you enjoy it then learn to do it and this can be done in Marrakech. You could also try to learn the Guedra or Shikhat in one of the local nightclubs as the dancers are always there.
43. See How Argan Oil is Made (Argan)
Once you have seen the tree goats that eat the nuts and then discard the seeds that make the Argan oil you might want to see how they make the oils and what is involved. The oil is used on breakfast and they also use this oil to dip their breads into. The oil has many nutrients in it including Omega and it is also good for your hair. You can book a tour with a guide once you are there. They also make butter and cosmetics and it is run by women.
44. Visit a Nomad Family (Mount Mgoun)
The valley of Nomads is in the high Atlas Mountains and it would be a great trip to visit with a nomad family where you can break bread together and learn about their culture and why they are nomads. An interesting way to spend an afternoon but it should be when you are passing by to visit the Atlas Mountains and this can be done through a local tour guide.
45. Go to Little Switzerland and Tour on Horseback (Ifrane)
This town looks a little like Switzerland and the best time to go there is in winter when the weather is cold. A great idea is to have a nice hot bowl of Harira soup. The village is surrounded by trees due to the altitude. The high sloped roofed houses are a thing to see and you can visit the lion sculptures as well as spot the strong monkeys.
46. El Refugio Falls (Ifrane)
These falls are about 10 kilometres away from Ifrane but it is worth going to see with its picturesque scenery and waterfalls it might give you some tranquility and Ifrane also offers some fantastic parks and forests where you will see all sorts of wildlife too.
47. River Rafting Experience (Ouzoud Waterfalls)
Once you have seen the city you might feel like escaping the busy crowds and trying something more tranquil and there is an adventure waiting for you at the Ouzoud Waterfalls. River rafting trips will start you at a base camp in Cathedral Rock after your tour guide collects you from your Riad in Marrakech. A full day of whitewater rafts awaits you as you get to fight the rapids and duck under bridges whilst trying to take in the scenery too.
48. Hand Gliding in the Desert
If you are a little fearful of heights and you don’t like sand surfing then hang gliding in the desert might be the sport for you but you need to organise with the tour guide which day would be best to catch winds so that you can soar above the sands.
49. Visit the El Badi Palace (Marrakech)
This palace was built in the 15th century and if you do get to see it you can still appreciate the workmanship that went into it so long ago. It was intended for feasts and for the king to watch over his kingdom. The king wanted to pave his palace in gold, turquoise and crystal. The palace consists of sunken gardens, a large pool, stables and dungeons as well as some pavilions. You are able to visit and take photos of this magnificent ruin and a guided tour will give you the history of the palace at $1.
50. Take a Walk in the Kasbah of Udayas (Rabat)
There are many Kasbahs to see and to narrow them down to the best ones might be difficult because each one is unique in its own right. Udayas is near to the Bou Regreg River and it goes back to the 12th century. This is like a city within a city and you have the opportunity to visit some gardens, museums and take a look at the architectural structures that have been renovated but have stood the test of time. There is a communal bread oven where you could get a local to share some bread with you at the fountain while you take it all in.
51. Take a Trip to the Ancient Roman City (Lixus)
Lixus is 35 kilometres away from Asilah and for a day trip this might be a nice one if you enjoy ancient history and looking at ruins. The Hercules sanctuary is a part of this trip but the Garden of Hesperides can still be seen today and after the city was abandoned due to a mosquito problem the city fell to ruins and you can also see the pools that kept fish which they used to make a fish paste that was sold. It is interesting to go with a tour guide because the history is explained in detail. Artifacts from the city were taken to museums in Rabat.
52. Larache for a Seafood Platter (Tanger Tetouan)
The harbour town has a beautiful stretch of beach and it comes to life when the tourists and holidaymakers arrive in summer. The architecture is a little Spanish or Bohemian and this is a fantastic place to find fresh fish and there is one place that sells a good platter and you will find this in the cafe.
53. Go into the Pigeon Caves (Oujda)
The village of Taforalt is located in Oudja is home to the Taforalt Caves that contain prehistoric remains. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and has produced several human remains, animal remains as well as objects that were used more than 85000 years ago.
The tour is a day trip and you can book it through most of the hotels as they have only recently allowed tours. It does take awhile to get through the caves.
