Planning to take a trip to Morocco and looking for some travel tips? Well, we will share with you all what you need to know about how to plan a trip to Morocco. Morocco is one of the preferred countries that draws culture explorers, budget travellers, adventurers, couples, families, and foodies. It is one of the best countries to take a trip to.
In this article, we will share with you everything you should know before travelling to Morocco and some travel tips to get the best out of your trip to Morocco. You will find answers to different questions like what is the best time to visit Morocco? what are the best places to visit? what is social etiquette in Morocco? and much more.
Interesting facts about Morocco
First of all, since Morocco has a very rich and diverse culture and history, we would like to share with you a few important facts about the country. Facts that you may find interesting to know.
- Okaimeden ski resort in the Atlas Mountains is the highest ski resort in Africa at an altitude between 8500 ft and 10500 ft.
- Morocco hosts the oldest continuously operating university in the world, the university of al Qouraouiyine which was founded in 859 by Fatima el Fihri.
- The oldest human sculpture, dated back to the Middle Acheulean period, was discovered in Tan-Tan, Morocco.
- The busiest square in Africa is Jamaa el- Fnaa located in Marakesh, Morocco.
- The tallest religious building in the world, Hassan 2 Mosque, is in Casablanca, Morocco.
- Moroccan culture has an oriental touch. From the vibrant markets to the local food to the Hamams and magnificent hotels (riads), you may experience the oriental way of life there from dawn till dusk.
There are many other interesting facts about Morocco, yet we can not mention all facts. One thing that we may add is that Morocco’s landscape will take your breath away from the Atlas Mountains to gigantic canyons and from the desert to the mountain passes.
The best time to visit Morocco
Morocco is accessible all year round, but there are undoubtedly some better and less favourable months. Yet, it depends on the areas of Morocco that you intend to visit.
For a round-trip through Morocco, the best seasons to travel are spring and autumn. While it can still be chilly in Europe in the spring, Morocco typically experiences sunny weather. Additionally, you can enjoy great late-summer days in Morocco in the autumn.
Around Christmas and New Year’s, a lot of people flee into the sunshine, making Morocco highly crowded and hence more expensive. Avoid this time as well if you want to avoid it.
Keep in mind that sand storms start to form between April and October in case you are thinking of experiencing camel trekking in summer. Yet, that does not mean that it is not favourable to take a trip to Morocco in summer because there are places tourists prefer to visit in summer like Akchour Resort near Chefchaouen. As we said earlier, it depends on the areas of Morocco that you intend to visit on your trip to Morocco.
Best destinations in Morocco
Thinking of taking a trip to Morocco means getting overwhelmed trying to decide where to spend your vacation as there are many beautiful destinations.
Below we will share with you some of the top visited destinations in Morocco to consider on your trip to Morocco.
- Sahara Camel Tour: Take an overnight camel safari into the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert to witness the night sky like never before. Zagora, M’Hamid and the little Moroccan settlement of Merzouga in the east offer camel tours.
- Discover Casablanca: Take in the stunning colonial architecture there, which combines French Art Deco and conventional Moroccan forms. Visit the magnificent Hassan II Mosque, stroll through Quartier Habous, and purchase some local pottery or leather goods from the bazaars while you’re there.
- Visit the Medina in Fez: The Medina of Fez is the oldest and largest Medina in Africa. It is one of the largest car-free-urban areas in the world. There are many historical places you may visit. For example, you may visit the wonderfully decorated Medersa Bou Inania, which is located in one of the city’s ancient souks. Iconic monuments can also be found throughout its narrow streets.
- Drive Through the High Atlas Mountains: Drive your way through the nerve-wracking roads of the High Atlas Mountains. The spectacular vistas along the Tizi n’Test and Tizi n’Tichka routes make the scary experience worthwhile.
- Go to Chefchaouen’s Blue Village: Regarded as Morocco’s most picturesque tiny town, Chefchaouen is well-known for its distinctive blue buildings set against a background of rocky mountains. Explore the medina and the Spanish Mosque of the famous city while walking through the narrow alleyways.
- Immerse in the Magic of Marrakech: Marrakech is a bustling metropolis, which is home to stunning architectural wonders like Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace, as well as some of the most renowned souks, tucked away among the maze-like alleyways. Visit the local bazaars, which are filled with eye-catching exhibits of handmade jewellery, leather products, and traditional fabrics.
Accommodation in Morocco
Concerning accommodation in Morocco, You will be completely overwhelmed by the options in large cities you will be offered. yet Morocco’s trendiest accommodation option is riads. So, we will give you a brief description of what riads look like as many tourist opts for riads when they travel on a trip to Morocco.
The Arabic term meaning garden is where riads get their name. An inner garden, which typically has trees and a fountain, is perhaps the most prominent feature of a riad. A riad in Morocco is typically built on two or more floors, with upper balconies providing views of the ground floor. High-wall roof terraces are also typical.
Three long, narrow rooms that open onto the garden typically make up the lower floor. Though it is typical for at least one of these rooms to be open, creating a larger area for entertaining guests and relaxing, rooms may have doors or curtains. On the higher levels, more rooms open up to inner balconies.
A riad’s interior walls frequently feature decorative plasterwork and brightly coloured tilework. Geometric patterns, floral imagery, and Quranic calligraphy are frequently used in the design.
Traditional riads have an open top that lets in the fresh air, sunlight, birds, and occasionally even rain. Water pours down into the inner gardens from the pitched roof edges, preventing it from collecting and becoming stagnant. Trees can have strong, tall growth. The entrance is surrounded by the walled roof terrace. Glass is now used to conceal the entrance in some riads.
