Explore Morocco holidays and discover the best time and places to visit
When I close my eyes and think of Morocco, the five senses are suddenly activated, highlighting the sense of smell. The memory of odors is usually an effective companion when it comes to resuscitating experiences and sensations. Suddenly, many simple aromas of recognizing and dissecting enter the arena. Like that of the mint leaves submerged in the bottom of a silver teapot or that of a store of freshly tanned skins in the souk. I could go right through my mind with the labyrinth of the medina of Fez and lose myself in its corners, stopping to listen to the call to prayer next to the tomb of an ancient king. Let me take you by the daily show of the Jma el-Fna Square in Marrakech or uncover a succulent tagine peeking over one of the blue streets of old Chaouen. I would be ready to take a leap to the Rif and the Atlas by changing the course and seeing myself plowing the dusty roads of the Kasbahs route until I reached the sea of dunes of the Merzouga desert and waiting to see how the stars shine more than anywhere .
Morocco is so close, but it is so remote at the same time … In fact I have always considered it among my favorite destinations because it gives me the closest way to travel very far. And dream, dream high. Because, although it may not seem so, on the other side of the strait there is still everything to do.
I have traveled countless times to Morocco. In fact it was there, just over a decade ago, where I carried out my first and improvised solo trip. I remember perfectly. They were Christmas. A small van was waiting for me in Ouarzazate, on the other side of an Atlas completely covered with snow. And from there I played adding new amounts to the odometer stopping at everything that caught my attention, which was not little. Like the Kasbahs, the adobe villages in the middle of nowhere or that large amount of palm trees that suffocated an arid and rocky vessel with their green leaves. The dust of the road was my companion, who every time was indicating to me with precision the nearness of the desert. First of stones (what in the Maghreb is known as hammada) to, in the end, as a prize, walk through an inexhaustible succession of dunes that changed their tone with each step they took.
From then on there were many more occasions when this country came to knock on my door. And little by little I discovered how much to see in Morocco. That if the imperial cities, the white towns beaten by the fury of the Atlantic, the Almohad minarets twinned with the Giralda of Seville (Koutoubia of Marrakech and Unfinished Tower of Hassan in Rabat), authentic stone gorges and gorges supported by the whims of the erosion.
It is really easy to make a jump to Morocco, a few days to savor a particular city or to travel for a longer period and make, for example, the route of the Kasbahs and leave your tracks in an extensive desert of sand. From Spain, for example, there are frequent connections with the neighboring country. Just look at the example of the flights scheduled by Vueling, which starting from Barcelona reaches cities such as Marrakech (7 weekly frequencies, from Malaga 2), Casablanca (2 weekly frequencies), Fez (1 weekly frequency), Nador (1 weekly frequency) o Tangier (8 weekly frequencies). A trip of just over an hour that slows down, and much, the long journey by car and the need to cross the Strait by boat. Although everything has its point, of course.
A good starting point to get to know Morocco trips is what those known as imperial cities offer. Authentic labyrinthine remnants representing the greatness of a kingdom with a long accumulated history. This amalgam of unique cities is composed of exquisite quartet that coincides with the possibility of getting lost in the frenzy of walled medinas that look like ant hills, in their busy souks, their palatial buildings and their lighthouses of religion resonating very high. But in reality, they are four different cities, full of nuances that differentiate them and make them unique. Marrakech, Fez, Meknés and Rabat. Protagonists of an even better movie than you would ride in your head under the most demanding direction.
The most adorable peculiarity of Marrakech would be its great square, Jma el-Fna visit, where what happens there was already declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Because there are things that do not depend only on architectural or historical concepts but on what is known as human landscape, on the tradition that becomes routine (and also a bit of improvisation) in a square that changes its physiognomy as well as The hands of the clock do it. Who knows this place, the heart of a very interesting city where things do not stop happening, knows it.
But Marrakech trips goes beyond its square. The imperial palaces and gardens to visit , the vericuetos of his souk, that aroma that the kitchens give off. And also it does not stop presenting novelties, since very soon it will open in the middle of the medina an area of more than 5000 square meters to house the Great Museum of Moroccan culinary art. It will take place in an old palace a few steps from Bahia where he will explain in an innovative way the best of Moroccan cuisine as well as the influences contributed by towns such as Berber, Arab-Andalusian and even the Jew.
Fez tours would stand out as the owner of a maze impossible to imagine. An endless number of alleys that merge with a certain anarchy to ensure that, if the traveler is lost through them, it is the best thing that can happen to him. Because there are places where it doesn’t matter to ignore the way back. Especially when the best of the trip is simply and simply the crossing between two points.
Meknés would be something like Fez’s little sister. And for many the humblest. Although the yellow walls of the mausoleum of Mulay Ismaíl or the detail found in the great door called Bab el-Mansour indicate quite the opposite.
Finally Rabat, the discreet capital because everything really seems to move in Casablanca, a total unknown full of historical vestiges such as the Hassan Tower or the Romanized Chellah whose abandoned towers are now occupied by hundreds of storks.
Many mistakenly place Casablanca as one of the imperial cities, but it never was. His little medina or the memories that Rick’s Café provides to those who have seen a thousand times the scenes of the black and white tape starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, does not go unnoticed. But if you have to choose a place in this city, it is undoubtedly the Hassan II Mosque, one of the best architectural jewels that the 20th century brought up on Moroccan soil as a compendium of the arts at the service of Islam in the Alawite country . This building, by itself, could be branded as imperial.
Nor would they be within the route of imperial cities, but on any thorough route that boasts Moroccan lands trips , both Essaouira and Asilah or Chaouen. Virtuosity dyed white in the first two, scented with the waves of the Atlantic and the riot of fishermen in the port. And the kingdom of blue in the last, Chaouen, a delicious bend in the Rif mountain range in which even the worst photographer is able to portray the purest sky in each of its streets.
But traveling to Morocco is not just about visiting cities. Morocco, in fact, is a toast to the great adventures in which to navigate diverse landscapes. Although in my case I must acknowledge that I am a devoted confessor of those whose principle is the Atlas and the end of the desert. From Ouarzazate to Merzouga. Or, to admire the Jebel Toubkal and its 4167 meters in the North African Pyrenees, to make a leap among kasbahs, mythical alcazabas that represent the historical depth of a country, to arrive at the most idyllic version of the desert in Merzouga.
There are so many Kasbahs that there is even a route through these fortified citadels. Ait Ben Haddou is surely the best known and most spectacular. But there are many more worthwhile. Taourit in Ouarzazate itself, Tamnougalt near Agdz, Telouet or those that can be admired in the immense palm grove of Skoura are just some of a collection worthy, but impossible, to complete.
To reach Kasbahs and Ksour (fortified villages) it is necessary to enter rocky cliffs and stony valleys molded by erosion and, above all, long geological periods. Although, fortunately, many of them well accessible to both or four wheels. And, of course, when walking slowly, which is easy to interrupt with a cup of tea and a spontaneous conversation.
All to get to the place where you can put your feet on the sand and allow them to sink. Because in the dunes there is only the firm ground sitting on it, contemplating the horizon, feeling an insignificance so certain and unrepeatable that it is possible to assimilate, even in part, the grandeur of our planet. Merzouga is one of those places where it makes sense to the sum of the five letters that make up the word TRAVEL.