charm on Europe’s doorstep’ |
Morocco is an initiation into the exotic magic of the Arabic,
Islamic, African world - the world of minarets and medinas,
desert and mountain - yet it nearly touches western Europe and,
for all it's differences, retains a European patina, being the legacy
of the French Protectorate.
To absorb the spirit of Morocco, wander through
the streets of the great cities. Fès –
the ancient capital – has a beautiful array of medieval buildings,
while Marrakech offers a world-famous souk selling
a mystifying array of goods, both hark back to the Arab dynasties
that ruled Morocco from the Muslim conquest. Casablanca,
a thriving commercial centre, and Rabat, the capital
of the country, reflect their modern French origins. Tangier
is mildly seedy, a little melancholy. All Moroccan cities are very
crowded, the hustlers a fact of life, for a change of pace, visit
Essaouira, a more laid-back seaside town.
Morocco’s charm lies in its diversity and for sun-worshippers,
there are miles of beaches, while inland lies Berber country where,
amid the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the energetic
can trek and walk. Beyond the Atlas are the fringes of the Sahara,
where the caravans once stopped on the way south to trade in ivory
and spice. Whether scaling the distant ridges, gazing at ancient
wonders, idling by the sea, haggling for exotic artefacts or marvelling
at the pink and indigo of a desert dawn, you can't fail to be totally
Following the series of terrorist attacks that took place in Casablanca
on 16th May 2003, all tourists are advised to be cautious and to
avoid crowds and public places crowded with other foreigners.
Violent crime is on the increase, however it is not a major problem
in Morocco and the majority of visits to Morocco are trouble-free.
Visitors to the Western Sahara region are recommended to contact
their relevant travel advice department for up to date advice prior