A short ferry ride away from Spain, but a completely different world. You feel like you stepped back in time, where old working cities are still built and maintained the way they were decades maybe centuries ago. The medina, the old part of the town, consists of markets, where your negotiating skills will be put to a test, and houses build so close to one another, they appear to be stacked up on top of each other in a maze of labyrinth like alleyways.
We arrived in Tangier Med by ferry. Then we waited for a bus that is supposed to bring us to Tangier. As we waited, a little van stopped right in front of us. The six Arabic men that were waiting for the same bus hopped on it and waived at us gesturing to go on the van with them, and so we did. So there we were, sitting in the back of a little van with six Arabic speaking men. We glimpsed at one another, didn’t say a word during the whole ride and just hoped for the best. The ride ended up being quicker than the bus and only cost us one euro per person.
When traveling to morocco one has to have a certain mind set. Once you leave your hotel you have to have your guard up because hustlers and shop owners, trying to get your attention and hoping to sell you something, will pull you in all different directions. On our first night in tangier we quickly got a taste of how life as a traveler in morocco is. We managed to find the way to the city center on our own, without much help, but once we reached the medina, we looked like two lost puppies. Our Hotel was deep inside the medina in a maze of tiny little alleyways and we lost all sense of direction, until we met “Richard.” Richard, a Moroccan man in his sixties introduced himself and spoke perfect English. He showed us the way to our hotel and invited us later for some local food. We were so grateful for his company until we got the bill, costing us twelve times the local price of an average dinner, from which he gets a generous commission from.
People here are very nice and friendly and are quick to help you, but when traveling in morocco you have to keep in mind… Nothing is for free and everything comes with a price, even the old lady that points you to the right direction or the boy that walks you to your destination…yes, they all expect something in return for that favor, that is money.
This most northern city in Morocco has many western influences left behind. The city became popular in the 1920’s on a global scale. Writers, musicians, and diplomats flocked here to partake in lavish parities. We were hoping to get a glimpse into what urged people to visit the city. What used to be the playground for the roaring 20’s appears to be lost in the modernization of the city. The charm is almost gone and replaced by hustlers trying to make a living in the medina. Nevertheless you can still visit the small square that has the original movie theater and the Hercules Cave by Café HAFA where it’s said that Hercules rested.
A smaller city located southeast of Tangier. Known as the blue city, which sits on a mountain. The scenery is breathtaking. Every house and every street is painted in different hues of blue. Most visit as a day trip but we loved it here and stayed a few days longer.
Want to experience a true Medina? Then come to Fes. It has what seemed to me as one of the biggest medinas I’ve experienced in morocco. It’s tough to get around the maze without getting lost. A must see in fez is the tannery, which is free of charge. There are two tanneries in Fez, the big one and the small one. Unfortunately the big, nice tannery was under restoration at the time we were there so we only got to see the small one, but nevertheless it was interesting to learn about the methods used to produce leather products out of all types of animal skins, pigeon poop and natural dyes.
Meknes is kind of like Fes but on a smaller scale. The hustling is not as aggressive as in Fes. You can walk through the big square surrounded by restaurants and food stands where you can spot a beautiful old gate decorated with gorgeous tiles. If you want to try some street food, we’d recommend you to go to the grand taxi station, it’s at the end of the market and order one of those sausage sandwiches from one of the grill stands, costs you only 5 dirham (50 cents) and its delicious.
Where the Roman Empire remains are found but only a few pillars, arches and a small outline of what used to be a city stands.
Small village near Volubilis with one way in and one way out via the main street that runs through the center of all the action. You can enjoy a panoramic view of this picturesque village nestled on top of the mountains.
Beautiful Fisherman’s villages (hotspots for surfers) a short drive away from Agadir. The Surf is amazing and the beaches are endlessly long. We found the further south you get in morocco the more people’s perspective changes towards foreigners and with it the hustling becomes less. It’s a change in scenery and you get to relax at the beach.
Door of the Desert and the “Hollywood” of North Africa, a filmmaking location where movies such as “The Mummy”, “Gladiator” and part of “ Game of Thrones” were filmed. Ouarzazate is also geographically at a great location with the High Altas Mountains on the north side and the desert on the south. The best part is that you can walk around the abandoned movie sets leisurely at no cost with no one around.
A small village in the Saharan desert surrounded by over 350 m tall sand dunes. If you decide to get a hotel in this village you’ll have the Sahara desert in your backyard. We stayed at the Sahara Gardens Hotel in Erg Chebbi, which is the most southern part of merzouga. We loved it there and felt right at home. The Host picked us up from the near by city located 55km away
Marrakech is the most popular tourist destination and for good reason. It has it all.
It’s the textile, jewel, and spice mekka of all citys. You desire anything ranging from beautifully hand painted dishes to gorgeous hand-made carpets, clothing, jewelry or spices; no doubt you’ll find it here. The markets are enormous and so are the food stands and fresh squeezed orange juice stalls that surround the well known plaza Jemal el-Fna which is used by locals and tourist.