Tourist attractions of Morocco

Tourist attractions of Morocco

Rif Mountains of Morocco
Located in the northern most section of Morocco and extending from Tangier to the Melouiya River valley near the Moroccan-Algerian frontier. The Rif Mountain range is about 300 km in length hugging the Mediterranean Sea and leaving only a few narrow coastal valleys suitable for agriculture or urban settlements. Although being rugged lands, the Rif area is a scenic, unspoilt and fascinating part of Morocco; combining a number of ranges, peaks, gorges, interlocking deep valleys, cedar and cork oak forests spread throughout and spotted with some of the fabulous streams in this part of the country, providing a wonderful place for the Barbary Apes to live. The Berbers, who form the majority of the population in the Rif are an intensely proud people, distinct both culturally and racially from the city Arabs and still live a very traditional life and are known for their distinct woolen dress marked with wide brimmed multicolored hats.  
The Rif Mountains are a beautiful and splendid place to trek whether you are on a budget, with family, or an experienced explorer.  This area of Morocco is a haven for adventures, hikes and mountain trekking. As you trek these amazing mountains you will encounter a number of different wildlife and discover various species of trees. The city of Chefchaouen is the starting point of most Rif Mountain trekking tours.  It is exceptionally beautiful and offers a lot of promising shops, places to stay, and activities. 
It is possible to explore this region at any time of year.  However, it is better to visit the Rif from April to June or from September to October. The rest of the year can be quite cold, wet or hot.
Major cities and towns in the Rif Mountains of Morocco:
Nador, Al Hoceima, Azghenghan, Selwan, Ajdir, Chfcha
The Middle Atlas
The Middle Atlas is a solid mountainous mass of 350 kilometres in length in central Morocco. It is the most fertile of the Atlas ranges and covers 23 000 square km in area. 
Covered by cedar forests, with a unique charm and wealth of biodiversity both in fauna and flora, the area is worth discovering and attracts thousands of local and international tourists. 
The Middle Atlas also hosts one of the worlds largest population of the Barbary macaque monkey, this species is currently limited to forest areas in Morocco and the only primate north of the Sahara desert. 
Because of its elevation; the Middle Atlas experiences snow during the winter months and a cool climate during the summer which makes it a very popular tourist destination for national and international vi sitors throughout the year and offers numerous activities ranging form fishing and hunting to skiing and trekking. 
The region enjoys some of the freshest and most aromatic air in Morocco. Once there, travelers can explore several beautiful cities such as Ifrane, Khenifra and Beni Mellal, the doorway to the Atlas Mountains. 
Major cities in the region:
Imouzzer kandar: A summer resort town known for the freshness of its climate and beauty of its untouched nature. 
Ifrane: This winter resort town is fascinating and is famous locally for its treasures of lakes and rivers and for its unspoiled nature.  
Azrou: Beautifully situated in the heart of the Middle Atlas Mountains, Azrou is a charming destination linking the middle atlas to the High atlas.
Khenifra: An appealing city, rich in natural beauty due to its cider forests and numerous lakes. 
Beni Mellal: Thanks to its privileged geographical location, half way between Fes and Marrakech, Beni Mellal has become a stop-over point for international and local tourists alike. It is also the market centre for a region producing a variety of agricultural products like oranges, olives, figs and other fruits along with livestock. The center of attraction is the 17th century Bel-Kush Kasbah. 
The High Atlas
The High Atlas rises in the west at the Atlantic Ocean and stretches eastward in the direction of the Moroccan-Algerian border. These mountains have a certain special feeling about them. When you enter these romantic and legendary lands of the High Atlas, Known for a way of life until only recently disturbed by the intrusion of modernity, the air smells purer and the scenery becomes stunningly overwhelming. 
The majority of the High Atlas Mountains population is purely made out of friendly, proud and hospitable Berbers who still dwell in earthen toned adobe houses in remote and picturesque villages.
Travel over the high mountain passes of the High Atlas Mountains is worthwhile and offer some of the most impressive mountain walking and is a regular destination for mountain hikers, ski enthusiasts or travelers interested in the native Berber culture found throughout its many peaks and valleys. These mountains also provide amazing opportunities for great mountain photography. 