54.Cycle Through a Date Palm Oasis (Figuig)
This is an intriguing town as it is built around an oasis of Palm trees or date trees. The town is close to the Algerian border and staying in a farmhouse is a lovely way to experience the culture of the town. It takes 7 hours by bus to get there and it is well hidden and very little happens here. It is an old mud brick town with the only highlight being the date palm, over 200 000 of them! Catch the bus from Casablanca as it is the most convenient.
55. Stay in an Earth House in Tighmert Oasis
The way of life in this village is very cool and calm with the architecture that you would want to take home with you. The doors of most of the earth homes are incredibly fascinating with unusual materials and earthy colours. A great idea is to stay in one of the houses to feel the culture and get the authentic feel of the land.
56. Get Some Goulimine Beads (Goulimine) Guelmim
The “Gateway to the Desert” was once the trade village for Venetian merchants and glass beads came about. They were forgotten after the ancient times but were brought back in the hippie era and women used them for their hair and as jewellery. They became popular for their psychedelic colouring and are still made today. They are now known as “Christmas beads” and you can see how they are made into jewels.
57. Eat Your Way Through Morocco
With spices, flavours and tastes out of the ordinary Morocco is a great place to taste food. Couscous, Tagine, Mint tea and so many other options are available and the best way to get through them all is to go on a food tour. A cooking holiday will give you the flavour experience as well as the ability to go back home and cook the food of Africa for your friends and family. You can book a tour for the food experience.
58. Make Some Moroccan Drums (Fez)
If you enjoy arts and crafts and have an interest in making things then learn how to make a Moroccan drum. There is a little bit of a cheat here because the drums are already made out of pottery and all you have to do is design and paint it with a Berber design. Once you have finished your drum you can take it with you. This is a great activity to do if you have kids with you and you can find plan – it Fez when you get to Fez. A driver will take you directly to it and it is also a good idea to take a walk around when you are done.
59. In the Search for Wine (Guerrouane)
At the foothill of the Rif and Atlas mountains is a vineyard where you will find the Volubilia label and the owner will guide you through a taste test as well as a tour through the vineyards where you can experience the vines that make the wine and olive oil.
You can also end your tour with a nice lunch and some of the wine as well as a taste of the award winning olive oil. Making an appointment is essential and you can book an appointment and a driver will collect you from your riad in Fez.
60. Watch the Sunset on a Mountain Top with a Dinner
If you are staying in Fez then a great idea for a romantic dinner is to watch the sunset on Mount Zalagh. It is 45 minutes away and it has an amazing view of Fez Medina. A tour for this includes a picnic dinner and the driver will fetch you and take you to the mountain where you can watch the sunset in the open skies and take in the view.
61. Work with the Locals and Harvest the Dates
The best time to go and help with the harvesting of the Dates is in October. It is a fulfilling experience as you help collect the dates that are used in almost every home in Morocco. While you experience the pickings you are given a glass of milk and some dates to try. You will need to find out when the harvesting is done and to book you would have to ask one of the locals about where you are able to go.
62. Eat a Sheep’s Head if You Dare
Roast sheep head is a delicacy in Morocco and the best time to enjoy it is after Eid. I would be careful of where to go to eat this dish and when trying this out you might want to ask your hotel which of the food places are the best to try. Marrakech is one of the places that would do this dish well and searching for the right restaurant might be a challenge.
63.Cheese Farms For Local Cheese
If you enjoy dairy then sampling a cheese farm in Morocco can be fun but if you are a fan of organic products you might want to try the organic goats cheese in the mountain area about half an hour away from Fez is the Domaine de la Pommeraie where the weather is good for cheese making. A taste of the cheese is also at hand after you get to see the process.
64. Eat Oysters in Dakhla
Who knew that you would find an oyster farm and it would be in a place called Dakhla. This is a really beautiful beachside and the oyster farm is a small drive away from the city centre and you will be in awe of the place as you eat oysters directly on the beach. An amazing experience and it is also near to the equator….that is what the advert says but the equator is 1500 miles away.
65. Have a Warm Bath in a Pool (Moulay Yacoub)
This lovely place is near to Fez too and you can enjoy a relaxing swimming experience in a thermal pool. The natural waters are healthy for your body and it takes away certain diseases and it is rich in magnesium and calcium. Medical professionals from all over the world have come to study these waters as they have heard of the healing properties. Try it for yourself and see how you feel afterwards.
