Visiting Morocco can be daunting at first, however, once you make your first step into the country, you instantly fall in love with it. Morocco is genuinely a magical and phenomenal country that you cannot help but be drawn towards it. It is the meeting point of Africa and Europe and mixed through time with the Roman, Arab, Spanish, French, and many other cultures; all of these civilizations shaped Morocco to be the magical country it has become.
Almost everyone would agree that the Medinas are the beating heart of each Moroccan city. Each Medina has a part which is inhabited by the locals. The houses in this part of the Medina are usually traditional and have a unique old Moroccan architecture. The other part of the Medina serves as a shopping center and a food market for the locals (Souk). You will find everything that is particular to the Moroccan traditions and cultures in the Souks, from traditional clothes to organic veggies and fruits coming straight from nearby farms.
As I stroll down the twisting maze-like medina streets, passing by restaurants, shops, and homes which stand in line one next the other, I wondered how is it possible for these very old buildings to resist time and still be standing.
Because I am a person who loves to get lost and does not abide by any map, the Medinas fulfilled my curiosity to discover new places on my own. I enjoyed the feeling of trying to figure out my way and following my hunch, only to find myself lost all over again! I spent hours trying to solve the maze and find an exist, while seizing the opportunity to have more mint tea and pastries at local café shops.
My Favorite beach town in Morocco, Taghazout, is located a few minutes from Agadir on the Atlantic coast. This town is a famous hub for surfers and beach lovers. Tourists love Taghazout for its year-long sunny warm weather and great seafood restaurants. I always make sure to spend as much time as possible in Taghazout to destress and let out the negative accumulated energy. I also love this town for its great seafood. I like to buy my fish from the nearby fish market, where I can get it for a good bargain from the fishermen who try to sell their day’s catch. Afterward, I take my fish to a local restaurant overlooking the ocean where they grill it and serve it with drinks, bread, salad, and tea.
The food scene in Morocco is one of the best in the world and it is the star of North Africa. The Moroccan cuisine is so rich and diverse due to the influence of the Arab, Berber, Moorish, French and Spanish civilization, along with many other cultures.
By the end of my Moroccan tour, I had had a couscous and Tajin overdose. What I love most about these two dishes is that they taste different and better every time. The way the southerners cook it differs from that of northerners, and this adds a richness in flavors to these dishes in a way that you never get bored of eating them every day. I loved savoring the flavors and tasting the regional variety, but most importantly, I appreciated the efforts and time that were put into every dish.
Mint tea, or The Moroccan whiskey, is Morocco’s national symbol. You can never have too much tea and Moroccans will not stop pouring more tea into your cup, even if your cup is not empty yet.
Not every cup is a tea cup material. Moroccans are very precise and picky when it comes to which glass cup should be introduced to the tea set. I should also add that Moroccans have a unique way of pouring tea: the higher the distance between the teapot and the glass, the better. Moroccans are also very generous with their sugar in their tea, so if you do not like your tea too sweet, make sure you ask for less sugar.
Whenever I am in Morocco, I make sure that I stay at Riads and not at typical hotels, because I know that no hotel will compete with Morocco’s Riads. Seeing Pinterest pictures of Riads might give you the illusion that they are expensive and not suited for small budget travelers, but that is not true. Riads in morocco can suit any budget. There are cheap and very nice Riads, or luxurious and fancy ones.
Among my best memories in Morocco are those spent in Riads. Whenever I come to Marrakech or Fes, I make sure that I stay at a classical Riad in the middle of the ancient Medina. Its by far the best way to immerse yourself in the magical Moroccan mood and to really enjoy the exotic part of the country. It is also in the Riads where you make your own 1001-nights tales, inside a sophisticated design and intricate architecture.
The word “Riad” means “enclosed garden” in Arabic, but has developed over time to become a representation of sophistication, class, and elegancy. The serenity of the Riad offers the perfect refuge after a long hectic day in the busy median.