The High Atlas range includes Jbel Toubkal, which at 4,167 m, is highest in North Africa and lies in the Toubkal National Park. At the foot of the High Atlas you find the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, the Kasbah of Telouet on the road to Marrakech and the gorgeous and impressive canyons and ravines of the Dades and the Todra.
The best time to travel through the High Atlas is between May and early October when the trails are somewhat dry. During this period the air is purer and the scenery is stunning.
The Anti-Atlas
The Anti-Atlas Mountains, the most southern mountains bordering the Sahara are very distinct and the most varied of the Atlas ranges of Morocco, the range runs for about 500 km from near the Atlantic Coast and stretches towards Ouarzazate and Tafilalt. Topping the stunning volcanic range of Jebel Siroua, a two hour drive east of Taroudant, it provides an important barrier against the Sahara which lies to its south. Completely different but equally fantastic landscapes are found in areas south and south-west of Taroudant, near Tiout and Tafraoute respectively.  
Agriculture is focused around scenic rivers and oases. There are many remote Berber villages worth a visit and pretty green cultivated valleys with scattered herds of goats.  
The area offers spectacular landscapes, great walking, irresistible climate and a very interesting introduction to real Berber culture. When you are traveling this part of Morocco you are always welcomed by the locals whose hospitality is remarkably famous.  This is one of the most attractive areas not to be missed.
Area highlights:
- The fantastic rock formations such as the Lion's Head and Napoleon's Hat, prehistoric rock carvings and some of the pretty villages in the valley near Tafraoute.
- The incredible Blue Rocks (boulders), just 4 km from Tafraoute created by Belgian painter Jean Veran with the help of local firemen and 18 tons of paint.
- The phenomenal Agadirs (Berber "castles") perched on rocky outcrops in places such as the road north of Tafraoute and the Assif-n-Mouguene canyon (the "Grand Canyon of Morocco") in the southwest of the range.
- Trek in the Jbel Sirwa or Assif-n-Mouguene canyon regions.
- Learn about organic saffron production at Taliouine.  
Visiting this area in Autumn around early November should guarantee sight of the beautiful blue-violet flowers and the festival celebrating the harvest.
Must see Towns:
Taroudant:  The red-walled Berber market town serving the fertile Souss valley on the northern fringe of the Anti Atlas, is the most accessible and friendly centre from which to explore the range.
Taliouine: A village on the edge of the spectacular Jbel Sirwa lies midway between Taroudant and Ouarzazate before the road branches off to Zagora. Famous for the production of saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, Taliouine has a cooperative where you can buy this magical spice at bargain rates and learn about its cultivation.
The Great South
A trip to south Morocco without visiting Erg Chebbi is somehow incomplete. The biggest dune of Erg Chebbi goes as high as 250m and its dark red colored sand provides one of the most fantastic sceneries in Africa. The visit to these dunes includes several villages around the dunes, desert lakes with pink flamingos, Fossil rocks, oasis and a chance to get your dream camel ride. On This trip you will also a chance to learn about Berber culture and visit one of  the most amazing kasbahs in Morocco. 
Area highlights:
Merzouga and Erg Chebbi: Merzouga Is a small Saharan Berber village located right on the bottom of the dunes of Erg Chebbi and is one of the highlights of Saharan destinations in North Africa. Erg Chebbi Dunes are magical and have a special and unique energy.
Tinghir:  A mining bustling town that serves tourism for the Gorges of Todra and the nearby "palmeries". These valleys nearby are supposed to be on the top rank in the world for the most quantity of palm trees per square meter.  Palm trees along huge mountains and Kasbahs all the way to the breathtaking Gorges of Todra. 
The Gorges of Todra: Fabulous canyons and rock fault. This pink rose and strong ochre colored rock formation offers unforgettable scenery.
