Morocco is a country located in North Africa by the Atlantic coast. Morocco shares borders with Algeria and Western Sahara to the north, Mauritania to the southwest, and Spain to the northwest. Morocco claims a large portion of Western Sahara as its territory. Still, this area has been disputed since 1976, when Morocco occupied it during an armed conflict between Morocco and Algeria as part of a long-standing territorial dispute over the region.
Morocco is known for its rich culture and cusisine. It is also known for the iconic Djellabas that its people wear, as well as the beautiful architecture and mosques. This is because the country has a long history of being ruled by Islamic dynasties.
A Haven for Diverse Landscape
Morocco is known for its diversity in landscape. Morocco’s geography is diverse, with a desert, rainforest, and mountains all within a few hours of each other. This makes it a destination for many types of tourists: those looking to relax on the beach or hike through the mountains; those who want to explore ancient cities like Fes; those who want to see camels and horses on their trip into the desert; or even those who want to buy some handmade jewelry at one of Morocco’s famous markets (or “souk”).
Djellabas are everywhere in Morocco. You’ll see them on men and women, young and old. They’re made of wool or cotton and come in various colors. The word “djellaba” comes from the Arabic word jilbab, which means “garment.” The style originated as a loose-fitting garment worn by Berbers in North Africa during colder months; over time, it evolved into its current form, a hooded cloak that covers everything except your hands and feet (and sometimes even those!). The djellaba is a very versatile garment. It can be worn as a coat, cloak, or shawl, depending on how you wear it.
A Muslim-Majority Population
Although Morocco is a Muslim-majority country, most Moroccans are Sunni Muslims. The second largest religion in the world, Islam, has been practiced in Morocco since its founding by Muhammad (570 to 632). The Islamic faith was spread through trade routes that reached China and Europe, giving rise to many different sects within the religion, such as Shia Muslims and Sufi Muslims, who believed in mystical practices like meditation or dancing with swords. In addition to these two groups, small numbers of Ahmadiyya Muslims believe in peace between all people regardless of race or gender.
Rabat, the Capital of Morocco
Rabat is the capital of Morocco and its administrative, economic, and cultural center. It is a city of history, culture, and art that attracts thousands of tourists annually. UNESCO designated Rabat as a World Heritage Site because it has many beautiful buildings from different eras. The medina (old town) contains many monuments, such as the Hassan Tower, built in the 11th century by Moulay Hassan I. This iconic tower can be seen in many places in Rabat. The medina is also home to the Museum of Moroccan Judaism, which King Mohammed VI established in 2004.
The Wydad Athletic Club
Wydad Athletic Club is one of the oldest clubs in Morocco and has won the Moroccan championship 23 times and two African Cups of Nations. The team was founded in 1934 by a group of students from Rabat’s Lycee des Freres de la Charite (Brothers of Mercy), who regularly played football together. The club took its name from “Wydad,” meaning “solidarity” or “unity.” Wydad was originally known for playing in green shirts with white shorts but changed their kit to red-and-white stripes.
The World’s Oldest University
Fez is home to the world’s oldest university. The al-Qarawiyyin University was founded in 859, making it one of the world’s oldest institutions of higher education. The name comes from its founder, a judge named Ibn Omar al-Karawi, who donated his house for use as an educational institution for students from all over Morocco and North Africa. This historic building houses an Islamic library with over 30,000 manuscripts and a mosque where students still study today. The university was originally founded as a madrassa or religious school, but today it has over 6,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs.
Marrakech is the most popular destination in Morocco. It’s also the largest city, with more than 1 million population. Marrakech is located in southern Morocco, about 350 miles from Casablanca. The city has long been known for its arts and culture, attracting visitors from all over the world who experience its vibrant nightlife and shopping scene. In recent years, it has become common practice for tourists visiting Morocco to include Marrakech on their itinerary because it offers many different experiences. This can be seen in exploring ancient monuments to relaxing at one of its many luxury hotels or riads (traditional guest houses).
Hassan II Mosque
The Hassan II Mosque is grand in Casablanca, Morocco. It’s the largest mosque in Africa and has a capacity of 100,000 people. The name of this beautiful building comes from King Hassan II, who commissioned its construction in 1992 as part of his 50th birthday celebration. The mosque is located in the El Jadida suburb of Casablanca, on a site previously occupied by the old Hassan II Mosque. It was built between 1993 and 1996 by King Mohammed VI, with a design of the traditional Moroccan style, with a marble courtyard and a large prayer hall.
