Morocco Travel Info
Basic facts about Morocco country :
- Area coverage : Morocco covers 446,550 sq km of land
- Population: over 35 million people
- Capital city: Rabat (north Morocco)
- Official languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, and French
- Religions in Morocco: Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
- Climate in Morocco: Hot summers from June to September and cool to cold winters in the Atlas Mountains. Avoid the desert area during the summer months and watch out for sand storms February to April.
Morocco’s Main Tourist cities:
Marrakesh is possibly the most important of Morocco’s four former imperial cities (cities that were built by Moroccan Berber empires). Marrakesh comprises an old fortified city packed with vendors and their stalls (the medina), bordered by modern neighborhoods, the most prominent of which is Gueliz.
Today it is one of the busiest cities in Africa and serves as a major economic center and tourist destination. Ménara International Airport and the Marrakesh railway station, which connects the city to Casablanca, serve Marrakesh and northern Morocco. A hot semi-arid climate predominates at Marrakesh.
Average temperatures range from 12 °C (54 °F) in the winter to 32 – 45 °C (90 – 113 °F) in the summer. The relatively wet winter and dry summer precipitation pattern of Marrakesh mirrors precipitation patterns found in Mediterranean climates. The Jemaa el-Fnaa is one of the best-known squares in Africa and is the center of city activity and trade. It has been described as a “world-famous square”, a metaphorical urban icon, a bridge between the past and the present, the place where Moroccan tradition encounters modernity.
Fes is the second or third largest city of Morocco. The city has two old medinas, the larger of which is Fes el Bali. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is believed to be one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas. Located by the Atlas Mountains, Fez has a Mediterranean climate with a strong continental influence, shifting from cold and rain in the winter to dry and hot days in the summer months between June and September.
Aït Benhaddou is a fortified city along the former caravan route between the Sahara desert and Marrakech. Most citizens living in the area now live in a nearby village, although there are 4 families still living in the ancient city. Aït Benhaddou has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Several films have been shot there, including:
Lawrence Of Arabia, Prince of Persia, Babel, Gladiator, The Mummy and HBO’s Series Game of Thrones.
Archaeological research shows that Essaouira has been occupied since prehistoric times. The bay at Essaouira is partially sheltered by the island of Mogador, making it a peaceful harbor protected against strong marine winds. Essaouira’s climate is Mediterranean with oceanic influence. The gap between highs and lows is small and summers are warm while winters are mild.
The medina is home to many small arts and crafts businesses, notably cabinet making and ‘Thuya’ wood-carving (using roots of the Tetraclinis tree), both of which have been practiced in Essaouira for centuries. Essaouira is also renowned for its kitesurfing and windsurfing. Essaouira presents itself as a city full of culture: several small art galleries are found all over the town.
Casablanca is Morocco’s chief port and one of the largest financial centers on the African continent. Casablanca has a very mild Mediterranean climate. The city’s original name was “Anfa”, in Berber language.
Sahara desert in Merzouga:
Merzouga is a small village about 30 kilometers of Rissani and about 50 kilometers from Erfoud, and about 50 kilometers from the Algerian border. The village is well known as a part of the itineraries of many tourists visiting Morocco. The Dunes of Erg Chebbi reach a height of up to 150 meters in places and altogether span an area of 50 kilometers from north to south, and up to 5-10 kilometers from east to west, lining the Algerian border.
Merzouga, the local tourist center, is located near the edge of the dunes. A number of companies offer camel trips from Merzouga and into the desert, taking tourists on overnight trips several kilometers into the erg, which is enough to bring the village out of sight.
City is nicknamed as “The door of the desert”. Berber-speakers, who constructed many of the prominent Kasbahs, chiefly inhabit the town. The Ouarzazate area is a noted filmmaking location, with Morocco’s biggest studios inviting many international companies to work here. Atlas Studios is one of the largest movie studios in the world. The Kasbah town of Aït Benhaddou is nearby.
Dades Gorges / Todra Gorges:
Dades Gorge is a gorge (valley) of the Dades River and lies between the Atlas Mountains and the Jbel Saghro of the Anti-Atlas Mountain.
Todgha Gorge is a canyon in the High Atlas Mountains, near Tinerhir. Both the Todgha and neighboring Dades Rivers have carved out cliff-sided canyons on their final 40 kilometers through the mountains. The last 600 meters of the Todgha gorge are the most spectacular. Here the canyon narrows to a flat stony track, in places as little as 10 meters wide, with sheer and smooth rock walls up to 160 meters high on each side.