Top 10 activities in Morocco.
Top 10 activities in Morocco. An incredibly diverse country in North Africa, Morocco is bursting with exotic experiences like no other. It is therefore almost impossible to narrow down a list of things to do in the country down to 10. This post, however, aims to offer you a snapshot of what you can expect on a trip to this fascinating land, from Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca to Chaouwara Tannery in Fez.
1 Visit the Chaouwara Tannery in Fez
The tanning industry is one of the most emblematic sites of the imperial city of Fez. They are typically found in the leather souks in the former medina and have been exploited since medieval times.
Fez el Bali
Situated in the Fez el Bali, Chaouwara is one of the largest and oldest tanneries in Fez. Here you can see men working under the hot sun, some standing in stone vessels filled with various dyes, in which animal hides are soaked. These hides are all processed manually into quality leather products sold all over the globe.
2 Participate at a cultural festival.
Morocco is home to an incredible number of exciting festivals and events throughout the year and the calendar of your visit. One of these may give you a unique experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture. Some of the festivals you may want to think about include:
Kelaa-des-Mgouna Rose Festival
Held every May, this celebrates the rose harvest with parades and traditional song and dance in the oasis town of Kelaa-des-Mgouna.
Fez Festival of World Sacred Music
This is a multi-day celebration of music that takes place every summer. You may see performers from all over the world, from whirling dervishes to dancers, chanters and mystics.
Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival
Held mainly in the El Badi Palace and Djemma el Fna, the festival attracts musicians, dancers, fortune tellers, snake charmers, and fire swallowers. It takes place in the summer.
Erfoud Date Festival
The festival is held every October in the Erfoud region to celebrate the harvest of over 1 million date palms, with traditional music, dancing, and processions.
3 Spend a night in the Sahara Desert
You can’t go to Morocco without a visit to the Sahara Desert. This is a unique experience and one you will always remember. Erg Chebbi near the town of Merzouga is home to the highest and most beautiful sand dunes in Morocco and it would be a great idea to have a night stay here at the traditional Bedouin camp.
You can take a camel ride to see the seemingly endless desert, watch the spectacular dunes at sunrise and sunset, and when night falls, enjoy a freshly cooked dinner with a Bedouin family under a cloak of stars.
4 Discover the Roman ruins of Volubilis
Go back in time by visiting the Roman ruins of Volubili. , located on a fertile plain about 33 kilometers /20½ miles north of Meknès. Volubilis is Morocco’s best archeological site and has been protected by UNESCO since 1997.
You will marvel at a great number of bronze and marble statues, inscriptions and exquisite mosaics here. As you stroll among these ruins, you can imagine what Volubilis must have looked like two thousand years ago.
- Bring a hat and lots of water if you visit in summer days as it can be hot and the sun is fierce.
- The ideal time of the day to see the site is either in the early morning or late afternoon when the ancient columns are lit by the first or last rays of the sun.
- Visit in the spring when you may find beautiful wildflowers among the abandoned stones, and the whole area is at its greenest.
5 Learn to cook delicious Moroccan food
Influenced by the Berber, Arab, Andalusian and French, Moroccan cuisine is unique and known worldwide. Some of the iconic dishes are couscous, tagines, harira, and brochettes.
You can sample these delicacies in the street stalls or restaurants and sign up for a cooking class to learn how to make them yourself.
Guesthouses or riads normally offer cooking classes that take you to the souks to shop for ingredients, then demonstrate how to prepare them in the traditional way. Finally, you can enjoy your own creation. It is well worth spending a half day on this as it may become a souvenir you will treasure for a lifetime.
6 Explore one of the souks
One of the most exciting things about a trip to Morocco is to visit the souks of the medina in the old city. These labyrinthic bazaars are full of colors, smells and sounds. There is everything from Aladdin lamps to richly coloured fabrics, hand-woven rugs, and very stacked spices.
- An unwritten rule in Morocco (except Fez) is to walk on the right side of the street when you see an oncoming moped.
- Always ask for permission before taking any photos of the local people.
- It is best not to ask the price of anything if you do not have the intention to buy it.
- A local guide can be helpful in navigating the narrow alleys.
7 Walking in the High Atlas Mountains.
Far from the bustle of the city, the High Atlas is perfect for enjoying the fresh air and a magnificent view of the mountains. The famous mountain range hosts Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, with an altitude of 13.671 feet/ 4.167 metres.
It is the most common hiking destination in Morocco. Most walks begin in a mountain village called Imlil, which is just an hour’s drive from Marrakech. Though a hiking guide is not a must, it is best to have one, especially if you are not an experienced hiker, as it will make the trek a lot easier.
April and May are the best times to go when there are pleasant weather and the least rain. If you don’t fancy a walk to the summit, it is also nice to just hike in the area surrounding the mountain.
8 the blue town Chefchaouen
Nestled under the spectacular peaks of the Rif, centuries-old Chechaouen is one of Morocco’s most fascinating cities. It is famous for its blue-washed houses, and cobbled streets against the breathtaking mountain scenery.
You may explore its quaint craft markets, sit in a street-side café, or simply walk through the streets at your own pace to absorb the ambiance.
9 Visit Marrakesh’s Bahia Palace
The Bahia Palace, meaning brilliance, was built at the order of Si Moussa who was the grand vizier of the sultan, and intended to be the most beautiful palace of its time. It is indeed an excellent example of Moroccan architecture.
Spread over two acres / 8,100 m2, this 19-century royal complex consists of lovely buildings and gardens that are filled with orange trees and splashing fountains.
Council rooms are also impressive, with zellig fireplaces, flooring and painted cedarwork. A visit here will give you an insight into how the ruling class of Morocco lived in the past. Opening hours: 9 AM- 4:30 PM/Location: 5 Rue Riad Zitoun el Jdid, Marrakech
10 Explore the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
Hassan II Mosque is one of the greatest in the world ,designed by the French architect Michel Pinseau, It is the largest in Morocco, having the world’s tallest minaret (689 feet /210 meters).
Commissioned by King Hassan II, it took 7 years to construct, with the joint efforts of 10, 000 artisan craftsmen. Non-Muslim visitors can visit the mosque on guided tours outside prayer times.
But you can also feel the charm of this building and its oceanfront backdrop from the outside.