Morocco is drawing attention with its exotic aspects nowadays. It became a Muslim Kingdom after the invasion of Arabs, located not in the Middle East, but in Africa. It has been under the influence of countries such as Spain and France in its history. That’s why Moroccan people can speak Arabic, Spanish and French very well.
99.9% of the population is Muslim. My interest of taking myself out of comfort zone and the pleasure of meeting my traveler friend, whom I met one year ago when we both were traveling around US, brought me to this North African Country, one of the most diverse country I have ever seen.
After spending 2 exact weeks in Morocco, I will give you a Morocco Travel Guide with 10 most important questions and their answers. Let’s begin!
1- Is It OK to Go Morocco Alone?
Morocco is one of the only countries in Africa that merges Arab, French and Spanish culture with Islamic point of view. Along with its natural beauty, it makes us experience some cultural exceptions. Cause, unfortunately, most of the population is rude, stingy and harassing people, which makes us concern about whether it worths to go or not. After spending one of the most beautiful trips I had, there were some memories left I can have ones in my lifetime…
But I have to say, I am once again pleased that I have not traveled here alone, after hearing some bad experiences from the male travelers who have come alone. Even male travelers are being abused in the big bazaar of Marrakesh, are followed in the narrow streets of Chefchaoen. It’s a little unsettling, is not it? It was only Essaouira that I felt comfortable alone, even though I wouldn’t recommend waling alone there at night.
2- How to Make Morocco Itinerary?
I started from Rabat and used Marrakech as a transit point during my trip. The things I had heard about Casablanca, has confirmed by most of the travelers that it doesn’t worth going. So I removed it in the beginning.
Morocco Travel Guide for 2 weeks
1. Day; Rabat
2. Day; Rabat- Chefchaouen bus (5.5hs)
3. Day; Chefchaouen
4. Day; Chefchaouen- Fez bus (4.5hs)
5. Day; Fez + Fez- Marrakech night bus (9hs)
6. Day; Marrakech
7. Day; First Day of Sahara Desert Tour- Aid Ben Haddou- night stay at a hotel in the middle of nowhere
8. Day; Second Day of Sahara Desert Tour- From Merzouga to Sahara Desert by camels- night stay at the camp
9. Day; Third Day of Sahara Desert Tour – 4*4 Jeep Safari+ Sandboarding + night stay at the camp
10. Day; Back to Marrakech (11hs)
11. Day; Marrakech- Essaouira – by taxi (3hs)
12. Day; Essaouira
13. Day; Back to Marrakech with night bus
14. Day; Marrakech
A question is coming up; how to shorten Morocco trip? you can gain 1 day if you take 2 night 3 day desert tour. 1 more day if you skip Fez. Maybe 2 more days if you don’t wanna go chilling in Essaouira. When we take out all of these, you will also have 1 more day, cause you won’t need to relax in Marrakech. So in the end you can have 10 day trip or perhaps one week. But please keep in mind that Chefchaoen and Desert tour are a ‘must’.
3- Which Cities Worth Visiting in Morocco
Blue Pearl Chefchaouen;
Chefchaoen is the blue pearl of Morocco. There really is a spell that dazzling the visitors. You MUST include this city on the top according to my Morocco Travel Guide. Even the blue colored buildings seems like a touristic thing, I assure you it’s not! It is actually colored in order to repel the mosquitos. Apparently, this technique draws attention very much.
Since it’s a very small city, it can be seen in 1 day. But if you like to stay and chill, definitely recommended!
Fez with its Tanneries
Fez is famous for its tanneries. If we put aside the gross smell of leather before processed and put some mint to supress it, it’s very interesting to watch the coloring process of the leather. It’s a traditional technique and it’s all hand-made. If you wanna buy some leather products, this is the place!
It’s of course a must seen one of your Morocco trip. The bike riders who ride against you in its narrow streets, the shop owners who want to touch you all the time, never ending crowd and noise of the city, dancing cobras and very unique stuff such as selling second-hand teeth make this city INCREDIBLE! So that Medina of Marrakech is in World Heritage List of Unesco.