66. Go Banana’s in Aourir
One of the most popular fruits around the world is the banana and you can go to a banana field in the small town of Aourir nearest to Agadir. The village is on the way to Essaouira and it is a great stop if you want to get some bananas to snack on. The town is really easy to spot as almost everyone sells the fruit and there are many other dishes here that have banana as an ingredient.
67. Eat a Camel
Seeing as this is camel country you are able to find camel meat on a menu which would also include pigeon or tripe. If you are daring enough to try this uniquely enticing dish then do go for a camel ride before you decide to dine on one. It might put you off but it is worth a try and you will not be able to find it everywhere but in a few of the smaller villages they are available to eat.
68. Become an Archeologist for a Day
Fossils are plentiful in Morocco and the only place that you would be able to find a few is in the desert on the south eastern border near to Algeria. The Kem Kem beds are home to a few dinosaur fossils and you might find something else too. It will make you feel like an archeologist as you can see many of the fossils on the ground. The rusty red rock of the Sahara can be seen on a tour.
69. Meditation and Yoga for the Soul
The town and city can be very busy and extremely loud and to escape from it all is a yoga class which is offered in most of the resorts and it is relaxing and will give you a boost for the next part of your trip. If a yoga class is not enough then you can do a day or two retreat in Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot is a luxurious escape away from it all and to treat yourself this is the place to go. The mountain air and the view of the Atlas mountains will leave you feeling relaxed after a massage and a spa treatment in one of the 25 rooms.
70. Buy Some Custom Made Clothing (Marrakech)
Standing out and being unique is fantastic if you have the budget for it but in Morocco you are able to find custom made clothing at reasonable prices and the best part of it all is that you won’t find many other people wearing the same item because at Kaftan Queen there are only a few of each item made.
71. The Best Things are Free in Marrakech
Well not really but if you do want a day where you aren’t going to spend any money then a walk through the city could be fun. There is so much to take in a simple walk will put you in touch with the earth if all you do is observe, the culture, traditions and the time off. A walk through the market will give you an opportunity to see the mimes, dancers and magicians and if you walk on out of the market area you will find the 19 foot tall Ramparts or defensive walls that protect the city. Take a good look at the floral design and see if you can walk the entire 12 miles of it as well as having a look for the 200 towers or the 20 gates.
72. Beer Drinking in the Desert
As an Islamic state the laws are usually strict about alcohol but in Morocco non Muslims are allowed to buy and consume beer and you will find it in most of the coastal resorts, hotels and the city hubs like Casablanca and you might even find a Moroccan made Heineken which is owned by the Castel group. Casablanca lager is a pale 5% ale and it doesn’t taste as good as your usual ale but it is worth a try when you need a refreshment.
73. For the Love of Art (Tafraoute)
If you love art and appreciate the work of others than Tafraoute is a good place to go to see some interesting and abstract art. The red sand from the desert comes to life with various colours of pink, blue and green granite stone that is spread across the ground. Anti Atlas is where you will find the art and the artist that painted these rock formations was a Belgian painter Jean Veran. It fills up almost all of the cliffs and it is a great photo opportunity too.
74. Have a High Tea
Tea is a very surplus item in Morocco and it is the drink of most of the locals and they have some very interesting teas and it is a big part of their culture. You should not be surprised if whilst in a store the owner offers you a tea in the back room. A treat here is a high tea with macaroons and their herbal teas. Leaves are used in most of them and they pour the tea from high up and it is to be savoured and enjoyed and insulting if you downsy.
A great place to have a high tea is in a riad and this is served in the traditional pots with a platter of treats.
75. Embroidered Linen To Take Home (Fez)
Embroidery and crafting is very well established in Morocco and if you need some uniquely designed linens then this is definitely the place to buy mom some bedding. The linens are made from 100% cotton and you can find it in the markets in a variety of colours.
76. Search for Hidden Treasure
After the Spanish took over Morocco the locals decided to hide their valuables under ground and they wrapped them in a special way with a code that was left by the owners for their inheritors. To find the hidden treasure you would have to go to the southern part of Morocco and it is said that the code was placed there as a jinn which was part spell and part message. Perhaps taking a sorcerer with you might help you get the jewels once you find them.
