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Morocco is located on the far western edge of Europe and for hundreds of years has been a bridge between the Muslim and Christian worlds of North Africa and Europe. More recently, Morocco gained fame as the last stop for refugees escaping the ravages of WWII. In the last 100 years, Morocco has become the favorite haven for authors and adventurers seeking a world of twisting... [Read the full story]
Our Insider's Articles about Morocco
Back in the 17th century, Meknès was the largest fortified city in North Africa. Its powerful ruler, Moulay Ismail, had plenty... [Read the full story]
Just a short ferry ride from Spain and you’re in Morocco, a land of beaches, white washed villages, bustling markets, steam baths, dramatic mountains, and wind-carved dunes. The moment your feet touch the ground you know you’re in Africa, and if “camel ride through the Sahara desert” is on your To Do list, you’ll soon be able to tick it off. Here are some tips to help guide you on your trip to Morocco.
Morocco has coasts on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and its interior is very mountainous. Rabat is the capital, and other famous cities include Tangiers and Casablanca. The smaller towns shouldn’t be overlooked, such as Asalih, Essaouira, and Volubilis (Volubilis has Roman ruins). Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most touristy towns, providing a significant variety of dessert explorations, including hot air balloon and 4x4. Algeria borders Morocco to the east and Western Sahara is to the south. The Algerian border is currently closed.
There are several things to know about Morocco. The country is usually safe, but there have been attacks against westerners. Check the U.S. Department of State website for updates. In general, use a little more caution in Morocco. For example, leave most of your money and your passport in the hotel whenever convenient. Western Sahara, a piece of land disputed by Morocco and the Polisario Front, should be avoided.
Bottled water is recommended because tap water contains high levels of minerals. No vaccinations are required to enter Morocco. ATMs are widely available in hotels and are the best way to get money in Morocco. The official currency is the Durham.
The official language is Arabic, and as of June 2011, Berber is also official. Moroccan’s version of Arabic is unique to the region, and can be difficult to understand for fluent Arabic speakers. Berber is the language spoken by the Berber population, the indigenous people of Northern Africa. Marrakech is a Berber town. English is not commonly spoken, but educated youth and tourist industry businesses will likely speak it. French is used to conduct professional business.
The most important ferry port is Algeciras port, which serves Tangiers. Casablanca has the largest airport. The best ways to get around inside of Morocco are train, luxury bus, and local bus. Trains are sometimes delayed but run several times a day to most cities. Local buses are slow going, and rental cars are suggested only to the most adventurous.