Travel Time : Magic Of Morocco
This bustling North African country is teeming with culture and history, making it an ideal destination for your holidays.
Blending two worlds - Europe and Africa - and bathed by two seas, the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Morocco is a cultural melting pot which promises the holiday traveler a truly original vacation.
With 3,500 kilometers of coastline, snow-clad mountains, fertile plains, steep gorges, the vast emptiness of the Sahara and an intrinsically mixed heritage, it combines a host of outside influences from its long history of conquest and colonial settlement.
Over the centuries the indigenous Berbers mingled with incoming Phoenicians, Romans, Bysantines, Arabs, Portuguese, Spanish and French to create a rich, fascinating cultural casserole. The evidence is on every side - in its buildings, its cuisine and picturesque feasts and festivals.
In Casablanca, or Casa, as locals call their exciting city, is the first step to this wonderful magic kingdom. For sightseers Hassan II Mosque, the world's largest and most spectacular, is the prime landmark. Stroll the spacious avenue around Place Mohammed V, a popular square with impressive Moorish architecture.
Wander the narrow streets of the bustling Habbous district, lined with arcades linking one souk, or street market, to the next and selling souvenirs and local crafts.
For a taste of Casa's true charm, join the crowds thronging the beaches, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs which line its splendid corniche, or simply relax and watch the world go by.
Shopping is a holiday experience in itself, thanks to the extraordinary variety of sun-drenched fruit and vegetables, rare and aromatic spices, tasty fish and succulent meats on offer which star in its delicious cuisine.
Marrakech, which gave the nation its name, is one of its four imperial cities and known as the "red peal", for its colorful walls.
An oasis on the fertile Haouz Plain, this mystical settlement lies beneath the High Atlas mountains, and an excellent starting point to explore picturesque Ourika Valley. At its heart is vibrant Djemaa El Fna square where, during the day, you find magicians, jugglers, musicians, dancers, acrobats, fortune tellers, women selling baskets. As dust falls, showmen make way for food sellers and mouthwatering aromas fill the air. Don't miss the picturesque medina, where musicians and belly dancers entertain visitors. The city is also known for its famed souks selling copper, carpets, kaftans, dry fruits, spices, pots of henna, kohl, mint and musk. A good way to enjoy street life is a leisurely ride through them in a horse-drawn carriage.
Agadir, destroyed by an earthquake in 1960, is now a major tourist resort completely different from the rest of the country, stretching up to 10 kilometers. Breezes off the Atlantic make its beautiful fine sand beach a pleasant spot to relax all year round, and the corniche has a host of restaurants offering traditional Moroccan cuisine. Shops near the hotels and town center sell traditional handicrafts, while vibrant discotheques and nightclubs keep night owls entertained.
Marrakech : Places to visit
Djemaa El fna: The legendary market square is a living spectacle of Moroccan life. A busy place at any time of the day, crammed with people, hot food stalls, story tellers, magicians, jugglers, musicians and dancers, acrobats and fortune tellers. The Djemaa El Fna can be found in the walled ancient quarter with its myriad of twisting lanes.
Koutoubia Minaret: This 70 meter-high minaret is more than 800 years old and the spiritual beacon of Marrakech.
Dar Si Said Museum: This museum houses the finest masterpieces of Moroccan art: silver and Berber jewelry, oil lamps, embroidered leather, rustic pottery, marble, chess and beautiful carpets.
Souks: No visit to Morocco is complete without visiting the fabulous souks which sell copper, carpets, kaftans, dry fruits, aromatic spices, pots of henna, mint and musk.
Places to visit in Casablanca
Hassan II mosque: Visible from every corner of the city, this awesome structure is a jewel of 20th century Islamic architecture. The huge place of worship was designed by Michel Pinseau and inaugurated by King Hassan II. It is one of the few mosques in the country which permits entry to non-Muslims.
Quartier Habbous: A new medina built by the French, this is the best place to shop, with vendors selling copperware and silverware, leather goods, ceramics and small furniture.