Meknes is the third-largest city in Morocco, with a population of about 600,000. It is the capital of the Meknès-Tafilalet region and is located just outside Rabat. The city has been known for its medina since medieval times and was once used as a base by Moroccan kings when they traveled between Fez and Marrakech during their rule over Morocco. The medina contains many monuments, such as Dar el Bey (the palace), Dar el Makhzen (the royal residence), and Dar al Baida (the household goods storehouse). Currently, Meknes houses an archaeological museum with many historical artifacts, including coins from ancient Rome.
Morocco’s historic medinas are the oldest of its cities and towns and where you’ll find many of Morocco’s most famous landmarks. Medinas are walled cities that include narrow streets and alleyways. They were built centuries ago to protect residents from invasion, but today they serve as cultural centers where you can see the Moroccan way of life up close. If you want to experience authentic Moroccan culture without traveling too far from your hotel or hostel, visit one of these historic medinas:
Fez is the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities, founded in 789 AD by Idris I. The city is known for being a center of Islamic learning with its many mosques and madrassas (religious schools). It is also home to the oldest university in the world, al-Qarawiyyin University, studded with many souks (markets) and historic palaces to enjoy. The city is also known as “the Bride of the Mediterranean” due to its beauty on a narrow strip of land between two rivers. In addition, the city’s walls are an example of Islamic architecture, with their crenellations and watchtowers.
Harira is a soup made with lentils, chickpeas, and vegetables. It’s traditionally eaten during Ramadan and served as a main or side dish year-round. Harira can be eaten warm or cold; it usually comes with bread on the side to dip in your bowl of soup. Harira can be made in a slow cooker for an easy weeknight dinner. If you are outside looking for this heartwarming dish, you will see many street vendors selling it. Harira is also known as harisa or harissa, depending on the region of Morocco where you are eating it.
The Best Couscous
Couscous is a staple of Moroccan cuisine and one of the most popular dishes in North Africa. The name comes from the Arabic word “kesksuws,” which means “small grain.” Couscous is made with wheat semolina that has been soaked overnight and then cooked over a fire or in boiling water until it becomes fluffy and soft. It can be served on its own as an accompaniment to stews or tagines (like this Chicken Tagine), but it’s also great with meatballs.
Tagine is a Moroccan stew cooked in a conical pot. The word “tagine” comes from the Arabic word tajin, which means “to cook.” The name of this dish originates from its traditional cooking vessel, which is also called a tagine and looks like a tall, shallow casserole with sloping sides. The tagine was traditionally prepared over an open fire; however, many modern versions are made in ovens or stoves. Various restaurants in Morocco serve tagine, and most kitchens have a tagine pot. Although the dish varies depending on what is available in each region, it usually consists of meat or vegetables stewed with herbs and spices native to the area.
Andalusian music is a style of music that originated in the Andalusian region in southern Spain but has spread to many other parts of the world. Andalusian music is known for its flamenco style and guitar-based instrumentation. Flamenco refers to expressive performance art and its associated music genre; both have been around since at least 17th century Spain when they emerged from obscure origins among gitano communities. Locals and tourists enjoy Andalusian music very much. They often go to bars and clubs to enjoy food and drink while listening to music.
The Atlas Mountains
Morocco is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a place that’s both adventurous and beautiful. The Atlas Mountains are known as the Alps of Morocco and offer some of the highest peaks in Africa. You can hike, climb, or take in their beauty from afar. Mount Toubkal is Africa’s highest peak at 4167 meters (13,671 feet). If you’re looking for an adventure but aren’t quite ready for an Everest-like climb, try hiking up Jebel Toubkal instead, as it still offers great views and is much easier than Mount Kilimanjaro.
Relaxing Moroccan Mint Tea
Moroccan mint tea is a popular drink that’s served throughout Morocco. It’s made with green tea and mint and served in a traditional Moroccan teapot. It can be served hot or cold, depending on the season. In summer months, when it’s hot outside, people often prefer to have their mint tea cold–but if you’re visiting during winter months when it’s cold outside (or any other time), feel free to ask for yours hot. This beverage is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. It’s also very affordable, so you can enjoy several glasses during your stay in Morocco without worrying too much about your budget.