10 tips to discover Morocco

Morocco is a wonderful country with a mysterious atmosphere. There are many things to do and experience. We at Sevilla4Real will offer trips to this country in the future. To celebrate this we have listed some things to do in this magical country.

 

 

1.    Get lost in the Medinas
A Medina is the old part of the city. It is full of small, narrow streets and perfect to wander around! In this area you can find a lot of fountains, palaces, mosques, madrasas (Quran schools) and other historic buildings. Because the streets are so narrow, cars are usually prohibited. This makes the medina perfect to explore on foot! 

The Medina of Marrakesh has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A lot of the highlights of the city can be found here, such as the Jema el-Fnaa square, the souks, some of the gardens, palaces and Riads, and mosques. The medina is enclosed by pink walls. These walls are just one colour you will see in this place. Let yourself be seduced by the colours and spices during your walks through the medina.

 

2.    Have an overnight stay in the desert
Can you imagine yourself counting the stars in the Sahara desert? Or riding a camel? Or witnessing the sunrise paint the dunes orange? All of this is possible in the Moroccan desert. The best way to experience all of this is by staying at a camp. 

These camps usually consist of a communal living room tent and private tents. Here you’ll have dinner and the possibility to experience some traditional music. As mentioned before, the stargazing could be the most wonderful experience of all of this. Because there is nearly no light pollution in the desert, the stars seem to shine brighter.

At these camps you can also do some activities such as a camel trek or a quad tour.  
 

 

 

3.    Stay in a Riad
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with a small garden or courtyard in the middle. These buildings are very similar to the typical Andalusian houses and palaces in Spain. A lot of these Riads are now hotels or guesthouses. The windows of the rooms face into the courtyard, to offer privacy according to the Islamic ideas. Staying in a Riad is a very cultural experience. 
Riads usually have a limited amount of rooms, and each room is decorated in a unique way. A lot of times you you can spot the beautiful Moroccan architecture and the tiles that are similar to Azulejos. The rooms can be budget friendly or very luxurious and have balconies if they are on the upper floor. 

At times you can ask the owner of your Riad for a dinner. They will prepare it to order with love. 

Riads are usually owned by families or individuals and offer an intimate, personal service. Sometimes you’ll even be welcomed by a cup of Moroccan mint tea! 

 

4.    Discover the Spanish influences
Morocco has a rich and diverse culture, and the people are proud of this. The country has a strong connection with Spain because of is history. There is evidence that there were trading routes between Europe and Africa before the Moors entered Spain. 

The Andalusian region of Spain used to be called Al-Andalus in the past, and the Muslims influenced the language, architecture, food, art and music. An example of this is “al moussiqa al andaloussia”. This tradition started in Spain and found its way back to North Africa. Some Spanish dishes are still served in the north such as churros and bocadillos. Even one or Morocco’s mot famous recipes has some Spanish roots: the bastilla (or pastilla or bisteeya).

There are many more connections to Spain. Have you compared the architecture of the Alcázar or some of the palacios to the ones in Morocco? 

Discover the links yourself during a trip to Morocco!
 

 

5.    Visit a Hammam
Nothing can be more relaxing than enjoying some time off in a hammam. This tradition Is believed to have come from the Romans, and it took a whole new turn when the Islam was introduced. According to Islam being pure and clean is very important before prayer and devotion. Because of this the hammams became popular.

Many locals go to the hammam every week. It has become a social event for people to talk and spend time with each other. Hammams usually offer treatments, but the locals do all of this themselves. There are a variety of hammams that offer a variety of experiences. Choose between the luxury ones or the neighbourhood ones and relax!
 

 

6.    Do some shopping in the souks 
The souks are the place to practice your haggling skills and make bargains! The souks are very busy places and you won’t know where to look first. 

Traders from other areas used to travel great distances to the big cities. The reasons why the cities such as Marrakech have so many gates is because so many traders from all over the country used to travel to the city.

Here you can buy stuff from local artisans and craftsmen. Buy some tagine pots, plates, tea cups and pots, or maybe some spices to recreate the food you had in Morocco. Carpets and rugs are also a beautiful souvenir, as are leather goods. 
 

 

7.    Listen to the call to prayer
The call to prayer or Azan is called out from the mosque five times a day. The muezzin is the person who recites from the mosque with a beautiful melody. He is loud enough for everybody to hear. You will definitely hear this during your stay in Morocco.

 

8.    Visit the Kasbahs
A Kasbah is a type of medina or fortified part of the city. It is usually a keep or citadel with various buildings. The kasbah was where the local leader would live and from where he would defend the city. The kasbah usually has high walls and, like the one in Tangier, is built on a hilltop. The kasbah used to be a sign of wealth.

One of the most famous kasbahs is probably the Aït Benhaddou kasbah, between the Sahara desert and Marrakech. The site is declared World Heritage by UNESCO and many films where shot there, such as Kingdom of Heaven, Prince of Persia, Gladiator, The Mummy and many more. 
 

 

9.    Enjoy a cup of mint tea
In Morocco, mint tea is so much more than just a drink. It is a way of life. It’s a social event and can even be a ceremony when it’s prepared for a guest. In this case the tea is usually prepared by the man of the house to welcome a guest. 

This tea is also very easy to make at home. You only need green tea, mint leaves, sugar and boiling water! Additionally you can add other flavourful herbs or flowers like orange blossom or wormwood. The tea is usually served three times. The flavour of the tea changes every time it is served because they keep the leaves in the tea pot. They even have a saying for this:

“The first glass is as gentle as life,
the second is as strong as love,
the third is as bitter as death.”

The drink is served in a typical tea set. Moroccan households usually have three sets. A fancy one for guests, a more casual one for family and one for in between occasions.
 

 

 

10.    Learn how to cook a typical Tagine
Tagine is probably the most famous dish from Morocco. There are so many different recipes and every family has its own way of preparing the dish. There are plenty of possibilities to learn how to cook this dish to perfection in Morocco. The abundance of spices make the difference in taste and colour. There’s sweet tagine, savoury tagine, sweet and sour,…. The combinations are endless! The name tagine comes from the name of the earthenware dish.

 

Sources

Wikipedia

The Spruce Eats

Epicurious

My Moroccan Food

Condé Nast Traveler

Two Blue Passports

The Culture Trip

On The Go Tours

Journey Beyond Travel

Intrepid Travel

 

 

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