To be honest, I’m not even sure where to start!
If you have read our Morocco Itinerary post, you already know about our whirlwind trip through this amazing country.
There really is something here for everybody. It’s ridiculous when you consider the variety of landscapes that are packed into such as small area. Morocco is the dream destination for any outdoor adventurer!
It is easy to immerse yourself in Morocco’s rich history and culture. We were happy to find that locals were more than willing to share their culture with us. and you will definitely experience this as well. Once you go to Morocco, of course!
So let’s talk about exactly why Morocco should be the next destination on your list.
1. The Kindness and Hospitality of Moroccans
As soon as we landed in Casablanca we were greeted with smiling faces!… and cab drivers making their best sales pitch outside the train station.
All jokes aside, we crossed paths with many kind Moroccans right from the start.
Even the smallest of interactions could turn into a full-blown conversation. The woman serving you a fresh crepe in the morning will most definitely ask you about your travels, and your taxi driver will probably start showing you photos of his kids when he should be looking at the road. Ok, I’ll leave cab drivers alone!
Simply put, many locals will be genuinely interested in your story and are always looking for a new friend to share theirs with.
Small gestures of kindness also made a big impression on us. Many shopkeepers, like Idriss (above), invited us to sit with them and share some tea. Daylight would pass as the conversation and sweet goodness of mint tea kept flowing. For real, we sat with Idriss for over an hour talking about our lives back home!
Inviting us into their shop for a chat was not simply a sales tactic! They enjoy your company and are happy to share their time with you. And if you are looking to buy some goodies, wouldn’t you rather strike a deal with someone who showed interest in you, and not just your money? We never felt pressured to buy from these people. They acted out of kindness.
Little moments like these helped us to feel welcome in a country that is completely different from our home in Canada! But this exposure is another great reason to visit Morocco.
2. Rich Heritage and Culture
Culture and traditions are rooted deep in Morocco. The blend of Arab, and Berber traditions with a hint of Roman, French, and Spanish influence has formed a cultural heritage that stands out from the rest of Africa.
These days, a strong generation of young Moroccans and a forward-thinking mindset is bringing forth a modernizing country, but it’s traditions are treasured and will not be lost in the fold.
Step foot into any medina and you’ll be transported back hundreds of years. If you look closely, the history of Morocco is all around you.
Public fountains decorated by worn zellige tilework hint to medieval times. Even as you sit down for a cup of mint tea you participate in a ritual. The elegant silver teapot that pours and repours your glass is saved for moments that bring people together.
Simply wandering the souks for goods is how Moroccans have been doing their shopping for centuries! Its way more exciting than any outlet mall anyways.
Do yourself a favour and take your time! Give it a chance, and Morocco will enchant you with all its wonder.
The calls to prayer that sound throughout the day will remind you of the importance of religion in the daily lives of Moroccans. Travelers, and non-Muslims are incredibly fortunate to have the chance to learn more about the Islamic faith by being welcomed into Casablanca’s Hassan II mosque. For such a holy space to be shared with visitors of the country is just another example of how incredibly open the country and its people are.
So talk to all the friendly strangers around you! Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two. If you approach everything with an open mind you are sure to be rewarded.
3. Outdoor Adventures are Everywhere!
For many travelers, the main appeal of travelling to Morocco is to experience its ancient cities. We were happy to discover there is so much more to explore!
As I gazed outside the train window on our way to Marrakech I was surprised to see the landscape change so dramatically. Arriving in Marrakech you catch your first sight of the mighty High Atlas mountains that are begging to be explored. Afterall, you can hike to the highest point in Northern Africa by climbing up Jebel Toubkal.
And this was one of the many outdoor adventures we DID NOT have time to take on!
Instead, we chose to do almost the complete opposite. The crashing Atlantic along Morocco’s southern coast is a surfers dream. We did not plan to try surfing for the first time, but we felt it would be wrong not to!
The focus for our trip changed quickly after these experiences. We knew that we wanted to get outside and explore nature any chance we got.
Staying overnight in the Sahara desert is an experience you will cherish for the rest of your life. If I could do it again, I would stay two nights to ride out deeper into the dunes.
However, my personal favourite has to be our retreat to the village of Kalaa in the northern Rif Mountains. We swapped the red sand for lush greenery and the remnants of winter snow. Relaxing on Ahmed’s farm was a great way to take in nature and unwind. We were living the simple life, something that is rare nowadays.
It was stunning how quickly your surroundings could change, and I can’t even speak to all of the regions we did not have a chance to explore.
Through word of mouth we heard that the ancient cedar forests surrounding Ifrane and Azrou are perfect for relaxing hikes. For the more hardcore travellers, you should definitely take on Jebel Toubkal or one of the many other High Atlas summits.
Needless to say, nature is calling! There are tons of adventures waiting for you, and many reasons why we want to come back to Morocco and explore some more.
If Morocco was not already on the top of your list, we hope it is now! There is something here for all types of travellers.
Exposure to a different culture may take you out of your comfort zone, but that is one of the many challenges we should embrace in travel! The Moroccan people will welcome you with open arms, and the endless opportunities for adventure will ensure you never want to leave.
I will always remember this one Arabic saying we learned during our travels.We were reminded by many of our Moroccan friends of “inshallah.” It means that “If god wish it,” you shall return. I know that day is not too far away!
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