In case you are thinking of having a desert tour when deciding on a trip to Morocco, you will have a different type of accommodation for sure. You can contact us for a FREE consultation.
Some social etiquette in Morocco
We think that it is important to have an idea about some social etiquette before taking a trip to Morocco so that you do not find yourself in embarrassing situations. Also, locals will appreciate you making an effort to respect their customs.
Moroccans are a little bit more formal when it comes to greeting. Yet, they are very friendly. They say hello” Asalam Alaykum ” to everybody asking you about your health and the well-being of your family.
They usually shake hands and/or greet you with two air kisses on both cheeks if you are of the same sex. Still, greeting that way opposite sex is something Moroccans don’t usually do unless you know each other very well.
How to dress
Just as crucial as how you greet someone is how you dress. In Morocco, you should always dress modestly. It is appropriate for women to dress in coverings for their upper arms, chest, midriff, back, and knees. However, unless they want to visit and enter a mosque like Hassan 2 Mosque, it is acceptable for women to leave their hair uncovered. Men, on the other hand, ought to dress in long or short, at least knee-length, jeans and a t-shirt that covers the shoulders.
Making out in public
When compared to making out in public, the Moroccan societal norms we previously discussed have less of an impact. It is not acceptable to make out in public. Public displays of affection are frowned upon. However, it is OK to hold hands, give a quick hug, or even steal a cheek kiss.
we would like to point out that you might frequently encounter people of the same sex hugging or holding hands. This is only a friendly gesture.
Domestic and table etiquette
Moroccans are incredibly giving people. They will probably invite you to their houses for a meal if you know a friend or you made a new friend in the area. So, You might now start to think about what domestic and table etiquette is in before taking a trip to Morocco.
First, unless the host specifically states otherwise, you should take off your shoes before entering. Second, The host will probably bring a sink to the table before the food is served so that you can wash your hands. Last but not least, as Moroccans prefer to eat with their fingers rather than a knife and fork, you should use your right hand.
The country of Morocco is a photographer’s dream. However, there are a few things to take into account:
- Always get permission before taking any photos of individuals, especially Moroccans who are quite photogenic.
- In major towns where locals are accustomed to tourists, you will almost always be asked for a tip if you wish to snap pictures of anyone. The Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech serves as an extreme illustration. Numerous individuals—if not hundreds—make their living as photo models.
- We would like to mention that it is not advisable to take photos of border checkpoints, police officers or military figures and buildings.
There are many options are offered if you are considering travelling on a trip to Morocco. The two top options are: renting a car and taking a taxi.
Renting a car
Travelling in Morocco in a rental automobile is the best option. This is due to several factors:
- The first thing to note is how well-maintained the main streets are. Most places are easily accessible even with a tiny automobile.
- Outside of the larger cities, there is very little traffic. You might not notice any other cars sometimes.
- You don’t need to adjust to driving on the right in Morocco (unless you’re from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, or another Commonwealth country).
- Most locations have bilingual signs (English, Arabic).
- Renting a car is relatively inexpensive.
These are some factors that make the idea of renting a car in Morocco a good idea. So, a question may pop up in your mind before being on a trip to Morocco which is: how could I rent a car in Morocco?
Well, once you enter the country, you won’t need to bother about renting a car. At nearly every airport, you may locate foreign businesses that provide this service. However, because these foreign rental firms are so pricey, we suggest looking for local rental companies if you want to save up to 50%.
Still, renting a car from a local rental company may cost more than what you are expecting if you did not have an idea about some rules and tips for renting a car in Morocco.
Below, we are going to share with you some rules and tips that you should know before renting a car in Morocco when deciding on a trip to Morocco.
- Be sure to let the person in charge know where you are going so that you are not taken by surprise when he requests additional funds when you return the automobile. If you are taking the car outside of the city where you rented it, some businesses will often charge an additional 100 MAD per day.
- Be aware that some businesses might temporarily lock a portion of your balance (up to 500,000 MAD) in case something were to happen to the car. Holding onto your passport until the car is returned is an alternative option.
- Refrain from deviating from the main road because, for example, insurance policies do not cover expenses if you have an accident on a rural road.
- Request a blank copy of the accident statement form in advance (called the Constat à l’amiable in French).
- Verify that the provider provides insurance for the full number of passengers accompanying you so that you won’t run into any issues if you are checked in at checkpoints.
- If you came upon a police checkpoint, don’t freak out. Just unwind and smile as they typically let foreigners drive through while occasionally inquiring where you’re headed.
- Respect the Moroccan speed limit, which is 120 KM on the highway and 60 KM in urban areas.
- Be aware that driving while drunk is prohibited.
Taking a taxi
Taking a taxi when travelling farther distances is an excellent alternative option. There are two types of taxis in Morocco: Petit Taxi and Grand Taxi.
• The Petit Taxi, as the name implies, is a very compact car that can fit through small spaces. it is used for small distances inside the cities.
• A Grand Taxi is typically utilized for lengthier trips, such as those between cities.
Concerning the prices, they depend on how long the distance is in general. yet, it may differ from city to city also. For instance, a short-distance journey in Marrakech may cost 50 Dirhams or more. On the other hand, a long-distance journey in Casablanca may cost you just 20 Dirhams. Also, Keep in mind that there will be an additional fee at night.
Further reading: Top 12 Morocco Tours in 2023