Sun, sand and spices make Morocco seem like it has been ripped from the pages of the ancient tales of the Arabian Nights. Sarah Uddin shares her top tips for what to see and do in this intoxicatingly inspiring country.
Hassan II Mosque
Our trip started off in Casablanca. After a seven-hour red-eye flight from New York, we hit the ground running and this was our first stop. It took our breath away with its radiance which is overwhelming and inspiring. The mosque sits atop a slight incline overlooking the ocean. The sun reflects off a combination of marble, granite, titanium and bronze. The sheer size of the mosque is another impressive feature. We spent a couple of hours wandering its expansive grounds and absorbing in its incredible beauty.
Chellah Ruins and Gardens
Onwards to Rabat, home to the Chellah ruins and gardens. This is a preserved ancient city dating back to atleast the 7th century and has been inhabited by Phoenicians, Romans and the Muslim Merenid dynasty. History buffs will love this fascinating site.
Stay in a Riad
We stayed at a traditional riad in almost all of the places we visited in Morocco. A riad is a home built around a central courtyard, sometimes with a pool lined with beautiful and colourful mosaic tiles. These are serene properties that give a little respite from the buzz of Morocco’s cities. Each has seven to nine guest rooms and will give you an authentic experience.
Tucked away in the Rif Mountains is a pretty blue town called Chefchaouen. It is a two-hour drive from Tangier, but the distance is worth it. Wander through the charming town and discover picturesque views of the green hills and stunning sunsets. The culture is vibrant, the residents are friendly and the pace of life is slow in this dreamy town.
This bustling and busy city was one of our last stops in Morocco. We stayed in the old medieval area known as Fez el-Bali. Getting lost in its labyrinthine souk was exhilarating. Its narrow lanes are filled with the scents and sounds of the past. Historic medieval schools, mosques and mausoleums are nestled within. Spend hours shopping for trinkets and treasures at reasonable prices.