77. Cape Juby (Tarfaya)
Located near the western Sahara border on the coast is Cape Juby. This strip is east of the Canary Islands and has so much history about its beginnings. It was taken by the Spanish and then ceded back to Morocco but it is a good way to explore a very hidden town that does not see too many tourists and you are able to stay in a hotel and just enjoy the cuisine and the view.
78. Become a Shepherd for a Day (Tarmilat)
The people of Morocco have learned how to craft their own goods and take care of their livestock but it has often been a heavy battle to do so. A small village on the outskirts of Ifrane has a shepherds village where the locals there live in huts and earn a living by making bags and rugs. The residents of the village are not allowed to build permanent homes or structures and this is why they live in the huts. It is an interesting place to be as the day starts with the women making butter and then their rug and bag crafting begins. The men heard sheep and other livestock but it is about protecting the animals for survival. To get there you would have to start off in Ifrane where you can organise transport to get there to buy the goods or you can simply spend some time with the shepherds herding their livestock but beware as they do not like strangers interfering.
79. Visit the Solar Power Station
Not on the holiday list of things to do but Morocco is one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels and they as a country are trying to escape the use of these fuels to protect the environment as they depend on fuels for almost 97% of the time. They have a solar power station called the Noor Power Station which can be found 10 km’s away from the town of Ouarzazate. To get there you are able to book a tour and they are open on most days.
The large solar panels are interesting to see and the story of fossil fuels will teach you a thing or two about our environment.
80. Enjoy a Meal in the Best Restaurant in Morocco (Marrakech)
This restaurant is a landmark and it has panoramic views of the Marrakech Medina, private rooms and a beautiful terrace but it you would have to experience it for yourself as it is something extraordinary for a simple restaurant.The food is good and they serve all sorts of local cuisine but it is the atmosphere at Dar Yacout that is worth giving a try.
81. Become an Artisan (Fez)
Crafting is a huge part of local trade and the architecture in Morocco is unique and absolutely beautiful and if you love it that much and cannot afford to take something back with you then learning to wood carve is a great experience. They have courses that you can do but it will take about a week to do and if you don’t have the time then the artisans will gladly let you spend a day with them to watch them work and you might learn a thing or two from that.
82. Find Great Mosaics (Fez)
If you love the architecture in Morocco then would notice that there is a lot of mosaic tiles and it would be a fantastic idea to take some of Morocco back home with you and you cannot take a piece out of the palace so why not buy your own. Once you have appreciated the tile work in Morocco then it is a good idea to visit the stores that make it. Zellij is hand crafted and it can be found in a local store.
83.Try a Traditional Pastry
Chebakya is a pastry that is covered in honey and rose water with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. This is usually served during the time of Ramadan but you can find it anytime. There are a number of sweet treats available and they are very unusual but it is interesting to go on a tour of how they are made and this can be done in the Fez Medina where they will show you how to make the bread dough and you can sample as many of the sweet treats that are on offer.
84. Learn to Make Ceramics (Ain Nokbi)
With so many artisans and craftsmen in the area you might be inspired to ask them to help you design a ceramic of your own after seeing all of the beautiful creations that are displayed in all of the architectural structures. You can visit a ceramic studio to see how it is done and to try it for yourself. A souvenir to take home is definitely one of the fine crafts that are hand made. The pottery village is free and all of the pottery is done by hand. The village used to be in Fez in the Medina but it moved because of the growth in trade.
85. Take a Ride on the Marrakech Express
The song by Crosby Stills and Nash talks about the Marrakech Express and for those of us who didn’t know it is a real train. It is a great way to see the terrain as you cannot miss anything. Taking the train from Casablanca to Marrakech is about 3 hours long and you travel through small towns and farm lands. It is not a luxury liner so be prepared to expect anything on board.
86. Find a Local Supermarket for Snacks
It is always a good idea to get to a local supermarket in a foreign town to see what the locals buy and what the country has to offer. You would be surprised to see what they sell and what you can find there. There are a number of big chain supermarkets; Acima, Aswak Assalam and BIM are just a few to mention and they can be found in Marrakech and some of the bigger towns.
