The 13 best places to visit in Morocco

Throughout the south west of the country grows the prickly and thorny Argan tree, a favourite among cloven hoofed goats that climb them in order to reach their hanging fruits. Ripening around June, late spring and early summer is the best time to witness the novel sight of the goats in the trees. Because of tourists visiting the area to see the goats, farmers have been known to winch them up, tether them to the branches and leave them up there all day, charging tourists for visiting and taking photographs. For more authentic sights of goats in trees, head to the Souss Massa Draa region and get off the beaten track into the mountains.

13. Goats In Trees

 

Completed in 1993 on the Atlantic coast within the city of Casablanca is the Hassan II Mosque, known as the Casablanca Mosque. It is the largest mosque in Morocco, the second largest in Africa and the fifth largest on Earth, with a 60 storey minaret reaching 210 metres (689 ft) high, it holds the record of being the tallest in the world.

12. Hassan II Mosque

 

In the extreme east of the country, marking the border with Algeria is the desert of Erg Chebbi, a Saharan Steppe that holds a sea of sand dunes separate from the Sahara Desert. One of two Sahara like ergs in Morocco, the dunes within the Erg Chebbi can reach significantly higher than the Erg Chigaga, some measuring up to 150 metres (492 ft).

11. Erg Chebbi

 

Constructed from the 1860's onward, sitting at an elevation of 1,800 metres (5,905 ft) above sea level on the road between Marrakesh and Ouarzazate in the High Atlas Mountains is the Telouet Kasbah, sometimes called the Palace Of Glaoui. Its strategic position along an ancient caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh and close to major salt mines made it one of the wealthiest Kasbahs of the region. Having undergone restoration at the beginning of the 21st century, the structure remains under threat of collapse.

10. Telouet Kasbah

 

Between Ouarzazate and Tineghir in the centre of the country is the spectacular Dades Gorge, a series of rugged wadi gorges carved from the surrounding sandstone and limestone landscape by the Dades River.

Cutting through the gorge is the R704, known as the Road Of A Thousand Kasbahs. Following the route of the river, it is a spectacular drive winding through the stunning desert landscapes, villages and the High Atlas Mountains. With gorge walls reaching 198 to 488 metres (650 to 1,600 ft) high, the road with its poor surface, violent hairpin bends and crazy local drivers is among the most dangerous roads in the world.

9. Dadès Gorges

 

East of the capital, Rabat, in the northern centre of the country is the city of Fez, the second largest city of Morocco. At its centre lies the Fes El Bali, the oldest walled part of the city, founded as the capital of the Idrisid Dynasty between 789 and 808 AD. Home to the oldest university in the world it is also believed to be the biggest car free urban area on the planet. The entire old town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

8. Fes El Bali

 

Founded in the mid 15th century, in the far north of the country between Fez and Tangier is the city of Chefchaouen, one of the most visited locations in Morocco. Set among beautiful mountain surrounds, the town is famed for its picturesque streets, houses and buildings painted in varying shades of whitewashed blue. There are several theories as to why the town was painted blue, one being that it keeps mosquitoes away, another theory being that it symbolizes sky and heaven, serving as a reminder to lead a spiritual life. Being at the centre of marijuana plantations and the main producers of cannabis in Morocco, the region has become a favourite for drug tourism. It is also a favourite among Instagrammers, generally meaning that those not too monged out to function will be posing manically on every corner.

7. Chefchaouen

 

On the southern Atlantic coast, south of the tourist haven of Agadir is the windy and rocky Legzira Beach, famed for its two mammoth stone arches. Accessible only at low tide, the arches, formed over hundreds of years of erosion, are among the most striking in the world.

Sadly, only one of the two arches remain, the other having collapsed as recently as 2016. It is only a matter of time before the second follows.

6. Legzira Beach

 

South west from the capital, Rabat, in the northern foothills of the Atlas Mountains is the most famous city and most visited location in Morocco, the ancient city of Marrakesh, or to use the French spelling, Marrakech. The fourth largest city in the country, its Medina, or old town dates to the 12th century Berber Empire, still surrounded by the high walls built by the Almoravids during the same period. The walls are made from a distinct red clay, giving Marrakesh the nickname, the Red City. They reach 5.8 metres (19 ft) in places, have 20 gates and around 200 towers. At the heart of the old town is the Jemaa el-Fnaa, a densely packed market square of alleyways selling everything imaginable. One of the best known city squares in Africa if not the the world, it is regarded the busiest square in Africa. A feature of the square is the 12th century Moorish Koutoubia Mosque, its tall minaret having become somewhat a symbol of the city. The Medina of Marrakesh has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Marrakesh

 

Directly east of Marrakesh, within the spectacular rugged scenery of the High Atlas Mountains is the enormous Todgha Gorge, one of the countries most amazing natural wonders. At the far end of the gorge the canyon walls can reach a whopping 400 metres (1,312 ft) high, narrowing to as little as 10 metres (33 ft) across. Mostly dry from rivers all year round, Todgha Gorge offers the countries best hiking trails.

4. Todgha Gorge

 

On the edge of the High Atlas Mountains, along the ancient caravan route between the city of Marrakesh and the Sahara is the fortified village of Ait Benhaddou. Made entirely from earthen clay, the village and its buildings are surrounded by high defensive walls. As the finest example of pre-Saharan architecture in the country, this hugely important historical village has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Aït Benhaddou

 

Rising in the west of the country at the Atlantic Ocean, stretching toward the Algerian border in the east are the Atlas Mountains, separating the Sahara from the Mediterranean. Within the protected area of the Toubkal National Park is the peak of Jbel Toubkal, at 4,167 metres (13,671 ft) above sea level it is the highest mountain in the range. Encompassing some of the most striking scenery and sites in Morocco, the landscape is one of deep gorges, great open valleys and snow covered peaks.

2. High Atlas Mountains

 

East of the city of Marrakesh are the beautiful Ouzoud Falls, the biggest and most impressive waterfall in the country. Crashing over the red cliffs into the pools below, this multi drop waterfall has an overall height of 110 metres (330 ft), its single biggest drop crashing down from 75 metres (246 ft). Because of its proximity to the tourist heavy city of Marrakesh it is one of the most visited attractions in Morocco, and certainly one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Africa.

1. Ouzoud Falls

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