If you typically associate Morocco with the smell of amber and spices, good weather, and beautiful architecture then you’re not a far cry from what this country has to offer.
It’s somewhere that admittedly divides opinion. For those of you whose idea of a perfect holiday is tanning by the water on a stomach-full of poolside snacks and Mai Tais, you may want to save that for somewhere else, or at least narrow down your pool-lounging time so you can experience the beauty of Morocco outside of your hotel complex.
If you’re looking for an experience in food, history, and culture then you’ve landed in the right place.
Still undecided? check out the info from PURSUIT’s trip to Morocco below.
Back Streets of Old Town Marrakech
Referred to by many as the ‘Rose City’ – Old Town Marrakech is a bustling part of the city that constantly moves. From the spinning of old wheelbarrows infinitely piled with fruits to the revving of moped engines as they rush through winding alleys, this part of Morocco is full of energy and is definitely a must see for those who like to experience a country or city in all of its authenticity.
Ben Youssef Madrasa
This beautiful historic building once served as an Islamic college and, during its opening, was one of the largest religious colleges in North Africa. After six centuries of providing teachings to its religious pupils, the Ben Youssef Madrassa closed, reopening as a monument for the public in 1982. Since then, hoards of tourists visit each year to marvel at the mosaic walls and the intricate inscriptions carved throughout. Although busy during summer, it’s still a tranquil spot away from the hustle and bustle and a great sun trap.
Visiting Marrakech without venturing through the souks would be time thoroughly wasted. These colourful stalls are brimming with spices, ceramics and handmade leather goods for you to exercise your bartering skills over.
Hiring a trusted local tour guide is a safe way of navigating your way through the stalls and making sure you see all that there is to offer and most shopkeepers are very happy to let you look around with only a few approaching with the hard sell. Either way, working your way through these market stalls and glancing over what each of them have to offer is all part of the experience and shouldn’t be missed.
Guided Tour of Agadir
A popular trip for tourists residing in and around Agadir, this tour of the city offers views from the Kasbah (an old fortress that overlooks the town), a visit to the souks, the jewellery museum and – perhaps the most peculiar activity – a stop off at the local ports to get a glimpse of their traditional boat building process. Altogether this trip lasts around three hours and you’re guaranteed to learn a little something new regarding the history of Morocco along the way.
If, like the rest of us, you own a Pinterest account or you’re a serial “saver” for all things aesthetically pleasing on your Instagram, then you’ve probably got a photo of this lagoon-like town stored somewhere from your browsings.
Located in Northwest Morocco in the Rif Mountains and coined “the blue pearl of Morocco,” this unique location has gained frequent attention due to the distinct colour in which the entire town is painted. From the walls to the floors, every winding corner and staircase leads to another that is dipped in a shade of blue. The story behind Chefchaouen and why it obtained its distinctive colour is still contested with theories ranging from practical to religious reasons. Either way, this beautiful town is one to visit and is steeped in a rich history dating back to the 15th Century that is worth knowing.
Meeting the People
As obvious as it seems, interacting with the locals is as much a part of learning about this country’s culture as general site seeing or visiting museums and monuments.
Although there are language barriers, a small portion of the locals speak some level of English due to the amount of tourism in Morocco – particularly tourist hot spots such as Marrakech and Agadir.
For those who are well versed in Arabic or French, you’ll have even more reason to immerse yourself in the culture and learn from the locals as these are Morocco’s main languages – excluding their native language, Berber.