87. Befriend a Local in Marrakech
The food in Morocco is absolutely amazing and you will only get to experience the best of their traditions and culture if you are shown by the locals. They are very friendly people and you do have to be aware of your surroundings but if you are lucky enough to find a friendly family that will invite you over then this might be one of the best experiences that you could get as the food is tasty and unique and you will also get to see how it is prepared and what it takes to make their cuisine. Tagine, Harira and couscous are a few of their known dishes but once you are in the home of a local only then will you get to have the true experience.
88. The Tea House
Naturally Morocco is the place for tea and it is insulting if you sip on your tea too quickly or decline the offer to have some with the locals. They have such a unique way of preparing and pouring their teas and the tea tour is interesting to explore. Maghreb mint tea can be found in many tea houses in any town and to experience the tea properly you need to have some patience.
89. Visit the Glass Factory (Marrakech)
Tea is experienced in a glass and the homemade glass is delicately made within the theme of Morocco being colourful and crafty. The glass factory was abandoned after employees left the key under the door but it was not be closed and the son took it over and they now make glass from the country club in Chrifia, Marrakech. Traditional glass blowing can be seen and the products are incredible. Verre Beldi has been through a tough battle and the tour is amazing.
90. Visit the Photography Museum (Marrakech)
Maison de la Photographie is a photographic history museum in Rue Al Fes Medina and it is full of history and collectable photography from tourists and people who have captured events in Morocco. It is interesting and there are a number of unusual things to see.
91. Have Your Face Painted by an Artist
There are so many artists in Morocco and a great way to experience this is to get your face painted by one of them. Henna and temporary tattoos are also available and you will also find artists that paint caricatures or portraits. Most of them are found in the Medina or markets and they are often reasonably priced and the fun of it is worth it.
92. Smoke a Hubbly Bubbly or Shisha
This is a vapourised tobacco flavoured instrument that is often used in the Arabian cultures and Morocco is also known to use the Hookah or Shisha. This can be found in Marrakech and many other places but if you are not a smoker and do not enjoy the taste of tobacco then this is not for you. There is also etiquette rules to follow when smoking with others in a cafe and you should familiarise yourself with this before you try it. Places like Le Salama in Marrakech serves food and also has Shisha pipes.
93. Get a Massage with Argan Oil
This lovely oil has so many uses and to have a massage using these oils can be very relaxing and the best part of it all is that the oils don’t leave greasy traces on your skin. A good idea for a couple on a romantic holiday is to get some of these oils and give a good and relaxing massage in the comfort of your own room if you do not like hammams.
94. Make Your Own Tribal Rug
The rugs of Morocco have beautiful colours and they take time to make. The Berber women are the ones that usually make them but you can find some in the souks and if you are lucky enough you will find the ladies who will be willing to show you how to weave your own rug to take home with you. Be prepared to spend some time doing this because it takes a really long time if you are new to the craft.
95. Watch a Local Soccer Match at the Stadium
If you enjoy soccer than you might find it fun to get yourself to a game to watch the national team “Lions of Atlas” play a game in one of the stadiums; Prince Moulay Abdellah in Rabat and you can find one in Fez or Marrakech but check the schedules first.
96. Buy Yourself a Kaftan and Look Like a Local
A great thing to do is to play dress up without insulting anyone and if you go down to the souks you will find one of the traditional Kaftan dresses to wear. They are also very cool in the heat and the colours are fantastic too.
97. Have a Freshly Squeezed Glass of Orange Juice
On a hot day and on a day when you could do with a boost of vitamin C there is nothing better than a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice and you can find this in the medina but it is best to get there first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds of people and to get it first.
98. Take a Ferry Ride
If you would like to cross the Straits of Gibraltar then a ferry ride from Malaga to Tangier will take you a day and it could be great fun because the scenery and the culture is completely different. The speedy ferry takes an hour from Malaga to Tangier and once you get to the port there is so much to do.
99. Haggle with a Seller
This is something that you should try at least once. If you are the kind of person that enjoys a discount then this process could be fun and you could end up paying almost half for the item. The sellers are aware of people that are going to bargain them down and the rates increase and decrease is rather fun to experience especially when you are able to haggle and walk away with something discounted.
100. Give a Local Something from Your Country
When you are on a vacation from a foreign place it is nice to see unusual things from different places and you could possibly make someone’s day if you offer them something from your hometown. They might decide to trade with you and you could end up with a good item to take back to your own town but giving a local a souvenir brings them great joy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]