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Last updated : Nov 2009
Morocco Sports
Morocco Sports - TravelPuppy.com
Morocco’s varied landscapes, which range from a 3500 kilometre (2170 miles) of coastline to the mountains, rivers and forests of the Middle and High Atlas and the Sahara Desert, offer a good range of sports and recreational activities.

Golf

This is popular in Morocco, partly because King Hassan II was an internationally ranked player. Some of the best-known of the country’s 16 golf courses are situated at the Royal Dar es Salaam Golf Club in Rabat, which has 3 courses and yearly hosts the internationally renowned Hassan II Trophy.

Agadir has 3 courses:

The Agadir Royal Golf Club - a par 36 while the beautiful
Dunes Golf Club - 3 nine-hole par 36 courses and designed by a disciple of Robert Trent Jones
Golf du Soleil- 5-star which is a 27-hole par 72 and set around lakes, palm trees and eucalyptus

Marrakech

The Marrakech Royal Golf Club - 18-hole par 72 course situated at the foot of the Atlas mountains.

The Palmeraie Golf Club - designed by Robert Trent Jones, in great surroundings that offers views of the Atlas mountains and easy access to the Atlantic beaches

The Amelkis Golf Club.

Other 18-hole courses include:

Ben Slimane and El Jadida (both near the Atlantic coast)

Mohammedia Royal Golf Club (close to Casablanca)

Tangier Royal Golf.

As well as the Hassan II Trophy, the Moroccan Open and Hassan II Challenge are noteworthy tournaments.

The Mohammed VI Golf Trophy is held at Dar es-Salaam Royal Golf Course in Rabat towards March.

Altogether, there are about 30 golf courses in Morocco, including some new ones. On golfing holidays, tourists can find a useful golf brochure and information from the National Tourist Board.

Hiking and trekking

4 different mountain ranges – The Rif, the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas – offer excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking. A good choice of trekking tours can be organised through the National Tourist Board.

Specialist tour operators offer a variety of treks which include guided horse trekking in the mountains, and also camping trips.

1 of the most popular treks in the High Atlas is the ascent of North Africa’s highest peak, Jebel Toubkal (4167m/6668ft).

The Toubkal area is about 1 hour drive from Marrakech and the normal starting point for this trek is Imlil village. Official mountain guides with mules are recommended for trips lasting longer than 1 day and guides are commonly available in Imlil. Accommodation is provided in gîtes (resting places) and small hotels. Trekking is possible all the year round, but the best time is from April until October. The canyons and gorges are best tackled from June to October but during the summer, storms can make the gorges impassable.

Watersports

Sandy beaches provide safe swimming, although the Atlantic can be quite cold even during the summer months. Oualidia, El Jadida, Agadir, Mohammedia, Safi and Essaouira are all very good bathing resorts.

The Mediterranean coast in the north which is opposite Spain, is being developed, and resorts such as Cabonegro (14 kilometres/23 miles from Tetouan) offer excellent diving and swimming. Other dive sites are at Agadir and Essaouira.

The rivers in the High and Middle Atlas ranges, particularly the Oum-er-Rbia, offer whitewater rafting during the year (visitors are strongly advised to use very experienced guides).

Fishing permits are essential for trout streams, lakes and pike lakes, and are issued by the Waters and Forests Department or also by local clubs. Many ports are equipped for deep-sea fishing, including Dakhla in the Sahara and Mohammedia close to Casablanca.

Skiing

Skiing is possible for several months of the year. Ifrane in the Middle Atlas and Oukaïden in the High Atlas - located 70 kilometres/44 miles from Marrakech offer skiing facilities.

Other ski resorts include:

Mischliffen - Middle Atlas, on the doorstep of Fès and Meknes.
Mount Tidiquin - Ketama district
Djebel Bou Volane - Middle Atlas - are popular areas for expedition-type skiing and walking trips (with very few amenities).

Riding

There are horse riding clubs in all the major towns, notably Fès, Casablanca, Agadir, Marrakech and Rabat and some clubs organise pony treks in the Middle Atlas. The combination of travelling by mule and skiing -known as mule-skiing- is characteristic to the High Atlas and can be carried out from February to April. A good brochure, The Great Trek through the Moroccan Atlas, is available from the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism or the Moroccan National Tourist Office (see Addresses section).

Camel riding (méharrées) is also available in the Atlas mountains and around the Sahara Desert area in the southwest of the country.

Other

4-wheel-drives are also available throughout Morocco, incorporating visits to natural and cultural sights such as the 300 metre (984ft) deep Gorge of Todra, the huge sand dunes of Merzouga and the Berber region of Ouarzazate. These tours usually provide typical Moroccan feasts and barbecues.

The very well-known Paris-Dakar motor rally passes through Morocco yearly.