23 Things to DO and SEE in Morocco
"Morocco is not just another Arab country. It's a crossroads - between Africa and Europe, and between Arabia and what lies west, beyond the Atlantic. But...beyond all else it's Berber...the original people of this kingdom." Casablanca Blues by Tahir Shah 2013
1. Wear Red and wander the stunning narrow blue roads of Chefchaouen’s Medina.
Chefchaouen is a hidden gem in the Rif mountains, its blue washed medina walls makes it the prettiest village in Morocco. Wearing red and wandering the narrow roads not only makes it feel like you are in a dreamy Disney world but also makes it picture perfect.
2. Trek to Cascades d’Akchour
These beautiful cascades are only a 45 minute drive from Chefchaouen. They consist of a lower and an upper cascade sharing the same stream. It takes a 1 hour trek uphill to get to the lower cascade and a minimum of another hour to the second cascade. It is a beautiful trek and if you have a day I would recommend trekking to the second cascade, an afternoon will only allow you to get to the first cascade. One can see not only beautiful scenery during the trek but also wild monkeys.
3. Eat Tagine
The traditional Berber tagine is named after the clay dish with its cone shaped lid, it is cooked in. This Moroccan dish is a savoury fish, lamb, chicken or beef slow cooked stew with vegetables and/or couscous as well as fruit, nuts and spices. Definitely yummy and healthy even though might get too much of eating pretty much the same thing after a week.
4. Visit the Kif Plantations
Kif (or as we know it marijuana), is illegal in Morocco, however easily available and untouched in northern Morocco like Chefchaouen. A common excursion for tourists travelling to this area is a visit to the Kif plantations, where you get to see how Kif is processed and visit the fields if you are visiting at the right season for that. The surrounding mountains are breathtaking, but the place they take you in can be a bit scratchy, especially when they try to tell you large amounts and you have to try and negotiate your way out of it. Best is always to go with an acquaintance you have made at the village.
5. Get lost in the narrow roads of Fes
Listed as a world heritage site, Fes is an old beautiful medina, also called the Mecca of the west. It is a very large medina with narrow windy roads, one can easily get lost in, in fact it is believed to have one of the largest pedestrian areas in the world. It has a busy souq (market) with locals selling chickens and vegetables. Donkeys are also a normal transportation method to transport things around the medina.
6. Visit a Tannery while in Fes
Good luck finding your way around the medina of fes unless you have a guide to take you to the right leather place in which it will be selling all sorts of leather products ranging from bean bags to jackets and bags. Usually these places have at least a 3 storey staircase which leads to the roof with the tannery views. Prior to getting to the roof, mint is given to you to smell, apparently it acts as a gas mask as the smells are not as pleasant as the tannery scenery.
7. Visit the Beautiful Mosque Mohammed II in Casablanca
Hassan mosque II makes up for the lack of things to do and see in Casablanca. Hassan II mosque is the largest in Morocco, its minaret is 60 stories tall making it the tallest in the world. It stands out on the Atlantic ocean and its beautiful to visit during sunset to admire its beauty in both the light and dark. One can also witness one the most beautiful sunsets from this part of Casablanca.
8. Haggle and shop till you drop in Jemma El Fna
From carpets to leather bags, and light shades to wooden board games, from spices to tagines, this is the place where you haggle and shop till you drop. This massive square and market place are found in Marrakech’s old medina. The square is occupied by juice stalls and food stalls, and its bustling with traditional dancers and musicians as well as cobra charmers.
9. Buy a Berber Jacket and a handmade carpet
A berber jacket is a woollen woven colourful jacked typical of the berber tribe. Very cosy and typical Moroccan. If you want to aquire a beautiful colourful and unique rug for your home, Morocco is the place to buy it. Carpets in Morocco are made from camel and/or sheep wool. They are hand made by nomads and some take months and at least four people to complete. Make sure you haggle as much as you can, a beautiful big carpet can cost as only at 150 euro.
