Gone are the days when Morocco had to fight for its autonomy from French invaders. Because now, this North African country not only thrives in diversity but has also earned its title as one of the top tourist attractions in the world. In fact, aside from the mining industry, a large part of its annual revenue actually comes from tourism. Much of its success, they say, hails from embracing the best of Islamic, African, and Arabic cultures.
Geographically speaking, Morocco is surrounded by the rich African borders of Algeria and Mauritania, while both the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea provides strategic points for water access. Its Mediterranean climate also adds up to its natural charm with abundant wildlife that boasts of biodiversity.
Most travelers usually describe Morocco as an exotic place that is full of surprises and ancient wonders. Despite the series of revolts that followed the rule of different dynasties, Morocco was able to restore and preserve most of its historical sites and ancient relics. Needless to say, it survived most tragedies and even imbibed high-end architectural tastes for ancient mosques and other Islamic pilgrimages.
The imperial cities of Morocco are considered as portals to a warm and inviting culture. Fez is known for its archaic structures, while Marrakech is more famous for its luxurious Riads. Casablanca, on the other hand, is known for as a shopping paradise with bustling commercial centers and flea markets. Rabat, the capital city of Morocco, has a more pronounced influence from its French origin. Meanwhile, artists who crave for inspiration usually find Tangier a lovely site to create their masterpieces.
Morocco is not just a cultural haven but also a spiritual retreat that accepts different religious beliefs such as Christianity, paganism, and Judaism. Aside from the shopping extravagance of haggling over prices of exquisite rugs, wood works, and artifacts, a wealth of exhilarating activities are also available through its rich coastlines, scenic views, and as a culinary paradise for some of the best cuisines.
Hotels and lodgingEditRegardless of where you come from, everybody wants to be treated like a VIP, especially when visiting another country. If there's one more thing Morocco should be known for apart from bargain shopping, it has to be the high-rate service of Morocco hotels that fits a royalty. Thousands of miles away from home, staying in top hotels in the imperial cities of Morocco can dare make a difference on your journey to infinite discoveries.
In a main square near Medina, you'll find the Almohades Hotel. The hotel suite is fully furnished with bathroom facilities, TV, and even a mini bar. You'll also have fun staying in the open lounge and restaurant that serves one of the best-tasting gourmet dishes. You may also choose to stay at the Royal Mansour where the lobby itself boasts of a dramatic entrance with impressive interior decoration. It hosts a great view by the bay and the Hassan II mosque, while you may also have a relaxing time in the hotel's sauna and the fitness suite.
The streets of Fez are filled with amazing deals and exotic finds for leather goods, lamps, and carpets. There are also too many sights to see and shops to visit in this bustling Moroccan city. However, tourists usually find themselves lost in its vast territory. Thus, for utmost safety and convenience, the Palais Jamai Hotel is a great choice because of its proximity to some of the best tourist spots. Not only will you enjoy the luxuries of its stylish suites, but you'll also be served with a generous plate of luscious Moroccan recipes in its famous hotel restaurant. The Le Meridien Merinides Hotel, meanwhile, also offers the best value for your money with overlooking views. The sports facilities and French-inspired restaurants in the lobby are among its finest treats.
With ancient city walls, majestic palaces, and verdant gardens, you'll find it hard not to fall in love with Marrakech. Aside from its historical sites, this city is also teeming with fun-filled activities for a modern nightlife. Fortunately, Riad Ma'ab Located on the quiet derb Chentouf in Riad Laarousse, this Riad has 5 rooms, all equipped with private bathrooms, A/C, and Berber furnishings from local craftsmen. It has a completely renovated courtyard. Ma'ab is a Berber name meaning "A place to which one returns".Jardins de la Medina is just a stones-throw away from the Djemma el Fna and other tourist highlights. This Moroccan hotel in Marrakech offers a serene ambiance, with palm trees and flowers that adorn its outdoor facilities. The Tichka Salam Hotel also provides one of the finest accommodations in town. Unlike other Moroccan hotels, Tichka Salam Hotel is similar to a residential facility with a laid-back atmosphere.
