MOROCCO: ORIENT AT YOUR REACH
Morocco is a country different from many others in the world, very diverse in terms of geography, history and culture. It owes its extraordinary attractiveness to the wealth of reaching almost 2,000 kilometers coastline, both at the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; the desert landscape of the Moroccan Sahara; or snow-covered mountains, where you can take yourself to winter madness. In addition, there are some of the world's best golf courses in Morocco. The fans of history will find here remains of the Phoenicians and Romans, for example the well-preserved former administrative center of ancient Rome, Volubilis near Meknes, which is the most important archaeological site of the country. In addition to the Phoenicians and Romans, the Moroccan culture was influenced by Arabs who in this country took a root in Islam, which until today functions as an official state religion.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GOING TO MOROCCO?
An entry visa is not needed for stays shorter than 90 days.
The official language is Arabic and French, but the majority of the population speaks Moroccan. There is no problem with getting along in English in tourist places, or even in German, for example in Agadir.
Morocco's official currency is the Moroccan dirham (MAD), which can be exchanged in banks. Tourists are advised to take euro with them instead of dollars, which are less popular in Morocco.
The easiest way to get to Morocco is by plane. You can fly to Marrakech from Berlin or to many other cities from Spain.
The weather in Morocco can be different, depending on the terrain. In the mountains from October snow begins to appear, and the temperature also drops in the cities. Expeditions to the desert are best organized in the spring, avoiding mainly summer months. The best holiday period on the Atlantic Ocean is from May to September, while the Mediterranean coast from April to October.
Communication: traveling by train in Morocco is convenient, cheap and safe. More information about it can be found HERE. If you want to get to distant corners of the country, look for private bus companies. These, however, offer different in quality of services, therefore be prepared to travel in uncomfortable conditions.
Renting a car is not a problem in Morocco. It is worth looking around in Moroccan salons, because they are half cheaper than international rental companies. Remember about the insurance and the clause obliging the agency to replace the car in the event of an accident. Prices start at around 10 euros / day.
FEW INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MOROCCO:
Photography - before taking a photo of someone, you should ask for permission. Above all, women avoid flashes, believing that if the camera captures their eyes, they will lose their soul.
Alcohol - only some stores have a special license to sell alcohol. It is also available to tourists in hotels, clubs and restaurants, and during Ramadan it can be bought practically only in such places.
Hashish - Morocco is the world's largest exporter of hashish. Although the production and consumption of cannabis are forbidden, there is no problem with purchasing it...just ask a nearby taxi driver;)
Hammam - in every Moroccan village there are wood-fired public bathhouses to this day. Formerly, when there was no running water in the houses, residents could use them once a week. It was a special ritual, especially for women who had then the only opportunity to meet other people outside their homes. Today, bathhouses have a recreational function and are rather a remnant of old habits.
Motorways - highways and expressways in Morocco are of good quality and mostly empty. You must pay for some parts (only in cash), but not more than 0.50 euro.
Fines - for non-compliance with traffic regulations, financial penalties may be imposed and their amount depends on the officer. The tickets are hand-written at the time of detention and then the driver must pay for them. Otherwise, the police threaten with a trial or a prison.
WHAT TO EAT IN MOROCCO?
Moroccan cuisine draws from Arab, African and European influences, offering a huge variety of dishes and ingredients from which these dishes are prepared. In the rich offer you can find salted goat heads, goats' brains or camel dumplings. The national dishes of Morocco are couscous and tajin, a goulash made in many different ways (with fish, veal, or only with vegetables), which traditionally is cooked slowly in a clay pot on low heat, on charcoal. In Marrakech, many French dishes are served. On the coast, fish and seafood dominate the sea, and in the north of the country, Spanish dishes, such as paella or potato tortilla. The most common meals are served with mint tea or coca-cola, especially during Ramadan.
Couscous - in Morocco means wheat groats prepared with seven kinds of vegetables and meat (veal, lamb or chicken). Sometimes it is served as a sweet dish with raisins and stewed onions.
Harira - red lentil and chickpea soup, sometimes served with meat or rice.
Kefta - chopped meat in the form of skewers.
Beghrir - small pancakes with butter and honey, served for breakfast.
IS IT WORTH VISITING MOROCCO?
Definitely yes! The country is relatively cheap, it guarantees a cultural shock outside the boundaries of tourist places, and it doesn’t lack contemporary amenities. Morocco is a safe direction, women don’t have to cover their faces here, but when going to some places, it is necessary to cover their arms and knees. The travel can be organized properly at any time of the year, depending on what you would like to do. And there’s a lot to do! However, I will write about it in the upcoming post :)