10. Visit the hidden village of Imlil in the mountains
One of my personal favourite villages in Morocco. This village is very raw, for some reason it reminded me of a Christmas crib, it is up high in the mountains, covered in apple trees and mountain views. It is a small village yet one can easily get lost in it. Funnily enough roads all seem the same, the doors are identical and the riads cannot be distinguished from the local houses. Make sure you get the name of the riad before you wander off to discover the beautiful village.
11. Climb Mount Toubkal
Mount Toubkal is a difficult trek, if you are not fit enough you do not have to miss out on the opportunity to see the amazing scenery at the peak, simple opt to climb it on a mule. Once you get up top the view are impeccable, buy a fresh orange juice from the small stall and enjoy.
12. Visit UNESCO world heritage site Ait Ben Haddou
This unique site, displays well Moroccan clay architecture, it is a fortified city surrounded with great walls. Ait Ben Haddou now has only around four families living in it, most locals have moved to the neighbouring village outside the walls. This area is been featured in many films including Gladiator and but been used mostly to replace Jerusalem.
13. Ride a camel in the Sahara
Not the comfiest ride, but once in Morocco, riding a camel in the Sahara is a must. Make sure you know the departure times beforehand, as I have experienced the guide waking me up at 5am because ‘the camel is waiting to leave’ to watch the sunset! Wearing a turban is very useful in case of windy conditions which would make the air sandy.
14. Camp in the Sahara
Beautiful Moroccan tents surrounded by sand dunes and delicious traditional food inside await for the guests. Tents are shared with other travellers, it is a great way to get to know people. Many beetles are on the sand so if you are not a bug lover make sure to have some shoes. This can be beautiful experience where you can sleep under millions of stars.
15. Learn how to wear a Turban
A turban is a kind of head wear where a long scarf is winded around the head. Turban helps to protect you from both the sun and windy conditions in the desert.
16. Eat fresh fish in Essaouira
Mixed scents of fresh fish, spices and the sea air are what reach your nose first once you get to Essaouira. Essaouira is a beautiful medina on the Atlantic coast, a fishing harbour soaring with sea gulls. Its fortified walls lead you to narrow roads and alleyways. If you like fresh fish then this is definitely the right place as there will be many stalls selling fresh fish and seafood.
17. Ride a horse on the beach in Essaouira
All you can hear is the sound of the sea and the horses hooves gallop on the sand, while wind brushes your skin and blow your hair. Wow what a feeling to gallop on the beach. Could be quite painful too if you do not know how to ride a horse properly.
18. Steam in a Hammam
Hammam are traditional steam baths, which is an important ritual for the locals. Moroccans attend their local public hammam once a week where they get to gossip and cleanse their skin. It’s a relaxing steam room where you are first soaked in warm water, rubbed with natural soap, and then take it in turns to get a nice exfoliation session. It is a great relaxation session which gives you glowing skin.
19. Witness climbing goats
If you have never heard of climbing goats, it sounds ridiculous, I know! Seeing them in the trees made me feel sorry for them, as I thought that they were placed there on purpose to ask for money, as the locals try to earn money from anything. But I was wrong of course, climbing goats are found in Morocco between the long roads of Essaouira and Marrakech, on Argania trees. This is in fact how the famous argan oil in Morocco is produced! The goats poop is the secret! The goats eat the trees fruit and after pooping it, the clumps of seeds found in it is the valuable ingredient for making argan oil.
20. Drink Berber tea
For Moroccans, drinking tea is a way of life; it is a way of showing their warm hospitality and it gives you a sense of a beautiful culture. You might be offered tea while negotiating on buying rugs and before checking in the guest house. Berber tea is their traditional tea which is made with green tea, fresh mint and plenty of sugar, served in small glasses.
21. Sleep in gorgeous Riads
Riads are beautiful Moroccan traditional houses. Many guest houses or small hotels offer beautiful accommodation for your stay while in Morocco.
22. Hang out with the locals
What is better than hanging out with the locals to learn and feel the culture of the country. Accept their hospitality, be friendly and the Moroccans are the most laid back and friendliest people on earth. The best way to learn their customs is to get them talking.
23. Tag along travellers
As I always say, reaching a destination is never long when in great company! Tag along with us, get in touch to check out our next destination!
Here's a sneak peak of 12 tag along travellers who were tagged along on a Moroccan adventure.