My trip to Morocco was the first time that I set foot on the African continent! It's always really exciting when you get to visit a new continent, isn't it?
This was a uni class trip (huge group of Masters students going on holiday together, what could go wrong?:P). I was actually in charge of organizing part of the trip (the part that's not covered in this post because it was all about visiting businesses and another uni in Casablanca, and you don't want to read about that, trust me:P).
Anyway, we visited a lot of different places in Morocco, from Casablanca to Rabat to Marrakesh, with a few day trips into the mountains and the desert in between. My impression was that all these places were very different from each other, and all very unique in their landscape, which made the country super interesting!
My favourite part was meeting the camels we rode in the desert (although it got very painful in unmentionable body parts after a short while), but it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
True to form, I'm including a map for you to check where all these destinations are:
Mausoleum of King Mohammed V
Kasbah of the Udayas
Like I mentioned before, all the places we visited were super different from each other. The Kasbah (fortress) of Rabat was situated on the coast and the whole landscape was so unique, with the fortress walls towering over the coastline, the vast green spaces, and the blue sea. It made for great photo opps! I don't think I'd ever seen so much grass on a coast before, it felt quite unusual. I think it's definitely a sight to be witnessed if you ever go to Morocco.
The inside of the Kasbah was full of blue-painted buildings, characteristic of the famous city of Chefchaouen (which I mistakenly thought I'd visited on this trip, woops, my bad...). Everything was astonishingly blue!
Hassan II Mosque
Casablanca was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, we saw magnificent monuments such as the mosque (more on that below), but on the other hand, the city felt a bit devoid of cultural personality. It's more of a business hub that doesn't cater to tourists as much as other destinations in Morocco such as Marrakesh.
However, the sights we did see were lovely. I especially admired the intricacy of the building ornaments and decorations. It's amazing how detailed they are! Additionally, the type of art and architecture are so different from what I'm used to.
The Hassan II mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and 13th largest in the world (according to Wikipedia). It's very impressive from both the outside and the inside. The minaret towers over you and the high ceilings inside give it an allure of grandeur and serenity. The inside is also beautifully ornate. I highly recommend booking a guided tour of the mosque because the guide will tell you all about the interesting history of the mosque. Worth it!
Marrakesh was again very distinctive. The city highlight is the huge medina (market). It's unlike any market I've ever been to. The noise is incredible, there are people shouting from every direction. There are also a lot of different smells from the spices and products that are being sold. Overall, it can get quite overwhelming and it's quite an assault on the senses. This can be exacerbated by the pushy crowd. Nevertheless, if you're not claustrophobic, you'll enjoy the buzz.
I loved walking around the stalls and inspecting the items on sale. If you want to buy something, barter with all your might, and if not, try to ignore the extremely insistent stall owners who will shout at you to spend money at their stall.
See that last photo? That's me on a camel!! 😀
Camel riding is really fun for about 5 minutes, and then you get tired of the bumpiness and your unspeakable body parts start hurting... In that way, it's different from horse-riding, which is a lot smoother. But still, the camels were adorable and even posed for selfies!
I wouldn't miss out on a camel tour into the desert (just try to keep it short), and a one-night stay at a desert camp (or more like, glamp because the tents were heated and the beds very comfortable...:P)! I would definitely count that towards the unmissable experiences you need to have in Morocco, 100%.
Hope you like this post about the best sights to visit in Morocco!