Best cities to visit in #Morocco

1. Marrakesh

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Djemma El-Fna, the heart of Marrakesh. Photo: jemaa-el-fna.com

The most popular destination in Morocco is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains: the imperial city of Marrakech. Rich in history and a popular tourist destination, there is a lot to see and do. Highlights include the central square of Djemma El-Fna – built in the eleventh century; the Saadian Tombs; the Marjorelle Gardens and the bustling souqs. For the best Marrakech experience, stay within the walls of the old medina, in one of the many traditional riads.

 

2. Fes

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The famous tanneries in Fes. Photo: airpano.com

The medieval Fes was the North African kingdom’s capital for more than 400 years and is still considered the religious and cultural centre of Morocco. Highlights include, the old medina, known as Fes El Bali, is best explored by foot. Other highlights include the Chaouwara Tanneries, the Merenid Tombs, the Sultanate palace of Dar el-Makhzen with its golden doors and the Mellah or Jewish Quarter.

       
Read more on Jewish Morocco: Jews, cemeteries and Morocco

3. Essaouira

Blue fishing boats on an ocean coast in Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, ca ira…
This coastal city is a few hours from Marrakesh and is a place to get away from the bustle of the bigger cities. Known for its artistic heritage and laid back attitude, highlights include the beach, strolling through narrow streets filled with colourful houses, exploring the ramparts, shopping in artisan shops, and listening to traditional Gnawa music.

4. Chefchaouen

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Located in the Rif Mountains in north-western Morocco, Chefchaouen is a small town bursting with character. It’s known for its striking blue-washed buildings of the medina. Activities include shopping in its leather and weaving workshops which line the streets; enjoying a refreshment in the shady main square of Outa el Hammam where the red-walled 15th-century Moorish fortress for exiles from Spain is found. Also worth a look is the octagonal minaret of the Great Mosque. Other highlights include hiking and wild swimming in the surrounding countryside.

5. Mergouza

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The gateway to the desert, this small town sits on the edge of Erg Chebbi- a vast ocean of Saharan sand dunes. Experience a slice of Bedouin life, camp overnight and enjoy camel treks through the surrounding landscape, where knife-edged dunes and blazing blue skies create the classic Saharan backdrop.

Other places to visit in Morocco include the High Atlas mountain range where you can hike Jebel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak at 4,167 metres; the small 17th century capital Meknes; the Dades Valley where you find the Todra and Dades Gorges; Tangier, the gateway to Africa; Morocco’s North Atlantic coast where you find the seaside town of Asilah which is very popular with Moroccan holiday makers.

This is part of a series on travel in Morocco.

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