Ouarzazate: Ouarzazate is the most developed city South of the Atlas and gets its status for the presence of the film industry and cinema studios (which can actually be visit), Ouarzazate offers a few interesting places to visit but the UNESCO restored Taourirt Kasbah which is the biggest Glaoui (Ancient Pasha of Marrakech) Kasbah in the region, is definitely worth a look, and so is the old Mellah or the Jewish quarter.
Ait Ben Haddou:  A fabulous UNESCO Heritage site located on top of a hill and consists on an amazing Kasbah village with mud construction occupying a whole hillside on the bottom of the river and offers great landscapes and one of the best views in Morocco.
Erfoud: Erfoud is well known as the door to the Sahara; an active small town and the first entrance to the desert route heading for  the dunes of Erg Chebbi. 
Rissani:  Located in the heart of Tafilalt region and was an important trading market for the sub-Sahara, Africa and the North many centuries ago. Today, it is still active and has one of the most important souks (markets) in the area and is worth visiting. 
 - Carpet production at Tazenakt, between Taliouine and Ouarzazate or Zagora.
- The beautiful almond blossom in January and February when hillsides are clothed with the subtle pink flowers.
The Moroccan Sahara
The Sahara, the largest arid desert in the world starts in Morocco with a mixture of sand and rock.  It is a vast area which can accessible from few points in south Morocco.  
For adventurous visitors, the desert of Morocco is well worth the long journey through the mountains. It is a highly scenic and atmospheric region with breathtaking sights such as scenic gorges, stony formation, stunning earth architecture, amazing oasis towns and peaceful palmeries as well as magical sand dunes. Many areas have backdrop of the Atlas Mountains which travelers have to cross in order to access the desert from Marrakech or other historic starting points such as Taroudant or Fes. 
The climate of this area varies a great deal due to its vast size and variations in altitude. The region of Skoura towards the north is fairly cool in the summer months but the temperature rises considerably as you travel further south inland.
Visitors who choose to explore this area of great beauty and peace; a minimum of 5-6 days is suggested. The reward is an exciting learning experience to stay in memory for a long, long time.
Area highlights:
Ouarzazate: This largest town of the desert is within 5 hours from Marrakech; a French garrison town which has been transformed into a tourist centre. 
Ait Benhaddou: A striking fortified settlement (ksar) under half an hour drive from Ouarzazate (off the Marrakech road). Renowned as a site to many films including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator, it houses some of the best conserved Kasbahs in Morocco. The nearby film studios are well worth a visit.
Skoura: Is set by a peaceful palmerie with many superb ruined Kasbahs. Just 45 minute drive to the northeast of Ouarzazate, it is also a good base from which to visit the Dades Valley.
The Dades Valley and Gorges: Starting east of Skoura, including the famous "Valley of the Roses" and "Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs", offer stunning, varied and colourful landscapes with superb Kasbahs. The dramatic Todra Gorge, a must see, is further east.
Merzouga: Is a village about 6 hours drive east of Ouarzazate. It enjoys a fantastic location on the edge of the stunning and impressive reddish gold Erg Chebbi sand dunes which rise to about 60 meters in height.
Agdez: Is a small town with a beautiful palmerie, situated about two hours drive south of Ouarzazate and may also be reached through a gorgeous four-hour drive by way of the relatively low mountain pass east of Taroudant .   
Zagora: The gateway to the desert is about 3.5 hours south of Ouarzazate along the dramatic Draa Valley. Plenty of places to stay in the surrounding area and there is a gorgeous palmerie in Amezrou south of town. Small sand dunes can be located nearby at Tinfou but the famous dunes of M'Hamid are a good 80 minutes drive away.
M'Hamid: The access point of the largest and most visited dunes in this area; M'Hamid is located east of Agadir on the edge of the Sahara, accessible by fascinating routes through the mountains 7 hours from Taroudant, 9 from Marrakech and 5 hours from Ouarzazate.
The  Atlantic Coast ... A stunning region!
The Atlantic Coast of Morocco runs for about 1000 miles from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Mauritanian boarder. A trip to this refreshing and beautiful coast promises to be an unforgettable experience that's rich in tradition, folklore, history and fun.  Each region, city, town and village on the Atlantic coast has its own unique story and dramatic variations of traditions and architecture. 
