Perfect for a spontaneous weekend away but far enough to feel like a genuine holiday, it’s no surprise that holidays to Morocco have emerged in recent years as a seriously hot destination.
With direct flights to Marrakech, Casablanca, Agadir and other tourist-friendly cities from London airports coming in at under four hours’ travel time, Morocco is relatively convenient to get to but also provides an authentic change of scene and the opportunity to sample a different culture.
So, if Morocco is a destination within your sights, here’s a quick at-a-glance guide as to what to expect from a visit to this colourful and diverse African country.
Moroccans are hospitable and tolerant but it’s important to show respect, especially when it comes to clothing. The best advice is to dress conservatively, save swimwear for the beach and see how the local residents dress – take your lead from them.
Moroccan mosques are beautiful buildings but if you’re not a Muslim then you may not be allowed into all of them, so it’s good to check first. Generally, tourists should keep a respectful distance, whilst still admiring their beautiful architecture from afar.
Traditional Moroccan food is typified by meals such as lamb or mutton tagine – a delicious stew slowly cooked in a ceramic tagine – as well as thick soups and kebabs. If you’re eating in cafes, be prepared to do without cutlery; you might have to use your hands instead. Vegetarians may find culinary choices are limited, as Moroccan people love eating meat. However, larger cities like Marrakesh may offer more expansive menu options in its various cafes and restaurants.
As for drink, tea lovers are in luck! Mint tea is the national drink in Morocco, and there are plenty of variations of other teas, too. You can also expect to find cafes and street stalls offering freshly squeezed juices. As for alcohol, it is available but only in selected establishments and generally has a low-key presence. That doesn’t mean the Moroccan nightlife is particularly quiet, though. In the likes of Marrakech, Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir you’ll find discos, cocktail bars and even casinos. Some of the best entertainment, however, can be found in the form of street musicians, acrobats and dancers.
In many cities you’ll find areas called the medina and souks. The medina is the old part of a town, whilst souks are marketplaces where you’ll no doubt experience that lively buzz of traders selling spices, herbs, pottery and all manner of goods. No visit to Marrakech, Fes or Casablanca would be complete without spending a few hours wandering the souk and exploring narrow streets and winding paths. Just make sure you remember a few landmarks so you don’t get lost!
Finally, tipping is widely expected in many situations, and not just waiters in restaurants. If someone acts as a guide, helping you with directions, they’ll expect a few Dirham by way of thanks, so too if you’re helped with your bags at your hotel.
Holidays to Morocco are guaranteed to provide an experience you won’t forget. Why not check out the latest deals and flight prices?