Meknes is known for its mausoleum and grandiose architectural designs. The extensive walls that surround this city fascinate most travelers. You'll also find nearby museums and art exhibits in Meknes that speak a lot about the diverse culture of Morocco. Great thing there's the Zaki Hotel, where guests may enjoy the colorful interiors and vibrant atmosphere of its setting. The sun terrace and the landscape garden are among its top attractions. The Palais Didi Guest House, on the other hand, is a 17th century-inspired palace. Apart from its eclectic interiors and old-fashioned facilities, the hotel also lies at the heart of the amazing tourist sites at Meknes.
The intricate details and architectural highlights of boulevards and structures in Rabat only confirm how the city capital of Morocco is highly inspired by French influences. Another great thing about Rabat is its train system that links the city to Fez, Casablanca, and other tourist destinations. As a guest at Villa Mandarine, you'll surely have the best time touring around Rabat. You'll also enjoy staying indoors with lush gardens and European interiors as among the highlights of the hotel. You'll also love the Moroccan crafts and art pieces displayed all over the walls and corners of the guest house. Leisure activities also involve swimming, playing billiards, and relaxing at the sauna or gym.
For travelers who wish to stay close at the heart of Rabat, La Tour Hassan Hotel provides an ideal setting and location. The refurbished hotel offers high-end services apart from its lush gardens and fountains that radiate tranquility amidst the city of Rabat.
There are three ways to describe Morocco-- free, exotic, and charming. But what makes Morocco really special is the intense feeling it brings you as a traveler. Just by standing in the middle of this red earth, you'll suddenly feel like you have all the time in the world to explore. You can easily get lost in its vibrant culture, rich heritage, and even fall in love with its amazing people. In a fast-paced modern world, a trip to Morocco offers a great way to look at things differently. With spellbinding sites, only one thing is for sure-- your journey to intimate discoveries is one that is priceless and endless.
The Old Morocco
Part of Morocco's charm is how it embraced the past with open arms. As such, old city walls and age-old fortresses still surround its imperial cities. One good example is the Djemma el Fna, a famous square in Marrakech where almost all types of people gather for the day's bustling activities. As a cultural hot spot, you'll also have a chance to watch musicians and artists perform live. On top of this, you'll also find yourself in great awe for the monumental minaret, which is hailed today as one of Morocco's homegrown masterpieces along with the 900-year old gates that surround the medina. But should you have an opportunity to stop by Fez, the Royal Palace is one of the most elegant sites you shouldn't dare miss.
The Natural Wonders of Morocco
Mountains, deserts, gardens, and valleys-- you don't have to travel around the globe just to take a peek at these natural wonders. Morocco has all of them and has surprisingly preserved these miracles despite the ravages of time. The long stretch of the Sahara desert is an infinite delight to most travelers who also love to ride the camel. With a perfect trail for mountain valleys, hiking is another popular activity . But just when you thought you've seen it all, wait until you take a glimpse of the Atlas Mountains. There's simply no other way to describe this experience but as a real assault to your senses. For a fine escape from the modern city life, the Dades Valley, with its red, fine sands, will definitely fulfill your long-lost voyage to the unknown. Museums in Morocco
The museums in Morocco are home to rare pieces of archaeological crafts and relics that date back to more than 4,000 years. As one of the most prestigious museums in town, a good place to begin your historical journey is through the Museum of Antiquities. For hints on popular culture and tradition, art exhibits and festivals will also introduce you to strange beliefs and insights about Morocco that you've never known before. You'll also enjoy reliving the past battles through the Horse Festival in Tissa. But if you're an art lover or simply fancy yourself as an exotic adventurer, the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival in July is surely an event to look forward to.
Places of Worship
While the world continues to shed more blood on religious wars, what's admirable about Morocco is how it remained free from the clutch of overpowering beliefs. Although Morocco is known for its trail of archaic mosques, tourists will also find churches and synagogues all over the city. Surprisingly, this North African country is a spiritual haven for various forms of worship and pilgrimages. The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is one of the largest, not to mention, among the most exquisite structures in Morocco. However, the Casablanca Cathedral also boasts of architectural details with more pronounced French influences, while the Ibn Dahan Synagogue usually receives a popular visit from Jews.
The Rich Coastline
Because of its rich coastline, thousands of people every year book their hotels in Morocco to have the best seaside experience. The beaches are aesthetically preserved with clear, blue water and soft, fine sands. Famous destinations for this include the Grottes d'Hercules and Lalla Fatma. But for a breathtaking view and awe-inspiring experience, not only travel guides but even natives would recommend the Ouzoud Falls. It is by far one of the most exciting flowing water scenes in Morocco.
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