As the High Atlas meets the Atlantic between Agadir and Essaouira, you find beaches that stretch for several miles such as Tafadna and Iftane. 
The south Atlantic coast remains quite wild and little known. South of Agadir, you will discover the spectacular cliffs and the white beach in the former Spanish enclave of Sidi Ifni, the towns of Tifnit and Goulmine which are so tranquil and magnificent. The Southern Atlantic region is stunning, less traveled and is suitable for trail driving throughout the year.
Must visit Places:
Tangier: Tangier has been and will always remain a popular tourist destination. The city's grandeur has a lot to offer; from its palm-tree promenade and sandy beaches to the old town section and the outlying villages and resorts. The highly developed hotel infrastructure in the city is clean and well-equipped and the best beaches are found west and south of town on the Atlantic Ocean towards Asilah. A vacation in tangier is always memorable and worthwhile.
Asilah: A peaceful beach town south of Tangier, Asilah is a tranquil and beautiful destination offering a refuge from the nearby bustling cities. This jewel features deserted, quiet beaches and a relaxing atmosphere. Like any other northern towns in Morocco, Asilah has Mediterranean-influenced buildings, including whitewashed houses with blue accents on walls and doors and hosts several cultural activities during the summer months.
Rabat: This is a historic city and the present capital of Morocco, a city of trees and flowers and numerous monumental gateways including the Gate of the Ambassadors and the Oudayas Kasbah Gate.  The nearby Maamora forest and the many beautiful Atlantic beaches are popular tourist attractions during the summer. 
Casablanca: Casablanca is located south of the capital Rabat on the Atlantic and is famous for its cross over style of Moroccan and European culture. The sandy beaches of Casablanca stretch for several miles to the north and are beautiful and pretty much frequented by visitors and locals alike.  This city is one of two starting points for visitors flying into the country. If you have the time, both the historical medina and the contemporary Hassan II mosque (the second largest in the world) are well worth an afternoon.
Safi: Safi lies about 100 miles northwest of Marrakech and halfway between the two ocean ports of Casablanca and Agadir. Safi being the capital of pottery of Morocco, the best molded, glazed, imprinted and carved pottery is found here. The old medina in the center of the city is worth a visit. Here, traces of history from when the Portuguese occupied Safi can still be found. The industrial-artisan area is very interesting with its widest side facing the coast.
Essaouira: Essaouira is a charming, laid-back little jewel with cobblestoned streets, whitewashed walls and massive stone ramparts. Nicknamed the Artist's colony, it is a leading musical and cultural meeting point, Essaouira is a must see on your tour of Morocco.
Taghazout: Taghazout is a very popular fishing and surfing village situated about ten miles north of Agadir on the road to Essaouira. This little village is the perfect destination for water sport fans as its coast is sun blessed all year round. 
Agadir: One of Morocco's main seaports on the Atlantic Ocean. Agadir is also the country's premier beach resort and one of the most iconic destinations and home to an amazing range of sites, activities and events. Agadir is very popular for its golden sandy beaches that run for almost six miles around the edge of the city which makes it a number one destination for vacationers in Morocco. 
Mirleft: Located south of Agadir on the main road to Sidi Ifni, Mir Left is peaceful and a great site for camping. 
Sidi Ifni: Located about 100 miles south of Agadir, on the edge of the Sahara, boarding onto the Atlantic Ocean, you will find the old Spanish colonial trading post of Sidi Ifni. The collection of good fish restaurants and cafes are worth trying out if you are lucky enough to be here.
Dakhla: Dakhla is still unspoilt and has a constant water temperature of about 25centigrade all year round which make it the ideal place and a paradise for fishermen, divers and surfers to comfortably enjoy most water sports. Plans for this region to become a national park to protect endangered species such as monk seals is on the way.
Dakhla has also become a Mecca for 4x4 excursions and camping in the dunes; and for surfing fans, nothing is more beautiful than waking up by the sea. For the culturally oriented visitors, interacting with the desert nomads is an experience of a lifetime.
