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Ten Essential Things To Do When You Visit Morocco

Feb 10, 2008
This northwestern African kingdom is known for its culture, language, cuisine, and storied attractions. A former French protectorate, Morroco is the fifth most economically active country in Africa. There is much to see, hear, taste, and do in Morocco, and none of it is confined to the kasbahs.

1.) Ait Benhaddou

This kasbah, or desert fortress, is located in the Draa Valley. Kasbahs were originally built to protect the people from the marauders and the invaders that wanted to take the area. If Ait Benhaddou should seem familiar to you, that is probably because it has been featured as the backdrop to several Hollywood movies.

2.) Hiking

Morocco's varied terrain offers plenty of opportunities to trekkers who wish to see the country's natural wonders on foot. Different types of tours are available, from go-it-alone hikes to trips arranged with the Moroccan National Tourist Office, to horseback rides through the Atlas Mountains. Overnight camping treks are also to be had, complete with guide and mules, so prepare for your camping gears if this is in your itinerary.

3.) Swimming

Swimming, diving, and bathing activities are available at several towns. These include El Jadida, Agadir, Safi, and Essaouira. To the north, the Mediterranean coast offers resorts like the one at Cabonegro where swimming and diving facilities are being developed extensively there, cashing in on the yearly influx of tourists and visitors.

4.) Atlas Mountains

Morocco's mountain ranges are extensive and present opportunities to engage in several kinds of recreational activities. These activities include biking, nature tripping and bird-watching. White-water rafters are also served by the mountain rivers and is a fun way to spend a day with your loved one.

5.) Sahara

A large part of Morocco is in the Sahara, the world largest sandy desert. As such, tourists are offered two-fold opportunities when they visit the Sahara Desert. They can both experience riding on a camel and explore the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert at the same time, surely a wonderful opportunity.

6.) Jebel Toubkal

Ascents of this 4,000-meter-tall peak, the tallest in northern Africa, are popular with tourists. Trips usually start from the village of Imlil at the base of the mountain. Guides are essential if you want to go on this trip, and there are resting places available along the way for some needed breaks.

7.) Skiing

Even though it has the Sahara within its borders, Morocco also offers skiing activities in the Atlas Mountains. Skiing is available at Ouikaiden, Mischliffen, Mount Tidiquin, and at Ifrane. Ski in the morning and sleep in the desert at night, now, isn't it a grand vacation?

8.) 4x4 tours

Visitors can also opt to explore the countryside with tours conducted on all-terrain vehicles. These usually incorporate Moroccan events such as feasts and have as destinations landmarks like gorges and dunes. You also get to pretend you are participating in the Paris-Dakar rally that passes yearly through the country, and this is surely something that any visitor would want to do.

9.) Shopping

No trip to Morocco is complete without at least one visit to a souk or marketplace. Souks abound in the cities, and the largest is located in Marrakech. You can purchase everything from basketry to musical instruments in one, but do not expect a quick transaction as every purchase is a slow, sociable affair.

10.) Djemaa el Fna

This piece of real estate in Marrakech is always alive. There's always something of interest happening here, whether it's acrobats performing, food sellers hawking their wares, or musicians playing. It's a sight not to be missed and a chance that should be experienced.
About the Author
Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV - the place to share travel videos. Visit http://www.destinationguide.tv/morocco to view or share Morocco travel videos.
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