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Morocco is just a short ferry journey across the narrow strait separating Europe from Africa, and fittingly the country is a unique blend of North African style and European influences. Though former empires like the Spanish, Portuguese and the French have all at some point ruled over this narrow country, Morocco has beautifully maintained its very own traditions and sense of identity through the ages.
Start your journey with the stunning Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, which is the second largest mosque in the world. Next to it, you’ll find the old part of the city, the Medina. Labyrinth-like and full of life, the narrow streets are full of little shops where traditional craftwork, food, handmade rugs and lots of unique souvenirs can be bought. Marrakech has similar networks of winding streets and shopping areas, known as a souk. With laughter and chatter from the locals along with sights and scents of perfume, spices, delicious food, leatherwork and thousands of other impressions, the narrow streets are a true experience for all the senses. For a market-experience like no other, check out the Had Dra-market in Essaouira on Sundays.
However, if you need a relaxing time away from the tourist spots, there are plenty of hidden gems to be found around every corner. In Essaouira, stroll along the old fortress walls and beaches of the old port town, or if you’re in Rabat, wander the beautiful streets of the Kasbah des Oudaias and pretend you have travelled back in time. Let hours fly by in the beautiful park and art-space the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech and while in Casablanca kick back in Parc de la Ligue Arabe and watch the palm trees sway in the breeze.
A visit to Morocco is not complete unless you try something completely new. Trek the countryside on camelback, explore the breath-taking Atlas Mountains and, more importantly, indulge in the national obsession, tea. Known as the ‘Moroccan whisky’, the locals drink a certain type of tea called atai, which is a mix of green tea, mint and sugar. Moroccans are also equally passionate about their cuisine. Feast on hearty dishes like tagine, couscous and the traditional Berber-soup known as harira. Like the rest of the country, Moroccan food is spicy, sweet, and full of colour, so remember to bring your appetite and a taste of adventure.
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