The Mediterranean coast
The Beautiful Mediterranean coast of Morocco starts at Saidia and runs wesward to Tangier providing the holiday seeker with its calm,crystal-clear waters and fine white sand. The panoramic beaches are astonishing and the colorful towns and cities along the coast make of the Mediterranean one of the best morocco attractions. Whether you are a couple, a family or just a single vacationer tempted by an outing on a boat, a fishing trip, a romantic walk along the beach or simply looking to spend an enjoyable sun-bathing afternoon, you will be more than satisfied anywhere you might be. 
The choice of available beaches is so great, from the biggest to the most intimate, the most traditional to the most modern. The wide, open spaces and picturesque countryside of natural sites such as the Laou River, El Hoceima and Saidia offer an amazing journey that will stay in memory for years to come. 
Mediterranean coastat places of interest:
Known as the "Blue Pearl", Saidia is located on the northeastern coast of the Mediterranean 
Sea in the province of Berkane at the Moroccan-Algerian border. Having a coastline that 
stretches for about 10 miles, Saidia's beaches are considered the longest in Morocco and are 
characterized by their golden sand and extraordinary Mediterranean climate which is good 
virtually all year round. The area is surrounded by a natural bird sanctuary of marsh and 
woodland, and access to the main beach is through a beautiful eucalyptus forest. The city is 
very lively; the locals are friendly and hospitable. Saidia hosts plenty of nice 
restaurants, pubs, shopping centers, private beaches, golf courses and luxury hotel which 
makes it one of the country's most popular national and international tourist destinations. 
For active travelers, the city is very ideal for all types of water sports, with a lovely 
bay providing a safe place for bathing and sailing. The annual traditional folk music 
festival also attracts thousands of tourists during the month of august every year. 
Saidia offers you the best of everything, be it sunshine, charm, turquoise clear waters, 
sport and a whole range of varied activities to ensure that you have a relaxed and un
forgettable holiday. 

Al Hoceima: Al Hoceima is beautifully situated between the majestic Rif Mountains in Northern Morocco and the Mediterranean sea.The name Alhoceima comes from the Spanish word Alhucemas which means lavender. it is the second-largest port of the Rif Region after Nador. The town is very popular among both Moroccans and foreigners for its beautiful beaches and the abundance of delicious seafood . Al Hoceima is very lively during the summer season and also offers many opportunities for amusement and recreation throughout the rest of the year. From the snowy peaks of Ketama to the beautiful mediterranean beaches and the numerous parks and natural reserves which offer an amazing biodiversity of flora and fauna, the visitor to this area will find plenty of very interesting things to do and see.

TetouanThe city of Tetouan is beautifully located on a hillside with a view over the Mediterranean sea, less then 40 miles from Algeciras and about 40 miles east of Tangier, Tetouan served for centuries as a major point of contact between Morocco and the Arab culture of Andalusia on the Iberian Peninsula. Its whitewashed walls have earned the city the title of  "the White Dove" the capital of the north.The Medina of Tetouan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike any other Moroccan Medina, Tetouan is unquestionably the most complete and it has been largely untouched by subsequent outside influences and offers a unique perspective on the multicultural history of northern Morocco. There are three distinct sections of the Medina, the Andalusian, the Jewish, and the Berber sections. The city's stunning mountains and beaches, which are undoubtedly among the most beautiful in the entire Mediterranean area, and its evergreen Rif Mountains that spread eastwards along a distance of more than 350 miles make Tetouan a very interesting travel destination worldwide and reflect the natural beauty for which Tetouan is known for.

Tangier: Tangier is the starting point for most visitors arriving by ferry from Spain. This beautiful city has an enigmatic charm which has historically attracted numerous visitors from artists and musicians to politicians and writers who, at one time or another, have made this city and its surroundings a regular destination for their holidays and activities. With its many historical and cultural attractions The medina of Tangier is very interesting,  the streets are narrow, houses in many different styles, and most of this medina is in good condition. 
There are several Atlantic beaches west of Tangier, which offer a great alternative to the town beach. The setting of these beaches can be most attractive, with mountains on all sides and all necessary amenities. 
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