Aid Ben Haddou ; Game of Thrones Scene
Aid Ben Haddou (Ait BenHaddou) is another antique city in World Heritage List of Unesco. It hosted too many big procutions like Gladiator and Game of Thrones. If you take Sahara Desert Tour from Marrakech, it is most probably included. It’s a must according to my Morocco Travel Guide.
Merzouga; Sahara Desert
It is a small city that we step into Sahara Desert which is close to Algeria border. Sahara Desert, oh man! I had more words about it; here in another article: Sahara Desert: Experience The Fairy Tale.
Essaouira; more like Barcelona
There is such a Spanish atmosphere here. It is the place hippies come together. You are able to wear less, since it’s nearby the ocean. And with this flexibility, here the people are different than another places, more understanding and open-minded. And also it’s the cheapest one comparing to the others. It was a great feeling to end up here as a last stop of our trip. If it was the first place, it wouldn’t give such a chilling feelling. After such a big cultural shock, lying down at the beach with our bikinis, walking alone in the streets and even going out at night to dans… It feels like ‘Is it Morocco?’. It is just 3 hours away from Marrakech and worth going.
4- What to Eat in Morocco?
Tajine and couscous are the famous dishes here. Tajine is basicly made of some potatoes, onion, carrot and zucchini. Couscous is just like we know… In every place it’s very likely to see it. There is snail as street food, and fish especially in Essaouira, and is very cheap there. As a vegeterian was it hard? No, not at all. But I ate so much bread there! It was kind of hard to avoid. It is the main part of their cuisine.
Mint tea is very famous here. Fresh mint is abundant here. Delicious tea, but there is a routine to add sugar to everything. You need to tell them beforehand.
Olives are coming with every meal as apetizer. And it’s so good!
Street Food is so cheap here. And hummus is amazing!
And also their bakery is like French brasseries. So good! I had croissant that I didn’t have even in Paris. Note that!
If you ask for alcohol, it’s not reachable everywhere, but it can be reachable:)
Lastly hash! You can find anywhere and all Moroccan men smoke hash. You can even find magic mushrooms there easily.
5- How to Buy Morocco Flight Ticket?
From Europe, especially from Spain it’s very easy to buy a cheap ticket via Ryanair. You can also take the ship to Tangier.
You can find cheapest options through www.kiwi.com.
6- What’s the Currency?
1 USD is around 9 Dirhams (MAD). It’s easy to find street food for 3-20 Dirhams. While you pay around 40-100 MAD at cafes, restaurants are a bit more than that. Hostel prices are around 50-80 MAD. Bus trip is around 100 MAD. You can arrange your budget considering these numbers.
7- It is said that Morocco is super dirty?
Oh yeah. Streets are not clean at all, smells sometimes. But I haven’t seen anybody pooping on the street as I had heard. Specifically I looked for that, nope:) The places I have stayed were mostly clean excluding the desert camp. They don’t use toilet paper and soap at all. So I can say it seems a bit clean, but just seems.
8- Is Morocco really dangerous?
I say, definitely. The popularity is male dominant, too religious and they don’t value women. Most of them looks the women from the West as they are some kinda prostitutes. The Moroccan men can easily touch you without permission. At the derst, the camp guys were a bit freaking. I realized that it was the best idea to meet my friend to travel around Morocco. For example, we were too worried at the desert that we tried to fit a tent with 6 people in our second night.
9- Is it safe to travel as a lonely woman?
There are some. But I can’t guarantee you that there is a possibility to be in trouble. There are strange people. Of course, not everybody is like that, but you should be very well prepared to be stared by men whatever you wear.
Even for men, there is a chance to be threatened. For instance, one of my friend took refuge to a hostel in Marrakech, since he was followed by the same guys in Chefchaoen whenever he went out from his place. So, yeah, it’s not that safe.10-
10- Bargaining is like a tradition, isn’t it?
Oh yeah, like hell. At least they are offering you the 2 to 4 times of the real price. So, be cool and bargain hard!
P.S.: Would I go Morocco again? Yes, definitely.
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