Morocco absolutely stuns the visitor with its array of myriad stunning wonders. With as many as eight world heritage sites and scores of other historical structures, quite a few places in Morocco have a museum like appearance. The entire country is a land of astounding contrasts – if the sands of the Sahara Desert burn with hell’s fury, the snow covered mountain peaks of the Atlas seem to jut right into the heavens above. While innumerable flowers burst into a riot of colours at the Chellah Gardens, the Friouato Caves deep under the earth transport one to a surreal world of stalactites and stalagmites. These caves are also supposed to be North Africa’s largest cave system. The views from the gigantic tower of the Boulaune Kasbah remain unforgettable. Discover an oasis of tranquillity at the lush Mamora Forest – this is a world of verdant eucalyptus, cork, pine grove, and wild pear trees. Absolutely not to be missed is Asilah, the once upon a time seat of power of conquerors and pirates alike.

Although, the natural landscape and magnificent buildings bestow a fairy tale kind of ambience upon Morocco, the destination is also second to none when it comes to somewhat baser pleasures. While a vast array of global cuisines and mouth watering local Moroccan fare spoil gourmets for choice, shopaholics can sinfully indulge their fetish in one of those unforgettable souks. For party animals, there are plenty of disco floors as well as venues showing exotic belly dancing performances.

This Morocco travel guide to sheds some light upon the destination before you board your flights.

Important Statistics

  • Location – North Africa
  • Time Zone – UTC
  • Capital – Rabat
  • Largest City – Casablanca
  • Government – Constitutional Monarchy
  • Area – 710,850 sq. km/274,460 sq mi
  • Population – 32,993,000  (2009 Estimate)
  • Currency – Moroccan dirham (MAD)
  • Calling Code – +212
  • Official Language – Arabic
  • Religion – Muslim 98.5%, Christian 1.3%, Jewish 0.2%.
  • Visa information – For visa guidelines, passengers are required to get in touch with their travel agents or check with the relevant consulate or embassy.

Cheap Flights to Morocco

Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to Morocco operating from UK.

Preferred Airlines to Morocco from UK

Iberia Airlines | Air France | Lufthansa | British Airways | KLM Royal Dutch

Best Time to Visit Morocco and Overall Climate

In Morocco, the climate varies from season to season and region to region. The coastal areas have a warm Mediterranean climate. South western trade winds make for a tempered climate on the East coast. A continental hotter and drier climate is to be found in the inland areas. The southern regions stay very hot and dry pretty much all across the year. However, temperatures drop sharply in the nights, especially during the months of December and January. The coastal areas witness rainfall from November to March. By and large, Morocco stays dry and is marked by high temperatures during the summer months.

Culture and Lifestyle

Morocco makes for a heady cocktail of eclectic cultures seamlessly sewn into the social fabric. Influences, as diverse as Arabic, European, Jewish, Moorish, and Roman are well evident in different aspects of life. The majority of the population follows the Islamic faith and this finds reflection in all aspects of life including economic, legal, personal, and political. Islam dictates that every Muslim needs to pray five times during the day namely at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and finally at evening. In fact, the exact time for offering prayers is printed by local newspapers every day. Being a predominantly Muslim nation, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan sees extreme religious fervour. With Friday being the holy day in the Islamic calendar, this day is by and large a holiday. In fact, quite a few companies designate Thursdays and Fridays as the weekends.

Here are a few indicators of the overall way of life in Morocco:

  • Moroccans fiercely cling to values like honour and dignity and this is not just limited to the self, but extends to every family member.
  • Moroccans are extremely conscious of how they are perceived by others.
  • Moroccans try to avoid social embarrassment at all costs. This is called ‘Hshuma’ or the concept of shame. It occurs if someone’s inappropriate behaviour becomes public knowledge.
  • Those who have incurred ‘Hshuma’ may become social outcasts and can even be ostracised from their own families.
  • Moroccans even go to the extent of putting on appearances lest they risk ‘Hshuma’.
  • Family plays the key role in Moroccan way of life and an individual is always subordinate before the family or a group.
  • Family is constituted both by immediate and extended family members.
  • Nepotism is considered to be a thing of honour as it indicates family patronage.
  • Moroccans show a high degree of respect towards their elders. The elders also have a great say in family matters.

Travel Tips for holidays in Morocco

Before booking your flights to Morocco, do your share of Internet research for an in-depth understanding of different aspects of the country. However, here is a small sampling of various considerations to be taken into account while visiting the country.

  • No particular vaccinations are recommended. However, it is wise to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and have a tetanus shot. Avoid drinking from taps and stick to bottled water. Also, keep away from ice as it could be made from tap water.
  • Do not eat raw fruits or vegetables. As a thumb rule, skip any food that is not cooked right after you have placed your order. Usually, fried and boiled foods are safe for consumption.
  • The left hand is considered impure. So avoid shaking hands and giving or receiving things with the left hand.
  • Stick to a simple handshake while greeting someone and avoid initiating hand shakes with women. It is considered respectful and sincere to touch one’s heart with the right hand after a handshake. Family members and close friends exchange three kisses on the cheek as a greeting, but this is usually restricted limited to members of the same sex.
  • Although, malaria is present, it is not an alarming threat. Just take usual precautions against mosquitoes.
  • Consuming narcotic substances is an illegal offence. Be warned that quite often drug peddlers double up as police informers once they have sold you drugs.
  • There is no dearth of hotels in Morocco offering a world of choice to suit tourists of every means. The Internet would be your best bet to get a fair idea of accommodation facilities in Morocco.
  • It is gracious to carry a gift when you visit someone’s home. Normally, people present flowers, nuts, sweet figs, dates, or sweet pastries to the hostess. Don’t take booze with you unless you are sure that your host will drink.
  • Also, don’t start eating until your host blesses the food or starts eating. Be forewarned, that in many of the households, food and water is served from communal plates and glasses. Also, never reach across the table for food.
  • It goes without saying that one should respect local traditions. Women would do well to dress conservatively if they want to avoid unwanted attention from local men. Wearing bikinis on the beaches is quite normal but it is not very appreciated.
  • Be on the lookout for fraudsters. They come in many forms like ticket inspectors and tour guides. Ticket inspectors have been known to find imaginary mistakes with tickets and charge a penalty. Similarly, many guides simply fleece you after taking you for a ride.
  • Whether its taxi fare or buying something, always fix a price before availing any service. Also never accept a free gift from small vendors. It usually means being accosted by a group of people who accuse you of having stolen that item.
  • It is prudent to carry some sort of identification papers while you are on the move. Petty crime is not unheard of and like in any part of the world, avoid going to unfamiliar places especially when you are alone or it is dark. Also refrain from accepting eatables offered by strangers.
  • For detailed Morocco travel advice, check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website’s following link:

Money Exchange

ATM machines are the best bet for obtaining Moroccan Dirhams. ATMs are programmed to adhere to official exchange rates. It is illegal to exchange money on the street. In fact, national currencies should be exchanged only at official bureaux de change.

(Note: This destination guide is not exhaustive and is based on information gathered from reliable resources available on the internet. Southall Travel holds no responsibility for any misrepresentation of facts and will not be in any way liable for any kind of eventuality arising from the use of information given in this guide)

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